2019, June, Newsletter

India Newsletter June 11, 2019

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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PM GIVES CREDIT TO BUREAUCRACY FOR HISTORIC ELECTORAL VICTORY

Fresh from the historic electoral victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
Monday gave credit for NDA’s return to power to the bureaucracy for creating
pro-incumbency sentiments by successfully delivering government schemes to
common man.

“The recent General Elections have been marked by pro-incumbency for which
credit must go to the entire team of officials, which worked hard, conceived
schemes, and delivered excellent results on the ground, over the last five
years,” Modi said during his first interaction with top bureaucrats in his
second stint. “The elections this time have been marked by a positive vote,
which emerges from trust that the common man feels, based on his day-to-day
experiences,” an official statement quoted PM as having said.

Noting that the Indian voter has outlined a vision for the next five years,
the PM said, “The huge expectations of the people should not be viewed as a
challenge, but an opportunity.

He said the mandate reflected the will and aspirations of the people to
change the status quo, and seek a better life for themselves.

The PM said he has seen that Secretaries have vision, commitment and energy
to take the country forward. He said he is proud of the team.

Asking each Ministry to focus on “Ease of Living”, Modi said, India’s
progress in “Ease of Doing Business” should reflect in greater facilitation
for small businesses and entrepreneurs. He also recalled his first such
interaction with the Secretaries in June 2014.

The Prime Minister interacted with all Secretaries to the Government of
India, at Lok Kalyan Marg where Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah,
Nirmala Sitharaman and Jitendra Singh, were also present.

XI, MODI MAY DISCUSS US TRADE PROTECTIONISM IN BISHKEK: CHINA

Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping as “good
friends”, China on Monday hoped the two leaders would discuss their
respective trade frictions with the US and reach a consensus on opposing
trade protectionism during their “very important” meeting this week on the
sidelines of the SCO summit in Bishkek.

This year’s summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be
held in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on June 13-14 where Modi and Xi are
scheduled to meet and discuss bilateral and international issues.

“Once again we congratulate Prime Minister Modi. President Xi and Prime
Minister Modi are good friends. They had very successful informal summit at
Wuhan last year,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui told a media
briefing answering a question on the Modi-Xi meeting.

He said the Wuhan summit had provided strategic guidance for the development
of India-China ties, paving the way for stable growth of China-India
relations in the long run.

The April 27-28 Wuhan summit between Modi and Xi was largely credited to
have turned around the bilateral relations soured by the 73-day Doklam
standoff in 2017, triggered by Chinese troops’ attempt to build a road close
to the Indian border in an area also claimed by Bhutan.

WE’RE THE BANK THAT EVERYBODY WANTS TO ROB: DONALD TRUMP

US President Donald Trump said that even though India has reduced its import
tariff on American motorcycles from 100 percent to 50 percent, it is still
too high and not acceptable to him.

Trump said the United States, under his leadership, is a country that can no
longer be fooled.

“We’re not the foolish country that does so badly. You look at India, very
good friend of mine, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, you take a look at what
they’ve done, 100 percent tax on a motorcycle. We charge them nothing,”
Trump told CBS news in an interview on Monday.

Trump was referring to the import tariff on the Harley Davidson motorcycles,
an issue that has been close to his heart and wants India to reduce it to
zero.

“So, when Harley sends over there, they have 100 percent tax. When they
(India) send in they make a tremendous number of motorcycles when they send
them in, no tax. I called him. I said it’s unacceptable, Trump said,
referring to his conversation with Prime Minister Modi.

“He (Modi) reduced it by 50 percent with one phone call. I said it’s still
unacceptable because it’s 50 percent versus nothing. It’s still
unacceptable. And they’re working on it,” he said, indicating that the two
countries are still in talks to resolve the issue of import tariffs on
American motorcycles.

“But if I didn’t, if we didn’t have the power of what we have, and if we
weren’t the bank–well, if we weren’t the bank we wouldn’t even be talking
about it because nobody would care. But we’re the bank that everybody wants
to rob, and that’s what they’ve been doing for a long period of time. USD
800 billion we have in trade deficits with other countries. So you tell me
who made those deals, he said in response to a question.

DELHI RECORDS ALL-TIME HIGH OF 48 DEGREES C

The mercury shattered all records in Delhi with parts of the national
capital recording an all-time high of 48 degrees Celsius on Monday.

The city’s previous high of 47.8 degrees Celsius was recorded in Palam on
June 9, 2014.

“The Palam Observatory recorded an all-time high of 48 degrees Celsius
Monday. The factors that led to this are dry westerly winds, no effect of a
western disturbance in the plains and intense heating in the month of June,”
said India Meteorological Department regional weather forecasting chief
Kuldeep Srivastava.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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FORMER PAK PRESIDENT ZARDARI ARRESTED IN FAKE BANK ACCOUNTS CASE

Pakistan’s former President Asif Ali Zardari was arrested on Monday from his
residence in Islamabad in the fake bank accounts case by the country’s top
anti-corruption body.

Initially, Zardari’s supporters and political aides resisted the arrest but
later the security team was allowed to enter the house and the 63-year-old
leader surrendered after negotiation.

A number of party workers and Zardari’s son Bilawal saw him off as the
former president was driven away in the vehicle.

Zardari, the 11th president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013, has denied any
link with the fake accounts. He has said the allegation was part of a
vilification campaign by the ruling party to malign opposition leaders.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday warned of legal action against
those who do not declare their undisclosed assets by June 30. Addressing the
nation ahead of the federal budget for fiscal year 2019-20 to be announced
on Tuesday, Khan said, “We will need to change ourselves if we want to
become a great country.” “I am appealing to all of you to take part in the
Asset Declaration Scheme that we have brought, because if we don’t pay
taxes, we will not be able to raise our country up,” Khan said.

The premier said people have until June 30 to declare their benami assets,
benami bank accounts and money that was kept abroad.

HONG KONG LEADER REFUSES TO SCRAP EXTRADITION BILL DESPITE RALLY

Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leader on Monday refused to scrap a controversial
plan to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland, a day after record
crowds came out to oppose the proposal.

Striking a defiant tone after the city’s largest protest since the 1997
handover, chief executive Carrie Lam said the legislature would debate the
bill on Wednesday as planned, rejecting calls to delay or withdraw the law.

The decision sets her administration on a collision course with opponents
who decried her stance and called on supporters to rally outside parliament
on Wednesday or hold strikes. “She’s really pushing Hong Kong towards the
brink of a precipice,” pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo told reporters.

Sunday saw huge crowds march in blazing summer heat through the streets of
the financial hub’s main island in a noisy, colourful demonstration calling
on the government to scrap its planned extradition law.

The Chinese government on Monday blamed “foreign forces” and said it
“resolutely” opposed the “wrong words and deeds of any foreign forces” that
interfere in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s (SAR)
legislation.

THE REST

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KATHUA RAPE-MURDER: THREE GET LIFE TERM; 5-YEAR JAIL FOR 3 OTHERS

A court in Pathankot on Monday sentenced three people to life term, hours
after they were found guilty of gangrape and murder of an 8-year-old nomadic
girl in Jammu & Kashmir’s Kathua in January 2018.

Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the temple where the crime took place, Special
Police Officer Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar, a civilian, have been
convicted under Ranbir Penal Code sections pertaining to criminal
conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, gangrape, destruction of evidence, drugging
the victim and common intention.

They have been sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh each for
murder, along with 25 years in jail for gangrape.

Three accomplices-Sub Inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj and
Special Police Officer Surender Verma-who were convicted for destruction of
evidence have been handed over five years imprisonment. The court had
acquitted a seventh suspect, who is the son of main accused Sanji Ram.

The eighth accused, a juvenile, is being tried in Kathua.

The case made international headlines, with the UN Secretary Antonio
Guterres condemning the crime as “horrific”. Protests that were held across
the country drew also politicians.

According to the 15-page charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was
kidnapped on January 10 last year, was allegedly raped in captivity in a
small village temple in Kathua district after having been kept sedated for
four days before she was bludgeoned to death. The girl’s body was found on
January 17 and autopsy confirmed gang rape and murder.

The case had become a bone of contention between the then ruling alliance
partners PDP and the BJP after two ministers of the saffron party, Chowdhury
Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, participated in a rally organised by
the Hindu Ekta Manch in support of the accused arrested by the state crime
branch.

VETERAN PLAYWRIGHT-ACTOR GIRISH KARNAD DIES IN BENGALURU AT 81

Renowned playwright, actor and Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad, who left his
indelible mark in the world of literature, theatre and cinema passed away at
his residence on Monday morning after prolonged illness, official sources
said.

A multi-hyphenate personality, who often courted controversies for his vocal
stance, Karnad, 81, was recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. He was
one of the most important literary minds of the present era.

He had acted in and directed several plays and movies that earned critical
acclaim.

Karnad’s plays, written in Kannada, have been translated into English and
several other Indian languages.

As per his wishes, the family has decided not to follow any religious
ceremonies and accept state honours during funeral, the family said.

Declaring a holiday on Monday as a mark of respect to Karnad, Karnataka
Chief Minister’s office in a statement also announced a three-day state
mourning. The CMO said Karnad would also receive state honours, which is in
line with respect given to other Jnanpith awardees in the past.

Condoling the death of Karnad, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said, “We have
lost a cultural ambassador.”

SHIV SENA LEADER NUDGES BJP ON RAM TEMPLE, WITH AN EGO MASSAGE

Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said that to him,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah, and Uttar Pradesh
chief minister Yogi Adityanath are equivalent to the Supreme Court and
asserted that the construction of Ram temple will start by the end of this
year.

“The decision will be taken by the majority. Do the voices of 125 crore
people don’t matter? The Supreme Court will continue to do its work. But we
have many ways to go ahead. What is the Supreme Court for us? For us, the
Supreme Court is Narendra Modiji, Amit Shahji, Yogiji, and people. During
campaigning, main issues including Ram temple, Section 370 and Uniform Civil
Code (UCC) were raised. These are issues of national interest and people
voted for us based on these issues,” Raut told ANI.

The Shiv Sena leader, who will meet Adityanath today, said that under the
leadership of Modi and Adityanath Ram temple will be constructed.

7 TO 4.5%: EX-CEA CUTS GDP ESTIMATE BETWEEN 2011-12 AND 2016-17

In the midst of a raging controversy over India’s economic growth under the
new GDP series, former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has
concluded that the country’s growth has been overestimated by around 2.5
percentage points between 2011-12 and 2016-17.

While official estimates have pegged average annual growth at around 7 per
cent during this period, actual GDP growth is likely to have been lower, at
around 4.5 per cent, says Subramanian in a recent research paper published
at Harvard University.

One sector where the magnitude of mis-measurement is particularly large is
manufacturing. Pre-2011, manufacturing value added in national accounts
tended to be tightly correlated with the manufacturing component of the
index of industrial production and manufacturing exports. But, thereafter,
the relationship has broken down, notes the former CEA.

Subramanian’s analysis is based on 17 key economic indicators which tend to
be highly correlated with GDP growth. However, it does not include the
controversial MCA-21 database which forms an integral part of the CSO’s
calculation.

His findings, Subramanian argues, have key implications. “The Indian policy
automobile has been navigated with a faulty, possibly broken, speedometer,”
he writes.

CENTRE RETIRES 12 SENIOR I-T OFFICERS FOR CORRUPTION, EXTORTION & MISCONDUCT

The government has compulsorily retired 12 senior Indian Revenue Service
(income tax) officers, including one of the rank of the joint commissioner,
following charges of corruption, extortion and professional misconduct
against them.

The officers who have been ousted include Ashok Agarwal (IRS 1985 batch),
Joint Commissioner Income Tax, S K Srivastava (IRS 1989 batch), Commissioner
(Appeal), Noida, Homi Rajvansh (IRS 1985 batch), B B Rajendra Prasad, Ajoy
Kumar Singh (CIT) and B Arulappa (CIT). Other names in the list include Alok
Kumar Mitra, Chander Saini Bharti, Andasu Ravindar, Vivek Batra, Swetabh
Suman and Ram Kumar Bhargava.

NBFC CRISIS: GOVT IN NO HURRY TO STEP IN, WILL WAIT AND WATCH

The govt at the highest level, is said to be against stepping in proactively
to support or save non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), housing finance
companies (HFCs), or mutual funds.

Sources in the government closely following the developments said there will
be a “moral hazard” if the government bears the cost of risky actions of
NBFCs. In its own assessment, the government also thinks that while the
current liquidity crunch will impede growth, it is unlikely to lead to a
full-blown crisis.

Analysts and market players are, however, extremely worried that the crisis
triggered by the IL&FS default last June and now by Dewan Housing Finance
Ltd (DHFL) may lead to a contagion and take down other finance companies.

IL&FS had a total outstanding debt of Rs 99,354 crore April-end, and the
quantum of DHFL debt recently downgraded to D category recently is Rs
1,02,563 crore.

Lack of funds or credit to roll over short-term debt falling due in the
coming months can potentially affect other non-banking companies and may
lead to more defaults in the NBFC sector. This may spill over with adverse
second-round impact that could be felt on real estate and construction
firms, analysts warn.

YUVRAJ SINGH HANGS HIS BOOTS

Eight years after he prevented cancer from dictating his life choices, a
tearful Yuvraj Singh on Monday brought the curtains down on a roller-coaster
career, the pinnacle of which was his exploits in India’s 2011 World Cup
triumph.

“After 25 years, I have decided to move on. Cricket has given me everything
and is the reason why I stand here today,” the 37-year-old said addressing
the media. “I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have
never imagined it when I first started playing cricket,” he added.

Yuvraj played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is for India. He put together
1,900 runs in the longest format, and 8,701 in the one-dayers, the format in
which he enjoyed most success.

The battle with cancer soon after the 2011 World Cup triumph was perhaps the
biggest challenge that he encountered. “I was not going to let that disease
defeat me,” he said.

Yuvraj last played for India in a T20I against England in 2017. His last
Test appearance was back in 2012. He turned up for Mumbai Indians in this
year’s IPL but didn’t get many chances.

Clobbering six sixes in the penultimate over bowled by Stuart Broad in
Kingsmead was a moment not many cricket fans will forget. That performance
against England took Yuvraj on top of the pile of fastest fifties in a T20I
match, scoring 50 in just 12 balls, a record that has stood the test of
time.

A testimony of his accomplished all-round abilities was the 2011 50-over
World Cup where Yuvraj became the first all-rounder to score 300-plus runs
and take 15 wickets in a single World Cup. The feat included four MoM awards
and Man-Of-the-Tournament.

ICC WOPRLD CUP: S AFRICA VS WEST INDIES MATCH WASHED OUT

Put in to bat first, South Africa were 29 for two in the eighth over when
rain stopped play in their World Cup match against the West Indies in
Southampton yesterday. The match as later abandoned, giving a point each to
the two teams.

INDICATORS

Sensex 39,785 (+169), Nifty 11,923 (+52), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores)
26,822

Nasdaq 7,823 (+81) Dow 26,063 (+79), S&P 2,887 (+13)

US$-Rs. 69.40 GBP-Rs. 88.10, Euro-Rs. 78.49, UAE Dhm-Rs.18.89, Can$-Rs.
52.30, Aus$- Rs. 48.35

GBP 0.78 /US$, Euro 0.88 /US$, Jap.Yen 108.53 /US$, Aus$ 1.43 /US$, Sing
1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 82.63 /US$, Can$ 1.32 /US$, Mal Ring 4.15 /US$,

Pak Re 147.21 /US$, Phil Peso 52.05 /US$, Russian Rouble 64.74 /US$, NZ$
1.50 /US$, Thai Baht 31.30 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 26.13 /US$, Norway NOK 8.64
/US$

Bitcoin – USD 7,816

Dollar Index 96.74 Brent Crude 62.32 BDI 1138

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,329 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3294 / 3116,
Silver (Rs. Per KG) 39,900

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

If you don’t have the time to do something right, where are you going to
find the time to fix it? – Stephen King

OFF TRACK

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the
large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. It was covered with
names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it.

The seven-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the
pastor walked up, stood beside the boy.

“Pastor McGhee, what is this?” Alex asked.

“Well, son, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the
service.”

Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque.

Little Alex’s voice was barely audible when he asked, “Which service… the
morning or the evening?”

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