NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 2018
The Narendra Modi government’s claims of fighting against black money has taken a beating.
The latest data released by the Swiss National Bank reveal that the amount deposited by Indians in the Swiss banks in the past one year has increased by 50 per cent.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has hit out at the government for its failure in curbing generation of black money. Writing on his Twitter handle, Swamy said, “Secret Swiss bank accounts deposits from global sources rose by three per cent in last 12 months. Indians’ deposits however grew 50 per cent.”
The Congress in a tweet said, “One of PM Modi’s long-standing campaign promises of bringing back black money falls flat. While you sit and wait for your promised Rs 15 lakh, more capital has flown the coop.”
Tweeting a caricature on the development, the Aam Aadmi Party said the black money parked in foreign lands will not return in PM Modi’s government.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury alleged that prime minister has no time or intention to remember the tall promises he made in 2014. “From depositing 15 lakh in each bank account to making Rupee stronger to doubling farmers’ income, he has only insulted and humiliated us Indians,” he said in a tweet.
In another tweet, Yechury said the data is no surprise since the “Modi government writes off lakhs of crores of unpaid loans of crony corporate and businessmen flee India after looting public money under his watch”.
Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to 1.01 billion Swiss franc (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017. This was against a three-year downward trend and comes amid India’s clampdown on suspected black money stashed in Switzerland.
In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3 per cent to 1.46 trillion Swiss franc or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017, according to the official annual data released today by Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation.
The Indian money in Swiss banks had fallen by 45 per cent in 2016, marking their biggest ever yearly plunge, to 676 million Swiss franc (about Rs 4,500 crore) — the lowest ever since the European nation began making the data public in 1987.
Reacting to report of 50% rise in money held by Indians in Swiss banks, Union minister Arun Jaitley on Friday slammed those using the information to question the government’s anti-black money measures.
“A news item has appeared today indicating an increase of money by ‘Indians’ in the Swiss banking system. This has led to misinformed reaction in certain circles raising a query whether the Government’s anti-black money steps have yielded results,” Jaitley wrote in his latest Facebook post.
He further said, “To assume that all the deposits are per se tax evaded money or that Switzerland in the matter of illegal deposits is what it was decades ago, is to start on a shaky presumption.”
He also warned that Indians with illegal deposits in Swiss banks would face harsh penal proceedings under the black money law after Switzerland starts real time sharing of details of accounts from January 2019 onwards.
Stating that ‘Indian’ money outside the country is of various categories, Jaitley said, “Past investigation by CBDT have shown that this includes many held by persons of Indian origin who now hold foreign passport, monies belonging to Non-Resident Indians, as also monies belonging to resident Indians who have made legitimate investments abroad, including transfer of money under the liberalised remittance schemes. It is only monies kept by resident Indian outside these categories which become actionable.”
Finance minister Piyush Goyal expressed similar views and questioned how all the deposits can be assumed to be black money “The data that you alluded to will come to us, so how are you assuming that this is black money or this is illegal transaction?” Goyal said. He added that strong action will be taken against those found guilty of wrongdoing.
A slinging match erupted on the political arena and outside after the rupee touched its all-time low on Thursday, with some digging out the blistering barbs that PM Narendra Modi had lobbed at the Manmohan Singh government in the run-up to 2014 when the currency had fallen.
Two statements attributed to Modi drew particular attention.
One, Modi had said on June 12, 2012: “The country wants to know, Prime Minister, what is the reason that the Indian rupee alone has been falling and falling against the dollar? I have clearly said this is not just for economic reasons, but your corrupt politics that has started from Delhi, that has a big role in this. I am making the allegation very seriously.”
The other statement by Modi was made in July 2013, when he wondered whether the falling rupee was approaching the age of Manmohan, who was 80 then.
The average exchange rate for the rupee was 54.41 a dollar in 2012-13 and 60.50 a dollar in 2013-14 although it had closed at a lifetime low of 68.82 on August 28, 2013.
On Thursday, the rupee slipped past 69 during intra-day trading for the first time ever, before RBI intervention helped it close at 68.79. On Friday, the rupee closed higher at 68.46.
Fears of a trade war between the US and China, a strong dollar and rising crude oil prices are being cited as the triggers for the fall of the Indian currency.
Having been at the receiving end five years ago, the Congress sunk its teeth into the chance. “What should we presume now? We can’t stoop so low as to use your language, but can we ask whether the rupee has touched 70 (to the dollar) for the first time in the history because of corruption?” Congress spokesperson R.P.N. Singh asked.
Chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had already posted on Facebook: “Dear Modiji, You mocked Dr Manmohan Singh comparing his age to the value of depreciating currency, which never really fructified. Now it is at a historic low of 68.61 to the dollar, surpassing your age.”
Other tweeters, critical of Modi govt, made merry.
The Southwest monsoon on Friday covered the entire country, a fortnight ahead of its normal schedule of mid-July — the first since 2015. However, all-India rainfall remained deficit by at least four per cent than normal, even as June draws to a close.
This year, the monsoon has made an early onset over the Kerala coast by three days. However, it entered into an early-break phase on June 11, after which the advance of an otherwise fast-progressing monsoon slowed down considerably. The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) passed through Thane, Ahmednagar, Buldhana, Amravati, Gondia, Titlagarh, Cuttak, Midnapore and Bagdogra in all these days. This sluggish trend lasted for at least two weeks until it picked up pace at the end of last week.
According to extended range forecasts, monsoon is set to intensify over central India and the western coast in the first week of July.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary Meet that concluded in Paris has unanimously agreed to implement the decision adopted earlier in February to grey list Pakistan.
Following notification of the compliance report, the global watchdog will act against Pakistan for the second time under the monitoring and reporting programme for its failure to counter terror financing. Pakistan faces general elections in July and has a caretaker government in place currently.
Following the grey listing, if Islamabad does not comply with the FATF blueprint, it could be moved to the black list next year. Pakistan and its State Bank will now be under immense scrutiny of the global watchdog that sets regulatory and legal mechanisms to counter terror financing.
Moving forward, Pakistan stands a risk downgrade by multilateral lenders like IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank that would make borrowing of funds difficult and impact its foreign reserves. Also, reduction in its risk-rating could impact its stock markets.
However, Pakistan continues to argue it has clamped down on UN proscribed terror organisations and individuals like LeT, JuD, FIF (Falah-e-Insaniyat) and Hafiz Saeed, who ironically is staging rallies ahead of polls.
European leaders reached a deal on migration in the early hours of Friday after tortuous talks, but details were vague, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel conceded differences remained on an issue that threatens her political career.
After nine hours of often stormy talks, EU leaders agreed to share out refugees arriving in the bloc on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centres” inside the EU to process asylum requests.
They also agreed to share responsibility for migrants rescued at sea, a key demand of Italy’s new Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte. “Italy is not alone anymore,” he said.
Conte, whose government includes the anti-establishment 5-Star movement and far-right League, had earlier refused to endorse a summit text on security and trade until other leaders had pledged to help Italy manage Mediterranean arrivals. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said he was “satisfied and proud of our government’s results in Brussels”.
The EU summit took place in an atmosphere of political crisis, with Merkel under intense pressure at home to take a firmer stance on migration. She said it was a good signal that leaders had been able to agree a common text, but acknowledged the bloc still had “a lot of work to do to bridge the different views.”
In a final statement full of convoluted language designed to appease the divergent views, the leaders agreed to restrict migrant moves within the bloc but made clear virtually all of their pledges would be carried out on a “voluntary basis” by member states.
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is set to gain control over the state-owned IDBI Bank with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) approving its plan to buy up to 51 per cent stake in the debt-laden bank amid concerns relating to the use of policyholders’ funds for bailing out a bank.
The IRDAI board meet in Hyderabad Friday cleared the proposal under a special dispensation under the Insurance Act, as an insurance company cannot hold more than 15 per cent stake in a company under the IRDAI norms.
While an official claimed that with this purchase, LIC will enter the banking sector and diversify its business, others question the move to buy a loss-making bank riddled with huge bad loans.
The government has used LIC’s cash pile on several occasions in the past to bail out sputtering IPOs of public sector firms.
LIC had also invested between 10-14 per cent in most public sector banks equity two years ago just before the pile of bad loans surfaced and bank valuations took a beating on the stock exchanges.
The LIC’s move to buy IDBI Bank has come at a time when the insurance major was seen as aggressively reducing its stake in 11 public sector banks (PSBs) which are under the RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework. These include Dena Bank, Corporation Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and Bank of Maharashtra.
The Centre has promised to redesign its controversial housing redevelopment project for employees in south Delhi to avoid felling trees, but environment groups are sceptical and say their six-day-old protest will continue.
Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri said on Thursday night the plans were being reworked and that citizens’ groups would be consulted for transplantation of trees.
“No trees will henceforth be cut in the process of redevelopment of Delhi colonies,” he tweeted, trying to reassure activists protesting the plans to fell 14,000-plus trees to make room for 25,000-odd quarters in seven compounds.
Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing K.K. Mishra who has petitioned Delhi High Court against the felling, said it was difficult to believe the government assurance. “A mere press release has no power to stop the work. A notification has to be passed…. We’ll continue with our plea in court,” he told The Telegraph.
The BJP-led Centre and the AAP-led state government have accused each other of granting the final permission to cut the first batches of trees, numbering about 4,000.
A 12-seater aircraft crashed in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar on Thursday, killing both the pilots and two aircraft maintenance engineers on board, besides a pedestrian. The family of Marya Zuberi, one of the pilots who died, issued a statement to the media on Friday. Here are some excerpts:
“We know that the aircraft was well beyond its prime. …We know it had already had an accident in 2009 and that the UP government chose to sell it rather than spend on its repairs….We want to know who exactly was at fault and who will bear the responsibility?
Indemar the company involved in the ill fated plane’s repairs seems to have been incapable of detecting the technical snags that could have led to its crash….
DGCA norms do not permit test flights of small planes in rainy weather. Who then let such a flight take place? Is the agency culpable? Did officers within the agency allow the flight, that clearly flouted its own norms? We want to know who took the call, who signed the papers for the flight to take place from the DGCA’s side?”
Mumbai is fifth-least punctual airport in the world in terms of on-time performance while
Indigo is the highest ranked airline from India at 14 and Air India was the second-poorest performer.
These are among the findings in a report of 513 airports and 65 airlines across the world by British aviation intelligence firm OAG.
According to the report, Mumbai was ranked 509 in terms of on-time performance after recording only 60 per cent of its over 3.2 lakh flights during June 2017 to May 2018. The OAG report also states that the airport handled a record 1,003 flights during a 24-hour period on June 5.
Other large Indian airports also ranked poorly in the OAG report. While Delhi was ranked 451 with on-time performance of 70.7 per cent, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad were ranked 262, 255 and 246.
Among 65 airlines across the world with more than one lakh operations in the 12-month period, flag-carrier Air India was the second poorest performer. Low-cost carrier IndiGo was the best Indian performer and was ranked 14 with 82 per cent of its 3.6 lakh flights being on time during the period. Budget airline SpiceJet ranked 45 while full-service carrier Jet Airways ranked 54 out of the 65 operators.
The Central Board of Secondary Education has proposed to give its Class XI and XII students the option of choosing between an easier and an advanced course in mathematics from 2019-20, subject to NCERT approval.
The logic behind the move is to offer an easier mathematics paper to humanities and commerce students who might not be comfortable with what is now taught. The advanced maths may be pursued by science students.
The CBSE has referred the matter to a committee that will design the syllabuses for both papers.
World champions India held their nerves under pressure to prevail over Korea 36-20 and set up a summit clash against Iran in the six-nation Kabaddi Masters in Dubai on Saturday.
India captain Ajay Thakur with 10 raid points outscored his counterpart Jang Kun Lee (8) with superb on-court skills and fine strategy to inspire India to a sixth win over their rivals from seven exchanges.
India have not lost to Korea since their nail-biting defeat in a league match of their triumphant campaign in the 2016 World Cup.
Iran put up a superlative show to annihilate Pakistan 40-21 in the first semi-final at the Al-Wasl Sport Complex as it would be a repeat of 2016 World Cup final today with world champions India facing the runners-up.
India warmed up for their tour of England with a crushing 143-run victory over Ireland in the second T20I in Malahide to win the series 2-0.
It was the joint second highest winning margin in a T20Iand set India up nicely for tougher games against England. Opener Lokesh Rahul top-scored with 70 and Suresh Raina made 69 as the visitors got off to a flying start despite the loss of Kohli for nine.
They piled up an impressive 213/4 in 20 overs after Hardik Pandya’s late blitz in which the all-rounder struck 32 runs off nine balls. Ireland crumbled with the bat, captain Gary Wilson top-scoring with 15 as they were bowled out for 70 in the 13th over. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal took three wickets each.
PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth entered the semifinals of the Malaysia Open with straight-game wins. Sindhu beat Carolina Marin 22-20 21-19 in a 52-minute quarterfinal match, while Srikanth dumped world No. 22 France’s Brice Leverdez 21-18 21-14 in a 39-minute clash at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, a suburb in Kuala Lumpur.
The 22-year-old Sindhu will face world No. 1 and top seed Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying while Srikanth will take on former world No. 2 Kento Momota.
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GBP 0.76 /US$, Euro 0.85 /US$, Jap.Yen 110.67 /US$, Aus$ 1.35 /US$, Sing 1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 83.08 /US$, Can$ 1.31 /US$, Mal Ring 4.03 /US$,
Pak Re 121.50 /US$, Phil Peso 53.34 /US$, Russian Rouble 62.74 /US$, NZ$ 1.47 /US$, Thai Baht 33.03 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 26.20 /US$
Bitcoin – USD 5,898
Dollar Index 94.34 Brent Crude 79.23 BDI 1329
Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,253 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3094 / 2906, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 42,800
The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that precedes the victory. – Karen Bliss Livingston
A blonde gets a job as a physical education teacher for 8-10 year olds.
She notices a boy at the end of the field standing alone, while all the other kids are running around having fun, kicking a football.
She takes pity on him and decides to speak to him.
“Are you ok?” she asks.
“Yes,” he replies.
“You can go and play with the other kids, you know,” she says.
“It’s best I stay here,” he says.
“Why’s that, sweetie?” asks the blonde…
The boy looks at her incredulously and says, “Because I’m the goal keeper !!!”
Newsletter 30th June, 2018
July 2, 2018