OPINION, P8 SUNIL JAIN INTERNATIONAL, P14 Vajpayee was one of India’s most reformist PMs BACK PAGE, P20 PRATAP BHANU MEHTA Q2 PERFORMANCE OBITUARY Vajpayee fundamentally changed India’s orientation to the world, set new benchmarks in governance Khosrowshahi-led Uber narrows loss but profitability still far Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who won 18 Grammys, dies at 76 NEW DELHI, FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL.XLIV NO. 144, 28 PAGES, `6.00 (PATNA `6.00, RAIPUR `7.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 37,663.56 ▼ 188.44 NIFTY: 11,385.05 ▼ 50.05 NIKKEI 225: 22,192.04 ▼ 12.18 HANG SENG: 27,100.06 ▼ 223.53 `/$: 70.16 ▼ 0.27 `/€: 79.82 ▼ 0.11 BRENT: $71.05 ▲ $71.05 GOLD: `29,361.00 ▼ `180.00 ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE (1924-2018) A LEGEND ENDS Political lines blur as tributes pour in, state funeral and national mourning; President, PM lead in paying homage INDIA'S LARGEST carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Thursday hiked prices of its vehicles by up to `6,100 in order to partially offset an increase in commodity and distribution costs and adverse foreign exchange rates, reports PTI. The new prices are effective from Thursday, Maruti added. IN TIMES OF turbulence and formed in independent India disruption, a nation is blessed — the BJP — and helmed its to have a leader who rises to organisation work after the become its moral compass and passing away of Shri Syama guiding spirit, providing Prasad Mookerjee and Pandit vision, cohesion and direction Deendayal Upadhyaya. to his people. And, in such a Through the four decades moment at the turn of the cen- of leadership in Parliament, tury, India found one in Atal the struggle against EmerBihariVajpayee,whowasgifted gency (who can forget that in spirit,heart and mind. memorable rally in Delhi’s For those of us who knew Ramlila Maidan when his him, he was, first, the rarest speech became the roar of the of human beings,who touched nation),the clarityto represent and inspired everyone he his party with passion but met. He was compassionate to always speak forthe nation,he the core, generous definedthespiritof in spirit, warm democracyinIndia. beyond measure Firm in his political and kind to a fault. beliefs, but always He was deeply accommodating respectful ofothers and respectful of and gifted with a other points of Atalji was rare sense of view, he set the a true Ratna humour that he standardsofdebate of Bharat. often turned upon in Parliament. In His spirit will himself. his simplicity and continue to Orator without integrity,in his digguide us parallel, he could nity and empathy, switch from disand a sense of perarming humour to sonal non-attacha lofty vision with ment to the office, ease,with a rare ability to con- he became an inspiration for a nect with people naturally, to nation of youth. stir them to self-belief and to a He rescued the economy higher cause. Sharply percep- from the morass of the midtive, he could summarise the 1990s,when political instabilmost complex issues and dis- ity at home and an uncertain cussionsinasinglesentenceor global environment had question. threatened to derail a still Born into a family of mod- incipient economic reforms est means and high ideals, he process. He sowed the seeds of hailed from a small town in much of the economic success Madhya Pradesh. His youth that we have experienced over was defined by academic the past two decades. For him, excellence and quest forpublic growth was a means to service during the gathering empower the weakest and momentum of freedom strug- mainstream the marginalised. gle. Starting as an ordinary It’sthatvisionthatcontinuesto karyakarta in the Jana Sangh, drive our government’s policy. he organised the only truly national-level party to be Continued on Page 2 Ratan N Tata @RNTata2000 All of us who knew Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee are saddened to hear of his passing away. He was a great leader with a great sense of compassion and humor. He will be remembered fondly by a vast number of us. Rahul Gandhi @RahulGandhi Today India lost a great son. Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family & all his admirers. We will miss him. RECORD LOW CLOSE Special Feature ‘We don’t track what our competition is doing’ Grofers’ Albinder Dhinda speaks about the company’s focus on private label, competition in the e-grocery space and its new pilots to boost growth ■ BrandWagon, P13 QuickPicks Japan, S Korea steel exports to India surge on tariffs INDIA IS being hit by a wave of steel from producers in Japan and South Korea, a government document showed, as mills there redirect supply after US President Donald Trump slapped an import duty on the alloy earlier this year, reports Reuters. During the first quarter of this fiscal, India’s steel imports from South Korea rose 31% from a year earlier, while those from Japan climbed 30%, according to an internal document from the steel ministry that was reviewed by Reuters. The flood of imports is so big that the Centre is considering steps to control imports, minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said. PAGE 12 UPI 2.0 launched, has feature to block funds for future use THE NATIONAL Payments Corporation of India on Thursday went live with UPI 2.0, an upgraded version of its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) service, which will allow users to block funds for a future transaction and pre-authorise it, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. This facility to set up a one-time mandate will be available to both consumers and merchants. The upgrade will also enable customers to link their overdraft account to UPI, in addition to current and savings accounts. Customers will be able to transact instantly and all benefits associated with the OD account will be available to them. PAGE 10 Rupee falls through 70 mark Trade deficit jitters, a strengthening dollar, EM currency contagion fears all contribute FE BUREAU Mumbai, August 16 THE RUPEE ON Thursday pierced the 70 mark against the dollar, ending the session at a lifetime lowof 70.1575.In intra-daytrade the Indian currency had slipped to a low of 70. 3950; the rupee has now lost nearly 9% since January. `/$ 62 63.68 64 70.16 66 68 70 72 Inverted scale Jan 1, 2018 CurrencymarketsonThursday turned nervous after the governmentannouncedlateon Tuesday that India’s July trade deficit had widened to $18 billion, the most in five years. Aug 16, 2018 Moreover, the deficit for June was revised to a higher $17.1 billion from the earlier$16 billion. Economists now expect the country’s current account deficit (CAD) for 2018-19 to be MULLAPERIYAR DAM around 2.7% of GDP, up from 1.6% in 2017-18. Among the main reasons for the rupee’s weakness over the last few days is the dollar’s increasing strength; Bloomberg’s dollar index rose to the highest since June 2017 onWednesdayas higher-yielding assets tumbled. The rupee has also been hit by the contagion effect of the steep depreciation of the Turkish lira and the accompanying fall in other emerging market currencies. There was no confirmation of any intervention in the markets on Thursday by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Continued on Page 2 Worst over for PSBs? FE BUREAU Losses down, operating profits up Public-sector banks recovered `36,551 crore in June quarter from bad loans, almost a half of the entire 2017-18. Their operating profits rose 11.5% quarteron-quarter and losses dropped 73.5%, in a sign that the worst is behind, said financial services secretary Rajiv Kumar. Eleven of the 21 PSBs that are under the PCA could be out of it this fiscal, he added. (` cr) Q4FY18 Net losses Q1FY19 Provision coverage ratio (%) Operating profits 70 36,632 Maruti hikes prices by up to `6,100 A leader for the ages, ahead of his times 60 34,329 MARKETS REGULATOR Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Thursday drastically cut the timeline for listing of debt securities to six days from 12 days at present, in order to make the existing process of issuance of such securities simpler and cost effective, reports PTI. Also, Sebi has made application supported by blocked amount mandatory for all investors for making payments while applying in a public issue of debt securities. ● NARENDRA MODI’S TRIBUTE 16,617 IN THE NEWS Sebi cuts listing time for issue of debt securities ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE, the first non-Congress prime minister to complete a full term in office at the head of a coalition he stitched together with his moderate politics and charismatic appeal, died of multiple health complications at theAll India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Thursday.He was 93. A bachelor,Vajpayee is survived by his adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya. “It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demiseofformerPrimeMinisterofIndia,ShriAtalBihariVajpayee, at 05:05 pm,” Dr (Prof) Aarti Vij of AIIMS said in a statement. He had been in AIIMS since June 11. Vij said Vajpayee’s conditionwas stable forthe last nine weeks, but “unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we havelosthimtoday.Wejointhe nation in deeply mourning this great loss.” President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying tributes to the departed leader as the government announced a seven-day state mourning. The home ministrysaid the national flagwould be flown at half mast from Thursday for seven days across India and a state funeral would be accorded to Vajpayee. Official sources said the funeral would be held at Smriti Sthal.A half-day holiday would be declared on the day of the funeral in all central government offices. Union home minister Rajnath Singh said Vajpayee’s body will be taken to his residence at Krishna Menon Marg in New Delhi for people to pay their last respects. Leaders across the political divide mourned the passing away of Vajpayee and many showed up in New Delhi from different parts of the country to pay their respects. President Kovind said: “Atalji,the gentle giant,will be missed by one and all.”He said Vajpayee’s leadership, foresight, maturity and eloquence put him in a league of his own. Former President Pranab Mukherjeesaid:“Ademocratto the core, Atalji dominated the Opposition space like a titan and led the government with aplomb.An inheritorand practitioner of the best traditions and qualities of leadership, in his demise the nation has lost a great son.An era thatwill forever be fondly remembered has passed away.” 62,682 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE New Delhi, August 16 63.8 57.5 50 40 FY15* Source: DFS FY16 FY17 FY18 FY19 (Apr-Jun) *Pre-asset quality review period COAL BLOCK ALLOCATION Amid floods, SC for lower water level Charges framed against Jindal FE BUREAU New Delhi, August 16 EVEN AS KERALA battled unprecedented floods that left more than 100 people dead and inflicted large-scale damage to propertyand infrastructure,the Supreme Court had to step in and ask it and neighbouring Tamil Nadu to shun adversarialpositionsandmake “situational adjustment” over the Mullaperiyar dam issue. Taking note of the “grave” flood situation in Kerala, the apex curt on Thursday ordered thedam’sdisastermanagement panel—whichconsistsofnominees of both the state governments — to urgently decide on loweringthewaterlevelbythree feet to 139 feet by holding an urgent meeting on Friday. The court’s direction came against the backdrop of Kerala chief ministerPinarayiVijayan writing to his Tamil Nadu counterpart EK Palaniswami seeking lowering of the water level in the dam in the interest of its safety. Stating the century-old reservoir was “safe” enough to store water up to 142 feet, Tamil Nadu had earlier turned down Kerala's plea for reducing the water level. Continued on Page 2 FE BUREAU New Delhi, August 16 ASPECIALCENTRALBureauof Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday framed additional charges for abetting bribery againstindustrialistandformer CongressMPNaveenJindaland someothersinconnectionwith the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand. Special judge Bharat Parasharframed criminal conspiracy and other charges including cheating and crimi- ■ Charges also framed against former coal secretary HC Gupta ■ Evidence against for- mer MoS Dasari Rao but no charges framed as he's dead nal breach of trust against Jindalandothersforallegedlygiving `2 crore as bribe to the then minister of state for coal in 2007 forallotment of a captive coal block. The charges were framed after Jindal pleadednotguiltyandclaimed trial. If held guilty, Jindal may get a maximum of five years’ imprisonment. Similar charges of criminal conspiracy,cheating and criminal breach of trust were also framed against other accused, including former coal secretary HC Gupta, after they claimed trial. Continued on Page 2
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