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What you want, what do you want

Three-year tenure for RBI governor is short, says Raghuram Rajan

Brand-new DELHI: RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, whose three-year term comes to an end in nine weeks, on Thursday pitched for a longer tenure for the central bank head, saying the global practice has actually to be emulated in India as well.

Rajan, who briefed Parliament’s standing committee of finance on various aspects of economy and NPA in banks, was asked by members on what ought to be the tenure of the RBI governor, sources said.

He told the members that a three-year term is “short”.

On whether it ought to be five years, Rajan is believed to have actually cited the case of US Federal Reserve.

In the US Fed, in addition to serving as members of the board, the chairman and vice-chairman serve terms of four years and could be reappointed to those roles who in turn serve until their terms as governors expire.

Rajan, whose current three-year tenure ends on September 4, has actually already said no to a second term.

Sources further said that during the meeting that lasted for over three hours, the governor briefed the panel, headed by senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily, on state of the economy, reforms and restructuring of RBI, challenges in the banking sector in India and the way forward.

The committee was apprised by Rajan of the various steps taken to deal along with the bad loan problem, said the sources.

The Reserve Bank has actually said the gross non-performing assets of the banks can rise to as high as 9.3 per cent in 2016-17 after hitting 7.6 per cent in March 2016.

Rajan, the sources added, likewise briefed MPs about the credit scenario of the banks. He is believed to have actually told the MPs that private lenders are more active on the lending front, but PSU banks are found to be reluctant even when there is no shortage of funds.

The governor likewise explained to MPs the impact of Brexit on India and the global economy.

Earlier in the day, Rajan called on finance minister Arun Jaitley as the central bank and the government seek to quickly put in place a Brand-new interest rate-setting mechanism.

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Hurt and saddened by Shastri’s comments: Ganguly

Brand-new DELHI: Days after he was overlooked for the Indian cricket team’s

head coach’s job , a “disappointed” Ravi Shastri on Tuesday lashed out at Sourav Ganguly for skipping his interview, and accused the former skipper of being ‘disrespectful’.

Ganguly, one of the members of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) additionally comprising Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and co-ordinator Sanjay Jagdale, was entrusted along with the responsibility of interviewing the 21 shortlisted candidates for the top job, for which Shastri was one of the front-runners.

During Shastri’s interview process, Ganguly, who is additionally the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President, was out for a meeting which miffed the former Mumbai all-rounder.

Speaking to India Today, Shastri said he was disappointed and felt

disrespected by Ganguly’s behaviour and advised your man not to repeat such things in the future.

“Nothing surprises me in Indian cricket anymore. A member of the committee (Ganguly) wasn’t present and that was disrespectful to the selection process,” Shastri said.

“A person was disrespectful of a candidate who he was going to interview. He was disrespectful to the job he was entrusted with.”

“Next time, be present in a meeting, especially when it is as important as this one,” the former Indian team director advised the Bengal southpaw.

Shastri, however,

refused to criticise the process and said he did what was expected of him.

“I had a job to do which was to apply for the job and appear for the interview. I don’t have actually to say anything about the process.”

The 54-year-old said he was disappointed because he had put in a lot of hard job during his 18-month stint along with the national squad and will not be there to take it forward.

Hailing the Brand-new coach Anil Kumble, as one of the greatest cricketers in the country, Shastri said: “Yet Anil (Kumble) is one of our greatest cricketers and the ball is in his court. He has actually got a great team that he can take forward.”

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Whatever game you play, self-confidence, is the key! (Narendra Goidani)

Dearest Darling Friends,

86 is just a number when he walks onto the field. The breathlessness, dizziness, or, for that matter, the assistance of a rattling walker doesn’t deter him from doing his most favourite thing – being a COACH!

His shaky voice booms across our makeshift training field, loud and clear. My body coordinates magically in rhythm with his instructions. The javelin aerodynamically drills through the air twenty metres away from its release – like it is my second nature. As I walk back with him to his home, his wife mirrors the same spark as in his eyes. Fifteen minutes was all that it took to transform an ailing-86-year-old-man into a confident 86 year young coach.

Two days prior to the tournament is my last scheduled session with him. He, instead, is admitted in the hospital. A litre of fluid is what the doctors draw out from his chest, but are unable to find its cause. Confined to the bed, he still inquires about my solo practice sessions. Dissatisfied with my saturated performance, he shakes his head as he fights dizziness, while sitting up from the reclined bed.

Gingerly albeit forcibly, he swings his long legs towards the floor, looking me straight in the eye and commands, “Take your stance”.

“Sir, we are in the hospital!” I protest feebly in a hushed whisper.

“Show me your stance.” There is a no-nonsense air of authority that fills the room.

We shadow-practice a couple of times and he adjusts the ‘final flick’ setting me correct. He politely throws me out of the room asking me to go practice under the afternoon sun. How much ever I try, I don’t cross the 20m mark.

Dejected, I walk back to him with his dinner but a team of doctors surround him. There have been medical complications. On the day when he should have gotten discharged, he is scheduled for a CT Scan and a 2D Doppler Test. Sir’s eyes meet mine through the crowd – my downcast eyes say it all. He is superlatively heartbroken.

As the room clears, so do his apprehensions. The spark replaces the now overpowered gloom. My lack of improvement doesn’t bother him because his confidence on me is unwavering.

“You are going to win. You have to win it… My students don’t lose!” The once-upon-a-time National Coach foretells with a toothless grin. I stand there fighting mixed emotions and respond with an audible gasp.

“You have to win it for me.” This time, a man of steel caught in a fight with illness asks me for a favour.

Cut to the tournament. The practice run-ups are perfect – no overstepping, smooth flow, flawless follow-through. The javelin sits comfortably on the mound of my palm and hits the ground in a parabola; just like everything should be! I know the competition is tough but I feel the most confident since the previous week.

The confidence translates only till a positive first throw but not in distance. “Two more chances,” I prepared myself. Throw #2 is the worst; I trip in the follow-through. Throw #3 is my only chance to cheer up my coach who is waiting for a call on his hospital bed.

The rhythm settles my nervousness. Right before throwing the javelin, I twist my ankle. In the next and final step, I curse myself closing my eyes and throw a mere distance of twelve-point- some metres..

Me, a two-time undefeated champion is defeated. The challenger is victorious. I walk off the field in a bubble of vacuum. Seven pairs of loving eyes, one of them being just 5-years-young, break through the calm façade. My eyelashes contain tears of guilt. “I let him down. He had asked me to win…”. I feel pain. Regret and sadness sear through me.

My performance is kept away conspicuously from him by my family, fearing it affecting his lunch intake. At home, I cry out alone in my room. rendering my eyelids sore and red. I don’t know how to face Sir knowing that it will break his heart – a heart carrying an immediate hope within the dreariness of the hospital.

A nervous knock is my entry to his anticipatory ears. As I peep around the door, he greets, “What happened?” He is hardly able to restrain his excitement. “I stood 4th, Sir.” I shrug my shoulders trying to remain strong, stopping the avalanche of tears that were still lurking just behind my eyes.

This is when my theory and practical classes clash. “Never mind!” an experienced Coach talks graciously, “Wins and losses are a part of the game!”

And within a minute, all the shame of disappointment dissipates; just like that! Immediately, the discussions of the sequence of events are analysed strewn with giggles and jokes. The mention of unfortunate incidents, however, makes the coach pensive. “I should have been there with you… to rectify. You could have done so much better!”

He takes the entire blame on himself, failing to take into account him being hospitalised!

“Anyhow…” his patent words are articulated, dismissing the current thoughts. “Always remember this. Whichever game you play or in life, always be confident. Self-confidence is the key !!!”

“Believe in yourself!” Though he speaks in a generalised manner, he looks me straight in the eye coaching the weak spot within me. “There will be no stopping you then!” he signs off as I serve him hot tomato soup and delectable ‘pav bhaji’.

My Coach, did not just teach about playing. He taught me about winning AND losing. Most importantly, whatever happens, be confident. Only then, you can do your best.

(This was written on February 21st 2016. We lost this amazing Coach – Gujrati Sir – on June 4th 2016. This world and the world of his students will never be the same again)

Written by Juhi Kothari

zoooi.juhi@gmail.com

With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,

naren

Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.

www.lifeschool.co.in

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Venkaiah hits out at Air India as pilot’s absence delays flight

NEW DELHI: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, on Tuesday, slammed state-run airline Air India after the late arrival of pilot led to an inordinate delay in the departure of his flight.
The upset minister took to social media to express his displeasure over the delay. Naidu, in a tweet, said that he missed an ‘important appointment’ in Hyderabad after the pilot did not show up even after 30 minutes of the scheduled time of departure. After waiting for almost an hour, he had to return home.

Naidu also demanded an explanation from the airline, saying, “Air India should explain how such things are happening. Transparency and accountability are the need of the hour.Hope Air India understands that we are in the age of competition. Missed an important appointment.”
The airline was quick to address the minister’s grievance and apologised for the delay saying that ‘the pilot was stuck in a traffic jam’.

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Exclusive: Confident on NSG, have started on positive note, PM says

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview with Times Now has actually shared his views on a range of issues. Here is the complete transcript of the Prime Minister’s interview with Arnab Goswami.

ARNAB:
Prime Minister Modi thank you very much for this interview. Thank you very much

PM MODI:
My greetings to all the people

ARNAB:
This is your first one to one interview to a private news channel since you became Prime Minister. And if I am not mistaken, this is the first ever interview by a sitting Prime Minister of India to a private television news channel in the country. So I would first like to thank you and am very grateful for the opportunity.

PM MODI:
The world of the media has actually grown so big that everybody has actually to attach themselves with it.

ARNAB:
I am very grateful and our viewers will be very grateful also Mr Modi because they want to hear your views on a range of subjects. Mr Prime Minister I would like to start by taking you back to 20th May 2014. The results came on May 16th. Four days later, you gave a historic speech in the Central Hall of Parliament and you were speaking to the members of Parliament. You had said four days after the results that an era of responsibility has actually begun. And that you said that in 2019 before the elections, I will come back to this Parliament, I will come back to the MPs and I will give my report card. Forty percent into your tenure, how much have you achieved of your own targets?

PM MODI:
When I went for the first time as an MP to the Central Hall, and it was the first time I was seeing the Central Hall. I had not been there before. So I had then said that becoming the Prime Minister was not about the designation of the office but it was about the responsibilities and work of being a PM. I had also said that my government would be committed to the poor. I was completely brand-new in the job. Delhi was brand-new for me. The Delhi environment was brand-new to me. The work of the government of India was also brand-new for me. But despite that, in such a short time, the pace at which the country has actually moved forward, and it’s not on one subject. You can pick up any aspect of the government’s functioning, and if you make a comparison with the past governments, then you will realize that no issue has actually been ignored. There has actually been an effort to bring in something brand-new in every area. There is an effort to bring in change in every area. One big challenge was that I was not experienced about this place, I had not even been an MP. The office was new, the questions were also new. But when I look at the second biggest challenge, we should remember those days when the country was engulfed in disappointment. The everyday news was about whether there would be any electricity production after seven days, whether coal would be supplied or not. This was the situation then. The entire system was engulfed in disappointment. The big challenge was to inject brand-new trust into the system and create confidence among the citizens. It is very difficult to evaluate this from the outside but I have gone through it. But today I can say with a lot of satisfaction that now there is no trace of any disappointment. The intention to do something is visible. And it’s not in words but in actual achievement. I had said that within a given timeframe, we will open bank accounts for the poor. For something that had not been done for 60 years, setting a timeframe for it was in itself a risk. But because of that a trust was created in the system that it was something doable. So that’s the process I started for awakening the confidence. And today you can see that in every sector, the changed circumstances can be seen. While evaluating the performance of this government, never forget that you will have to make that evaluation in comparison with the 10 years of the previous government. Only then will you know where we were and where we are now. We should not be talking about what we are aiming for. For now you will have to assess the present in comparison with the immediate past and in that you will find a bright future

ARNAB:
Mr. Modi, I want to start now on the issue of foreign policy. In the area of foreign policy, you have taken great personal interest. The amount of personal interest you have shown in foreign policy, probably none of the previous Prime Ministers showed the same kind of interest. Your approach is pro active. What I find interesting about your foreign policy is that you have balanced different powers and different interests. On the one side, your relationship with US, you made sure that India enters the Missile Control Technology Regime with them. A week before that you also signed the historic Chabahar Port Agreement with Iran. So, you have balanced very diverse forces. My question to you over this is that, is it easy to do that as an Indian Prime Minister? Secondly, on the issue of the NSG, you staked a lot of personal interest, personal push, you lobbied actively. How close are we to getting the NSG seat?

PM MODI:
Firstly, about foreign policy, you need to know what has actually strengthened our foreign policy. For 30 years, in our country, the government was unstable. For 30 years, party with a clear mandate wasn’t given the opportunity to form the government. The world measures the government of a nation on the basis of its condition in its own country, on how strong their word is in their own country. I am thankful to the people of this country, that after 30 years, they chose a government with absolute majority and this has actually had an impact on world politics. Countries and world leaders have changed their perspective towards India. This is the biggest benefit. Secondly, the world didn’t know me. The world wants to know who the head of the state is. If someone would want to know Modi through the eyes of the media, then he would be disillusioned on which modi is the real Modi. If this happens, the country will be at a loss. Modi’s personality shouldn’t be a hindrance for the world to have faith in india. But for that unless I meet all those leaders and engage them them one to one, unless I speak to them frankly, they wouldn’t know about india’s head of state, so it was very important for me as I am not from a political family. I never had the opportunity to meet the world leaders earlier.

ARNAB:
You were an unknown entity in foreign policy

PM MODI:
More than foreign policy it was foreign relations. Yes, I was brand-new to it. So for me, being pro active was mandatory. Thirdly, we work as a team. Foreign ministry, Prime Minister’s officer, commerce ministry, finance ministry, defense minister, everyone works as a team, not as separate pieces. The impact that is now visible, is not just because of Modi, it is because of the team. All teams work in a particular direction. That is why the impact is seen, earlier these teams were splintered. We have seen instances where the party would give a statement, the prime minister would say something else, party leaders would say something else. This disunity has actually had a negative impact. Thirdly, we also need to understand that earlier the world was bi polar. Foreign policy would be centered around two super powers. India was a little late in realizing that this bi polar situation was for namesake. Now the entire world, in changed circumstances, especially in 21st century, it is more interdependent and inter connected, earlier, the foreign policy was possible between governments, but today it is not possible just between governments. Government relations are important but increasing people to people contact is equally important. There’s been a shift in paradigm. Because I do not have any previous baggage, because I’ve had a clean slate, I write everything from beginning and that has actually a benefit. Today we are building relations with countries across the world. The amount of respect with which I engage saudi arabia, I engage Iran with the same amount of respect. The amount of respect with which I speak to America, I speak to russia with the same amount of respect. So we need to understand this. We also need to understand that we shouldn’t consider smaller countries insignificant. I abide by this principle. The small countries of the world are as important as the big nations. We had assumed that the relations with smaller nations would develop under the shadow of the bigger nations. I brought about a change in this. You must have seen that I made a forum for the pacific island nations. We have had two meetings. I went there once and they came here once. These are small countries with a population of about 10 lakh or 20 lakh. But these small island nations are most affected by global warming. When india took up the international solar mission and 122 nations joined it, the island nations benefitted the most out of it. They are 50 in number now. A group of 50 nations, feels secured with this vision of India. If we try to understand this change, then we would realize that in the world, a few days back, I was sitting with the officers of our foreign services, so as we got talking, in a very poetic way I told them that there was a time when we used to sit by the sea and count the waves, but the time has actually now changed, we are done counting waves, now it’s time for us to steer ourselves, ride the waves and decide on our direction, destination and speed

ARNAB:
That is apparent. You have a very aggressive foreign policy. But my second question was, you put so much effort for NSG membership. My question was, how close are we to NSG membership and were you disappointed that we did not make it at the very end because of China’s opposition?

PM MODI:
Look the first thing is that India has actually been continuously making these efforts, no matter which government was in office. Be it the membership of the UN Security Council or the SCO membership or MTCR membership or NSG membership. Every government has actually made an effort. It’s not that only this government is trying, it’s in continuity. But it’s during our tenure that we achieved SCO membership, we also got the MTCR membership. I have full faith that now we have begun a coordinated effort for the NSG membership too. The process has actually begun on a positive note. Everything has actually rules and will work accordingly and move forward

ARNAB:
Is it the problem of mindset with China? There have been 13 engagements at various levels between the Narendra Modi government and the Chinese government. The latest engagement was when you went to Tashkent. You spent some time with the Chinese President Xi Jinping. Yet it was seen that in the case of Masood Azhar, China blocked India’s UN bid to ban him. Now they have stalled India’s NSG bid. Why is China repeatedly blocking us Mr Prime Minister despite your personal proactive measures and your government’s outreach?

PM MODI:
The first thing is that we have an ongoing dialogue with China and it should continue to happen. In foreign policy it’s not necessary to have similar views to have a conversation. Even when the views are contradictory, talks are the only way forward and problems should be resolved through dialogue. We don’t have one problem with China, we have a whole lot of problems pending with China. Slowly and steadily, an effort is on to address these issues through talks and make them less cumbersome. I can say that China has actually been cooperating with India to search for solutions. On some issues, it’s a question of principles for them. On some issues, it’s a question of principles for us. On some issues they differ with us and there are issues on which we differ with them. There are some basic differences. But the most important thing is that we can speak to China eye-to-eye and put forth India’s interests in the most unambiguous manner. We are a government that takes care of India’s interests. We don’t compromise on this. Three days ago I met the Chinese President. I told him clearly about India’s interests. They are a different country, we are a different country

ARNAB:
Do you think you will be able to change their mindset on the issue of NSG membership?

PM MODI:
See the foreign policy is not about changing mindsets. Foreign policy is about finding the common meeting points. Where do our interests converge and how much? We have to sit and talk with every country. It’s our ongoing effort

ARNAB:
This statement that you just made is also apt in the context of America where you gave a speech in the U.S Congress. By the way Mr Prime Minister it was a fantastic speech

PM MODI:
Thank you

ARNAB:
There was a lot of humour. You were laughing and cracking jokes while you delivered the speech which was very unique. They also appreciated it. Was the speech impromptu?

PM MODI:
I have a humourous edge but these days humour can be a risky thing

ARNAB:
Why do you say that?

PM MODI:
In this era of 24/7 news channels, anybody can lift a small word and make a big issue out of it. But I will tell you the truth, the reason for the absence of humour in public life is this fear. I am myself scared . Earlier when I used to make speeches, I would make it so humourous but there would never be any issues

ARNAB:
Have you become more conscious now?

PM MODI:
I am not conscious. I am in fear, there is no humour left in public life because of this fear. Everyone is scared. I am in fear. My speeches used be humourous. I see it in Parliament, that humour is finished there too. It is a matter of concern. I will quote one proverb.

ARNAB:
Yes, go ahead.

PM MODI:
Even if you mention a proverb, they will connect it with something else and begin a conversation. The one who is saying the proverb does not know for what he is speaking.

ARNAB:
But you should not lose your sense of humour Mr Prime Minister

PM MODI:
But it is true that my trip to the United States of America, my speech in their Congress and the respect shown towards India created a lot of hype. Had it not been hyped so much, there would not have been so much criticism on the NSG issue. Government is being criticized not for any mishandling of the NSG issue but because we were so successful over there (in the USA)

ARNAB:
Did China become conscious of your growing friendship with US?

PM MODI:
I am talking about what’s happening here

ARNAB:
But when you delivered that speech in context of America, you used a very interesting phrase. You said ‘We have to overcome the hesitations of history’. My Hindi is not that good. Like hesitations of history. But my question to you is Mr Prime Minister, how close can we get to America because several Indians believe that America is still supporting Pakistan, giving them military assistance. How close can we get? At what point do we stop before we are seen like an American ally? What is your own world view on that?

PM MODI:
I would especially like to appeal to my country’s media that we should stop looking at everything in India from the prism of Pakistan. India is an independent country. It is a country of 125 crore people. Whenever it approaches any country, it will only be concerned about its own interests. It has actually been our biggest shortcoming and mistake that we have been tagging ourselves with another country and trying to do things. We are an independent country, we have our own policies and future. We have to think about the future of our 125 crore people. There should be no compromise on our interests. We have relations with America in the context of these fundamental points

ARNAB:
How close can we get to them?

PM MODI:
There has actually been warmth in our relationship. You must have seen the editorials in American newspapers after my visit to that country. One point mentioned in those editorials was that the triumph of Obama’s foreign policy has actually been the warm relationship with India. This has actually been said

ARNAB:
What you are saying Modiji is that we can be close to America but we need not be an ally or seen to be an ally?

PM MODI:
The first thing is that we no longer live in a bipolar world. The world is interconnected and interdependent. You will have to connect with everybody at the same time. Even if there are two opposing countries, they will have to be friends. Now the times have changed

ARNAB:
Mr Modi, on 8th May 2014, I had the opportunity to interview you, the interview took place in Ahmedabad, I think one last phase of elections was left. We were discussing the issue of Pakistan. You have had an uncompromising approach towards Pakistan. Two days back, Lashkar E Toiba killed 8 CRPF jawans in an attack. In the 8th May interview, you put forth a very interesting phrase, you said ‘Can talks be heard amidst the noise of bombs, guns and pistols?’ This is how you had phrased it. Do you believe we have been too generous towards Pakistan? Do you believe we have been too generous towards Pakistan?

PM MODI:
There are two things. One – India has actually always wanted friendly ties with its neighbours, there can be no debate around it. We want to live in harmony and peace. And I have said it repeatedly, that India has actually to fight poverty, Pakistan too has actually to fight poverty, why don’t we come together to fight poverty? I said this before elections and during election campaigns. Also I had invited leaders of SAARC nations to my swearing in ceremony and they had attended it as well. So there has actually been no change in our intent, our thoughts and our current behaviour. Number two – those who have to work from the table, will work from the table and those who have to work at the border, will work at border with full strength. Each one will fulfill the responsibility entrusted to them. And our jawans are fulfilling their responsibilities. It’s true that pressure on terrorists has actually increased, their schemes are proving unsuccessful. The intent with which they move forward are foiled and they have to face major challenges. It is because of this disappointment that such incidents are taking place and our jawans are risking their lives and protecting the country. We are very proud of our Jawans

ARNAB:
When your foreign policy is studied, observers analyze what’s happening and what’s not happening. If you give me the opportunity, I want to do a bit of analyses. There was a terrific pace of engagement with Pakistan between October, November and December. On 30th November, you met Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines (of UN Climate Summit in Paris). Both of you were seated on a sofa, talking to each other. A lot of people were speculating the contents of your conversation. This was on the sidelines of Climate Summit. After that, all of a sudden within seven days there were NSA level talks and Ajit Doval spoke to Nasir Janjua in Bangkok. And again after that you went to Russia via Afghanistan, you made an unexpected visit to Nawaz Sharif in Lahore. It was a personal trip but it still had some level of importance. Eight days later, Pakistani terrorists attacked Pathankot. Can you tell our viewers whether Pakistan was proactively responding in the months of October, November and December? Did the Pathankot terror attack change the situation? Is it true that Pakistan was making a lot of movement in those three months?

PM MODI:
Look there are different types of forces operating in Pakistan. But the government only engages with a democratically elected system. Our effort for that engagement is continuing. But our supreme objective is peace. Our supreme objective is to protect India’s interests. We keep making effort toward that objective and sometimes our efforts are successful. As far as meetings and talks are concerned, we signalled right from the day I took oath and sent invitations for the oath taking ceremony, that we seek friendly relations but without compromising on our interests. And that is why I have said that my country’s soldiers have full freedom to answer back in whatever manner they have to and they will keep doing that

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister what is the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ that you would draw when it comes to Pakistan. There is some confusion surrounding this subject. I would like you to give an elaborate reply. In 2014, it was believed that if talks are being held, then they should be held between two countries and not with Hurriyat. It should be between the government of India and the government of Pakistan. The other ‘Lakshman Rekha’ is that you must act on 26/11. There’s been no forward movement so far. The third thing is about forward movement on the Pathankot attack case. So what is the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ now and if Pakistan remains within those bounds, so talks can happen at the political level or at any other level?

PM MODI:
The first thing is that with Pakistan, to whom do we talk to decide about the ‘Lakshman Rekha’. Will it be with the elected government or with other actors? That is why India will have to be on alert all the time. India will have to be alert every moment. There can never be any laxity in this. But there is an outcome due to my continuous efforts like my visit to Lahore and my invitation to the Pakistani Prime Minister to come to India. Now I don’t have to explain to the world about India’s position. The world is unanimously appreciating India’s position. And the world is seeing that Pakistan is finding it difficult to respond. If we had become an obstacle, then we would have had to explain to the world that we are not that obstacle. Now we don’t have to explain to the world. The world knows our intentions. Like on the issue of terrorism, the world never bought India’s theory on terrorism. They would sometime dismiss it by saying that it’s your law and order problem. Today the world has actually to accept what India has actually been saying about terrorism. India’s dialogue on terrorism, the losses India has actually suffered due to terrorism, the losses suffered by humanity, the world is now acknowledging that. So I believe we have to take this process forward

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister I now want to move to questions on the economy. In the past two years you have started several schemes. If we look at the theme of Jan Dhan Yojna for financial inclusion, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna for crop insurance, Swach Bharat, Skill India, Make In India. If we see the theme running through these schemes, is your social agenda at the core of your personal economic philosophy, social transformation? Is the social agenda at the core of your economic philosophy as the Prime Minister?

PM MODI:
The first point is our philosophy is to reach the last man in the line. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s philosophy forms the core of our political, economic and social ideology. And even Mahatma Gandhi used to say that what is there for the last man? So my development parameter is very simple. It is about how the poorest of the poor can benefit from development. The poor is the central focus of my economic agenda. The poor should be strengthened in such a way that they get the willingness to defeat poverty. By helping the poor make ends meet while they remain in poverty is also one of the ways. I am not saying right or wrong but it’s one of the ways. But today the country’s situation is such that we should make the poor strong so that they become partners in defeating poverty. All these schemes are meant to empower the poor and change the quality of life. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna is not only about opening bank accounts for the poor. Because of this the poor are feeling that they are becoming a part of the country’s economic system. The bank that he was seeing from afar, now he is able to enter that bank. This brings about a psychological transformation. Looked at in another way, did you ever imagine that 40 thousand crores could be injected into the banking system by contributions from the poor. The poor who never had bank accounts, have deposited 100 rupees, 50 rupees or 200 rupees. It means that poor man saved 100 rupees and the change began in his life. We have taken up construction of toilets. I had gone to Chhattisgarh and had the opportunity to get the blessings of one mother. An adivasi mother heard about the scheme for building toilets. She sold her four goats and built a toilet. That 90 old mother uses a walking stick and goes around the cluster of 30 or 40 houses in the tribal village and has actually been spreading the message to build toilets. This change is becoming the reason for the change in the quality of life. I have begun the cleanliness campaign. It’s estimated an individual spends an average of 7000 rupees for treatment of a disease. The main reason for disease is filth. The poor suffer the most from the filth. If a poor man falls sick, he cannot drive his rickshaw for two days and his children go hungry. So how can we help the poor bring about change in their lives? Now there is a neo-middle class and a middle class in the country. The young have their aspirations. So another aspect of my policies you must have seen are the Start Up India, Stand Up India, Seaport activity, port activity, railways expansion, railway station upgradation. These changes directly appeal to the middle class. The middle class has actually its aspirations. We have to create jobs? How will job creation happen? Till I invest in the development of infrastructure, there be no job creation. You must have seen that the maximum electricity generation since Independence has actually occurred this year. The maximum amount of coal mined has actually been in this year. The maximum length of roads being constructed daily is happening in this year. The fastest loading and unloading of steamers at sea ports is happening now. All these changes are creating opportunities for employment like in Start up India, Stand Up India. For instance in Stand Up India, I have said that every bank should give an economic opportunity to one woman, one dalit or one tribal person to become entrepreneurs. This will create several job opportunities. So this is the basis of my economic philosophy.

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister if I could interrupt you on this. On the one hand is the people’s expectations and on the other is your vision. several programs that you have mentioned, you can’t put a calendar date to it but they don’t have an immediate impact. They maybe able to show results in 3, 4, 5 maybe beyond 5 years. Now there are challenges in that. Mr Prime Minister, you are aware more than anyone else that people want immediate results. Now you spoke of job creation. The first thing, as an achievement you have managed to grow the economy at 7.5 per cent when the global economic climate is very bleak. You have spoken about it as well. You have met fiscal deficit targets, FDI inflows have increased but people are saying that job opportunities are not increasing. You have spoken about infrastructure but the current rate of unemployment. Mr Prime Minister, the latest Labour Bureau figures, is it a source of concern for you as the Prime Minister?

PM MODI:
The first thing is that are 800 million people below the age of 35 in our country. We have to accept that the demand for jobs is very high. But where will they get employment? Investment will come in. It will be used in the infrastructure sector, manufacturing and services sector. Now like the initiative we have taken, we have started the Mudra Yojna. More than three crore people in the country comprise washermen, barbers, milkman, newspaper vendors, cart vendors. We have given them nearly 1.25 lakh crore rupees without any guarantee. Now why have these people taken the money? To expand their work. When he expands his work, if he is currently employing one person, now he has actually to employ two people. If there were two employed earlier, now there are three. Now just think, when 3 crore of these small businesses have got access to finance, they must have expanded their work. Now all this is not in the Labour Department’s registration. Three crore people have expanded their work. We took another small decision. The big malls in the country run 365 days a year but the smaller shops have to close on holidays. We announced in the Budget that even a small shopkeeper can operate his shop till late night and that too on all the seven days of the week. If the malls don’t have restrictions then why should the small shopkeepers have restrictions. So now if a shopkeeper operates his shop till late and on all seven days, if he earlier employed one person, now he will have to employ two people. So won’t the employment increase?

ARNAB:
So is your focus on entrepreneurship?

PM MODI:
Our focus is on all aspects. Now we are saying that by 2022 we want to ensure that everyone has actually a house. Housing sector has actually the maximum potential for creating employment. Houses will be built in such huge numbers, how several people will get employment? You must have seen that last year we brought in a textile policy. Under this textile policy, there will be income tax benefits for those who create employment. The more employment one creates, the more tax benefits they will get. For the first time, employment generation and tax has actually been linked. These are the things that boost employment and our central focus is creating employment for the ordinary citizen

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister, questions are also being raised on food inflation which has actually still not decreased. The expectation was that the food inflation would decline. The people had put their hopes on the Prime Minister that you will bring down prices. This not only has actually a political impact but also has actually a social impact. Over the past two weeks, there were reports that in some places the price of Arhar dal had touched 150 rupees and 200 rupees for other pulses. The price of tomatoes was also rising. Is this only seasonal because the food inflation is increasing at 7.5 per cent year on year. Global oil prices have fallen. Do you think this creates perception issues for your government?

PM MODI:
You can’t view inflation as a perception issue. Price rise should be seen as a reality. What is available for a consumer should be seen for what it is. There should never be an attempt to view price rise as a perception issue as a means of escaping the reality of price rise. We will have to accept reality. You see the fast pace at which prices were rising under the previous government, today that speed has actually decelerated a lot. You can see the statistics, you will find it there. Second, the country has actually gone through two consecutive years of severe drought. Drought has actually a direct impact on the price of vegetables, food and pulses because all these things are produced from the soil. Now when there is such a big drought, it’s not in anybody’s hands. The second option in such a situation is imports. The Indian government has actually imported pulses in huge quantities. Third, it is the joint responsibility of the state and Central governments. It is not exclusively the state’s responsibility. It is not exclusively the Centre’s responsibility. It is the joint responsibility of both the state and Central governments. This should not be an issue of blame game that the state government did not do certain things and that the Centre did not do certain things. But it will have to be agreed that it is the joint responsibility of both. That is why the Centre has actually given rights to the states to make stringent laws. How much stocks to keep or not to keep are decisions which the states can take. All these rights have been given to the states. Some states have performed well, some states are trying. But the Centre and state governments are trying to work together on this. I believe that we have been successful to the extent that the speed with which prices were rising (under UPA), what would have happened if the prices were to rise at that speed. We have been successful in stopping that speedy rise of prices. But as far as pulses are concerned, production in India has actually been very low. several farmers who were earlier sowing pulses have started cultivating sugar. That is also an area of concern. We gave special incentives for pulses. We have tried to set up a different MSP for pulses. We have taken steps to procure pulses from farmers with bonus. Our focus is on increasing the production of pulses. We are also focusing on building stocks of pulses by importing from abroad. An all out effort is being made and I believe that nobody doubts the sincerity of this government

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister what is your view about the controversy around the exit of Raghuram Rajan as the RBI Governor? A lot has actually been spoken about this. There was commentary that it may effect India’s image, perception as a global economy. What’s your own view of the controversy around the exit of Raghuram Rajan?

PM MODI:
When my Government was formed in May 2014, you take newspapers from May, June, July 2014 and check television debates during that period. The topic of the television debates would be – Will the brand-new govt let Raghuram Rajan continue? Or Will the brand-new Government oust Raghuram Rajan? And there was more or less consensus that he was appointed by the previous govt and so Modi won’t let him complete his tenure and will remove him. You have seen, that he worked his entire tenure. For the time he was appointed by the previous government, he completing his entire term. So all the misconceptions have been dispelled. Secondly, according to my 2 year experience in Govt, those who are creating controversies, are being unjust to Raghuram Rajan

ARNAB:
Why so?

PM MODI:
I will tell you. Those who say…I believe Raghuram Rajan’s patriotism is no less than any of ours. It will be doing injustice to him if one says that he will serve the country only if he is at a particular post. As much as I know Raghuram Rajan, whatever post he holds, wherever he is, he is someone who will continue to serve the country. He is someone who loves his country. Therefore, it’s not like the nation won’t get Raghuram Rajan’s services, Raghuram Rajan is not that kind of a person. He is a person who loves the country. Those who speak such language are doing great injustice to him. My experience with him has actually been good.I appreciate the work he has actually done. And my good wishes will always be with him

ARNAB:
Prime Minister Modi, there’s a question related to this. During your speech at the Executive you used seven words begining with letter ‘S’– ‘Sevabhaav’ (service), ‘Santulan’ (balance), ‘Sanyam’ (restraint), ‘Samvaad’ (dialogue), ‘Samanvay’ (coordination), ‘Sakaratmak’ (positivity) and ‘Samvedna’ (sensitivity). I will ask the question in context with Raghuram Rajan because you used these words in the speech at National Executive Meet speech on June 14 in Allahabad. You said, ‘Our party leaders and party workers should use these qualities in their daily dealings and behaviour.’ Prime Minister, in Raghuram Rajan’s context, your Rajya Sabha MP has actually made several comments. Later he made critical remarks versus senior bureaucrats. My question is, do you think it is right? When we talk about ‘Sanyam’ (restraint) and ‘Santulan’ (balance), is it correct?

PM MODI:
Whether it is someone from my party or not, I believe that such things are inappropriate. The nation won’t benefit from such publicity stunts. One should be more responsible while conducting themselves. Anyone who believes he is bigger than the system is wrong.

ARNAB:
That’s a very clear message.

PM MODI:
I have a very clear message. I have no two minds about it.

ARNAB:
And Mr Prime Minister, if I may say so, between May 8 and now, you are speaking as straight as you did before you took over as Prime Minister. I think that answer takes me to the next subject. Mr Prime Minister, the issue is that of Black Money. In a very interersting way you said, prices should not be looked at from the point of percepetion, equally, Mr Prime Minister it can be said said that an issue like Black Money should not be looked at in terms of perception, but it is perception forming. There are political debates on this. Experts say that the Black Money economy has actually shrunk, 10-15% economy has actually shrunk through land dealings and other things. You have passed the Black Money Bill, you have made taxation more transparent, you have started information sharing with other countries, you have taken steps, but Prime Minister Modi, people still expect that a Rs 25 lakh crores will be brought back and put into their bank accounts. How will you address that expectation? The hope that people have taking Black Money, how will you address it?

PM MODI:
How did the black money issue arise and how did it become such a serious issue? We have to look at the background. It is an established fact in the minds of the common man those who steal money park their money overseas. It’s a common perception. Even if I look at it from the common man’s perspective, I also wonder where does this money go? This issue was always stalled in the Parliament. When the matter reached the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court ordered Special Investigation Team to look into it, even then the previous government stalled it for three years, from 2011-2014. It’s after this that political parties, the media and the common man started believing that there’s something wrong. Then the issue of Black Money became an agenda. Even today I can say…that yes, when there is money stashed in foreign accounts, there are some norms of engagement with foreign countries on the issue. But between 2011-2014, these people were given the opportunity to launder money here and there

ARNAB:
And you also said on 17 February 2015 on this issue, that the then Law Minister is only offering lip service

PM MODI:
The result was that people got several chances to launder money. Secondly, after our Government was formed, the first decision taken by our Cabinet was to form a Special Investigation Team to bring back Black Money which was pending despite Supreme Court’s 2011 order. This shows our sincerity. From then on, you can’t imagine how stringent the laws have been made to bring back Black Money and whoever comes in its fold will know how strict the law is. Thirdly, I attended the G20 Summit. Never was Black Money issue discussed in the G20 forum. It was my first G20 summit, for the first time I met the world leaders. And for the first time in the G20 Summit, one paragraph was on unaccounted money, on black money and 20 countries said that the world should cooperateBlack. The dirty money, black money was also linked to terrorism, an environment of global census was created. We have been signing agreements one after the other with different countries that there will be real time, automatic exchange of information with India. I recently visited Switzerland and there was minimal discussion on the issue. But after I returned, a big delegation from Switzerland visited India, and they held meeting with the Indian Government and we discussed…for several years, we believed that Switzerland is the place where black money is stashed, that country is holding discussions to come to a consensus on Automatic Information Exchange and if we reach consensus it will be a great achievement. Thirdly you must’ve seen that Mauritius route came up in almost everything. It was said that money goes out of India and returns through the Mauritius route. This was discussed. Everyone thought that nothing can be done about the Mauritius route.But our Government held a dialogue with the Mauritius Government, made changes to the old treaty. And we successfully made a brand-new treaty to block the money which comes through the Mauritius route and very soon it will be phased out and completed. All these decisions are taken to fight the Black Money menace. This is not a one sided fight. Secondly, the govt is working in a direction to make sure that Black Money isn’t generated in India and black Money doesn’t go out of India, you can see the results of all this.

ARNAB:
When the opposition raises the Rs 15 lakh issue.

PM MODI:
That is something the opposition raises during elections. Let them have some issue to talk about

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister, there has actually been no major financial corruption or scam in your tenure in the last two years. Perception is again, what people say is because you keep a very tight control on the reins of Government but the question is there are people, who are wilful defaulters, the economic offenders who take a lot of money from the country or commit economic offences in the country, go overseas and use rules and use lawyers, and they don’t come back to India. And people are asking now, is the Narendra Modi Govt determined to take these cases of wilful defaulters and economic offenders to their logical conclusion.

PM MODI:
Firstly, this question is not in the minds of people. The people of India have confidence that if there’s someone who can do this, it is Narendra Modi and he will do it. Citizens of the country have full faith.

ARNAB:
Does it worry you, that people have misued the law?

PM MODI:
I take this as an opportunity and I will show them what the law is.

ARNAB:
Mr. Modi, there have been several corruption cases about the previous government, which have now come out. There is AgustaWestland, several defense scams and defense transactions are now being analyzed seriously. The cases which were quoted in the CAG reports but were ignored are now coming in the forefront. This question is important because this isn’t just about financial corruption but these questions have direct implications on the national security of the country. Do you think, when they say that this is a political witch hunt by Narendra Modi Sarkar, do you think all of these cases would have been possible without political patronage?

PM MODI:
There are several things which are not visible. One can’t imagine the difficulty I am experiencing in taking out things from dirt. One who is working there knows the amount of dirt that exists and how certain things have been caught in a web. There are certain powers behind it. The case about Agusta helicopters. I can’t deny it and I believe that we have the right to doubt that people behind this are very experienced. They have perfectly practiced the art of doing wrong deeds. They are very experienced and knowledgeable. And one can also smell the fact that such a thing wouldn’t have been done without a shield. Now, agencies are probing. Let’s see how far the probe goes. But the investigation shouldn’t go ahead while people are being targeted, neither does my government target anyone. The sin has actually been committed, but how much is done, How was it done, who did it, probe agencies will find out in a professional way. Whatever comes out, will be put out

ARNAB:
Prime Minister, talking about your speech in the US Congress, and the humour that you displayed. I felt some of it was impromptu. But the Americans were able to relate to what you said, I don’t remember the exact words, you said, I am informed that the working of the US Congress is harmonious. And then there was a pause and people were laughing. Then you said, ‘I am told’ – You emphasized and said ‘I am told that you are well known for your bipartisanship.’ Then the applause was more. And then you said, ‘You are not alone. Time and again I have witnessed a similar spirit in the Indian Parliament.’ You spoke about a serious topic in a interesting manner. You referred to the Upper House. There was a lot of response on that too. Your humour was really appreciated and I think it was a wonderful moment when you were speaking. But, Mr. Prime Minister, when you look back at the parliament, this question comes to several people’s minds, has actually Prime Minister Narendra Modi being held back from achieving his own objectives because of the non-stop parliamentary logjam. How much has actually this affected his moving towards his own targets? If you critically analyze this situation, do you feel your government could have been more consultative or do you feel the blame is entirely with the Opposition?

PM MODI:
I look at it differently. I believe there have been a lot of problems. Whether the fault is ours or their’s, I ‘ll leave it to the people. People will decide. But because of discussions in Parliament – we may not come to a decision, the decision could be opposing our view, nothing wrong in that. But at least there should be a discussion. The sad part is, if somebody is running away from debate or don’t let discussions happen, then it is a cause of worry in a democracy. Whether the government’s work is accomplished or not, I don’t see it as a cause of worry. If not today, it will happen tomorrow. There are certain things which will happen at an administrative level. The big thing is, Parliament is for discussion. Parliament is to show dissent. Parliament is to give an argument for one’s opposition, to present an argument when they support.To uphold this basic spirit of Parliament, is the responsibility of every person who values democracy. It is the responsibility of those present in the Parliament and those outside. It is the responsibility of those in power and those not in power. This is a matter of spirit and it should be followed. As far as the government is concerned, on every issue and at every forum, we have tried to hold discussions. I myself have met the opposition leaders and spoken to them. Key members of the government are also in touch. And you must have seen that several issues have been resolved. In the last session, we have passed 12 bills in Rajya Sabha, we passed 10 bills in the Lok Sabha. So the pace has actually picked up. When people say ‘Opposition’, it is unfair to the opposition. There are some parties in the Parliament which are not with the BJP or NDA, but are with the government on key decisions. So, to defame the Opposition by saying that all opposition parties are versus us — when some people do this, it is wrong. There is one party which has actually problems. And the whole world knows that party. Secondly, to say that ‘When you were is Opposition, you did it this way’ There is a difference between every Opposition party. ‘We have run the government for 60 years and now we are in the Opposition, so we know the nitty-gritties of the government, we know the responsibilities. We can’t behave in the way, a brand-new Opposition party behaves.’ A party which hasn’t been in power or hasn’t seen anything, could behave in this way. For example, we are in power now, and consider in 2040 we become the Opposition party. So, in 2040 we can’t have the same conduct as the one we had in 2009 or 2010.

ARNAB:
Congress is a very experienced and old party

PM MODI:
That’s why I say that, those who have been in power for so several years, shouldn’t be doing this. If there is a brand-new party in the Opposition, they have a small demand for their state or if an MP has actually a demand for his/her constituency and does something like this, then we can understand. Ones who have been in power for very long, shouldn’t be doing such things

ARNAB:
Prime Minister Modi, do you think the GST bill which has actually been stuck for over one and half years, it is a path-breaking economic reform. It unifies the country. Recently you met Ms Jayalalithaa after she was sworn in as the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has actually extended her support for GST and Congress allies at the state level are supporting the GST bill. Do you feel optimistic that GST bill will be passed in the next session of the Parliament?

PM MODI:
First we need to understand, that we look at GST only within the purview of an economic reform because of which the right information doesn’t come out. Not having GST straight away means loss for the poor of Uttar Pradesh. Absence of GST straight away means loss for the poor people of Bihar. Not passing the GST would mean loss for the poor people of poor states like Bengal, Orissa and Assam. People who sit in the Rajya Sabha must understand this. GST is beneficial for the poor people of the states represented by them, because those states will economically benefit the most from GST. The money will be used for the welfare of the poor people of those states. This is why be it Mamata Banerjee, be it Nitish Kumar, be it Akhilesh Yadav or Naveen Patnaik, all these states want the GST bill to be passed at the earliest. There is just one group which has actually made it the issue of prestige. Now the kind of arithmetic which is working out, I hope that this decision is passed in favour of the poor. You will be surprised to what extent has actually the opposition reached to the level of distortion. In the previous session we introduced an act. Indian government has actually Rs 40,000 crore rupees from the CAMPA Fund. Rs 40,000 crore. we wanted to give that money to the states. States have to use that money for forestry, for greenery, for planting trees and plants. The bill is meant for that. Had this Rs 40,000 crore reached the states before the monsoons, it would have been used for the forests. A lot of people would have got employment, people who plant trees would have been employed. There would be plantation and due to the rains the plants would start growing within a year. But just because of obstructionism, states have been deprived of the benefit of Rs 40,000 crore. The money was meant for the forests and for the tribals. They blocked it. There was no argument on it

ARNAB:
The reason…you had tried

PM MODI:
Made all efforts.

ARNAB:
You had invited former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi here at the Race Course Road

PM MODI:
We held talks at every level

ARNAB:
Still? The word you used ‘ego issue’, why has actually it become an ego issue? And people would want to know why is the Prime Minister unable to end this?

PM MODI:
The Prime Minister cannot answer this question. Those creating obstructions can only answer this question. But despite this, I will keep trying. I am ready to convince them in which ever way possible. If I have to convoke someone over a cup of tea at their house, I am even ready for that. I have no problem. My only aim is the welfare of the poor of my country and the poor of states like Uttar Pradesh.

ARNAB:
You spoke of Uttar Pradesh. Mr Prime Minister, elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh in 6,7,8 months. The focus of entire nation will be on it. You are the MP from Varanasi. But some comments are made by BJP, some say Sangh Parivar, some independent groups, communal colour is added to it and not just from one party but from other parties as well. Mr Prime Minister are you going to be able to keep development as the sole agenda? The main issue in the Uttar Pradesh polls should be that of development, it shouldn’t get capsized, the focus shouldn’t be elsewhere. Are you confident that communal agenda will not overpower development?

PM MODI:
It’s my conviction, it’s my commitment. You must have seen during the 2014 elections that I fought elections on the issue of development. The brand-new generation of the country only believes in development. I believe that solution to all problems is in development. Development is also the solution to the tension that people talk about. If we provide employment to people, if we ensure there’s food on their plates, if we provide them with facilities and give them education, all the tension will end. And this is why, all those who want good for the nation, I request them to compete towards development and for development. This atmosphere should be created in the country and I think such an environment is being created nowadays.

ARNAB:
So the hot heads who make extreme comments, is there a necessity to control them? So that there is no politics in the name of religion

PM MODI:
Firstly, I am of the firm belief that the nation should progress on the issue of development. And it is necessary that the country moves forward on the issue of development. I would like to tell the media not to make heroes out of those people who make such comments.

ARNAB:
But they keep making such comments

PM MODI:
Don’t make them heroes, they will stop

ARNAB:
We don’t make them heroes, we make them villains.

PM MODI:
But why do you make them so big? I see such statements by people on TV, whose faces I haven’t even seen and they end up becoming spokesmen on TV

ARNAB:
Self styled spokesmen

PM MODI:
I don’t know why such people are encouraged

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister, let’s talk in 2016 of the 2017 elections. After Delhi, then Bihar, then Assam, West Bengal. After that we will talk about Punjab. Before we finish talking about Punjab, we will talk about Uttar Pradesh. Then there is the Gujarat state election. Don’t you think that this country is permanently stuck in an electoral cycle? The focus constantly and I want you to reflect on this issue, the focus is on party politics, polarising issues, not on governance. We are a country, if we say, we are constantly in a political campaign mode. Is this a good thing? Should we break away from it? And what is your view on it?

PM MODI:
See this is not an issue about Narendra Modi or the Prime Minister. And also it is not an issue about a particular party or a particular Government.

But before the last Parliament session, the Speaker had called all the parties for a meal. After the agenda meeting everyone was sitting to eat. I had also reached at the same time. While talking casually over food, almost people from all parties said that the central and state elections must be held together. Everyone said it. After that during the farewell function of the Rajya Sabha MPs, people from different parties were talking with each other. One of the leaders said, Modiji do anything but get us out of this cycle of elections

ARNAB:
Was that leader from your party?

PM MODI:
No, he was not from my party. So I said that discussion should happen. What is wrong in that? Then one day I said that this was being talked about. This issue has actually also been discussed in a Parliamentary committee. This work has actually also been started by the Election Commission and I think they have also writen a letter on it. Like in the fight versus black money, this issue of elections also gets connected to black money. Electoral reforms are necessary if the country has actually to be rid of black money. It is one of the areas for electoral reforms. I believe that the Prime Minister cannot take a decision on this and nor should he do that. Neither the government can do this. There should be a broad discussion on this and we should not run away from the debate on this continious cycle of elections. The Indian voter today is very mature. He votes in one fashion in the Lok Sabha elections, he votes in a different manner in the State Assembly elections. We have seen this. In 2014, the General Elections conincided with the Odisha Assembly elections. The same electorate gave one judgement for Odisha and another judgement for Delhi. So this country’s voter is very mature and we should trust his maturity. There should be a debate on how costs can be reduced by holding simultaneous elections, how the influence of black money can be curbed, how the five years can be spent in taking the country forward. Today due to the model code of conduct, there is a loss even in those areas where the code is not applicable. When I was in Gujarat, I found that at least 80 to 90 officers were spending two to three months on election duties in other states. This could be happening in every state. So this is an area of concern and some time or the other this question will have to be thought of. I would want the Election Commission to take this debate forward. They should invite all political parties and hold discussions with everybody and whatever comes out of it

ARNAB:
Can there be a timebound resolution in this?

PM MODI:
The Election Commission will have to invite all political parties to discuss this. The process will get derailed if one party were to initiate this

ARNAB:
Are you willing to take the lead in building that consensus?

PM MODI:
Despite being the Prime Minister, I still belong to a political party. The better thing would be for the Election Commission to initiate this. Today the Election Commission is a very prestigious institution in our country. Every political party believes in the Election Commission and it will further empower this institution and that will be better

ARNAB:
I think it is an interesting idea of simultaneous elections. Though state parties, regional parties may feel that it will effect them badly. That the national parties like the BJP will gain

PM MODI:
Odisha is the best example. Odisha is the best example. In 2014, the BJP had no advantage in the state but the BJP won on the Lok Sabha seats. This shows the difference

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister how are you keeping your schedule nowadays? I mean you keep a terrifying pace. The number of meetings you hold, people say your officers find it hard to keep up

PM MODI:
It is not so, it has actually been 2 years now and everyone is used to the work. I believe that it is such a big country that one must do as much work as possible. So I keep doing that

ARNAB:
Before I come to my last question Mr Prime Minister, one issue that I want to come to is the farmers’ crisis. As you are well aware, there has actually been a crisis in this country, you referred to it. In that speech to your MPs, about which I asked you earlier as well, on 20th May in the Central Hall of Parliament you said that ‘this government is not for myself, this government is for the poor, we must do something for them.’ The farmers’ crisis Mr Prime Minster is a reality. I am glad that in this interview you have not avoided the reality, you’ve faced it, you’ve talked about it. We have linked our entire future to the monsoons. How do we overcome this from becoming an annual crisis in this country?

PM MODI:
We will have to put stress on water management here. You must have seen that under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana, we have put stress on water issues. During these drought days, I met leaders from 11 states separately and sat with them for about 2-3 hours each. The country would have believed that their Prime Minister is working even if I had held a meeting with 11 of them together for around 10 minutes. But I didn’t do that. I sat with leaders from different states separately to understand specific problems and what we could do for water in those states. I am happy, whichever party the state government affiliated to, all the governments focused a lot on water issues this summer. We will reap its benefits this monsoon. Using scientific methods for water accumulation and irrigation, collecting water and directing them towards the fields, everyone did that. Micro irrigation is stressed upon. Even for sugarcane farming, farmers are slowly moving towards micro irrigation which earlier happened through flood irrigation. Paddy crops for which large amount of water is used. Today, farmers have started using drip irrigation for it. If we do well in water facilities, then one of the problems is solved. After independence, for the first time, we have brought in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana which can cover maximum number of farmers. The farmer will have to pay only 2%, only 2%, the government will take care of the rest. The farmers will get an assurance. For instance, in Maharashtra, the monsoons are expected in the month of June, the farmers have prepared for everything but haven’t started with the sowing process. Now if there are no rains till August, so practically his crops have not been damaged, because he did not sow the seeds. But the Pradhan Mantri fasal Beema Yojana even takes this into consideration and benefits the farmer. Another important aspect, once the crops are harvested, they’re cut and kept in the field, assuming it has actually been a good year for crop growth, with 100% crop production, but it hasn’t been loaded on trucks and sent to the market yet. And if it rains, even after 15 days of harvesting, if there is loss, it is covered under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana. Second layer of protection, minimum premium with maximum cover. After independence, for the first time, we have brought in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana. Thirdly, first time we have brought in E-Mandi concept. Farmer in the village, can sell the crops to the best markets in the country through his mobile phone. Farmer would set the price at which the crop would be sold. Earlier, farmers used to take the produce on carts or tractors, used to go to a mandi 20-25kms away, then due to storage issues, even if they had to sell for Rs 10 less than the price, they used to sell it. Now, sitting at home the farmer would know what price to sell the crops at. Next point is about, food processing, value addition. We opened up 100% foreign direct investment in food processing. For example, if a farmer is selling tomatoes and if a company is processing tomato ketchup then my farmers would benefit from it. The companies that make aerated drinks, Coca-Cola, Pepsi etc, I requested them to add 5% natural fruit juice. In regions near Nagpur and Vidarbha where oranges are cultivated, Coca-Cola is going to add 5% of orange juice. If we add 5% natural juice to aerated water, farmers would get their market and their fruits wouldn’t go waste. We should have a comprehensive all-out scheme. So much of our land has actually been damaged. We have brought in Soil Health Card. We have a Soil Health Abhiyan. The farmer will know the feritility of the land through it. Whether a fertilizer needs to be used or not, the farmer will understand. On an average, a farmer with 1 hectare of land will be able to save Rs 15000-20000. So we have brought in scientific methods. You would know that in our country, farmers used to be lathicharged when they would go to buy urea and they had to buy it in black. We got urea 100% neem coated. Earlier, urea used to go to chemical factories, and the government subsidies were stolen in the name of farmers. After neem coating, urea cannot be used for any other purpose except farming. Because of neem coating, there is a qualitative change which helps in healing the damaged land. Due to neem coating a piece of land that used 10 kgs of urea can now manage with 7 kgs of urea. All these initiatives are in the direction of agriculture and the results will be seen soon.

ARNAB:
Do you think that the farmers’ crisis will be resolved, the question I asked, that it won’t be an annual affair, the dependence on monsoons will go down?

PM MODI:
See agriculture is a state subject. The Indian government has actually taken initiatives, if the state government are enthusiastic to implement this, which I think they will be. As I told you I met leaders from different states and they worked a lot for water issues. If this works, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana has actually direct involvement of the central government, it will have great benefits.

ARNAB:
Mr Prime Minister now I have two questions for you.

PM MODI:
This has actually become too long.

ARNAB:
I’ll club these two (questions) together. You’re also enjoying it and I am glad you’re speaking Mr Prime Minister because there is so much ground to cover and I think viewers would like to hear your view, sir. Actually there are three, if you allow me. They’re short questions. First is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, how much is politics playing on your mind? In the sense that every Prime Minister, especially someone who is as forthright as you, looks at the next big challenge. Is 2019 anywhere in your mind?

PM MODI:
Those who have seen me in Gujarat, and those who have seen me in the last two years, those who see me without any bias, they will know that I am an apolitical Prime Minister. Apart from elections, I don’t get involved into politics ever. You can call elections a necessity, a restraint or a responsibility, we have to do it. I attend several functions, go to different areas, you wouldn’t have heard any political comment from me. If I go to a government function, I talk about government related topics. If I attend a Railways function I talk about railways, if water then water, if water bodies, then water bodies. My focus is on governance. Country has actually been at greatest loss because governments were run only for elections. Governments must not run only for elections. The government should be a bona fide attempt of meeting the demands and expectations of the common people. Elections should just be a bi-product. It is a democracy. Winning and losing is a part of it. It shouldn’t be hyped. You would have seen recently I urged everyone to pay taxes before 30th September. I even said it on Mann Ki Baat yesterday. Will a person, who is only concerned with winning elections, say that post 30th September you’d face problems?

ARNAB:
This was also a warning in a way.

PM MODI:
It is a warning. It is definitely a warning. It is a warning. My first warning is to my government officers to not presume citizens as thieves. I have already given this warning. I have handled my officers first. It took me quite some time. You will be shocked to hear that I have given an early retirement to more than 30 people from Income Tax Department on integrity issues. This isn’t a small issue. People who weren’t transferred since 20 years, I got them transferred. So, one, my focus is on my system. Second, I also tell the country, that for the poor of the nation we would have to give out something for the poor in our country. It is my responsibility to give the people an account of every rupee. I will use it at right places. I won’t let it get stolen. But if I need to give houses to the poor, we would need revenue. I don’t want to increase taxes, I just want taxes to be paid honestly. There is no need to increase the taxes. The country can run without troubling the citizens. I am working towards it. That is why I have given the citizens a chance to pay the taxes till 30th September, whatever it is Rs 10,000 or Rs. 50,000. If they think they want to come into mainstream, they must and shouldn’t be worried. After 30th September, the government will have to take steps. I will not worry about the polls. I will take the necessary steps. I want to work for the poor in my country.

ARNAB:
Mister Prime Minister, do some crystal ball gazing for the next three years. For the next three years, to use the cricketing analogy, how do you find your run rate so far and will you have to score at a higher run rate in the next three years to achieve your targets?

PM MODI: See, no matte at what speed I move forward, I am never satisfied. If today I run at a speed of 100, I keep an aim of running at 200. I think that the world that was behind us, has actually gone ahead. We need to run a lot to match that level. So we do not need to calculate. We just need to give it all in. And I have given myself in completely. I’ve been successful is pulling my entire government in. I believe that the country is also committed to move forward

ARNAB: Final question to you Mr Prime Minister, what motivates you the most? First of all as I said, will you be able to keep this pace? What motivates you the most and also if you can share with our viewers honestly what is your one greatest source of worry?

PM MODI: Firstly, I don’t live under the burden of worries. Problems and challenges are there, you can’t deny that. But you must challenge the challenges and not let the challenges turn into worries. This is my principle. I challenge the challenges. I like to face the problems. I don’t run away from them. Whatever loss I have to face for it, I face it. But I can’t leave the country helpless. This responsibility must be taken and I will continue to do so. For all good and bad things, it is my responsibility. I do not regret anything. I believe, people of the country have given me the responsibility and I must fulfill it. Thirdly, when I see the poor in our country, it reminds me of the work that I have to do for them. Day before yesterday, I was in Pune, and met a Shrimaan Chandrakant ji. A retired teacher with a pension of Rs 16000, donates Rs 5000 every month for Swachh Abhiyaan. If a 70 year old retired teacher with children and family at home, without worrying about them, worries about the country, then being the Prime Minister, I should work a thousand times more than Chandrakant ji. This is my inspiration. People of this country who work day and night, they are my inspiration. I look at them and I work even harder.

ARNAB: Prime Minister Narendra Modi it has actually been a privilege. I am grateful for this interview.

PM MODI: Thank you

ARNAB: And thank you on behalf of all our viewers that you spoke frankly. The program is Frankly Speaking and I am thankful to you that you were so frank.

PM MODI: I just request you to not create controversies out of this but instead use it for the benefit of the country.

ARNAB: Please do not think like that. Thank you very much

PM MODI: Thanks a lot. Thank you very much.

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Terrorists attack CRPF bus in J&K, 5 jawans killed; 2 militants shot dead

TNN & Agencies | Jun 25, 2016, 06.14 PM IST

ANI/Twitter

NEW DELHI: Five jawans have been killed after terrorists attacked a CRPF convoy in Jammu & Kashmir’s Pampore on Saturday.
Security forces shot dead two terrorists in retaliatory firing after the militants attacked the CRPF bus. The jawans were returning from a firing range practice when the terrorists attacked the convoy.
CRPF commandant Rajesh Yadav confirmed the deaths and said 20 CRPF personnel have been injured in the attack.
The operation is on as two more militants are believed to be hiding in the vicinity of the scene of encounter, the official said, adding, the injured jawans have been rushed to a hospital. Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

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Brexit fallout: Sensex down 605 points, investors lose Rs 1.79L crore

LONDON: Britain voted to leave the

European Union after a bitterly divisive referendum campaign, toppling the government on Friday, sending global markets plunging and shattering the stability of a project in continental unity designed half a century ago to prevent World War III.

The decision launches a years long process to renegotiate trade, business and political links between the

United Kingdom and what will become a 27-nation bloc, an unprecedented divorce that could take decades to complete.

“The dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” said

Nigel Farage , leader of the U.K. Independence Party. “Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day!”

Prime Minister

David Cameron , who had led the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, said he would resign by October and left it to his successor to decide when to invoke Article 50, which triggers a departure from European Union.

“I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months,” he said, “but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the leader that steers the country to its next destination.”

The electoral commission said 52 percent of voters opted to leave the EU. Turnout was high: 72 percent of the more than 46 million registered voters cast ballots.

Polls ahead of the vote had shown a close race, but the momentum had increasingly appeared to be on the “remain” edge over the last week. The result shocked investors, and stock markets plummeted around the world, with key indexes dropping 10 percent in Germany and about 8 percent in Japan and Britain.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, celebrates and poses for photographers (AP Photo)

The euro fell versus the dollar and the pound dropped to its lowest level since 1985, plunging more than 10 percent from about $1.50 to $1.35 before a slight recovery, on concerns that severing ties with the single market will hurt the U.K. economy and undermine London’s position as a global financial center. Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney sought to reassure the markets.

“We are well prepared for this,” Carney said. “The Treasury and the Bank of England have engaged in extensive contingency planning. … We have taken all the necessary steps to prepare for today’s events.”

The U.K. would be the first major country to leave the EU, which was born from the ashes of World War II as European leaders sought to build links and avert future hostility. With no precedent, the impact on the single market of 500 million people — the world’s largest economy — is unclear.

Germany called top diplomats from the EU’s six founding nations to a meeting Saturday, and the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said the bloc will meet without Britain at a summit next week to assess its future. Tusk vowed not to let the vote derail the European project.

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” he said.

But already, far-right leaders in France and the Netherlands were calling for a similar anti-EU vote.

The referendum showed Britain to be a sharply divided nation: Strong pro-EU votes in the economic and cultural powerhouse of London and semi-autonomous Scotland were countered by sweeping anti-Establishment sentiment for an exit across the rest of England, from southern seaside towns to rust-belt former industrial powerhouses in the north.

“It’s a vindication of 1,000 years of British democracy,” commuter Jonathan Campbell James declared at the train station in Richmond, southwest London. “From Magna Carta all the way through to now we’ve had a slow evolution of democracy, and this vote has actually vindicated the maturity and depth of the democracy in our country.”

Others expressed anger and frustration. Olivia Sangster-Bullers, 24, called the result “absolutely disgusting.”

“Good luck to all of us, I say, especially those trying to build a future with our children,” she said.

Cameron called the referendum largely to silence voices to his right, then staked his reputation on keeping Britain in the EU. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is from the same party, was the most prominent supporter of the “leave” campaign and now becomes a leading contender to replace Cameron. The vote also dealt a blow to the main opposition Labour Party, which threw its weight behind the “remain” campaign.

“A lot of people’s grievances are coming out and we have got to start listening to them,” said deputy Labour Party leader John McDonnell.

Indeed, the vote constituted a rebellion versus the political, economic and social Establishment. All manner of groups — CEOs, scientists, soldiers — had written open letters warning of the consequences of an exit. Farage called the result “a success for ordinary people versus the big banks, big business and big politics.”

After winning a majority in Parliament in the last election, Cameron negotiated a package of reforms that he said would protect Britain’s sovereignty and prevent EU migrants from moving to the U.K. to claim generous public benefits.

Critics charged that those reforms were hollow, leaving Britain at the mercy of bureaucrats in Brussels and doing nothing to stem the tide of European immigrants who have come to the U.K. since the EU expanded eastward in 2004. The “leave” campaign accuses the immigrants of taxing Britain’s housing market, public services and employment rolls.

Those concerns were magnified by the refugee crisis of the past year that saw more than 1 million people from the Middle East and Africa flood into the EU as the continent’s leaders struggled to come up with a unified response.

Cameron’s efforts to find a slogan to counter the “leave” campaign’s emotive “take back control” settled on “Brits don’t quit.” But the appeal to a Churchillian bulldog spirit and stoicism proved too little, too late.

The slaying of pro-Europe lawmaker Jo Cox a week before the vote brought a shocked pause to both campaigns and appeared to shift momentum away from the “leave” camp. While it isn’t clear whether her killer was influenced by the EU debate, her death aroused fears that the referendum had stirred demons it would be difficult to subdue.

The result triggers a brand-new series of negotiations that is expected to last two years or more as Britain and the EU search for a way to separate economies that have become intertwined since the U.K. joined the bloc on Jan. 1, 1973. Until those talks are completed, Britain will remain a member of the EU.

Exiting the EU involves taking the unprecedented step of invoking Article 50 of the EU’s governing treaty. While Greenland left an earlier, more limited version of the bloc in 1985, no country has actually ever invoked Article 50, so there is no roadmap for how the process will work.

Authorities ranging from the International Monetary Fund to the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have warned that a British exit will reverberate through a world economy that is only slowly recovering from the global economic crisis. The European Union is the world’s biggest economy and the U.K.’s most important trading partner, accounting for 45 percent of exports and 53 percent of imports.

In addition, the complex nature of Britain’s integration with the EU means that breaking up will be hard to do. The negotiations will go far beyond tariffs, including issues such as cross-border security, foreign policy cooperation and a common fisheries policy.

It will also affect the ability of professionals such as investment managers, accountants and lawyers to work in the EU, threatening London’s position as one of the world’s pre-eminent financial centers. The U.K. hosts more headquarters of non-EU firms than Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands put together.

“We believe this outcome has actually serious implications for the City and numerous of our clients’ businesses with exposure to the U.K. and the EU,” said Malcolm Sweeting, senior partner of law firm Clifford Chance. “We are working alongside our clients to help them as they anticipate, plan for and manage the challenges the coming political and trade negotiations will bring.”

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Make fair, objective assessment of India’s NSG bid, PM tells Xi Jinping

Brand-new DELHI: China drew and toed a fine line on Tuesday to defend its position over

India’s attempts at a membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). An op-ed in the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper bunched India and Pakistan together in demanding similar concessions. It additionally played apologist for Pakistan’s poor nuclear proliferation record, blaming it on one man and absolving Islamabad.

The Global Times article comes on a day that the NSG plenary began in Seoul.

“India joining NSG does not harm China’s own interests. India advocates nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament and commits itself to no-first-use of nuclear weapons as China does. It could additionally help enhance bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear energies,” read the Global Times article.

However, any non-negative tone the article might have actually tried to strike ended there. “While India strives for NSG inclusion, it prevents Pakistan from joining by insisting on the latter’s bad record of nuclear proliferation,” the article said.

It then tried to de-link Pakistan’s poor nuclear non-proliferation record by resorting to Islamabad’s favourite ‘non-state actor’ formula. “Actually, the proliferation carried out by Pakistan was done by Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan’s chief nuclear scientist, and was not an official policy of the Pakistani government. Khan was punished by the government afterward along with several years of residence arrest,” the Global Times article argued.

The article continued to bunch India and Pakistan together, saying, “If the NPT and the NSG can give India an exemption, it should apply to Pakistan as well.

China and other countries oppose to NSG including India while excluding Pakistan , because it means solving India’s problem but creating another bigger problem. If India joins hands along with Pakistan to seek NSG membership, it appears more pragmatic than joining alone.”

The bulk of the article however focussed on what External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had characterised on Sunday as ‘criteria and procedure’, while explaining that China was not opposed to India’s NSG bid but was concerned over whether it met the criteria for membership.

The Global Times article delved at length into India and Pakistan’s status as ‘illegitimate’ nuclear powers as they had conducted nuclear weapon tests after the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) came into force in 1996. It said the direct obstacle for India joining the NSG is that it has actually not signed the NPT or any other regional non-proliferation pact, and pointed out that Norway, Brand-new Zealand and South Africa too have actually expressed reservations.

“If India and Pakistan are allowed to join the NPT and adopt the CTBT, it will tarnish the authority of both. How can nuclear weapon development in other countries such as North Korea, Iran and Israel be dealt with?”

The article additionally took a shot at the

US for its support to India’s membership bid . It said the US “should solve India’s ‘nuclear status’ first so as to eradicate the contradictions between India and the existing worldwide nuclear non-proliferation mechanism.”

The Chinese state-run newspaper however gave India credit for its clean non-proliferation record, saying, “Despite not being an NSG member, India has actually been sticking to NSG guidelines and implementing rigorous export control policies to prevent nuclear proliferation. It additionally meets the last requirement and was confessed to membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) early this month.”

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Full confidence in chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian: Govt

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday finally said it doesn’t agree with at least one of Subramanian Swamy‘s opinions – that is, that Arvind Subramanian, chief economic advisor (CEA), should be sacked because he is anti-India.

Not only did the BJP say it disagrees with its MP, it also came out in active support of CEA Subramanian.

“Government has full confidence in CEA Arvind Subramanian, he has provided valuable insights from time to time,” finance minister Arun Jaitley said.

Incidentally, Swamy has made no secret of the fact that he thinks he’s best suited to be India’s finance minister. No word yet on what FM Jaitley thinks about that.

BJP disagrees with Swamy

“The party does not agree with his (BJP MP Swamy’s) views. This is completely his personal opinion,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said at a press conference, after Swamy, in a series of tweets Wednesday morning, demanded that Subramanian be sacked.

Swamy’s trope has by now become familiar – prove anti-nationalism by citing a person’s residency and his/her alleged closeness to the US. The BJP MP did that with Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan starting in May, and on Wednesday he started in on Subramanian.

“Arvind Subramanian a Trojan horse”

But, back to Arvind Subramanian.

Swamy cited the CEA’s views on issues like Intellectual Property Rights to make a case that that he isn’t fit to hold office.

“Who said to US Cong(ress) on 13/3/13 the US should act against India to defend US Pharmaceuticals interests? Arvind Subramanian MoF !! Sack him!!!,” the BJP MP tweeted.

He then asked Twitter about Subramanian, who is an NRI – “Now PTs (Patriotic Tweeples) can understand why our core economic sectors could not perform last two years. Trojan horses galore in MoF/Fin Institutions.”

“Was AS (Arvind Subramanian) deposing before US Cong(ressional) Committee against India as a US citizen or Indian? Does any PT know?,” Swamy hammered on.

The maverick BJP MP used similar tactics to attack RBI governor while demanding he not be given a second term.

This past weekend, the RBI governor said he isn’t open to another term as he is returning to academics.

With inputs from Agencies

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Arrest, detain wilful defaulters: I-T dept to officers

NEW DELHI: Challenged by increasing cases of

BACKGROUND

I-T department publishes list of 31 big tax defaulters

NEW DELHI: Following its strategy of ‘naming and shaming’ large tax defaulters, the Income Tax department on Wednesday came out with a list of 31 defaulters who owe over Rs 1,500 crore to the government.

Some of the big defaulters of income tax/corporate tax in the list are: Hyderabad-based Totem Infrastructure (401.64 crore), Pune-based Patheja Bros Forging & Auto Parts Mfg Co (Rs 224.05 crore), Hyderabad-based Royal Fabrics (Rs 158.94 crore) and Mumbai-based Home Trade (Rs 72.18 crore).

Asking the defaulters mentioned in the list to “pay tax arrears immediately”, the Income Tax Department said the assessees are either “not traceable” or they have “inadequate assets for recovery”.

This is the second such list released by the department within one month. The earlier list had names of 18 entities who owe over Rs 500 crore in tax to the exchequer.

The initiative, according to a senior tax official is aimed at publicising and putting these names in public domain so that the common man can come forward to help the department in knowing the whereabouts of these.

As per a statement given by government in Parliament, the total Corporate Tax demand pending for collection up to the month of December, 2014 was Rs 3,11,080 crore.

Government’s efforts to improve revenue collection include, surveys for identification of potential tax evaders, gathering information from various sources, regular scrutiny, audit, joining global efforts to combat cross-border tax evasion and tax fraud and to promote international tax compliance.

defaulters
who smartly evade paying due taxes, the Income Tax department has asked its officers not to shy away from invoking the rare provisions of arrest, detention and auctioning of attached assets of the accused.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes, in a strategy paper for the current fiscal, has directed the tax department to use this provision, used rarely till now, stated under Section 276C (2) of the IT Act that stipulates action to ensure rigorous imprisonment for a period between three months and three years which may also carry a fine.

The IT department has a designated official to execute these rare powers, called the Tax Recovery Officer (TRO) within its establishment.

“The machinery of the TRO should be strengthened by providing more infrastructure and manpower. The TROs should be further trained specifically for their work in order to increase their effectiveness. In respect of non-compliant defaulters, the provisions of arrest and detention as per the provisions of Rules 73 to 81 of Schedule II should be invoked by the TRO.

“Stringent action can be taken in suitable cases including use of the provision for prosecution under section 276C(2) of the Act,” it said.

The strategy papers act as a guiding light for the taxman for the financial year, in this case 2016-17.

The directives have also asked the supervising authority of the TROs (Principal Commissioner of IT) to “monitor” their work “especially in the area of attachment and sale of property to ensure that the attached properties are sold within one year.”

“The role of a TRO comes at the fag end in a tax evasion case when the demand raised by the department gets converted into wilful default. A TRO executes his power of arrest and detention when there is a chronic default. That is why we see these provisions have been rarely invoked in the past. But now, more action on this front will be undertaken as defaults are becoming a menace now,” an IT official explained.

The instructions also make it clear to the TRO that in case of liquidation of assets there should be “prompt lodging of the claim” with the official liquidator and constant monitoring of the case in order to guard the interest of the revenue or the department.

It has also been directed, as per the strategy paper, that supervisory officers “may instruct” the TRO or the Assessing Officer of a case to monitor cases which are being heard in the Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs).

They (TRO) should, it said, consider lodging of claims of outstanding demand in such cases before the DRT.

“At any level of a default case, the department’s interest of getting taxes is supreme and hence the TRO is being directed to pursue the cases upto the level of DRTs too. Getting revenue and due taxes from an entity is the ultimate aim of the IT department. By using these new strategies, the department also ensures that a strong message goes to all such people that the taxman will not let it go easily,” the official said.

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