www.thehansindia.com KURNOOL FRIDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2019 PAGES 16 `5.00 Forecast: Afternoon clouds. Temp: Max.34C. Min.21°C. Humidity: 36% Sunrise: 06:45 Sunset: 06:18 38 flights diverted due to hailstorm, rain New Delhi: Operations at the Delhi airport saw massive disruption on Thursday as 38 flights were diverted to nearby cities between 6 pm and 8.45 pm and several others were facing departure delays of more than two hours due to severe rain and hailstorm in the national capital, according to officials. Operations of smaller aircraft such as Bombardier and ATR were suspended for a while due to strong winds but resumed later, the officials said. "Looks almost like snow in Delhi! Massive disruption to flights with multiple diversions across airlines. Customers are requested to be patient, really not in staff or airline control," tweeted Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vistara airlines. TATA MOTORS POSTS `26,961-Cr LOSS STATE WINDOWS BUSINESS H Simultaneously published from Hyderabad | Warangal | Tirupati | Amaravati | Visakhapatnam | Khammam | Kurnool | Delhi H SUKHIBHVA LIKELY BEFORE ELECTIONS RBI rate cut to make loans cheaper In its first rate cut in 18 months, apex bank has reduced repo rate by 0.25% to 6.25% Mumbai: In the ﬁrst interest rate cut in 18 months, the RBI on Thursday shed its hawkish stance to reduce policy rates in the maiden policy meeting under new Governor Shaktikanta Das, a move that may make home and other loans cheaper. Coming just months ahead of the general elections, the move will help boost lending and support the government's efforts to boost a slowing economy after it last week unveiled an expansionary budget which included a Rs 75,000 crore cash dole to small farmers and income tax rebate to the middle class. The Reserve Bank of India's six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent as inﬂation continues to remain benign. While four out of the six members, including Das, voted for a reduction in interest rate, all the six members unanimously favoured switch in stance to 'neutral' from 'calibrated tightening' adopted in October. Emboldened by a slowdown in inﬂation which fell to 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December and is expected to be in the range of 3.2-3.4 per cent in April-September to 3.23.4 per cent - lower than previous RBI prediction of 3.8-4.2 per cent range, Das-led MPC weighed more concern about economic growth risks, paving the way for more rate cuts. Besides repo rate, reverse repo was reduced to 6 per cent from 6.25 per cent. Repo rate is the rate at which commercial banks borrow money from the RBI; while reverse repo rate is the rate at which RBI collects money from banks. Das, who unlike his predecessor Urjit Patel is seen more amenable to government demands for boosting credit growth, said it was "vital to act decisively and in a timely manner to address the objective of growth once price stability as deﬁned (in RBI's inﬂation-targeting mandate) is achieved." A former bureaucrat, Das was appointed RBI Governor in December as Patel quit amid a debate over central bank's autonomy. "The shift in stance from calibrated tightening to neutral provides ﬂexibility to address, and the room to address, sustained the growth of India's economy over the coming months as long as inﬂation remains benign," he said. "RBI's decision to reduce the repo rate by 25 basis point from 6.5 per cent to 6.25 per cent and change of stance to 'Neutral' will give a boost to the economy, lead to affordable credit for small businesses, home- buyers etc and further boost employment opportunities," Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet. RBI last hiked interest rates in August 2018 by 0.25 per cent. It came on back of a similar increase in June. These hikes were the ﬁrst since January 28, 2014, when rates were hiked by a similar proportion to 8 per cent. In the subsequent years, RBI cut the interest rate on six occasions. In its last revision, on August 2, 2017, rates were cut by 25 basis points to 6 per cent. "Investment activity is recovering, but supported mainly by public spending on infrastructure," the MPC said in a statement. "The need is to strengthen private investment activity and buttress private consumption." The RBI kept GDP growth forecast unchanged at 7.4 per cent for the next ﬁscal year starting April 1, 2019. "Headline inﬂation is projected to remain soft in the near term reﬂecting the current low level of inﬂation and the benign food inﬂation outlook," the MPC statement said. Meanwhile, bankers see more rate cuts in the offing. With the change in the monetary policy stance to ‘neutral’ from ‘calibrated tightening’, RBI may deliver more positive surprises on the rate front, they say. "The policy rightfully signals that rates may further soften further going forward, with the headline inﬂation numbers consistently undershooting the RBI inﬂation mandate and inﬂation expectations materially down," said State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar said. MORE STORIES ON P5 People don’t want ‘mahamilavat’ govt: PM Modi returns Rahul’s Rafale fire Rahul calls Modi ‘darpok’ Dares him to 5-min debate on Rafale New Delhi: In a frontal attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday alleged that those who imposed Emergency, "bullied" the judiciary and insulted the Army were accusing him of destroying institutions. The PM also hit back at the Congress over the Rafale issue, which has been repeatedly raised by its chief Rahul Gandhi, as he alleged that the Congress did not want the Indian Air Force to be strong and asked "which companies are they bidding for that they are acting so shamefully". Modi took potshots at attempts to cobble a grand alliance of opposition parties to take on the BJP, saying people do not want a "mahamilavat" (highly adulterated) government as they have seen how the NDA government which has a majority can deliver. "Congress imposed Emer- New Delhi: Mounting a fresh offensive on Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called the prime minister a "darpok" (coward) and dared him to a 5-minute face-to-face debate on issues such as the controversial Rafale jet deal and national security. Addressing the Congress' minority department convention here, a combative Gandhi also alleged that the RSS was trying to capture the institutions of the country. gency, but they say Modi is destroying institutions. Congress insults Army, calls the Army chief a 'goonda' but they say Modi is destroying institutions," the PM said in a hardhitting reply to a debate on motion of thanks to President's address in Lok Sabha. Continued on Page 15 Andhra farmers to get cheques under debt-redemption scheme HANS NEWS SERVICE Amaravati: The TDP government is all set to dispense cheques to farmers to clear dues under the debt-redemption scheme introduced during 2014-15. The state government has already disbursed more than Rs 15,500 crore to farmers out of the targeted Rs 24,000 crore in three installments. The government deposited Rs 7,565 crore in 54.98 lakh accounts in the ﬁrst installment, Rs 3,303 crore in the second installment and Rs 3,630 crore in the third installment apart from the interests for delayed payment. Another Rs 384 crore was distributed to horticulture farmers, who were in debt trap, explained the officials of the Planning Department. Now, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has decided to distribute the remaining Rs 8,000 crore to beneﬁciaries by providing cheques directly to farmers on the lines of cheques of Rs 10,000 which were given to the self-help group members under the Pasupu Kunkuma scheme. Continued on Page 15 Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu taking a look at the proposed port works at Machilipatnam on Thursday After laying stone, CM declares Jilted nurse attacks doctor with acid to open Masula Port in two years HANS NEWS SERVICE HANS NEWS SERVICE Machilipatnam: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday laid the foundation stone for Machilipatnam port works to bring back the popularity of the yore. “Today I laid foundation for Machilipatnam port works. Again, I will come here after two years to inaugurate the port,” declared Chandrababu Naidu. As many as Rs 12,000 crore would be spent for port works, he said and added that the PIO man, girlfriend arrested for plotting to kill estranged wife Washington: A person of Indian origin and his girlfriend have been arrested for hatching a conspiracy to hire a hitman to kill the former's estranged wife. Narsan Lingala, 55, and his 52-year-old girlfriend Sandya Reddy have been charged with one count of murder-for- hire and were produced before US Magistrate Judge Michael A Hammer in Newark federal court. Both of them were arrested without bail. According to a complaint filed in May 2018, Lingala was in a holding cell at the Middlesex County Superior Courthouse as he awaited a court hearing. While there, he asked another inmate if he knew anyone who could kill his estranged wife. The inmate responded in affirmative. In June 2018, at the direction of the law enforcement body, the inmate introduced Lingala to an undercover agent posing as a hitman. Over subsequent weeks, Lingala and the undercover police officer spoke over phone and planned to meet in person when Lingala travelled from Indiana to New Jersey. Continued on Page 15 THE PORT WITH HISTORY The Masula port was an important trading hub for Portuguese, the Dutch and British at the dawn of 17th century. Ships sailed from this Andhra port to Southeast Asia and Europe in the early 1600s. Unfortunately, the Masula port was devastated by the cyclonic storm in 1864 port would be useful to Amaravati capital city also. Stating that the port establishment would bring allround development to the entire Machilipatnam area, the CM said that the distant dream of Machilipatnam has become a reality by launching of port works. "The occasion of the beginning of the port works is a special occasion for the people of Machilipatnam to celebrate. The region would get back the past glory with the establishment of port," he said. Continued on Page 15 Tirupati: A jilted nurse threw acid on a doctor when he came to attend court proceedings in connection with a family dispute on Thursday, according to police. Interestingly after the attack on doctor, the nurse tried to commit suicide by consuming the leftover acid. The doctor escaped narrowly. According to Tirupati west police station CI G Sirinivas, Aruna, who was working as nurse in a corporate hospital, had ﬁled a case under SC/ ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against Dr Adarsh. She also alleged that Adarsha had promised to marry but cheated her. Dr Adarsh was also working in the same hospital for the past two years. Aruna, who came to the court covering her face with ‘chunni’, threw acid on Dr Adarsh, Nurse Aruna who attacked doctor Adarsh when he was attending his divorce case in the family court. Later, Aruna tried to commit suicide by consuming the leftover acid. She was shifted to Ruia hosptial for treatment. A case was registered against Aruna under the Section 326/B of IPC as voluntarily causing grievous injury by lethal methods. Facebook to ﬂash ‘paid for by’ on political ads New Delhi: Aiming to bring more transparency to ads related to politics in India ahead of the general elections, Facebook on Thursday launched a tool that will allow its users to know the people behind the political ad on its platform and how much they spent for it. A 'disclaimer' offering details about those responsible for running the ad will be featured. "Starting today (Thursday), people will begin to see political ads with 'Published by' or 'Paid for by' disclaimers speciﬁed by advertisers. This will give people more information about who is responsible for the ads they see," Shivnath Thukral, Public Poli- cy Director, India and South Asia at Facebook said. People will also be able to access a 'searchable ad library' to ﬁnd out more about ads related to poli- tics, including range of impressions, spends and demographics of who viewed the ad. This month, Facebook will also start showing the primary country location of the people who manage pages running or paying for political ads in India. The social media giant said the enforcement of the new features and the political ads policy begins February 21, and from then only advertisers who have completed authorisations and made stipulated disclosures will be allowed to run political ads in In- dia. With ensuing general elections, the Indian government had warned social media platforms of strong action if any attempt was made to inﬂuence the country's electoral process through undesirable means. The government is also proposing to amend IT rules, wherein social media, online platforms and messaging apps will be made more accountable and be mandated to deploy tools to identify and curb unlawful content as well as follow stricter due dili- gence practices. Over the last few months, social media players like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have promised to infuse more transparency into political advertisements on their platform and have since announced a slew of measures as part of election integrity efforts. Facebook - which has over 200 million users in India - said it is committed to create a new standard of transparency and authenticity for political advertising on its platform and Instagram.
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