SUNDAY 14 APRIL 2019 KURNOOL | PAGES 20 | `5.00 www.thehansindia.com INDIA’S FIRST QUEEN OF PLAYBACK SINGING 'M ere Piya Gaye Rangoon', 'Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar' and 'Kajra Mohabbat Wala', ‘Teri Mehﬁl Mein Kismat Aazmaakar’...1600 songs for hundreds of ﬁlms composed by master music directors; Shamshad Begum is one of the ﬁrst playback singers in the Hindi ﬁlm industry. April 14, 2019 marks the birth centenary of the legendary singer WINDOWS Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and tennis player Sania Mirza at the 35th Annual Session of FICCI Ladies Organisation, in New Delhi on Saturday Konnect for a smart living T he technology that takes the power of internet beyond computers is called Internet of Things, IoT, which makes the technology ecosystem smart. This next big wave of computer technology is poised to be a $15 billion market in India, with nearly 120 firms currently offering solutions in the IoT space. One such startup which believes in using automation to make lives better is Hyderabadbased Konnecting Internet of Things (KIOT). 8 P5 H Simultaneously published from Hyderabad | Warangal | Tirupati | Amaravati | Visakhapatnam | Khammam | Kurnool | Delhi H RAFALEGATE: LE MONDE DROPS BOMBSHELL Ambani got tax waiver in France New Delhi: In a sensational disclosure, top French daily Le Monde in a report said the French government had waived dues of over 140 million euros owed by Anil Ambani’s French ﬁrm at the time the deal for 36 Rafale jets was being negotiated in 2015. The author of the report Julien Bouissou, South Asia correspondent of Le Monde, tweeted that “between February and October 2015, while the French were negotiating the Rafale contract with India, Anil Ambani, a close friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, enjoyed a tax waiver of 143.7 million euros (Rs 1,125 crore) from the French state. Quite a cozy deal, right?” According to the report, the French authorities had raised a demand of 151 million euros from Ambani’s company after tax audits for the period between 2007 and 2012, including default interest and penalties. Ambani’s ﬁrm had offered a settlement for 7.6 mn euros in 2013 which was rejected by the French tax authorities. However, on October 22, 2015, the French authorities accepted 7.3 million euros as a The French daily Le Monde reported that Anil Ambani’s France-based telecom firm ‘Reliance Atlantic Flag France’ was given tax waivers worth 143.7 million euros just a few months after PM Modi announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault settlement from Ambani’s company for the period between 2008 and 2014. Coincidentally, it was on April 10, 2015 that Modi had announced the deal for buying 36 Rafale aircraft from France during an official visit to Paris. Soon after the announcement, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence had emerged as the lead offset partner for the deal. The total offsets for the deal worth 7.87 bn euro to be discharged in India were valued at Rs 30,000 crore. In late April 2015, a few days after Modi’s announcement, Anil Ambani ﬁrm Reliance Aerostructures Limited formed a joint venture with Dassault. The production unit RCOM RUBBISHES REPORT Mumbai: The Reliance Communications on Saturday rubbished a media report which claimed that taxes to the tune of 143.7 million euro were waived by the French authorities for a France-based company of Anil Ambani "just a few months" after PM Modi announced the decision to buy 36 Rafale fighters in 2015. In a statement, the Reliance Communications clarified that the tax issue of its subsidiary Reliance FLAG Atlantic France SAS pertained to 2008 and had been settled as per the local laws, much before the Indian government decided to purchase Rafale jets from French company Dassault. "Reliance Flag says the tax demands were completely unsustainable and illegal. Reliance denies any favouritism or gain from settlement," it added. of the joint venture, called Dassault Reliance Aviation Limited was inaugurated in Nagpur in 2016 in the presence of top Indian and French ministers. The MoU for the deal was signed between the Indian and French Defence ministers in Delhi on January 25, 2016 and the deal was signed on September 23, 2016. Days before the MoU was signed in Delhi, another of Ambani’s ﬁrms, Reliance Entertainment had invested in a French ﬁlm produced by the then French President Francois Hollande’s partner, Julie Gayet. Hollande had subsequently denied any connection with the deal but told AFP that giving offsets to Ambani was part of a ‘new formula’ for buying 36 Rafale aircraft which was put forth after the BJP government assumed power in May 2014. The government has denied these charges. Giving details of the case, Le Monde also reported that in early 2015, the French auditor ﬁrm AEG France had refused to certify Reliance Flag Atlantic France’s accounts as it was not sure if they were “straightforward and accurate,” according to French rules. ‘TAX WAIVER A MODI KRIPA’ MoD DENIES ANY LINK New Delhi: Firing a fresh salvo against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Rafale issue, the Congress has alleged that the reported tax waiver by France to Anil Ambani's company was due to "blessings" of Modi who had acted as a "middleman" for the businessman. "This is called zero-sum choices, startling tax concession and Modi 'kripa' (blessings)," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters here. He claimed the "layers of crony capitalism" involving Modi and Ambani are now being unveiled. "PM Modi is acting as middleman for Anil Ambani. How many other companies in France have got a tax benefit? Is this not a quid pro quo for the purchase of aircraft? It is clear that only one watchman is the thief," Surjewala said. New Delhi: Reacting to a French media report that Anil Ambani's firm received a Owaisi slams Maneka for ‘communal’ remark Hyderabad: MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi came down heavily on Union Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi, for threatening Muslims in Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh to vote for her, failing which she would not consider their requests for jobs. She said this while addressing a public meeting. After the video went viral, Owaisi tweeted: “I say Muslims should get a FAIR DEAL in this country, that they should be treated as human beings & I am called ‘Bhadkhau Bhaijaan.’” “@Manekagandhibjp, please understand that a vote is not feudal ‘salami’. An MP cannot refuse a constituent on their faith or who they voted for,” he added. It may be mentioned that addressing a gathering, Maneka Gandhi had said: “I am going to win with the help of people. But if I win without the support of Muslims, then I won’t like it much. Because you feel bad. And then when Muslims come for jobs, I will say leave it, it makes no difference.” tax waiver from France within months of the Rafale deal announcement, the Ministry of Defence said there is no connection between the tax issue and the fighter jet deal. "We have seen reports drawing conjectural connection between tax exemption to a private company and procurement of Rafale jets by India. Neither the period of tax concession nor subject matter of concession relate to Rafale procurement," said a statement by the ministry. Dismissing any link between the Rafale deal and the "tax exemption" to Ambani's firm, the ministry said, " ... connections drawn between the tax issue and the Rafale matter are totally inaccurate, tendentious and is a mischievous attempt to disinform (sic)." DHARMANA FOR SEPARATE STAFF FOR POLL PANEL PAGE 4 KODANDA RAMASWAMY BRAHMOTSAVAMS BEGIN NAIDU TAKES BALLOT PAPER WAR TO DELHI A 20-member team submits 15-page memo to EC AP Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu addressing the media after meeting the Election Commission of India (ECI) at Nirvachan Sadan in NewDelhi on Saturday HANS NEWS SERVICE New Delhi: The demand for paper ballot seems to be gaining great support and is likely to become a major issue in the campaign during ongoing general elections across the country. The failure of the Election Commission to ensure smooth conduct of polls in Andhra Pradesh will be a case study that would be presented across the country by the opposition parties. They are likely to promise that if voted power, they would amend the act and reintroduce paper ballot system. As a prelude to this, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday led a 20-member team of his party men, including MPs and ministers and submitted a 15-page memorandum to the Election Commission of India. Raising questions on the poll panel’s independence and impartiality, Naidu told reporters outside the EC headquarters here that the level-playing ﬁeld was an essential attribute of democracy -- "now stands disturbed". The EC, he said, acted on behalf of the Narendra Modi and KCR, colluded with “criminals like Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his co-accused L V Subramanyam,” who was appointed as the Chief Secretary in place of an honest officer like Punetha. Describing the acts of the poll panel as "unfair", Naidu said that the "Election Commission has lost all credibility among the people of the nation" and its image has been dented in their eyes. He alleged that the poll panel observer in the State was having links with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Continued on Page 11 EC invites Naidu for meet HANS NEWS SERVICE New Delhi: Reacting to the issues raised by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in his 15-page memorandum to the Election Commission of India on Saturday, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora invited Naidu to come for a meeting with technical team to discuss the issues with the team of experts of the EC on Monday at 11 am. However, the letter made it clear that they should not bring technical and software security expert K Hari Prasad with them since there were criminal cases against him. The EC made it clear that they will not discuss the issue with Hari Prasad. Meanwhile, Naidu who was to return to Amaravati on Saturday evening decided to stay back in Delhi and discuss the developments with leaders of other political parties and legal experts. Meanwhile, Naidu held a review meeting with party leaders and has decided to write a letter to the EC again listing out the series of meetings it had with Hari Prasad in the past. Naidu will be mentioning the dates of the meetings Hari Prasad had with varioius Chief Election Com- missioners in the past. The TDP feels that the EC cannot lay down such conditions and should review its decision. It remains to be seen what the TDP would do if the EC still refuses to allow Hari Prasad to participate in the meeting scheduled for Monday. Naidu is also learnt to have told his party leaders that the EC has not replied to other fundamental issues he had raised in the 15-page memorandum. On the other hand, Naidu is likely to meet leaders of all opposition parties on Sunday and discuss the developments, including the manner in which EC failed to conduct elections in a proper manner in Andhra, the need to ﬁle a review petition in Supreme Court giving case study of why they want the paper ballot be introduced. Social media making mockery of democracy HANS NEWS SERVICE Amaravati: Though the polling is over and some of the contestants are planning to take a break and spend some time with their family since they have a gruelling wait of 41 days before the results are declared, social media and other organisations are becoming hyper active and playing havoc. Despite clear instructions from the Election Commission of India that no exit poll should be telecast or made public, anyone with a mobile phone is turning into a psephologist. What is worse is that if anyone does not agree with the self-styled psephologists, they are abused in unprintable language. It gives an impression that only those who post what they like on social media have the right of expression not others. They even come up with morphed photos which are in bad taste and makes a mockery of democracy. On the other hand, some organisations are taking up the responsibility of preaching what is correct and what is not and are taking sides. The most unfortunate aspect is that there is no organisation which can control such tivists who never go into the ﬁeld are coming up with surveys of different kind causing greater con- menace. Soon after the polling for Assembly elections were over, the hyper active social media ac- fusion among the people. None of those surveys explain what the scientiﬁc basis of those surveys is, who did it and when was it done. Interestingly, they are declaring the results constituency wise with percentage of victory margin as well and are widely circulated through WhatsApp groups. But the same social media did not bother to post even a word raising concern about the problems faced by the general public on the day of polling when even drinking water facility was not made available at the polling booths by the Election Commission and when 35 per cent of EVMs did not work.
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