The Hindu Important Articles 11 May 2018
# Walmart to buy control of Flipkart
The $16 bn deal, the largest ever Indian acquisition by a foreign firm, will help U.S. giant battle Amazon
Walmart on Wednesday said it had agreed to pay $16 billion for about 77% stake in Flipkart, a deal that will pitch the world’s largest retailer in direct competition with its U.S. rival Amazon.com in a battle for dominance of India’s online marketplace. It will be the biggest ever acquisition in India by a foreign firm surpassing the about $13 billion Vodafone spent in 2007 for buying Hutchison’s Indian business.
“India is one of the most attractive retail markets in the world, given its size and growth rate,” Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Our investment is an opportunity to partner with the company that is leading [the] transformation of e-commerce in the market.”
Walmart’s investment in Flipkart would benefit India by providing “quality, affordable goods for customers while creating new skilled jobs and fresh opportunities for small suppliers, farmers and women entrepreneurs,” he said.
The transaction, once completed, will enable investors in Flipkart, including Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group, to encash their holdings and exit the Indian e-commerce start-up, which was founded in 2007 by two former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
Biggest for Walmart
Control of Flipkart will provide the Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart access to Flipkart’s network of 1 lakh sellers who retail 80 million products across 80 categories — from mobile phones to apparel and books — to 54 million active customers. The U.S. company, which first entered India in a wholesale store joint venture with the Bharti Group in 2007, is set to make its biggest acquisition ever as it eyes a segment of India’s retail pie that it forecasts will grow four times as fast as the overall retail industry.
“They [Walmart] are now paying the premium because Flipkart is the only player on which they can place the bet. It is really important for them to have this market [India],” said Satish Meena, a senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research.
# Check white collar crimes, police told
Adopt new technology to nab the culprits, Naidu says
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has directed the police officials to take steps to check economic offences in the State. Mr. Naidu reviewed the law and order, policing, etc., on the second day of the District Collectors’ conference here on Wednesday.
Stating that the technology was paving the way for new types of crimes, he said the police have to adopt technology to nab the culprits.
The police should be aware of the technologies being used by criminals. Stringent action should be taken against the criminals. At the same time, friendly policing was necessary. Complainants should be able to converse with the police freely and the department had to build confidence among the publicso that justice would be done to them. Invisible policing was the need of the hour, he said.
People should not get a feeling that they can go scot free after committing crimes. The onus lies on police to ensure that Dachepalli kind incidents do not recur. District Collectors and Superintendents of Police have to discuss the law and order scenario in the district and take steps accordingly, he said, adding the government was able to control rowdyism, factionism and communal violence in the State. Red sanders smuggling need to be checked.
Earlier in the day, Secretary (Industries & Commerce) Solomon Arokiaraj said that Andhra Pradesh registered a tremendous growth rate of 8.49% as compared to the national growth rate of 4.4%. The State was successful in attracting 2,850 projects worth Rs. 15,83,563 crore. These projects would generate employment to 36,51,216 people. Additionally, MSMEs made a contribution of 80% towards employment and contributed 34% towards GSDP, he said.
Mr. Naidu suggested that the officials use Praja Sadhikara Survey to verify and decide the most deserving beneficiaries.
# Week after assault, rape victim sets herself afire
Faridabad girl succumbs to her injuries; accused arrested
A 14-year-old girl committed suicide by setting herself afire in Sanjay Colony here on Tuesday after she was allegedly raped by a teenager staying on rent with his family in an adjacent room.
The accused, Amit Kumar, has been arrested on charges of rape under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and abetment to suicide under the Indian Penal Code.
Class IX student
The girl, a Class IX student, allegedly doused herself with kerosene on Tuesday afternoon, a week after she was allegedly raped, and set herself afire.
Her mother works as a helper in Sector 24 and was away when the incident took place.
The woman, in her complaint to the police, said that one of her relatives called her over the phone to inform about it.
Suffered 95% burns
The girl was rushed to B.K. Hospital in Faridabad and was diagnosed with 95% burns. She had deep burn marks on the face, head, neck and back and was referred to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, where she succumbed to her injuries.
According to the complaint, the victim, who was the youngest among three siblings, had gone to the washroom in the early hours of May 1 when the accused allegedly pulled her inside his room and raped her.
The girl did not disclose the incident to her mother for several days, eventually confiding in her on May 7. But the landlord, Sugreev Bainsla, allegedly prevented them from filing a police complaint in this regard. The case was registered after the girl died and the accused was arrested.
Accused from U.P.
The accused had been harassing the girl for almost 10 days before he allegedly raped her, the FIR said.
“The accused was arrested in Faridabad after the complaint was received. He belongs to Uttar Pradesh. He had gone for his sister’s wedding five months ago and returned a few weeks back,” said Station House Officer, Mujesar police station, Rajender Singh.
# ID cards seizure: EC sends top official to Bengaluru
BJP, Congress accuse each other of malpractice
Amidst a full-blown blame game between the BJP and the Congress, the Election Commission has sent Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar to Bengaluru to inquire into the facts about the seizure of 9,896 voter identity cards on Tuesday in R.R. Nagar constituency.
He has been asked to submit a report by Thursday, two days before the State goes to the polls.
“The matter has been taken very seriously. After the issue came to light, the commission had directed the Bengaluru Police Commissioner and the State Chief Electoral Officer to visit the premises from where the seizure was made,” Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat told The Hindu. He said the facts were being ascertained to decide the future course of action.
The commission has already received a ground report from the Chief Electoral Officer. It is learnt that when the team of State election officials reached the spot on Tuesday the door of the flat was found forced open.
The genuine cards were found at a Jalahalli flat, following which the BJP demanded countermanding of polls in the constituency, alleging involvement of the Congress. About one lakh counterfoil strips — resembling acknowledgement slips of Form 6, which is used for adding new names on the electoral rolls — were also found on the premises.
The seizure triggered late-night media briefings by the BJP and the Congress, with both the parties accusing each other of malpractice. Delegations of the two parties also submitted memorandums to the commission on Thursday demanding a thorough probe into the episode. The flat, from where the cards and other articles were seized, belongs to Manjula Nanjundmuri. There are also conflicting claims by the two parties about her political loyalty. She has claimed to not belong to any party, but loyal to the RSS.
The Congress delegation, led by senior party leader Anand Sharma, alleged that the entire episode was “stage managed” by the BJP.
# Modi: Congress is targeting the judiciary
He says ‘mother and son’ behind impeachment move against CJI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accused the Congress of playing the dangerous game of targeting the Chief Justice of India.
In his speech at Chikkamagaluru on Wednesday, Mr. Modi said the Congress started targeting the judiciary ever since the “mother and son” [Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi] faced court and sought bail in the Rs. 5,000- crore scam, in an apparent reference to the National Herald case. “Unhappy with the turn of events which forced them to face the court and seek bail, they have targeted the Chief Justice of India with the impeachment move. The intelligent people of the State should bid adieu to the mother and son,” he said.
Saying the Congress has no respect for democracy, Mr. Modi alleged that the party waits for every opportunity to disregard every institution in the country. “You must have seen the Congress suffer defeat in every election in recent years. And after every defeat, they blame the EVM (electronic voting machine). According to the Congress, the Election Commission of India is wrong, and the party is always right,” he said. “When the Congress is caught in wrong-doing, they find the CBI wrong, the National Investigation Agency wrong, and the Enforcement Directorate wrong.
“Whenever the Indian Army refuses to support their misdeeds, they find fault with the army too. We have heard this since the days of Bofors. When the Indian Army conducts a surgical strike, they find it wrong. They find fault with the police and forces that take tough action against terrorists and naxals,” he said.
# CM to launch Rythu Bandhu today
Pattadar passbooks to be distributed after public meeting in Huzurabad
Unprecedented arrangements have been made for the launch of the ambitious Rythu Bandhu scheme (farmers’ investment support scheme) and distribution of pattadar passbooks by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao between Shalapalli and Indiranagar villages of Huzurabad mandal on Thursday.
Stated to be first-of-its-kind scheme in the country — the distribution of financial assistance of Rs. 8,000 per acre per annum to the farmer — the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ lauch will see the district administration according a grand welcome to the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister, who had arrived in Karimnagar on Wednesday to attend the marriage function of a close relative, made a halt at the Telangana Bhavan here. On Thursday, the Chief Minister would travel to the public meeting venue in Huzurabad by bus (pragathi ratham). The district authorities and party rank and file have decided to accord a rousing welcome to the Chief Minister. Women will be seen carrying ‘haraties’ on either side of the road all along the route from Karimnagar to Huzurabad.
Cultural troupes and women playing ‘kolatam’ would greet the Chief Minister, who would also make a brief halt at Alugunur, Manakondur, Shankarpatnam, Huzurabad and Chelpur en route. In the wake of prevailing heatwave conditions, the authorities have decided to install foggers to provide some respite from the heat at the public meeting venue where around one lakh farmers would attend. Collector Sarfaraz Ahmad said arrangements were being made for the supply of 4 lakh water packets at the venue.
Commissioner of Police V.B. Kamalasan Reddy supervised the security arrangements. He also asked the police to take all measures for the smooth flow of traffic without causing any traffic snarls, due to haphazard parking on the roads.
# GST is not being implemented in its true form: Chidambaram
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has rightly termed GST as “Gabbar Singh Tax” since it is not the one adopted worldwide nor the one proposed by the Congress that was stalled for three years by the BJP, the former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said.
Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, Mr. Chidambaram noted that even Government Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian wanted a simpler GST, as against the present regime where multiple tax slabs exist. The ideal tax slab should have between 15 % and 15.5 %, he quoted Mr. Subramanian.
The Congress leader said that while the Congress too wanted a simple tax structure, he wanted the maximum cap to be fixed at 18 % to offer some space for the government to manage the finances.
“This is not the real GST; you can call it by any name,” Mr. Chidambaram quipped.
On being asked whether fuel should be brought under GST, Mr. Chidambaram said that it should be; there was no doubt about it.
The BJP is looting the common man by three-fold increase in Central Excise on fuel, he said. Fuel prices should have varied according to international crude prices; however, the prices are only increasing in India leaving hapless people to blame the government, he said.