Sacked Nissan Boss Offers To Wear Electronic Ankle Tag For Bail


A new bail hearing is set for Monday after an earlier request was denied due partly to concerns the French executive was a flight risk.




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The release would allow Ghosn to meet more frequently with his lawyers.

Ousted Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn has offered to wear an electronic ankle tag and hire guards to monitor him in an unusual bid to secure his release on bail after two months of detention in Japan for alleged financial crimes. Ghosn is also willing to remain in Tokyo, where he has leased an apartment, and post stock he owns in Nissan as collateral, his spokeswoman said. A new bail hearing is set for Monday after an earlier request was denied due partly to concerns the French executive was a flight risk.

The release would allow Ghosn to meet more frequently with his lawyers and defend himself before the board of Renault, where he remains chairman and CEO, amid calls for his removal and potential moves to restructure the Nissan tie-up.

As his arrest on November 19 continued to cloud the outlook for Nissan’s three-way alliance with France’s Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Nissan said it was not the time to discuss revising the partners’ capital ties.

Ghosn, who spearheaded Nissan’s turnaround two decades ago, had pushed for a deeper tie-up between Nissan and Renault, including possibly a full merger, despite strong reservations at the Japanese firm.”We are not at the stage for such discussions,” Nissan CEO Hirota Saikawa told reporters on Monday.

Saikawa also said he had not heard directly about a reported French proposal to integrate the Japanese carmaker’s management with Renault, adding that it was not the time to discuss revising the partners’ capital ties.

The Nikkei newspaper reported on Sunday that a French government delegation had informed Tokyo that it would seek an integration of Renault and Nissan, most likely under the umbrella of a single holding company.

“Since I have not heard this directly, I cannot comment,” Saikawa told reporters.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK quoted French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire as telling journalists that an integration proposal was “not on the table now”.

A source familiar with Nissan’s thinking said the reported French proposal did not “make sense” given the two companies’ different cultures, Renault’s lower productivity and Nissan’s bigger contribution of key technology.It’s a virtual merger, I don’t think it makes sense,” the source said, adding he had not heard directly of such a French proposal.

Bail Decision

Ghosn denies any wrongdoing as he awaits trial on charges of financial misconduct.

“I will attend my trial not only because I am legally obligated to do so, but because I am eager to finally have the opportunity to defend myself,” Ghosn said in a statement on Sunday.

“I am not guilty of the charges against me and I look forward to defending my reputation in the courtroom.”

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Renault, which dominates the partnership through its 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, is expected to meet within days to consider potential candidates to replace Ghosn as chief executive officer and chairman.The co-chair of a committee set up by Nissan to examine the root cause of Ghosn’s alleged financial misconduct and propose corporate governance reforms said on Sunday he believed Ghosn may have had questionable ethical standards.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Ousted Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn Offers To Wear Electronic Ankle Tag For Bail


Carlos Ghosn has been formally charged with under-reporting his income.

TOKYO: 

Ousted Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn has offered to wear an electronic ankle tag and hire guards to monitor him in an unusual bid to secure his release on bail after two months of detention in Japan for alleged financial crimes.

Ghosn is also willing to remain in Tokyo, where he has leased an apartment, and post stock he owns in Nissan as collateral, his spokeswoman said. A new bail hearing is set for Monday after an earlier request was denied due partly to concerns the French executive was a flight risk.

The release would allow Ghosn to meet more frequently with his lawyers and defend himself before the board of Renault, where he remains chairman and CEO, amid calls for his removal and potential moves to restructure the Nissan tie-up.

As his arrest on November 19 continued to cloud the outlook for Nissan’s three-way alliance with France’s Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Nissan said it was not the time to discuss revising the partners’ capital ties.

Ghosn, who spearheaded Nissan’s turnaround two decades ago, had pushed for a deeper tie-up between Nissan and Renault, including possibly a full merger, despite strong reservations at the Japanese firm.

“We are not at the stage for such discussions,” Nissan CEO Hirota Saikawa told reporters on Monday.

Saikawa also said he had not heard directly about a reported French proposal to integrate the Japanese carmaker’s management with Renault, adding that it was not the time to discuss revising the partners’ capital ties.

The Nikkei newspaper reported on Sunday that a French government delegation had informed Tokyo that it would seek an integration of Renault and Nissan, most likely under the umbrella of a single holding company.

“Since I have not heard this directly, I cannot comment,” Saikawa told reporters.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK quoted French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire as telling journalists that an integration proposal was “not on the table now”.

A source familiar with Nissan’s thinking said the reported French proposal did not “make sense” given the two companies’ different cultures, Renault’s lower productivity and Nissan’s bigger contribution of key technology.

“It’s a virtual merger, I don’t think it makes sense,” the source said, adding he had not heard directly of such a French proposal.

Bail Decision –

Ghosn denies any wrongdoing as he awaits trial on charges of financial misconduct.

“I will attend my trial not only because I am legally obligated to do so, but because I am eager to finally have the opportunity to defend myself,” Ghosn said in a statement on Sunday.

“I am not guilty of the charges against me and I look forward to defending my reputation in the courtroom.”

Renault, which dominates the partnership through its 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, is expected to meet within days to consider potential candidates to replace Ghosn as chief executive officer and chairman.

The co-chair of a committee set up by Nissan to examine the root cause of Ghosn’s alleged financial misconduct and propose corporate governance reforms said on Sunday he believed Ghosn may have had questionable ethical standards.

“Having read the report on the internal investigation, my initial impression was that the head of the company may have had questionable ethical standards,” committee co-chair Seiichiro Nishioka told a briefing late on Sunday after the panel held its first meeting.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Won’t Allow Centre To Tag Its Name With Crop Insurance In West Bengal, Says Mamata Banerjee


Mamata Banerjee says the state will pay the entire amount under crop insurance. (File)

Bolpur: 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her government will not allow the BJP-led Centre to tag its name with crop insurance for farmers in the state, just by bearing only 20 per cent of the cost.

The state would henceforth pay the entire amount, she said addressing an administrative meeting Bolpur in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.

Ms Banerjee said as of now 49 per cent of farmers in West Bengal are covered under crop insurance and the rest will be brought under its purview soon.

“We won’t allow the Centre to do politics with an emotive issue like crop insurance by tagging their name with the project when it is sharing only 20 per cent of the premium amount. The state presently foots 80 per cent of the crop insurance amount and we will pay the entire amount in future,” she said.

“West Bengal pays the major portion of the premium and the Centre uses its name. This cannot go on, we will pay the entire amount henceforth,” the chief minister said.

She reiterated last week’s announcement of paying Rs 2 lakh under ‘Krishi Krishak Bandhu’ scheme to the next of kin of a farmer, aged between 18-60 years, in case of his death.

“We have 72 lakh farmer families in the state — the highest in India as West Bengal has smaller land holdings. We are devising a mechanism by which a farmer’s family will get the money 15 days after his death,” the chief minister said.

Ms Banerjee said a farmer will get Rs 5,000 as financial assistance for each acre of his land in a year for growing a single crop. Under the scheme, farmers will get Rs 2,500 twice a year for growing a single crop per acre.

“We have already waived agricultural tax and abolished mutation system for farmers,” she said, adding these measures will lead to the state incurring cost of thousands of crores of rupees but “this is important as it concerns the well-being of our farmers, the backbone of our state”.

The chief minister said since Birbhum is a drought-prone district, there should be special thrust on ‘Jal Dharo Jal Bharo’ — a rainwater harvesting scheme of the state government.

“Please give special thrust to this scheme, especially in drought-prone areas. I also suggest sinking of deep tubewells in certain pockets which should be implemented by February,” she told senior district officials present.





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Authoritarian Tag A Badge Of Honour


Bangladesh Polls 2018: Sheikh Hasina’s son said there was space for dissent in Bangladesh (AFP)

Dhaka: 

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina considers being called authoritarian by the western media a “badge of honour”, the leader’s son told Reuters on the eve of a national election on Sunday.

Hasina, who is widely expected to win a third straight term in office, has been hailed domestically for fast economic growth in the past decade and internationally for providing refuge to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in neighbouring Myanmar.

But her government has been accused of suppressing dissent and jailing critics, including many supporters of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Many journalists say she has intimidated the media by using vaguely worded laws against them.

Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed, however, told Reuters there was space for dissent in the Muslim-majority country of 165 million people, and that the Western media was unfair in its portrayal of his mother.

“You know what my mother told me this morning? ‘Branded authoritarian by the Western media now is a badge of honour'” Wazed, who lives in Washington D.C. and runs an IT business in the United States, said in the prime minister’s official residence in Dhaka.

“Don’t you see anti-government posts on Facebook? Do you not see that? You are free to write whatever you want but you are not free to hurt someone. If you write something false and that causes an attack on someone, should there be no consequences?”

He said the ruling party would reconsider a tough new media law it introduced and another it has tightened if it retains power.

The 47-year-old, who entered politics reluctantly and has declined to take a senior position in the ruling Awami League, said he was not keen on becoming prime minister.

“Anything is possible, but interested? No. Possible perhaps, but only time will tell,” said Wazed, who is also the information and communication technology adviser to the prime minister.

Opposition, Industries

The BNP, which is fighting this election as part of an alliance after boycotting the last one in 2014, says more than 8,200 leaders and activists of the alliance have been arrested since the election schedule was announced early last month. It added four workers had been killed and more than 12,300 injured in various assaults in that period.

The Awami League has denied any role in the violence.

Wazed dismissed accusations that the ruling party had “manipulated” police and the judiciary to get BNP chief and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia jailed in February on corruption charges to weaken the opposition before the election.

Khaleda’s son and acting BNP chief Tarique Rahman, who lives in exile in London, faces imprisonment if he returns home after a court in October sentenced him to life in jail over an alleged plot to assassinate Hasina in 2004, when she was in the opposition. He denies any such plot.

“If courts and police are manipulated why did it take a decade to convict Khaleda Zia and her son? Why did it take us so long?” said Wazed, who speaks with a U.S. accent.

He said if the Awami League formed another government, it would look at raising the minimum wage for workers in the garments industry, which generates sales of more than $30 billion a year and is the biggest after China’s. It only recently raised the level for the first time in five years, though workers have asked for more.

But he said the ultimate goal was to divert some of the garment workers to mobile phone and electronics manufacturing. He said South Korea’s Samsung Electronics had already started a mobile phone assembly plant in Bangladesh and its South Korean rival LG had acquired land to open an electronics assembly plant.

“Our goal is to move up the value chain,” he said. “We don’t want to stay stuck on the garments sector.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)





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Vijay Mallya’s Plea Against Fugitive Economic Offender Tag Rejected


Vijay Mallya is currently in United Kingdom. (File)

Mumbai: 

A special court on Tuesday rejected businessman Vijay Mallya’s plea seeking a stay on the proceedings initiated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to declare him a fugitive economic offender (FEO).

Special judge MS Azmi rejected Mr Mallya’s plea and said the court will hear arguments on the main ED plea to declare the beleaguered industrialist an FEO on November 22.

The special court had heard extensive arguments on Friday from Mr Mallya’s lawyer as well as the ED counsel on his petition seeking a stay on proceedings of the financial crime probe agency against him.

The ED has sought that Mr Mallya, who is currently in the UK, be declared an FEO and his properties be confiscated and brought under the control of the Union government as per provisions of the new FEO Act.

Mallya’s counsel Amit Desai, however, had urged the court, set up under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), to refrain from hearing the ED’s plea at least till November 26.

Desai had told the court that earlier this month, the appellate tribunal against money laundering had directed the ED to maintain status quo with regard to Mallya’s properties till November 26, the next date of hearing before the tribunal.

The ED, represented by advocate D P Singh, however, had told the court that Desai’s arguments were aimed only at ensuring that Mallya did not have to face any proceedings before any court in India.

He has no intention of repaying anyone, or, of ever coming back to India. Mallya is using the pending extradition proceedings and his bail conditions imposed by an English court as mere excuses to avoid coming back to India. Declaring him an FEO is the only way to bring him back, ED had told court.

The ED had also argued the court could first declare Mallya an FEO and then wait for the tribunal’s proceedings before acting upon the agency’s plea for confiscation of the embattled liquor tycoon’s properties and assets.

Mallya, accused of defaulting on loan repayments and money laundering, left India in March 2016.

The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering.





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India Must Shed ‘Largest Arms Importer’ Tag, Says Defence Production Secretary Ajay Kumar


Public-private partnership in defence in the country is being encouraged to step up arms exports

Kolkata: 

The secretary in the department of defence production (DP) Ajay Kumar today said India has overtaken China as the world’s largest arms importer and should shed the tag.

He said the public-private partnership in defence in the country is being encouraged to step up arms exports and licensing system in some items that had been liberalised.

“India is the world’s largest arms importer, a place which earlier belonged to China”, he said over video conference from Delhi at a seminar organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

Mr Kumar said, “If China could (reduce dependence on imports productions) then why cannot India”?

Citing the instance of Mexico, he said the central American country has established a huge aero-manufacturing base and exports to the US and Europe.

According to MR Kumar, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are responsible for 74 per cent of the global arms trade. “What part of that pie we need to have?” he asked, adding that many countries were willing to buy arms from India.

Mr Kumar said that testing infrastructure would be set up for the private sector also.

Former chief of Air Staff Arup Raha said, “unfortunately India continues to depend on imports for high-end weapon systems”. 





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Fakhar Zaman Says Favourites Tag Suits Pakistan For 2019 World Cup


In-form Fakhar Zaman on Friday said that the favourites tag for the 2019 ICC World Cup suits Pakistan perfectly. Top-order batsman Fakhar Zaman has enjoyed a purple patch for his national team in the past few months. Zaman has notched up the scores of 85, 210 not out, 43 not out and 117 in his last four innings in the One-day Internationals (ODIs). He also said that Pakistan will be well equipped to win the 2019 World Cup at England and Wales. “We will travel to England to win the title and not just to make up the numbers. I do feel that it is right for us to be labelled favourites for the 2019 World Cup as our team will be well equipped for this tournament,” Zaman was quoted as saying by ICC.com.

However, Zaman said that his current focus is on the Asia Cup 2018 where Pakistan will take on arch-rivals India.

“At the moment, I am fully focused on doing well in the upcoming Asia Cup,” Zaman said.

“Of course, the 2019 World Cup is an important tournament, but it’s far too early for me to start planning for it as there are other international assignments to take care of before that tournament,” he added.

Zaman averages a magnificent 76.07 for Pakistan in the 50-over format. However, he is still to get a break in Test cricket for the side.

The 28-year-old Zaman also said to prove himself in the longest format of the game will always remain his dream.

“Regardless of which team I play against, the fact is that Test cricket is one format that provides the ultimate test of skills for a player and to perform well in this form of the game is my dream,” Zaman said.



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Harbhajan Singh Slams Hardik Pandya’s Performance, Says “We Have To Remove All-Rounder Tag From Him”


Slamming Hardik Pandya’s performance in the ongoing Test series against England, India spinner Harbhajan Singh said the 24-year-old doesn’t deserve to be referred to as an all-rounder. Harbhajan has criticised Pandya who has failed with both bat and ball in the first two Tests against England. Pandya has scored 90 runs in four innings and has managed to pick 3 wickets in the series so far.

“He (Hardik Pandya) hasn’t got many runs as a batsman and the captain doesn’t seem to have confidence in his bowling. If he doesn’t bowl in these conditions then things will only get difficult for him and the Indian team in the future,” Harbhajan told AajTak

Harbhajan went on to compare Pandya’s performance with the likes of England all-rounder Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes who have contributed really well in their team’s victory.

“We have to remove the all-rounder tag from him as an all-rounder contributes in both the departments as Stokes, Curran did in the first Test and now Woakes has done at the Lord’s. The same is expected of Hardik Pandya, he cannot become Kapil Dev overnight!,” the spinner added.

After losing the first Test at Edgbaston, India suffered a humiliating innings and 159 runs loss at the hands of England in the second Test at Lord’s.

“As a bowling unit, we tried but all of a sudden the ball stopped swinging and they – (Chris) Woakes and (Jonny) Bairstow – took the game away,” Pandya had said after the match.

“It happens – I’ve seen in Tests. You get four or five wickets quickly and then you get one partnership. Even with our batting line-up, it has happened many times. It’s just a part of the game,” Pandya said.

Pandya has played 9 Tests so far and scored 458 runs at an average of 32.71, including one century and three fifties.



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Harbhajan Singh Slams Hardik Pandya’s Performance, Says “We Have To Remove All-Rounder Tag From Him”


Slamming Hardik Pandya’s performance in the ongoing Test series against England, India spinner Harbhajan Singh said the 24-year-old doesn’t deserve to be referred to as an all-rounder. Harbhajan has criticised Pandya who has failed with both bat and ball in the first two Tests against England. Pandya has scored 90 runs in four innings and has managed to pick 3 wickets in the series so far.

“He (Hardik Pandya) hasn’t got many runs as a batsman and the captain doesn’t seem to have confidence in his bowling. If he doesn’t bowl in these conditions then things will only get difficult for him and the Indian team in the future,” Harbhajan told AajTak

Harbhajan went on to compare Pandya’s performance with the likes of England all-rounder Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes who have contributed really well in their team’s victory.

“We have to remove the all-rounder tag from him as an all-rounder contributes in both the departments as Stokes, Curran did in the first Test and now Woakes has done at the Lord’s. The same is expected of Hardik Pandya, he cannot become Kapil Dev overnight!,” the spinner added.

After losing the first Test at Edgbaston, India suffered a humiliating innings and 159 runs loss at the hands of England in the second Test at Lord’s.

“As a bowling unit, we tried but all of a sudden the ball stopped swinging and they – (Chris) Woakes and (Jonny) Bairstow – took the game away,” Pandya had said after the match.

“It happens – I’ve seen in Tests. You get four or five wickets quickly and then you get one partnership. Even with our batting line-up, it has happened many times. It’s just a part of the game,” Pandya said.

Pandya has played 9 Tests so far and scored 458 runs at an average of 32.71, including one century and three fifties.



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India On Course To Hold On To “Fastest Growing” Tag, Says IMF International Monetary Fund


IMF India Staff Report said India accounts for about 15 per cent of global growth (File)

Washington: 

Observing that India”a near-term macroeconomic outlook is “broadly favorable”, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the country is on course to hold its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Following its Executive Board’s assessment concluded last month, the IMF said on Tuesday that key risks to the Indian economy include higher oil prices, tightening global financial conditions and tax revenue deficits.

“The near-term macroeconomic outlook is broadly favorable. Growth is forecast to rise to 7.3 per cent in FY2018/19 and 7.5 per cent in FY2019/20, on strengthening investment and robust private consumption,” an IMF release said.

“Headline inflation is projected to rise to 5.2 per cent in FY2018/19, as demand conditions tighten, along with the recent depreciation of the rupee and higher oil prices, housing rent allowances, and agricultural minimum support prices.”

IMF mission chief for India Ranil Salgado said the Indian economy at present is like “an elephant starting to run”.

Continuing structural reforms would be key to high growth, he said, adding that further rationalisation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) would give maximum benefits, while labour reforms would be an incentive for companies to expand.

Underlining India’s importance for the world economy, the IMF India Staff Report also said the country accounts for about 15 per cent of global growth.

Persistently high retail inflation expectations, large government fiscal deficits and debt remain key macroeconomic challenges, the multilateral financing agency said.

“Systemic macrofinancial risks persist, as the weak credit cycle could impair growth and the sovereign-bank nexus has created vulnerabilities,” it said.

Domestic risks pertain to tax revenue shortfalls related to continued GST implementation issues and delays in addressing the twin balance sheet problems and other structural reforms,” it added.

The IMF also said that the Reserve Bank of India should be given full supervisory powers over government-owned banks, while the legal independence of RBI must also be clarified.

The report also recommended higher private sector participation in Indian banking.

 





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