TIRUNELVELI WEDNESDAY JANUARY 02, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 14 CITY EDITION ATF PRICE CUT BY 14.7%; NOW CHEAPER THAN PETROL, DIESEL The cost of Aviation Turbine Fuel — used to power airplanes — was slashed by a record 14.7%, or `9,990 per kilolitre, on Tuesday BIGGEST SINGLE RATE CUT EVER YOUR BIKE/CAR FUEL IS MORE EXPENSIVE The recent revision, bringing the cost of ATF to `58,060.97 per kl, is the second straight monthly reduction in rates and the biggest single cut ever. On Dec 1, prices were slashed by 10.9%, or `8,327.83 per kl. The two consecutive reductions have brought rates to their lowest levels in a year, giving cash-strapped airlines much-needed relief ■ ■ ■ A litre of petrol, used in bikes and cars, costs `71.22 in Chennai, as compared to `58,060.97 per kl or `58.06 per litre for ATF Diesel, meanwhile costs `66.14 per litre (as on Tuesday) Retailers revise ATF rates on the 1st of every month based on average international oil rate and rupee-dollar exchange rates 19 paise DROP IN PETROL PRICE ON TUESDAY, DIESEL RATE CAME DOWN BY 20 PAISE CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Shoppers in T Nagar carrying plastic bags from shops | P JAWAHAR Mutton stall in Tiruvenveli using leaves to pack meat | V.KARTHIKALAGU Plastic bags still in use in Coimbatore flower market | U RAKESH KUMAR Tasmac bar in Tiruchy replaces plastic cups with glasses | MK ASHOK KUMAR MIXED BAG ON DAY-1 AS CHENNAI BINS THE PLASTIC BAN SUSHMITHA RAMAKRISHNAN @ Chennai UNFAZED by the threat of penalty, shops and eateries in Chennai continued to use polythene bags on the first day of plastic ban. Several retailers claimed they were unaware of means to purchase eco-friendly alternatives. US journalist’s visa cancelled | P3 Govt rolls out `81 cr aid for coconut farmers | P5 Police catch man who axed cop in Bulandshahr | P7 Rahul show in Dubai, Abu Dhabi on Jan 11, 12 | P9 Miners-rescue ops struck as tech snag hits pumps | P9 RIP KADER KHAN PASSES AWAY The Bollywood artiste, who straddled the worlds of writing & acting, died in Toronto after prolonged illness on Dec 31. He was 81. A small eatery in Pondy Bazaar was seen packing food in polythene covers and finally propping them into a cloth bag. “Some customers are bringing their own boxes. For others, we are using plastic bags,” said the hotel manager, adding that he will think about alternatives when he sees neighbouring shops using any of them. Revenue gap widens as GST collection dips E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi WHEN the government recently softened tax rates on 23 items with an eye on the general elections, it had anticipated a healthy Goods and Services Tax (GST) mop up to bridge the yawning revenue gap. But contrary to expectation, it ended up collecting about `3,000 crore less in December that it had in November. While the GST figures for December stood at `94,726 crore, the November kitty was healthier at `97,637 crore. In all, the net tax receipts for eight months of FY19 stood at `7.32 lakh crore, marginally higher than last year, but much below the budgeted target of 19.1% growth. At this rate, the government would be staring at a revenue shortfall of `1.85 lakh crore, which would be 1 per cent of GDP - too wide a gap to be filled by an increase in direct taxes. A slew of populist schemes ahead of the polls would further hurt the bottomline. Revenue expenditure climbed to `14.21 lakh crore or over two-thirds of the budget estimates. During April-November, loans disbursed crossed `14,400 crore, which is 66.2% of the budgetary estimates. The overall expenses on major subsidies rose to `2.19 lakh crore by April-November, which is 83% of the budgetary estimates. Another actor turns neta, this time it’s Prakash Raj EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru IN his first tweet of 2019, National Award-winning actor Prakash Raj on Tuesday said he would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. With this, the multilingual actor hopes to join the many actor-turned-politicians. Raj, 53, who started his #justasking campaign on Twitter last year, took to the micro- blogging site to say he would continue “asking” questions even in Parliament, if elected. While he is yet to announce from which constituency he intends to contest, it is expected to be from Karnataka, given his participation in various campaigns in the state, since journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder in 2017. Raj, a strong critic of the Modi government, has been part of many campaigns questioning the BJP . The trend was common across businesses — be it at the roadside imitation jewellery stores or local tailoring shops, all continued the use of plastic packets and bags. Small traders insist that the cost of eco-friendly alternatives is prohibitive. Sarada, a vegetable vendor at the T. Nagar market says: “Now, I buy a pack of 100 plastic bags for `40. If I switch to jute or cloth bags, I will have to spend `5 per bag. Customers won’t pay the difference.” Speaking to Express, Rajendra Rathnoo IAS, one of the three regional coordinators of the ban, said that the BACK TO BASICS Tasmac cheers the ban A few Tasmac outlets across the State, especially in Coimbatore and Tiruchy, welcomed the ban by replacing disposable plastic cups with glasses. Officials carried out surprise inspections at several outlets across the State to enforce the ban move was received well in several districts. He said that the officials did not want to create panic on the very first day as it might prompt users to dump plastic waste into lakes or ecosensitive areas. The ban, indeed, got good response in some districts. A total of 1 tonne of banned plastic materials was returned by Co- Won’t jump the judicial process gun on Ayodhya, assures Modi In pushback on Sangh pressure, PM says the Centre will act after the Supreme Court takes its call, but blames Congress for trying to put the issue on ice; frames 2019 as a contest between the people and an alliance; asserts the Modi magic is very much alive FARM LOAN WAIVER Just a small segment of farmers take loans from banks. Most of them take it from money lenders, so loan waivers don’t benefit them. The farmers who are dying are out of the purview of such schemes, says Modi DIALOGUE WITH PAK All prime ministers of India across all parties never opposed dialogue with Pakistan. But can we hear anything in the midst of bombs? Today, Pakistan is isolated in the world because it supports terror THE MIDDLE CLASS Inflation is at a low. More educational institutions like IITs and IIMs are being set up. There is a scheme for quality, affordable healthcare. Flying is affordable and more people are sitting in planes. Who’s benefiting? The middle class POKE AT SONIA, PC It is a reality that the so called First Family of the nation is out on bail. Their loyalists may try to hide that fact but they won’t succeed. A former FM of India has to go to the courts. People are seeing that as well SABARIMALA CASE Every temple has its own beliefs. For example, there are temples where men are not allowed entry. We should read minutely what the respected lady judge Indu Malhotra said on the Sabarimala case EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi C LEARING the air on the Sangh chorus for parliamentary intervention for construction of a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the Centre would wait for completion of the judicial process before taking any action. Signalling a course correction for the BJP that was actively playing the Hindutva card during the recent state elections, Modi sought to keep the focus on development for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, adding the NDA continued to enjoy popular support. “After the judicial process is over, we will make all efforts to fulfil our responsibility as the elected government,” Modi told ANI in an interview. “Nobody can deny those sitting in the governments in the last 70 years tried their best to stall a solution to this (Ayodhya) issue,” he added. The Supreme Court first bench is expected to take up the Ramjanmabhoomi title suit on Friday After RSS chief Mohan . Bhagwat pitched for the early construction of the Ram temple, which led to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) issuing a January-end deadline to the Modi government, several BJP l e a d e r s, i n cl u d i n g U t t a r Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, made it a talking point during the recent state elections. While affirming faith in the judicial course, Modi blamed PEOPLE WILL SET THE 2019 AGENDA, SAYS PM The first test of the opposition alliance was in Telangana. See the outcome. Opposition alliances in Tripura and Assam failed to work. Their top leaders can close ranks but they will never have people connect For the opposition, Modi is the issue. On different days, they take turns to abuse Modi... In 2019, the people of India will set the agenda. They know who is with their aspirations and who is not The people are seeing how leaders who want to loot are closing ranks and forming alliances. The 2019 poll is going to be about the people of India versus an Opposition alliance AMIT BANDRE the Congress for creating the Ayodhya roadblocks. “Legal process was getting delayed in the Supreme Court as Congress lawyers were creating obstacles. The BJP manifesto clearly states that the government will work to find a solution under the ambit of the Constitution,” noted Modi. Rejecting suggestions that the outcome of the recent polls indicate the Modi wave is waning, the PM said a set of people were peddling such a narrative, as they had done in the run up to 2014. “The BJP was up against anti-incumbency of 15 years in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Yet, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan had hung Assemblies. Recently the , BJP swept the local body elections in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, and Tripura,” Modi stated. Framing the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls as a dual between “Janata (people) and gathbandhan (alliance)”, he said: “Modi is just a manifestation of people’s love and affection.” Political forces with vested interests , he claimed, were vying to come together on a platform against the BJP . “It’s a fact that those considered the first family, who ran the country for four generations, are out on bail for financial irregularities. A set of people who are at their service, are trying to suppress such information and push other narratives,” Modi said in a veiled attack on Congress attempts to cobble together a grand alliP9 ance for the LS elections. DEEP TROUBLE Burglar chased by police jumps into well, gets stuck for 40 hours EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai IN a classic case of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, a burglar chased by the police leaped into a dry well in Ambattur to hide from them. Little did he know that he would get stuck there for the next 40 hours. John Jaisingh, a resident of Washermanpet, was involved in more than 22 cases including three murders. He came out of the prison recently Early on Sunday . morning, Jaisingh and two of his accomplices allegedly broke into a house in Ambattur. When the residents saw the men leaving with a bag, they raised alarm and alerted the patrol police. As po- lice started chasing the trio, the split up and fled in different directions. Jaisingh jumped into a well inside the compound of a house in Chandrasekarapuram Third Street of Ambattur. “Residents of the house had gone out of town and hence no one noticed him,” said a police official. Hunt on for 2 others Jaisingh burgled the house along with Suresh and Kamal, whom he met in the prison where he was serving time for similar offences. The trio had stolen `10,000 cash. Cops are now searching for the other two culprits The man tried to climb back up and leave but he could not make it. Finally, starved and nauseated, he cried out for help on Monday evening. When the residents found him inside their well, they asked him how he had gotten there. “He told the residents not to inform police as he was from a ‘respectable family’. He asked them to throw down a rope and he would climb out and quietly walk away added the police. ,” As the request raise suspicion, the residents alerted the fire personnel and police. While the firemen rescued the culprit, police waited outside, in all attention, to nab him. Preliminary inquiry has confirmed that Jaisingh burgled the house along with two of accomplices. imbatore residents. Officials of Tirunelveli Corporation conducted surprise checks at retail stores and seized 300 kg of banned plastic bags. Some stores have come up with interesting models to beat the ban. Arasan tea stall in Tirunelveli is giving containers to its takeaway customers for a refundable P5 deposit of `150. TECH THAT Cheaters to face jammer test at JEE this month S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi IT’S going to be tougher to cheat at the JEE (Mains) this year, as jammers will be used to keep candidates from using the Internet. One jammer will be installed for every 24 students at the entrance exam for the country’s engineering institutions, to be held between January 8 and 12. To be held as a computerbased test across 258 cities, the exam will be taken by 9.65 lakh candidates. As many as 40,000 jammers will be used, Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday “This is to make . sure no examinee indulges in any malpractice,” he added. “Installation of jammers on such a massive scale will ensure there is no possibility of students using any devices that facilitate cheating in any form.” This will be the first time such devices are being used for the exam for admission to IIITs, NITs and other Centrally-funded technical institutions. Another first would be the exam being conducted by the National Testing Agency a specialised body to con, duct various entrance exams, which was formed a few months ago. Till now, it was conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education. “Using jammers — to ensure students can’t access the Inter net via smartphones, tablets or transmitters, or can’t connect to anyone else — is done in many developed countries. We are now adopting it for important entrance exams,” a senior NTA official told this newspaper. In previous years, there have been instances of candidates trying to use technology such as transmitters and bluetooth devices to cheat in exams. Sources in the HRD ministry’s higher education department conceded that reports of question-paper leaks in the Class X and XII CBSE exams last year cast doubts about the credibility of Central-level exams and prompted the government to use technology to prevent such malpractices.
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
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