THRISSUR l TUESDAY l JUNE 02, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION NOW, DGCA ASKS AIRLINES TO KEEP MIDDLE SEATS VACANT The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday asked airlines to keep middle seats empty to the extent possible IF SEAT OCCUPIED, PROTECTIVE GEAR MUST If a flyer has been allotted the middle seat due to high passenger load, then “additional protective equipment like wrap-around gown of the Ministry of Textile approved standards” must be provided in addition to a three-layered face mask and face shield, the DGCA said. “However, members of the same family may be allowed to sit together,” it added ■ 50% ACTION FOLLOWS SUPREME COURT NUDGE ■ The aviation regulator’s action follows a nudge from the SC While hearing a petition on whether to keep middle seats in flights vacant or not, the Supreme Court had on May 25 said the DGCA can alter the norms in the interest of public health and safety of passengers “rather than of commercial considerations” AVERAGE PASSENGER LOAD SINCE DOMESTIC FLIGHTS RESUMED ON MAY 25 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 CM unlocks no surprises, state awaits Centre’s cue to open up Inter-state travel passes to stay; restrictions on public transport to continue State to use plasma treatment T’Puram: The Health Department has decided to carry out the convalescent plasma treatment, a passive antibody therapy in which blood plasma is isolated from recovered persons and administered to the infected. P4 MONSOON SHEDDING Rain lashed several parts of Kerala after the Southwest Monsoon arrived on Monday. With monsoon expected to gain in strength on Tuesday, the IMD has sounded an orange alert in Kozhikode and a yellow alert in seven districts | T P SOORAJ Aged couple suffers attack; woman dies en route to hosp EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kottayam AN elderly couple was on Monday evening brutally attacked by unidentified assailants at their house near Kottayam town. The 60-yearold woman, who was grievously injured, died en route to hospital. The deceased is Sheeba while her husband Abdul Sali, 65, of ‘Shani’, Parappadam, was admitted to the Government MCH with serious injuries. Though preliminary investigation indicated that the couple was attacked during a burglary attempt, police are clueless on the identity of the assailants. Officers said the incident took place at Parappadam near Thazhathangady where the couple was staying alone. The incident came to light around 4.30pm, when the couple’s daughter, who is working abroad, sought the help of a relative to contact her parents after failing to get them on their mobile. On reaching the house, the relative found them lying in the main hall in a pool of blood. Though neighbours were immediately alerted, no one dared to enter the house as the smell of LPG emanated from there. The police said the couple was hit on the head with a blunt object and their hands were tied. Iron rods were fixed to their hands and they were electrocuted as well. The rescue operation began only after cutting off the power supply to the house. MSMEs’ sweep and scope just got bigger A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi EXTENDING a lifeline to India’s struggling micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are badly hit by the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Union Cabinet on Monday approved tweaking the definition of MSMEs in such a way that more companies can claim the benefits available for small businesses. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved provisioning of `20,000 crore as subordinated debt (unsecured loan) to provide equity support to stressed MSMEs. In other decisions, the Cabinet also cleared equity infusion of `50,000 crore for small scale units through a Fund of Funds, which will help MSMEs to be listed and be able to raise funds from the market. According to the new definitions, MSMEs with an investment of `1 crore and turnover of `5 crore will be classified as micro-units, units with an investment of `10 crore and turnover of `50 crore as small units and those with investment of `50 crore and turnover of up to `250 crore as medium units. The policy change was already announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month as part of Aatmnirbhar Bharat package. While the FM had proposed definition for medi- THE REAL REASON WHY PSBs ARE UNABLE TO LEND Hyderabad: Bank credit to MSMEs may take a turn for the worse with five banks remaining under RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA), which prohibits lenders from doing regular banking business including lending and deposit mobilisation. P10 MSP UP, NEW LAW TO REPLACE MANDI SYSTEM New Delhi: On a day the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved raising the Minimum Support Price for kharif crops by at least 50%, Union minister for agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said a new legislation will be introduced to give full freedom to farmers to sell their produce. P10 um enterprises as companies with investment up to `20 crore and turnover of `100 crore, companies requested her to enhance it further. “This will help in attracting investments and creating more jobs in the MSME sector,” an official statement said. Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for MSMEs, said the sector is very critical for the economy and 60 million MSMEs contribute as much as 29 %p to India’s GDP, 48% of total exports, and generate 110 million jobs. `250-crore firms now MSMEs Earlier, MSMEs were defined on the basis of investments put in by the company Now, turnover will also be considered. (Export revenue will be excluded from total turnover) MICRO SMALL A business will now be classified as a ‘micro’ unit if it has investments up to C1 crore and turnover of less than Investment limit raised from C5 crore to A5 crore A10 crore with turnover not exceeding C50 crore SERVICES SECTOR Earlier, the investment Investment limit raised limit for services from C20 crore proposed in businesses was the Atmanirbhar package less than that of to C50 crore and turnover manufacturing firms. Now both from C100 crore to manufacturing and services will be treated equally MEDIUM A250 crore VIRTUAL CLASS DAY 1 Two kittens & a teacher win hearts E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @Kozhikode THE tiny tots who attended the virtual class telecast on ‘Kite Victers’ channel on Monday was introduced to two new characters --- Thanku cat and Mittu cat. Along with these two imaginary kittens that went viral on day one, the teacher who presented these characters before the students also became a big hit. It is Sai Swetha, the Class 1 teacher of Mudavathur Lower Primary School under the Chombala sub-district in Kozhikode, who has become instantly popular. Sai’s unique presentation was widely appreciated and video of her online sessions went viral on social media. Commenting on the overwhelming response, Sai said, “I have been trained in Bharatanatyam and Kathakali as well as other art forms. It helps me take classes in a manner which students find interesting. Through jingles and music, I’m able to connect with students and the same was used during the online class.” According to her, the government’s new initiative gave her the unique opportunity “The response I . got after the first session was overwhelming. Even the students and teachers of my school started calling me after the session,” she said. Sai is scheduled to eng age students again at 10.30am on Tuesday. She will be taking classes for students through Victers twice a week. Train services to resume The government has decided to allow resumption of train services within the state. It has also decided to not stipulate quarantining for the people who come to the state with return tickets to attend emergency cases, including those coming on flights. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @T’Puram CLOSE on the heels of Centre laying down Unlock 1.0 guidelines, the Kerala government opted for a cautious approach and decided to wait for cues from the Union government on June 8 before opening up the state fully . Other than giving buses permission to hold services to neighbouring districts and providing conditional nod for cinema shooting, the lockdown review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan did not take any major decision. E-pass system for interstate travel will continue. Places of worship will remain inaccessible to public, so will the malls and cinema houses. Dining inside restaurants will not be allowed. No concrete decision was taken on restarting long-distance public transport as well. It was widely expected that the easing of restrictions will be played out differently in Kerala as states were given the freedom to allow or prohibit certain activities, as they deem fit, without watering down the Union government’s guidelines. Addressing the media, Pinarayi said schools would be reopened in July or later after taking stock of the Covid situation. But containment zones will see full lockdown till June 30. The state will assess the relaxation to be allowed in the Unlock 2.0 before June 8. “The Centre has made it clear that devotee gatherings in places of worship will not be allowed under any circumstance. So we are in no hurry to throw them open,” said Pinarayi. But a decision concurrent with the central guidelines would be taken at the right time, he said. “We will convene a meeting with religious leaders before conveying our position to the Centre,” he added. 55 RETURNEES +VE 55 returnees — 27 from abroad — were among the 57 cases reported in the state on Monday. An Air India staffer and a health worker were the other new patients. 57 cases reported on Monday 1,326 cases have been confirmed so far 708 under treatment 608 have recovered so far 10 deaths 210 die abroad so far As many as 210 Keralites have lost their lives abroad due to Covid-19 till date, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday. According to him, nine lost their lives on Monday alone.
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