MUMBAI KOTTAYAM l WEDNESDAY l JUNE 03, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION ONCE-IN-A-CENTURY CYCLONE HEADING TOWARDS MUMBAI Cyclone Nisarga is set to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and cross Maharashtra and South Gujarat coast on Wednesday LANDFALL LIKELY TO BE AT ALIBAUG FLOOD ALERT IN MUMBAI, THANE The storm will cross North Maharashtra and adjoining South Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman on June 3 afternoon as a severe cyclonic storm, the India Meteorological Department said. Landfall is likely to be at Alibaug, 95 km from Mumbai but will have an impact on Mumbai. This could be the first cyclone in a over a century to directly hit Mumbai ■ ■ ■ The cyclonic storm could pose another challenge for Maharashtra which is already battling a steep surge in coronavirus cases 16 NDRF teams have been deployed in Maharashtra An alert has been issued for Mumbai city and suburbs, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts 120 kmph THE PROJECTED GUSTING SPEED OF NISARGA AT THE TIME OF LANDFALL 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 Net tax revenue growth plunges to 12-year low Excluding states’ share, expansion in tax collections petered out to 2.94% in FY20 S U N I T H A N AT T I @ Hyderabad GROWTH in net tax revenues fell to a decade-low of 2.94 per cent in FY20, shows an Express analysis. The sharp decline in net tax collections, which exclude states’ share, perhaps explains the government’s reluctance to open up the money spigots and deploy an aggressive stimulus plan to aid economic recovery following the 68-day lockdown. It was in FY10 that we’ve seen growth in net taxes plunge to 3.63 per cent. A year before, or during the year of global financial crisis in FY09, growth stood at an even dismal 1.86 per cent. Barring these two years, the increase in net and gross tax collections g rew at a healthy clip despite having a low tax base. For the NDA government, which has been in power since 2014, this is the third such instance when growth fell to single digits. In both FY16 and FY19, net taxes grew at a pale 4.4 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Still, it was shades better than FY20’s 2.94 per cent. Needless to say, a higher growth allows the government to flex its muscles and spur public spending — be it on so30 cial services or infrastructure. Data released by the Controller General of Accounts last week show that in absolute numbers, FY20 net tax collections printed at `13 lakh crore against the revised budget estimate of `15 lakh crore, translating into a shortfall of nearly `1.5 lakh crore. Revised FY20 budget estimates peg gross tax collections, comprising income taxes, GST collections and others at `21 lakh crore. Of this, states’ share stood at 30 per cent, or `6.5 lakh crore. If you include states’ share, chances are the shortfall in gross tax revenue could be much higher than p ro j e c t i o n s. B u t that’s not the most terrifying part. With the lockdown delaying economic recovery, which already dented tax revenue by a mile, analysts expect FY21 shortfall in net tax collections to be even sharper. A recent SBI Research estimate pegged the shortfall to be as much as `4.12 lakh crore. Even though the government projected net tax collections to grow by a modest 8.7 per cent in FY21, going by the actual collections, we need a growth rate of nothing less than 20 per cent this fiscal, which seems to be a tall task for now. THE BIG SLIDE 25.5 Net tax collection growth in % 25 20 10.8 15 17.8 16.8 12.8 9.97 10.7 10 5 0 6 1.86 FY9 3.63 FY10 FY11 4.4 FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18 2.94 FY19 FY20 Source: CGA Trump, Modi discuss China aggression, G7 expansion EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday had a telephonic conversation where the two leaders discussed China’s aggression on the Line of Actual Control, among other issues. “The two leaders also exchanged views on other topical issues, such as the Covid-19 situation in the two countries, the situation on the India-Chi- na border,” the Prime Minister’s Office said. Trump conveyed his desire to expand the G7 and extended an invitation to Modi to attend the summit in the US. A few days ago, the US president had delayed the summit saying the G7 countries do not represent the world and expressed interest in inviting Russia, Australia, South Korea and India to join G7. The interaction between the two leaders comes on a day when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops would be deliberated upon at a senior level on June 6, acknowledging the rise in PLA troop presence and tension along LAC. Last week, Trump India would be happy to work with the US and other countries to ensure the success of the proposed G7 Summit - Prime Minister Narendra Modi CLOSE to 17 years after he was sentenced to life for pulling the trigger to murder model Jessica Lal in 1999 at a night club, Manu Sharma was set free on Monday. Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal accepted the recommendation by the Sentence Review Board on grounds of good behaviour. Lodged in Tihar jail, Sharma was on parole since the first week of April as part of measures to prevent crowding of jails in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Jessica’s sister Sabrina Lal was okay with the release. “Honestly speaking I don’t have any reaction. I am feeling completely numb. The only thing I pray to god is that he never ever repeats the same mistake... I think justice has been served.” This was the sixth time Sharma’s plea for premature release Of the new cases, 72 are returnees — 46 from abroad and 26 from other states — while 12 contracted virus through contact GENERAL Education Minister C Raveendranath on Tuesday sought a report from Malappuram Deputy Director of Education (DDE) after a Dalit Class IX student self-immolated allegedly due to lack of access to television or internet for attending virtual classes. Parents said Devika, a resident of Mangeri near Valanchery and a student of the Government Higher Secondary School in Irimbiliyam, was depressed after missing the first day of online classes on Monday . The police also found a ‘sui- cide note’ in which the girl wrote: ‘I’m going.’ The minister termed it an unfortunate incident. “We will ensure that no student is excluded from the virtual classes. There is no room for any apprehension as the classes will be re-telecast on weekends and they will be repeated next week. The gover nment has also started collecting the number of students who could not attend the classes so that we can find an early solution for them. I have sought a report from Malappuram DDE in connection with the student’s death,” Raveendranath told reporters here. 86 cases reported on Tuesday 774 under treatment 1,412 627 have recovered so far cases have been confirmed so far 11 deaths State’s new high: 86 Covid cases; priest becomes 11th victim EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram A demonstrator (above) taken into custody by police during curfew, near the White House in Washington on Monday; and another person (R) holds up a fist near a line of police during a protest in Atlanta | AP | P9 DON THREATENS TO DEPLOY MILITARY President Donald Trump threatens to deploy the military to control the unrest in the US following the death of black man George Floyd in police custody FLOYD WILL GET JUSTICE Trump says all Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of Floyd, adding justice will be served CALL TO DOMINATE STREETS On a day US officials decided to maximise federal law enforcement presence in Washington DC, Trump and Attorney General William Barr encourages governors to take more aggressive action against those behind the violence during protests. “Law enforcement response is not going to work unless we dominate the streets,” Barr said BLACKOUT TUESDAY Music channels and celebrities have decided to mark Blackout Tuesday, pausing for eight minutes - the time span a police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck, choking him to death PHOTO-OP AT CHURCH Trump visits St. John’s Church near White House, also called the sitting president’s church, after protesters were forcefully removed from Lafayette Park; does not pray, but holds a copy of the Bible for a photo-op Bishop Mariann Budde, who controls St. John’s, said she was outraged by the visit Manu Sharma Jessica Lal was placed before the board, which is under the Delhi government. For the board to consider premature release, a jail inmate has to fulfil three broad criteria: show good conduct; get a police recommendation for release; and an assessment on rehabilitation by a social investigation report. According to prison officials, Sharma’s release was cleared because of good conduct in jail and his contribution in helping rehabilitate families of underprivileged prisoners. He funded the education of more than 500 children of prisoners and gave business ideas to promote Student’s suicide: Minister seeks report from DDE E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram also done whatever is required to be done,” Singh said in an interview to a TV channel. Singh expressed hope the escalation would be resolved like in the past. “Earlier, there have been dif ferences like in Doklam, which was resolved with talks at military level and diplomatic level.” He also said the border issue with Nepal involving disputed territories of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura will be resolved with dialogue. KERALA CASE DIARY POLICE OFFICER SHOT DEAD ON TUESDAY, A POLICE OFFICER DIED IN A SHOOTING WHILE TRYING TO DISPERSE A CROWD OF PROTESTORS. FOUR OTHER OFFICERS SHOT AT ON MONDAY NIGHT DURING UNREST IN ST LOUIS, MISSOURI Jessica Lal’s murderer Manu gets to walk out of Tihar Jail K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi had offered to mediate between India and China but was snubbed by New Delhi and Beijing, which said they were peacefully engaged in dialogue with each other to resolve the issue. “The difference arose regarding the perception of LAC and the Chinese have come in good numbers but India has the Tihar Jail’s brand. Along with him, 18 other convicts were freed. Any convict who has completed 14 years in prison without remission is eligible for early release. In 2018, Sabrina had said she had forgiven Sharma. “His conviction was closure for me,” she had said. Sharma’s lawyer Amit Sahni approached the Delhi High Court in November 2019 seeking his client’s release. ON a day the state reported the biggest single-day spike of 86 new Covid cases, the swab samples of a priest -- who died on Tuesday morning while under treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital here -- tested positive, taking the coronavirus death toll to 11. The deceased, Fr K G Varghese, 77, a native of Nalanchira, was being treated for severe pneumonia. With the health authorities not being able to fix his source of infection, speculation is rife on the possibility of hospital transmission of virus as he was under treatment at the Peroorkada District Model Hospital and the MCH, Thiruvananthapuram, from April 20. Of the new cases, 72 are returnees — 46 from abroad and 26 from other states — while 12 contracted the virus through contact. Fr Varghese, a retired government servant, was admitted to the MCH on April 20 following a road accident. Later, he was shifted to the Peroorkada hospital. As his situation worsened due to severe pneumonia, he was again referred to the MCH. “As his condition was serious, his swab samples were collected on Monday His . death was confirmed on Tuesday morning. The test result came positive on Tuesday evening,” the district administration said in a statement. As the deceased had no trav- NEW CASES Malappuram accounted for 15 of the new cases while the remaining are from Alappuzha (10), Kasaragod (9), Kollam (8), Thiruvananthapuram (7), Kottayam, Thrissur and Wayanad (6 each), Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kannur (5 each), Ernakulam (3) and Pathanamthitta (1). The local transmission cases are from Wayanad (6), Malappuram (4) and one each from Kasaragod and Kannur. el history and the source of infection remains unknown, the health department has started the process of connecting the dots to resolve the mystery . “Chances of hospital transmission can’t be ruled out. But this is not a community transmission. He might have caught the virus from within the family. The contact mapping may shed some light on the same,” said an officer with the health department. There are also reports that he was a regular hitchhiker and might have met with the accident during one such motorcycle ride. The department says, with the help of the police, all such angles will be explored. Meanwhile, the test results of 19 patients returned negative on Tuesday The recovered . persons were from Kottayam and Kasaragod (7 each), Thiruvananthapuram (2) and one each from Pathanamthitta, Malappuram and Kannur. Chennithala links ‘illegal’ Pampa sand deal with Tom Jose’s chopper ride E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @T’Puram Youngsters frolicking in the rain at Kannanmola in T’Puram on Tuesday as water from the nearby canal flooded the main road | VINCENT PULICKAL Kerala received a fairly good spell of Southwest Monsoon showers on Tuesday mainly under the influence of Nisarga cyclonic storm over the Arabian Sea As per the India Meteorological Dept, the state is expected to get widespread rain on Wednesday ORANGE ALERT sounded in Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod for Wednesday YELLOW ALERT in Malappuram, Thrissur, Idukki and Ernakulam A DAY after KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran raised the controversial helicopter ride of former chief secretary Tom Jose and S t at e Po l i c e C h i e f Loknath Behera to Pampa, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala too has termed it as “mysterious”. Chennithala has also raised the serious allegation that the government issued an order to remove the accumulated sand at Pampa-Triveni for free a day after the chopper ride. At a press meet held here on Tuesday, Chennithala sought an explanation from the LDF government on the helicopter ride followed by the controversial order on removing the sand for free which smacked of nepotism. Tom Jose along with Behera and a few other government officials made an aerial tour of Pathanamthitta on May 30, the day before the chief secretary was to retire. TNIE had reported the development on Sunday which led Mullap- pally to demand the chief minister to explain the “joyride”. On Tuesday, Chennithala said the contract has been awarded to Kannur-based Kerala Clays and Ceramics Products Ltd whose chairman is CPM leader T K Govindan. This is an illegal deal by which more than a lakh tonnes of sand accumulated at Pampa-Triveni during the floods in the last two years would be removed for free. Earlier, `1,200 per tonne was charged to remove the sand, he ● More on P5 said. This is an illegal deal by which more than a lakh tonnes of sand accumulated at Pampa-Triveni during the floods in the last two years will be removed for free — Ramesh Chennithala
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