MUMBAI VIJAYAWADA l WEDNESDAY l JUNE 03, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE 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 TTD darshan after June 11, once trial runs are done EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada NEARLY 75 days after closing the Srivari temple for darshan to devotees in view of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is all set to allow darshan of Lord Venkateswara for devotees after June 11. But before this, the TTD will conduct trial runs with its employees maintaining physical distancing, and has the State govern- ment’s permission for the same. The TTD queues will be modified and the number of devotees limited. “We will conduct trial runs on June 8 and 9, and if necessary, on June 11, with TTD employees, security staff, and Trust Board members, and assess how quickly darshan can be provided,” TTD Trust Board chairman YV Subba Reddy said. Darshan — sarva darshan or those who buy tickets — will be allowed only for those who book slots online. However, for people from rural areas and those who are unable to book online, an online registration centre will be opened at Alipi- ri, Subba Reddy said. “Devotees should follow physical distancing norms. They will have to wear masks and use sanitiser every 30 minutes. We are installing automatic sanitisers,” he added, and said people should avoid touching the ropes and rods as much as possible, and maintain a gap of 5-6 feet between each other. All devotees and staff will be screened on entry at the Alipiri checkpost. For those who trek, tests will be conducted at the entrance, and they can book slots either at Alipiri or after reaching Tirumala. Those who are ill won’t be allowed to proceed. Subba Reddy also appealed to people from containment zones not to visit Tirumala. “Devotees presuming they are not infected could pose a risk. At a time, 10,000-20,000 people will be in Tirumala, and it would be risky for such people P5 to enter,” he said. Collectors ask govt to run inter-state buses after June 8 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada 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 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 DISTRICT collectors have requested the state government to allow inter-state bus operations after June 8 as they are finding it hard to handle passengers arriving on flights and trains, Principal Secretary (Transport) MT Krishna Babu told TNIE on Tuesday . About 4,000 people have reached AP from Telangana using private vehicles, and screening them and gathering their details has become a herculean task. In this regard, a decision on inter-state bus services will be taken in a couple of days, and most probably they will resume on June 8, Krishna Babu said. Though the Central government has permitted inter-state bus services, the AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is yet to decide on resuming such operations as it has not received permission from Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, he explained. Intra-state services were resumed from May 21. “We already wrote to the Telangana government after the fourth phase of the lockdown began, after May 17, but didn’t get a response. Similarly we contacted the Karnataka , and Tamil Nadu governments over resuming of inter-state bus services. The Tamil Nadu authorities said they are not ready to allow buses from other states, and the Karnataka government is yet to give its consent on the matter,” Krishna Babu said. When it was pointed out that Telangana has permitted inter-state transport, Krishna Babu said no specific guidelines have been issued with regard to resumption of bus services. “We will write to the Telangana government about this again and get its consent at the earliest,” he said. Contradictory to the AP government’s stand, sources in Telangana said AP has denied permission to operate interstate RTC buses. The TSRTC has identified a bus station at the border to drop passengers, from where the APSRTC can bring them to Andhra Pradesh. Now, trains to make stops in Andhra Pradesh The Railways, which earlier said trains running in the State will not stop before their destinations, has relaxed the restrictions and will stop trains at identified railway stations Trump, Modi discuss China aggression, G7 expansion EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WALKING the talk, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about China’s aggression on the Line of Actual Control. Trump conveyed his desire to expand the G7 and extended an invitation to Modi to attend the summit in the US. “The two leaders also ex- changed views on other topical issues, such as the Covid-19 situation in the two countries, the situation on the India-China border,” the Prime Minister’s Office said. 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 State to clear pending housing scheme dues EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada THE state gover nment on Tuesday decided to clear the dues for housing schemes that have been pending since the previous TDP re g i m e. Rev i ew i n g housing schemes with officials at his camp office, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed them to clear the dues, which amount to `1,323 crore for 3,38,144 houses. Emphasising the need to stand by the poor, the CM told the officials to assign a day for the payments and ensure there are no lapses. He also took stock of the house sites to be distributed on June 8 and the construction of the houses later, and said 15 lakh houses will be built in the first phase, and told officials to see that more houses are constructed in Visakhapatnam, Kurnool and Nellore districts in the first phase. He added that each house should have a bedroom, kitchen, living room, toilet, and veranda, and there should be no compromise on the quality of construction. Trump and Modi came on a day when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh acknowledged that there is a significant presence of Chinese troops near the LAC. Singh said the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops would be deliberated upon at a ‘senior level’ on June 6. “The difference arose regard- ing the perception of LAC and the Chinese have come in good numbers but India has also done whatever is required to be done,” Singh said in an interview to a television channel. Last week, Trump had offered to mediate between India and China but was snubbed by both New Delhi and Beijing, 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 which said they were peacefully engaged in dialogue to resolve the issue. Singh expressed hope the escalation would be resolved like in the past. “Earlier, there have been differences like in Doklam, which was resolved with talks at military level and diplomatic level.” He added that the border issue with Nepal involving disputed territories of Kalapani etc will be resolved through dialogue. ENTRANCE TEST Passengers who arrived on the Konark Express get their swabs collected for Covid-19 testing at the Vijayawada railway station on Tuesday | P RAVINDRA BABU EXPRESS READ GAS LEAK IMPACT Jessica Lal’s killer walks out of Jail Meghadri Gedda Reservior water unfit for use New Delhi: Close to 17 years after he was sentenced to life for pulling the trigger on murder model Jessica Lal in 1999 at a nightclub, Manu Sharma was set free on Monday. He was released on grounds of good behaviour Remdesivir can be used in emergency New Delhi: Anti-viral drug Remdesivir has been approved for “restricted emergency use” on severe Covid-19 patients in view of the crisis posed by the pandemic, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday G JANARDHANA RAO @ Visakhapatnam WATER from the Meghadri Gedda Reservior in Visakhapatnam cannot be used directly for drinking or domestic purposes due to its moderate-tohigh organic content, experts from The CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) have said in their report submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The CSIR-NEERI team conducted a bioassay test with samples collected from the reservoir following the styrene gas leak from the LG Polymers High organic content The water can’t be used directly due to its moderateto-high organic content. Activated carbon adoption method or combined ozone activated carbon method can be used to treat it plant at RR Venkatapuram on May 7, and found that either activated carbon adoption method or combined ozone activated carbon method can be used to remove the organic content in the reservoir. The team visited the site between May 12 and 16, and collected air and water samples to assess the concentration of styrene in the environment. Besides samples from 18 dug wells, four were collected from the reservoir, and one each from the lake, collection tank, fish pond and drain in the buffer zones (0.5 km, 1 km, 1.5 km, 2 km, 3 km, 4 km and 5 km radius) around the LG Polymers plant. The samples had concentration of styrene in the BDL (below detection limit) range of 0.0015 ppm, and the pH was 7.7, which is normal. The concentration of dissolved solids was 270 mg/l, hardness was 88 mg/l, and sodium concentration was 48 mg/l. The biological oxygen demand (BOD) was 4.6 mg/l, indicating there was high biological activity i.e. decaying of plants. As per the report, the bioassay test was conducted on samples from the Meghadri Gedda Reservoir to analyse major water quality parameters, apart from the styrene concentraCONTINUED ON P5 tion.
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