VILLPURAM FRIDAY JUNE 05, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION INDIA, AUSTRALIA SIGN LANDMARK DEFENCE DEAL India and Australia on Thursday signed seven agreements including a deal for reciprocal access to military bases MODI, MORRISON HOLD VIRTUAL SUMMIT The pacts were signed during an online summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison. The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) will allow Indian and Australian militaries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation ■ NSG ANTI-CHINA QUAD GETS MORE POWER ■ ■ India has similar agreements with the US, France and Singapore The pact assumes significance as it increases the operational value of the Quad comprising India, Australia, Japan and the US India and Australia also decided to elevate their ties from comprehensive to strategic comprehensive partnership AUSTRALIA HAS STRONGLY SUPPORTED INDIA’s NSG MEMBERSHIP BID 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 COVID-19 BATTLE FRESH CASES DISCHARGED DEATHS TALLY 1,384 585 12 27,256 Virus claims its youngest victim in Tamil Nadu EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai THE coronavirus on Wednesday claimed its youngest victim in the State — a 17-yearold girl with juvenile diabetes. The State recorded 1,384 fresh cases — taking the tally to 27,256 — of which 1,072 are in Chennai. A total of 12 deaths were reported on Thursday, driving the toll to 220. With the spurt in cases continuing unabated, civic officials in Chennai warned of police action against those violating home quarantine. A “secret” system has been put in place to track patients under home isolation, and those found violating norms will be moved to institutions, Corporation Commissioner G Prakash said at a press conference. Nodal officer J Radhakrishnan, who was also present, said, “We will not hesitate to file police cases.” At least 23 Secretariat staff have tested positive, including eight officers. Two employees in the Chennai Airport Director’s office also tested positive. DMK MLA J Anbazhagan, who tested positive on Tuesday, is in critical condition. 50% seating capacity allowed in restaurants, food courts With the opening of religious places, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants outside containment zones from June 8, the Union health ministry allowed dine-ins with 50% seating capacity. Here’s all you need to know HOTELS ALONG WITH MASKS, STAFF SHOULD WEAR GLOVES AND TAKE OTHER REQUIRED PRECAUTIONS Details of the guest (travel history, medical condition etc.) along with ID and self-declaration form must be provided by the guest at the reception Adopt contactless processes like QR code, online forms, digital payments like e-wallet etc, for both checkin and check-out LUGGAGE SHOULD BE DISINFECTED BEFORE SENDING TO ROOMS Guests should be advised not to visit areas falling within containment zone SHOPPING MALLS In food courts and restaurants, max 50 per cent seating capacity permitted Gaming arcades, children play areas and cinema halls inside shopping malls shall remain closed Not more than 50% of seating capacity permitted RESTAURANTS Takeaways to be encouraged, instead of dine-in. Food delivery personnel should leave the packet at customer’s door HOME DELIVERY STAFF TO BE SCREENED THERMALLY BY RESTAURANT Private hosps now under CM’s scheme EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai THE Tamil Nadu government has ordered that treatment for COVID-19 at private hospitals will be covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. Those covered under the scheme can avail themselves of treatment at private hospitals empanelled under the scheme without making any payment. Hospitals charging patients more that the fee fixed by the State will be suspended from the empanelled hospital list. Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar said in a release that Chief Mini s t e r E d ap p a d i K Palaniswami had issued an order in this regard. A committee formed by the department to work on a package rate had submitted its report with certain conditions. The government has fixed the charges following careful analysis. Asymptomatic and mild cases in general ward of Grade A1 to A4 multi speciality hospitals will be charged `5,000 a day. Patients using ICU with all facilities will be charged between `10,000 and `15,000 a day in Grade AI and A2 hospitals, and between `9,000 and `13,500 a day in Grade A3 and A4 hospitals. The grading is given by the government based on infrastructure, bed strength and SC poser on moratorium interest RBI’s stance against interest waiver under the lens; FinMin told to file reply by June 12 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday took strong exception to banks charging interest during the moratorium period enforced due to the Covid-19 lockdown, terming it ‘detrimental’ to borrowers. The court’s observation came while hearing a petition filed by Agra-based Gajendra Sharma against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s March 27 circular allowing banks to grant moratorium to borrowers on payment of instalments for three months but without offering any relief to consumers as it permitted interest on the loan amount to accrue. A subsequent RBI order on May 22 raised the moratorium period to six months. In its affidavit filed before the SC, RBI said it was against a forced waiver of interest by banks as the same would not only affect the financial health of banks but also jeopardise depositors’ interests. During the hearing, a threejudge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said, “Economic aspect should not be higher than health of people.” Senior advocate Rajiv Dutta, appearing for the petitioner, said, “Cat is out of bag. They (RBI) are saying profitability of banks is prime. So only banks should earn and rest of the country go down under?” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time to take instructions from RBI and the finance ministry The SC gave . him time till June 12 to file a comprehensive response. “We want you to give your stand on two issues — one, no interest during moratorium, and second, on the issue of levying no interest on the interest,” Justice Bhushan told Mehta. Adding to it, Justice M R Shah said, “The RBI circular was detrimental to a borrower. While on one end you are granting moratorium, but on the other nothing on interest. This is more detrimental.” Justice Kaul said the government must consider the petitioner’s case in view of the current situation as these are not normal times. “Moratorium came after discussing all aspects and what was best suited for all. We cannot give relief to one entity at the cost of another,” said a finance ministry official. Bad loans to soar, affect banks’ profitability: Icra ly `25,000-48,300 crore capital during FY21-FY22 to maintain higher capital ratios and mitiBAD loans of Indian banks are gate rising asset quality stress. expected to rise to 11.3-11.6% Borrowers’ ability to repay this fiscal and `45,000-82,500 loans has been severely hit due crore capital might be required to the lockdown and the pace of to overcome the rising asset economic revival will deterquality pressures, accordmine the final impact on ing to Icra Ratings. It asset quality. Subseadded banks’ profitabilquently, Icra notes that ity could be under even if 10-20% of the stress, while the overborrowers default, the all credit growth is proslippage rate for banks jected at a dismal could rise to 3-8% of 3-4% in FY21. loans. Private banks, For FY20, NPAs are “The RBI moratotoo, will be hit pegged at 8.6% and rium to borrowers Icra expects the considering the unexwas extended by anprofitability of pected rise in bad other three months private sector loans in FY21, capital till August 31, 2020, needs of banks shot banks to moderate and we expect the aswith return on up from Icra’s earlier set quality stress is equity falling to estimate of `10,000likely to reflect only 3.5-5.1% in FY21 20,000 crore. in Q3 FY2021 and Q4 against 10-12% “The uncertainty FY2021 results,” said projected earlier on the asset quality Anil Gupta, sector of banks remains head - financial sector high with almost 30-40% of ratings, ICRA Ratings, in the loan book across various banks statement. under moratorium announced He added credit provisions by the Reserve bank of India will continue to exceed the op(RBI),” ICRA said. erating profits for the public Besides state-run banks, pri- sector banks (PSBs) during vate lenders, too, need and are FY2021, translating in a sixth expected to raise approximate- consecutive year of loss. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad ` RELIGIOUS PLACES Shoes/footwear to be preferably taken off inside own vehicle. If needed they should be kept in separate slots for each individual / family by the persons themselves Common prayer mats should be avoided. Devotees should bring their own prayer mat Due to threat of spread of infection, as far as feasible recorded devotional music/songs may be played and choir or singing groups should not be allowed No physical offerings like prasad/distribution or sprinkling of holy water etc, to be allowed S R I N I D H I P R @ Chennai COMMON ADVISORY Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitiser dispenser) and thermal screening provisions Only asymptomatic visitors allowed; face mask mandatory Staggering of visitors to be done, if possible Proper crowd management within outside premises like parking lots. Proper disinfection of steering, door handles, keys, etc. of vehicles should be done COLOUR ME RED A gulmohar tree in full bloom near Silaiman in Madurai district on the eve of World Environment Day, on Thursday | K K SUNDAR CYCLE PIONEER Atlas Shrugged! It finally pedals its way into history N A M I TA B A J PA I , A N U R A D H A SHUKLA, RAJKUMARI TA N K H A & S O M R I TA G H O S H @ Lucknow/New Delhi AMONG the hundreds of artefacts that adorn the walls of the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, is a black-coloured bicycle hanging from an iron rod. “That’s no ordinary bicycle,” the curator of the museum told a group of Indian journalists in December last year, just before Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee, who shared the economics Nobel for 2019 with Esther Duflo and Michael Cremer, was presented the award. The bicycle, made by Atlas, belonged to another wellknown son of India, economics Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. The 1998 Nobel winner used to cycle on it during his field work File picture of the injured pregnant elephant that died on May 27 FIRST ARREST IN PREGNANT ELEPHANT DEATH CASE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Palakkad WITH the death of a pregnant elephant in the state on May 27 — after chewing on a pineapple loaded with crackers — drawing adverse attention, Kerala began efforts to limit damage, with a joint investigation team of the police and forest department personnel taking three persons into custody on Thursday. Two of them were released in the evening. The elephant succumbed to her injuries at Ambalapara near Thiruvazhamkunnu. Palakkad Superintendent of Police G Sivavikram said separate cases have been registered under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the Explosives Act, 1984. A joint team of police and forest departments has been formed to probe the elephant’s death. Distric Forest Officer Sunil Kumar told this newspaper that the state forest department has started combing operations around 50 km radius of the buffer zone to see whether any explosives have been planted to kill wild animals. FROM SILENT VALLEY Thiruvazhamkunnu residents told the police they had seen the particular elephant coming from the Silent Valley forest on occasions when they went for rubber tapping in the area State sports facilities set to open next week Need to avoid physical contact while greeting each other Touching of statues/idols/holy books etc, not allowed other facilities. The empanelled hospitals should allot 25 per cent of their bed strength to patients covered under the CM’s insurance scheme. For details and complaints, people can contact 18004253993. The Indian Medical Association’s Tamil Nadu branch welcomed the move. Residents of the State, whose annual income is less than `72,000, are eligible for the scheme. It may be noted that the government had hiked the health insurance cover from `2 lakh to `5 lakh. JOINT PROBE Atlas Cycles employees protesting the shutting down of its unit at Sahibabad in Ghaziabad | ANIL SHAKYA in West Bengal, studying poverty and inequality in the impoverished regions. Sen could not be reached for comment but he will surely rue the fact that Atlas Cycles Haryana Ltd, the makers of the iconic cycle brand, the pioneers of the cycling revolution in India and the first cycle of almost every child, is now history . A journey that started in 1951 from a modest tin shed in Sone- pat, Haryana, about 40 km from Delhi, has ended. The company shut its last factory in Sahibabad, just outside the national capital on June 3. A notice pasted on the gates reads: “We are facing difficulty in arranging funds for our dayto-day operations. We are also unable to buy raw material. In these conditions, the management is not in a position to operate the factory .” INTERNATIONAL athletes of Tamil Nadu will soon be allowed to use sports facilities in the state after being confined to home for over two months. In a welcoming news for athletes in Tamil Nadu, sports complexes and stadia might open for training next week. The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) held a meeting with the government on Wednesday and will submit standard operating procedures (SOP) on Friday After approval, the plan is . to open facilities initially for international and national athletes for fitness purposes. The SOP on similar lines to , the one released by Sports Authority of India, will be applicable in facilities owned by SDAT across the state. A date for reopening, however, is not fixed yet. “We intend to open the stadium for elite sportspersons for fitness. Gradually we may , allow state-level athletes to use the facilities. We have framed the SOP for SDAT complexes only said a top SDAT source. ,” After the central government gave the nod for sports complexes and stadia to reopen, SDAT did not open its premises because of the alarming number of coronavirus cases in the state. It is learnt that the facilities will open for fitness only “Af. ter nearly three months of no outdoor training, athletes can’t straightaway jump to third gear. The coronavirus threat is increasing. Reopening sports facilities shouldn’t cause spread of the infection. We need to be extra careful,” said an official. Maintaining social distance and hygiene will be priority. Thermal checking, sanitisation and no sharing of equipment are among the protocols. Cleaning and disinfecting will take at least a week. At JN Stadium, which is used as a shelter for migrant workers, only the synthetic track can be used for fitness drills. Indoor stadiums will be opened later.
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05062020 of The New Indian Express-Villupuram
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