KOCHI l SATURDAY l JUNE 20, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION PANEL MOOTS ATM FEES FOR WITHDRAWALS ABOVE `5,000 An RBI committee has recommended charging customers for every cash withdrawal of over L5,000 to make ATMs viable COST OF OPERATING ATMs SURGING RBI KEEPS MUM ON PANEL’S REPORT The committee led by VG Kannan, a former chief executive of the Indian Banks’ Association, recommended the action in October last year. An aim was to discourage people from withdrawing large amounts of cash from ATMs. It noted that the cost of operating ATMs has gone up, while the cap on customer usage fee and bank interchange fee have remained the same ■ ■ The panel proposed raising interchange fee — the charge a bank must pay when its customers draw cash from other bank ATMs — by J2 in centres with over a million people, and by J3 in others The panel’s report came to light through an RTI reply. It’s not clear if the RBI is planning to act on the panel’s recommendations A75,000 IS THE AVERAGE MONTHLY COST OF OPERATING AN ATM 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 BJP set to increase tally in Rajya Sabha, counting halted in Gujarat EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi BARRING some drama in Manipur and Gujarat, biennial Rajya Sabha elections for 19 seats in 10 states concluded smoothly, with the ruling BJP strengthening its position in the House on Friday The National Democrat. ic Alliance (NDA) now will have about 100 MPs of its own in the Upper House, up from its current tally of 91. In Gujarat, which had witnessed defection ahead of the elections, the Congress demand- ed that the Election Commission invalidate two BJP votes on different grounds. In all, four seats are up for grabs and the defection in Gujarat was aimed at snatching away one of the two seats the Congress was hoping to win. Counting was halted as last reports came in. In the run-up to the polls, there was high drama in states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as well. However, the BJP-led NDA won two seats in Madhya Pradesh, one each in Rajasthan, Manipur and Jharkhand. It had won two seats CONG CLEARS RAJASTHAN TEST MEGHALAYA ( 1 seat) l National People's Party - 1 seat JHARKHAND (2 seats) l Jharkhand Mukti Morcha - 1 seat l BJP - 1 seat KARNATAKA (4 seats) lBJP - 2 seats lCongress - 1 seat lJDS - 1 seat MADHYA PRADESH (3 seats) l BJP - 2 seats l Congress - 1 seat MIZORAM (1 seat) l Mizo National Front - 1 seat MANIPUR (1 seat) l BJP - 1 seat in Kar nataka and one in Arunachal Pradesh. The Congress managed to keep Rajasthan out of trouble, winning ANDHRA PRADESH (4 seats) l The YSR Congress Party - 4 seats RAJASTHAN (3 seats) lCongress - 2 seats lBJP - 1 seat two seats. It also got one in MP besides already pocketing a seat in Karnataka. The YSRCP Congress swept the results in No post captured, none inside our territory: PM Remdesivir to take at least two weeks to hit the market Says India has capability to ensure that none can eye even an inch of its land; all parties make case for united front on national security EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi FOUR days after the violent stand-off in the Galwan Valley in East Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said “neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured,” ruling out transgression by the Chinese armed forces. Reassuring the political leadership, Modi said India has the capability to ensure that none can eye even an inch of the land, as the armed forces now enjoy the ability to move to any of the sectors simultaneously . “Twenty of our jawans were martyred, but those who dared Bharat Mata have been taught a lesson,” the PM said in his concluding address at an allparty meeting. Speaking at the end of the meeting attended by the chiefs of about 20 political parties, Modi stressed that the infrastructure development in the border areas would continue, while crediting it to the works done in the past five years for the speedy movement of the armed forces. “Those (the Chinese soldiers) who were never questioned or stopped are now warned and stopped by our jawans at multiple sectors,” said Modi. While Congress chief Sonia Gandhi sought to probe the government on finer details, including if there was an intelligence failure, the leaders of other parties struck a united stance to stand with the government, besides offering sug- QUIET VISIT OF AIR CHIEF TO LEH, SRINAGAR After IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria made a quiet visit to airbases in Leh and Srinagar, frontline aircraft Su-30MKI and Apache attack helicopters were seen flying in and around Leh on Friday. The Air Chief visited Leh airbase on June 17 and flew to Srinagar the next day. He is learnt to have checked the operational readiness of all platforms that have been moved to the area in view of the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Eastern Ladakh | P7 Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an all-party meeting to discuss the situation along the India-China border via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Friday | PTI gestions, which included economic and diplomatic pressure on Beijing. But strategic policy hawk Brahma Chellaney took a sharp line. “Does Modi’s statement signal India is willing to live with China’s forcible change of the status quo in the Galwan Valley and at Lake Pangong?” he tweeted. Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh firmly rejected allegations of intelligence failure, while Union Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar shared an overview of the diplomatic outreach to prevail upon Beijing to disengage from the Valley . Acknowledging the national anguish, Modi said the entire country is hurt and angry at the steps taken by China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), adding the Army has been given full freedom to take necessary steps. He said while India wants peace, upholding its sovereignty is the top priority . Senior leaders like Mamata Banerjee (TMC), Nitish Kumar, JD(U), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena), Pinaki Mishra (BJD) and M K Stalin (DMK) made a case for a united political response on matters of national security . @ Hyderabad REPURPOSED anti-viral drug remdesivir, which promises to help reduce hospital time of Covid-19 patients, might take at least two more weeks to hit the Indian market. A few Indian pharma companies, including two in Hyderabad, have license from the US-based Gilead Life Sciences to manufacture remdesivir, which has been allowed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for emergency use for Covid-19 treatment. While senior officials of Hyderabad-based Hetero Drugs and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories did not comment on details on their production capacity they , expect approval by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to come through by June-end for its manufacture. After the CDSCO permit, it will take at least a couple of more days for state government-level clearances to start manufacturing, pushing its market entry to July first or second week. In its updated Clinical Management Protocol for Covid-19, the ICMR included remdesivir as an investigational therapy . In Telangana, remdesivir is already being tested at the Gandhi Hospital as part of the WHO’s global solidarity trial. But the Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Cor poration (TSMSIDC) has not placed any order for it yet. Speaking to Express, TSMSIDC Director Chandrasekhar Reddy said till there is a request from the director of medical education, TSMSIDC will not place any order. Andhra Pradesh winning all four seats at stake. In the Northeast, Titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba of the BJP won the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Manipur while two other seats in Meghalaya and Mizoram went to ruling National People’s Party (NPP) and Mizo National Front (MNF), respectively . Prominent leaders who will enter Rajya Sabha for the first time include Jyotiraditya Scindia, Mallikarjun Kharge, M Thambi Durai (former Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha), K C Venugopal and K R Suresh Reddy (former speaker of the Legislative Assembly of composite Andhra Pradesh). K C Venugopal elected from Rajasthan T’Puram: Senior Congress leader from the state K C Venugopal was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. He is currently the AICC general secretary in charge of organisation. In the 200-member Rajasthan assembly, Venugopal polled 64 votes, the biggest share. Congress’ Neeraj Dangi also managed to win. Kerala’s Covid -ve certificate move impractical: AI Express R A J E S H A B R A H A M @ Kochi Give PPE kits to travelling expatriates, say experts CONFUSION and uncertainty continue to dog the Kerala government’s move to make Covid-19 negative certificates mandatory for those returning to the state from abroad. The date of implementation was postponed from Saturday to June 25, but officials of airline companies and expatriate organisations have described the move as “impractical” and “made without realising the ground situation in the Gulf countries”. “We’re guided by the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s protocol on the evacuation of expatriates. We can’t have one separate rule for the passengers boarding the flights to Kerala and another for those bound for other states,” said an Air India Express spokesperson. “It’ll be even more difficult to implement a separate set of rules in an airport in a foreign country .” The state government on Wednesday told the High Court that it decided to insist on the pre-flight test after 1.22 Alappuzha: Experts and passengers say giving the travellers PPE kits is safer than demanding Covid-negative certificate to prevent infection. On June 14, Air Arabia transported 162 passengers on a chartered flight from Sharjah and all of them wore PPE kits. P2 out of every 100 persons who returned from foreign countries had tested positive. As many as 66,703 expatriates have returned to the state till Friday . On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in a petition questioning the state government’s order demanding Covid negative certificates from travelling NRIs. Thomas Varghese, who runs an interior designing firm in the UAE, said people are returning to Kerala not out of fear of coronavirus, but due to economic slowdown and job loss. “If the government is insisting on a negative certificate, it’s not only foolish but also impractical. First of all, here the testing will be done only for symptomatic persons at a government facility. For others, it takes 1,400 dirhams. It’s not easy he said. ● More on P4 ,” KERALA CASE DIARY 1,380 are under treatment 118 2,912 cases reported on Friday 21 DEATHS cases confirmed so far 1,509 Recovered SECOND COP TESTS POSITIVE Kochi: A day after an officer with the Kalamassery police station was hospitalised for Covid-19 treatment, another civil police officer with the station tested positive. ONEPLUS 8 PRO Boycott? Chinese smartphone sells off in minutes A R S H A D K H A N @ New Delhi AMID appeals to boycott Chinese products after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in clashes in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan area, Chinese premium smartphone maker OnePlus saw its latest model — OnePlus 8 Pro — sell off within minutes in India after its online sales began on Thursday . Although it is not unusual for OnePlus products to be sold off within minutes of their launch, there were speculations that the Galwan incident would take the sheen off the brand’s latest offering. Not just the OnePlus, Xiaomi, another Chinese brand, said two of its laptop models sold out in India within two days of their launch on Wednesday . Analysts say without a viable replacement, the demand for Chinese smartphones is unlikely to take a hit. However, that has not calmed the nerves of some Chinese firms that have begun showcasing the Indian aspects of their products. Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth this week said: "I can proudly say Realme is an Indian startup." Although the company made its success in India, it's owned by Chinabased BBK Electronics Cor poration. Meanwhile, hoping to revive their fortunes, Indian smartphone makers like Micromax are gearing up for a comeback. Neyyattinkara traders say no to Chinese products T’Puram: The Neyyattinkara unit of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti has decided to boycott Chinese products in the municipality limits in protest against the attack on Indian soldiers by Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley. As a first step, members of the unit led by president Manchathala Suresh removed the boards that read ‘Chinese Mela’ kept on top of shops selling Chinese products across the town. EXPRESS READ Consumers to get bill subsidy from July: KSEB Woman sexually harassed in chartered flight T’Puram: A day after the government announced subsidy for domestic consumers in electricity bills, the KSEB said subsidy will be included in the bills to be generated from the first week of July. The govt announced concessions on bills generated from April 20 to June 19, P4 Malappuram: A woman who was travelling in a chartered flight from Muscat to Malappuram was sexually harassed by a fellow passenger in the flight. The woman, a native of Tirur, later filed a complaint at the Karipur police station and a case was registered against an NRK hailing from Perinthalmanna. The incident occurred in a flight which landed at the Kozhikode airport at 4.30 pm on Friday. P4 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS Actors Prithviraj, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Sadiq pay homage to filmmaker Sachy when his mortal remains were brought to his house in Kochi on Friday. His cremation was held at the Ravipuram crematorium | A SANESH ‘He’s God to me’. Nanjiamma breaks down paying last respects to Sachy A S AT I S H @ Palakkad NANJIAMMA, the tribal woman from Attappadi, whose song — she also wrote the lyrics — in Sachy’s Ayyapanum Koshiyum went viral, was overcome with emotion when she saw the body of the writer-filmmaker who had pitchforked her into limelight overnight. “I travelled all the way from Attappadi to Ernakulam for the purpose. When I saw the body tears welled up , in my eyes and I cried,” she said. “I wanted to go in the night itself to see the body of Sachy Nanjiyamma breaks down on seeing the mortal remains of director Sachy sir... But to get a vehicle from Nakkupathy Pirivu ooru where I live is not easy I wait. ed till 2am. But S Pazhaniswamy a tribal forest watcher in , Attappadi, said there may be wild elephants on the route and therefore we will go in the morning. My sister Varuthi, Pazhaniswamy and I set out for Ernakulam at 6am. “I planned to visit him in the hospital, but postponed the trip. He is ‘God’ to me. Because of Sachy, many people know me now,” said Nanjiamma, who sang Kalakkatha sandana maram vegu vega poothirikka...poo parikka pokilamo vimanathe paakkilamo...”(The sandalwood tree in the east has bloomed, shall we go to pluck the flowers and see the aircraft) which had been passed down the generations in her family and is sung when a woman feeds child. ● More on P5
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