BHUBANESWAR WEDNESDAY JULY 01, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION CORE SECTOR CONTRACTION SLOWS, ECONOMY LIMPS ON India’s core infrastructure sectors contracted by a combined 23.4% in May, lower than the record 37% decline in April FERTILISER SECTOR EXPANDS EXTERNAL DEBT GROWS BY $15.4 BN Sectoral output for coal (-14%), natural gas (-16.8%), refinery products (-21.3%), steel (-48.4%), cement (-22.2%) and electricity (-15.6%) declined year-over-year in May. The fertiliser sector alone registered growth during the month, by 7.5%. These eight core infrastructure industries account for 40.27% of the Index of Industrial Production | P10 ■ ■ India’s external debt was $558.5 billion at the end of March, up by $15.4 billion from a year ago, the RBI said on Tuesday The lion’s share of the debt was still commercial borrowings (39.4%), trailed by non-resident deposits (23.4%) and shortterm trade credit (18.2%) 58.6% INDIA’S FISCAL DEFICIT IN APRIL-MAY, UP FROM 52% A YEAR AGO 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 Odisha unlocks with caution amid Covid surge Night curfew eased across State; weekend shutdown to continue in 10 districts which have been witnessing high case load EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhubaneswar IN a bid to strike a balance between life and livelihood, the Odisha Government on Tuesday announced guidelines for Unlock-2 by relaxing night curfew hours across the State but continued with weekend shutdown in 10 districts in view of the surge in the Covid-19 positive cases in some areas. Night curfew across Odisha has been eased by two hours and would now be effective from 9 pm to 5 am instead of 7 pm to 5 am earlier. The entire State has been divided into two zones to focus on areas with more positive case load. Ten districts with more than 50 positive cases have been slotted in Zone 1 while rest 20 will be in Zone 2. Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Jharsuguda have been kept in Zone 1 where weekend shutdown on Saturdays and Sundays will continue in July . Local authorities in Zone 1 have been empowered to impose restrictions on intra-district public and private transport, closure of shops and establishments, government and private institutions and movement/assembly of people as deemed appropriate. In the Zone 1 districts, all medical establishments including hospitals, clinics, nurs- Covid care centres open at GP level Bhubaneswar: With a majority of the returnees having completed their quarantine period, the temporary medical centres (TMCs) have been shut at many places and Covid Care Centres opened at gram panchayat (GP) level. TMCs will remain open where cluster of cases are being reported, said Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy. The Chief Secretary said returnees in rural areas will undergo 14 days of mandatory institutional quarantine | P3 ing homes, including medicine stores and movement ambulance and medical personnel will be allowed to function during the weekend shutdown. Movement of public transport, private vehicles and taxis (including cabs by aggregators Ola, Uber) to and from airports, railway station and bus terminals will be allowed for facilitating movement of passengers. In the Zone 2 districts, all permissible activities have been allowed except during the night curfew period. The quarantine period for returnees to the State will continue to be 14 days. Strict lockdown restrictions will, however, continue in containment zones. While religious places will continue to remain closed till July 31, schools, colleges, other educational/training/coaching institutions will not be allowed to open till August 31 for teaching. But, conduct of examinations and evaluation will be permitted. Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will remain closed. Besides, social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other congregations will not be allowed till July 31. District and municipal administration, police, fire services, telecom services, petrol pumps, print and electronic media, water supply sanitation and sewer, age workers will be allowed. Service sector industries including IT/ITes, hotel and hospitality units, movement of rail and air transportation will remain open during the shutdown period. Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said hotels and restaurants will be allowed to operate as per the SOPs issued by the Ministry of Tourism. Restaurant service in hotels will be open for in house guests and home delivery/takeaways only. However, local authorities will decide on opening of shopping malls with appropriate restrictions. The Chief Secretary said general directives for Covid-19 management including face covering and social distancing will be strictly followed throughout the State. UNLOCK 2.0 Activity/Service Religious places / places of worship for public Hotels, restaurants, other hospitality services Shopping malls Schools, colleges, educational / training / coaching institutions International air travel Cinema halls / gymnasiums / swimming pools / entertainment parks / theatres / bars / auditoriums / assembly halls Restrictions To remain closed till July 31 In-house guests/takeaways Local authorities to decide To remain closed till August 31 To remain closed till July 31 To remain closed till July 31 Social / political / sports / entertainment / academic / cultural / religious functions Prohibited till July 31 WEEKEND SHUTDOWN Till July 31 in 10 districts Ganjam Gajapati Khurda Cuttack Jajpur Jagatsinghpur Balasore Mayurbhanj Keonjhar Jharsuguda NIGHT CURFEW The timings of curfew will be from 9 pm to 5 am instead of 7 pm to 5 am. All movement and activities, barring essential services, to be restricted. LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS TO CONTINUE IN CONTAINMENT ZONES TILL JULY 31 TOTAL CASES ODISHA TALLY 7,065 206 25 TODAY CASES DEATHS 1,844 5,189 ACTIVE CASES RECOVERED Un-appy China calls Indian ban unfair, discriminatory P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi TIME’S UP Some of TikTok’s India content creators record a video in Allahabad even as the app becomes inaccessible. Influencers are seeking a switch to Instagram or YouTube | AFP DRASTIC ACTION ORDER OUT TO BLOCK THEM, REPORT FULL COMPLIANCE J O N AT H A N A N A N D A @ New Delhi A “multi-level blocking of access” to the 59 Chinese apps banned on Monday has already been initiated by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity), government sources confirmed. In fact, industry sources said that the DoT issued late-night orders on Tuesday directing telcos and internet service providers (ISPs) to block all 59 apps on their networks immediately and submit compliance reports. Meanwhile, top representatives of these mobile apps will also be allowed a hearing within 48 hours, where they will be given an opportunity to offer any clarifications before a final order is passed. The list of apps to be blocked include highly popular ones such as TikTok, Helo and Clash of Kings. In the normal course, the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 requires that an enquiry be conducted by a high-level panel before access is blocked. However, this ban invokes certain emergency provisions. Under these, concerned departments need not wait until the enquiry is over to begin blocking procedures. “Directions to begin the multi-level blocking process has already begun. First, they will be removed from the App Stores. Then, internet access will be blocked through orders issued to ISPs,” said a senior government official. P10 Beijing passes national security law for Hong Kong China imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong on Tuesday, dramatically tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city in a historic move decried by Western nations as a threat to the financial hub’s freedoms. Described by Beijing as a “sword” hanging over the heads of those endangering national security, the law took effect hours after it was signed by President Xi Jinping and just six weeks since it was first unveiled. Fed up with pro-democracy protests that rocked the city last year | P9 CHINA on Tuesday reacted sharply to India’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps and said it was “seriously concerned” about the Indian government’s decision. “China is strongly concerned, and we are verifying the situation. India has a responsibility to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses,” foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. Zhao’s comments were followed by a statement the Chinese embassy in New Delhi issued in the evening, which called the ban selective and discriminatory Spokesperson Ji Rong . said India’s move “selectively and discriminatorily aims at Chinese apps on far-fetched and ambiguous grounds.” “It runs against fair and transparent procedure requirements, abuses national security exceptions, and suspects of violating the WTO rules. It also goes against the general trend of international trade and e-commerce, and is not conducive to consumer interests and the market competition in India,” Ji said in the statement. Meanwhile, Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, Global Times, warned India of a 30% dip in bilateral trade due to the LAC stand-off and Covid, and dismissed the app ban as nonsensical, in two separate articles. “While offering a lacklustre explanation for the nonsensical move, the Indian government has actually made its political crackdown on Chinese companies open and blatant,” an article in the publication said. The article went on to argue that it wwould be difficult for India to turn its nationalistic rhetoric into action. “There are no available and affordable alternatives to Chinesemade products such as smartphones, chemicals, automotive components and many other items,” it claimed. Criticising the ban, Ji said the apps had been operating strictly in accordance with Indian norms. “The ban would affect not only the employment of local Indian workers who supported the apps, but also the interests of Indian users and the employment and livelihoods of many creators and entrepreneurs,” the statement read. He hoped India would acknowledge the mutually beneficial nature of bilateral economic ties. “India must treat all investments and service providers equally and , create an open, fair and just business environment, while bearing in mind the fundamental interests of both sides and the overall interests of bilateral relations,” the statement read. Hu Xijin, editor of Global Times, was sarcastic. “Well, even if Chinese people want to boycott Indian products, they can’t really find many Indian goods. Indian friends, you need to have some things that are more important than nationalism,” he tweeted. India on Monday announced the ban on 59 Chinese apps. Troop build-up continues on both sides M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi ALTHOUGH Corps Commanders of India and China met on Tuesday to discuss ways to minimise tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, additional troop mobilisation in the area continued. An officer aware of the matter said, “They have deployed troops all along Ladakh and it is part of the agenda points between the two Corps Commanders.” The Indian delegation led by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh and China represented by South Xinjiang Military Division Corps Commander Major General Lin Liu met for the third time to thrash out details for de-escalation on the ground. Marathon meeting The third Corps Commanderlevel meeting that began at 10.30 am on Tuesday went on way past 9.45 pm. Their previous meeting on June 22 lasted about 11 hours. It had started at 11.30 am However, both sides continued to raise their troop strength. “Concentration and mobilisation of troops hasn’t shown any sign of abating,” said another source and predicted the stand-of f stretching ‘well into the winter’. Terming it precautionary deployment, Lt Gen (Retd) D S Hooda, former chief of the Northern Command, said it is not a prepara- tion for war. “There would be attempts to strengthen the defensive posture in other sectors, which would lead to corresponding deployment on both the sides,” said Lt Gen Hooda. The defence of Ladakh is under the 14 Corps of the Army which is part of the Northern Command. The deployments are seen as preparations so as to not get surprised by Chinese manoeuvers. During the several rounds of talks, India and China had identified 23 sensitive points across the 3,488 km-long LAC. Ladakh has several sensitive areas — from Trig heights, DBO and Depsang. The Galwan Valley Spangur Gap, , Pangong Tso and Demchok (Chushul and Chumar) are among the other sensitive areas. Free food grains scheme extended till Nov, says Modi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi WITH full economic normalcy nowhere in sight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of the free food grains programme till November. By November, the scheme would have run for eight months at a cost of `1.50 lakh crore and covered 80 crore people. The PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana provides 5 kg wheat/rice and 1 kg chana (chickpea) per month to each family free of cost. In his address to the nation, Modi also said the country is moving in the direction of “one nation, one ration card”. Curiously, the announcement came on a day when data released by the Controller General of Accounts showed an 8% drop in the government’s major subsidy bill as of May when compared , to the same time last year. The big plunge was in food (11%) and petroleWorry over um (18%) subsidy. flouting Acknowledging the agrarian season norms and the onset of festivals, Modi reasoned that the expenditure of the peo“Ever since ple would also go up in the coming Unlock-1, months. “Keeping in mind that rethere is quirement as well as expenditure inincreasing crease during this time, the governnegligence in ment has decided to extend PM Garib personal and Kalyan Ann Yojana till Deepawali and social Chhath Puja. The scheme will continue behaviour... to remain applicable from July till the Those not end of November,” he said. following Chhath Puja is widely celebrated in rules need to be stopped & Bihar and the adjoining districts in Utcautioned, be tar Pradesh. If the Bihar Assembly elections is held on time, it would see it a village multiple phases of polling during Ocpradhan or tober-November. The Nitish Kumar the PM,” government in the state has already Modi said claimed that more than 20 lakh migrants took special trains to return to their respective villages. Many of them could stay back due to the agrarian and festival season, and influence the state poll campaign as well. Nitish had sought extension of the free food grains scheme for a few more months. Modi also gave an account of the pro-poor measure taken by the government, which included transfer of `31,000 crore to almost 20 crore poor families, `18,000 crore to over nine crore farmers, besides `50,000 crore on providing rural jobs for returnee migrants. He also advised people to exercise caution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while asking local authorities to take measures to ensure people wear masks. EXPRESS READ Cops turn ‘super-spreaders’, contact tracing proves tough Cuttack: The inspector-in-charge (IIC) of Badamba police station and Athagarh sub-divisional police officer(SDPO) who have been tested positive for Covid-19, are suspected to be super-spreaders, infecting several others in the last one week. While six police personnel including Athagarh SDPO, his driver, two sub-inspectors (SIs) and two assistant subinspectors(ASIs) of Badamba police station were tested positive on Monday, three more police personnel have been found infected with coronavirus on Tuesday taking the total tally in Cuttack’s rural police to 10 | P2 Capital grapples to handle virus spike Bhubaneswar: AS the Capital City reports a spike in local coronavirus cases, inadequate tracking and isolation in the slums apart from addressing key issues of shared amenities has left the residents in a tizzy. So far, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has declared Laxmi Bazar and Subash Nagar slums as containment zones while quarantining families in Salia Sahi, Hadabai, Balatotasahi and other slums following detection of Covid cases. This, however, has not been of much help as the cases continue to rise in the slums and squatter settlements across the city in absence of proper monitoring | P2
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