KOCHI l SATURDAY l JULY 25, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION NEW E-COMMERCE RULES TO IMPROVE ONLINE SHOPPING The Centre on Friday notified the new rules under Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to protect the rights of customers GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL WITHIN A MONTH NO CANCELLATION CHARGES As per new rules, all e-commerce platforms must have a proper consumer redressal mechanism in place. They must appoint a grievance officer to take care of complaints, and display his/her name and contact details on their websites. Once a consumer files a complaint, a receipt has to be issued within 48 hours, and a suitable action must be taken within a month ■ ■ To facilitate easy return of products, e-tailers must display detailed information on return/exchange processes as well as details of sellers, including their contact numbers and addresses E-tailers must not levy any cancellation charges from customers, unless they also bear charges for cancellations initiated by them $200 bn WILL BE SIZE OF INDIA’S E-COMMERCE MARKET BY 2027: STATISTA 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 No total lockdown. State to focus on clusters Quit gracefully or Govt decision after leaders at all-party meeting opine stringent restrictions will worsen lives of all in society KERALA CASE DIARY Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said the state ranks third in India in terms of Covid testing E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @T’Puram CM holds discussions with 1,129 private hospital managements. About 200 hospitals offer services to be used in first-line treatment centres, if required 885 fresh cases on Friday 724 infected through local transmission 968 recoveries 56 source unknown 24 health workers get infected 4 deaths RED ALERT AT OLD AGE HOMES IN STATE In the wake of a suspected Covid death at an old age home in Ernakulam, the state government on Friday issued a red alert across 400-odd old age homes in the state. P3 WB: Mukul Roy rubbishes BJP’s poll projection P R O N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata MUKUL Roy, once second-incommand in Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool and now senior BJP leader, is learnt to have rubbished his party’s projections that it could pick up as many as 190 of the total 294 seats in the 2021 assembly elections, saying it was not grounded in reality . “A report presented at a meeting called by general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya in New Delhi on Thursday to sharpen the party’s strategy in Bengal, said the BJP could get 190 seats out of 294, and wresting Bengal from the Trinamool is now a matter of time. Roy refused to accept the assessment, saying it does not reflect the ground-level reality , and suggested the party needs to work hard in many segments to aspire to reach that figure,” said a senior BJP leader. “A sharp difference of opinion emerged when others in the meeting did not agree with Roy’s position,’’ he added. Workers and vendors of Palayam market wait for their turn in a packed queue at the Govt LP School at Bairaikkulam in Kozhikode to get their Covid test done | MANU R MAVELIL E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram DESPITE the number of daily Covid-19 cases remaining alarmingly high in Kerala, the government on Friday decided not to enforce a total lockdown in the state this week. The decision was taken after various leaders who attended the allparty meeting expressed the opinion that stringent lockdown restrictions would make life of everyone in society worse. The meeting asked the government to strengthen the vigil and enforce restrictions strictly in the clusters. The daily case count came down slightly on Friday after crossing the 1,000-mark in the two previous days. As many as 885 tested positive, with 724 of them contracting the virus through local transmission. Thiruvananthapuram once again recorded the most number of cases (167), with Kollam (133) and Kasaragod (106) too crossing the three-figure mark. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said triple lockdown would be enforced in the clusters stringently . “There won’t be a total lockdown in the state at least this week. The state government is monitoring the situation and will think about such a step only if the situation worsens,” said Pinarayi. “The Opposition leader too PUSHKAR BANAKAR AND M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi INDIA and China on Friday agreed that early and complete disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was essential for the smooth development of bi- RAJESH ASNANI & RICHA S H A R M A @ Jaipur/New Delhi THE political showdown in Rajasthan shifted to Raj Bhawan on Friday with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot demanding that Gover nor Kalraj Mishra call the assembly session immediately for a confidence vote. By extension, Gehlot wants to smoke out the rebellion of 19 party lawmakers led by Sachin Pilot, shutting out all escape routes from disqualification, as the whip comes into play in the assembly . Confident about his numbers, Gehlot pressured the gover nor to convene the House and brought in busloads of MLAs to stage a dharna at Raj Bhawan. The dharna ended around 8 pm after the governor assured he will act on the request but wanted some queries answered. The state Cabinet later met to address the queries. “With an open heart, the governor said he will abide by the Constitution without pressure and ill-will. He said A video grab of Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra interacting with Congress MLAs at Raj Bhavan in Jaipur on Friday | PTI that he has sent some directives to the CM and if gets a satisfactory response, he will be bound by Article 174 of the Constitution to call the session. We have full faith in him,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. The nice words were in sharp contrast to the drama earlier in the day, when Gehlot accused the governor of sitting on his request perhaps due to pressure from the top. He also alleged a BJP conspiracy behind the delay . Rehana free to impart sex education to kids but not this way: Court THE Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail petition of Rehana Fathima, who was booked for posting a video on social media in which her two minor children were seen painting on her seminude body . “The petitioner used the children for the purpose of sexual gratification, because they are represented in the video in an indecent and obscene manner as they are painting on the naked body of their moth- has extended his support to the government stance on the issue. The proactive suggestions put forward by the leaders of various political parties will be considered and due action will be taken. All political parties have agreed to join hands with the state government to equip the local bodies to fight against the pandemic. Suggestions like increasing the number of tests were made at the meeting and the Health Department will take the necessary steps,” he added. CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said a decision on another complete lockdown would be taken after considering all practical difficulties. GOVT TO IMPLEMENT 3-TIER ACTION PLAN T’Puram: The government will implement a three-tier action plan to prevent ‘super spread’ in the cluster areas. Special OP sections will be opened at government hospitals for treatment of persons who came from other states. P2 EXPERTS DIFFER ON REINFECTION T’Puram: The Health Department is examining whether the recovered patients have the chances of reinfection. While some experts say chances are less, other studies begged to differ. P2 IN an all-out attack, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Friday urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to step down from the office gracefully now instead of waiting for the day when the NIA team questions him in the gold smuggling case. A day after Pinarayi’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar was questioned by the NIA, which also gave him a notice to appear before it at its Kochi office on Monday, Chennithala alleged that the chief minister is challenging the people of the state by pretending to be unaware of what is happening around him. Ramesh Talking to reporters here, Chennithala Chennithala warned that the NIA will be moving to the Chief Minister’s Office next. “This is the last chance for the CM to resign gracefully He should not be . adamant that he will resign only after the NIA team questions him. The allies in the LDF are yet to express their opinion about the gold smuggling case even when they are answerable to the public,” said Chennithala. The NIA reaching the CMO is a disgrace to Kerala where unusual things are happening these days, he said, and reminded the chief minister such a thing has never happened anywhere in the country Chennithala did not spare the po. lice department either. He alleged that the police have not taken any steps so far in the gold smuggling which has got the CM’s consent. ● More on P4 Gehlot nears endgame, Fresh meet of Corps Commanders lined up Guv okay with session BAIL DENIED E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi leave in disgrace: Chennithala to CM er,” observed Justice P V Kunhikrishnan. Dismissing the plea, the court observed it was not in a position to agree with the p e t i t i o n e r t h at s h e should impart sex education to her children in that manner. “I place myself in the position of the petitioner and from the viewpoint of the people of every age group in whose hands this video reached. After applying my judicial mind, I’m not in a position to say that there is no obscenity in the video when it is uploaded on social media,” the judge observed. “If the painting on the naked body of the petitioner happened inside the four walls of the house, there can’t be any offence. I’ve no hesitation to appreciate the talents of the children. They deserve encouragement. But not in the way the petitioner encouraged ● More on P4 them,” he said. If the painting on the naked body of the petitioner happened inside the four walls of the house, there can’t be any offence. I’ve no hesitation to appreciate the kids’ talents — Justice P V Kunhikrishnan lateral ties, and decided to hold another commander-level talks to work out the steps to achieve it. The decision was taken at a meeting of the 17th Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Bad loans could balloon to their highest in two decades: RBI A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi THE economic stress induced by Covid-19 could push gross bad loans to their highest in nearly two decades, the Financial Stability Report (FSR) for July by the Reserve Bank of India revealed on Friday . Admitting that the loan moratorium scheme has suppressed the real stress on Indian banks, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das warned banks to remain extremely watchful and focused in the foreword of the FSR report, which paints a very gloomy picture for the Indian banking sector. In a “very severe stressed scenario”, the gross non-performing assets of the banking sector could rise to as high as 14.7% of total loans by March 2021, the report said after stress testing of 53 scheduled commercial banks. It said even under the baseline scenario, the gross NPA ratio could rise to 12.5%. The gross NPA ratio stood at 8.5% as of March 2020. The last time it was as low was in March 2000. The report said public sector banks are likely to be the worst hit, which could see their gross NPAs rise to 15.2% by March 2021 from 11.3% a year earlier in the baseline scenario. The report warned that on account of the worsening macroeconomic factors, even private banks and foreign banks would see a spike in bad loans. Sectors with the highest share of “good quality loans” that might get affected, include general purpose loans by non-banking finance companies. 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS Affairs. While the external affairs ministry said a meeting of senior commanders may be held, army sources said it would be at the Corps Commander level. The two sides are in discussions to finalise a date for the meeting. ‘CM must heed TNIE editorial’ Chennithala highlighted TNIE’s editorial in its Friday edition headlined ‘Kerala’s Covid defence is falling apart’, saying the newspaper’s observation is right. P4 L1cr, 1kg of gold in Swapna’s locker Kochi: NIA has recovered around `1 crore in cash and 1kg of gold from lockers of gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh, but her counsel states she received them as gifts. P4 EXPRESS READ Delayed IPL set for September 19 start Chennai: The BCCI has informed the franchises that this year’s Indian Premier League will begin on September 19, with the final slotted for November 8. The full schedule will be out once the Centre gives nod to hold the event in the UAE. P11
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