CHENNAI TUESDAY JULY 28, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION Infra push can revive economy: RBI Guv Parekh, Kotak for one-time loan revamp `4.8L cr loans may turn bad due to Covid Hospitality sector staring at `15L cr loss India’s sinking economy can be salvaged by pumping big money into the infrastructure sector, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Monday. Addressing a CII event, Das urged India Inc to sharpen their focus on the infrastructure sector, as public sector investments alone won’t lift the Covid-19-hit economy. He noted that the big push to mega projects like expressways and high-speed rail corridors can kickstart the economy Veteran bankers HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh and Kotak Mahindra Bank chief Uday Kotak on Monday urged the RBI to consider a one-time restructuring of loans for the banking industry. Parekh also suggested that the loan moratorium should not be extended any further as both individuals and companies are misusing the provision. “Please do not extend the moratorium because even those who can pay are not paying,” he added Loans worth a whopping `4.8 lakh crore may turn bad due to Covid-induced economic slowdown. This, however, is only the first estimate with revisions expected during the course of the year. According to RBI’s Financial Stability Report, FY21 gross NPAs may increase to 12.5% in a baseline scenario from 8.5% in FY20. Total advances this fiscal may touch `110 lakh crore, which means gross bad loans could balloon to `13.5 lakh crore India’s tourism and hospitality sector could see losses to the tune of `15 lakh crore due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality said on Monday. With spike in cases all across the country, tourism supply chains have completely broken down and the sector is not expected to recover in the next five months. The apex body had earlier projected `5 lakh crore for the industry P10 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 Twist in Raj drama as Guv now seeks 21-day notice before calling session 47 CLONES INDIA BANS ANOTHER SET OF CHINESE APPS Asks if trust vote part of House agenda; Rajasthan Speaker C P Joshi withdraws petition in SC RAJESH ASNANI AND RICHA S H A R M A @ Jaipur/New Delhi AMID the ongoing drama over calling the Rajasthan Assembly session to deal with the Congress revolt, Governor Kalraj Mishra continued to play for time, asking the Ashok Gehlot government to provide a 21-day notice period for convening the House. Analysts saw in it an attempt to create more wriggle room for the BJP and Sachin Pilot, who is leading the 19 rebel lawmakers. Gehlot suggested July 31 as the date for the session to commence. Mishra wondered if a trust vote would be part of the House agenda, since Gehlot’s communication to him was silent on it though Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot during ‘Save Democracy-Save Constitution’ protest, at a hotel in Jaipur on Monday | PTI the chief minister was freely talking about it in the public domain. Mishra also wanted to know the plan to maintain social distancing during the Assembly session Addressing mental health issues after the exodus in UP N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow DAYS after he returned from Surat as part of the migrant exodus, Sukesh Kant, 50, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district, tried to end his life by jumping in front of a train. Luckily he was saved by a whisk, er. His job at a textile mill in Gujarat’s Surat was the sole source of sustenance. Then lockdown happened, the mill was closed and he lost his job. With a family of eight to feed, he was already in dire straits. In Kanpur Dehat, Brijendra Gupta tried to commit suicide by drinking pesticide but was fortunately saved. He had been working as a security guard in Delhi but lost his job, so he was forced to return home. His is a family of seven, including four children and an ill mother. He said though there was wheat and rice at home sourced from the local ration shop, he was unable to buy other essential commodities and medicines for his mother. Sukesh Kant and Brijendra Gupta are just two of the thousands of migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh under enormous mental strain after having lost their jobs amid the pandemic. Cash crunch due to job loss along with the scare created by the pandemic and a sense of abandonment has pushed many into depression. Unable to make peace with the situation, some have even taken the extreme step of taking their own lives. Seeking psychological counselling does not come naturally to the poor in India. Yet, 37,681 migrant workers — 30,828 males and 6,853 females — have been extended psychological support so far across UP, says Dinesh Kumar, given the Covid-19 pandemic. With the Governor refusing to follow the Congress timeline, the party reacted sharply. While AICC in charge Avinash Pandey called it anti-democratic, new state party unit chief G S Dotasra sought to pin down the Governor, saying four of five sessions of the Assembly so far have happened with less than 10-day notice. Gehlot reportedly claimed he took up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I spoke with the PM yesterday and told him about the behaviour of the Governor,” he is reported to have told a party meeting. While the Congress protested outside all Raj Bhawans across the country, they stayed away from the one in Jaipur. But after a ‘Save Democracy’ meeting of MLAs, Gehlot and his legislators sent a stinging memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind. Earlier in the day, the Pilot camp suffered a jolt when the Rajasthan High Court rejected a petition of a BJP MLA questioning the merger of the six BSP MLAs with the Congress last year. Besides, Assembly Speaker C P Joshi withdrew his plea in the Supreme Court against the HC order asking him to defer decision on disqualification of the rebels. Meanwhile, former Union law ministers Ashwani Kumar, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid wrote to Mishra saying his action created a Constitutional crisis. P7 CM launches distribution of face masks Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday launched the distribution of face masks free of cost to 6.74 crore members of 2.08 crore family cardholders through the public distribution system. At a simple function at the secretariat, five persons received the masks from the Chief Minister | P3 Helpline number On April 2, the state government directing mental health workers to counsel those housed in relief camps and quarantine centres. A helpline number 1800-180-5145 was launched. Also, district magistrates of all 75 districts were sent contact details of 75 counselors to be made available to the public Child Protection Officer, Unicef. These numbers are perhaps the tip of the iceberg. Around 35 lakh migrant workers from different parts of the country have returned to Uttar Pradesh since the start of the lockdown. The Unicef is partnering with the state government to provide quick intervention, sending teams of experts comprising practicing psychologists, psychiatrists, and academicians working in psychology across the state. The counsellors for Mental Health and Psychological Support, as they came to be known, functioned along with workers of the National Health Mission. A study conducted recently by a team of experts from the Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS) found that there has been an almost 20% rise in mental health issues during the pandemic. Anxiety issues also came up in families of those whose children were stranded CONTINUED ON: P7 elsewhere. ARS HAD KHAN @ New Delhi BARELY a month after banning 59 Chinese applications, India has banned another set of 47 apps, most of which are clones of the apps banned in June. While the government did not imme250+ apps diately release the names of the 47 on radar apps, sources said the present list inIndia is closely clude Tiktok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit monitoring Lite and BIGO LIVE Lite. over 250 According to sources, India is closely Chinese apps monitoring another 250 Chinese apps to verify over user privacy and national securicomplaints of ty violations. The popular Tencentuser privacy backed gaming app PUBG and apps and national linked to one of China’s biggest firm security Alibaba fall in this list. violations. If PUBG is banned, it will be a big These include blow for Chinese tech firms as the gamapps linked to ing app is one of the most downloaded Alibaba apps in India. The government has been trying to reduce the country’s dependence on China ever since the deadly face-off between the Indian and Chinese armies on the Line of Actual Control last month. The ban on popular apps has impacted Chinese firms to such an extent that many have approached the central government seeking to comply with the local data storage norms. Homegrown app makers have welcomed the fresh ban on Chinese apps. Chingari App CEO & Co-founderSumit Ghosh said Indian citizens need to be concerned about data and make sure it remains within India. “We at Chingari have decided to never take any funds from China nor use any of their technology in our app,” he said. Diksha Deo, founder & CEO of INCUBSENCE, termed the ban “a much-needed oxygen for Indian startups as Chinese companies were spending huge amounts of money on ad campaigns to acquire a big portion of the market”. Form panel for OBC quota, HC tells Union govt H A R I S H M U R A L I @ Chennai Observing that there was no Constitutional or legal impediment to extend quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the State-surrendered seats, the Madras High Court on Monday directed the Centre to form a panel with State medical authorities and the Medical Council of India in providing reservation for OBCs under the All India Quota (AIQ) in State-run colleges. The court also directed the Centre to decide on the percentage in three months. The court observed, “The matter has to be resolved between the State and the Centre with the participation of the MCI and the dental council. Therefore, we find that it would be appropriate that the issue is referred to a committee for providing the terms of implementation of such reservation as claimed by the petitioners.” The bench, comprising Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, delivered the judgment on a plea submitted by political parties, including the AIADMK and the DMK. Welcoming the verdict, Chief It’s a historic verdict, says Chief Minister The court has given a historic verdict following the legal steps taken by the AIADMK government. We have been treading the path of social justice shown by our leader J Jayalalithaa Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami tweeted, “The government is treading the path of social justice shown by J Jayalalithaa. The court has given a historic verdict follow- SEVENTEEN is no age to shoulder the burden of a family. Blame it on the lockdown, this teenager from Arasarkulam has no other go but to climb palm trees and extract ‘pathaneer’ to make ends meet. Krishnaperumal, a class 11 student, took up the job as the income of his father — Balasubramanian, a crystal salt vendor — started seeing a decline. “I have three sisters and my mother is a daily-wage farm labourer. Now, with the dwindling in- DEATHS 6,993 77 TOTAL CASES 2,20,716 Chennai new cases: 1,138 Chengalpattu: 448 Kancheepuram: 362 Tiruvallur: 474 Drop in growth rate in city in last seven days The average growth rate of positive cases in Chennai in the last seven days has dropped to minus 0.1 per cent from 0.5 per cent recorded on July 25. The daily tally stood around 2,400 in the first week of July. The city, for a while, has been recording from 1,100 to 1,400 cases every day | P4 Over 5K patients discharged; active cases at 54,896 As many as 5,723 people were discharged on Monday, leaving the number of active cases at 54,896. The State also tested 63,250 samples and 61,342 people. The Chennai Corporation said on Monday that the Ambattur zone has the highest number of active cases in the city. Pvt lab in Tiruchy sealed for giving false results A private laboratory in Tiruchy was sealed on Monday for allegedly providing seven false positive results. The laboratory, which was taking samples since May 5, was stopped from conducting Covid tests from July 25. According to officials, the lab did not follow ICMR guidelines. ‘Sanjay Dutt is out, why not I?’ E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai JET, SET, GO Indian fighter pilots with India’s Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf (7th L) and Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier (8th L) at Merignac air base, France, from where five Rafale jets took off for India on Monday. The fleet landed in Al Dhafra air base in the UAE after a 7-hour sortie. After a one-day stopover in the UAE, the jets will reach Ambala airbase on Wednesday | AFP | P7 The teenager with his sister AG Perarivalan — who has been languishing in prison for the last 29 years, convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case —- has approached the Bombay High Court seeking details related to the early release of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who was also convicted under the same Arms Act. In 2016, Perarivalan had sought details about the legal procedures under which Sanjay Dutt was released from the Yeravada Jail, through an RTI application. Now, Perarivalan has moved the Bombay High Court as P2 he did not get all relevant information. ‘Can’t she make one video call?’ E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai Teen scaling ‘heights’ too early to help family tide over crisis @ Thoothukudi NEW CASES CALL FOR JUSTICE LOCKDOWN WOES G O D S O N W I S E LY D A S S ing the legal steps taken by the government to ensure reservation for OBCs.” The DMK and its allies adopted a resolution at a meeting held through video-conference urging the Centre to immediately act upon the judgment. The party wanted the Centre to ensure quota for OBCs and SC and ST candidates in this academic year itself. PMK founder S Ramadoss urged the Centre to immediately form a panel. BJP State president L Murugan said the verdict was given based on information provided P3 by the Centre. TN BATTLE come, we are finding it difficult to run the family he said. ,” Krishnaperumal’s father wanted him to take up the job of climbing palm trees after he completes class 12. “But, I chose to climb now itself as schools are shut,” he said. Activist V Gunaselan said that generally youth do not come forward for climbing palmyra trees due to the alleged ‘low social status’ associated with the job. “Climbing tress will cause bruises on hands and chests and is a risky affair. The government should providewelfare schemes to the youth.” THE Madras High Court has asked the Centre if life convicts Nalini and her husband Murugan can be permitted to make a video call to the latter’s mother, at least once, on humanitarian grounds. A two-member bench comprising justices R Kirubakaran and VM Velumani was hearing a Habeus Corpus plea filed by Nalini’s mother, seeking permission to call Murugan’s mother and sister in Sri Lanka and London. Assistant Solicitor General Karthikeyan, appearing for the Centre, said a response has to be sought from the National Investigation Agency and the Intelligence Bureau. The bench observed that the petitioners, in these two P2 decades, have never sought for such permission.
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