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 ■ ■ KOTTAYAM l FRIDAY l AUGUST 07, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION KEY POLICY RATES UNCHANGED After its 3-day deliberations, RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee kept repo rate unchanged at 4% RBI Guv Shaktikanta Monetary policy Das said the decision stance remains was taken while ‘accommodative’ to “ensuring inflation revive growth and remains within target” mitigate Covid impact LTV RATIO FOR GOLD LOANS RAISED TO 90% Maximum loan-tovalue of loans against gold jewellery for nonagri purposes raised from 75% to 90% It will be available till March 2021. The move will help households, entrepreneurs and small businesses DOWNSIDE RISKS FOR ECONOMY Earlier guidelines said loans against gold pledge should not exceed 75% of the value of gold Covid-19 poses ‘downside risk’ for economy. RBI will use available monetary space to boost growth Early containment of the pandemic could impart an ‘upside’ to the economic growth outlook, says RBI HEADLINE INFLATION TO REMAIN HIGH According to RBI, the economy is facing unprecedented stress in an austere global environment Headline inflation is expected to remain elevated during the second quarter and may subside thereafter Supply chain disruptions on account of Covid-19 persist, with implications for both food and nonfood prices RBI, however, did not give any range on inflation expectations RBI pauses to take a hard look, offers balm for Covid wounds Decides against rate cuts due to low credit demand; One-time restructuring scheme for corporate, retail borrowers; EMI moratorium unlikely to be extended S U N I T H A N AT T I IF banks and borrowers needed strength to bear the financial sorrows, RBI gave it all. On Thursday, Gover nor Shaktikanta Das rolled out a one-time loan restructuring scheme, but only for obedient customers paying corporate loans, home, auto or other personal loans on time. If you have opted for the sixmonth EMI holiday but missed one instalment as on March 1, you will still be eligible for the proposed loan recast. But two missed EMIs prior to March 1, makes you unqualified. What do you get? A twoyear moratorium and an extension of loan tenure as a bonus. The K V Kamath-led committee is working out the fine print. Das also dropped the biggest hint that the ongoing moratorium ending this month may not be extended. In all, the scheme brings cheer for cashstrapped borrowers, while for capital-starved banks it leads to lower bad loans. RBI kept repo and reverse repo rates intact. Nobody was expecting a cut as headline inflation in June was above the central bank’s 4% mandate. This saw the return of negative real interest rates after a 6-year gap. Repo is now anchored at 4% and an additional reduction will take real rates deeper into the negative zone, which RBI doesn’t want. So, it deployed an alternative policy lever, reverse repo rate, which was slashed by 155 bps since February This is now the unofficial . policy tool, but even that failed to nudge banks to lend. Clearly, rate cuts appear futile at this juncture, so RBI opted for a do-nothing phase in this cycle. Though both rates are at historic lows, credit growth is stuck at a six-decadelow of about 6% implying that LIFELINE FOR HOUSING FINANCE FIRMS, MSMEs NABARD and National Housing Board will get ` 5,000 crore liquidity each to support housing finance companies, small NBFCs and MFIs Extension of restructuring scheme for MSMEs first announced on January 1 will now be implemented till March 2021 Swapna admitted to casual association with CM, says NIA Probe into African cartels’ ties Kochi: The NIA is probing the links of African cartels with smuggling mastermind K T Rameez. The agency also plans to send its team to the UAE to probe international links in the case. P4 Oppn wants CM to quit Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and BJP state president K Surendran said Pinarayi Vijayan should step down from the post of chief minister after the NIA’s remarks. P4 EXPRESS READ New J&K L-G handpicked by Modi New Delhi: Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Manoj Sinha’s appointment as the new Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor on Thursday took many by surprise. But, sources say he was handpicked for the job by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fill the prevailing “political vacuum” in the Union Territory. Sinha’s appointment is seen as an attempt to win Kashmiri people’s hearts. CONTINUED ON: P7 main sky-high due to supply chain disruptions till next month, but will be back to its best behaviour later this fiscal. RBI may tame headline inflation, but food prices are impermeable to monetary policy actions. So all our bets are down to monsoon, rabi harvest and global crude prices. As long as prices remain high and growth uncertainties persist, rate cuts will remain on the table and as Das said, will be used ‘judiciously’. P10 Rivers in spate, 1 killed, red alert in Malappuram E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @Kochi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi IN perhaps the first direct reference to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the high-profile gold smuggling case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday said Swapna Suresh, the key accused in the case, admitted to ‘casual association’ with the CM and that she had ‘influence’ in his office. The NIA also told the special court hearing Swapna’s bail plea that she told the agency that M Sivasankar, the CM’s ousted principal secretary was her mentor. , Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) P Vijaya Kumar relied on Swapna’s 32-page statement given to the agency to oppose the bail. However, in the near two-hour submission which started at 11:15am, the NIA mentioned the CM and the CM’s office only twice. In his introductory submission, the ASG said Swapna had influence in the CMO and UAE consulate. “Her influence was such intense that UAE counsel general’s office could not work without her,” the ASG argued. Later relying on Swapna’s confession statement given to the NIA, the ASG submitted that Swapna had ‘casual association’ with the CM. The court, after hearing both sides, announced that it would pronounce an order on the bail petition on Monday . NIA has also been asked to file the entire case diary soon. The court orally submitted that it does not believe that the agency will manipulate the case. On her relationship with Sivasankar, the NIA said Swapna revealed he was a mentor for her and she reg● More on P4 ularly took his advice. credit demand won’t be influenced by any amount of cheap money. Aggregate demand is central to credit growth, which in turn is a precondition for economic recovery Both have . a bearing on inflation and growth, but RBI seems clueless about the next one-year. Will national output shrink by 5-10-15%? Preferring to keep the estimate private, Das reiterated that FY21 GDP will decidedly be negative. Food inflation will likely re- Municipal workers clear a road on Thursday after heavy rain triggered landslides in Mumbai. Many areas of the city remained waterlogged | PTI Rain wreaks havoc in state Heavy rain continued to pound Kerala on Thursday. Incidents of landslide were reported from Wayanad, Malappuram and Idukki districts. The IMD has forecast very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall across the state until Sunday. 1 2 3 B Ajayakumar, 43, a mazdoor attached to the Nedumangad KSEB office was killed after a tree got uprooted and fell on him The shutters of Aruvikkara barrage and Peppara dam were opened A car, its driver and a passenger were washed away at Nallathanni on Elappara-Vagamon road on Thursday night A carcass of a wild elephant was seen floating down the river at Neryamangalam in Ernakulam After Beirut shock, Chennai’s ticking time bomb ‘to be dismantled soon’ C S H I V A K U M A R @ Chennai AT a time when a massive explosion in Beirut shocked the world — caused by ammonium nitrate impounded six year ago and was lying in a warehouse — it has come to light that a similar time bomb is ticking in Chennai. A whopping 740 metric tonnes of the same chemical substance, used for making fertilizers and explosives, is lying unattended in a container freight station in Manali for the last five years. Now, with the issue causing alarm, the government has swung into action, and asked ‘Not left open; safely packed’ Revenue Dept says it has not been left open but stored in tightly packed containers. The Customs Dept has done a safety audit and adequate steps are being followed. the Customs Department to safely dispose the material. Sources say that on Thursday , the process was set in motion to e-auction the chemical, stored in 37 containers. A top revenue department official assured that the chemical was kept tightly packed. “The customs department has conducted a safety audit, and adequate steps are being followed,” the source said. “The storage facility is 20km away from the city There is no . residential locality within a 2km radius,” said T Samaya Murali, Joint Commissioner of Customs. Gover nment sources tell Express that the Customs Department has assured to dispose the chemical within a month. The consignment, sources say, was seized in November 2015 from Sri Amman Chemicals in Karur. It is valued at `1.8 crore. STRICTER NORMS AT SUPERMARKETS DGP Loknath Behera said the police will enforce strict social distancing norms at supermarkets. Only six persons will be allowed in 100sqft area. Shopping time will also be reduced. P4 Ambili, from Perunguzhi in Thiruvananthapuram, helps her relative and fellow coir worker Sarasamma, 85, wear a mask on Thursday. Despite being a hindrance, most workers are using masks but sanitising and social distancing are not followed despite the state government’s active Break the Chain campaign | B P DEEPU 1,298 800 test positive recover on Thursday 1,017 INFECTED THROUGH LOCAL CONTACT 5 districts recorded more than a hundred positive cases Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has blamed chief minister for the government’s lapses in combating Covid-19 claiming that the latter was blaming the Opposition and officials to hide his failure. P4 24 people from Valiyangadi in Kozhikode test positive 106 test positive after 370 anitgen tests were done at Anchuthengu in T’Puram HEAVY rain continued to pound the state on Thursday with the high ranges facing the brunt of nature’s fury All . major rivers are in spate and low-lying areas have been inundated, rekindling memories of the monsoon mayhem over the past two seasons. The torrential rain accompanied by strong winds uprooted trees, d a m a g e d h o u s e s, snapped power lines and disrupted road traffic. Incidents of landslide have been reported from Wayanad, Malappuram and Idukki districts. As many as nine houses were destroyed completely and 378 partially . A KSEB worker died after a tree fell on him at Manchammoola near Nedumangadu. B Ajayakumar, a 43-year-old mazdoor, was on his way to the Nedumangad KSEB office when the incident occurred. A three-year-old boy sustained a head injury after a tree fell on his house at Anchal in Kollam. The India Meteorological Department has forecast very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall across the state until August 9. “Yesterday’s (Wednesday) well-marked low pressure area over northwest Bay of Bengal now lies as a low pressure area over southwest Madhya Pradesh. Strong southwesterly/westerly monsoonal flow over the Arabian Sea with wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph is very likely to continue to prevail till August 8. Another low pressure area is likely to develop over west-central and adjoining north Bay of Bengal around August 9,” the forecast said. The IMD has sounded a red alert for Malappuram on Friday and orange alert for eight other central and northern ● More on P5 districts. JOY UNBOUND SIBLINGS’ FA CUP CELEBRATION WINS GUNNERS’ HEARTS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kozhikode T W E LV E - Y E A R - O L D Ahamad Yasin and his b ro t h e r, e i g h t - ye a r- o l d Ahamad Yahya, are on cloud nine as their video celebrating their favourite club Arsenal’s FA Cup win was acknowledged by the English Premier League side. The siblings, from Karuvanpoyil in Kozhikode, had a sleepless night on August 1 as Arsenal took on Chelsea in the FA Cup final at the We m b l e y S t a d i u m i n London. The duo dressed up in Arsenal’s jersey -- red and white -- and stayed glued to the television. Their prized moment arrived in the wee hours of Sunday when Chelsea were beaten 2-1, and they were screaming and jumping around in joy . Their older brother Rajah Rizwan A K, who is the first team manager of Gokulam Kerala FC, captured the celebration and put it out on social media. On Wednesday came the biggest surprise -- PANEL TO STUDY NEW EDU POLICY Ahamad Yasin and Ahamad Yahya in Arsenal FC jersey Arsenal shared the video on their official Instagram and Facebook accounts. “During the lockdown period, both of them watched all the matches in the Premier League. Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe are the favourite players of Yasin while it is Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Yahya,” Rizwan said. The brothers are students of Anzar English School in Karuvanpoyil. While Yasin is in Class VII, Yahya is in Class II. The boys are now the talk of the town as well as their friend circles. The Kerala State Higher Education Council has formed a six-member panel to study the Centre’s National Education Policy 2020. The panel will scrutinise the points mentioned with special reference to Kerala. P4
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