BENGALURU THURSDAY AUGUST 27, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 18 LATE CITY EDITION CHINA SPRUCING UP MILITARY INFRA IN EASTERN SECTOR China has begun construction of huge habitat for large troop formation in the Eastern Sector, sources said on Wednesday PLA BUILDING A BRIGADE-SIZE GARRISON STRATEGIC MISSILES ALSO DEPLOYED The Peoples Liberation Army is building a brigade size garrison at Gyantse in Tibet, which appears to be meant for the ground forces, sources said. Its construction reportedly began after January. Also, satellite images from June and July confirm that China is building and connecting roads to the border areas at multiple points in the Eastern Sector | P9 ■ ■ ■ The new garrison includes six battalion headquarters and more than 600 sheds for vehicles and equipment It will be strategically positioned in Gyantse, which is not far from the Indian border states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim Sources say China has also moved strategic missiles to the area 2021 WHEN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE GARRISON IS EXPECTED TO BE FINISHED 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 Opposition to move SC to postpone JEE, NEET Clear the mess you created: SC to Centre West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggests joint review petition by all CMs in the Supreme Court EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi AMID a rising chorus against holding JEE/NEET in the midst of a pandemic, the Chief Ministers of seven Oppositionruled states met on Wednesday to discuss the prospect of filing a joint petition in the Supreme Court to postpone the exams. The development comes a day after the Centre decided to increase the number of examination centres for JEE and NEET to ensure social distancing. Both the exams are scheduled to be held in early September. During a virtual meeting called by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to discuss issues faced by the Opposition-ruled states, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee mooted the idea of filing a joint petition before the apex court seeking a review, after it rejected a plea on August 17 to postpone the exams. The SC had said, “Life cannot be stopped and the career of students cannot be put in jeopardy .” “Let us go to the Supreme Court and talk about this matter. This is a mental agony for students and, with limited trains and flight operations, I don’t know how they will commute to sit for the exams. The situation is very serious with cases rising, we have to speak up for the children,” said Banerjee. Supporting Mamata’s suggestion, the other CMs present in the meeting said they should approach the court keeping in mind that the JEE (Main) is to be held from September 1-6 and NEET on September 13. Keeping in mind the urgency of the matter, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh tweeted after the meeting: “I have asked Advocate General, Punjab to coordinate with his counterparts in other states and to file a review petition in Supreme Court on NEET/JEE issue. In the midst of the ongoing Oppn politicising issue, says DyCM EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru Students protest Centre’s move to hold JEE, NEET exams amid Covid | PARVEEN NEGI 6.8L NEET students downloaded admit cards: Govt New Delhi: 6.84 lakh NEET candidates downloaded their hall tickets within five hours after its allocation began on Wednesday, the Centre said. A total of 15.9 lakh students have registered for the exam Covid19 pandemic, it is not safe for lakhs of students to appear for these examinations.” Addressing the Chief Ministers, Sonia said the government is indifferent to the difficulty students will have to endure if they have to write the exams amid Covid-19 induced restrictions. She also accused the government of handling the whole GST compensation: States not keen on mkt borrowing said the Centre has a moral commitment to paying the states. Thursday’s GST Council meeting According to sources claim Guis likely to be stormy as many jarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar states, including BJP-ruled ones, Pradesh – all BJP-ruled states – too are miffed at non-payment of have conveyed their displeasGST compensation to states. ure over the Centre’s stand While Kerala and West on delaying GST Bengal have been very vocompensation. cal on the delayed payout, Another sticky point is many Cong ress-ruled that most states are not in states have also accused favour of opting for marthe Centre of denying ket borrowing. They say Meet to their rightful dues. the Centre should use the Almost all states are go- discuss all Consolidated Fund of Inoptions ing through a rough patch dia to pay states or allow as revenues have fallen “Revenue fall is them to levy some tax. drastically due to the coro- a known fact. According to the 101st navirus pandemic. Constitution Amendment, In the last Punjab Finance Minisstates will be compensated meeting, the ter Manpreet Singh Badal for a period of five years Centre had said the state has received from the implementation shared the compensation only till of GST in July 2017. Under revenue March 2020 and the Centre situation. This this provision, states will is sitting over `4,400 crore have to be compensated till meeting will unpaid dues. discuss all the July 2022 for any losses. Chhattisgarh has comThe compensation options,” a plained the state has not senior official would meet the shortfall in received a single penny revenue to the states, asfrom the since April 2020 as suming a 14% growth anfinance compensation. nually in GST revenues. ministry told Last month, Kerala The New Indian However, the GST reveChief Minister Pinarayi nue growth was less than Express Vijayan had also flagged anticipated. Even after the matter terming the Centre’s three years of GST rollout, mop-up non-payment of GST compensa- has mostly remained under `1 lakh tion to states unconstitutional. crore per month. Meanwhile, FiRecently, Bihar Deputy CM and nance Ministry sources said all soP10,12 state Finance Minister Sushil Modi lutions will be discussed. A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi Can Messi leave Barca? Barcelona star Lionel Messi has asked club to release him. Here’s a brief look what transpired... Messi has told Barcelona through his lawyers he wants to leave despite a year remaining on his contract. This may lead to legal complications if both sides remain firm. The club buying Messi has to pay Barcelona €700 million as release fee, but the 33-year-old believes he can leave as a free agent. Few clubs can match his weekly salary of €1 million, but the names of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, PSG are doing the rounds. 2001 Year when Messi joined the club’s junior team 20 Major titles Messi won at Barcelona P13 issue in a careless manner. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel and Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy agreed that they are ready to approach the apex court on the matter. However, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal reiterated that both the exams will be held as per schedule. COUNCIL MEET TODAY Bommai: Centre should make up for the shortfall A N U S H A R AV I @ Bengaluru THE GST Council meeting on Wednesday is set to be a stormy one as states are geared up to demand their due compensation in the face of revenue shortfall. Karnataka, a BJP-ruled state, meanwhile, is all set to present its case strongly to impress upon the Council that timely compensation is a necessity to revive the state’s finances that is currently in a bad shape owing to Covid-19 and floods. The GST Council, which had initially expressed doubts over paying compensation for January-March to states, released it finally and Karnataka is looking at it as a good sign. Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who will represent the state at the Council meeting, told TNIE that while all options are being considered, the Centre has to ultimately compensate 14 per cent of GST revenues as per Constitutional provisions and that the state will press for it. “If not immediately, the Union Government, at least in terms of guarantee, will have to make up for the compensation during the year. If they assure that, then we can make our own arrangements till such time. Ultimately the , GST Council has to compensate,” the Home MinisP5 ter said. CM woos Japanese firms with K’taka’s growth pitch E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @Bengaluru PITCHING Karnataka as the ideal investment destination, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday advertised his government’s decisions on easing lockdown restrictions sooner and bringing amendments to Land, Labour and Industries Acts. In his address during the Indo-Japan Business Forum, Yediyurappa said Karnataka is a nearly $250 billion economy, with a growth rate of 9.6 per cent and has a conducive atmosphere for FDI from Japan in all sectors. “The state has set up a Japanese Industrial Township at Vasanthanarasapura near Tumakuru town, and many developmental projects have been executed in collaboration with Japanese companies. In all, 519.55 acres of land has been earmarked in the Japanese Industrial Township, and infrastructure facilities such as roads, power and water supply are being set up. This township focuses on heavy engineering and machine tools, automotive and aerospace components,” Yediyurappa told Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotenti- Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa participating in the Indo-Japan Business Forum at his home office ‘Krishna’ in Bengaluru on Wednesday | EXPRESS ary of Japan to India, Satoshi Suzuki. Asserting that Karnataka was ranked on top of NITI Aayog 2019 Innovation Index, the CM invited Japanese investments. “Keeping the investor-centric approach, our government has launched the New Industrial Policy 2020-2025, to build a prosperous Karnataka and create large-scale employment opportunities. This policy is very forward-looking and brings with it several incentives and regulatory reforms such as land access and labour market regulation,” he added. THE state government is determined to go ahead with the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibilitycum-Entrance Test (NEET) on the dates fixed by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Deputy CM Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, who is also Minister for Higher Education, on Wednesday accused the opposition parties of politicising the issue. He termed the opposition to JEE/NEET as an “attempt by some vested interests to disrupt the exams” and iterated that “Karnataka is well prepared to conduct the exams smoothly with all necessary facilities in the backdrop of Covid-19.” P7 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi ASKING the Centre not to hide behind the RBI, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed it to clarify its stand on waiving interest on loans during the moratorium period. “It is your responsibility to take steps under the Disaster Management Act. You have enough powers to decide the issue of waiver. You cannot just depend on the RBI,” the bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said. The court was hearing a petetion filed by Agra resi- dent Gajendra Sharma. Noting that the economic distress was created by the Centre’s nationwide lockdown, the SC asked the government to decide on the matter within one week. The court’s observation came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referred to the RBI’s affidavit, and said the banking institutions are also distressed. “The problem was created by your (Centre) lockdown. This isn’t the time to take care of only the business interests. You must also consider the plight of the people,” the bench noted. GOVT TOLD TO MAKE STAND CLEAR BY SEPT 1 New Delhi: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the petitioners, told SC the loan moratorium scheme is ending on August 31 and it should be extended. “I am only saying that till these pleas are decided, the extension should not end,” Sibal said. SC posted the matter for September 1, asking the Centre to come back with its stand on the issue EXPRESS READ GP polls likely by year-end, says SEC Bengaluru: The State Election Commission (SEC), which had announced postponing the Gram Panchayat elections slated for May this year due to the pandemic, is now gearing up to conduct the polls in November or December. There are 6,025 gram panchayats in Karnataka, whose tenure has already ended in June-July. P3 Phase II trial of Oxford vaccine begins Pune: The Phase II clinical trial of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), began at a medical college and hospital in Pune on Wednesday. Two male volunteers were administered the vaccine at Bharti Vidyapeeth’s Medical College and Hospital. P10
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