MADURAI FRIDAY AUGUST 28, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 14 LATE CITY EDITION GOVT TO BAN IMPORT OF MORE DEFENCE ITEMS, SAYS MODI The Prime Minister said on Thursday the Centre will further restrict import of defence items to boost domestic industry ‘SELF RELIANCE WILL BOOST INDIA’S STANDING’ Addressing the defence industry outreach seminar, Narendra Modi said, attaining self-reliance in defence will help India become a net security provider in the Indian Ocean and make it a defence supplier for many friendly countries. He said ‘Atmnirbhar Bharat’ is not an inward looking idea. Rather, its aim is to enable India work towards attaining world peace ■ Modi `20,000 CR TO BE INVESTED OVER 5 YEARS ■ Modi said India is working on developing new technologies, and the private sector companies will be given a big role to play He said work on building defence corridors is on at a rapid pace in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and an investment of `20,000 crore would be made on them over the next five years | P7 ALLEGED THAT PREVIOUS GOVTS IGNORED INDIA’S DEFENCE INDUSTRY 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 PUNJAB: THERE’S TRUST DEFICIT BETWEEN CENTRE, STATES Chandigarh: Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said the finance ministers of Congress-ruled States are not happy with the outcome of the GST Council meeting. “The meeting did not progress in a cordial atmosphere. There was a clear trust deficit between the Centre and States. We got a feeling a solution was being thrust upon us,” he said after the GST Council meeting There is a shortfall in revenue as we are facing an Act of God, which might even result in a contraction of the economy Nirmala Sitharaman, Union finance minister MAHARASHTRA: CENTRE MUST TAKE LOAN AND PAY STATES Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairing the 41st GST Council meeting via video-conferencing, in New Delhi on Thursday | PTI Mumbai: Centre owes the Maharasthra govt `22,534 crore in GST compensation, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar said. He urged the Centre to take a low-interest loan and transfer the funds to states to help the latter come out of financial crisis. Delay in GST payout is affecting development work, he added ‘THE ONLY QUESTION IS WHO WILL BORROW’ Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “The meeting was for compensation to states. There was no other agenda. The question is, who will borrow — the Centre or states?” STATES STARE AT L2.35 LAKH CR GST REVENUE BLACKHOLE Centre gives two options for States to meet revenue shortfall, offers to arrange borrowing from RBI at ‘reasonable rates’; FM terms economic distress ‘Act of God’ A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi FACING heat from States over non-payment of GST compensation, the Centre on Thursday said Union government is also affected by the shortfall in GST collections. AT the GST Council meeting, the Centre told states that the coronavirus-induced lockdown has severely impacted mop-up, leaving a gap of School finds a smart way to tide over pandemic `2.35 lakh crore for the Centre to compensate states this year. “As per the Centre’s calculation, the compensation requirement by states in the current fiscal would be `3 lakh crore, of which `65,000 crore is expected to be met from the cess levied in the GST regime. Hence, the total shortfall is estimated at `2.35 lakh crore,”said Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan. Calling the pandemic an Act of God, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Centre has less headroom to meet the gap. The Union government can also not dip into the Consolidated Fund of India to pay off states, she said referring to the Attorney General’s advice. “The A-G’s clear opinion was that the compensation gap cannot be met from the Consolidat- ed Fund of India. He suggested the compensation cess levy can be extended beyond five years to meet the shortfall.” Briefing reporters, the finance minister said two options were suggested in the meeting. The first option is a special window for the states, in consultation with the RBI, to borrow `97,000 crore at a reasonable interest rate. The amount can be repaid by 2022 from the cess collection. The second one is to borrow the entire `2.35 lakh crore shortfall under the special window. The finance minister disclosed that states have asked for a detailed draft of the two options and sought a week’s time to study both options and come back to meet again. Sitharaman said the options J E YA L A K S H M I R A M A N U J A M not refuse. Welcome to Thiagarajar Higher Secondary School that is offering an android smartphone to each student who joins Class VI in the academic year 2020-21. The initiative, a brainchild of headmaster Ramanathan, has been receiving good response and 12 students have joined Class VI until now. Ramanathan said that to buy the smartphones, all the employees (9 teaching and 3 nonteaching staff) have pooled in `8,000 each and decided to foot the students’ bill for buying data until the school reopens. “We have 52 seats for Class VI this year,” he said. PG teacher S Krishnaveni said that as most of the students in the school are from fi- nancially poor families, they have been offering breakfast for those studying in Classes VI, VII and VIII. Meanwhile, Saravanan, who admitted his son S Shivasankar in class VI in the school said that it’s the offer of smartphone that attracted him the most. “This would help my son attend online classes and study better,” he added. @ Madurai SMARTING are the financial wounds being inflicted by the Covid-induced lockdown. At a time when the laymen are finding it difficult to buy smartphones to help their children’s education, a government-aided school in Madurai has come up with an offer that the poor can- are only for this year. The situation will be reviewed in April next year to decide the future course of action. Meanwhile, experts warn the revenue shortfall will be steeper than the government’s estimate. According to Jayanta Roy group , head, corporate sector ratings at ICRA, SGST collections are likely to fall 21% to `4,01,100 crore in FY21 from `5,05,800 crore in FY20, which will push compensation amount above `2.35 lakh crore. “With the aggregate protected revenues of the states being estimated by ICRA at `7,650 billion (`7,65,000 cr) for FY21, the GST compensation requirement appears set to more than double to `3,639 billion (`3,63,900 cr) for the current fiscal from `1,653 billion in FY20,” he said. EXPRESS READ ‘TN attracted investors even during pandemic’ Nagapattinam: Tamil Nadu has topped all states in attracting maximum investments even during the pandemic, which will create job opportunities, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Thursday. He said that the companies with which the government had inked pacts last year are starting new ventures. “Industrial functioning is slowly becoming normal, even as we are recovering from the clutches of Covid. Migrant workers are coming back,” he said.
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