KOCHI l FRIDAY l AUGUST 28, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l 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 K20,000 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 C20,000 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 ‘THERE’S TRUST DEFICIT BETWEEN CENTRE AND STATES’ PUNJAB: Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said there is 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 ‘CENTRE MUST TAKE LOAN AND PAY STATES’ MAHARASHTRA: Dy CM and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar urged the Centre to take a lowinterest loan and transfer the funds to states to help the latter survive financial crisis ‘CENTRE CAN BORROW AND RELEASE FUNDS TO STATES’ Nirmala Sitharaman, Union finance minister Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairing the 41st GST Council meeting via video-conferencing, in New Delhi on Thursday | PTI ODISHA: Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari asked the Centre to release the pending GST compensation, adding that the Centre may borrow and release funds to the states OPTION 1 Vs OPTION 2 Centre pegs total GST collection shortfall in FY21 at C2.35L cr (C97,000 cr due to shortfall and the rest due to pandemic). The Centre offered two options: i) a special window to borrow C97,000 cr from RBI, to be repaid in five years; ii) borrow entire C2.35L crore. Under 1st option i), states’ compensation entitlement will be protected. In the 2nd, states borrow more and pay for it using cess collected during transition period 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 `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 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 `7,65,000 crfor FY21, the GST compensation requirement appears set to more than double to `3,639 billion (`3,63,900 crore) for the current fiscal from `1,653 billion in P8 FY20,” he said. KERALA K A R N ATA K A ANDHRA PRADESH TELANGANA TA M I L N A D U U T TA R A K H A N D JHARKHAND RAJASTHAN WEST BENGAL Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the bifurcation of compensation amount as ‘normal’ and ‘due to Covid-19’ is not lawful. He said the Centre should borrow the entire sum and distribute among states, as it can easily mobilise funds at a lesser interest rate than states | P4 Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who represented the state in the GST Council, said the state had achieved 71.61% GST collections despite the pandemic and urged the Council to pay compensation of C13,764 crore for the past four months Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath said states have more commitments towards public expenditure and asked the Centre to fulfil its commitment made during the introduction of GST of compensating the revenue loss to states Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao demanded the Centre release GST compensation dues of C5,420 cr and IGST dues of C2,700 cr to Telangana immediately. The state’s contribution to GST Cess was C18,082 cr. The state has received C3,223 crore as GST compensation Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, who represented the state in the GST Council meeting on Thursday, urged the Centre to disburse C12,258.94 crore pending GST compensation. Jayakumar also asked the Centre to release the pending IGST dues of C4,073 cr Uttarakhand state agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal said in the GST Council that the state awaits C2,000 crore as GST compensation. “We are ready to comply with the Centre’s directions and there is no issue of increasing the GST compensation years from five to 10 years,” he added Jharkhand Finance Minister Rameshwar Oroan said the state’s financial condition is really bad. Oraon suggested the Centre get loan from RBI and make the funds available to the states, so that the repayment of loans will be done by the Centre without putting any burden on states Rajasthan Electricity and PHED Minister B D Kalla demanded immediate release of GST dues of C6,990 crore to the state. “The economy is crippled due to the protracted lockdown. Our revenues will take a long time to recover. We demand immediate release of our share,” he said West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said the Centre must pay the compensation from different cesses that it collects. Mitra said, “In case of a shortfall, it is the responsibility of the Centre to explore resources for compensating the states,” he added New record K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi 1,023 deaths during the period TIME TAKEN TO ADD EACH ONE LAKH CASES Date Cases Days 2 Aug 17,50,723 2 3 Aug 18,03,695 1 5 Aug 19,08,254 2 7 Aug 20,27,074 2 9 Aug 21,53,010 2 10 Aug 22,15,074 1 12 Aug 23,29,638 2 14 Aug 24,61,190 2 15 Aug 25,26,192 1 17 Aug 26,47,663 2 18 Aug 27,02,742 1 20 Aug 28,36,925 2 21 Aug 29,05,823 1 23 Aug 30,44,940 2 24 Aug 31,06,348 1 26 Aug 32,34,474 2 27 Aug 33,10,234 1 Kerala case diary 2,406 tested positive on Thursday 2,067 recoveries 10 deaths 22,673 active cases Don’t rush, wait for probe report on Secretariat fire, CM tells oppn Apex court allows quota within quota for SC/ST 2,175 infected through local contact 66,761 cases so far THE Supreme Court on Thursday disagreed with a 2004 verdict of its Constitution Bench and held that states can make further reservations for sub-castes within the scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes(ST). A fivejudge bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, noted that the state legislatures as well as the Parliament have the power to grant reservations in education and employment. “Once the State has the power to give reservations, it can also make sub classification to extend benefit to those sub castes not receiving the benefit,” said Justice Mishra, reading out the operative part of the judgment. The CONG COORDINATION PANEL FORMED 2004 judgment held that it is unconstitutional for state governments to provide a further subcategorisation of SC and ST. The bench ruled that allotting a specific percentage of the reserved seats to a particular sub-caste will not violate Article 341(2), 342, and 342A of the Constitution as no enlisted caste is denied the benefit of reservation. Under Article 341 (2), only the Parliament may include or exclude any castes or tribes from the list of SC/STs. The court was ruling on Punjab government’s appeal against a 2010 judgment by the Punjab and Haryana High Court that struck down Section 4(5) of the Punjab Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes Act, 2006 as unconstitutional. The party on Thursday constituted a 10-member committee consisting of MPs from both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha to improve coordination in the two Houses. P7 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @T’Puram A special police team under ADGP Manoj Abraham is probing the matter. The technical aspects of the incident are being looked into by a team led by Disaster Management Commissioner A Kowsigan Pinarayi Vijayan, CM PROPOSAL SUBMITTED The Kowsigan panel submitted a 11-point proposal to chief secretary seeking round-the-clock security for protocol office till probe is over ON a day the Governor referred a letter from the Opposition to him for action, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cited preliminary probe findings to stress that no important files were destroyed in the fire at the Secretariat protocol section. Some files were partially gutted, he said, and urged the Opposition to wait till the investigation report is out to gain more clarity in the matter. “A detailed investigation will be carried out. Let them probe. EXPRESS READ ‘Centre’s nod not sought for Life Mission project with Red Crescent’ T’Puram: The state has not obtained the Centre’s permission before Life Mission and UAE Red Crescent entered into an agreement for the Wadakkancherry project, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan admitted on Thursday. P4 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS MEGA INFRA PUSH Onam ‘GIFT’: Biz city to come up in Aluva E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @Kochi THE northern suburbs of Kochi are set to witness a drastic makeover with around 220 hectares in Aluva getting converted into a Global Industrial Finance and Trade (GIFT) City, bringing in an investment of more than `18,000 crore. The project -- similar to the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City -- is expected to generate 1.2 lakh direct and 3.36 lakh indirect employment opportunities. The National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) announced the development of GIFT City as an early-bird project under the Kochi-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor. The project is planned with the financial/business centre as an integral part. It will be a growth driver for the city complemented with knowledge-based industries. It would Hi-tech hub Business centre with a focus on knowledge-based industries like research, technical support and consulting firms expected to come up It is part of Kochi-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor project Project to come up in 220 hectares in Aluva, near Kochi airport. Expected to bring in investments worth L18,000 crore over 10 years Will provide 1.2 lakh direct and 3.6 lakh indirect jobs be providing an integrated ecosystem for the development of globally competitive hi-tech services and financial hub. “The GIFT City is an Onam gift to the people of Kerala. We are planning to complete the land acquisition by February 2021. The master planning agency will start work from ear- Infrastructure development worth K1,600 cr is also part of the project Tender procedures to start in March 2021 State to pump in K540 cr for land acquisition, which will be its share in the project ly September and complete the plan by February 2021. Activities like MoEF clearance and tenders will start in March 2021 and be completed by May-June 2021,” said Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Additional Chief Secretary-Industries (KBIC), who is also heading the Special Projects in ● More on P5 Kerala. It’s better not to rush. Let’s wait for the report,” the CM said. He said the fire was reported near the protocol 2(A) and 5 sections. While a special police team under ADGP Manoj Abraham is probing the matter, the technical aspects of the incident are being looked into by a team led by Disaster Management Commissioner A Kowsigan. The latter will look into the reason for the fire and the precautions to be taken. While the report will be out within a week, it has been decided to strengthen the security at the Secretariat, he said. Reiterating the government stand that it is ready to give all files that NIA had asked for, the CM criticised political activists entering the Secretariat premises without adhering to security norms, especially those required during the Covid times. “Such things shouldn’t have happened. The government views the breach seriously he ,” said. Pinarayi alleged the Congress and the BJP tried to give a new dimension to the fire in● More on P5 cident.
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