CHENNAI FRIDAY AUGUST 28, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 32 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 | P9 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 OPTION 1 Vs OPTION 2 Centre pegs total GST collection shortfall in FY21 at 2.35L cr (`97,000 cr due to shortfall and the rest due to pandemic). The Centre offered two options: i) a special window to borrow `97,000 cr from RBI, to be repaid in five years; ii) borrow entire `2.35 lakh 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 ‘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 If each state rushes to the market, it will heat up bond yields. So, we thought it sensible to approach RBI to help us and facilitate the process, whereby all states could get loan at the same rate ‘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’ Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairing the 41st GST Council meeting via video-conferencing, in New Delhi on Thursday | PTI Nirmala Sitharaman, FM 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 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 cr) for the current fiscal from `1,653 billion in P10 FY20,” he said. TA M I L N A D U K A R N ATA K A ANDHRA PRADESH TELANGANA KERALA U T TA R A K H A N D JHARKHAND RAJASTHAN WEST BENGAL Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, who represented the State in the GST Council meeting on Thursday, urged the Centre to disburse `12,258.94 crore pending GST compensation. Jayakumar also asked the Centre to release the pending IGST dues of `4,073 cr | 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 `13,764 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 `5,420 cr and IGST dues of `2,700 cr to Telangana immediately. The state’s contribution to GST Cess was `18,082 cr. The State has received `3,223 crore as GST compensation 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 Uttarakhand state agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal said in the GST Council that the state awaits `2,000 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 Oraon 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 `6,990 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 Supreme Court allows states to make quota within quota for SC/ST 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 THE Supreme Court on Thursday disagreed with a 2004 verdict of its Constitution Bench and held that held that states can make further reservations for subcastes within the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. A five-judge 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 2004 judgment held that it is unconstitutional for state governments to provide a further sub-categorisation of SC and ST. The bench ruled that allotting a specific percentage of the reserved seats to a particular subcaste 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. In its 78-page judgment, the bench observed that the benefit of reservation, by and large, is not trickling down to the poorest of the poor. The bench was ruling on Punjab’s gover nment’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. Section 4(5) of the Act provided for ‘first preference’ to certain castes for Scheduled Caste reservations in public services. FORMER SUPREME COURT JUDGE AR LAKSHMANAN DEAD Former Supreme Court judge AR Lakshmanan (78) died at a private hospital in Tiruchy on Thursday | P4 TN battle ‘TN drew investors even amid Covid’ @ Nagapattinam TAMIL Nadu has topped all States in having attracted maximum investments even during the pandemic, which will create job opportunities, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Thursday . Speaking at a function organised to lay the foundation for various projects, Palaniswami said the companies with which the gover nment had inked pacts last year are starting new ventures and opening up more job opportunities. “Industrial functioning is slowly becoming normal, even as we are recovering from the clutches of Covid. Migrant workers are coming back and are likely to find sufficient opportunities. There are over 7.5 lakh migrant workers in Tamil NEET, JEE Students want exams held at any cost: Centre TOO GOOD, YET TRUE Join Class VI and get a free smartphone J E YA L A K S H M I R A M A N U J A M @ Madurai Chennai reported 1,286 fresh cases and 32 deaths on Thursday. Next to Chennai, maximum cases were reported in Coimbatore 439 Salem 413 Tiruvallur 323 Chengalpattu 298 Kancheepuram 256 THE FOODGRAIN MARKET IN KOYAMEBDU WILL REOPEN ON SEP 18 AND THE WHOLESALE VEGETABLE MARKET, ON SEP 28 | P2 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 the poor cannot 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 non-teaching 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 lockdown and also provided them relief and treatment.” Continuing the discussion on labour, Palaniswami said the State government has a different view about natives getting preference for local jobs that had been mooted by Madhya Pradesh recently . EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE for Class VI this year,” he said. PG teacher S Krishnaveni said that as most of the students in the school are from financially 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. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi MAKING it clear yet again that the Centre won’t put off holding the JEE (Main), NEET exams, the Union education mini s t e r R a m e s h Po k h r i ya l Nishank on Thursday said most students want the exams to be held “at any cost”. “ Pa re n t s a n d s t u d e n t s through email and social media have said that the exams should R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi “There is a shortage of people for jobs in Tamil Nadu. Around 7.5 lakh people have come from other States to work here. We need more people, and we had just discussed that we n e e d m o re p e o p l e t o b e employed.” Madhya Pradesh’s call for job reservation had triggered the ‘sons of the soil’ discussion in other parts of the country find, ing resonance among the political fraternity in Tamil Nadu as P4 well. CONGRESS on Thursday constituted a ten-member committee consisting of MPs from both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha to improve coordination between the two groups. Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, who were among the 23 “dissenters” who sought a change in the Congress leadership, are part of the committee. Jairam Ramesh has been named the party’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha. Gaurav Gogoi will be its new deputy leader in the Lok Sabha. Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu is the new Congress whip in the Lower House of Full story on: P9 Parliament. be conducted in September,” he said in a video message. His comments came a day after chief ministers of seven opposition-ruled states decided to approach the Supreme Court seeking a postponement of the exams in light of the mounting Covid-19 cases in the country . “The National Testing Agency has informed me that over 7 lakh candidates have downloaded JEE (Main) admit cards while over 10 lakh aspirants have downloaded NEET admit cards so far. This shows that the students want the exams to be held at any cost,” the minister said. Pokhriyal’s commenta were made after higher education secretary Amit Khare held a meeting with the officials in the PMO. ‘We need workers’ Nadu, and our State is creating maximum number of jobs for such people,” he said. On measures the government undertook to address the plight of migrant workers, he said, “We sent 4 lakh migrant workers back to their native places at government cost during the Cong makes big appointments after dissent JUNIOR HOCKEY PLAYER JOINS BAKERY TO SUPPLEMENT FAMILY INCOME SRINIDHI PR @ Chennai THE Covid-19 pandemic and its impact has hit India hard. In a case of compulsion changing priorities, an aspiring hockey player finds himself working in a bakery to support his family . S Karthi of Tamil Nadu’s Ariyalur district was part of the India junior men’s camp in Bengaluru in March. The family of five was dependent on his father’s income as a watchman. Once that reduced due to shorter working hours during lockdown, Karthi had no choice. “I decided to work in a bakery to meet our family expenses during the lockdown. It fetches me around `5,000 per month, which is very handy during these times. I also try to save from that. It’s a part-time job, from 10am to 3pm. Now that grounds are open, I go for training after work,” said Karthi, who is also pursuing BA in history . Hockey India has given a few players a one-time assistance of `10,000. Despite that, Karti is still compelled to work in the bakery .
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