WARANGAL SATURDAY AUGUST 29, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION COCA-COLA TO HALVE ITS OPERATING UNITS, CUT JOBS The beverage maker, reeling from the pandemic’s impact on its sales, on Friday put out plans to restructure its workforce ‘VOLUNTARY SEPARATION’ FOR 4K WORKERS IMPACT ON INDIAN WORKFORCE UNCLEAR The company will have nine new divisions to manage its global business, instead of 17 divisions now. The changes will lead to workforce reduction, the firm said, adding it’ll offer “voluntary separation” packages to about 4,000 employees, including in the US. It will also implement “involuntary separations”, but hasn’t specified how many workers will be impacted ■ ■ In the April-June quarter, the company had recorded its steepest quarterly revenue decline in over 25 years due to the lockdowns Coca-Cola employs about 25,000 people in India, including contract workers, according to the firm’s website. It’s not clear if the restructuring will lead to job losses in the country $550 mn IS HOW MUCH THE COMPANY EXPECTS TO INCUR IN SEVERANCE EXPENSES 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 States say borrowing is not a financially viable option ANURADHA SHUKLA @ New Delhi An Indian Youth Congress worker being detained in New Delhi amid a protest against JEE and NEET on Friday | SHEKHAR YADAV 6 Oppn states approach SC over NEET, JEE THE Centre’s suggestion in the GST Council meeting on Thursday that states borrow from the Res e r ve B a n k o f India to make up for revenue shortfall will not be viable for states. This is because most states are already reeling under high debt as well as fiscal deficit. Under existing rules, states can’t borrow more than 3.5% of their GDP. The Union finance ministry has given the option to state governments to borrow as much as `2.35 lakh crore from RBI. However, as borrowing is guided by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, it will need some regulatory changes. “There is restriction on the amount they can borrow, which is set at 3% of their GDP and then it was extended to 3.5% during the pandemic. Now, the additional debt will be added to their limit, which will restrict their borrowing capacity for other purposes,” a senior finance ministry official said. States rely on three sources to finance their expenditure — own resourc- It is better if the Centre monetises the debt and gives to states. RBI will be also comfortable dealing with the Centre rather than deal with close to 30 sub-national entities -Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser, SBI @ New Delhi CITING logistics challenges due to lockdown restrictions, six Cabinet ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand on Friday filed a joint petition in the Supreme Court seeking postponement of NEET and JEE exams this year. The exams are scheduled to be held next month. West Bengal law minister Maloy Ghatak, Jharkhand finance minister Rameshwar Oraon, Rajasthan health minister Dr Raghu Sharma, Chhattisgarh food minister Amarjeet Bhagat, Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, and Maharashtra education minister Uday R Samant sought review of the top court’s August 17 order rejecting pleas to cancel NEET-UG exams, saying life must go on. The review petition by the Opposition-ruled states noted that the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Centre to go ahead with the national eligibility entrance tests fails to secure the safety securi, ty and right to life of students. According to the peti- tioners, the SC’s advice ‘Life must go on’ may have philosophical underpinnings, but it cannot be a substitute to valid legal reasoning and logical analysis of the various aspects involved in the conduct of NEET and JEE. JEE (Main) will be conducted through 660 centres, with 9.53 lakh students set to appear—roughly be 1,443 students per centre, the states noted. V N I L E S H @ Hyderabad ASYMPTOMATIC Covid-19 persons carry much higher viral load than symptomatic cases and could be the reason behind the fast transmission of the infection in the country, a study by researchers from Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), in collaboration with the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) has found. The significant finding adds a new dimension to the discussions over high infection rate and low mortality of Covid-19 patients in India and whether asymptomatic Covid-19 patients can spread the infection. CDFD is one of the testing centres in Hyderabad for samples collected from suspected symptomatic and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients. Mamata Banerjee steps up rhetoric Kolkata: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Bengal will give people a taste of freedom and liberate people of India from the BJP’s clutches by defeating them in 2021 polls. I am ready to sacrifice my life for this” Similarly, 15.97 lakh students are expected to take the NEET at 3,843 centres—415 students per centre. “Such large movement of people will will totally defeat the twin solutions we have of combating the Covid-19 i.e. social distancing and avoidance of large public gatherings,” the plea stated. AS the CID has more or less come to the conclusion that negligence in replacing the batteries and failing to use the fire safety equipment had led to the conflagration in the hydel power station on the left bank of Krishna river at Srisailam, officials are preparing to transfer the case registered by the local police immediately after the incident, to Hyderabad for further investigation. After the deadly fire killed nine people on August 20, the local police registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC in which they had suspected negligence in fitting the batteries as the cause of fire. During the course of investigation by the CID, it was revealed that the staff working in the tunnel, in which the hydel station was set up, failed in taking fire safety measures, leading to the CONTINUED ON P5 death of the employees. SPRINGING BACK TO LIFE SCARY START India player among 10 positives in CSK IN a major setback, multiple members of Chennai Super Kings, including an India player, tested positive for Covid-19 in Dubai late on Thursday Though . officially, there are no figures, but if sources in the team are to be believed the number could be 10 at least. All of them are in CONTINUED ON P4 M O U L I M A R E E D U @ Hyderabad UPHOLDING the University Grants Commission notification mandating universities to conduct finalyear exams by September 30, the Supreme Court on Friday said states and Union territories can’t promote students without holding exams. A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said final-year exams must be held, and that internal assessments will not suffice for conferring degrees. However, states have the power to postpone exams in view of the pandemic. They can consult the UGC to fix a fresh date for their state, the SC said. 14-day quarantine. This is expected to have an impact on the scheduling of the tournament supposed to begin from September 19. Chennai, incidentally, were supposed to play the IPL opener against Mumbai Indians, but that won’t be possible as of now because of the quarantine. For the study, the researchers analysed more than 200 samples of the novel Coronavirus and their genomic sequences. They found that samples collected from asymptomatic cases had much higher viral load (low Cycle threshold value) than the samples collected from symptomatic cases of Covid-19. A majority of Covid-19 cases detected are asymptomatic. Even in the case of CDFD, most of the samples they received were of asymptomatic persons. As the asymptomatic Covid-19 patients are high in number and according to CDFD study, they carry higher viral load than symptomatic patients, it is possible that the transmission of virus from asymptomatic patients is also occurring and that too at a high rate. Moreover, as the asymptomatic cases are high, death rate is expected to be low. Srisailam fire case to be transferred to Hyd E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi V E N K ATA K R I S H N A B borrowing. Citing Article 293 (3) of the Indian Constitution, he said a state can’t raise borrowings without the Centre’s consent if it has any loan outstanding which is repayable to the Government of India. Also, unlike the Centre, states cannot directly borrow from external sources. “The Centre plays the role of an intermediary in the transfer of external borrowings to states,” Ghosh added. 2,932 CASES, 11 DEATHS IN TS I P4 ‘FINAL-YEAR COLLEGE EXAMS MUST BE HELD’ @ Chennai As of July this year, the combined market borrowings of the Centre and states were almost 77% more than the corresponding period a year ago. Revenue shortfall, no transfer from the Centre and inability to borrow will force states to cut their planned expenditure, say experts. According to Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser at State Bank of India, states have certain limitations on Asymptomatic have a higher viral load, infect more: CDFD Cite logistics nightmare amid lockdown restrictions, students safety EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE es, transfers from the Centre, and borrowings. After GST, dependence on own resources and tax collections shank and, as a result, borrowing shot up. In the current financial year, the gross borrowings of the Centre and states increased to `21.6 lakh crore, while net bor rowings stood at `18.9 lakh crore. Chennai, who were supposed to start training from Friday after completing the mandatory six-day quarantine, learnt on Thursday that several members of their contingent have tested positive. It is understood that all of them were asymptomatic and had tested negative in the three tests conducted in Chennai before they boarded the flight to Dubai. Even upon arrival on August 21, the two tests conducted by the BCCI were negative. And only the test on Thursday – third in six days – showed they were positive. Though there were apprehensions on the future of the event, officials assured the situation is under control. MAUD initiates works on restoration of stepwells in the State by undertaking a feasibility study at Narayanpet. MAUD Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar took to Twitter to announce, “As part of our plan to revive and restore stepwells, feasibility documentation has commenced” Pedda Well, Narayanpet PAGE 2
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