THRISSUR l SATURDAY l AUGUST 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l 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 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 Cite logistic nightmare amid Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, students safety top court’s August 17 order @ New Delhi rejecting pleas to cancel NEET-UG exams, saying CITING logistic challenges life must go on. due to lockdown restricThe review petition by tions, six Cabinet minis- the Opposition-ruled states ters of West Bengal, Pun- noted that the Supreme j a b , M a h a r a s h t r a , Court’s decision to allow Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh the Centre to go ahead with and Jharkhand on Friday the national eligibility entrance tests fails filed a joint peti‘Final-year tion in the Suto secure the p re m e C o u r t college exams safety, security must be held’ seeking postand right to life ponement of of students. Upholding the UGC NEET and JEE According to notification exams this year. the petitioners, mandating The exams the SC’s advice universities to are scheduled to ‘Life must go on’ conduct final-year be held next exams by September may have philosophical undermonth. 30, SC said states West Bengal and Union territories pinnings, but it cannot be a sublaw minister can’t promote stitute to valid Maloy Ghatak, students without legal reasoning Jharkhand fiholding exams. nance minister and logical analRameshwar Oraon, Ra- ysis of the various aspects jasthan health minister Dr involved in the conduct of Raghu Sharma, Chhattis- NEET and JEE. garh food minister AmarJEE (Main) will be conjeet Bhagat, Punjab health ducted through 660 centres, minister Balbir Singh Sid- with 9.53 lakh students set hu, and Maharashtra edu- to appear—roughly be 1,443 cation minister Uday R Sa- students per centre, the mant sought review of the states noted. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE THE Centre’s suggestion in the GST Council meeting on Thursday that states borrow from the Reserve Bank of 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 exist- ing rules, states can’t borrow more than 3.5% of their GDP. The Union finance ministry has given the option to state gover nments 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. EXPRESS READ Popular Finance: E2k-cr fraud alleged Pathanamthitta: Konnibased non-banking finance company Popular Finance allegedly cheated depositors to the tune of C2,000 crore. The daughters of the company’s CEO Thomas Daniel were arrested on Friday. P4 CM’s former IT fellow quizzed Kochi: The Customs probing gold smuggling case on Friday quizzed the CM’s former IT fellow Arun Balachandran. It was revealed that Arun had arranged the flat near Secretariat where conspiracy to smuggle in gold was hatched. P4 Bevco adds new features to its app T’Puram: The Kerala State Beverages Corporation has updated the BevQ app for distributing liquor by adding new features. The consumers will now be able to choose the outlet from a number of options under each pincode. P4 Shashi Tharoor EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram CONGRESS has been showing uncharacteristic unity in attacking the Left government over a slew of issues but MP Shashi Tharoor, who had joined other dissenters to write a letter for leadership change in AICC, has triggered a hot debate in the party’s state unit with some youth leaders interestingly rallying behind “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 resources, 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 borrowings stood at `18.9 lakh crore. As of July this year, the combined market borrowings of the Centre and 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 ‘Guest artist’ remark on Tharoor triggers hot debate in state Cong the charismatic leader. Seven-time MP Kodikkunnil Suresh, a staunch Gandhi family loyalist, called Tharoor a “guest artist” and questioned his “political maturity” while for mer KPCC chief K Muaraleedharan took potshots at his “global citizen” tag. Youth leader K S Sabarinadhan, however, found the tag to be an asset. Tharoor was among the ‘group of 23’ that wrote to Sonia Gandhi recently, seeking urgent organisational overhaul. The state leadership, which reposed faith “Tharoor is certainly not a politician. He came to the Congress party as a guest artist and still remains so — Kodikkunnil Suresh, KPCC working president in her, has been scathing in its attack on Tharoor since then despite him holding up the white flag in a bid to buy truce. Tharoor had also earned the displeasure of the state leadership by openly supporting privatisation of the Thiruvananthapuram airport. Tharoor had sent out a conciliatory tweet late on Thursday ● More on P4 . INDIA PLAYER AMONG 10 POSITIVES IN CSK V E N K ATA K R I S H N A B @ Chennai 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 14-day quarantine. This is expected to have an impact on the scheduling of the tour nament 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. 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. 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 borrowing. LAVALIN CASE Third accused requests SC to adjourn appeal P R A M D A S @ Kochi AMID allegations of attempts to delay the hearing in the SNC Lavalin case involving Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former KSEB chairman R Sivadasan, who is also the third accused, has approached the Supreme Court seeking to adjourn the appeal till the court resumes its normal functioning. The case was posted before a new bench headed by Justice U U Lalit through videoconferencing. It was last year listed before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana. The new bench is considering the application filed by CBI challenging the acquittal of first accused K Mohana Chandran, the former principal secretary who later became KSEB chair man, seventh accused Pinarayi and eighth accused A Francis, then joint secretary of the electricity de● More on P4 partment.
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