CHENNAI MONDAY AUGUST 31, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 28 VELLORE EDITION REFUND UPI CHARGES TAKEN SINCE JAN 1: CBDT TO BANKS ` PRESCRIBED ELECTRONIC MODES I-T dept on Sunday asked banks to refund charges collected on transactions carried out through RuPay cards or BHIM-UPI VIOLATORS TO BE PENALISED According to Section 269SU in the Finance Act 2019, businesses having sales/turnover/gross receipts of more than `50 crore must provide facilities for accepting payments through prescribed electronic modes. In December 2019, debit cards powered by RuPay, BHIM-UPI and UPI QR Code were notified as prescribed electronic modes ■ ■ The CBDT said it has received representations that some banks are collecting charges on transactions carried out through UPI It asked banks not to levy such charges in future, warning that such violations are a breach of Section 10A of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act and Sec 269SU of the Income Tax Act 1.5 billion NUMBER OF TRANSACTIONS CLOCKED BY UPI-BASED PAYMENT SYSTEM IN JULY 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 Places of worship to open till 8pm. SOP for the same will be issued soon Public and private transport services, and MTC buses in Chennai Hotels and tea shops can function between 6am and 8pm across State IT firms, factories in entire State can function with 100 per cent employees Parks and playgrounds shall open. Spectators not allowed in playgrounds Number of flights allowed to land in Chennai airport on a day increased to 50 State government offices can function with 100 per cent employees Gathering of over 5 persons in public places not allowed. CrPC 144 to be in effect No relaxations in lockdown restrictions in containment zones across the State Schools, colleges and other educational institutions to remain closed Ban on international flight services will continue except for certain routes Come September, it’s business as usual in Tamil Nadu as almost all sectors, from shopping malls to public transport, will resume operations UNLOCKED. FINALLY E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai AFTER the Centre released its Unlock-4 guidelines, the Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced major relaxations while extending the current phase of lockdown, which comes to an end on Monday (August 31), to September 30. Among the highlights of the fresh unlock is the decision to scrap the e-pass system for inter-district travel. The State has also permitted plying of public and private buses, for the first time since the State went into lockdown in the last week of March. As part of a gradual openingup, inter-district buses, both private and public, can run from September 1 while the metro rail services in Chennai shall restart from September 7. In addition, shopping malls (barring in-built movie halls), showrooms and big-format stores may resume operations with 100 per cent workforce while adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures prescribed, an official statement said. HIGHESTEVER TESTS IN A DAY 10.5 lakh + COVID tests conducted across India in the last 24 hours, which is a record A senior MTC official said they are ready to resume services on September 1. “Number of buses and routes to be operated will be finalised on Monday, after obtaining necessary instructions from the government,” the official said. How- E-pass mandatory for inter-state travel Even though an e-pass is not required for travelling between the districts from now on, the document will continue to remain a must for inter-state and international journeys. These passes will be auto generated and approved for applicants ever, suburban trains will not run until further orders, the official statement said. Even though an e-pass is not required for travelling between the districts from now on, the document will continue to remain a must for inter-state and international journeys. These 4.14 crore tests in all so far across India passes will be auto generated and approved for all those applying with correct Aadhaar number, contact and travel ticket details, the statement further said. Also, all shops in Chennai and other districts would be permitted to operate until 8 pm. The State Government has urged the public to follow social distancing norm and wear masks when stepping out and to wash hands with soaps at homes and places of work. They have also been asked to refrain from going out without pressing reasons. Meanwhile, public health experts say the real challenge for Tamil Nadu only begins now. “The lockdown relaxations are a deliberate choice to bring lives back to normal. This may not be the best decision but if the things get worse from here, restrictions will have to be brought back again,’’ said virologist Dr Jacob John. Dr John said the relaxations are a bit “mistimed” but the society needs to come out of the lockdown at some point of P4 time. No traffic, no chaos... with complete shutdowns coming to an end, this is a scene that is unlikely to return in Chennai anytime soon | DEBADATTA MALLICK TAMIL NADU COVID NUMBERS FRESH CASES DEATHS 6,495 94 7,231 4,22,085 Chennai alone recorded 1,249 cases. Neighbouring Chengalpattu recorded 419 cases, Kancheepuram 193 and Tiruvallur 293. TN tested 83,250 samples and 80,100 people, the highest so far, in last 24 hours 7,65,302 Active cases at present, which is 21.60% of all cases 30,044 tests per million 27,13,933 Discharged so far, which works up to 76.61% of all cases population each day in India now 63,498 Deaths in all, 948 of them in the last 24 hours (1.79%) EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Tiruchy WITH THIS ISSUE 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) YOUR LIFE COACH EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE IF what’s happening with China’s banks envelops into an Asian trend, then India has much to worry . On Sunday, Chinese lenders disclosed two unsettling developments. One, China’s five largest state-run banks turned in their biggest profit falls in at least a decade, alongside an increase in NPAs during Q2. Two, four of them parked significant sums towards provisions against bad loans to brace for future losses, courtesy coronavirus and the risk of uncertainty that’s likely to be transmitted to the banking system. This is a notable departure from Q1, when Chinese banks bucked the global trend punching in enviable profits and steady bad loans. It also gives us a glimpse into the pandemic and the economic slowdown’s impact on financial institutions. NPAs shot up at the big five Chinese banks — four of which figure among the world’s top ten — during Q2, compelling them to increase their provisioning. According to data from the China Banking and Insurance Regulator Commission, overall net profit of China’s commercial banks plunged 9.4% during the first six months of 2020. These include the Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank Corp, Bank of Communications Co, Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Back home, Indian banks seem to have all the trappings of looming trouble. RBI has already bugled a warning that NPAs may shoot up to 14.5% in FY21 from 8.5% in FY20. The actual rot may manifest much later thanks to the loan restructuring scheme for borrowers to tide over the current crisis. Initial estimates say India’s state-run banks may need `2 lakh crore over the next two years. Of this, `1 lakh crore is to build loan-loss provisions to 70% of NPAs and a similar amount to grow loans 8-10% annually, faster than the 4% seen in FY20, according to Moody’s. However, uncertainty surrounding growth recovery and the ongoing clean-up of balance sheets were making it difficult for banks to raise equity from markets. Retail, and MSME loans will likely lead the bad loan rise, delaying the ongoing clean-up of legacy corporate NPAs. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has asked banks to step up capital raising. New fiscal deficit forecast @ 7% shows economic sinkhole is getting deeper Man rapes & kills wife for being platonic? THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST According to the media bulletin issued by the Directorate of Public Health, a total of 6,406 people were discharged on Sunday after treatment. The State currently has 149 Covid testing facilities US Open began with a virus scare after French tennis player Benoit Paire tested positive on Sunday. This will be the second Grand Slam of the year after Wimbledon and French Open were cancelled due to pandemic I P11 TIRUCHY HORROR A 30-year-old man was arrested for the rape and murder of his newly-wed wife allegedly because she refused to have sex with him. The woman’s naked body was found on the banks of Kollidam river on Sunday . Initially it was suspected that the woman was raped and killed when she went to relieve herself. However, the police now suspect her husband Ar ulraj (30). The couple was married for over a month. “ W h e n we interrogated Arulraj, he confessed that he killed her and tried to make it look like the crime was committed by someone else,” police said. Reportedly the man raped , his wife before killing her. Arulraj told the police that his wife refused to have sex with him. The incident came to light when he informed his family that his wife, who had gone to relieve herself, did not return. TOTAL CASES TOLL Alarm bells as bad loan load bleeds mega China banks MASKED SECURITY Shia Muslims participate in a big procession to mark Muharram, in Hyderabad on Sunday | S SENBAGAPANDIYAN GIVEN the bleak revenue collection scenario amid Covid-19 induced economic disruption and higher expenses to boot, the Central government’s fiscal deficit is set to widen to 7% in the current financial year, says a new report. This is double the government’s target for FY21. The situation could be exacerbated by the fact that states have been allowed to borrow more to make up for the shortfall in GST revenue. The consolidated fiscal deficit of the Centre and states “could reach 12% of the GDP”, warns the report by Brickwork Ratings. Fiscal deficit is the difference between the gover n- ONLINE CLASS Future of thousands of students hinges on 1.5GB SUSHMITHA RAMAKRISHNAN @ Chennai A mere `250 stood in the way of Gnaneswar’s access to education. In other words, he needed 1.5 GB data every day if he was , to appear for Class 10 board exams. The teenager’s father, a truck driver, couldn’t care less. “He stopped answering my calls knowing well that I was calling him to ask for `250,” the boy tells Express. Finally, his grandmother came to the res- cue, and borrowed `250 from a neighbour so that his classes are not interrupted. “It took her 18 days to repay that money .” The Covid pandemic has made online education the new nor m. While the privileged are debating the perils of the new system — including the stress and strain on the minds and eyes of children — the underprivileged are putting their little savings and strenuous labour into buying internet data packages. In the current context, for millions of children in India from economically weaker sections, it is access to internet that has become a barrier to their right to free education. “I had given up on studies after the recharge shop guy told me that I would need 1.5GB data per day to attend online classes, and that it would cost me `250,” says Gnaneswar. “But, about a couple of weeks later, I got a call from one of my teachers. She told me that if I did not attend online classes, I could not write my board exams.” Worried, Gnaneswar called up his father, who comes home only once in a while. No money or words of assurance came his way . Gnaneswar lives with his grandmother. He responds with a crestfallen face when asked about his mother, who is P2 not with him anymore. ment’s total income and total expenditure. The government is facing a double whammy. On the one hand, the nationwide lockdown imposed to arrest the spread of the coronavirus has badly hit revenue collection. On the other, expenditure shot up, taking deficit to record levels of over `6.62 lakh crore in the April-June quarter, which was 83.2% of the target for the whole financial year. Fiscal deficit had already WHAT THE REPORT SAYS Govt may face fund shortage to fulfil the budgeted expenditure This could cause a huge cut in capital expenditure as well as centrally sponsored schemes reached a seven-year high at 4.6% of the GDP in 2019-20. Going forward, the numbers don’t look promising, as GST shortfall is expected at `3 lakh crore while borrowing could be higher than expected. “Our baseline estimate is that the fiscal deficit will surge to `13 lakh crore in FY2021 from the budgeted level of `8 lakh crore,” says Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA. The latest report by the International Monetary Fund pegs India’s fiscal deficit at 7.4% of the GDP in 2020. Earlier this month, India Ratings had forecast the fiscal deficit of the Centre and state governments will be 12.1%. Emkay Global Financial Services pegs fiscal deficit to rise to over 6.8% of the GDP . Pandemic pushes Census, NPR exercises out of 2020 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE continued spread of coronavirus is expected to delay the first phase of the Census and the exercise to update the National Population Register (NPR), both of which were scheduled for this year. Citing the worsening pandemic situation, officials said Census is not an essential exercise for now. “Even if it is delayed by a year, there would be no harm,” a senior govern- ment functionary said. While a final decision is yet to be taken, it is almost certain that both the Census and the NPR exercises won’t begin in 2020, the officer indicated. The house-listing phase of the Census and the NPR updation were earlier slated to be held between April 1 and September 30. “As the entire exercise needs the involvement of lakhs of officials and visit to each family the health risk in, volved in it cannot be undermined,” the official said.
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