SOME OF THE INDICATORS USED FOR GDP ESTIMATES -100 THE PM INDIA NEVER HAD P He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society TAPAS RANJAN RANAB Mukherjee was the prime minister that India never had. Instead, he became President—the 13th in India’s line, bringing a rare political gravitas to that role. But it was the other office, that of the highest executive, that destiny seemed to have held out for him more than once—and ultimately denied. Not because he lacked stature, statesmanship or political heft. If there was one thing he lacked, it was the direct connect of the mass leader, but then he was almost the perfect embodiment of the other kind of politician—the savant, policy maven and parliamentarian in whom the spirit of institutions seemed to find their fullest expression. Often fondly called the encyclopaedia of contemporary Indian history, current affairs and constitutional norms, Mukherjee, who died after a chest infection and long related illnesses at Delhi’s Army Referral Hospital on Monday, indeed leaves a void in Indian polity never to be filled. A , man who could be the accessible Pranabda to all and sundry, and still inspire awe and respect—the eminence grise who could admonish anyone and everyone, whenever he thought it fit. When he took oath as President in July 2012—a long way from his humble village in Birbhum, West Bengal, where he walked miles PRANAB MUKHERJEE through rice fields to reach his school—he was expected to be a the land, the much coveted Bharat Ratna in 2017. However, nor was it the case that he had retreated into a grand mansion of silence. If he chose to intervene, it was not by returning legislation passed by Parliament, like some of his predecessors. Having been on the other side, he knew the sanctity of that space. Instead, he used his constitutionally mandated speeches as President to point to aberrations —thus becoming a vital stabilising figure at a very transitional time. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister ● 11 DECEMBER 1935 ● 31 AUGUST 2020 In that sense, much like A B Vajpayee, Mukherjee was a child, a byproduct of parliamentary democracy He truly believed in the . power of debate. He was, indeed, very pained and disturbed in his last years about the decline in parliamentary functioning, its image, centrality and prestige. A quintessential Congress politician, Mukherjee was neither above contradiction nor a stranger to the little intrigues of Delhi politics. He, after all, was witness to several transitions, the Emergency, two assassinations, liberalisation, et al. Though it was the Congress and a reluctant Sonia who let him make an honourable transition to presidentship, he nurtured the hurt of having been passed up for the PM’s job. Once, after Indira Gandhi, when her son Rajiv succeeded her, and not Mukherjee, then the seniormost Cabinet minister. Later, twice, as Sonia chose Manmohan Singh over him in 2004, and did not deem it fit to even make him Home Minister, and when she continued with Singh despite UPA’s dwindling reputation. He had to nearly engineer an escape to Rashtrapati Bhavan lest he be stuck in a party with a generation closer to his daughter Sharmistha’s age group, some of whom had neither the savvy nor the humbleness to learn the ropes. No one, however, understood his mind as much as Sonia, who once famously said she couldn’t think of a CWC meeting without “Pranabda”. New testing, quarantine protocol for air travellers TN COVID BATTLE FRESH CASES DEATHS 5,956 91 4,28,041 TALLY Chennai had maximum number of persons (1,150) testing positive. It was followed by Coimbatore (589), Salem (497), Chengalpattu (347), Cuddalore (307) and Tiruvallur (299). PG COURSES SC rules states can grant quota to in-service docs E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the Medical Council of India (MCI) is not empowered to make regulations on reservation for in-service candidates for admission to post-graduate medical courses. A five-judge bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, held that MCI is a statutory body whose purpose is to regulate medical education and profession, but the right to provide reservation in admissions rests with the respective state governments. “States can frame regulations for separate entry for such in-service candidates. Such doctors, who are already working, should, however, be mandated to serve in rural and tribal areas for five years,” the bench ruled. It held that the MCI regulation that barred such reservation was “unconstitutional and arbitrary”. The apex court then directed the states to formulate a scheme for rural and remote service by in-service doctors after completing their postgraduate degree. The court was responding to a plea by doctors from Kerala, Maharashtra and Haryana saying, granting reservation benefits would encourage those working in government hospitals and in rural areas. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai EVEN as the State is preparing to unlock itself almost completely, the Health Department on Monday issued new testing and quarantine protocol for air travellers. According to the new protocol, all international travellers, who have not got an RT-PCR test done within 96 hours before their arrival, will be tested. But the travellers, whose RT-PCR test report reads negative, but still show symptoms on arrival at the international terminal, will also have to undergo another test. For domestic travellers, only symptomatic persons need to get tested on arrival, while others need to undergo home quarantine for 14 days. According to the earlier protocol, all travellers coming from abroad were tested and sent for institutional quarantine, government or paid. In its Unlock guidelines, the State has made the use of thermal scanners, masks and hand sanitisers mandatory at parks, malls and places of worship from Tuesday. The state is also gearing up for public transport to resume operations from that day . People above the age of 65 and children below 10 have been advised not to visit parks and places of worship. Number of people who come to places of worship each day will be fixed. A mall in the city has also launched an app to pre-book an express entry Indi. vidual retail stores have been told to cap the number of visitors. Meanwhile, a bulletin from MGM hospital in the city said veteran singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, who is undergoing treatment, is fully awake, responsive and actively participating in physiotherapy and is closely monitored. CENTRE’S OPTIONS ON GST DUES WILL HURT ECONOMIC REVIVAL: EPS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai EXPRESSING concern over the two options proposed by the Centre to the States on how to shore up funds for GST compensation that is due to them, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday requested the Centre to raise the required amount as loan and lend it to the States. This, he said, will be against future cess receipts so that the compensation could be paid in full to the States for 2020-21. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “The proposed options would really hurt spending by States on many crucial Covid and nonCovid related expenditures. Welfare programmes and in- frastructure, creating capital expenditure, would suffer greatly. Early resumption of growth momentum in the economy and economic revival will also take a hit.” He requested the Centre to ensure that the States get their full compensation in the current year itself. He added that the additional borrowing that is permissible to States under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat stimulus package, which is two per cent of Gross State Domestic Product, must not be reduced. -40.7 S U N I T H A N AT T I revisions to toss shocking de-growth grenades later. Policy watcher Proof Anil NDIA’S first quarter GDP shrunk to a Sood offers some proof. Take inventory , level unknown in our economic his- which should have seen depletion betory At 23.9%, it’s the sharpest con- cause production was shut for two . traction since 1996 when we began bean- months. Instead, it recorded a quarterly counting quarterly data. Assuming a increase similar to last year at about 5-6% trendline growth, the effective out- `60,000 crore. Ditto consumption spendput loss is upwards `10 lakh crore. That’s ing, which Sood thinks could be sharper the national output lost, perhaps, forev- than what’s captured in Monday’s provier, as Covid-19 cut the economy fiercer sional estimates. than a Samurai blade. Moreover, given the unglamIn absolute numbers, real orous state of the July core Third-worst GDP punched in at `26.9 lakh sector data, chances are we figures in the crore, down from `35 lakh are already in a recession world so far crore last year. Worryingly, though the official word will nominal GDP -- widely used in be out only in November. In India’s figures are govermment estimates -- connearly seven decades, we’ve the third-worst tracted 20.6% or from `44.8 seen only four years of negaamong 50-plus lakh crore to `35.6 lakh crore. tive growth, but economic countries that Just as misfortune conpundits are entering heavy have released spires with bad luck during their GDP numbers discussions not about recescrises, several key metrics sion (which they seem certain so far. Analysts pounded each other into the of), but when the worst will be found the impact ground leaving Asia’s thirdbehind us, so recovery can of the lockdown largest economy in a quickbegin. way higher than sand with both demand and Chief economic adviser K V anticipated supply side contraction servSubramanian concluded that ing as witnesses. India was experiencing a VOn the supply side, all but agriculture shaped recovery with high frequency saw de-growth with some like construc- indicators like rail freight and power tion, manufacturing and services con- consumption showing promise. But even tracting indecently at 40-50%. Demand with some improvements in next three side too mirrored this with investments quarters, several believe, FY21 growth shrinking 47%, while consumer spend- FY21 could be beyond -5%. ing contracting 26%. Like in the past, The choice for the government will be government expenditure saved the day whether consumption or investment with 16.4% growth, still it’s an impolite side needs to be pushed. Given the limincrease given the pandemic and the sov- ited fiscal space and the need to stimuereign’s role of riding to everyone’s res- late growth, economists believe a decue. That said, excluding government mand or consumption-led recovery is spending, GDP would have contracted crucial for the economy, but that reeven worse by 30%. quires government measure to arrest But economists believe the latest data job losses and increase disposable inFULL COVERAGE: P12 betrays the inferno inside as they expect comes. I EXPRESS READ I-T Dept attaches assets of VK Sasikala The IT department has provisionally attached properties in and around Chennai worth `300 crore allegedly belonging to ousted AIADMK leader VK Sasikala. She is said to have purchased these properties, through shell companies Mamata waves red flag at Centre with full lockdown Kolkata: West Bengal government has waved a red flag at the Centre’s Unlock 4.0 guidelines— which prohibited states from unilaterally imposing lockdowns—by announcing that it will go ahead with a statewide lockdown planned for Sep 7, 11, and 12 | P8 SEP 14 Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami flagging off 118 vehicles fitted with life-saving equipment for the 108 ambulance fleet, in Chennai on Monday -84.8 -43.3 -22.4 Sharpest-ever first quarter shrink in GDP Former President Pranab Mukherjee loses battle for life at Delhi’s Army hospital; was seen as the encyclopaedia of contemporary Indian history; was accorded the Bharat Ratna in 2017 ‘political’ president. But he surprised even veteran analysts by being a textbook President. Never overstepping the boundaries of constitutional proprieties and his own inclusive, democratic moorings. Unlike a Zail Singh or K R Narayanan, Mukherjee did not see Rashtrapati Bhawan as an oppositional space to government. That’s why he could straddle the transition from UPA to NDA, from Manmohan Singh to Narendra Modi, without a glitch. No surprise he was accorded the highest civilian award of Coal 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 S A N T W A N A B H AT TA C H A R YA -56.8 -80 Crude oil TIRUCHY TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 01, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 14 LATE CITY EDITION -15.8 5.6 Metallic minerals -38.3 -60 9.6 17.9 2.4 Electricity -40 -9.5 7.3 3 Manufacturing -6.8 Steel -20 1 11.9 Mining -15 0 10.4 Bank credits -6.5 5 Bank deposits 2.6 Cement 20 FY21 Q1 Commercial vehicles FY20 Q1 START DATE FOR MONSOON SESSION Monsoon session of the Parliament will begin from September 14 and run till October 1, a govt notification said on Monday Army trucks move towards Ladakh via the Leh–Manali Highway, on Monday | PTI PLA bid to change LAC status quo foiled again M AYA N K S I N G H A N D P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi A fresh confrontation is brewing in Eastern Ladakh with the Indian Army thwarting China’s attempted ingress at a new point to change status quo on the intervening night of August 29 and 30. Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand revealed the Chinese Army “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo”. “PLA troops violated previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing stand-off in Eastern Ladakh,” he added. A senior Army officer added, “We were alert to such a step by the Chinese Army as even after a huge mobilsation of troops and equipment they have not been able to make much shift in the Line of Actual Control. With winter approaching things will become even more difficult for them.” Sources said nearly 200 PLA troops accompanied with the armoured vehicles were part of the attempted ingress on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake. Indian troops pre-empted and thwarted Chinese attempts to unilaterally change the situation on the ground. However, there was no clear word on whether or not there was any contact or clash between the two sides. “We expect retaliatory action. We are ready,” said another officer. The Indian side called for a Brigade Commander level flag meeting at Chushul to resolve the issue. For its part, China blamed India for the tension. Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of the Western Theater Command at Chengdu, said, “The Hunan coast and the nearby Reqin mountain pass once again illegally crossed the line and took control, blatantly provoking and causing tension on the border... China strongly opposes this. (sic)” BALANCING ACT Tough SC language but token penalty for contempt, Bhushan says fine K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Monday imposed a token fine of `1 on senior advocate Prashant Bhushan after his conviction for contempt of court for his two tweets criticising the present Chief Justice of India (CJI) and his predecessors and said it was not afraid of either sentencing or debarring him from practice. Hours later, Bhushan said he will respectfully pay the penalty while reserving the right to seek review of the conviction and sentencing. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra while reading out the verdict said, “We are not afraid of sentencing the contemnor either with imprisonment or from debarring him from the practice. His conduct reflects adamance and ego, which has no place to exist in the system of administration of justice and in noble profession, and no remorse is shown for the harm done to the institution to which he belongs.” Bhushan was directed to pay the token penalty by September 15, failing which he will have to undergo simple imprisonment of three months and will be dis- barred from practicing before the apex court for three years. “He has attempted to denigrate the reputation of the institution of administration of justice of which he himself is a part. At the cost of repetition, we have to state that the faith of the citizens of the country in the institution of justice is the foundation for rule of law which is an essential factor in the democratic set up,” it said. Commenting on the unprecedented press conference by four senior most Supreme Court judges in January 2018 against the then CJI, the bench said, “We hope it was the first and the last occasion that the Judges have gone to press, and God gives wisdom to protect its dignity by internal mechaP9 nism.”
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