VISAKHAPATNAM l FRIDAY l SEPTEMBER 04, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE CITY EDITION FACEBOOK SAYS IT’S NEUTRAL, BANS BJP MLA RAJA SINGH Facebook has banned the lone BJP MLA from Telangana from its platform and Instagram on charges of hate speech FB RESPONDS TO CONGRESS’ CHARGES Responding to concerns raised by the opposition Congress, Facebook said it has taken the party’s allegation of bias very seriously and will ensure it remains non-partisan. The social media giant added it denounces hate and bigotry in all forms. Earlier, the Congress had accused Facebook of being soft on members of the ruling BJP while applying its hate-speech rules | P7 ■ PM PAGES LINKED TO SINGH TO BE REMOVED ■ “We have banned Raja Singh from Facebook for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform,” Facebook said Singh won’t be allowed on its platform or on Instagram. Pages, groups & accounts set up to respresent him will be removed MODI’S PERSONAL WEBSITE’S TWITTER ACCOUNT HACKED, RESTORED LATER 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 Relief to industry Pilot project for free power DBT to be in Srikakulam as SC bars NPA tag till further orders OTHER CABINET DECISIONS Bank accounts not declared NPA as on Aug 31 to remain so for now; Sitharaman directs lenders to roll out resolution plan by Sept 15 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday said standard accounts that have not been declared nonperforming assets as on August 31, shall not be made NPAs till further orders. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan passed the interim order after hearing various stakeholders on a batch of petitions seeking interest waiver on loan moratorium granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The court will continue hearing the case on September 10. While arguing whether banks should charge interest on moratorium period, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court, “The idea of the moratorium was to defer repayment to ease the burden caused by Covid and lockdown so that business can manage working capital. The idea was not to waive off interest. The effort is that those who are affected by Covid and facing distress get the benefit and those who are defaulters are not able to take benefit.” Mehta informed the bench an expert committee will come up with sector-specific guidelines on September 6 to ease stress caused by the pandemic. However, the bench said, “Question is about the demands of compound interest in the meantime. Moratorium and penal interest cannot go together. RBI will have to clarify .” Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Indian Banks’ Association, said, “Common man’s problems are different from those of corporates. Individual and industrial problems need to be addressed differently .” Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asked bankers to roll out the ‘Covid impact not same for all sectors’ Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told SC the Covid impact has been good on pharma and IT sectors while it has been bad for others. Moratorium offers to defer repayment so that business can manage working capital. “The idea was not to waive interest,” he added loan restructuring framework by September 15. She also told banks to extend all possible support to MSMEs. Sitharaman met the heads of scheduled commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions afte the moratorium for loans got over on August 31. “The meeting was held to review the preparedness for implementation of the loans resolution framework for Covid-19 related stress. The minister also sought to allay the concerns of banks about NPAs and restructuring,” a person privy to the meeting told TNIE. “During her interaction, the finance minister focused on lenders immediately putting in place a board-approved policy for resolution, identifying eligible borrowers, and reaching out to them. Quick implementation of a sustained resolution plan by lenders for the revival of every viable business,” the finance ministry stated. Sitharaman added that after the finalisation of the resolution scheme, banks must conduct a media campaign to create awareness about it. The finance minister also advised the lenders that Covid-19 related distress must not impact the lenders’ assessment of their creditworthiness. Divisional development officer (DDO) posts to be created. DDOs will be above MPDOS and below joint collectors. They will be of deputy director cadre 51.07 acres AP State Development Corporation Limited (APSDC) to be created. APSDC, a public limited company, will plan and fund social and economic development projects in Moolapalem and Jammulapalem villages of Bapatla mandal, Guntur district, allocated for proposed government medical college Ban on Maoist party, Radical Youth League (RYL), Rythu Coolie Sangham (RCS), Grameena Pedala Sangham (GPS), Radical Students Union (RSU), Singareni Karmika Sangham (SKS), Viplava Karmika Sainga (VKS), All India Revolutionary Students Federation (AIRSF) to continue for one more year 41.97 acres in Rayavaram of Markapuram mandal, Prakasam district, allocated for proposed government medical college AP Fisheries Ordinance 2020, to set up AP Fisheries University in West Godavari district approved. `300 crore to be spent in 5 years. The objective is to address the paucity of aquaculture experts PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sought to woo global investors saying India has become a leading attraction for investments. Modi said all initiatives of his government have been taken keeping in mind the best global practices. “India is becoming one of leading attractions for FDI. The world believes in us. This year, when there is a drop in foreign investments across the world, we received $20 billion foreign funds,” he said in his keynote address at the 3rd Annual Lead- ership Summit of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. Noting that ease of living is as important as ease of doing business for his government, Modi said India has an aspirational population that has decided to take the country to new heights. “The pandemic has tested our resilience, our economic and health systems, but India is committed to democracy and diversity he said. ,” Spelling out what the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign means to India, Modi said it ensures local with global. “Over 1.3 billion people have embarked to make Atmanirbhar New Delhi: In what could put an end to the hassle faced by many car drivers, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday clarified that there is no Central advisory to suggest that those riding the vehicle alone should wear masks failing which they would be penalised | P7 Anti-India rallies in Nepal have China angle New Delhi: China has been trying to fuel tensions between India and Nepal, according to intelligence agencies. Beijing has paid `2.5 crore in Nepali currency to various Nepal-based organisations to carry out demonstrations against India along the Indo-Nepal border, they added | P7 CDC tells US states to be ready for vaccine by Nov The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, US, has asked states to prepare for a Covid-19 vaccine to be ready for distribution by Nov 1. The timeline raised concern among experts about ‘a vaccine approval driven by political considerations’ ahead of the presidential election | P12 THE Andhra Pradesh Cabinet, which met on Thursday, approved the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of free power subsidy for agricultural connections and resolved to implement it on a pilot basis in Srikakulam district before expanding it to the rest of the state from April 1, 2021. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy promised free power for agriculture would continue to be provided and no connections would be removed. Further, around 1 lakh unauthorised farm power connections will be regularised. The cost of setting up meters for agriculture power connections will be borne by the government. For operational efficiency, a separate escrow account will be opened in the name of the con- sumer (farmer), where free power subsidy in the form of DBT will be credited. As per FRBM rules, the state has to bring in refor ms in the free power scheme to the farm sector. According to an official re- To ensure uninterrupted free power to the farm sector for 30-35 years, a 10,000 MW solar power plant is being set up, which will enable the cost of power to be around `2.5 per unit YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister lease, the Chief Minister explained during the Cabinet meeting that with new reforms in the power sector with regard to agricultural connections, one will know to what extent free power is being used and how PROBE BY APEX INTEL BODY “The NIA has received certain emails from an email ID threatening some dignitaries/ agencies. The contents of the email are selfexplanatory... It is requested to take action as deemed appropriate,” the NIA wrote in to MAC, the apex intel assessment body, and MHA THE security of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been enhanced following an email that issued a direct threat to the PM, stating “Kill Narendra Modi”. The National Investigation Agency, which received the email, has roped in the Multi-Agency Coordination Centre (MAC), which has senior representatives from R&AW, Intelligence Bureau and the Defence Intelligence Agencies, to investigate the matter. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs is treating the matter “seriously” and has asked the Special Protection Group, which is responsible for the protection of Prime Minister Modi, to remain on high alert, according to sources in the security establishment. The email dated August 8 was received from the ‘ylalwani12345@ gmail.com’ id. The NIA chose not do any inquiry/ verification on its own as it thought it best to pass it on to the apex intelligence assessment body, sources said. Sources in the security establishment say that the origin of the e-mail has being tracked to a location outside India. ‘Covid hasn’t dented people’s aspiration’ Noting that the pandemic has not affected people’s aspiration, Modi said India was among the first to advocate use of masks and social distancing Bharat. Despite our local needs, we did not shy away from our global responsibilities. A selfreliant India will ensure a better world. The road ahead is full of opportunities,” he said. The Prime Minister’s address assumes significance as it comes soon after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s participation in the summit and weeks after co-chairmen of the India caucus of the US Congress wrote to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging him to expedite Indo-US mini trade deal. “India presents opportunities of a young, diverse, and rules based economy but the persistent issues that matter to investors also loom large namely timely judicial recourse, policy stability, and supporting infrastructure,” said Kriti Upadhyay , Research Associate at the USbased CSIS Wadhwani Chair. much is being spent for it. “Farmers will pay to discoms the amount credited to their account, which will give them the right to question the discoms if there is no proper power supply . It will ensure accountability, transparency and responsibility . It will also help discoms stabilise financially he said. ,” He clarified that it would not put an additional burden on farmers, but improve the free power scheme. He said the amount credited to escrow accounts of farmers would be paid to discoms and ensure power subsidy dues are not kept pending like under the previous government. It will also ensure that the scheme does not become unviable, he said. Jagan said credit for free power goes to former CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy and hence the scheme was named P5 ‘YSR Free Power scheme’. IT’S A GAMBLE Playing rummy, poker online could land you behind bars E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi EXPRESS READ No mask needed if you are in your car alone @ Vijayawada MODI’S SECURITY UP AFTER THREAT EMAIL India best global investment destination, says PM P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada An IAF Chinook helicopter flies in the Ladakh region, in Leh on Thursday | PTI India can handle Chinese aggression in best suitable ways, says Gen Bipin Rawat M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi AMID fresh inputs on the Chinese Army strengthening its deployment on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso lake, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said the Indian armed forces are well placed to handle the aggression in “best suitable ways”. “Of late, India has been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable ways,” Gen Rawat said while speaking at the third annual leadership summit of the US-India strategic partnership forum. The day also saw Army Chief General M M Naravane visiting Ladakh to review operational preparedness in the region. He was briefed by the Army Commander of the Northern Command and the Corps Commander of the formation that is dealing with the stand-off in east Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control. He also visited forward positions. The Army Chief ’s visit came a day after Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria flew Bipin Rawat to the Eastern Air Command, which is tasked with defending India’s east, including the northern borders of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The Air Chief, too, visited frontline air bases. As for the situation on the ground at the recent pressure points in Ladakh, a senior officer said, “We have observed that Chinese Army is beefing up its deployments in the Chushul Sector.” They are accompanied by armoured, artillery and engineers too, he added. This happened immediately after the Indian Army’s tactical rearrangement of its deployments on the heights in the Chushul Sector and repositioning its troops on ridges around Finger 4 in the north bank of Pangong Tso on August 30. The redeployments have enabled the Army to have a deeper visual observation of the activity in Chushul on the Chinese side from its side of the LAC. Amid the heightened activity India and Russia finalised a major , deal to manufacture AK-47 203 rifles in India during Defence MinP7 ister Rajnath Singh’s ongoing visit to Moscow. THE state gover nment on Thursday decided to ban online betting games and take action, including imprisonment, against those who organise and play online games such as rummy and poker that are said to lead youngsters astray . The Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, took a decision to this effect on Thursday Brief. ing the media later, Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) said online gambling has become a vice and is adversely affecting youngsters and misleading them. Venkataramaiah said people caught playing such online games would be imprisoned for six months. Those who organise online gambling will be imprisoned for a year, besides being penalised, for a firsttime offence, he said, adding that the jail term would be up to two years for the second offence. METRO SERVICES IN HYD RESUME SEPT 7 Operations will be launched in a phased manner, and stations in containment zones will remain closed | P5 DRINK TO THIS Liquor rates revised to combat smuggling, avoid sanitiser deaths EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada FOLLOWING the spurt in cases of smuggling liquor into Andhra Pradesh since the price hike, the state government on Thursday revised the rates to reduce smuggling and deter addicts from consuming sanitiser. While cheap liquor and beer will be more affordable, premium brands are more expensive. The revised rates came into force with immediate effect. Considering the price of 180 ml of IFML and foreign liquor on May 3 as the base, a day before liquor outlets were opened post lockdown relaxations, the government slashed the prices by `30 for a quarter bottle (180 ml) priced up to `120, and by `70 for the same quantity priced between `120 and `150. While there is no change in the prices of liquor (180 ml) ranging between `150 and `190, prices have been enhanced on premium brands costing more than `190 by `40 to `140. The cost of beer was reduced by `30. Though the cost on May 3 was taken as the base for the revision of prices, the government enhanced the prices by 75% post lockdown and the fresh rates depend on existing prices. For instance, `120 IMFL bottles (180 ml) were being sold at `180, and the price is now down to `150. Similarly a 650 ml beer bottle , that cost `130 to 140 on May 3, was priced at `220 to 230, and the rate is now `190 to 200. Similar is the case with IMFL, foreign liquor, beer, wine and ready-todrink varieties supplied by wholesale IMFL depots to retail shops, bars and in-house licensees. Though the government, as per its promise to impose complete prohibition in a phased manner, increased prices and reduced the number of liquor shops, there has been a rise in the number of cases of liquor being smuggled into Andhra Pradesh FULL PRICE LIST: P5 since May .
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04-09-2020 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam