KOLLAM l SUNDAY l SEPTEMBER 06, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l CITY EDITION ANDHRA BEST STATE TO DO BUSINESS: GOVT RANKINGS U.P. AT NUMBER 2, TELANGANA DROPS TO 3RD Andhra has topped the latest ease of doing business rankings, prepared by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Uttar Pradesh, which ranked 12th in 2018, has come second in the 2019 rankings, while Telangana, which was second, has slipped to the third position. Madhya Pradesh (4th), Jharkhand (5th), Chhattisgarh (6th), Himachal Pradesh (7th), Rajasthan (8th), West Bengal (9th) and Gujarat (10th) are the others states in the top 10 ■ 12th K’TAKA SLIPS TO 18TH, KERALA TO 28TH ■ ■ Karnataka dropped from 8th to 18th position. Tamil Nadu ranked 14th, slightly bettering its previous year’s rank of 15th Kerala slipped seven places to 28th while Odisha came 34th The ranking is based on implementation of the Centre’s Business Reform Action Plan 2018-19, which comprises 181 reform points RANK FOR DELHI, UP FROM 23RD IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR 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 Stop imports: Min Gadkari; can’t do, says auto industry Insurance body moves SC against private hosps for Covid ‘profiteering’ A R S H A D K H A N @ New Delhi S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi UNION minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday asked the automobile and components industry to stop depending on imports and start using local substitutes. “I request you, don’t encourage imports,” he said at an event organised by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India. However, automobile sector players feel it is easier said than done. “Can we delink from imports completely? Neither we can nor we should,” said Pawan Goenka, MD, Mahindra & Mahindra, who spoke at the same event. The two statements come at the backdrop of rising tension between India and China and a record fall in demand for automobile products owing to the economic distress induced by the pandemic. India’s automobile industry imports a large chunk of its component requirements from overseas with over 25%, valued at $4.2 billion, coming from China. Experts say any attempt at blocking Chinese items would hamper the supply chain. “We will have to continue importing to get things that some other countries can do better than us. We should avoid knee-jerk reaction or ask for bans of imports or any such acts” Goenka said. Gadkari said the domestic components sector has the potential to develop and export its products to the whole world. He also highlighted the fact that the Centre has taken several steps to encourage more Indian exports, and that the components sector should take advantage of those measures. THE alleged profiteering by private hospitals in India through the treatment of Covid-19 patients has forced the statutory body of insurance companies to seek Supreme Court intervention. In an affidavit filed before the apex court a few days ago, the General Insurance Council (GIC) alleged that private hospitals are overcharging insured patients, even in cases where there are no complications or pre-existing illnesses. The GIC said its members have received more than 1 lakh Covid-related insurance claims so far. It warned that reckless profiteering by private hospitals, if left unchecked, will lead to insurance premiums shooting up in the near future. While there have been many complaints of private hospitals overcharging Covid-19 patients, this is the first time an insurance body has expressed concerns. “It is respectfully submitted that in order to bring confidence and to have clarity on the billing structure, there is a need for proper monitoring of the treatment costs by the private hospitals and take suitable action against the violators,” the affidavit said. The plea cites cases of hospitals overcharging insured patients. One of the cases mentioned in the affidavit is that of a Chennai hospital, which billed `14 lakh for the Covid treatment, including 35-day hospitalisation, of an insured person. When objected by the insurance company, the final cost, was brought down to less than `4.5 lakhs. The GIC also alleged that private hospitals are charging higher than normal rates for consumables like PPE kits. P7 EXPRESS READ UDF to field Shibu, LDF Thomas for bypolls T’Puram: The UDF and LDF have zeroed in on Shibu Baby John and Thomas K Thomas the candidates in Chavara and Kuttanad respectively for the byelections even as CM said the bypolls would be a referendum on the government. P5 Ponnyam bomb blast: CPM member arrested Kannur: CPM member and third accused in the C O T Nazeer murder case was arrested on Saturday in connection with the Ponnyam bomb blast. K Ashwanth, 22, was held from his house by the Special Investigation Team. P4 DEFENCE DIPLOMACY Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during a meeting with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Defence Major General Kurbanov Bakhodir Nizamovich in Moscow on Saturday | PTI BORDER TENSION India draws the red line, nudges China to behave Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tells his Chinese counterpart to learn to respect LAC, avoid making attempts to change status quo China abducted five Indians from Arunachal Pradesh: Cong MLA China’s People’s Liberation Army has abducted five people from Arunachal Pradesh, Congress MLA Ninong Ering said on Saturday. Narrating the incident on Twitter, the lawmaker claimed a similar incident had happened a few months ago. According to local media reports, the incident occurred at Nacho forest area in Upper Subansiri district. The persons - Toch Singkam, Prasat Ringling, Dongtu Ebiya, Tanu Baker and Ngaru Diri – had gone out for hunting, which is a very common practice in the area. Two other villagers managed to escape and informed others, a local newspaper reported, quoting the relative of one of the abductees Indian Army rescues 3 Chinese nationals who lost their way Amid the standoff in eastern Ladakh with the PLA, the Indian Army recently came to the rescue of three stranded Chinese citizens at Sikkim border and assisted them in their safe return. “The three Chinese citizens lost their way near Sikkim at an altitude of 17,500 feet on Sept 3. The Indian troops helped them to return safely,” said the Indian Army. The Army personnel were prompt in protecting them – two men and a woman — from the vagaries of extreme altitude. “Realising danger to their lives in sub-zero temperatures, the soldiers immediately reached out with medical assistance, food and warm clothes,” said the Army slicing tactics’ and told the Chinese to go back to positions before the end of April. INDIA did not blink once durTalking to TNIE on condiing the two-and-a-half-hour in- tion of anonymity, a serving tense meeting with China on Army officer said the Defence the sidelines of the Shanghai Minister’s statement has reafCooperation Organisation firmed Indian stand on the tersummit summit in Moscow. De- ritorial dispute, standoff and fence Minister Rajnath Singh disengagement. “The Statewas as direct as possible during ment is a clear-cut red line on his interaction with his Chi- how much is acceptable and nese counterpart Genwhat is non-negotiaeral Wei Fenghe, statble,” the officer said. ing Indian forces are Meanwhile, in a predetermined to protect dictable response, Beithe country’s soverjing blamed New Delhi eignty and territorial for the LAC flare-up. integrity . “The relations beDrawing attention to tween the two counthe fact that Indian tries have been severetroops have always tak- ‘SITUATION ly af fected by the en a responsible apb o rd e r i s s u e. T h e IS VERY proach towards border cause and truth of the NASTY’ management, Singh current tension are US President said China’s aggressive very clear, and the reb e h av i o u r a n d at - Donald Trump sponsibility lies entirehas said the tempts to unilaterally ly with India,” said alter the status quo situation along Wei Fenghe. were in violation of the the India-China A former diplomat, border has been who did not wish to be bilateral agreements. According to experts, ‘very nasty’ and named, said it was imRajnath Sigh’s is a that he would portant that India statlove to get strong message to Chied its position. “We involved and na not to escalate mathave seen statements ters any further as In- help. “We stand from many quarters. dia has the capability ready to help. If The latest statement we can do to protect its interests shows that India is not anything, we and will not hesitate to going to listen to Chiwould love to hit back if its national na. We will put our foot get involved,” interests are hurt. down and stand up to he said Indian forces’ strong them,” he said. response to the PLA’s According to B R aggression has rattled the Chi- Deepak, Sinologist and Chairnese leadership, says Lt Gen V person of Centre for Chinese K Chaturvedi (Retd). “The Chi- and South Asian Studies at nese never expected such re- JNU, India’s statement after the sponse from the Indian mili- meeting points to the fact that tary which not only has dug in India will not tolerate any uni, its heels along the Line of Ac- lateral change to the status quo. tual Control (LAC) but is also After the meeting, both Indistrengthening its positions.” an and Chinese defence minisHe added India has success- ters agreed to continue discusP7 fully blocked China’s ‘salami sions. 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 Infighting in CPM led to twin murder, says Cong EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram THE KPCC leadership on Saturday raised serious allegations against the CPM, saying group rivalry within the party led to the twin murder at Venjaramoodu. Taking a cue from Attingal MP Adoor Prakash, former KPCC president M M Hassan alleged that CPM’s Vamanapuram MLA D K Murali’s son Balamurali had triggered the tussle in 2019 during a temple festival at Vengamala. Showing the CCTV footage of the murder scene, for mer KPCC president M M Hassan alleged two Youth Congress leaders who were not at the spot have also been included as suspects in the case. DYFI workers Mithilaj, 30, and Haq Muhammed, 24, were fatally hacked while they were going to the former’s house on his two-wheeler last Sunday night. Hassan alleged Mithilaj was an accused in the murder of DYFI leader Sanjayan. He was also convicted for killing a CPM worker. Alleging that the Venjaramoodu twin murder was the result of gang rivalry within the CPM, Hassan claimed that a deliberate attempt is being made by that party to sabotage the case. “The earlier murder bid on CPM worker Faisal is also a result of infighting in the CPM. Two innocent youths have been accused SECOND ACCUSED ANSAR ARRESTED Ansar, an active Congress worker and the second accused in the case, was arrested on Saturday. According to the police, Ansar had been staying at a relative’s house for the past five days and landed in the police net after he was spotted in a rubber estate behind the house. The police are yet to confirm whether he has direct involvement in the murder case. P4 in the Venjaramoodu murder. The contradiction in the statements made by CPM district secretary Anavoor Nagappan and DYFI state secretary A A Rahim regarding the possession of weapons by the murdered DYFI workers itself shows the factionalism within the CPM. The irony is that those who were actually involved in the murder are under Rahim’s safe custody,” said Hassan. The Congress leaders said DYFI activists Shaheen and Appus were the ones who triggered the attack. The Congress leaders also claimed that, in the CCTV visuals, it can be seen how Haq hacks Sajeevan, who is also a DYFI worker. ● More on P4 Covid: India to overtake Brazil India is all set to overtake Brazil to become the world’s second-worst Covid-hit country Top three USA 63.98 lakh Brazil 40.91 lakh India 40.23 lakh 86,432 New cases between Friday and Saturday morning. This is more than the total Covid-19 cases reported in mainland China since the outbreak in December 2019 70,072 recoveries since Friday morning 1,089 deaths INDIA 8.46 ACTIVE CASES LAKH 31.07 RECOVERED ON-DEMAND VIRUS TESTING UNDER NEW ICMR GUIDELINES New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research on Friday released a revised Covid19 testing protocol, permitting testing on demand for the first time. It recommended that rapid antigen tests be done on all people living in containment zones LAKH 69,561 DEATHS State may test all persons in containment zones next fortnight is crucial for the state, the instructions WITH the number of Cov- are generally acceptable,” id-19 cases going up, the state said a senior officer with the health department is plan- health department. ning to test all people beThe officer added a final longing to a containment decision would be taken at zone. At present, house-to- the high-level committee house visits of surveillance chaired by the chief ministeams and testing of all per- ter. It is learnt that the state sons are limited to highexpert committee and risk areas. A section state medical board of the experts have constituted for Covsaid the new move id-19 might prois impractical. vide advice on the test positive The state’s new same. on Saturday policy comes close “Earlier mass on the heels of the testing was carried Union health minisout in areas like Pontry’s advisory on ‘Strategy nani and Poonthura. Even for Covid-19 testing in In- then, the entire population dia,’ released on Friday . was not covered. The new “What the ministry says advisory suggests mass testis that the advisory is gener- ing should not be limited to ic in nature and the state high-risk areas but have to health authorities could be extended to containment modify the same as per their zones. Through this, early discretion. Considering the identification of cases high-risk situation, when it will become possible,” the ● More on P4 has been warned that the officer. D I L E E P V K U M A R @ T’Puram 2,655 BUFFET EXPRESS ON TEACHERS’ DAY VOICES W I T THE NEWT H I S I S S U E H SUNDAY MAGA ZINE PUSHPESH PANT RAMANIAM S VAIDHYASUB SATHYA SARAN RAVI SHANKAR SHINIE ANTONY VASUDEV SADHGURU JAGGI SEPTEMBER PAGES 12 6 2020 SUNDAY 1 CM remembers guru who asked his mom to allow him to study till he failed EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram CHIEF Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would have dropped out of school when he was in Class V but for the insistence of two , of his teachers, the CM said in a touching Facebook post on Teachers’ Day . “At a time when education was neither considered important nor easily accessible, I had considered ending studies after Class V to pursue some vocation,” Pinarayi said, adding, it was a normal practice then. “Govindan ‘maash’ (sir) told my mother to let me continue my studies. She heeded it and I could continue in school. But I wasn’t sure till when,” he said. According to Pinarayi, Shankaran Munshi ‘maash’, an upper primary school teacher, told his mother that her son should be allowed to continue his studies till the time he failed. This condition ensured that my schooling went on uninterrupted, he said. The chief minister said like him, many of his generation are indebted to teachers for their sincere support. He acknowledged the hardwork and dedication of teachers in enabling the state to achieve the feat of 100 per cent literacy Pinarayi pointed . out that even in Covid’s wake, Govindan ‘maash’ told my mother to let me continue my studies. She heeded it and I could continue in school. But I wasn’t sure till when Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister teachers are working hard to ensure that education is not disrupted. “Let’s thank the teaching fraternity on the occasion of Teachers’ Day Also, we should . harbour the hope that they become even more motivated to strive harder and harder in their service to the nation,” Pinarayi said. 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