HEALTH OF THE ECONOMY July 4.9 4.8 5.2 4.9 April-July 3.4 6.8 3.5 3.0 -2.5 -13.0 -10.4 -11.1 -12.5 FACTORY OUTPUT SHRINKS FOR 5TH MONTH IN A ROW IN JULY 2019-2020 2020-2021 General -29.2 Electricity Manufacturing Mining General Electricity KANNUR l SATURDAY l SEPTEMBER 12, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION Manufacturing Mining -20.2 -32.8 *Figures in % MANUFACTURING PICKS UP AS CURBS EASE The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said the IIP fell because a large number of industrial units have not been functioning since late March due to the lockdown. However, with the easing of restriction industrial activity seems to have picked up. The index for July stands at 118.1 points—better than 108.9 in June, 89.5 in May and 54 in April With industrial activities hit hard by Covid-19, the month’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted by 10.4% ■ 29.2% CONSUMER DURABLES OUTPUT DOWN 23% ■ ■ Manufacturing sector recorded a decline of 11.1% in July as against a growth of 4.8 per cent in same month last year Consumer durables output declined by a whopping 23.6% Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA, said the pace of IIP contraction could ease further to 6-8% in August IS HOW MUCH THE IIP FOR APRIL-JULY PERIOD HAS CONTRACTED 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 Five-point mechanism to defuse tension India, China agree on reducing tension, analysts see it as the first important step to give political guidance on LAC disengagement P U S H K A R B A N A K A R A N D M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi A five-point mechanism to resolve the ongoing tension between Indian and China in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control became the talking point on Friday, with analysts seeing it as the first important step in the right direction, as it gives political guidance for External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (left) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi disengagement. before their talks on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Moscow | PTI The mechanism was arrived at during a bilateral meeting PLAIN TALK AT BILATERAL MEETING IN MOSCOW between External Affairs MinThe Chinese side has not provided credible explanation for the massive ister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in deployment of forces along the LAC, Jaishankar told Wang. “The provocative behaviour of Chinese frontline troops at numerous incidents Moscow on Thursday on the of friction along the LAC also showed disregard for bilateral agreements sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting. and protocols. The Indian side clearly conveyed that it expected full In a joint statement issued adherence to all agreements on management of border areas and would early Friday, the two leaders not countenance any attempt to change the status quo unilaterally. It was also emphasised that the Indian troops had scrupulously followed said that they should not allow differences to become disputes. all agreements and protocols on border management,” sources said “The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions,” the statement added. “Indian partners expressed commitment to cooperation and dialogue for deescalating tensions. We are ready to take conciliatory steps. The most important thing is to avoid new violations of the obligations on the border. Troops and equipment should be withdrawn from the LAC,” Wang Yi said at a joint press conference with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov a day after his meeting with Jaishankar. “Both reiterating that chan- nels of communication will remain open and that soon the SR level meeting will take place, demonstrates that there is a silver lining as regards solving the standoffs through diplomacy. This ultimately may pave way for another Modi-Xi meeting that could be a face saver to both the sides,” said B R Deepak, Sinologist and Chairperson of the Centre for Chinese and South Asian Studies at JNU. Sources said during the meeting, Jaishankar highlighted India’s strong concerns at the amassing of Chinese troops with equipment along the LAC. The conciliatory tone of the statement seems to have trickled to the ground with sources saying both sides have exercised restraint on the LAC and there has been no aggressive action for the past 24 hours. ‘DISSENTER’ WASNIK ON SONIA’S A-TEAM All-party meet ‘no’ to bypolls, for putting off local body polls KERALA TRIO IN CWC R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi IN a major organisational reshuffle, the Congress on Friday did a balancing act by retaining some of the ‘dissident’ letter writers like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma in the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision making body . Another letter writer Mukul Wasnik has been made part of a six-member committee that will assist Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Also, Jitin Prasada has been given the responsibility of West Bengal, which is going to polls next year. However, Azad has been dropped as AICC general sec- E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram THE all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Friday to discuss the upcoming Kuttanad and Chavara assembly bypolls unanimously decided against the elections even as it agreed to put off the local body elections originally due in October for a ‘brief period’ on account of the Covid situation. Pinarayi later told reporters that the meeting factored in the prevailing pandemic situation and the short tenure of a little over three months for the newlyelected MLAs while arriving at the decision. “ I f t h e Ku t t a n a d a n d Chavara byelections are held in November, this will only give a term of just over three months for the newly elected members,” he said, adding, conducting the elections will be untimely when the entire government machinery is eng aged in checking Covid ● More on P4 spread. As part of the organisational reshuffle, three Congress leaders from Kerala — A K Antony, Oommen Chandy, and K C Venugopal — have been made part of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). Meanwhile, Tariq Anwar will replace Wasnik as the Kerala in-charge. retary. Also axed as general secretaries are Ambika Soni, Motilal Vora, Luizinho Falerio and Mallikarjun Kharge. However, Ambika Soni has been included in the special committee formed to assist Sonia in organisational and operational matters. The six-member special FROM 25K CASES IN 184 DAYS TO 75K IN 39 2,988 25,000 1,02,254 50,000 75,385 25,911 75,000 50,231 1,00000 1 Kerala reported its first Covid case on January 30. While it took 184 days for the count to cross 25,000, the next 75,000 cases were reported in just 39 days. The tally breached the one-lakh-mark on Friday. 0 Jan 30 Aug 02 Aug 19 Aug 31 Sep 11 cases reported on Friday 1,326 recoveries 14 deaths MINISTER JAYARAJAN, WIFE TEST POSITIVE Industries Minister E P Jayarajan and wife Indira were admitted to the Kannur GMCH after they tested positive on Friday. The condition of the duo, who was in home isolation for the past few days, is stable. EXPRESS READ Swami Agnivesh, social activist, dies at 80 Setback to Jose as HC stays poll panel order Balabhaskar case: CBI to grill Stephen Devassy New Delhi: Renowned social activist Swami Agnivesh, 80, who was suffering from liver cirrhosis for a long time, died of multi-organ failure at a Delhi hospital on Friday. His last rites will be performed on Saturday at Agnilok Ashram in Gurgaon. Kochi: In a setback for Jose K Mani, the High Court on Friday stayed for one month the Election Commission order declaring the Jose faction as the official KC(M). The order was issued while admitting a plea filed by KC(M) leader P J Joseph. T’Puram: The CBI will soon question musician Stephen Devassy on the death of violinist Balabhaskar, who died in a car accident in October 2018. However, the musician has sought time until September 20 to appear as he is in quarantine. committee comprises Ahmed Patel, A K Antony R S Surjew, ala, K C Venugopal, Soni and Wasnik. “While Congress president ensured that dissenters are part of the CWC, she has ensured that they — Azad and Sharma — are kept out of the organisation. Wasnik, one of the letter writers has been included, but he is unlikely to go against her close aide Ahmed Patel,” said a senior party leader. Former Rajasthan unit chief Sachin Pilot did not figure in the reshuffle. He is learnt to have been offered a slot but declined it, saying he would like to continue his focus on Rajasthan. The new permanent invitees of the CWC include Digvijays Singh, Rajiv Shukla, Salman Khurshid, Pawan Bansal, Dinesh Gundurao, Manickam Tagore, Pramod Tiwari, Jairam Ramesh, H K Pat i l , M a n i s h Chatrath and Kuljit Nagra. While Harish Rawat has been named general secretary in-charge of Punjab, Oommen Chandy is the new in-charge for Andhra Pradesh. Tariq Anwar is the new in-charge for Kerala and Lakshadweep and Jitendra Singh got charge of Assam. AHEAD OF OXFORD Covaxin better at protecting monkeys from Covid-19 virus S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi AN Indian Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, jointly developed by Bharat Biotech and the ICMR, can protect animals from the virus, if the first results of its animal challenge study are anything to go by . The study by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) scientists suggests that vaccinated groups of rhesus macaques had significantly lower disease burden compared to the placebo group. In challenge studies, animals are first vaccinated and then deliberately exposed to a pathogen to assess the efficacy of a vaccine or a drug. Interestingly, Covaxin showed better results compared to the animal challenge of the vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Animals that took the Oxford shot, when exposed to Covid, did not develop severe disease, but did contract the infection and were found capable of transmitting it to others. The NIV study involved 20 macaques. Dates of the crime? Only police seem to know them! A J AY K A N T H @ Kochi WHEN exactly did the sexual abuse of the Class IV student of the Palathayi school happen? Family members say that the girl never had any clear idea about the dates of the crime and the Childline officials too vouch that the victim did not tell them any specific dates, but the police have mentioned the dates in the victim’s statement. From where and how did the police officers get the dates, ask the girl’s relatives. The victim’s statements were recorded by a woman civil police officer of Panur station on March 21 and March 30. The case details say that the crime had taken place between January and February this year, with the complaint registered on March 15 at the station. “The child never mentioned any specific dates when we spoke with her. We came to know about the dates and additional details when the police submitted her statements,” said a Childline officer. “It’s hard to say whether a child can remember the dates in a situation like this,” the Childline officer said. PALATHAYI WHO MESSED UP? PART-II The victim’s uncle echoed the concern. “We don’t know how police got the specific dates,” he told TNIE. Mohammed Shah, the victim’s counsel, said the dates were irrelevant in a case of this sort. “Whether the victim gives a date or not, it doesn’t matter and won’t affect the evidence. We’ve a Kerala High Court judgment — passed on June 9, 2020 in the sexual-abuse case of a 12-year-old — that dates are not important. Though the appeal filed by the accused contented that there was no clarity on the dates of the occurrence of crime given by the victim, the court observed that merely for the said reason, it can’t be said that the evidence is not reliable, if it is otherwise found reliable and acceptable.” (To be continued) GOLD SMUGGLING CASE ED grills Min Jaleel for 2 hours, Oppn wants him to quit E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi TIMELINE THE Left government, which had to face several embarrassing moments since the gold smuggling through the diplomatic channel came to light, found itself in a tight spot again on Friday when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) grilled Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel for two hours at its Kochi office as part of the case. If CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh arrived at the same office in full media glare for the Ed’s 12-hour questioning on Wednesday the en, tire Jaleel interrogation was held in a Truth alone will somewhat secretive triumph. Nothing manner. The minister contrary will reportedly stayed at happen even if his friend’s house at the whole world stands against it Aroor on Thursday night, left his official K T Jaleel vehicle behind and reached the ED office in a private car on Friday morning. Many state agencies and even some of the officials at ED Kochi were not infor med about the impending interrogation. The Opposition went up in arms soon after ED Director S K Mishra confirmed the news about the interrogation to reporters in the evening. The protest marches by Youth Congress and Yuva Morcha activists to the Secretariat, demanding Jaleel’s resignation, turned violent and the police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse them. “Truth alone will triumph. Nothing contrary will happen even if the whole world stands against it,” Jaleel reacted ● More on P5 in a Facebook post. Minister K T Jaleel reaches his friend’s house on Thursday night and stays there 1 He leaves his official vehicle behind and reaches the ED office in a private car on Friday morning 2 ED officials grill Jaleel from 9.30-11.30am 3 He returns to Aroor, before leaving for Malappuram in his official vehicle 4 Jaleel appeared for questioning in a more or less secretive manner. The chief minister has been protecting him for long. For how long can he shield him? Ramesh Chennithala, Oppn leader The probe agencies have information that Jaleel has links with the gold smuggling case accused. The CM doesn’t want to oust him probably because the accused has links with others in govt K Surendran, BJP state president
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