HEALTH OF THE ECONOMY July 4.9 5.2 4.8 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 With industrial activities hit hard by Covid-19, the month’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted by 10.4% 2019-2020 2020-2021 General -29.2 Electricity Manufacturing Mining General Electricity SAMBALPUR 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 CONSUMER DURABLES OUTPUT DOWN 23% 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 ■ ■ ■ 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 | P10 29.2% 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 guidence 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. ahead of their talks on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Moscow | PTI The mechanism was arrived at during a bilateral meeting PLAINTALK 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 AHEAD OF OXFORD Covaxin better at protecting monkeys from Covid-19 virus Odisha takes option 1 for GST compensation, intimates Centre S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA HEMANT KUMAR ROUT 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. I n t e re s t i n g ly, C ova x i n 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—in four groups of five animals each. One group was given a placebo while three groups were immunised with three versions of Covaxin, derived from killed SARSCoV-2, at 0 and 14 days. All the macaques were then challenged with SARS-CoV-2 14 days after the second dose. THE Odisha Government has intimated the Centre that it would like to avail the first of the two options offered by the Union Finance Minister with regard to GST compensation. The Option 1 - borrowing the shortfall arising out of implementation of the GST regime - would be financially suitable for Odisha as it would enable the Gover nment to borrow additional `3,400 crore this fiscal over and above the State’s borrowing limit. Under this option, the Centre would amortize the interest and principal amount, to be borrowed through issue of market debt against the compensation shortfall from the cess fund. The second option allowed a bigg e r b o r r ow i n g t o meet the shortfall arising out of GST implementation including Covid impact which Odisha did not prefer as it would have to bear the interest on the borrowing through its own resources. While the next GST Council meeting has been postponed to October 5, Principal Secretary of Finance department Ashok K Meena said the State Government already intimated the Centre about its preference. “Since our financial performance is better than other states, we have estimated the GST compensation for the 2020-21 fiscal to be around `9,000 crore of which the Centre would be able to pay @ New Delhi “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- @ Bhubaneswar around `2,400 crore. Initially, it is estimated that around `3,400 crore would be borrowed and the rest would be compensated by the Centre after 2022,” he said. The Finance Secretary, however, said there is still no clarity on who will borrow the Centre or the State. “The Centre will create a special window for Option 1 but states opting for Option 2 will have to borrow themselves. While the estimate for borrowing for states in Option 1 is around `97,000 crore, the compensation cess fund estimate for the year is about `68,000 crore to `70,000 crore,” he clarified. The State Government had estimated GST c o m p e n s at i o n o f `3,647 crore for the first four months of 2020-21. However, the Centre has not released a single penny yet. Last month, the Government had written to the Centre to release the compensation amount at the earliest. Citing that the State has been facing financial constraints due to shortfall of tax collection to fund various welfare schemes, Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari had also raised the issue during the last GST Council in June. This apart, the Centre is also yet to clear the dues of the previous financial years. Odisha has not received about `230 crore due in 201920 and around `450 crore in 2018-19. Last year, the State had received the GST compensation of around `5,200 crore. NAVEEN LAUNCHES GARIMA FOR CORE SANITATION WORKERS Under this option, the Centre would amortize the interest and principal amount, to be borrowed through issue of market debt against the compensation shortfall from the cess fund. The Centre will create a special window for borrowing for Option 1. Since our financial performance is better than other states, we have estimated the GST compensation for the 2020-21 fiscal to be around `9,000 crore of which the Centre would be able to pay around `2,400 crore Ashok K Meena, Principal Secretary of Finance department Announcing the Odisha Government’s commitment to eliminate manual scavenging, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched GARIMA, a scheme to ensure safety and dignity of core sanitation workers | P3 Odisha sees 3,996 new cases, 4,061 recover The State Capital on Friday crossed the 15,000-mark after 413 fresh cases of Covid-19 reported from the city in the last 24 hours. The City’s infection tally now stands at 15,365 with death toll of 58 | P2 RECOVERED 3,996 658 1,08,001 1,43,117 FRESH CASES DEATHS TOTAL CASES AGNIVESH PASSES AWAY IN DELHI Social activist Swami Agnivesh, 80, died of multiple-organ failure at a Delhi hospital on Friday | P7 ‘DISSENTER’ WASNIK ON SONIA’S A-TEAM 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 secretary 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 committee comprises Ahmed Patel, A K Antony R , S Surjewala, 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 Patil, Manish 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. The party has also reconstituted its Central Election Authority to pave way for organisational elections in the coming months. The Option 1 borrowing the shortfall arising out of implementation of the GST regime would be financially suitable for Odisha as it would enable the Government to borrow additional `3,400 crore this fiscal over and above the State’s borrowing limit. ODISHA COVID UPDATE Capital tally crosses 15,000-mark, BMC issues SOP for caregivers 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. P7 BALANCING ACT There is no let up in Covid-19 surge in Odisha as the State witnessed an uptick in both new infections and fatalities. It continued to set new records by adding 3,996 fresh cases and 14 deaths in the last 24 hours | P2 BUNDLE OF JOY A woman street vendor takes a break from work to play with her baby in Bhubaneswar on Friday | BISWANATH SWAIN NAVEEN ANNOUNCES `300 CRORE PACKAGE FOR FLOOD-HIT FARMERS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhubaneswar CHIEF Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced a special package of `300 crore for livelihood support of farmers affected by the recent floods. The package includes provision of agriculture input subsidy to the small and marginal farmers who have sustained crop loss of over 33 per cent in the floods. While farmers in rain-fed and non-irrigated areas will be paid `6,800 per hectare, those in areas under assured irrigation will get `13,500 per hectare. Similarly, agriculture input subsidy of `18,000 per hectare will be paid for all type of perennial crops which include mango, cashew, coconut, kewra and betel vine. Assistance will be provided to actual cultivators and input subsidy to any affected farmer will not be less than `2,000 for perennial crops and `1,000 for other crops. The Chief Minister announced that short term kharif loans advanced in the flood affected areas having crop loss of 33 per cent and above will be con- verted to medium term (conversion) loans. The due date of the short term kharif loans advanced in the affected areas will be extended by one year from the date of finance (maximum up to September 30, 2022) to facilitate conversion of such loans into medium term (conversion) loans. Besides, affected farmers will be provided fresh finance for rabi cultivation for the ensuing rabi season starting from October 1. Immediate steps will be taken to arrange and distribute quality certified seeds in sufficient quantity for rabi season with a subsidy of around 75 per cent. Around 20,000 pulse seed mini kits will be provided to the flood-affected farmers. Besides, 2000 pump sets will be provided with 50 per cent subsidy limited to a maximum of `15,000. As many as 5000 power sprayers will be made available to the farmers at a subsidy of 50 per cent limited to maximum of `3000 for batteryoperated sprayers and `600 for hand-operated sprayers. As per the package, one lakh farmers will be trained on seed treatment programme with free supply of seed treatment chemicals and bio-pesticides to cover one lakh acre for increasing rabi crop production crops. Besides, farm mechanisation subsidy of `10 crore will be disbursed to the affected districts. The package includes provisioning of vegetable kits at `130 with seeds of palak, beans, cowpea, tomato, chilli and radish to one lakh farmers to meet their immediate needs through kitchen garden. Assistance for replacement of animals will be provided towards loss of animals at `30,000 per milch cow and buffalo, `25,000 per draught animal (up to three animals), `16,000 per calf (up to six animals) , `3,000 per goat (up to 30 animals) and `50 per poultry bird (maximum of `5,000). Similarly financial assistance of , `12,200 per hectare will be provided to fish farmers for repair of damaged fish ponds or dykes. Input subsidy of `8,200 per hectare will be given for de-silting, restoration or repair of damaged fish seed farm. Assistance of `4,100 per weaver, handicrafts artisan will also be provided for replacement of tools and equipment and towards loss of raw materials and goods.
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