July 4.9 5.2 4.8 4.9 April-July 3.4 6.8 3.5 3.0 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 Manufacturing -32.8 Electricity Mining General Electricity CHENNAI SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 22 LATE CITY EDITION Manufacturing Mining -20.2 -12.5 -10.4 -11.1 -13.0 -2.5 HEALTH OF THE ECONOMY *Figures in % POSITIVE SIGNS AS RESTRICTIONS 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% during the 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 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 big step towards disengagement; no aggression at LAC in past 24 hours 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 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (left) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi ahead of their talks on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Moscow | PTI PLAINTALK AT BILATERAL MEETING IN MOSCOW The Chinese side has not provided credible explanation for the massive deployment of forces along the LAC, Jaishankar told Wang. “The provocative behaviour of Chinese frontline troops at numerous incidents of friction along the LAC also showed disregard for bilateral agreements and protocols. The Indian side clearly conveyed that it expected full adherence to all agreements on management of border areas and would not countenance any attempt to change the status quo unilaterally. It was also emphasised that the Indian troops had scrupulously followed all agreements and protocols on border management,” sources said 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. 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. A five-point mechanism to resolve the ongoing tension between India 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 disengagement. The mechanism was arrived at during a bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Thursday on the sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting. In a joint statement issued early on Friday the two leaders , said that they should not allow differences to become disputes. “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- Support frontline staff instead of demoralising them, says CM EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai EXPRESSING concern over the charge that the government had failed to contain the spread of Covid-19, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday indicated that such criticisms would demoralise the frontline staff engaged in containment work, for the past few months. “People level these charges only to gain political mileage. At a time when the infection is going up in many States, the recovery rate in Tamil Nadu stands at 88 per cent, with no vaccine yet. This itself is a big victory he said, while review,” ing Covid-preventive measures in Kancheepuram. “We should support the frontline staff engaged in containment work, instead of finding faults. Only when we appreciate their sincere ef- forts, will they work more vigorously he said. “Whichever ,” party comes to power, it is the government employees who ultimately implement schemes announced by the government, and it is our duty to support them in their efforts,” he added. The daily count of infections had come down from the 7,000-levels to around 5,500 due to the consistent efforts taken by the government. He also gave a comprehensive account of developmental activities and welfare schemes. “Flood prevention works to be implemented with aid from World Bank, at a cost of `2,085 crore, is under consideration. Besides, constructing check dams with barrages (`300 cr) across the Palar river, between Cuddalore and Vayalur villages, and between Patalam and Udhayampakkam villages is also under consideration.” At a time when the infection is going up in many States, the recovery rate in Tamil Nadu stands at 88 per cent, with no vaccine yet. This itself is a big victory Edappadi K Palaniswami Projects under the govt’s ambit Deepening the Maduranthakam lake at `125 crore, renovating Kolavai lake at `60 crore, and implementing flood prevention works at Chrompet and Pallavaram at `41 crore are among those under consideration Chengalpattu collectorate `168cr Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami takes a look at one of the exhibits on display at the Kancheepuram collectorate during his visit to the district on Friday FRESH CASES DEATHS ACTIVE CASES TALLY 5,519 77 47,918 4,91,571 The cost at which the collectorate complex in Chengalpattu is being built. The complex would also have a yoga centre (`100 cr) in it, the CM said TAX EVASION CASE High Court orders notice to AR Rahman EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai A division bench of the Madras High Court on Friday ordered notice to music composer AR Rahman over a plea filed by the Income Tax department in a case related to routing of `3 crore through AR Rahman Foundation, a charitable trust managed by him, allegedly to evade tax. The I-T department moved the High Court challenging the verdict of Income Tax Ap p e l l at e T r i bu n a l , Chennai, which set aside the order of the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax in Chennai. According to senior standing counsel for I-T department TR Senthil Kumar, in the assessment year 2011-12, Rahman received an income to the tune of `3.47 crore in connection with an agreement with UK-based Libra Mobiles. The threeyear contract was for composing exclusive ringtones for the company . As per the contract, Rahman had in- structed the company to pay his remuneration directly to the foundation managed by him, the department said. The charge is that the money had been transferred to the trust which did not have a Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence at that time. “The taxable income must be received by Rahman, and only after due deduction of tax, it can be transferred to the trust. The amount cannot be routed through the trust, as income to a charitable trust is exempted under the IT Act,” said the counsel. Sneak-peek The I-T dept’s plea says, Rahman, after receiving notice, moved Appellate Tribunal, which in Sept 2019 ruled in favour of him, declaring that the amount was not taxable. It held that GoI had accorded a “post facto approval” with respect to the amount in question 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 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 CONTINUED ON: P11 hours. AGNIVESH PASSES AWAY Social activist Swami Agnivesh, 80, died of multiple-organ failure at a Delhi hospital on Friday | P11 BALANCING ACT TEAM RAHUL GETS SLOTS IN CONG REJIG R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi IN a major organisational reshuffle, the Congress on Friday dropped Ghulam Nabi Azad, the senior-most among 23 letter writers, as AICC general secretary, and constituted a six member special committee — having a mix of both young and old leaders — to assist Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in running the party till a new president is elected. The reshuffle comes days after a group of 23 leaders wrote to Sonia, seeking collective leadership and organisational elections, starting with the Congress Working Committee (CWC). But with the reconstitution of the CWC, there is little scope for elections to the party’s highest decision making body . According to party sources, many of Team Rahul’s members have been suitably accommodated. “In a balancing act, the Congress president ensured that dissenters remain part of the CWC but also sent a strong signal to them by ensuring that Azad and Sharma are kept out of the special committee. Though Wasnik, one of the letter writers, has been included in the team of six, he is unlikely to go against her close aide Ahmed Patel,” said a senior party leader. Others axed as AICC general secretaries include Ambika Soni, Motilal Vora, Luizinho Falerio and Mallikarjun Kharge. But Soni has been included in the special committee along with Wasnik, Ahmed Patel, A K Antony R S Surjewala and K , C Venugopal. Both Venugopal and Surjewala are considered close to Rahul. Azad and two other letter writers, Anand Sharma and Wasnik, continue to remain part of the CWC. Jitin Prasada, another member of the group of 23, has been given the responsibility of West Bengal that goes to the polls next year and has been made a permanent invitee to CWC, a promotion from his special invitee position earlier. Wasnik has also been made in charge of Madhya Pradesh. According to sources, changes have been made keeping in mind that Azad, Sharma and a few others made public statements after the CWC meeting despite directives not to do so. CONTINUED ON: P12
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