BHUBANESWAR l TUESDAY l SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE CITY EDITION TRUMP PAID JUST $750 IN INCOME TAXES DURING 2016,17 He paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the last 15 years, the New York Times reported on Monday citing his tax-return data QUESTIONABLE REFUNDS AND DEDUCTIONS HE IS SITTING ON A MOUNTAIN OF DEBT Starting 2010, Trump has claimed and received income tax refunds totalling $72.9 million. The Internal Revenue Service is presently probing the legitimacy of the refunds. An adverse ruling could cost Trump $100 million in penalty. The report also says he took tax deductions on personal expenses such as housing, aircraft and $70,000 in hairstyling for TV shows ■ ■ The Times report also revealed Trump is sitting on a ticking time bomb of debt. The tax records show he’s holding a total of $421 million in loans and debt that are due in the next four years Most of that debt comes from his Doral golf resort in Florida and Washington hotel, which are financially struggling | P9 $145,400 TAX HIS UNITS PAID TO INDIA IN 2017, IN CONTRAST TO HIS SLIM INCOME TAX 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 BJD to form panel to study contentious legislations EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhubaneswar AS opposition to the contentious new farm laws mount in the country, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced that the BJD will form a committee comp r i s i n g M P s, M L A s a n d farmers’ leaders to study the provisions of the legislations. Addressing the BJD Legislature Party (BJDLP) meeting on the eve of the Monsoon session of the Assembly, the Chief Minister, assured that far mers’ welfare will be paramount in any intervention to be made by the Odisha Government in the matter. Stating that BJD is in favour of any initiative that will bring prosperity in the Youth Congress workers staging a protest against the contentious farm laws at Rajpath in New Delhi on Monday, after setting a tractor ablaze | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT Find workaround to negate farm laws, says Sonia lives of the farmers, Naveen said that the regional party will continue its fight for the implementation of the MS S w a m i n at h a n c o m m i t t e e re c o m m e n d at i o n s. “ T h i s will really help the farmers at large,” he said and added that in both houses of the Parliament, BJD raised its concerns regarding protection of interest of the farmers and suggested close scrutiny of the Bills by a Select committee. The Parliament recently passed three farm bills - the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Fa r m e r s ’ P ro d u c e T r a d e and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Fa r m S e r v i c e s B i l l . T h e Bills have gained assent of President Ramnath Kovind to become laws. Referring to the New Education Policy too, the Chief Minister said that his party has for med a committee to go through Farmers’ welfare will be paramount in any intervention to be made by Odisha Government. In both houses of the Parliament, BJD raised its concerns regarding protection of interest of the farmers and suggested close scrutiny of the Bills by a Select committee Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister all aspects and come up with findings after discussing with various stakeholders. Naveen said Odisha is the first State in the country to be formed on linguistic basis. T he Gover nment will protect and promote the mother tongue Odia, whether through the NEP or any other intervention of the Centre. “Promotion of mother tongue and impact on the rural students will be important criteria to evaluate the NEP,” he said. Stating that electricity consumption has reached pre-Covid times, signalling that industrial and Asks Cong-ruled states to explore possibility of passing laws overriding reform legislations Offset clause chucked out, but conditions apply EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi stitution, which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to override a Central law, which STEPPING up her attack on the then comes for President’s asnew farm laws that have left a sent,” said K C Venugopal, Consection of the farmers roiled, gress general secretary in Congress President Sonia Gan- charge of the organisation. dhi on Monday asked partyAccording to Article 254(2), ruled states to explore the pos- “Where a law made by the Legsibility of workaround laws islature of a State with respect under Article 254(2) of the Con- to one of the matters enumerstitution to override the con- ated in the Concurrent List tentious reform legislations. contains any provision repugWhile Congress-ruled state nant to the provisions of an governments are also explor- earlier law made by Parliament ing legal options, a party MP or an existing law with respect from Kerala, T N Prathapan, to that matter, then, the law so has already approached the Su- made by the Legislature of preme Court chalsuch State shall, if it Plan to lenging the constituhas been reserved for tional validity of the intensify stir the consideration of in Punjab Farmers (Empowerthe President and has ment and Protection) received his assent, Farmers plan to Agreement of Price prevail in that State.” lay siege to Assurance and Farm corporate houses, As for the legal Services Bill, 2020. offices, malls and challenge, Punjab Farmers, especially residences of BJP Chief Minister Capt in Punjab and Hary- leaders in Punjab. Amarinder Singh ana, have been agitatsaid agitation and leCongress leader ing against the three gal recourse will have Rahul Gandhi is laws, which the Cento be undertaken siexpected to join tre says are revolu- agitating Punjab multaneously. “Our tionary as they would farmers on Gandhi lawyers are coming ensure better price from Delhi tomorrow Jayanti on Oct 2 for their produce. (Tuesday). We will Among the sticking discuss how to propoints in the new laws, accord- ceed in the matter and then ing to the Opposition, are the challenge the legislation in the lack of explicit guarantees Supreme Court,” he said. written into them on continuRajasthan Chief Minister ing the existing minimum sup- Ashok Gehlot submitted a port price (MSP) system and memorandum to President Koallowing big corporate houses vind and Gover nor Kalraj into the farm sector. Mishra seeking the rollback of “Hon’ble Congress President the legislations. His Chhattishas asked Cong ress-ruled garh counterpart Bhupesh states to explore the possibili- Bhagel said a resolution opposties to pass laws in their states ing the laws will be brought in under Article 254(2) of the Con- the next Assembly session. P7 @ New Delhi/Chandigarh TRAI GETS P D VAGHELA AS NEW CHAIRMAN Senior bureaucrat P D Vaghela was on Monday appointed chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. He will succeed R S Sharma | P10 ON a day the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved purchases worth `2,290 crore, the bigger talking point was a major tweak in the offset policy tied to the acquisition of arms and equipment to make procurement easier. According to the new Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 unveiled on Monday by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, offsets will not be applicable to three specific categories—Inter-Government Agreement (IGA), Government to Government (G2G) and single-vendor deals. The offset clause was a UPA government policy introduced in 2005. But “no offset has led to a transfer of technology. Policy’s mandate Under the offset policy, foreign defence entities, for all contracts worth over `300 crore, are mandated to spend at least 30% of the total contract value in India through procurement of components, transfer of technologies or setting up of research and development facilities Most have to do with product purchase as has been brought out in a recent Comptroller and Auditor General report,” Director General (Acquisition) Apurva Chandra said while interacting with journalists. Under the new DAP a clause , requiring foreign firms to invest 30% of the contract value in the Indian manufacturing sector has been dropped for G2G or single-vendor deals. However, competitive multivendor procurement cases will still have offsets. Among other changes, the armed forces will now be allowed to take a variety of equipment on lease to cut down acquisition time and cost. The equipment include transport aircraft, trainers or simulators. Meanwhile, the DAC approved the purchase of a clutch of equipment from both the domestic and foreign vendors. Under the Buy Indian (IDDM) category, the approval was granted to Static HF Tans-receiver sets and Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW). The HF radio sets will enable seamless communication for the field units of the Army and the Air Force. The Smart Anti Airfield Weapon being procured for around `970 crore will add to the fire power of the Navy and the IAF. In addition, to equip the frontline troops, the DAC approved the procurement of SIG SAUER assault rifles, with the deal valued around `780 crore. Frontline troops are already armed with Sig Sauer Rifles. other business activities have picked up, the Chief Minister said the Gover nment has set a target to provide 20 crore mandays under the MGNREGS. “Our focus will be on lending to far me r s, wo m e n S H G s and MSMEs to further kickstar t the economy,” he said. The Chief Minister paid tributes to the frontline workers who have f allen victim to Covid-19 said the State is proud of the frontline Covid warriors. He announced that the BJD will launch a monthlong awareness campaign from the Gandhi Jayanti to sensitise people on use of mask, hand washing and maintaining social distance. IPL TODAY DELHI HYDERABAD Delhi Capitals are on top. Sunrisers Hyderabad at the bottom. Hyderabad would look to record their first win while Hyderabad would want to consolidate LIVE: Star Sports1/Hotstar @ 7.30pm SUPER VICTORY FOR BANGALORE Royal Challengers Bangalore clinched a thrilling victory, via a Super Over, against defending champs Mumbai Indians on Monday. Batting first, RCB posted 201/3 in 20 overs before Mumbai made a thrilling chase to match the score (201/5) | P11 STATE GOVT SAYS NO TO OPENING OF No quorum: RBI meet put SHRINES AND PLACES OF WORSHIP off as govt sits on vacancies E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Cuttack THE State Government on Monday informed the Orissa High Court that it was not in favour of opening religious shrines and places of worship for public in view of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Filing a counter affidavit to a petition, filed by one Jayant Kumar Bal of Cuttack, challenging the restrictions on opening religious places, the Government claimed that it was in the best position to judge the Covid-19 situation in the State. “Keeping in mind the increasing number of cases in the State, it has been decided to impose the restrictions. It is humbly submitted that relaxation of restrictions in other states may not be considered as relevant to the situation vis a vis Odisha,” the Government submitted. In the affidavit, Law department un- The opening of religious places and congregations cannot be ordered to be relaxed on the analogy of the opening of business establishments such as malls, fitness centres, gyms, liquor shops, etc. Dasmat Marndi, Under secretary, Law department der secretary Dasmat Marndi said, “Despite deployment of security personnel, maintain social distancing inside the temple premises, especially in the Garva Gruha (sanctum sanctorum), will be extremely difficult as almost all temples have narrow passages leading to the sanctum sanctorum”. There are thousands of temples across the State. Every village has at least one temple. Deploying police personnel simultaneously at all temples will be extremely difficult as the State police force is already overburdened with Covid-19 duties in addition to maintenance of law and order, Marndi added. “The opening of religious places and congregations cannot be ordered to be relaxed on the analogy of the opening of business establishments such as malls, fitness centres, gyms, liquor shops, etc. as the latter are essential to ensure the livelihood of the employees of the establishments”, he stated. ‘The object sought to be achieved is that people should not gather in religious places to control the spread of coronavirus. The guidelines have been issued strictly in conformity with the Disaster Management Act, 2005”, the Law department official added. The bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice BR Sarangi adjourned the case to after one week for hearing. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Reserve Bank of India on Monday postponed its threeday monetary policy meeting that was scheduled to begin from Tuesday . While RBI did not cite any reason, experts said the meeting could not have taken place anyway, due to lack of quorum. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) currently has only three members, while four must be present to hold monetary policy meeting. The terms of three external members — Chetan Ghate, Pami Dua and Ravindra Dholakia — ended last month but the government is yet to announce replacements for them. Half of the panel, led by the RBI governor, comprises external independent members with a four-year term. External members are not eligible for re-appointment. Earlier, the government had declined the central bank’s request to extend the tenure of the members till March 2020. Instead, a panel led by Department of Economic Affairs secretary Tarun Bajaj was set up to select new members. According to experts, the procedural delay could cripple crucial decision-making. “The economy is facing a serious challenge and RBI has been leading from the front with quick responses through rate cuts etc. This delay could have been avoided,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services. Interest on interest can’t be waived, Free Covid shot only for high-risk populations? FinMin expected to tell apex court S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi WHILE the Centre on Monday sought more time from the Supreme Court to clarify its stand on ‘interest on interest’ on suspended EMIs during the loan moratorium period, sources told TNIE that the finance ministry has made up its mind that it cannot be waived off. “The Department of Financial Services has already spoken to banks and is of the view that waiving this interest on interest will further strain the financials of banks. One cannot weaken one business to strengthen another business. Banks have raised their concern in this regard and their feedback had been submitted to the Centre,” said a senior finance ministry official. Similar feedback was given by the Rajiv Mehrishi panel, whose report is yet to be made public, the official added. “The Mehrishi panel’s view is that the government can bear the burden of interest on interest, so that neither bank- ers nor customers will have to take a hit. But the overall financial burden on banks will have to be calculated. Given the situation of the exchequer, this is not a comfortable option. Much will depend on what RBI says,” the official told TNIE. On Monday, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it will take a decision on the interest on interest issue in the next two or three days The case has been pending in the top court for the past P5 few months. INDIA’S expert group on Covid-19 vaccine administration has recommended government sponsored vaccination for only high-risk populations that include the elderly above 50 years of age, those with co-morbidities and frontline workers, this newspaper has learnt. In other words, a majority of the citizens — over 90 crore — will have to pay for vaccines from their own pockets. The committee has suggested an antibody test driven immunisation plan under which even those within the vulnerable group will be given a vaccine only if they do not have antibodies against SARS-CoV 2, top sources in the panel said. “The serosurveys conducted in many metros so far have indicated that nearly 25-30% of the population is already exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and by the time an effective medicine arrives, this proportion of exposed population in most parts 30-40 CRORE MAY NEED PRIORITY VACCINATION The vaccination plan prepared by a group under Dr V K Paul, member (Health) Niti Aayog and co-chaired by Union Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has been sent to the PMO for approval. According to estimates, 30-40 crore people may need priority vaccination could be much higher,” a senior member of the group said. “In such a scenario it will not be required to vaccinate people with antibodies,” he said. “The government will also pay for the vaccination of only those who are the most vulnerable and also only those among this group who test negative for SARS Cov-2 antibodies,” the member said. Another member confirmed it, saying that while the government still does not have a firm figure or database of those who qualify as the “most vulnerable”, an exercise is underway to identify and prioritise them. CONTINUED ON: P7
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