Airlines can now operate at 70% of pre-Covid capacity Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday that the Centre has raised the cap on the number of domestic flights Indian airlines can operate to 70 per cent of their pre-Covid levels. Currently, the limit is 60 per cent THRISSUR l Thursday l november 12, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION 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 Poll outcome shows development will be the only basis for politics in the 21st century, says PM; agrees women are BJP’s silent voters, adding they turned out in large numbers; puts West Bengal govt on notice over political killings Approval of Covid policy, says Modi M A NI S H A N A N D @ New Delhi Stating that Bihar will march on the development path under the leadership of Nitish Kumar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the NDA’s electoral victory across the country was an endorsement of the measures taken by the government to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. While the world paused in the face of the pandemic, India continued to take “historic decisions” to reform agriculture, education, land titles and others, Modi said. A day after the Bihar verdict, the BJP headquarters turned saffron, with party workers celebrating the victory. BJP chief J P Nadda set the tone of the celebrations, saying the verdict is an endorsement of the Covid-19 management under the PM’s leadership. “The battle that India waged against the Covid-19 pandemic has no parallel, as the principal priority has been to save the Covid patients can vote from 5pm to 6pm lives of the people. It was also ensured that while free ration was made available to the people, the immediate requirement of employment was also addressed,” Modi said. He was referring to the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package in which 5 kg ration and `50,000 crore worth of works of various ministries were executed in a few states that were at the receiving end of the migrant exodus, including Bihar. Modi said the verdict is another indication of the “new mood” in the country, adding, “people reward those who work for development with honesty and in the interests of the BIHAR 2020 nation.” He also lavished praise on Nadda for leading the BJP to victory in the polls. Referring to the BJP’s silent voter base, the PM said women trust the party because of their priorities for “safety and respect”. “Women are the biggest silent voters. They have shown their might in Bihar, with a large turnout,” he added. Who are these silent voters? They are our mothers and sisters for whom the party is working relentlessly - Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Nitish thanks modi for bihar victory @ T’Puram THE voters who test positive for Covid three days prior to the polling day and those who are asked to go into quarantine during this period will be allowed to cast their votes during the last hour -- from 5pm to 6pm. Though Covid patients and those in quarantine are allowed to postal-vote, the deadline to apply for it ends three days before the date of polling. The cabinet took the decision specifically for those who test Covid positive and go into quarantine after the deadline. The cabinet decided to recommend to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan that relevant sections of the Kerala Panchayat Raj and the Kerala Municipality Acts be amended to help such voters cast votes. ELECTION 2020 Kerala Lines drawn, parties gear up | P2 Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes the victory sign at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday. BJP national president J P Nadda is also seen | Parveen Negi Kolkata: With Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ulMuslimeen announcing its decision to contest the 2021 assembly polls in West Bengal, the ruling TMC in the state on Wednesday called it a “communal force which acts as BJP’s B team”. Axe Chirag from central NDA: JD(U) R a j e s h K u mar T h a k u r @ Patna A day after winning a fresh mandate to rule Bihar, NDA leaders on Wednesday started putting their heads together to form the new government led by Nitish Kumar, though his JD(U) will be the junior partner with 43 seats as against the BJP’s 74. While the BJP is understandably keen on government formation, the JD(U) doesn’t quite share the enthusiasm, amid indications the new ministry could be sworn in only after Diwali (Nov 14) or even after the Chhath festival (Nov 19-20). For, the JD(U) first wants the BJP to send a clear no-nonsense message by ejecting the Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) from the central NDA before government formation, it is reliably learnt. It was the LJP that deliberately damaged the JD(U)’s chances across the state and hurt the BJP to a lesser extent in some seats, indirectly benefiting the Rashtriya Janata Mission project builder Unitac was a kickback for Sivasankar. Swapna had THE chief minister’s office and his told the ED that Sivasankar was the former principal secretary M Sivas- beneficiary of the kickbacks she ankar found themselves further on the received. back foot after the En“In fact, an amount of forcement Directorate, `1 crore (approx) which which is probing the monwas given by Khalid to ey trail in the gold smugSwapna was a kickback gling case, revealed that meant for Sivasankar. the bureaucrat received This amount was subseRs 1 crore as a kickback quently seized by the NIA from the LIFE Mission from the lockers belonghousing project. The cening to Swapna including tral agency has stated so the one opened on the diin a report filed before the rections of Sivasankar Special Court for Prevenfrom which NIA seized tion of Money Launder- M Sivasankar being taken to the `64 lakh,” the report ing Act (PMLA) cases economic offence court in Kochi stated. The ED is suspicious of while opposing Sivason Wednesday | A Sanesh all construction work carankar’s bail plea. ED, citing gold smuggling key ac- ried out by LIFE Mission after the revecused Swapna Suresh’s statement, lation that Sivasankar had leaked project claimed that the `1 crore handed over details even before their tenders were by UAE Consulate finance department opened. There could be possible kickhead Khalid Al Shoukry to Swapna af- backs from certain private parties in ter receiving commission from LIFE these projects, the report said. ● More on P4 Bineesh Kodiyeri remanded in 14-day judicial custody Kochi: A Bengaluru court remanded Bineesh Kodiyeri, who has been arrested on money-laundering charges, in 14-day custody on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the ED has identified two more men who were alleged accomplices in the crime. P5 ED probe likely into Believers church row Kochi: The ED may launch a detailed probe into the activities of self-styled evangelist K P Yohannan’s Believers Eastern Church, after the Income Tax department found huge unaccounted money transactions carried out by trusts under the Church. P4 Regulation Online news portals under Centre’s ambit R i t w i k a M i tra @ New Delhi The print media is regulated by the Press Council of India and the News Broadcasters Association represents television channels. But till now, there were no rules to regulate content on OTT platforms the U n i o n C ab i n e t o n Wednesday approved a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme worth `1.46 lakh crore for 10 sectors to boost domestic manufacturing, create jobs and reduce dependence on imports. The scheme will be offered to white goods manufacturing, pharma, auto, telecom, textile, food products, solar photovoltic and cell battery among others, with a , total outlay of `1,45,980 crore spread over five years. Of the total outlay the larg, est pie — `57,042 crore — goes to auto and auto components, followed by advance chemistry cell (ACC) battery (`18,100 crore), drug makers (15,000 crore), telecom products (`12,195 crore), food products `(10,900 crore) and textile manufacturers (10,683 crore). Announcing the scheme, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it will help attract more investments into these sectors, promote job creation and will help in building a self-reliant India. Wednesday’s announcement is in continuation of the gover nment’s earlier PLI TMC unease as owaisi to contest wb polls ED: Sivasankar got `1 cr as kickback from LIFE Why online content needs to be regulated E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e Patna: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Wednesday “saluted” people for giving majority to the NDA in Bihar and thanked PM Narendra Modi for his support. “I salute people for the majority they have given to the NDA. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support,” Kumar tweeted. T o b y A n t o n y @ Kochi E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e `1.46 lakh cr production linked incentive scheme for 10 crucial sectors The Central gover nment has brought online news portals such as The Wire and over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat and signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers, as well as news and current affairs on online platforms would come under the MIB’s purview. The order also covers news on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The decision has evoked sharp reactions from the digital media industry “This move is a step towards . censorship of online news platforms. The government is doing this because some online news portals criticise government policies,” said Poonam Agarwal, editor, investigations, The Quint. Siddharth Varadarajan of The Wire, said, “The underlying impulse of involving the I&B ministry is to introduce special rules to hinder digital media, which has so far bucked the trend in print and TV spaces of giving the government a free ride.” Press Council chairperson Justice C K Prasad said, “We are of the view the content should be looked after by a statutory independent body .” Dal (RJD). The LJP had dropped out of the state NDA barely weeks before polling. For the record though, JD(U)’s senior spokesperson Dr Ajay Alok denied setting terms on purging the central NDA of the LJP. He, however, said the new gover nment is likely to be formed after Diwali. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the NDA will stick to its pre-poll announcement of Nitish Kumar staying as chief minister. @ New Delhi Arnab gets interim bail, SC criticises High Court scheme for electronics and for active pharma ingredients with an outlay of `50,000 crore spread over five years, which takes the total outlay for such incentives to nearly `2 lakh crore over a five-year period. India Inc has welcomed the move and said its timely espe, cially when the economy is limping back to normal from the aftershocks of Covid. Boost for social infra The Cabinet also decided to extend the viability gap funding scheme to social infrastructure sectors. The scheme is currently available only for projects concerning economic infrastructure With economy headed towards a sharp contraction this fiscal, the governmental indicated the manufacturing and infrastructure sector will remain the focus area to kickstart economy . Observing that personal liberty is increasingly becoming a casualty in the country, the SC granted bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
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