HYDERABAD FRIDAY NOVEMBER 13, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 44 LATE CITY EDITION ENHANCING CONNECTIVITY WITH ASEAN A PRIORITY: MODI PM said strengthening all kinds of connectivity, including in social, digital and ﬁnancial spheres, with Asean is a major focus for India INDIA AND ASEAN HAVE SIMILAR GOALS Prime Minister Narenda Modi made the remarks at a virtual summit between India and the 10-nation Asean grouping. “We believe a cohesive and responsive Asean is needed for security and growth for all in the region,” Modi said. He added there are many similarities between India’s ‘Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative’ and Asean’s ‘Outlook on Indo Pacific’ ■ RCEP PM CO-CHAIRS ASEAN-INDIA SUMMIT ■ PM Modi, along with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, virtually co-chaired the 17th ASEAN-India Summit The summit is taking place amid China’s aggressive behaviour in the disputed South China Sea as well as in eastern Ladakh. Many Asean countries have territorial disputes with China | P7 PACT WILL BE SIGNED ON SUNDAY, WITH A CLAUSE FOR INDIA TO JOIN LATER | P9 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 Stimulus shot for jobs, businesses, economy Sitharaman’s third package offers job creation scheme; emergency credit line guarantee extended till March A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi THE government on Thursday sought to lift the sagging economy through an early Diwali gift in the form of Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0. The long-awaited stimulus package, unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, aims to generate employment, offer credit support to 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee, and revive the real estate sector. Sources said many schemes are spread over 2-5 years and the additional spending this year will be `1.30 lakh crore. The cumulative stimulus measures announced so far stand at around `30 lakh crore, or 15% of the GDP ac, cording to Sitharaman. She pegged the total allocation of the measures announced on Thursday at `2.65 lakh crore. This includes the productivity-linked incentive scheme announced on Wednesday . The government extended the `3 lakh crore emergency credit line guarantee scheme till March 31 next year but the centerpiece of the third stimulus package is Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, which aspires to generate EPF INCENTIVE TO CREATE JOBS Scheme to generate employment during the Covid recovery phase Companies employing up to 1,000 Centre to provide subsidy for two years in respect of new eligible employees appointed on or after October 1, 2020 Employee’s EPF contribution Scheme to be operational till June 30, 2021 ELIGIBILITY GOVT TO PAY Employer’s EPF contribution 12% Companies employing more than 1,000 Employees’ EPF contribution 12% (of monthly pay) Total 24% of monthly wages 12% L 30 LAKH CRORE Cumulative stimulus package announced since the lockdown has touched 15% of the GDP Companies with less than 50 employees, if they add at least two new staff Firms with more than 50 staff, if they create a minimum of five new jobs employment during the Covid recovery phase. It offers a two-year subsidy to companies that hire employees between September 30, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Under this, the government will pay both the employee’s contribution towards EPFO (12% of basic salary) and the employer’s contribution (12%) in firms with less than 1,000 staff. For larger firms employing over 1,000, the government will pay only the employee’s part (12%); these companies will have to continue to con- tribute 12% as before. The subsidy will be only for employees with monthly wages up to `15,000. To avail the scheme, companies with less than 50 employees will have to hire two new staff, while firms with headcounts above 50 will have to create five new jobs. The subsidy will cost the government `6,000 crore over two years. Experts say it will improve the jobs scenario. Sitharaman also allocated `10,000 crore more for the rural job scheme. FULL COVERAGE P10 RETAIL INFLATION AT 77-MONTH HIGH IN OCT EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi INDIA’s factory output grew for first time in seven months in September, government data showed on Thursday, raising hopes that the economy may be on the mend. The cheer may be short-lived as another set of data released on Thursday showed retail inflation climbing to 77-month in October at 7.61%. On Wednesday, an RBI report had said that India has entered a technical recession in the first half of FY21 for the first time in history, pegging an 8.6% contraction in GDP in the September quarter. According to the official data released on Thursday, the Index of Industrial Production was up on the back of improved mining activities, which grew at 1.4%, better demand of electricity at 4.9% and improvement in manufacturing activity, which contacted 0.6% against 7.9% dip in August 2020. Devendra Pant, chief economist at CARE Ratings, said the growth in industrial production would not have been possible without last year’s low base as IIP had contracted 4.6% in September 2019. He added whether this recovery is sustainable or not would depend on how the data comes in over the next few months. In another worrying development, annual consumer price inflation in India rose to 7.61% in October, the highest since May 2014, mainly on account of high food prices. Food inflation surged to 11.07%, the highest since January Vegetables in. flation stood at 22.5%, pulses at 18.3%, meat and fish inflation was 18.7%, while that for eggs, it came in at 21.8%. Aditi Nayar, principal economist at credit ratings agency ICRA, said the possibility of a rate cut in February 2021, too, looks slim at the moment, because inflation is expected to recede below 6% only after December. HC directs TS to ban sale and use of firecrackers EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad THE Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the State government to immediately ban the sale and use of firecrackers by the individuals and organisations during this Diwali season. The court also directed it to close the shops which are selling the firecrackers. The bench, comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, also directed the State to make an appeal to the people through print and electronic media, asking them to refrain from bursting crackers in order to prevent any further deterioration in air quality . “Presently, the nation and the State are struggling with Covid-19 pandemic. Much as the festivals may be important and may serve a social purpose, nonetheless, people’s lives are most important. It is the bounden duty of the State to ensure that the lives of the people are protected. Since the government has not declared any ban on use of fireworks so far, and considering the facts that the lives of people need to be protected and that uncontrolled and untrammeled use of fireworks may jeopardise the lives of many, the Court directs the State to immediately impose a ban on sale and use of fireworks,” it observed. CONTINUED ON P3 CHIRU TESTS NEGATIVE FOR COVID I P5 EXPRESS READ Up to BJP to decide on LJP’s fate, says Nitish Dubbaka defeat just an unsavoury blip: KCR Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday casually tossed the LJP bomb onto the BJP’s lap, saying it was for them to decide on the fate of Chirag Paswan’s party | P8 Hyderabad: Asking TRS leaders to not worry about the BJP factor in the forthcoming GHMC polls, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao reportedly said that the defeat in Dubbaka bypoll is just an unsavoury blip | P4
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