The New Indian Express wishes its readers a Our offices will remain closed today. There will be no issue of the paper tomorrow kozhikode l friday l December 25, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION BCCI to compensate ICC for T20 World cup taxes Nothing in agm about ganguly’s conflict If government doesn’t grant exemption, world body to be paid by Indian board for event in India in Oct-Nov 2021 BCCI’s annual general meeting in Ahmedabad was silent on possible violations of conflict of interest rules by its president. Members who attended the meeting said this topic was not raised. Complaints have been filed before the BCCI’s ethics officer, accusing Sourav Ganguly of flouting these rules. The ethics officer is yet to say anything about those. 3 more teams in ipl, talk on more venues ■ ■ The meeting approved the inclusion of two new IPL teams, which will take the total to 10, from the 2022 edition of the event There is a proposal to stage IPL matches in more cities. At present, cities the franchises represent host matches. The Covid situation will be considered before involving more venues national selectors were selected by cricket advisory committee 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 Farm unions call Centre’s latest communication a delaying tactic, say there is nothing new in it Fresh govt letter on talks, but no new formulation E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Chandigarh a day after protesting farmers ruled out any further talks until the government “draws up a new agenda”, the Centre wrote to them again on Thursday reiterat, ing it was open to negotiation and requested farmers to suggest a date and time for a meeting. In the letter, joint secretary in the Union agriculture ministry Vivek Agarwal, stated the government is still ready to discuss all existing issues with the farm unions with an “open mind”. “It is important for the government to have talks with all farmers unions of the country. The government has been talking with unions under the Sanyukt Morcha with an open mind and also desires to talk with you in the future as per your convince,’’ stated the two-page letter. Far mer unions, however, termed the letter a “delaying tactic”. Bharatiya Kisan Union, Punjab (Lakowal) General Secretary Harinder Singh Lakowal said the unions will soon hold a meeting to discuss and prepare a reply . “In today’s letter again, the government is beating around the bush. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should call the protesting farmers with a concrete proposal but he is trying to find and talk to a select few farmers at Kutch in Gujarat,” Lakowal said. In its latest letter, which is in response to the farmers’ reply on Wednesday seeking “a concrete proposal” from the government, the Centre highlighted that it has already given written assurances on all issues raised by the unions in past meetings, including on minimum support price. As things stand now, the farmers are unwilling to stand down from their demand for a complete withdrawal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee on MSP. Thousands of farmers have been staging protests at several Delhi border points for the past 28 days. The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha expressed shock that the government is “not able to understand” farmers’ basic objections. Rahul Gandhi with party leaders at the AICC headquarters in Delhi before leaving for Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday | Shekhar Yadav No democracy in India, claims Rahul Amid probe, CM says LIFE to build 15,000 new houses E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying there is no democracy in the country and those speaking against the PM are labelled as terrorists. A Congress delegation including Rahul, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury met President Ram Nath Kovind and submitted two crore signatures in support of the agitating farmers along with a memoranda seeking the repeal of the three farm sector laws. “There is no democracy Any... one trying to take power from him will be dubbed as terrorist and anti-national, be it farmers, labourers or Mohan Bhagwat (RSS chief). He will make sure the wealth of people is transferred to crony capitalists. He will call people anti-nationals, terrorists to transfer the wealth of these people to three-four crony capitalists close to them,” Rahul alleged after meeting Kovind. The govt is stopping our MPs from moving out of our office. The PM needs to realise that there is limit to this - Rahul Gandhi, Cong leader “The government said that these laws are in favour of the farmers but the country is seeing that it is the farmers who are against these legislations. The farmers are in pain and also dying. The prime minister will have to listen to them. The way the agri laws were passed in Monsoon session of Parliament in September, without any discussion and consultation, they need to be withdrawn,” Rahul said. Several Congress leaders, including party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were detained as they were stopped from staging a protest march to Rashtrapti Bhawan. 10 unions boycott meet on framing labour code rules E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Several trade and labour unions on Thursday boycotted a virtual meeting called by the Centre for tripartite consultation to frame rules for four labour codes, saying physical presence of all stakeholders is necessary for such an exercise. They also sought separate meetings to discuss each code. As for the RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), it participated in the meeting and demanded that the new wage definition limiting allowances at 50% of the total salary should not be frozen. While the union cited the Supreme Court’s verdict in a Vivekananda Vidyalaya case to buttress its point, the fact remains that the 50% cap would increase social security deductions like provident fund. The BMS also demanded the scraping of the maximum daily work hour limit set at 12 in the code, called spread over, saying most countries in the world do not have such a provision. Instead, overtime with double wages should be provided, it said. Also, for calculating minimum wages, the average family size should be taken as six members, it recommended. While the government packaged the new labour codes as major reforms for employee welfare and social security, trade unions alleged that the provisions will expose workers to the hire-and-fire regime. 4 months 50,000 making MERRY Members of a family from Kochuveli in Thiruvananthapuram are all joy near a crib on Thursday. Christmas, the birthday of Jesus Christ, is celebrated on a low-key note this time due to the Covid pandemic | Vincent Pulickal IUML leader accused in DYFI worker’s murder Over L100cr deposited in PFI’s accounts: ED Two murder convicts escape from open jail Sabarimala: Govt moves SC against HC Kasaragod: Hosdurg police have identified IUML Kalloravi ward secretary and Youth League Kanhangad municipal secretary Irshad Kalloravi, 32, as the main accused in the murder of DYFI activist Abdul Rahman, 30, alias Rauf of Pazhaya Kadappuram in Kanhangad. Rauf was stabbed to death during clashes between party activists in the aftermath of the local body polls in Kanhangad town. Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money laundering case against the Popular Front of India (PFI), said on Thursday that more than D100 crore was deposited in the organisation’s bank accounts over the past few years. The ED made the revelation in a report filed at the Special Court for the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases in Kochi. P4 T’Puram: Two murder convicts have escaped from the open jail at Nettukaltheri in the capital district. The incident took place on Wednesday, while the duo was sent to work in the fields attached to the jail. Rajesh Kumar, who is serving life-term for rape and murder of a teenager at Vembayam, and Sreenivasan alias Kanakappan, who murdered his pregnant wife, are still on the run. Kochi: The government on Thursday approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order directing the state to increase the number of permissible daily pilgrims at Sabarimala temple to 5,000. The number of Covid-infected cops, health officials and pilgrims in the temple is on the higher side and the order was issued without considering any proper data, the state said. age-related illness 93-year-old Ranni native who beat Covid dies @Pathanamthitta MONTHS after scripting a story of resilience as one of the oldest Covid-19 survivors in the state, 93-year-old Thomas Abraham passed away due to a g e - re l at e d a i l m e n t s o n Thursday . Belonging to Ranni, Thomas and his 88-year-old wife Mariamma — who had contracted the infection from their son, Thomas and Mariamma come out of the Kottayam MCH after recovering from Covid-19 | File pic UNDETERRED by the ongoing probe into the corruption allegations surrounding the Life Mission project and the Opposition’s call to scrap it, the state government announced 15,000 more houses under the scheme for the homeless as part of the second phase of its 100day programme. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told mediapersons on Thursday that construction of 35,000 houses will also be launched. After completing 570 of the 600 projects in the first phase, the LDF government envisages completion of 526 more projects worth `5,700 crore in the second. Monthly welfare pension Besides, work on 646 new increased to projects worth `4,300 crore will also start, the CM said. Increasing the monthly welfare pension to `1,500, extending the distribution Distribution of free ration of free ration kit to over 80 kits extended by another lakh families by another four months and the creation of 50,000 new job opportunities are among the key highlights of the second phase. Nine major industrial projects will be inaugurated new jobs to be created before March 31. The first phase of KFON project to provide high-speed internet facility to government offices and BPL families will be completed and services launched in February. The GAIL pipeline project, which was considered an unachievable task by many , has been completed, Pinarayi said. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch it on January 5. The CM said 1.16 lakh job opportunities have already been created and an additional 50,000 jobs are expected to be generated in the second phase. The government will intervene to revive the economy and will create an additional 10,000 job opportunities through loans disbursed by Kerala Bank and pri● More on P6 mary cooperative banks. A1,500 express read E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram daughter-in-law and grandson who returned from Italy in February — were cured after days of life-and-death battle against the deadly virus, in what was dubbed as a miracle by the medical community . After testing positive on March 8, the elderly couple was admitted to the General Hospital, and later to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital (MCH), for special care. With the aid of a dedicated team of doctors and paramedical staff, the duo came out the other end a month later, fully recovered. They were discharged from the MCH on April 8 after testing negative for the virus. Five other family members of Thomas, including his son Rijo Moncy, had also recovered from the disease. The funeral will be held at St Kuriakose Church at Aythala in Ranni at 10am on Friday . Govt wants spl house session on Dec 31 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram THE stand-off between the state government and Gover nor Arif Mohammed Khan looked to intensify further with the government deciding to approach him again to convene a special session of the assembly on December 31 to register its protest against the Centre’s new farm laws. Khan had tur ned down an earlier proposal to hold a session last Wednesday stating that he was not convinced about the “urgency” for it. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told mediapersons again on Thursday that there was no need for the governor to apply his discretionary powers in granting permission for the special ● More on P6 session. deal done Britain, EU clinch post-Brexit trade pact days before deadline E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e After months of acrimonious talks, the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) finally reached a postBrexit trade agreement on Thursday — just in time to avert New Year chaos for crossborder traders and eventually bringing a sense of certainty to businesses. The pact also averts the much-feared “nodeal” scenario that would have sparked economic turmoil and disruption to the flow of goods and medicines. The deal, which will complete Britain’s separation from the EU, will now go to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for approval. The breakthrough came four-and-a-half years after the UK voted to leave the EU. The agreement was delayed because deliberations had been stuck for months after the two sides were unable to reach consensus on certain areas. Gradually, talks whittled down differences between the two sides to three key issues — fair-competition rules, mechanisms for resolving future disputes and fishing rights. The rights of EU boats to trawl in British waters remained the last obstacle before it was also resolved. However, some aspects of the future relationship between the 27-nation bloc and its former member remain unresolved. Now, the deal needs to go through a series of legal hoops. EU leaders, the European parliament, and the UK government will need to approve the deal.
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