WARANGAL THURSDAY DECEMBER 31, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION CABINET APPROVES EXPORT OF AKASH MISSILE SYSTEM The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared export of the indigenously-developed surface-to-air missile system GLOBAL COMPETENCE FOR INDIAN PRODUCTS FORCES TO SPEND $130 BN IN NEXT 5 YRS Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the export version of Akash missiles would be different from the system currently deployed with Indian armed forces. The Akash missile systems have 96% indigenous components. “This decision will help the country improve its defence products and make them globally competitive,” the defence minister said ■ ■ ■ Govt plans to focus on selling high-value defence platforms to achieve a target of $5 billion in arms exports Forces to spend $130 bn in capital procurement in the next 5 yrs The government has set a target of `1.75 lakh crore ($25 billion) turnover in defence manufacturing by 2025 25 km AKASH MISSILE SYSTEMS CAN HIT TARGETS WITHIN THIS RANGE 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 KCR changes tack; TS to dovetail Aarogyasri with Ayushman Bharat EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad IN yet another u-turn, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government has decided to dovetail the State government’s Aarogyasri health scheme with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government’s Ayushman Bharat. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar informed about the decision to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday in a video conference that the latter held with Chief Secretaries of all States. Modi reviewed the progress of the Central government programmes and schemes, including the Ayushman BharatPradhan Manthri Jan Aarogya Yojana and Jal Jeevan Mission, among others. CM had termed BJP scheme useless Earlier in September, just hours after Governor Soundararajan had praised Ayushman Bharat, KCR termed it “the most useless of all health schemes” According to a press release from the Telangana government, Somesh Kumar informed BATTLING A PANDEMIC OXFORD VACCINE GETS UK NOD, INDIA SEEKS MORE DATA its Covid-19 vaccine in India, has sought for more time to submit data for its vaccine’s consideration. The UK’s drug regulator, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the second dose of the vaccine will be given 12 weeks later as a longer interval between two doses could produce better results. Meanwhile, Chinese vaccine maker Sinopharm has claimed to have 79% efficacy rate. India’s daily number of Covid cases jumped 6.88% to touch 20,021 on Wednesday . S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi HOURS after the UK approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine for human use on Wednesday, India’s dr ug re gulator met on Wednesday to review the applications by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. However, the meeting remained inconclusive as the Drugs Controller General of India’s Subject Expert Committee was not satisfied with the applications of either of the companies. The next meeting is on January 1. “SII has been asked to submit more data from AstraZeneca trial globally, while Bharat Biotech will have to submit the interim analysis of phase 3 trial,” said a source. Serum Institute is conducting a bridging phase-three clinical trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield on 1,700 volunteers in India. Bharat Biotech, whose homegrown Covaxin has been developed in collaboration with the ICMR, is being tested on 26,000 people in late-stage trial. Covishield has been found to be 70% effective in multi- country phase-3 trials, while a recent scientific paper published on Covaxin’s phase-1 and phase-2 trials said it could lead to generation of antibodies lasting up to 6-12 months. Pfizer, the first to apply for Centre extends flight ban from Britain till january 7 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH the number of Indians testing positive for the Covid-19 strain from the UK jumping to 20, the Centre on Wednesday decided to extend the suspension of flights from the island nation till January 7. The Union health ministry also asked states to be vigi- lant about potential “super spreader” events such as New Year celebrations. The developments follow the identification of the B117 variant, reported to be highly infectious, in the country. A total of 107 samples from infected persons have been subjected to whole genome sequencing at six designated laboratories in different parts of the country so far. the PM that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has taken a decision “..to dovetail the POLICE officials of the Hyderabad Central Crime Station’s (CCS) cybercrime wing detained a Chinese national at the Delhi airport on Wednesday in connection with the instant loan app fraud. The Chinese national, identified as 27-year-old Zhu Wei alias Lambo, had been running several businesses in the country and diverted funds worth crores in the form of bitcoin from India to China. He was intercepted at the Delhi airport while he was trying to leave the country . From Jiangxi province in southeast China, Lambo headed the operations of instant loan apps being run by Aglow Technologies Pvt Ltd, Liufang Technologies Pvt Ltd, Nabloom Technologies Pvt Ltd and Pinprint Technologies Pvt Ltd. In another incident relating to the ongoing probe, the police arrested K Nagaraju, a native of Kurnool district, who has been accused of playing a key role in the operation of call centres run by the instant loan app companies. CONTINUED ON P5 BEAUTY OF THE BEASTS Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and MoS for Commerce Som Prakash have food served by farmers during a snack break at a meeting over new farm laws, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Wednesday | PTI Two easy ticks, but farm laws and MSP stay sticky Deal done over power tariff and stiff penalties for stubble burning; seventh round of talks on January 4; unions again defer tractor rally EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE While the government tried to paint the sixth round of talks as positive with Tomar claimTHE sixth round of talks be- ing the meeting ended on a tween the Centre and agitating good note, the farmers said the farm unions on Wednesday ap- agreement on two smaller ispeared to have produced a par- sues can’t be termed a breaktial breakthrough as both sides through as they are firm on agreed on two points — air pol- their main demands of repeal lution law and the electricity of the laws and MSP . amendment bill — but there Tomar said the government was no meeting ground on the had agreed to “decriminalise” more contentious issues of the the Commission for the Air repeal of the farm laws and le- Quality Management in Nagal guarantee for MSP . tional Capital Region and AdThe improving joining Areas OrdiAssocham chemistry was also exnance, 2020, while the writes to emplified by the fact electricity amendment Punjab CM bill has been put on that Union ministers Narendra Tomar, Piyhold. Assocham on ush Goyal and Som “The first issue was Wednesday Prakash accepted the wrote to Punjab an ordinance related ‘langar’ food offered by to the environment. CM Captain the farmers while the Amarinder Singh, Unions were appreprotesters for the first hensive about farmers expressing time accepted the tea being included. Farmconcern over served by the govern- damage to over ers also feel if reform ment. Union leaders is introduced in the 1,600 mobile had earlier refused to Electricity Act, they towers during eat food served by the farmers’ protest will suffer losses,” gover nment during Tomar said. the previous round of talks. Noting that the government After the five-hour marathon has softened its stance, All Intalks on Wednesday, Union ag- dia Kisan Sabha general secrericulture minister Tomar said tary Hannan Mollah, who atthe next round of talks would tended the talks, said, “I don’t be held on January 4. call it a breakthrough or victoSensing a slightly accommo- ry but some advancement from dative government and also in the deadlock.” view of the agreement on two Bharatiya Kisan Union (Raof their demands, the farmers jewal) president Balbir Singh decided to put off the tractor Rajewal said, “The government rally they had planned for is still adamant on the repeal of Thursday along the Kundli- the farm laws and MSP We are . Manesar-Palwal Expressway hopeful the government will P7 just outside Delhi. agree on them also.” @ New Delhi/Chandigarh Pay hike for TS staff will eat up 70% revenue expenses 2020-21 `69,157.65 cr Actual revenue expenditure Actual revenue receipts `56,948.02 cr `1,43,151.94 cr Estimated revenue receipts Estimated revenue expenditure `1,38,669.82 cr V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad Till Nov 2020 Budget estimate: `22,061.18 crore Revenue expenditure is `12,209.63 cr more than revenue receipts TS’ capital expenditure till Nov, 2020 `8,845.94 cr CONTINUED ON P5 @ Hyderabad White tiger Divyani sits pretty with her four cubs, who are two-and-a-half months old, at the Nehru Zoo Park in Hyderabad NOT IN PINK OF HEALTH The Telangana government has been facing a financial crisis for the last two years. In such circumstances, if it gives a pay hike to its employees, a major share of the State’s revenue will end up being spent on committed expenditure — salaries, subsidies and welfare schemes such as Aasara pension and Rythu Bandhu. Here’s a glance at the State’s financial health Rao, Health Minister Eatala Rajender and other senior functionaries of the Telangana government have many times criticised Ayushman Bharat, comparing it with Aarogyasri. Earlier in September, just hours after Governor Soundararajan had praised Ayushman Bharat, Rao termed it “the most useless of all health schemes”. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati FINANCES naCMO as this will benefit Telangana people and others from States seeking medical treatment from world-class healthcare facilities available in Hyderbad. Economically weaker sections will have access to advanced tertiary care across wider areas,” she tweeted on Wednesday . It may be mentioned here that Rao, IT Minister KT Rama Loan app fraud: Chinese youth held in Delhi Assam Assembly passes bill to abolish govt-run madrasas THE Assam Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to convert all state-run madrasas into regular schools amidst a walkout by Opposition parties. The Congress and the All India United Democratic Front had demanded that the bill to be sent to the Assembly’s Select Committee for vetting. But Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami rejected it and got the bill I feel this is passed through going to be a voice vote. Edugift to the cation Minister minority Himanta Biswa community. Sarma said the Students Assam Repealstudying in those ing Bill, 2020 madrasas will will repeal the hail the Assam Madecision after drassa Educa10 years tion (Provincialization) Act, Himanta Biswa 1995 and Assam Sarma, Assam education Madrassa Eduminister cation (Provincialization of Services of Employees and ReOrganisation of Madrassa Educational Institutions) Act, 2018. He said madrasas will be converted into upper primary high , and higher secondary schools. Assam has 189 high madrasas and madrasa higher secondary schools that are run by the Board of Secondary Education and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council. Arogyasri scheme of the Telangana government with the Ayushman Bharat scheme of the Government of India.” Telangana Health Department Secretary Syed Ali Murtaza Rizvi was also part of the conference. Meanwhile, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan welcomed the move. “Welcome initiative by Honb @Telanga- THE Telangana government’s decision to hike the salaries of its employees will burden the exchequer as it is estimated to take up 70 per cent of the State’s revenue expenditure. The capital expenditure will be reduced considerably in future as the State has been facing a financial crisis for the last two years. In such circumstances, a major share of the revenue will go towards committed expenditure such as salaries, sub- sidies and welfare schemes such as Aasara pension and Rythu Bandhu. In 2014-15, `12,200 crore was spent on salaries and wages, which has now increased to `25,000 crore a year. If the government gives 10 per cent hike, the exchequer will have to bear an additional bu rd e n o f ` 2 , 5 0 0 crore-`3,000 crore per year. “Every one per cent hike will burden the exchequer by `250 crore,” sources said. CONTINUED ON P5 Blow to BJP in Haryana local body poll H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh A year after the NDA comprising the BJP and the Jannayak Janata Party came into power in Haryana, it suffered a setback in the civic body elections, as it lost mayoral/presidential positions in five of the seven municipal bodies that went to polls, the results of which were announced on Wednesday . Coming as it did in the backdrop of the month-long agitation by far mers, analysts sought to read in the outcome the disquiet of the tillers, who constitute a large chunk of the voters. While Nikhil Madaan of the Congress wrested the Sonipat municipal corporation mayor post, Shakti Rani Sharma of the Haryana Jan Chetna Party is the new mayor of Ambala municipal corporation. Sharma is wife of former union minister Vinod Sharma. Independents did remarkably well, wresting presidentships of Uklana, Dharuhera, and Sampla municipal committees. The BJP, however, managed to win the Panchkula mayoral poll and the Rewari Municipal Council’s presidentship. EXPRESS READ I-T return filing deadline extended to Jan 10 New Delhi: The government on Wednesday extended the deadline to file income tax return for individuals by 10 days to January 10, 2021. This is the third time the government has extended the deadline — first from the normal deadline of July 31 to November 30, 2020, and then to December 31, 2020. Azhar unhurt after mishap in Rajasthan Bars, pubs to operate till 1 am tonight Jaipur: Former cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin escaped a major mishap on the Kota Mega Highway on Wednesday afternoon. According to sources, Azharudin was traveling to Ranthambore with his family in a plush luxury car which overturned Hyderabad: The TS Excise Dept has accorded permission to licensed bars and pubs to operate on Thursday till 1 am and liquor stores until midnight. It has also given event permit to clubs, pubs and restaurants in the twin cities to serve liquor for New Year celebrations | P3
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