tirupati l friday l february 05, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION `62,500 cr accumulated in EPF accounts of 1.23l HNIs Of the 1.23 lakh high networth individuals in the Employees Provident Fund, one person has `103 crore in his account tAX aimed at high-interest earners `50 lakh tax free interest per annum Budget had removed tax exemption to interest accrued on investments in PF exceeding `2.50 lakh per annum. Of the total 4.5 crore contributors to the EPF, 1.23 lakh contribute huge sums every month. “Govt is paying 8% interest with tax exemption to such people at the cost of low-income taxpayers,” said an official justifying the Budget proposal on EPF tax ■ Sources said while one person `103 crore in his account, two others have more than `86 crore each in their accounts ■ The top-20 HNIs have about `825 crore in their accounts, while top-100 HNI contributors have more than `2,000 crore ■ HNIs are estimated to earn `50L per annum as tax-free interest `5.92 crore Average epf corpus of a high networth individual 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 Committed to the empowerment of kisans, says Modi in fresh outreach `40,000 crore outlay in Budget to develop rural infra will benefit farmers, assures PM N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow ment of rural infrastructure in the Budget. Continuing his efforts to “Farmers will directly benepacify the agitating farmers, fit from investment in the infraPrime Minister Narendra Modi structure sector. Agriculture on Thursday said his govern- will turn into a profitable venment was committed to their ture for farmers,” he asserted. empowerment and self-reliOn the Chauri Chaura inciance. He was inaugurating the dent, the PM said the efforts of centenary celebrations of the the UP government had resultChauri Chaura incident in UP ed in changing the scenario in , where violence shook the Brit- the Gorakhpur region. “Earlier, ish Raj during the freefactories were closed, dom struggle. roads were damaged Releasing a postal and hospitals shut. stamp to mark the ocNow, a fertilizer factocasion, the PM said ry has come up, which that over 1,000 mandis will benefit farmers were being connected and generate jobs.” with the online agriThe Chauri Chaura culture trading platincident is significant for m e-NAM. “The in India’s Independmandis will be turned ence movement. On into markets of profit It’s now a February 4, 1922, supledger for far mers to sell porters of the Non-Coaccount their produce with operation Movement ease,” he said. “The Budget this clashed with the coloModi listed several nial police, which time has measures taken by the virtually turned opened fire. In retaliaCentre towards mak- into an account tion, the demonstraing farmers self-detors torched the Chaubook (bahipendent in the last six khata) of income ri Chaura police post years. He said even & expenditure,” in Gorakhpur in which during the Covid pan23 personnel were Modi said demic, the country’s burnt alive. food grain production has Elaborating on the Budget, soared. the PM said experts were earHe called upon people to lier apprehensive about the unite in the spirit of freedom possible introduction of new struggle to make the growth taxs owing to the pandemic and missions, including Atmanirb- the subsequent economic crihar Bharat Mission, a success. sis. “Experts were thinking The PM said the Centre was that the Budget would burden making all efforts to help farm- the common man with new taxers become atmanirbhar (self- es. But the Centre ensured that reliant) and had allocated the people are not saddled with `40,000 crore for the develop- additional burden,” Modi said. TTD Darshan tickets in RTC buses soon E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Vijayawada The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to make 1,000 Seegra Darshan tickets (`300) available per day in RTC buses for the convenience of pilgrims, said APSRTC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director RP Thakur. He said on Thursday that the APSRTC is operating about 650 buses to Tirupati from various parts of the State. Pilgrims going to Tirumala by RTC buses need to pay `300 extra for getting Seegra Darshan tickets, which will be available in the bus itself from 11 am to 4 pm. At Tirumala bus station, RTC supervisors will take the pilgrims for Seegra Darshan, he informed. The RTC MD urged pilgrims to make use of the facility to have hassle-free darshan at Tirumala temple. The initiative will be more convenient to pilgrims visiting Tirumala from Bengaluru, Chennai, Kanchipuram, Vellore, Nellore, Pondicherry Hyderabad , and other major cities, he said. Thakur thanked TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy and Executive Officer KS Jawahar Reddy for making Seegra Darshan tickets available in RTC buses. ysrc complaint SEC cancels TDP poll manifesto, orders withdrawal of copies E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Security men crossing the iron nails put up at the farmers’ protest site at Tikri border in New Delhi on Thursday | Shekhar Yadav ruckus continues in LS, bill introduced FIR against protest toolkit Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted for the third consecutive day on Thursday due to protests by the Opposition over the new farms laws. Amid the din and adjournments, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced a bill to amend the arbitration law and Union minister Nitin Gadkari replied to a few questions during Question Hour. In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition launched a vociferous attack on the Centre’s handling of the farmers’ agitation | P7 The Delhi Police lodged a first information report against unnamed authors of a toolkit that offered suggestions on rustling up international support for the ongoing farmers protests. The toolkit has been doing the rounds on social media and was tweeted by, among others, Swedish teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg. She then deleted and later reposted an updated version of the toolkit. Praveer Ranjan, Special Commissioner of Police said, “We haven’t named anybody in the FIR, it’s only against the creators of toolkit which is a matter of investigation.” Preliminary enquiry has revealed that the toolkit was created by the Poetic Justice Foundation, a pro-Khalistani outfit. However, legal experts were appalled by the FIR. Senior advocate K V Dhananjay said, “Everybody in the world is competent to tweet about human rights abuse anywhere in the world. It is shameful that the Delhi Police is making our police force, judiciary and the legal profession become a laughing stock the world over.” Farm laws good, but not crackdown, says US; govt looks at the positives E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi Reacting for the first time to the ongoing farmers’ protests in Delhi, the US on Thursday said the new farm laws could improve market efficiency. It, however, frowned upon the Narendra Modi government’s crackdown on protesters by snapping internet connectivity at protest sites. “Unhindered access to information, including the internet, is fundamental to the freedom of expression and a hallmark of a thriving democracy,” the US State Department said. Urging India to resolve the Camaraderie of team based on trust. All of us working towards one goal, that is to see India win. Will try and play the ball that is delivered. If I stay around for a period of time, I will score some big runs. Virat Kohli, India captain Joe Root, England captain Let the games begin International cricket comes back to India on Friday after more than a year. Here’s a brief look at the first Test between India and England Match-ups Return of Kohli After a paternity break, the Indian skipper returns to the helm of affairs. In a way, it’s the start of a big year for him having not scored a single century in any form last year. A good beginning at Chepauk will put him in good stead for bigger challenges 1999 759/7 Root vs India’s spinners The England skipper is their best player of spin and how he plays them will set the tempo. If he flounders, the match could quickly become onesided. But he’s in good form, having scored more than 400 runs in the two Tests against Sri Lanka in January | P11 The last time India lost a Test at Chepauk (vs Pakistan). They are unbeaten in eight matches since at Chennai The 759 India made against England in 2016 is their highest in Test history. It was the last Test in Chennai deadlock through dialogue, it said “peaceful protests” are hallmarks of a democracy . In response, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said temporary measures with regard to internet access in certain parts of the NCR region were taken to prevent escalation of violence. “As you can see, the US State Sikhs for justice India has issued a legal request to the US regarding Sikhs for Justice, against whom the NIA has filed a case for planning large-scale disruptive activities in India Department has acknowledged steps being taken by India towards agricultural reforms,” he said. “The incidents of violence and vandalism at the historic Ref Fort on the 26th of January have evoked similar sentiments and reactions in India as did the incidents on the Capitol Hill on the 6th of January and are being addressed as per respective local laws,” he added. The remarks from the US administration come a day after India hit out at celebrities like pop star Rihanna and environment activist Greta Thunberg for allegedly spreading inaccuracies about the strike. Centre allows AP to go for addl borrowing of `1,515 cr E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh, which has become the second State in the country to undertake the power sector reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure of Ministry of Finance, has been granted permission to go for additional borrowing of `1,515 crore. This provides the State government the much needed additional financial resources to fight the Covid-19 pandemic effectively . The Ministry of Finance, in a statement, said as part of the reforms, AP had started Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of electricity subsidy to farmers from September 2020. “With this, the State has successfully implemented one out of the three stipulated reforms in the power sector. Successful implementation of the reform has made the State eligible to mobilise additional financial resources equivalent to 0.15 per cent of its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). Accordingly the Department of Expendi, ture has granted permission to AP to go for additional borrowing of `1,515 crore,’’ the release said. Besides Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh is the other State, which had undertaken reforms in the power sector in the country . Power sector reforms aim at creating a transparent and hassle-free provision of power subsidy to farmers, besides improving the health of power distribution companies by alleviating their liquidity stress in a sustainable manner. P4 State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar on Thursday annulled the TDP election manifesto for panchayat elections, which are held on non-party basis. The SEC observed that the release of manifesto defeated the very purpose and object of apolitical nature of gram panchayat elections. The SEC also ordered immediate withdrawal of the manifesto copies. YSRC State general secretary Lella Ap p i r e d dy c o m plained to the SEC against TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu for releasing the party manifesto for panchayat elections under the name ‘Palle Pragathiki - Pancha Sutralu’ on January 28. The YSRC stated that the release of manifesto by the TDP was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct and urged the SEC to prevent circulation of the manifesto copies in villages. The YSRC contended that Naidu and his party leaders violated the MCC, provisions of the AP Panchayat Raj Act, IPC and other enactments by releasing a manifesto for panchayat elections. Following the complaint, the SEC issued a notice to TDP State general secretary Maddipati Venkataraju seeking an explanation. Responding to the SEC notice, the TDP submitted that it is quite normal for political parties to release manifestos for elections, whether they are local, State or general. Citing an earlier order of the Supreme Court, the TDP maintained that there is no provision in the Representation of Peoples Act prohibiting an individual candidate from making promises. The SEC which was not satisfied with the explanation, cancelled the TDP manifesto. “The campaign should be conducted without any political overtones in conformity with the apolitical spirit contemplated under the statute,’’ the SEC said. AP govt, HC need to decide on court relocation: Centre E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Stating that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had proposed relocation of the Andhra Pradesh High Court from Amaravati to Kurnool in February 2020, the Centre has informed Parliament that it is for the State government and the HC to take a decision on the matter. The Centre has also clarified that there is no proposal to set up High Court benches in any other cities. In reply to a question by BJP Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao on Thursday, Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Shifting of the principal seat of High Court is decided by the State government in consultation with the High Court concerned. The State government is responsible for meeting the expenditure of running the High Court. Similarly, the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned is responsible for running the day to day administration of the court. In the present instance, both the State government and the High Court of Andhra Pradesh have to form their opinion regarding shifting of the High Court to Kurnool.” While noting that no time frame is laid down in such matters, he stated that the issue is sub-judice presently in the State High Court. To another query by GVL on the Central institutions sanctioned and taken up in Chittoor district, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stated that four institutes -- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Tirupati, Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Sri City, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Tirupati, and National Sanskrit University Tirupa, P4 ti -- were established. takeaways from the general budget S Gurumurthy writes on need to expand the Development Finance Institution for infrastructure financing and the off-Budget dangers | P7 PAKISTAN ‘Involve private sector in vaccination drive’ MUST CREATE CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR PEACE A day after Pak Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa seemed to extend a hand of friendship to India, New Delhi on Thursday said the onus was on Pakistan to create an amicable environment p7 E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E The government should rope in the private sector for Covid vaccine distribution, according to India’s top industrialists. Talking to TNIE Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla on Thursday Confederation of In, dian Industry (CII) president Uday Kotak said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this. TVS group chairman Venu Srinivasan, CII di- rector-general Chandrajit Banerjee, and Bajaj Finserv MD Sanjiv Bajaj also sat down with Chawla as part of TNIE’s Expressions, a series of live web casts with people who matter. “At CII, we have constituted a task force and we are closely interacting with the government on the need of the involvement of corporates in the process. We have to expe- dite the vaccination. During my interaction with Serum Institute, I learnt that although we are supplying vaccines fast, they are keen on distributing faster,” Kotak said. Banerjee said vaccinating industrial workers should also be a priority of the government. While terming FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget bold and transparent, the industrialists said big capex and higher allocations towards infrastructure and health sectors will provide the much-needed boost to the ailing economy . Srinavasan said fiscal deficit should not be a matter of concern and the objective should be long-term growth. “For years, we have been crying hoarse over increasing investments in infrastructure and this certainly is a phenomenal aspect of the Budget. There are some sectors deeply impacted like hospitality tour, ism and aviation. We are expecting some measures in these areas. Infrastructure investments bring long-term returns. One has to remember, we are not a working-capital economy . We need infrastructure development,” Srinavasan said. Bajaj said a growth-oriented policy will help the financial services sector achieve strong P10 double-digit growth.
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