WARANGAL FRIDAY FEBRUARY 05, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY 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. IN ABSENTIA Harish busy driving tractor as KCR holds first pre-Budget meet EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad 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 | P8 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 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ 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 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 HC directs TS DGP to block illegal loan apps EXPRESS READ RGV’s Disha Encounter hits censorship hurdle Hyderabad: The examining committee of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has refused to certify filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s controversial film Disha Encounter, citing reasons that a few scenes bear striking resemblance to the ghastly rape and murder of the 26-year-old veterinarian | P4 R R A J A S H E K A R R A O @ Hyderabad TAKING a serious view of online instant loan apps harassing borrowers, the Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the State Director General of Police (DGP) to take steps to arrest the guilty and block such apps immediately . Several cases have been reported in the recent past of loan app firms verbally abusing and threatening customers in Telangana to repay installments at exorbitant interest rates ranging from 150 to 450 per cent on a weekly and fortnightly basis. Amid this, a d iv i s i o n bench of the High Court directed the DGP and the Pol i c e Commissioners of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda to file status reports on such cases. It also issued notices to the Centre and State government to file a counter-affidavit. The bench, comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, passed this order in the PIL filed by advocate S Kalyan Dileep. The PIL had sought direction to the Centre and State government to forthwith ban all illegal instant loan apps. CONTINUED ON P4 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. Ramesh still a German citizen: MHA informs HC AGAINST NATURE’S COURSE Untreated sewage, mixed with industrial waste, flows into the Hussainsagar in Hyderabad on Thursday | S SENBAGAPANDIYAN Hyderabad: The Centre, once again on Thursday, informed the TS High Court that TRS MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh is a German citizen. The MHA submitted an affidavit to this effect. Advocate V Ravi Kiran Rao, appearing for complainant Adi Srinivas, urged the court to have an urgent hearing of the case | P4 IN an interesting development, the first pre-Budget meeting held by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan on Thursday concluded sans the attendance of Finance Minister T Harish Rao. The Finance Minister was busy with the inauguration of an urban forest park and other local programmes in the Gajwel municipality. While he drove a tractor as part of a tractor rally organised by the farmers of Paturu village in Medak district, the Chief Minister held a marathon meeting with officials on preparing the State Budget. This is not the first time that the Chief Minister has conducted such an important meeting in Harish’s absence. In the past too, KCR has held reviews on irrigation without the Minister, despite the latter holding the key Irrigation portfolio back then. On Thursday, during the programmes in Medak and Gajwel, Harish said though farmers across the country are in trouble, those in Telangana have been leading a comfortable life, thanks to KCR’s “foresight”. He said not a single BJP-ruled State NOT THE FIRST TIME This is not the first time that the Chief Minister has conducted such an important meeting in Harish’s absence. In the past too, KCR has held reviews on irrigation without the Minister, despite the latter holding the key Irrigation portfolio back then provides crop investment support (Rythu Bandhu) but in Telangana this fund has been helping the farmers to a great extent. He heaped praise on KCR and the State government for the several profarmer initiatives. Meanwhile, there was no official briefing on the Chief Minister’s pre-Budget meeting. He reportedly discussed the Union Budget and made some suggestions to the officials on preparing the State Budget which is to be presented shortly in the State Legislature. Also, there has been no official word either from the Chief Minister or the Finance Minister on the Union Budget. 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 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 `7,222 CR ‘INVOLVE PRIVATE SECTOR IN VACCINATION DRIVE’ ALLOTTED FOR SCR IN RAILWAY BUDGET Despite the crippling pandemic, SCR has been graced with the highestever allocation for 2021-22, as against `7,024 crore for 2020-21. ManoharabadKothapalli new line project gets `1,160 crore P2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 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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