KOttayam l friday l February 05, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l 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 K103 crore in his account tAX aimed at high-interest earners L50 lakh tax free interest per annum Budget had removed tax exemption to interest accrued on investments in PF exceeding C2.50 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 C103 crore in his account, two others have more than C86 crore each in their accounts ■ The top-20 HNIs have about C825 crore in their accounts, while top-100 HNI contributors have more than C2,000 crore ■ HNIs are estimated to earn C50L per annum as tax-free interest ■ A5.92 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 dgp to bjp BJP national president J P Nadda drapes a shawl around former DGP Jacob Thomas welcoming him to the party in Thrissur on Thursday | Express Nadda’s poll mantra: Fight united, be a receptive leadership SO V I V I D YA D HA R AN @ T’Puram A DAY after he took dissidents into confidence, BJP national president J P Nadda, who was in Kerala on a two-day visit, emphasised the importance of fighting the assembly elections united and the need for the state leadJacob ership to be accommodative to the demands Thomas from those within the party. joins BJP Sources told TNIE that Nadda presented Thrissur: Former a macro-level picture of the upcoming elecDGP Jacob tions before the state office-bearers and inThomas, who charges of assembly constituencies during . has been his address in Thrissur on Thursday Prior warming up to to it, national general secretary (organisathe BJP since tion), B L Santhosh, briefed the meeting retiring from about the micro-level organisational stratcivil service egy to be adopted for the elections. Nadda cited the analogy of an aircraft recently, has joined the party. pilot attempting a take-off. Unless several BJP president technical factors are taken into account J P Nadda and addressed, the pilot will not be able to handed over ensure a smooth take-off, he told the the primary meeting. The analogy is seen as Nadda’s indirect membership to him at BJP’s message to the state leadership to iron out maha various organisational issues before the sammelan here. elections. Nadda had admitted on Wednesday that dissidence in the party was being looked into. Following his assurance, state vice-president Sobha Surendran, who has been keeping away from party functions, attended the party meeting and also the public ● More on P4 meeting later in the day . Committed to the empowerment of kisans, says Modi in fresh outreach C40,000 crore outlay in budget to develop rural infra will benefit farmers, assures PM 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. N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow Joy to be made new chief secy, Mehta CIC E x p re s s Ne w s Serv i c e @ T’Puram Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar hugs Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala during the Aishwarya Kerala Yatra in Kozhikode | Manu R Mavelil LDF following Kamal criteria: Chennithala Kozhikode: Referring to State Chalachithra Academy chairman Kamal’s letter to the cultural minister citing loyalty to the Left as one of the qualities for regularising contract staff in the academy, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said the LDF government was making appointments based on the ‘Kamal criteria’. “Jobs through the Public Service Commission are given only to CPM supporters,” he alleged. P4 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 Will do what Pawar asks me to: Kappan Kottayam: Softening his stand on the Pala assembly seat, NCP leader Mani C Kappan has said he would do what party chief Sharad Pawar asks him to do. “My leader is Pawar. I’ll vacate Pala if he asks me to do so,” Kappan, who returned from Delhi after the leadership meeting on Wednesday, told reporters here. Kappan was adamant he would not vacate the seat after Jose K Mani joined LDF. P4 SENIOR IAS officer V P Joy of , 1987 batch, will be the state’s new chief secretary He will as. sume office when incumbent Vishwas Mehta retires on February 28. Mehta will assume charge as the state’s chief information commissioner (CIC) after his retirement. Joy the seniormost after Me, hta, was serving as secretary (coordination) with the central secretariat. He recently returned to the state from central deputation and was appointed as officer on special duty in the rank of additional chief secretary . Joy will have a tenure till June 30, 2023. Home Secretary T K Jose is next in line. Securitymen 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 XP R E SS N E WS S E R V IC 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 Kalady varsity appoints Rajesh’s wife, courts row M a n o j V i s w a n at h a n @ Kochi Amid allegations of rampant back-door appointment of partymen to government posts ahead of assembly polls, the induction of CPM leader and for mer Palakkad MP M B Rajesh’s wife as assistant professor at the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, has triggered a row. While, Umer Tharamel, who was part of the interview board as subject expert, alleged the ranklist has been reversed, Vice-Chancellor P K Dharmarajan dismissed it as baseless. Save University Campaign Committee chairman R S Sasikumar and secretary M Shajir Khan have submitted a complaint to Governor Arif Mo- ‘Involve private sector in vaccination drive’ E XP R E SS N E WS S E R V IC 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. 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. 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. hammed Khan seeking an inquiry into the appointment. In the interview held on January 21 to the post of assistant professor (Malayalam), which is reserved for the Muslim community, Ninitha R came first, while Haseena K P A and Hikmathulla V secured the second and third ranks, respectively . The complaint said candidates with better qualification, who have many research papers to their credit, were ignored to accommodate Ninitha, who is also daughter of Kerala School Teachers’ Association former general secretary Rasheed Kanicheri. It is said Ninitha had secured 212th rank in the PSC ranklist which was released based on a written test ● More on P4 and interview. EXPRESS READ Noted kathakali artist Mathoor passes away Kottayam: Mathoor Govindankutty, 81, who enthralled kathakali lovers with his fine portrayal of female characters, passed away on Thursday. The artist, who tested positive for Covid two weeks ago, had recovered from the disease but developed breathing difficulties and was on ventilator support for the past two days. P5
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