coimbatore l friday l February 05, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l late 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 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 Sasikala-flag row: AIADMK files complaint EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai IN yet another turn of events ahead of VK Sasikala’s return to Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK on Thursday approached the State Police to prevent her from using the party flag during her travel into the State. AIADMK presidium chairman, E Madhusudanan, accompanied by senior ministers, CVe Shanmugam and D Jayakumar, and party’s deputy coordinators, KP Munusamy and R Vaithilingam, visited the DGP office on T hursday and lodg ed a complaint. Speaking to media persons, Munusamy said that Sasikala had used the AIADMK flag when she was discharged after Covid treatment from the Bengaluru hospital. He added that Sasikala had no moral rights to use that flag since it could only be used by the AIADMK functionaries and cadre. “To prevent a recurrence of such usage by her, our presidium chairman has filed this complaint,” said Munusamy . “Through our petition filed before the police, we have conveyed to Sasikala that she should not be using the flag anymore,” he added. continued on: p4 perarivalan release 1 week after deadline, Guv leaves remission decision to President EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chennai 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 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 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 | P13 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. Youth attempts suicide after attackers leak assault video E xpress N ews S ervice @ Thanjavur MUFFLED screams of a 22year-old labourer interspersed with loud thuds of a wooden club raining blows on his back shocked the netizens on Thursday morning. A video of the labourer, Rahul, a native of Poondi village in Thanjavur, being beaten up by a gang of four-six men went viral after one of his attackers leaked the visuals online. Humiliated after the leak, the youngster attempted suicide on Thursday . Sources say Rahul was working for one Karnan in Konur. On January 31, `30,000 in cash allegedly went missing from Karnan’s house. Suspecting that Rahul had stolen it, Karnan informed his son Lakshmanan, who decided to ‘take care’ of the matter. The same day Lakshmanan, along with a , few of his friends — some of whom were employed by Karnan — took Rahul to a farm, where they assaulted him and made videos of the attack. The video shows one man pinning Rahul down, and others taking turns to rain blows on his bottom, legs, and feet. Rahul, who claims to have suffered internal injuries in the attack, informed his family members and relatives who, in turn, took the matter up with police on the same day as the assault. However, instead of taking action, the police are understood to have asked them to compromise and not pursue the case. While Rahul and his family gave up, one of his attackers uploaded the online on Wednesday evening. P5 ALMOST a week after the deadline set by the Supreme Court for Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to take a decision on the mercy plea filed by Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict AG Perarivalan ended, the latter has conveyed that the President of India is the competent authority to take a decision on the matter. In an affidavit, the Union Home Ministry has said that the Governor of Tamil Nadu, after considering all facts on records and relevant documents, has decided that the “President is the appropriate competent authority to deal with the request of remittance”. Earlier, the Supreme Court had expressed its displeasure with the Governor for not taking a decision on Perarivalan’s remission plea for over two years. The bench had asked the Governor to expedite his decision on the State’s recommendations. Perarivalan’s advo- cate, K Sivakumar, expressed his shock over the Governor’s decision and said that there was no precedent for the Governor to refer the remission petition under 161 of the IPC to the President. Expressing hope that the State government would fight for upholding its rights, Sivakumar said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami met with the Governor on January 29 seeking Perarivalan’s release. However, it appears that the latter failed to inform the decision to the CM. “We will continue our fight legally and expect support from the State,” he said. The “shocked” Opposition has condemned the Governor’s action. “He intentionally delayed the process after dragging it for over two years,” said VCK MP Ravikumar. “We appeal to the State to immediately convene the Cabinet tomorrow and adopt a resolution, again, to release all the seven convicts. The Governor cannot reject the Cabinet’s decision for a second time.” CEC to visit Chennai next week Chennai: Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, will be visiting Chennai on February 10 and 11 to review election preparedness in Tamil Nadu. He will be accompanied by Election Commissioners, Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar. Rajiv convicts: CM lashes out at DMK for ‘hypocrisy’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai CHIEF Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday criticised the DMK for its alleged hypocritical behaviour on the issue of release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. He accused the DMK of staging a “political drama” to gain sympathy of the people ahead of the Assembly polls. “The DMK, which boasts of working towards the welfare of Tamils, never answered the question on why it failed to recommend the commutation of death sentence of four convicts in the case, when it had an opportunity to do so back in the year, 2000. The party was in power back then. Why did it recommend commutation of Nalini’s sentence alone?” Palaniswami wondered. The CM was responding to a member in the Assembly during the discussion on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address. Responding to Opposition leader, MK Stalin’s statement that he was boycotting the Assembly session in protest against the delay in the release of seven convicts, the CM said, “Seven (DMK) ministers, including deputy leader of Opposition, Durai Murugan, who signed the Cabinet recommendation denying commutation of sentence of three convicts in April, 2000, are still members of this House.” 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 | P9 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 p9 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 double-digit growth. P12
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