BHUBANESWAR l friday l february 05, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l JEYPORE 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 Centre earmarks `6,995 cr for Odisha Rlys, State unhappy 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 am 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. Express News Service @ Bhubaneswar 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 | P9 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 N EWS 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 ‘Involve private sector in vaccination drive’ EXPRESS N EWS 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 Indian Industry (CII) president Uday Kotak said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this. TVS group chairman Venu Srinivasan, CII directorgeneral 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 expedite 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 con- cern 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, tourism 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 P12 double-digit growth. 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 Red 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. 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 THE Centre has made a provision of `6,995.58 crore for Odisha in the 2021-22 Railway budget with emphasis on early completion of ongoing projects and safety-related modernisation works. However, no new railway lines have been sanctioned for the year. The allocation is about 21 per cent (pc) more than last year’s budget allocation of `5,759.64 crore, a release issued by the East Coast Railways (ECoR) said. But, the provisional outlay in 2020-21 Railway budget for Odisha was `4,373 crore. The State government had, however, demanded an allocation of `7,200 crore for railway infrastructure. “The total budget outlay for development of infrastructure and safety-related works for Odisha is `5,528 crore for 202122, which does not include many other projects and estimates as they are not significant enough for mention at ministry level, but for ECoR and Odisha, these are important development works,” the release said. The ECoR maintained that funding has been made to ensure that no project is held up for lack of funds. The release said allocation of `2,966.66 crore has been made for traffic facilities, computerisation, rolling stock, lease charges, level crossings, road under Pradhan refutes claim of low allocations Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated that Narendra Modi government has all along been cooperative towards railway infrastructure development in Odisha. “Some people have been saying something without having facts,” he said | P3 bridge and over bridges, track renewal and limited height subways (LHS) which are significant. K h u rd a Ro a d - B a l a n g i r project has received the lion’s share of `1,000.50 crore compared to `520 crore in the previous budget, an increase of 92.4 pc. Funding for railway line doubling projects especially, Bansapani-Daitari-Tomka-Jahkapura is `228 crore against `80 crore last year, which is an 185 pc increase. Allocations for other projects include - BrundamalJharsuguda fly over (`20 crore against `10 crore last year), Bhadrak-Nergundi 3rd line (`229 crore against `102 crore last year), Budhapank-Salagaon (`215 crore against `205 crore last year), RourkelaJharsuguda 3rd line (`230 crore as against `170 crore an increase of 35 pc) and Narayangarh-Bhadrak 3rd line (`225 crore as against `50 crore last CONTINUED ON: P7 year). 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 Beheaded woman’s body found on Capital outskirts Express News Service @ Bhubaneswar In a shocking incident, an unidentified woman’s decapitated body was found on the outskirts of the Capital city on Thursday . Chandaka police recovered the body from near a bush on the Andharua-Daspur road but are yet to find the severed head. Preliminary investigation suggests that the woman was murdered and beheaded possibly to conceal her identity . As the victim was wearing bangles, police suspect she was married. Some clothes, a pair of blood-stained gloves and a knife have also been recovered from the spot. Police suspect that as the woman was wearing a nightgown, she might have been a local resident. It is also presumed that she could have been killed elsewhere and her body dumped here. Special Squad in-charge ACP Sanjeev Satapathy, Zone VI ACP Prakash Pal, Chandaka police station inspector Debendra Biswal and other police officers visited the spot to probe the gruesome murder. Scientific team and the dog squad were also rushed to the crime scene. The dogs led the investigators to a nearby under-construction biotechnology plant and the police suspect that the killer could have possibly washed his hands in a water tank there after committing the crime. CONTINUED ON: P7 Taking wings Air travel moving north Month Passengers Airport Jan, 2021 2,16,557 27,125 BPIA VSS Dec, 2020 2,16,069 23,00 1,78, 810 20,000 BPIA VSS BPIA VSS Nov, 2020 Flight ops in Odisha inching back to normal as pandemic eases in country A s i s h M e h ta @ Bhubaneswar With a marked dip in Covid-19 pandemic in the country, flight operations are inching back to normalcy in the airports of Odisha. As domestic flight services resumed partially following a two-month-long nationwide total lockdown, Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) recorded a footfall of 9,493 passengers in May last year and has been witnessing an upward trend in travellers since. The total passenger movement at BPIA in January this year stood at 2,16,557, including 1,01,986 arrivals and 1,14,571 departures, nearly double the footfall of 64,675 in June last year. During pre-Covid times, the airport used to cater to more than 3 lakh passengers a month. The airport had recorded 66,741 passengers in July 95,320 , in August, 1,44,028 in September, 1,76,487 in October, 1,78, 810 in November and 2,16,069 in December. “On an average, 33 flights are operating each day from BPIA with footfall of around 8,000. In normal times, we had over 40 flights with average passenger turnout of 11,000 per day. We expect to reach the number soon,” said a senior BPIA official. Similarly, Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) airport in Jharsuguda witnessed around 20,000 passengers in November and 23,000 in December last year. Last month, it saw 27,125 passengers. Introduction of new flights from BPIA and VSS airports this year to metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru has also given a boost to the number of air travellers in the State. While the much-awaited direct flight service between Bhubaneswar and Pune commenced on January 24, direct flights from Jharsuguda to Mumbai and Bengaluru started operating from January 12. The VSS airport now has 52 flights in a week. “Flights from Jharsuguda to Bengaluru and Mumbai started under non-regional connectivity scheme as there was a huge demand for non-stop services to these two cities,” said a senior VSS airport offi- cial. The flight between Jharsuguda and Bengaluru is witnessing a huge rush with over 90 per cent bookings in each trip, and on an average over 100 passengers are travelling to Mumbai in the 189-seater Boeing,” he added. Apart from Mumbai and Bengaluru, flights are operating from Jharsuguda to cities like Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Ko l k a t a , H yd e r ab a d a n d Raipur.
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