visakhapatnam l saturday l february 06, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Pfizer withdraws request for emergency use permit The US company was the first drugmaker to apply for emergency use authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine in India on Dec 5, 2020 Experts committee denied nod: reports Panel flags serious adverse events The move comes after an expert panel of India’s drugs regulatory authority reportedly recommended against granting approval to the firm at this stage. On February 3, the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation had taken up Pfizer’s application for its Covid-19 vaccine that it has developed with Germany’s BioNTech ■ The committee in its meeting on Wednesday noted incidents of palsy, anaphylaxis and other serious adverse events after the vaccine’s approvals in some other countries ■ The panel was also worried that Pfizer had not spelt out a plan to generate safety/ immunogenicity data for the Indian population 95% Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy against 62% of covishield manufactured by sii 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 RBI allows retail investors direct access to G-Secs Decision will help Centre meet its market borrowing target in the next financial year E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e What are G-Secs? @ New Delhi In a game-changer move, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said it would allow retail investors to buy government bonds directly from it. Currently, retail investors can only buy gilt or government issued bonds through a platform on the National Stock Exchange. However, this is not very popular. The RBI platform for G-Secs is likely to be dubbed Retail Direct, though its details have not been shared. The current yield on a 10-year government bond is 6.126%. Bonds with shorter tenor yield less as interest. “As far as I know, very few countries like the US and Brazil allow this. In Asia, we are the first country to do it,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das told reporters on Friday soon after the monetary policy meeting. The move to attract retail investors to the gilt market will help the government meet its market borrowing target of `12 lakh crore. Analysts said the reason why RBI is opening up a direct gilt trading window for small buyers is to widen the market for government bonds and to keep the interest rate paid by the government low. “While a promising move, a lot will depend on the platform and parallel investment opportunities available,” said Nimish Shah, chief investment officer, Waterfield Advisors. Meanwhile, RBI’s six-member monetary policy committee Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradeable instrument issued by the central or state governments. G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are called riskfree gilt-edged instruments did not spring any surprises on Friday as key policy rates were kept unchanged. Repo and reverse repo rates currently stand at record low levels of 4% and 3.35%, respectively . Among others, the first monetary policy announcement after the Union Budget 2021-22 had a few key elements: restoration of the cash reserve ratio (CRR) to 4% in a gradual manner. CRR is the share a bank’s total deposits that is parked with RBI. Banks don’t earn interest on this amount. RBI also said it estimates India’s GDP growth at 10.5% during FY22, with an optimistic outlook on economic recovery Rural demand is . likely to be resilient on good agricultural prospects while urban demand and demand for contact intensive services is expected to strengthen with fall in Covid-cases and mass-vaccination drive. Consumer confidence is likely to remain upbeat as demand has moved beyond the ‘pent-up’ phase to actual demand. The central banks said inflation has returned within its ‘tolerance band’, revising inflation at 5.2% for Q4FY21 from P10 5.8% earlier). rajan fiat can torpedo the budget and economy If Raghuram Rajan’s 2016 formula on NPAs is reapplied, it could devastate the economy and set the Budget off-track, warns S Gurumurthy | P7 Express read 4G services back in J&K after 18-month blackout Biden lets H-1B lottery system continue for now Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday announced restoration of highspeed mobile internet services (4G) in the entire Union territory, 18 months after they were snapped. However, mobile internet would be available to pre-paid subscribers only after thorough verification, a government order said Washington: The Joe Biden administration has announced it is delaying the H-1B policy of the previous Trump administration on allocation of the popular foreign work visas by continuing with the lottery system until December 31, 2021, to give the immigration agency more time to develop, test and implement the modifications to the registration system | P9 HC stays use of ‘eWatch’ till Feb 9, APTS officials to examine SEC app Express N ews Se rvic e @ Vijayawada Guntur Rural Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni inspects a nomination centre for the second phase of panchayat polls in Gurazala division on Friday | express Withhold unanimous election results: SEC SEC N Ramesh Kumar on Friday directed the Collectors of Guntur and Chittoor districts not to go ahead with the declaration of unanimous panchayat election results, and put them on hold till the SEC gives its clearance Go by rules during polls: PR Minister to officials Panchayat Raj Minister P Ramachandra Reddy asked officials to discharge their duties as per the rules. The officials will be blacklisted if they act against the rules under the influence of the SEC during polls, he warned advocate S Sarath appearing for the petitioners, said the Election Commission of India has already developed cVigil app to monitor the election process. He wondered as to why the SEC had kept aside the app developed by the ECI, when it can be used for sending photos and videos of any poll code violations such as distribution of cash, liquor etc. He further pointed out that the State government has developed a similar app Nigha and both the apps have cyber P4 security clearance. Chakka jam today outside Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chandigarh/Jaipur/Lucknow/New Delhi With the government on Friday strongly defending the farm laws in Rajya Sabha despite protests against them gathering momentum, farmers unions said that the chakka jam planned for Saturday will not take place in UP, Uttarakhand and Delhi, but will cover other parts of the country, including southern states. While agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the offer to amend the laws should not be viewed as if they had any flaws, the Opposition demanded that they be repealed and fresh ones brought after consultations. At the protest site, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) announced their action plan on the chakka jam following a meeting between Balbir Singh Rajewal and Rakesh Tikait. “As sugarcane harvesting is on in UP and Uttarakhand, farmers will be busy The SKM has de. cided that farmers in these two some relief Comedian Munawar Faruqui finally gets ad-interim bail E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail to standup comedian Munawar Faruqui who was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Police for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Hindus during a show. “The petitioner (Faruqui) is released on ad-interim bail on conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court,” a bench headed by Justices R F Nariman ordered. While issuing notice to the Madhya Pradesh government on Faruqui’s plea, it also stayed a warrant for production of the comedian in Uttar Pradesh in another case. The bench granted interim bail to the comedian after it was pointed out that procedure under Section 41 of CrPC and the law laid down by the Supreme Court with regard to arrest weren’t followed. On behalf of the comedian, advocate Saurabh Kir pal termed it a case of victimisation and said the allegations made in the FIR were vague. He argued that a person cannot be arrested unless there is a magistrate’s order or a warrant, which is stated in Section 41 of the criminal code, and the law laid down by the Supreme Court with regard to arrest weren’t followed. “Do you say that Section 41 CrPC was not followed as per our 2014 judgment,” the bench asked his lawyer. Kirpal said it wasn’t and his client was being harassed. Faruqui was arrested on January 1 by the Madhya Pradesh Police in Indore. On January 28, the Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissed the bail pleas of Faruqui and fellow comedian Nalin Yadav. The high court while rejecting his bail plea said, “Maintaining that every right was coupled with duty Liberty . of an individual has to be balanced with his duties and obligations towards his fellow citizens.” The high court further stressed that the state must endeavour to ensure that the ecosystem and sustenance of coexistence in our welfare society is not polluted by negative forces. Party with a difference Rift in BJP over steel plant privatisation? E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The State BJP leaders have once again made contradictory statements about their stand on issues related to Andhra Pradesh. While BJP State chief Somu Veerraju said the AP unit will fight against the privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), party MPs Suresh Prabhu and YS Chowdary spoke in favour of the Centre’s move, terming it a way of ‘rewarding’ the taxpayers. Somu, in a press conference here, said the State unit was in agreement with the sentiments The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday issued interim orders prohibiting the use of eWatch, an app developed by the State Election Commission (SEC), till February 9. At the same time, it allowed the Andhra Pradesh Technology Services Limited (APTS) officials to examine the SEC app. Hearing a batch of petitions filed challenging the use of eWatch by the SEC, a division bench of the HC comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice C Praveen Kumar, sought to know what problems does the SEC have in using the apps developed by the government or the Election Commission. The bench further questioned why the SEC has launched the new app though the Model Code of Conduct came into force from January 8, and who will benefit from it. The court opined that the case warrants an indepth hearing and adjourned it to February 9 as it will take five days for examining the new app by APTS officials. Presenting his arguments, Steel plant employees and workers take out a two-wheeler rally in Visakhapatnam on Friday to protest against the privatisation move of the Centre | EXPRESS of people opposing the privatisation of steel plant. He, in fact, said he would take up the matter with BJP national president JP Nadda in a meeting in New Delhi on February 14. Vizag MLC PVN Madhav had already met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on Thursday and submitted a representation against the privatisation of the steel plan, he said. The State BJP chief recalled the massive agitation with the slogan ‘Visakha Ukku - Andhrula Hakku’ in the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh for P4 the Vizag steel plant. states will not resort to chakka jam and will submit memos to the deputy commissioners. Delhi is also kept away from tomorrow’s stir, though it will cover the rest of the country ,” said Tikait and Rajewal. Tikait welcomed the support from international artistes and activists, including Rihanna and Greta Thunberg, but admitted he didn’t know them. The SKM’ said only national and state highways are to be jammed from 12 noon to 3 pm. The farmer leaders appealed to Farmers wave the Indian flag during the Kisan Mahapanchayat in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district on Friday | Pti keep it peaceful. Sources said farmer unions fear angry outbursts in UP’s Pilibhit belt as the kisans there are upset over the deaths of some of their comrades. “That’s why the blockade has been called off in these areas,” said a source. Two mahapanchayats, one each in Rajasthan’s Dausa and Shamli in western UP, drew massive crowds. While Dausa is Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s pocket burough, the one in Shamili was organised by SP and RLD. Three concept cities to come up in State for rapid growth of IT sector E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed officials to come up with an action plan to develop three concept cities in the State to house information technology and IT related industries. It has been proposed to develop the concept cities in Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and a town near Bengaluru in an area of not less than 2,000 acres each. The concept cities with highend infrastructure and unique architectural design should contribute to the rapid growth of IT sector in the State. A special master plan should be evolved for each concept city . The officials should focus on attracting investments and industries and creating more number of jobs, he said. Holding a review meeting on information technology and electronics policy in his camp office at Tadepalli on Friday the , Chief Minister underlined the need for providing internet facility to all villages in the State in the coming three years to develop the IT industry. The set growth targets in the IT sector cannot be achieved without strengthening the internet network in the State, he said. “There should be an internet library with all modern amenities in every village to enable people to make use of it. Village Secretariats and Rythu Bharosa Kendras in every village should be connected to network. Internet connections should also be given for domestic use,” he said. Approving a proposal to set up an Integrated Technology Park in Visakhapatnam, the Chief Minister said a high-end skills university incubation centre, , labs, COES, IT, EC department office, State data centre and IT towers should be developed as P4 part of the project. Vizag railway zone DPR under scrutiny E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Regal Root takes flight Chennai: The England skipper scored his 20th century to help the visitors to a promising 263/3 at stumps on Day 1 of the first Test against India in Chennai. On a docile pitch, the visitors’ No 4 unfurled his full batting arsenal 7 Root has at least one score over 50 in seven consecutive Tests in India. Only Javed Miandad (eight) has more 9 Root became the ninth cricketer to hit a century while playing in the 100th Test not your average joe Joe Root is pleased as punch after bringing up a century at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday. This was his third on the trot and second in India | bcci The Centre on Friday informed Parliament that the detailed project report (DPR) for creation of a new South Coast Railway Zone headquartered at Visakhapatnam, has been submitted, and is being examined by the Railway Board. It, however, stated that no time frame can be fixed for operationalisation of the new railway zone as the DPR is still under scrutiny . Replying to a query by BJP Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao, Union Minister of Railways, Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said the preparatory work for the formation of the new zone is underway. “An officer on special duty/South Coast Railway (OSD/SCoR) was posted at Visakhapatnam to undertake planning and preparatory work for formation of a new zone. He has submitted the DPR for setting up of the new SCoR Zone, which is currently under examination by the Railway Board,” the UnP5 ion Minister said.
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06-02-2021 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam