BHUBANESWAR l sunday l march 07, 2021 l `8.00 l PAGES 26 l JEYPORE EDITION after shock senate upset, Imran secures trust vote Show of strength to boost party morale Imran Khan is not required to prove his majority under the amended Pakistani constitution. The unilateral call was seen as Imran’s attempt to boost his party’s morale after Wednesd ay’s defeat of his finance minister to ex-PM Gilani, who was backed by the Opposition amalgam PDM. Imran needed 172 votes to stay at helm in the House of 342 | P11 The Pakistan PM got 178 votes on Saturday after the 10-party Opposition boycotted the voting alleging procedural lapses Opposition leaders manhandled ■ ■ Days after questioning the Election Commission’s role in the Senate upset, Imran promised electoral reforms, including introducing EVMs and granting voting rights to oveseas citizens Unsavoury scenes were witnessed outside Parliament when Imran’s supporters tried to disrupt a presser by the PDM leader 176 Votes secured by imran’s pakistan tehreek-i-insaf three years ago 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 CAGed? Top audit body reports on Centre’s money management down 75% Cause of delay A source said the delay was due to the office starting audit of subjects which are of crosscutting themes. Such reports likely take more time, he added K u m a r V i k r a m @ New Delhi The number of reports brought out by the country’s top audit body, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, has come down sharply in the past five years, raising concerns that the government’s financial accountability is not coming under the CAG’s gaze closely . The total number of CAG reports relating to central gov- ernment ministries and departments came down from 55 in 2015 to just 14 in 2020, a fall of nearly 75%, a reply to an RTI application filed by this newspaper said. The CAG’s mandate is to serve as a watchdog, bringing out financial, performance and compliance reports of the government. “The constitution of India has entrusted the CAG with the responsibility of audit of ac- counts of the union and states and other entities. The CAG is the supreme audit institution of India and is expected to promote financial accountability and transparency in the affairs of the audited entities,” the CAG said in its 2019-20 own performance report. The power its reports yield came out starkly during the United Progressive Alliance gover nment of Manmohan Mission Shakti dept gets Cabinet stamp Key decisions `1,085 cr for rural piped water supply projects `637.45 cr for power infrastructure at Paradip New Excise districts Bhubaneswar and Rourkela Mission Shakti is now synonymous with women’s empowerment, transforming lives of millions Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister e x p r e ss r e a d Man killed by brothers in self -defence Bhubaneswar: In an act of self-defence, two brothers killed a person inside a moving pickup van near CRPF Square, but were nearly lynched by enraged locals, who assumed them to be the perpetrators of the crime. The brothers were reportedly taking one Tukuna Das of Ganjam, to the police station in their pickup van when the incident occurred | P3 Will bring all SHG-related programmes and activities under one platform for greater synergy E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar The State Cabinet on Saturday approved creation of a separate Mission Shakti department to help in strengthening the self-help group (SHG) initiatives undertaken by different agencies of the government and bring it under one platform to provide greater focus, synergy and avoid duplication in activities. Describing it as a momentous occasion in the transformative journey of Mission Shakti, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the initiative which started as a scheme has now become a department to carry forward the revolution with greater focus. “Mission Shakti is now synonymous with women’s empowerment, transfor ming lives of millions,” he said. The Chief Minister had announced on Inter national Women’s Day last year that a separate department for wom- en SHGs will be created by the gover nment. Minister for Women, Child Development and Mission Shakti Tukuni Sahu said the new department will help ensure linkages at all levels and establish effective interactive platforms between the community and government for strengthening the SHG movement across the State. This will avoid conflict of command, ensure better service delivery, effective monitoring and optimum utilisation of human resources, she said. The department, which will contribute towards overall administration and programmatic coordination of SHG-centric development schemes, will start functioning from April 1. Staff working under the Directorate of Mission Shakti and Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) will come under the new department. The department will work for SHGs and their federations in both rural and urban CONTINUED ON: P7 areas. No immediate plans to bring fuel under GST New Delhi: The Finance Ministry is not planning to bring petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST in the near future, even though some states and economists have asked for the move to give some relief to consumers | P12 Central team hints at indigenous mutation New Delhi: Even as the Centre dispatched another central team to visit Maharashtra on Saturday, a report by the team sent earlier this week has hinted at the possibility of indigenous mutation making Covid virus more infectious but less virulent in parts of the state | P9 clash of titans BJP fields Suvendu against Mamata from Nandigram E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Kolkata Mamata Banerjee Suvendu Adhikari With the BJP unveiling its first list of 57 candidates for the eight-phase West Bengal Assembly elections on Saturday, the Nandigram constituency is set for a battle of titans after the saffron outfit pitted former state minister Suvendu Adhikari against chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Both the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress have fielded heavyweights, hoping to pin down each other in the Taapsee hits back with paris holiday tweet E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Days after income tax authorities raided properties linked to Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu, and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, the unfazed duo took to social media to hit out at the raids and take a dig at their alleged illegal possessions and tax discrepancies. Pannu wrote the three-day long IT raids were primarily on keys to an ‘alleged’ Paris bungalow, an ‘alleged’ receipt for `5 crore, and a ‘memory of 2013 raid’. At the end of the thread, she wrote, ‘not so sasti (cheap)’ anymore. In a tweet attaching a photo of Pannu and him on the sets of their project, Kashyap wrote “and we restart our shoot”. On Instagram, he wrote: “And we restart #DoBaaraa .. with all our love to all the haters.” Continued on: P9 constituency . BJP national general secretary Arun Singh announced the names on Saturday at the party headquarters in Delhi while the full might of the outfit was busy preparing for PM Narendra Modi’s Brigade Ground rally on Sunday . The BJP sought to create another buzz by fielding former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh against another former senior police official, Humayun Kabir, from Debra. Ghosh had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but lost. In line with the open arm welcome to sitting legislators from other parties, the BJP fielded former CPM leader Tapashi Mondal from Haldia and Sudip Mukherjee, ex-TMC, from Purulia. The two were elected from the same seats in 2016. The BJP national general secretary said the first list of the candidates has 19 Dalits and seven tribals. While the chief minister is banking on her political war cry of Ma, Mati, Manush, the BJP is seeking to set the electoral narrative with Adhikari against her. India storm into WTC final Axar Patel and R Ashwin made a mockery of England to skittle them out for just 135 runs in the second innings on Saturday. India won by an innings and 25 runs to storm into World Test Axar Patel and Rishabh Pant celebrate with the Championships final | P13 trophy after 3-1 series win over England | AFP ‘Officers averse to support of locals The Congress blamed the Forest department for the raging fire in Similipal Tiger Reserve and blamed South Similipal Division for failing to tackle the crisis | P7 WITH THIS ISSUE In Praise of Older Women PLUS 12 PAGES 55 key audits 45 Railway Defence 3 6 2011 4 3 2012 37 2013 2 2 42 7 5 2014 34 6 6 2015 4 3 2016 21 5 8 26 2017 23 4 6 14 2018 NUMBER of cag reports 2019 2 3 Source: RTI reply 2011 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 2020 3 0 39 Singh. Its scathing reports on the 2G auction, coal block auction, Adarsh housing society and the Commonwealth Games of 2010 blighted Singh’s corruption-free image. The information received through the RTI application revealed that the number of CAG reports tabled in Parliament was the highest in 10 years during the early years of the NDA government.But the numbers have fallen steadily after that. The RTI reply revealed that defence audit reports prepared and tabled in Parliament have also come down during the last few years. While eight audit reports were tabled in Parliament in 2017, it was zero last year. The story is repeated in railway audit reports. In 2017, five reports were prepared but it was only three in 2020. Continued on: P9 Stick to basics to nip 2nd wave: Centre to states E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi Focus on contact tracing States were asked to refocus on surveillance and containment of areas that are witnessing clusters and carry out an average close contact tracing of 20 persons per positive case. The Centre urged states to focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths, adding that Covid-19 vaccination should be accelerated for priority population groups. The Centre asked the states to actively watch out for super-spreading events. Amid concerns that the second wave of Covid-19 is spreading across the country, the Centre has urged states to return to the fundamentals of pandemic control — test, track and treat. During a meeting on Saturday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and V K Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog, asked top officials from Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Chandigarh to increase the share of RT-PCR tests in districts that de pend on rapid antigen testing. These states, apart from eight others that have been a cause of concern for the past several weeks, have seen increased positivity and higher number of daily positive cases. In a detailed presentation, it was pointed out that nine districts in Delhi, 15 in Haryana, 10 each in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, nine in Himachal Pradesh, seven in Uttarakhand, two in Goa, and one in Chandigarh continue to be of concern owing to drop in the total number of tests being conducted. It was also flagged that these districts have a low share of RT-PCR tests, high positivity rate and little contact tracing of positive cases. Together, these can pose high risk of transmission to the neighbouring states, the Centre said.
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