BHUBANESWAR l Saturday l march 20, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION Flying may cost more as govt lifts base fare band The Centre has extended domestic fare bands brought in May 2020 till April-end, but decided to hike the lower fares by 5% atf PRICE RISE IS THE REASON, SAYS PURI “There has been a continuous rise in price of ATF, so it has been decided to increase the lower fare band keeping the upper fare band unchanged,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted on Friday. DGCA had on May 21, 2020, announced seven bands of ticket pricing based on flight duration. The first band was for flights that don’t take more than 40 minutes ■ 100% Second hike in over a month The lower limit for the first band was `2,000, which will now change to 2,100 while the ceiling will remain at `6,000 This is the second time the government has raised fare limits for domestic airlines. The first hike was in February this year No. of flights airlines can fly remains 80% of their pre-Covid levels ■ ■ Flight Operations will be allowed when daily passenger traffic crosses 3.5 lakh 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 A worker collects a swab sample from a resident of Dharavi, in Mumbai on Friday | PTI Thackeray directed that employee’s attendance in private offices be reduced to 50%. Theatres and auditoriums, too, have been asked to operate at 50% capacity till March 31. Establishments related to health and other essentials services and manufacturing sector will be, however, exempted from the curbs. The order came a day after Maharashtra reported a single-day surge of 25,833 cases, the highest ever in the state since the beginning of the pandemic. Till now, the highest count of new cases in the state was 24,896 in September last. Punjab also brought back similar restrictions. Beginning Saturday, educational institutions will remain closed till March 31, cinema halls will be allowed to function at 50% capacity and not more than 100 persons will be allowed in malls at a time. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also appealed to the people to keep social activity to the bare minimum to break the transmission chain. Not more than 10 visitors should be entertained at home, he added. In Madhya Pradesh, lockdowns have been ordered in three big cities — Indore, Bho- CONTINUED ON: P5 19 21 Flow of financial assets Flow of financial liabilities Financial savings 2.55 2.72 1.3 Q1 FY20 Q2 FY20 Q3 FY20 Q4 FY20 0.78 8.1 9.8 10.4 15.1 15.8 (% of GDP) 11.4 As the country finds itself in the midst of a second wave of Covid-19, Odisha on Friday witnessed a spike in new infections with 110 cases being detected in the State in the last 24 hours. New cases crossed 100 mark for the first time in last one and a half months after 105 cases were recorded on February 8. The State saw a rise of 26 cases from the previous day as 84 infections were found on Wednesday. While 24,984 tests were conducted on that day, 24,572 samples were tested on Thursday. The test positivity rate was 0.44 per cent (pc), up from 0.33 pc recorded last week. According to the State dashboard, the new cases were spread across 22 districts taking the tally to 3,38,599. The maximum 20 cases were detected from Cuttack, followed by 15 from Khurda, nine each from Mayurbhanj and Nuapada, seven from Sundargarh, six each from Ganjam and Angul and five from Jajpur. LIABILITIES SWELL, SAVINGS EBB 9.8 10.6 @ Bhubaneswar The financial distress caused by pay cuts and job losses during the pandemic may have forced Indian households to dip into their savings and borrow more to meet expenses. According to RBI data released on Friday, households’ financial savings rate dropped to 10.4% of the GDP in the July-September 2020 quarter compared with 21% in the preceding quarter, the central bank’s preliminary estimates on household savings. While the drop appears drastic on a sequential basis, a savings rate at 10.4% is still higher than 9.8% recorded in the year-ago period. The re por t said Indian households appeared to be slowly going back to their preCovid spending habits as consumption switched from an ‘essentials only’ pattern to discretionary spending with the gradual reopening of the economy. Wh i l e t h e re p o r t notes the change is driven by an increase in household borrowings from banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), experts say the drastic drop in income may have accentuated the process. 0.80 Amid a explosion of Covid-positive cases, Maharashtra and Punjab on Friday announced strict state-wide curbs and Madhya Pradesh imposed restrictions in three major cities even as the Centre expressed concerns over some states not sending samples for genetic sequencing of the virus, as directed. Covid-19 cases in the country grew by over 100% in five weeks. A total 39,726 fresh cases were registered on Friday, the highest since early December, while active cases have crossed 2.71 lakh, registering a growth of 103% since February 11. Eight states are showing an upward trajectory, with Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh together accounting for more than 80% of the daily new cases. While a worried Centre has advised states to ramp up RTPCR testing, a few states rushed to tighten Covid curbs. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav pal and Jabalpur — from Saturday 10 pm to Monday 6 am, though essential services and industries will be exempted. All schools and colleges in these cities will remain closed till March 31. MP on Friday reported 1,140 new cases, its highest this year. Uddhav said the fresh case count has gone past last year’s peak. A harsh lockdown, he added, is one of the options but as of now the government expected more discipline from the people. In Punjab, barring medical and nursing colleges, all educational institutions will remain closed. Dr K K Talwar, who heads the state government’s expert team on Covid, said the surge in cases appeared to be the result of opening of schools and colleges. The state currently has almost 40% cases in under-30 population, he added. The Centre has advised states to increase the overall share of RT-PCR tests to more than 70%. The health ministry asked states to follow up on sending samples for genome testing to track virus variants P7 of concern. E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e 7.7 S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta , S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i a n d H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ New Delhi /Mumbai/Chandigarh S e s a S e n @ New Delhi 4 Maha mess with highest ever daily spike, further clampdown imposed Cases cross Household financial savings 100 in Odisha wane, borrowings spike in Q2 after 42 days 1.81 Theatres and all private offices in Maharashtra to operate at 50% capacity; locking down option on table, says Uddhav; Punjab, too, announces curbs; lockdown in three MP cities Q1 FY21 Q2 FY21 Source: RBI It gives more credence to economists’ prediction that households are still maintaining consumption despite job losses and low income levels. Rising food prices in the midst of widespread economic pain could also force households to dip into their savings. According to RBI, household financial savings have moderated despite an increase in savings in the form of deposits as borrowings from banks and NBFCs have picked CONTINUED ON: P5 up.
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