chennai l friday l april 02, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 30 l late city EDITION record GST mop-up in March ’21 as collections touch `1.24L-cr Highest since introduction of GST Of the total revenue, Central GST stood at `22,973 crore, State GST was `29,329 crore, integrated GST accounted for `62,842 crore (including `31,097 crore collected on import of goods) while cess amounted to `8,757 crore (including `935 crore on import of goods). The finance ministry said March’s figures are the highest since the introduction of GST The revenue crossed the `1-lakh-crore mark for the 6th straight month. This month’s tally is 27% above the March ’20 collection Marker of post pandemic recovery? ■ ■ The steady increase in GST collections over the past six months could be a marker of rapid economic recovery post pandemic Closer monitoring against fake-billing, deep data analytics using data from multiple sources and effective tax administration have also contributed to the increase in GST revenue | P12 `58,852 cr Revenue of Centre and states for CGST; the earning is `60,559 crore for SGST 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 HC directs UIDAI to probe into data breach EXP R ESS NEWS SE R VI C E @ Chennai THE Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Unique Identification Authority of India and the Election Commission of India to probe into the allegations that the BJP’s Puducherry unit had used Aadhaar data for campaigning. Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy in their interim , orders, refused to accept the submissions made by the BJP local unit that it had obtained the numbers through door-todoor campaigns over a period of time. The court also made it clear that the ECI should deal with the perceived breach of code of conduct without putting a lid on the issue, and a separate probe initiated against the party should go on. The court observed, “Apart from the unfair mileage that the political party may have gained in resorting to a form of campaigning without obtaining prior permission, there is the serious matter of privacy of citizens being breached. This huge aspect should not be lost in the politics of the season or the hullabaloo of the attendant campaigning.” Directing the UIDAI to answer how it may have failed to protect details and particulars furnished to it in confidence by citizens, the bench adjourned the matter to six weeks for the respondent-authorities to respond. Modi in Madurai Sporadic incidents of violence reported elsewhere in West Bengal also; voting percentage high in Assam Phase II Figures that matter WEST BENGAL 10,620 ballot units and an equal polling in Bengal’s number 30 Assembly of control constituencies, units and including VVPATs used Nandigram in Bengal 80.43% ASSAM 77.21% in Assam’s 39 Assembly constituencies 10,819 ballot units, 10,592 control units and as many VVPATs used in Assam Express News Service @ Kolkata/Guwahati West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arriving at a polling station during the second phase of Assembly polls at Boyal in Nandigram on Thursday | PTI After SOS calls from candidates and PMO stinker, savings rate cut nixed ANU R ADHA SHU K L A @ New Delhi The finance ministry on Thursday rescinded its controversial order slashing interest rates on small savings within 12 hours of issuing it, following social media backlash, panic calls from BJP functionaries of poll-bound states, and a sharply worded directive from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). On Wednesday evening, the ministry had issued an order cutting interest rates applicable on various small savings schemes by 50-110 basis points for April-June 2021 period. The decision, announced a day before phase-2 voting in Bengal and Assam, drew widespread criticism. Sources said some BJP candidates, too, made calls to the PMO. West Bengal contributes the most to small savings, according to National Savings Institute data. Of the total gross small savings collections of `5.96 lakh crore in FY18, collections from West Bengal were `90,000 crore. Early on Thursday morn- Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai on Thursday evening | kk sundar | P4 Poll digest 48-hour campaigning ban on A Raja 4 DAyS TO GO A day after DMK MP A Raja submitted his reply to the ECI notice on his alleged derogatory remarks on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the poll body debarred him from campaigning for a period of 48 hours with effect from 2 pm on Thursday | P4 Owaisi bats for AMMK Each vote polled for the Congress is one for the BJP, said AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi campaigning for AMMK | P4 express read India for expert probe into coronavirus origin New Delhi: Days after the WHO chief said the possibility of Wuhan lab leak needs to be probed, India’s foreign ministry said it, too, shared the need for an inquiry into coronavirus’ origin. “We share the need for a comprehensive and expert-led mechanism that would expeditiously investigate the origin of Covid-19 in cooperation,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said WITH THIS ISSUE CHENNAI’S BEST WEEKEND GUIDE 30 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF INDULGE (TABLOID) CM campaigns in Erode Voters have already made up their mind to choose AIADMK in the polls, CM Edappadi K Palaniswami said at a rally in Erode | P4 Toll hiked nhs in state at 24 plazas along Vehicle user fee was increased by three to five per cent from Thursday (April 1). Toll fee was hiked by `5 to `15 for all categories of vehicles. The toll fee was hiked based on wholesale price index in accordance with the provisions of NH Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 | P3 Vax drive on off days too in April, as govt aims to enhance coverage Express News Service @ New Delhi On a day the Covid-19 inoculation for all people above the age of 45 began, the Centre on Thursday said the shots would be given on all days, including gazetted holidays, throughout April at all public and private vaccination centres. This is a crucial step as the priority group for inoculation now includes all above 45 years. The decision seeks to arrest a steep decline in the number of people getting vaccinated against the backdrop of sharp rise in number of cases amid the outbreak of the second wave. Till Thursday, over 63 million people have been vaccinated, translating into just 4.5 doses per 100 people. The fresh measure was taken after detailed discussions with all states on Wednesday, the health ministry said. The rationale behind the decision is to utilise all vaccination centres for increased coverage. Cases have been growing exponentially since March, with Thursday’s 72,330 marking the highest single-day infection tally since October. While the first week of March recorded an average of 16,740 cases daily , the numbers rose four-fold to 62,000 by the last week. P10 Cover all eligible The Centre has urged all states to focus on vaccinating the priority groups. They have been asked to actively identify districts with surge and inoculate all eligible people charisma, talent, effort Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2019 for Rajini EXP R ESS NEWS SE R VI C E @ Chennai ACTOR Rajinikanth will be awarded the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2019, as announced by Union I&B Minister Prakash Javdekar on Thursday He said, “A jury con. sisting of Asha Bhonsle, Mohanlal, Biswajit Chatterjee, Shankar Mahadevan and Subhash Ghai unanimously decided to nominate Rajinikanth for the award, and we’ve accepted it. For the last 50-odd years, he has been the uncrowned king of cinema. Through his charisma, talent, and efforts, he has made a place for himself in the hearts of people.” The actor now joins an illus- trious list of film personalities to have been conferred this award, including his mentor K Balachander, Sivaji Ganesan, Satyajit Ray, Amitabh Bachchan, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Gulzar, Lata Mangeshkar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, and K Vishwanath. He is set to become the fourth star from South Indian cinema after Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Sivaji Ganesan, and Rajkumar to be awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke. Having begun his career with a cameo in K Balachander’s Apoorva Raagangal (1975), Rajinikanth went on to act in over 160 films across Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, and English languages. Tasting success as a stylish antagonist in many films like Aadu Puli Aatam, 16 Vayathinile, and Moondru Mudichu, he made the transition to ‘hero’ roles with Bairavi (1978), which was also the first film to give him the ‘Superstar’ sobriquet that would later become so iconic. continued on: p2 Rajini tweets “My heartfelt thanks to the Central government, PM Modi, and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and the jury for conferring upon me the prestigious award. I sincerely dedicate it to all those who have been part of my journey.” ing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took upon herself to do damage control. “The interest rates of small savings schemes will continue to be the same as in the last quarter of 2020-21. Orders issued by oversight shall be withdrawn,” she tweeted. Sources said the order was supposed to be made public next week but got out early due to “bureaucratic error”. “As it was financial year-end closing (March 31), the order went public. It has been corrected now,” said an official. A high voter turnout of 80.43% and 77.21% was recorded in West Bengal and Assam, respectively on Thursday but the , highlight of the second phase of polling was the high drama in Nandigram, followed by Mamata Banerjee accusing the BJP of rigging the polls and the Election Commission of inaction. Sporadic violence was reported in other parts of Bengal, too, as voting took place in 30 assembly constituencies spread over East and West Midnapore, Bankura and South 24 Parganas districts. In Assam, polling for 39 seats across 13 districts was largely peaceful, barring one incident. Pitted against her aideturned-rival Suvendu Adhikari, the Bengal chief minister rushed to booth no. 7 at Boyal in Nandigram claiming she had received complaints that TMC’s polling agents were not allowed at the polling station. As she argued with senior police officers, BJP supporters as- sembled outside and raised Jai Sri Ram slogan. A group of TMC supporters, too, gathered and shouted Khela Hobe. As the two groups clashed, hurling stones and trading abuses, Mamata called up Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and alleged that bogus voting was taking place on a massive scale while central force remained mute spectators. The TMC chief wrote a complaint letter to the Election Commission, accusing it of inaction on 63 complaints lodged by her party and threatened to , move court. She accused the central forces and the EC of acting at the behest of Union home minister Amit Shah. The poll panel, however, cited its general observer’s report to state that there was no disruption in voting at polling station number 7. Despite her allegations of poll fraud, Mamata claimed victory even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took potshots at her saying “your body language is showing you have accepted your defeat in Nandigram”. P7
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