chennai l saturday l april 10, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION Second Covid wave poses higher risks for economy Fitch Ratings on Friday said the second wave of infections poses increased risks for India’s fragile economic recovery and its banks Businesses to take huge hit if cases spike Challenging times for banking sector The rating agency expects a moderately worse environment for the Indian banking sector in 2021, but challenges would intensify if rising infections and follow-up measures to contain the virus further affect business and economic activity. Fitch forecasts India’s GDP growth at 12.8% for FY22. But the rising pace of infections poses renewed risks to the forecast, it said ■ ■ Over 80% of new cases are in six states, which account for 45% of total banking sector loans. Any further disruption in economic activity in these states would hit business sentiment, Fitch said Meanwhile, another report by Oxford Economics said India’s economy is resilient but the next few months will be critical MSME and retail loans are most at risk, according to Fitch Ratings 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 Resort politics back as Assam Not just vax, Remdesivir supply short Oppn candidates flown to Raj E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Mumbai/Jaipur/Bhopal/Bengaluru Eighteen from AIUDF and two from Congress brought to Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur to keep them off BJP reach B E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kolkata/New Delhi/Patna/Mumbai Apprehending poaching by the BJP Assam’s Congress-led grand alli, ance of Opposition has moved 20 party candidates to a hotel in Jaipur. Eighteen from minority-based All India United Democratic Front and two from the Congress were sent to Rajasthan in a chartered plane on Friday . They all have been kept in Fairmont Hotel, where Rajasthan Congress MLAs were kept for days after rebellion by party leader Sachin Pilot. “We have just landed in Rajasthan. The Chief Minister (Ashok Gehlot) is making all arrangements for our stay one of them said. ,” Speculations are rife that the remaining Opposition candidates will fly out of Assam soon. The third and final phase Assam polls were held on April 6 and the results of the keenly-contested elections will be declared on May 2. Given past experiences, they are not taking any chances. In the last Manipur elections, the Congress had bagged 28 seats compared to the BJP’s 22 in the 60-member House but the latter managed to cobble together the numbers — courtesy defections — and form the government. Congress and AIUDF are components of the 10-party Opposition alliance, which was formed two months ago to oust the BJP from power. Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) is another key constituent of the alliance. Confirming this development, Congress Chief Whip in the Rajasthan Assembly Mahesh Joshi said, “It is now a well-known trend that the BJP tries to indulge in horse-trading. So, the aim is to take measures for protecting our people.” Buddha and what’s left of the citadel The possibility of the BJP indulging in dirty tricks and influence our candidates made us take the decision AIUDF organising secretary Md Aminul Islam It has become a trend that the BJP tries to break the Congress after losing polls. So, the allies want to take guard Congress general secretary R S Surjewala Twenty leaders have come from Assam and we have been asked to take care of them. I don’t know how long they will stay here Congress Chief Whip in Raj Assembly Mahesh Joshi India cross as US Navy does unauthorised drill MAYANK SINGH and pushkar banakar @ New Delhi Two days after a US Navy conducted an unusual ‘navigation operation’ through India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Lakshadweep Islands without prior permission, New Delhi on Friday conveyed its concerns to Washington through diplomatic channels. On Wednesday the US Navy had issued a statement , saying its warship, USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), “asserted navigational rights and freedoms 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands, without requesting India’s prior consent.” According to the US, India’s claims on EEZ under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are inconsistent with international law. While India ratified the UNCLOS in 1982, the US is not a signatory . Admiral Arun Prakash, former Indian Navy chief, termed the US move ‘ironical’ saying it is strange that the US Navy not only chose to violate India’s rights but publicise it. According to sources, India is examining the event closely “We have to examine it from the view of the . intent and its future implications”, said an official. EVMs, VVPAT spotted on bike EC might order repoll at booth in Velachery Express News Service @ Chennai The Election Commission is likely to order a repoll for a booth in Velachery Assembly constituency because two electronic voting machines (EVMs) and a VVPAT machine were allegedly transported in violation of norms. On April 6, three men were caught by the public on the Velachery-Taramani road carrying two EVMs and a VVPAT machine on two-wheelers. An inquiry revealed that the machines were from the 92-M booth of DAV School in Velachery and the trio were Chennai Corporation staff on poll duty . Following complaints from the Congress and DMK on unauthorised transportation of EVMs and a VVPAT machine, the Chennai Corporation suspended the staff involved. Continued on: P4 etween the binary of a ladaku neta (the warlike Mamata Banerjee) and the PM’s fort-destroyer act, complete with taunts and slogans, there’s another figure who’s also in the contest—quite strangely in his absence. He is Bud, dhadeb Bhattacharjee. The 77-year-old former West Bengal CM’s failing health—especially respiratory trouble in this Covid season—has kept him away from the public stage. All that has come from him by way of intervention in this election season is a statement. He shot a single arrow, talking of “the unravelling of the Singur-Nandigram conspiracy”, and the irony of “the conspirators now fighting each other” in the silence of the graveyard. Where did he find ‘silence’ in this deafeningly high-decibel contest? What he refers to is the silence— West Bengal the lack of any discussion, amidst this very personalSANTWANA BHATTACHARYA ised campaign—on what he believes to be the real issue. That is, the derailed industrialisation of Bengal. His own attempt to reverse that, beginning from Singur-Nandigram, was a dark and fated one: it had cost Buddhadeb his government and led to his ignominious exit from electoral politics. He had even lost the Jadavpur seat to his former chief secretary Manish Gupta, , by a margin of over 16,000 votes. That was in 2011, when Mamata swept into power on what was called a mandate for paribartan (change). Ten years down the line, the BJP is riding on the idea of asol paribartan (real change). If that sounds like an echo, there are reasons why it resonates. They are the same reasons from a decade ago. Jobless youth are the most common sight everywhere in the state—even though Bengal’s unemployment, if CMIE data is to be believed, is less than that of Haryana, Rajasthan or Bihar. Indeed, at 17.4% as per the CMIE 2020 annual survey , Bengal’s unemployment is even less than the national average. But it’s nearly double compared to neighbouring Odisha and Assam’s 9.6%. Take the group of youth, all graduates, whiling away their time around a tea stall outside one of Bishnupur’s famous terracotta temples. None of them have jobs. Continued on: P10 Amid states grappling with stretched Covid facilities and vaccine shortage, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh chief ministers sent SOS to the Centre regarding vaccine supply on Friday even as more inoculation centres , were shut in Maharashtra, taking their total count to 592. There were also reports of shortage of Remdesivir that is used to treat Covid patients, in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Seventy-five of the 120 centres Big Data NATION WIDE April 8 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths across Mumbai, including a jumbo facility in the Bandra Kurla Complex that was inoculating 4,000 people daily, halted vaccinating people on Friday as supply dried up. “We have been asking the Centre to ramp up the supply , but there is no positive response. To set up a centre, we spend a lot of money on infrastructure and engage many trained people. Shutting down the centres is a big setback to our vaccination drive,” said a senior health official in Maharashtra. In Rajasthan, the vaccine stock April 9 1,26,789 59,258 685 1,31,968 61,899 780 Maha pitch for 1,200 ventilators Tamil nadu Apart from vaccines and Remdesivir shots, Maharashtra needs 1,200 more ventilators from the Centre, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths ‘Fine’ for now but if the disease spreads, night curfew is ahead EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai Think twice before spitting in public, because it could fetch you a fine of `500. Or if you’re not wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, you might have to shell out `200. Not practising physical distancing in a public place? Prepare to lose `500. The Chennai Corporation is going to strictly impose these penalties again, and officials in each zone have daily targets of fines to collect, from `20,000 to `1.5 lakh. If this doesn’t re- will last only two days, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and sought immediate supply of 30 lakh doses to ensure smooth continuation of the inoculation drive, particularly during the ‘tika utsav’ proposed by the PM. With hospital beds filling up and demand for oxygen growing, supply is drying up in some states. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has already stated that the state is in “dire need” of oxygen of 1,700-2,500 MT oxygen by April-end. Continued on: P7 duce the number of Covid cases, night curfew will be imposed, the government warned. The managements of spas, gyms and other commercial establishments would be fined `5,000 if they violate the standard operating procedures. People who don’t follow the stipulated guidelines for containment zones (buildings/streets with a cluster of Covid cases) will be liable to pay `500, while owners of vehicles or commercial establishments flouting these norms will be fined `5,000. P2 April 8 4,276 1,869 19 April 9 5,441 1,890 23 Daily penalty targets for Chennai’s 15 zones Places Amount Tiruvottiyur `20,000 Manali `20,000 Valasaravakkam `25,000 Alandur `25,000 Perungudi `40,000 Sholinganallur `40,000 Madhavaram `50,000 Tondiarpet `60,000 Thiru Vi Ka Nagar `60,000 Ambattur `60,000 Adyar `75,000 Anna Nagar `1 lakh Kodambakkam `1.25 lakh Royapuram `1.5 lakh Teynampet `1.5 lakh Fines `200 not wearing mask over nose and mouth `500 spitting in public places `500 not practising physical distancing HC stays 4 Covid patients die in hospital fire Girija Vaidhyanathan’s appointment at NGT Court says the interim stay was ordered as the former Chief Secretary prima facie doesn’t seem to satisfy the eligibility criteria | P4 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Mumbai Four persons were killed and some others suffered burn injuries after the airconditioning unit of Well Treat Hospital in Nagpur caught fire on Friday night. It’s a 30-bed multi-floor Covid-19 hospital. The incident occurred at 8.10 pm at the hospital lo- cated in Wadi area of the city Accord. ing to sources, when the fire broke out on the second floor, 28 Covid patients were in hospital, of whom 12 were in the ICU. The injured patients were shifted to nearby hospitals for further medical treatment. Among the injured, four people are facing serious respiratory problems.
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