BELAGAVI FRIDAY APRIL 23, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 14 LATE CITY EDITION ` FINMIN ASKS BANKS TO FOOT ‘INTEREST ON INTEREST’ BILL The Union finance ministry has informally asked banks to reimburse or adjust the compound interest charged during the loan moratorium period GOVT IN NO MOOD TO SHARE `8,000-CR BURDEN RISING COVID CASES TO HIT RECOVERY: RBI Banks had approached the finance ministry for help in settling the compound interest waiver, estimated at around `8,000 crore but the government is in no mood to compensate lenders. The Supreme Court had on March 23 ruled banks cannot charge interest on interest for accounts that sought a moratorium last year and that the amount must be refunded ■ ■ The uncertainty due to the surge in Covid cases and localised lockdowns prompted RBI to vote for status quo in interest rates, as per minutes of the MPC meeting released on Thursday Covid-19 is the single biggest factor blocking the path to economic recovery, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said in the meeting | P12 June 2-4 NEXT MEETING OF THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA’S MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE 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 No reason to appoint Salve: Dave 1 cr doses @ `400 cr, over 90 tankers for O2 Let HCs hear matter: SC Bar body “There is no reason why Mr Harish Salve should again and again be appointed by Chief Justice Bobde as amicus curiae. He has been a non-resident and living in London for a long time. He does not know the realities of India,” says Dushyant Dave “High Courts appear to be best suited to deal with the situation, hence it would be proper to allow the Hon’ble High Courts to continue dealing with the present issue,” the Supreme Court Bar Association’s intervention petition before the top court SC WAKES UP, LEGAL EAGLES FRET B A L A C H A U H A N @ Bengaluru Six high courts hearing Covid cases is creating some confusion and diversion of resources, says bench; experts want HCs to stay in play K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday took suo motu cognisance of the health emergency caused by Covid-19 pandemic though a clutch of high courts are already seized of the matter, a decision that was panned by a section of senior lawyers. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde took note of the fact that high courts of Delhi, Bombay, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Calcutta and Allahabad were dealing with issues related to Covid and asked the Centre to present a national plan to face the health crisis. “The situation in various parts of the country is grim. There seems to be a sudden surge in the number of covid patients and mortality Nonetheless it seems that a . certain amount of panic has been generated and people have Scrutiny of invoked the jurisdicfour points tion of several high The court said it courts in the country wanted to take up seeking relief,” the orsupply of oxygen der read. and essential “They (HCs) are exdrugs, method and ercising jurisdiction in manner of best interest. But it is vaccination and creating confusion and the power to diversion of resourcdeclare lockdown. es,” the bench ob“We want the served, adding, “We power to clear are almost in a nationlockdown to be al emergency .” with states and it “The high courts should not be a have passed certain orjudicial decision,” ders which may have the CJI said the effect of accelerating and prioritizing the services to a certain set of people and slowing down the availability of these resources to certain other groups whether the groups are local, regional or otherwise,” the detailed order stated. The bench said it intended to transfer to itself some of the related issues pending in various high courts. But senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi later said he completely disagreed with the view of the Supreme Court. “High Courts are competent to deal with the issue as it unfolds in the concerned state... It’s a retrograde step. High Court will become redundant now,” he reasoned. Appointing senior advocate Harish Salve as amicus curiae to assist it, the bench issued notice to the Centre and posted the matter for Friday the last working day of , CJI Bobde. Justice N V Ramana will take over as the next CJI on Saturday . During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asked the bench, “Do we respond to high courts now or we respond here?” “We will issue notice to the Centre and then we will issue notice to high courts and eventually we will bring some issues here. All we want is a national plan on these issues,” the CJI said. The bench told Mehta it didn’t intend to supersede any order of the high courts as of now. AT 3.14 LAKH, HIGHEST-EVER SINGLE-DAY SPIKE IN ANY COUNTRY Active cases now at 22,91,428 comprising 14.38% of the total infections NATIONWIDE APRIL 21 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,95,041 1,67,457 2,023 APRIL 22 3,14,835 1,78,841 2,104 27,27,05,103 Samples tested up to April 21 Uttar Pradesh: Long queues at cremation centres in Agra as bodies pile up 16,51,711 Of the samples tested on Wednesday New Delhi: Centre urges corporates to consider converting their vacant office buildings into temporary Covid care facilities Jerusalam: Israel issues travel warning for India and six other countries A Covid-19 patient waits for admission outside the Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan Hospital in New Delhi on Thursday | SHEKHAR YADAV Ensured oxygen supply to states, says Centre E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi States’ O2 quota raised In view of the surge in oxygen demand due to an exponential rise in the No. of Covid patients admitted in hospitals, the Centre has raised the quota of oxygen for states AMID reports of acute shortage of oxygen in some states and instances of some private hospitals moving court for urgent directions to ensure timely supply of the life-saving gas, the Centre on Thursday said it is giving 6,822 MT of liquid medical oxygen per day to 20 states against a demand of 6,785 MT/day The announcement came after a . high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take stock of the situation. In the review meeting, the PM stressed on increasing production of oxygen, raising the speed of distribution and using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities. He also said that states should come down heavily on hoarding. According to the Centre, availability of liquid medical oxygen has been raised by 3,300 MT per day with contributions from private and public steel plants, industries, oxygen manufacturers as well as through prohibition of supply of oxygen for non-essential industries. Modi also said there is a need to fix responsibility with the local administration in cases of obstruction and also asked ministries to explore various innovative ways to increase production and supply of oxygen. Covid situation precarious, says Delhi HC NEW DELHI: Observing that the Covid-19 situation in the National Capital has turned ‘precarious’, with many hospitals running out of oxygen, the Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Central Government to ensure the all-important gas is supplied to the city as per the planned allocation, and without any hindrances. “As it stands, we all know that this country is being run by God,” observed an anguish bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, which was of the view that all measures should be taken for removing obstructions in the transportation of oxygen. If the government wants, it can do anything and can even make ‘heaven meet earth,’ the bench said. US to halve emissions, India to go green by ’30 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE US President Joe Biden on Thursday said America will cut its carbon emissions by up to 52% by the end of this decade, to bring them down to the levels in 2005. In his address to the Leaders’ Summit on Climate, hosted by the US, Biden said the US and other big economies have an obligation to bring down greenhouse gas emissions. The announcement marks the US’ return to global climate efforts after four years of withdrawal under former president Donald Trump. America believes its ambitious new plan will encourage other polluting majors such as China to take impactful steps. However, experts think the US may not be able to achieve the long-term target given the constantly shifting political environment. Addressing the summit, PM Narendra Modi announced the launch of India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership to mobilise investments and enable green collaborations. “In its new nationally determined contribution, the US has set an economy-wide target of reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 per cent below 2005 levels in 2030. As part of its climate mitigation efforts, India has set a target of installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030... Through this collaboration, India and the SU aim to demonstrate how the world can align swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development, taking into account national circumstances and sustainable development priorities,” a joint statement read. Despite our development challenges, we have taken many bold steps on clean energy, energy efficiency, afforestation and biodiversity. That’s why we are among the few countries whose indices are 2-degree Celsius compatible - PM Narendra Modi STATEWIDE WITH two days to go for the opening of registrations for inoculation of those aged between 18 and 44 years, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday approved the purchase of one crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines at a cost of `400 crore. The state will place an order for Covishield from Serum Institute of India, Pune. The company which is producing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in India, has set the price at `150 per dose for the Union Government, `400 for state governments and `600 for private hospitals. The vaccine doses will be administered to citizens aged between 18 and 44 starting May 1. Meanwhile, the supply of oxygen is being streamlined in Karnataka and almost all 94 tankers carrying industrial gases are being put to use for emergency medical purposes, according to industry sources. “There are 94 tankers in the state of which 45 carried liquid oxygen and the rest carried other industrial gases like nitrogen and argon. With very few exceptions, almost all the tankers have been flushed off the other gases and are being used to supply medical oxygen,” said the sources. The government is also looking at other resources and suppliers to further augment oxygen supply to the state. “While the oxygen plants have accelerated their production, there are not enough tankers to car ry it,” the sources pointed out. Fresh cases Active cases Deaths CONTINUED ON: P4 Recoveries Fresh cases in B’luru Urban APRIL 21 APRIL 22 23,558 1,76,188 116 6,412 13,640 25,795 1,96,236 123 5,624 15,244 Lockdown? Or not? Alarm bells go off EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru JUST a day before the weekend lockdown was to come into effect, confusion and a sense of panic prevailed in many parts of the state with several shops and businesses being ordered to close down by the local authorities. The cause of this was a State Government clarification, released on Thursday to the April , 20 guidelines ordering a majority of shops and commercial establishments, that were not exempted from closure, to remain closed until 6 am on May 4. CONTINUED ON: P4
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