30 per cent 50,00,000 40,00,000 (1 March 2021 - 24 May 2021) India’s daily cases dROP IN CASELOAD IN THE PAST 10 DAYS NATIONWIDE MAY 24 20,00,000 statewide Daily Covid cases go below 2 lakh, lowest in a month Single-day rise in new Covid cases0 fell to the lowest level in 41 days on Tuesday, according to Union health ministry data 0 1 Mar Source: mygov.in 10,00,000 kochi l wednesday l may 26, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION 1 Apr 1 May MAY 24 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 17,821 36,039 196 MAY 25 29,803 33,397 177 24 May Daily test positivity rate too comes down Cases down in DELHI, but up in T.N., N-E A total of 1,96,427 new coronavirus infections were reported in the past 24 hours, while the toll tally climbed to 3,07,231 with 3,511 fresh fatalities – the lowest in 21 days, the data updated at Tuesday 8 am showed. India had registered 1,84,372 new cases on April 14. In another positive note, the daily test positivity rate came down to under 10% to settle at 9.54% ■ ■ MAY 25 Fresh cases 2,22,315 1,96,427 Recoveries 3,02,544 3,25,850 Deaths 4,454 3,511 30,00,000 Data show that active caseload in six states, including Delhi, has come down by half since mid-May. However, in Tamil Nadu and some north-eastern states, cases seem to be going up The Union health ministry said cumulatively, the active caseload in India has now come down to 25,86,782 | P7 1,84,372 fRESH CASES WERE REPORTED ON aPRIL 14, THE PREVIOUS LOWEST POINT 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 Oppn greets new speaker with debate on his comments on politics E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram A DEBATE on how much political can the speaker of the assembly be greeted M B Rajesh, who was elected to the post with a thumping majority on Tuesday . While felicitating Rajesh, Opposition Leader V D Satheesan said his remark that he would make comments on politics outside the assembly has pained the Opposition. “We have not expected such a comment from a person designated as the speaker. If the speaker makes comments on politics outside the House, naturally the Opposition will be forced to give replies to his comments both outside and inside the assembly he said. ,” In response to the criticism, Rajesh said he would not join any political activity outside the assembly as part of his politics. “What I meant was that I would express my opinion on the general socio-cultural and political developments,” he said and the Opposition welcomed the comments with applause. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also felicitated Rajesh and wished him to act beyond politics. Rajesh, who was elected from K M Abraham appointed CM’s new principal secy Thrithala in Palakkad, won the speaker election by polling 96 votes against 40 secured by the UDF candidate P C Vishnunadh. Pro-tem Speaker P T A Rahim, who was in the Chair, oversaw the election. Of the 140 seats in the assembly, the LDF has 99 legislators while the UDF has 41. Rahim did not cast his vote while three other MLAs could not take part in the election due to ill● More on P4 health. KIIFB CEO K M Abraham has been appointed the chief principal secretary to the chief minister | P4 K N Balagopal replaces Thomas Isaac on the GST Council | P4 M B Rajesh greets the House before taking charge as speaker as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Opposition Leader V D Satheesan and Pro-tem speaker P T A Rahim look on. Sizing up economy stress HDFC Bank flags likely In the face of uncertainty, defaults in retail loan people are saving every repayment by individuals penny for a rainy day Sesa Sen @ New Delhi protective chain The axle of a train being chained at the Shalimar station in Howrah to save it from Cyclone Yaas, on Tuesday. The cyclone will make landfall on Wednesday | Bibhash Lodh Yaas triggers rain in T’Puram, Ksgd A car passes through a flooded road at Thampanoor in the state capital following heavy rain triggered by Cyclone Yaas on Tuesday | Vincent Pulickal 9cm 7cm rainfall received in Kasaragod rainfall recorded in the state capital Express News Service WITH the pandemic still raging and no end in sight for the common man’s economic distress, banks are bracing for an era of retail loan defaults. Retail loans, which dominated the Covid restructuring of most private banks in 2020-21, are likely to see higher delinquencies as borrowers are busy fighting the impact of the second wave of infec- For the first time in tions, Sashidhar Jagdishan, CEO and MD so many years, we of HDFC Bank, said on Tuesday . probably may not Borrowers who had to avail cover un- have a grip on what der regulatory dispensations like mora- is going to happen. torium and restructuring after the first We should see asset quality come back Covid wave are more likely to default, the to what we saw in CEO said, implying that the lender will the March quarter be “cautious” in these extraordinary in a couple of times. HDFC Bank already saw an uptick quarters’ time in cheque bounce rates in April. Sashidhar Jagdishan, Talking to investors in a call hosted by Macquarie Research, Jagdishan said that CEO & MD, HDFC Bank the second Covid wave hitting the rural areas will have an impact on both business momentum and recovery As on March 31, the bank restructured total loans . worth `6,508.37 crore comprising 3.36 lakh accounts under the Reserve Bank’s one-time scheme. Of this, 2.87 lakh accounts were for retail loans amounting to `5,456 crore or 92.5%. Corporate borrowers have largely stayed away from restructuring their dues. The trend is similar for other private banks, too. Total restructuring by Axis Bank amounted to `844.6 crore, of which retail loans accounted for `503.71 crore as on March 31. Similarly Kotak Mahindra Bank restructured loans worth `121.5 , crore, of which `82.38 crore consisted of retail loans. ICICI Bank and Yes Bank were outliers that saw more corporate loan recast. INDIANs have salted away a neat `1 lakh crore in bank deposits in just three fortnights of the current fiscal (FY22). Interest rates are literally nailed to the floorboards, so the big money flowing into banks, experts caution, could be a sign of rising household stress. It’s an unusual increase for the months of April and May and with lockdowns in , force, some believe it’s a sign of precautionary savings, compounded by the need to hold disposable cash to counter health and economic uncertainties. Typically, bank deposits and credit offtake decline in April and May. But, FY21 bucked the trend with deposits rising by a staggering `2.8 lakh crore in the first three fortnights. Now, FY22 is a torchbearer, with customers saving much more this fiscal, but whether this will have a sig- The Met Dept says the Southwest Monsoon will arrive in the state on May 31 IMD sounds yellow alert in 9 districts for Wednesday Yaas likely to make landfall in Odisha, WB on Wednesday CISF chief S K Jaiswal is new CBI chief Senior IPS officer Subodh Kumar Jaiswal was on Tuesday appointed the new CBI chief for two years. A 1985-batch IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, he is currently the director general of CISF. A panel led by the PM had on Monday shortlisted his name for the post. He also served as Maharashtra’s DGP in the past | p8 THE BIG CHANGE Deposits (H crore) Credits (H crore) FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 -1,75,73 -83,297 -56,379 2,82,876 1,03,334 -2,50,525 -1,04,780 -1,46,966 -1,19,028 -80,025 1st fortnight 2nd fortnight 3rd fortnight 1,01,357 -80,579 82,555 -60,333 -28,783 9,091 Source: RBI, SBI Research nificant salutary impact on consumption spending is unclear. As an OECD paper underscored last December, lockdowns in several countries strengthened motives for precautionary saving among households, discouraging investment and purchases of durable goods. continued on: P10 GDP to grow at 1.3% in March: SBI REPORT India’s GDP is likely to grow at 1.3% in the fourth quarter of FY21 and may see a contraction of around 7.3% for the full financial year, according to SBI research report ‘Ecowrap’. The NSO will release provisional annual GDP estimates for FY21 on May 31 Patel actions: 8 leaders quit L’dweep BJP E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram AT LEAST eight office-bearers of the Lakshadweep BJP unit resigned from the party on Tuesday in protest against , administrator Praful Khoda Patel’s arbitrary actions that they fear will destroy the culture and peace of the Union Territory . Sources said more resignations will follow in the coming days as the efforts by the local unit to expose the antipeople activities of administration did not elicit any reply from the Central government. The resignation of officebearers is a big blow to the BJP leaders in Kerala including national vice-president A P Abdullakutty who is in charge of Lakshadweep and state president K Surendran. Both of them claimed that the issues in Dweep were created by Muslim organisations and the Left parties in Kerala for serving their vested agenda. Abdullakutty even said that administrator Patel was trying to implement the development dream of Narendra Modi in Lakshadweep. T hose who submitted resignation on Tuesday to Abdullakutty include former state vice-president M C Muthukoya, treasurer B Shukkoor and BJYM former general secretary Moham● More on P4 med Hashim. e x p r e ss r e a d Phase 3 trial of new antiviral drug in India New Delhi: Phase 3 clinical trials in nearly 2,400 people in India have begun to test the efficacy of experimental antiviral drug Molnupiravir against Covid, following regulatory approvals by the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation. It is an oral broad spectrum drug. 16 pages, including 4 pages of kochi Express Security Cover Why this BJP MLA can’t afford protection of central forces P r o n a b M o n da l @ Kolkata FOR Chandana Bauri, BJP’s MLA in Saltora, West Bengal, defeating the TMC candidate in the recent Assembly elections was easier than bowing to her party’s decision to provide all BJP Bengal legislators with central force personnel securi- ty cover. Chandana, the wife of a daily wage earner, found it impossible to offer the four central force jawans, who were sent for her security, daily meals or make arrangements for accommodation for them. Reason: the MLA’s husband, who is jobless because of the lockdown, and her two chil- dren reside in a dilapidated single-room hut with tiled-roof without running water or even a toilet. Touched by their protectee’s plight, the jawans have started buying vegetables from local groceries using their own money and giving it to the MLA for arranging meals for them and her family as well. BJP MLA Chandana Bauri along with the central forces sent for her security by the party, in front of her dilapidated hut in Saltora, West Bengal
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