Note it! An above average rise in note circulation in FY21 was reported by the RBI due to the pandemic. A look at the numbers Circulation 16.8% 7.2% Spike in value A500 share kollam l friday l may 28, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION RBI slowly withdrawing `2,000 notes from system Since 2018, K1.82 lakh crore worth notes have been pulled out of circulation. RBI had frozen printing of pink notes 2 yrs ago Rise in volume Notes were the most in circulation with a 31.1% RBI stats 85.7% Share of H500 and H2,000 notes in total value 9.7% Fall in note indent (reprinting) order 0.3% Fall in supply of banknotes Reason: Precautionary holding of cash by the public due to Covid-19 reducing dependency on high-value notes Ramping up printing of L500 notes The move indicates RBI’s intent to reduce dependency on high-value bank notes. From 33,632 lakh notes in circulation in 2018, the number fell to 27,398 lakh notes in 2021, a decrease of 6,234 lakh notes. In value terms, I2,000 face value notes worth I6,72,642 crore were in circulation in 2018, which came down to I4,90,195 crore in 2021, a decline of I1,82,447 crore | P10 ■ ■ ■ A former RBI official said the withdrawn notes could have been soiled ones, which were not indented (reprinted) by the bank RBI is ramping up printing of I500 notes to match the demand for cash. It now accounts for 68.4% of total notes in circulation Another reason for the withdrawal could be to dissuade hoarders 45.48 cr worth soiled K2,000 notes disposed of by the RBI in 2020-21 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 Bridging trials waived off for global vaccine manufacturers Sum i Su k a n ya D utta @ New Delhi The Centre has now decided to exempt foreign Covid-19 vaccine makers from bridging trials in India completely, after announcing last month that the first 100 beneficiaries of foreign vaccines will be assessed for seven days for safety outcomes before the vaccine is incorporated in the immunisation drive. The development comes in the backdrop of the negotiations between the Centre and Pfizer on the import of its vaccine, which is likely to begin in July. V K Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog, said in a press conference on Thursday that Pfizer has indicated the availability of its vaccine for India while other terms of the agreement are under discussion. “They have requested indemnity from all nations. We are examining this request. There is no decision as of now,” he added. A document, released by Niti Aayog to issue a detailed clarification on the narrative that the government is not doing enough to ramp up the supply said the Centre ‘proac, tively’ eased entry of vaccines approved by US FDA, EMA, UK’s MHRA and Japan’s PMDA, and WHO’s emergency use listing into India in April. “These vaccines will not need to undergo bridging trials,” said the statement. “The provision has now been amended to waive off the trial requirement altogether for the well-established vaccines manufactured in other countries.” first punch We will continue our constructive dialogue... It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public Twitter statement counterpunch The only instance of scuttling free speech... is Twitter itself and its opaque policies, as a result of which people’s accounts are suspended and tweets deleted arbitrarily without recourse Ministry’s statement Govt, Twitter turf fight gets nasty B i s m a h M a l i k @ Bengaluru Gloves were off on Thursday as the spat between Twitter and the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) turned ugly with the former calling , out the Centre’s new regulatory regime and the latter saying the platform has no locus in dictating India’s legal policy framework. Both claimed their goal was to protect the user’s privacy and the freedom of speech and expression. With Twitter claiming it was being intimidated by the Delhi Police for flagging BJP leader Sambit Patra’s tweet on an alleged Congress toolkit as ‘manipulated media’, the latter piled on it, calling the statement mendacious, “designed to seek dubious sympat hy a n d i m p e d e a l aw f u l enquiry”. “Twitter Inc. has taken upon itself, in the garb of terms of service, to adjudicate the truth or otherwise of documents in public space. Twitter is purporting to be both an investigating authority as well as an adjudicating judicial authority It has . no legal sanction to be either. The only legal entity... to investigate is the police and to adjudicate is the courts,” said Delhi Police spokesperson Chenmoy Biswal. The ministry said the company is refusing to comply with those very U nn i k r i s h n a n S @ T’Puram THE state government’s plan to design a social security scheme for children orphaned by Covid is commendable, but the alleged under-reporting of Covid deaths puts many deserving children at a disadvantage. On Thursday Chief Minister Pi, narayi Vijayan said the state has given shape to a package for the children who lost both parents because of the pandemic. He announced a one-time payment of `3 lakh for an orphaned child. The state will also give `2,000 per month till the child turns 18 and take care of his/her education till completing graduation. The second wave resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people in the 30-50 age group, leaving the lives of their children in uncertainty. Even by the official estimate, over 300 people in the age group died in the state in May alone. The public health experts say the actual number would be at MAY 26 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,08,921 2,95,955 4,157 MAY 27 2,11,298 2,83,135 3,847 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi Both claim their goal is to protect user’s privacy regulations in the intermediary guidelines on the basis of which it is claiming a safe harbour from any criminal liability in India. The Centre said that Twitter’s statement is an attempt to dictate its terms to the world’s largest democracy . The ministry charged Twitter with being complacent in taking action against those who incited violence during the Red Fort violence, promoting vaccine hesitancy through its platform as well as showing Ladakh a part of China during the border disputes between two countries. It asked Twitter to stop beating around the bush and comply with the laws of land. “Twitter is just a social media platform and it has no locus in dictating what India’s legal policy framework should be,” the ministry said. Earlier in the day, Twitter said it is planning to advocate changes in the core elements of the recentlyframed social intermediary guidelines. “To keep our service available, we will strive to comply with applicable law in India. But, just as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law,” the company said in a statement. Full statements of Twitter, MeitY & Delhi Police on newindianexpress.com Package for Covid-orphaned children out, under-reporting to cost many deserving NATIONWIDE Reforms for devpt, campaign aims at derailing projects: L’dweep collector 198 Covid male patients in the 30-50 age category died, says state govt 113 female patients in the same age group lost lives C10 lakh the Centre announced for each dist to back child victims We will provide a special package for children who have lost their parents to #Covid19. L3 lakh will be given as immediate relief and a monthly sum of L2,000 will be issued till their 18th birthday Pinarayi Vijayan, CM least four times that, thus denying the benefits to lots of children. “The number of small children losing parents has increased in the second wave. Since it has become a social issue, it is imperative that the governments announce more benefits by next year. Apart from statewide Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 26 28,798 35,525 151 MAY 27 24,166 30,539 181 financial support, it can be in the form of reservation in school admission or a fee waiver. But many affected children will not have the documents to claim the benefits. The systematic under-reporting of deaths will have long-term consequences,” said a public health expert. He pointed out a recent announcement by Tata Steel, which said it would compensate the families of its workers who died of Covid. “If the employee died of Covid in Kerala and his/her death was not considered as a Covid death here, then will the family get the benefit?,” he asked. Various state governments have come forward to address the issue at a time when public interest litigations have been filed in different high courts demanding compensation for the families of the dead. The central government also announced `10 lakh for each district to support child victims, but has counted only 577 as vic● More on P2 tims so far. Jab-o-meter May 26 Take 17,19,931 doses your May 27 shot 26,58,218 doses Total doses: 20,54,51,902 express read Online classes in state schools likely from July C K Janu suspended from party she founded Cliff House modification courts controversy T’Puram: Virtual sessions for students of classes I to X in schools following state syllabus will begin through the KITE-Victers channel on June 1 while class-level online instruction is expected to commence by July in a phased manner after ensuring availability of digital devices and internet connectivity to students, General Education Minister V Sivankutty said here on Thursday. Kalpetta: Citing misappropriation of election funds, Janathipathya Rashtreeya Party has suspended C K Janu as the state president for six months. In the process, she also earned the dubious distinction of being suspended from the outfit she founded five years ago as Janathipathya Rashtreeya Sabha. “Janu and a few BJP leaders indulged in vote trading,” said JRP secretary Prakashan Morazha. T’Puram: The public works department decision to accord administrative sanction for works to the tune of `98 lakh for the modification of restroom meant for security and housekeeping staff at the CM’s official Cliff House residence has kicked up a controversy. A section of the social media has criticised the spending of public funds without stricter scrutiny, at a time when the state is in a financial crisis. Police officers guide Lakshadweep Collector S Asker Ali, IAS, as he comes out of the Ernakulam Press Club, after addressing media on Thursday. AIYF and DYFI activists protested outside the press club against the new rules in the islands | A Sanesh Collector’s takes B5,000-cr worth infrastructure devpt projects being implemented on the island Serving meat in schools has been stopped to promote consumption of fish and egg which are produced locally Majority of the islanders have supported the reforms Anti-social activities prevention act to curb illegal activities like drug trafficking Cow protection act a policy decision and will affect only people associated with its illegal business THE recent reforms introduced by Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel were aimed at ushering in an age of development on the island and the misinformation campaign by vested interests intends to hamper development, said Lakshadweep Collector S Askar Ali. Majority of the islanders have supported the reforms, Ali said in Kochi on Thursday . Meanwhile, a meeting of various political parties in Lakshadweep decided to form a steering committee to coordinate protests against the reforms, which allegedly damage the cultural heritage of the island. "The committee will coordinate the protests and explore legal options to oppose the reforms," said NCP leader and Lakshadweep MP P P Mohammed Faisal after the meeting. BJP's H K Mohammed Kasim, Congress leaders Hamdullah Sayeed and U C K Thangal, and CPM's K P Salim attended the meeting. Listing the development projects launched by the administration, the collector said infrastructure development projects worth `5,000 crore are being implemented. To improve net connectivity on the islands, the Union government has sanctioned a submarine optical fibre cable project worth `1,072 crore, which will be completed by 2023-24. Assembly set to pass unanimous resolution T’Puram: Kerala assembly is all set to pass a unanimous resolution, expressing the state’s concerns about the developments in Lakshadweep. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Thursday that there wouldn’t be any difference of opinion in the state regarding the issues in Lakshadweep. “We've initiated steps for that,” he said. P4 EDIT: RETHINK REFORMS IN LAKSHADWEEP, REIN IN ADMINISTRATOR | P6 He said the administration has launched a project to develop Lakshadweep as an international tourism destination on the lines of Maldives. Three eco-friendly tourism water villa projects are being developed in Minicoy, Kadmat and Suheli. Keeping tourism in mind, liquor permits have been given at select tourist establishment, only for the tourists. The collector said the administration has taken steps to introduce freight from Mangaluru port in addition to Kochi to ensure the availability of essential commodities on the islands located at the northern end. The use of this sea route will reduce the navigable distance by about 75 nautical miles and save up ● More on P4 to 9 hours. Remove tax on Covid medicine, 7 states tell govt R a j e s h A s n a n i @ Jaipur AHEAD of the GST Council meeting on Friday, seven non-BJP ruled states have unanimously asked the Centre to remove the goods and services tax (GST) on medicines and medical equipment used to treat Covid-19. At the moment, these attract GST in various slabs ranging from 5% to 18 %. The states also sought early release of the outstanding GST compensation to all states. “The Centre should have zero rates on goods related to Covid so that there is no loss of input credit and con- Economy will take months to rebound due to Covid: RBI WHAT THE REPORT SAYS rally in the domestic equity Sharp markets despite expected GDP fall poses the ‘risk of a bubble’ Indian industry suffered deep losses due to the pandemic the pandemic hit most While sectors, it opened up vistas of expansion for domestic pharmaceutical firms Se sa Sen @ New Delhi WITH the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on India’s healthcare infrastructure as well as the country’s economy it , could take several months before glimpses of an economic rebound could be seen. “The near-term outlook is clouded, with an accentuation of downside risks and potential externalities of global spillovers,” the Reserve Bank of India said in its annual report for 202021, released on Thursday. Even as daily new infections have started dropping, it still “remains high for comfort” and the macro-economic costs of this wave are likely to spill over into July the central bank noted. , The slow pace of inoculation and bleak global economic outlook also add to uncertainty . Already, most economists have trimmed India’s real GDP forecast to settle at 7-8% in FY22. RBI, which had projected 10.5% for the current financial year may also follow suit as its projection was based on the assessment done in March. sumers can also get relief,” said Rajasthan Urban Development and Housing Minister Shanti Dhariwal in a virtual meeting of the finance ministers of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Rajasthan on Wednesday. Both the issues will be raised in the GST Council meeting on Friday, sources said. Both the issues will be raised in the GST Council meeting on Friday. States will also seek to enhance their additional borrowing limit to 5% of the GDP, sources said.
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