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 Rise in volume `500 Notes were the most in circulation with a 31.1% share vijayawada l friday l may 28, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION RBI slowly withdrawing `2,000 notes from system Since 2018, `1.82 lakh crore worth notes have been pulled out of circulation. RBI had frozen printing of pink notes 2 yrs ago RBI stats 85.7% Share of `500 and `2,000 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 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, `2,000 face value notes worth `6,72,642 crore were in circulation in 2018, which came down to `4,90,195 crore in 2021, a decline of `1,82,447 crore | P10 Ramping up printing of `500 notes ■ ■ ■ A former RBI official said the withdrawn notes could have been soiled ones, which were not indented (reprinted) by the bank RBI is ramping up printing of `500 notes to match the demand for cash.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 `2,000 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 S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ 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 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 Both claim their goal is to protect user’s privacy E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/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 sympathy and impede a lawful 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 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 Pandemic clouding near-term economic outlook, says RBI 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 2020-21, 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 cen, tral bank noted. 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 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 assess- ment done in March. For now, however, RBI has retained its projection. “This is the most optimistic scenario that can be envisaged at this juncture – it provides a limited window to establish strict pandemic protocols and logistics, ramp up vaccines production and medical supplies, fill gaps in the health infrastructure and build up stocks, especially of vaccines, in preparation for the next wave of infections. In all other outcomes, losses in terms of lives, jobs and output are likely to be adverse and long lasting” the RBI noted. Price instability the RBI said, , remains a key concern constraining monetary policy from utilising any available room to support growth. predicament Covid fear forced them to live in fields, untimely rains sent them back home CP Ven u g o pa l @ Anantapur Out of fear of contracting coronavirus, about one fourth of the total 1,900 population in Duradakunta village of Kalyandurg mandal in the district left their houses and started living in agriculture fields. But untimely rains in the district sent them back home. It all started after ‘Chekka Bhajana’ was organised in the village on April 21 marking Sri Rama Navami. The devotional programme attracted a large number of people from Duradakunta and neighbouring villages. Villagers also invited their rela- The village secretariat at Duradakunta in Anantapur district | Express tives to their houses for celebrating Sri Rama Navami. After the end of festival, the number of Covid cases increased in the village. Of the seven deaths that took place Production of covaxin in Gujarat counterpunch in the village in the subsequent weeks, three of them were confirmed as Covid-19 fatalities. Several people in the village developed suspected symptoms of Covid, which scared the villagers. About 500 people, who were frightened with the developments, left their houses and started living in makeshift shelters set up in the agriculture fields. Having learnt about it, medical and health staff visited Duradakunta and started conducting Covid tests, besides creating an awareness among villagers about precautions to be takP4 en to keep the virus at bay . Distraught Relatives attend to a woman who passes out while mourning the loss of a family member who succumbed to Covid-19, at a crematorium in Jammu on Thursday | PTI Hester Biosciences on Thursday said an MoU has been signed between Bharat Biotech (BB) and Gujarat Covid Vaccine Consortium of four firms to produce Covaxin. While BB will provide technology, Gujarat Biotech Research Centre will handle the tech transfer. Hester shall provide its full infra in Gujarat and Omnibrx Biotech will be the tech support partner Govt defers SSC exams, to take a call next month E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The State government has postponed SSC examinations scheduled from June 7 in view of the second wave of Covid-19. Asserting that the government is in favour of holding the SSC and Intermediate exams, Education Minister A Suresh said they will announce the revised exam schedule after reviewing Covid situation next month. Despite the demand from various sections, including the Opposition parties, to cancel the exams for this academic year and promote students to the next class in view of the pandemic, the government which is firm on conducting the exams, released the schedule. With the spike in Covid cases, the Education Department had written to the government to postpone the exams at least for a month as partial curfew is in force and several schools have been converted into isolation centres. Amid this, the government deferred the SSC exams on Thursday . Speaking after attending a review with Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on education, Suresh said they are determined GST council meet Remove tax on Covid medicine, clear GST dues, 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 nonBJP-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 consumers 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. The virtual meeting, hosted by Rajasthan minister Dhariwal, was attended by West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, Punjab’s Manpreet Singh Badal, Jharkhand’s Rameshwar Oraon, Chhattisgarh’s T S Singh Deo, Kerala’s K N Balagopal and Tamil Nadu minister Palanivel P10 Thiagarajan. NATIONWIDE MAY 26 MAY 27 Fresh cases 2,08,921 2,11,298 Recoveries 2,95,955 2,83,135 Deaths 4,157 3,847 statewide MAY 26 MAY 27 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 18,285 24,105 99 16,167 21,385 104 Jab-o-meter May 26 17,19,931 doses Take your May 27 shot 26,58,218 doses Total doses: 20,54,51,902 Petrol price touches `100 a litre in Tirupati E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada covid-19 spread in rural areas still less: Singhal Giving a different picture on incidence of Covid-19, Principal Secretary (Health) AK Singhal said 29.46% of population lives in urban areas and 70.54% in rural areas. If we take Covid cases reported per lakh, we get 383 in urban areas and 248 in rural areas, which shows that the virus spread in rural areas is still less, he said to conduct the SSC and Intermediate exams keeping in view the future of students. The conduct of the SSC and Intermediate exams is very much essential for the future of students. The Centre is also making efforts to conduct the CBSE exams, he said and added that the State also suggested to the Centre to hold the exams. “A majority of teachers’ unions also opined the same and asked the government to go ahead with its decision to conduct the exams. We are exploring all possibilities to conduct the SSC and Intermediate exams for the benefit of students,” he said. P4 The prices of petrol and diesel touched an all-time high in the State on Thursday The . price revision effected by Oil Marketing Companies for the third time in a week saw petrol costing `100 per litre in Tirupati. In Vijayawada, petrol is priced at `99.80 per litre and diesel too reached a record high of `94.09 per litre. The fuel prices increased by more than `25 from `74.50 per litre petrol and `68.43 per litre diesel in Vijayawada in May last year. They remained constant for nearly a month before the revision after Assembly polls in five States. On March 7, the price of petrol stood at `97.27 per litre and diesel at `90.80 per litre. In April, petrol was priced at `96.66 per litre and diesel at P4 `90.17.
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