BHUBANESWAR l Saturday l may 29, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION 30 states, UTs seek shorter CBSE Class XII board exams Holding exams risky: Delhi, Maharashtra According to Delhi and Maharashtra, allowing gathering at examination centres could cause massive risks of infection to students and teachers and these tests could turn into superspreader events. The other states also asked the Centre to organise shorter, 90-minute exams for all subjects, in which most questions will be objective or short answer types Except Delhi and Maharashtra, all other states have written to the Centre saying these tests are crucial for students’ future Examinations to results in 45 days ■ ■ “Most states are in favour of conducting shorter versions of tests for all subjects and completing the process from examination to results within 45 days,” said an official The official added if the tests are taken at all CBSE schools, it will raise the number of centres and will reduce crowding June 1 Final decision on class XII board examinations expected by then 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 ‘Won’t burden Centre for assistance amid pandemic’, Naveen shows statesmanship Why you are spending more J73 It’s not just your grocery bill that has gone up this year after the second deadly wave of the pandemic. The cost of fuel and industrial commodities, too, have gone north, as the accompanying charts show, fueling inflation average cost of petrol on May 27 last year CM urges PM to assist Odisha in building disaster resilient power infra and storm surge protection Petrol Prices (`/lt) E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e resilient as we are frequented by such climate hazards every year. Highlighted the demand for disasEven as the northern Odisha dis- ter resilient power infrastructure tricts have been severely affected and resilient coastal protection by cyclone Yaas, Chief Minister with storm surge resilient emNaveen Patnaik on Friday did not bankments,” Naveen tweeted. seek any immediate financial asThanking the Prime Minister sistance from the Centre, saying for visiting Odisha after the cythe State did not want to burden clone, the Chief Minister said he Union government amid apprised him of the largethe Covid-19 pandemic. scale devastation caused The State will manage the by the cyclone, steps taken by the government ahead crisis with its own reof the cyclone and the onsources, he said. going restoration efforts. Naveen, however, urged Special Relief CommisPrime Minister Narendra sioner (SRC) PK Jena told Modi to assist the State in mediapersons after the building a robust disaster review meeting that resilient power infrabuilding cyclone resilient structure and storm surge coastal infrastructure protection in the longAs the country is with modern design and term. at the peak of technology needs huge inThe Chief Minister, Covid-19 vestment. The State govwho attended the review pandemic, we meeting of the Prime have not sought ernment has offered to share the cost. any immediate Minister at Bhubaneswar financial The Prime Minister airport, said, “As the assistance and was told that the existing country is at the peak of would like to 1,600 km long saline emCovid-19 pandemic, we manage it bankments is not enough have not sought any imthrough our own to protect life and livelimediate financial assistresources hoods in the coastal areas ance to burden the CenNaveen Patnaik, from high tides during setral gover nment and Chief Minister vere cyclones. There are would like to manage it many vulnerable points through our own resourcof around 400-450 km in the emes to tide over the crisis.” However, the State government bankments for which the State flagged two issues at the meeting. government has to spend huge A disaster resilient power infra- money every year. Odisha badly structure in view of the frequent needed support of the Central natural disasters and strengthen- government for building storm ing of the embankments in coastal surge barriers due to the complexity of engineering and significant areas to withstand storm surge. “Sought assistance for long term costs of construction, the PM CONTINUED ON: P5 measures to make Odisha disaster was told. @ Bhubaneswar Average Retail Price Food items Sunflower oil (Packed) Palm oil (Packed) Soya Oil (Packed) Mustard oil (Packed) Vanaspati (Packed) Loose Tea Groundnut oil (Packed) Tur/Arhar Dal Gram Dal Onion Salt (Iodised) Masoor Dal Rice Milk (1 litre) Urad Dal Sugar Tomato Gur Moong Dal Atta Wheat Potato Prices (`) Prices (`) (As on May 27, 2020) (As on May 27, 2021) % change 110.94 87.2 101.78 118.28 90.52 220.09 147.51 93.78 67.65 20.69 16.08 77 34.2 46.77 103.69 39.7 18.9 48.32 111.66 31.29 28.86 25.72 172.57 133.24 151.01 168.84 128.82 282.59 175.64 107.84 76.75 23.46 17.85 85.44 35.98 49.17 108.68 39.44 18.25 46.03 106.12 29.3 26 19.16 55.55 52.8 48.38 42.75 42.31 28.4 19.07 14.99 13.45 13.39 11.01 10.96 5.2 5.13 4.81 0.71 -3.44 -4.74 -4.96 -6.36 -9.91 -25.51 All prices in Rs/kg unless mentioned otherwise Source: Ministry of Consumer affairs and commodity exchanges Steel (Hot rolled Coil) Copper 67,000 37,350 Lead Zinc Diesel Prices (`/lt) as on 28 May 2021 J66 7,57,400 4,13,400 Nickel Aluminium 84.61 91.87 87.46 89.39 89.7 92.24 92.25 90.93 93.75 90 93.59 express illustration New Delhi Mumbai Kolkata Chennai Bengaluru Hyderabad Bhubaneswar Thiruvananathapuram Vijayawada Patna Jaipur 93.68 99.94 93.72 95.28 96.8 97.36 94.46 95.66 99.43 95.99 100.17 as on 28 May 2021 9,05,200 1,94,350 1,32,000 1,78,550 1,34,250 2,33,500 1,56,200 13,16,000 average cost of diesel on May 27 last year Modi praises Odisha, announces `500 crore cyclone Yaas aid E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Appreciating the preparedness and disaster management by Odisha government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced a financial assistance of `500 crore to the State for immediate relief and restoration activities in areas affected by cyclone Yaas. The Prime Minister made this announcement after an aerial survey of the cyclone affected areas of Odisha and West Benagal. The assistance will be immediTook stock of the ately released to the State. damage caused The Centre will send an inter-ministerial team to the by cyclone Yaas. State to assess the extent of damage, based on which Undertook an further assistance will be given, the Prime Minister’s aerial survey across parts of office said. Odisha and West Modi assured the people of Odisha that Centre would Bengal. The closely work with the State government at this difficult entire nation time, extend all possible assistance for restoration and stands in rebuilding of the infrastructure in the affected areas. solidarity with Expressing condolence to the families who have lost those affected by their kin to the calamity the Prime Minister said that , the cyclone the government stands in solidarity with all those who Narendra Modi, suffered due to the cyclone. “Took stock of the damage Prime Minister caused by cyclone Yaas. Undertook an aerial survey across parts of Odisha and West Bengal. The entire nation stands in solidarity with those affected by the cyclone,” the PM tweeted. He announced an ex-gratia of `2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and `50,000 to the seriously injured in the cyclone. “We have to continue the focus towards more scientific management of disasters. As the frequency and impact of cyclonic systems are increasing in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, communication systems, mitigation efforts and preparedness have to undergo a major change,” the Prime Minister said, while also speaking about the importance of building trust among people for better cooperation in relief efforts. Modi appreciated Odisha’s disaster preparedness and noted that the State has embarked on long term mitigation efforts for dealing with natural disasters. He said that disaster mitigation has been given emphasis by the Finance Commission too by provisioning for mitigation funds to the tune of `30,000 crore. industry commodity Price in tonne May 2021 May 2020 Data Compiled by: Sesa Sen Interim bail to TMC leaders E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kolkata A five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday granted interim bail to three Trinamool MLAs, including two ministers, and a former mayor of Kolkata in the Narada sting operation case. Brushing aside Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s apprehension that the accused are influential and could tamper with evidence, the bench said: ‘’The investigation started four years ago. Why the CBI did not arrest the accused in past four years? They were influential when the probe was going on.” Meanwhile, it emerged that a sitting judge of the Calcutta high court wrote on May 24 to the all brother judges, including acting chief justice Rajesh Bindal, questioning the way the case has been handled. “Our conduct is unbecoming of the majesty the HC commands. We have been reduced to a mockery....I am requesting all of us to salvage the situation... (for) re-affirming sanctity of our P8 Rules,” the judge said. India supports probe into origin of virus India on Friday said it is in favour of further probe into the origin of Covid-19 and sought the cooperation of China for the same. India’s reaction comes days after US President Joe Biden asked intelligence agencies to submit a fresh report on the issue. The move has irked China, which said that the US is playing politics, and dismissed theories that the virus has originated from a lab | P7 Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding a cyclone review meeting with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik; and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s no-show Mamata skips PM meet, Centre recalls Chief Secy M A N IS H A N A N D and PR A N A B M O N D A L @ New Delhi/Kolkata The optics of the first in-person meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had lined up with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Kalaikunda, was as turbulent as cyclone Yaas itself, whose destruction they were expected to review, since the latter skipped the scheduled interaction. Defence minister Rajnath Singh expressed shock at the no-show, saying Mamata had violated the basic tenets of the Constitution’s NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 27 MAY 28 2,11,298 1,86,364 2,83,135 2,59,459 3,847 3,660 federal system. The first fallout was the Centre’s order to recall Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay , whose tenure was extended for three months just four days ago. Bengal has been asked to send him to the Department of Personnel and Training’s office in Delhi by May 31 morning. Mamata has to relieve him first before he can be sent back. Mamata later met Modi for 15 minutes and presented a sheaf of papers containing the state government’s assessment of the cyclone damage. As for the meeting, Jab-o-meter May 27 Take 26,58,218 doses your May 28 shot 28,07,411 doses Total doses: 20,86,12,834 the presence of the leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari was the trigger for Mamata’s anger, as Suvendu had defected from Trinamool to the BJP and defeated her in a tight race in Nandigram. But the Centre claimed invites to other Opposition leaders like Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Cong) too had gone out. But Adhir expressed his inability to make it as he was in Delhi for a meeting. However, he told this newspaper that he had been informed about the meeting only around 7.30 am on Friday “It was not possible for . me to attend it at such short no- oDISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 27 MAY 28 6,736 11,551 34 7,216 11,954 33 No GST relief for Covid vaccine for now, ministerial panel to look into it coMPENSATION The Centre will use the same formula of back-to-back borrowing for GST compensation for this year, estimated at `1.58 lakh cr. Centre will call a special session to discuss extension of compensation period to states beyond 2022 | P10 A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi THERE will be no immediate relief on GST over Covid-19 vaccine and medical supplies as the GST Council on Friday left taxes on these unchanged, though it decided to extend duty exemption on import of a medicine used for treatment of black fungus. The Council formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) to decide if any further exemption is required. “The GoM will submit its report on or before June 8. Any new rates will now be decided by the GoM,” FM Nirmala Sitharaman said. Currently, vaccines attract 5% GST. “The consensus was that before agreeing to fitment committee, a GoM should study if zero rated tax can be levied or formal tax of 0.1%,” said sources. Chhattisgarh commercial tax minister T S Singhdeo said the argument that Input tax credit can be claimed only on those zero-rated goods which are imported or from SEZ is wrong. “This is limited to IGST not CGST. Section 9, 17 and section 52 of the CGST Act say that there is a provision of zero rated tax,” he said. While there will be no immediate relief on GST over various medical surprises, a number of specified Covid-19 related goods such as medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators and other oxygen storage and transportation equipment, certain diagnostic markers test kits and Covid-19 vac- cines, will be exempted from IGST. “The council has decided to exempt the import of relief items even if they are purchased. If these are meant for donating to the government or on recommendation of the state authority to any relief agents. Also. This exemption has been extended till 31st August 2021,” Sitharaman said. Further, in view of rising Black Fungus cases, the above exemption from IGST has been extended to Amphotericin B. tice,” he said. The meeting in Odisha was attended by Chief Minister Navin Patnaik and also by Union ministers Dharmenda Pradhan and P C Sarangi, both hailing from the state. “The PM and the CM are not individuals, but institutions. Both discharge duties, swearing on the Constitution, for the public welfare. Such behaviour towards the prime minister is painful,” said Rajnath. Modi later announced financial assistance of `1,000 crore for Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand. e x p r ess r ead Twitter yet to follow new IT rules New Delhi: Google, Facebook and WhatsApp have shared details with the Centre but Twitter is still not following the IT rules, sources said. Twitter has only shared details of a lawyer working in a law firm as their Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer, sources added Nepal PM urges to form all-party govt, hold polls Embattled Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Friday urged all political parties to form an all-party government and hold fresh elections, as he tried to justify the controversial dissolution of the House of Representatives twice by the President | P9
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