tirupati l TUESday l jUnE 01, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION pLEA AGAINST Central Vista WORK REJECTED BY dELHI HC The court dismissed a petition seeking to stop construction activity at the site and imposed `1 lakh cost on the petitioner slams ill-intent, selective targeting The HC slammed the ill-intent behind selectively targeting the Vista work and said the project was of national importance that must be completed within the executive-set deadline of November 2021. The court dismissed the petitioner’s contention that a large gathering of workers at the site could become a super-spreader, saying Covid-19 protocols were in place ■ Jan 5 not genuine public interest litigation ■ ■ The Centre said the ongoing works were not for a new Parliament building, but to spruce up public amenities like new toilet blocks The government said the claims of the petitioner that there was no medical facility at the site was contrary to the ground reality The court dismissed the the plea, saying it was not a genuine PIL The sC gave green signal to the project by upholding its legality 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 Tough SC posers on vaccine policy, digital divide Kan u Sa r d a @ New Delhi The Centre had a torrid time before the Supreme Court on Monday as it was heavily criticised for its vaccination policy. A threejudge bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud posed searching questions to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on the policy and the rural-urban digital divide. Citing technical glitches on CoWIN application used for registration for vaccinations, Justice Bhat said he had received distress calls from all over the country and , added that young people, who had registered for vaccination, visit private hospitals, only to find all slots are booked. Asking to take its suggestions in the right spirit, the bench said: “We are not going to run the Central government and make policies for you.” Responding to the Centre’s request not interfere with the policy, Justice Chandrachud said is a platform for dialogue across the spectrum. “The idea is not to criticise, but to strengthen the arms of the government. The fact that MEA went abroad, had dialogue shows the seriousness of the situation,” he added. The Centre claimed it was confident of vaccinating all eligible persons over 18 years by this yearend. The court then gave two weeks to the Centre to file an affidavit responding to the questions raised during the hearing on the P7 vaccine policy . q u e s t i o n s a n d o b s e r vat i o n s 1 Article 1 of the Constitution says Bharat is a union of states, we are not a federation of states. In a time of national crisis, it is the Union which procure vaccines for the entirety of the country by negotiating What is the rationale behind 2 45+ getting free vaccines but asking states to make own arrangements for under-45? FY21 marks the worst performance of the country’s economy since 1951; major decline in private consumption and household spending; GDP grows at better-than-expected 1.6% in fourth quarter GDP growth at historic low of -7.3% A n u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi the Indian economy contracted 7.3% in 2020-21, posting its worst performance since 1951, government data released on Monday showed. Real GDP at constant prices stood at `135.13 lakh crore in FY21, against the first revised estimate of `145.69 lakh crore for FY20. Nominal GDP (at current prices) at `197.5 lakh crore for FY21 was 3% lower than `203.5 lakh crore in 2019-20. The 7.3% contraction, however, is better than the earlier estimate of 8% fall. The economy also grew 1.6% in the fourth quarter of FY21, bettering estimates of 1.1% growth. The positive growth in Q4 holds promise as private consumption, which accounts for 55% of the GDP showed a slight uptick -, from `21.04 lakh crore in Q4 of FY20 to `21.60 lah crore. Private investments, the second highest contributor to the GDP (34%), also showed signs of revival as they rose to `13.38 lakh crore from `12.07 lakh crore a year ago. For full year, though, private consumptions declined `7.6 lakh crore in real terms to `75.6 lakh crore despite pandemic forcing households to spend a fortune on healthcare, amid shortage of beds and oxygen. This drop was mainly on account of salary cuts, job losses and high medical bills. Private investments in real term also declined from `47.30 lakh crore to `42.20 lakh crore. State of the economy A quick look at how the economy struggled to cope with the Covid pandemic Sector-wise PERFORMANCE Growth rate (%) Indicators 2019-20 2020-21 Rice production 0.7 2.8 Fish production 4.4 17 Coal production -0.4 -4.8 Crude oil production -5.9 -5.2 Cement production -0.9 11.9 Steel cosumption 1.5 -6.7 Telephone subscribers -0.3 1.8 Commercial vehicle sales -28.8 -20.8 Passenger vehicle sales 17.8 -11.7 Passengers handled at airports -1.1 -66.2 Passengers kilometre (Railways) -10 -88.4 Export of goods & services -0.8 -1.7 Import of goods & services -4.6 -11.1 Manufacturing -1.4 -9.8 Mining 1.6 -7.8 Electricity 0.9 -0.5 Figures for Jan-Dec 2020 except for Bangladesh (July 2020-June 2021) and India (April 2020-March 2021. Source: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Source: World Bank, OECD, Govt data GDP growth is the lowest in India’s history since FY51, said Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist at India Ratings and Research. “The previous lowest PFCE (private final consumption expenditure) growth was negative 2.2% in FY80 and lowest GFCF growth was negative 9.5% in FY58,” he added. While public expenditure by the government rose 2.91% in FY21, it is much slower than the 7.88% rise seen in FY20. On the supply side, barring agriculture, electricity and utility HOW INDIA COMPARES WITH OTHER COUNTRIES GDP Country Growth in 2020(%) Bangladesh 3.60% Vietnam 2.90% China 2.30% South Korea -1.00% US -3.50% Japan -4.80% Germany -5.00% Thailand -6.10% India -7.30% Philippines -9.50% UK -9.80% services, all witnessed decline during FY21 and the services sector was severely hit, contracting 18.2%, followed by construction and mining at 8.6% and 8.5%, respectively . Sreejith Balasubramanian, Economist-Fund Management, IDFC AMC, said that with the onset of the second Covid-19 wave, the key aspects are how would household income and consumption shape up, the impact on and the contribution from the rural economy this time and investment cm lays stone for 14 medical colleges CM Jagan Mohan Reddy virtually laid the foundation stone for 14 government medical colleges and 14 nursing colleges on Monday. Construction of medical colleges at Pulivendula and Paderu already began. The project is estimated to cost `8,000 crore. CM Jagan virtually lays foundation for 14 medical colleges on Monday | Express New colleges to be ready by 2024 The construction of the new medical colleges and nursing colleges associated with them is expected to be completed by December 2023. Under NaaduNedu, medical infrastructure in the State is being strengthened at a cost of `16,300 crore. | P4 covid remedy Govt’s nod to Anandaiah’s medicine E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The State government on Monday gave its nod for distribution of three of five medicines prepared by B Anandaiah of Krishnapatnam for Covid-19. Eye drops and a medicine named K have not been permitted as study reports pertaining to them are yet to be submitted by experts. After the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and other organisations submitted their reports to the government, Ayush Department Com- missioner V Ramulu explained their findings to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at a review meeting. Later speaking to mediapersons, Ramulu said the concoctions prepared by Anandaiah are not Ayurvedic medicine as they do not follow any procedure or protocol. Further, Anandaiah is not a registered Ayurvedic medicine practitioner and his medicines have not been registered. “We do not have any evidence to say it is a cure for Covid-19. It can only be treated as a health supplement or a traditional health practice. The three medicines -- P, L and F were tested by CCRAS and it was found that the intake of concoctions does not cause any harm. Hence, the government has allowed their preparation and distribution by Anandaiah, strictly adhering to Covid norms,” Ramulu said, adding that the same was submitted to the High Court. P5 and lending behaviour. “With exports alone insufficient to drive growth in the medium-term, demand visibility and thus a growthcycle in employment and wages becomes critical,” he added. Going ahead, the aftershocks of the second wave and prediction of a third wave may keep the growth trajectory on shaky ground this year with economists saying the pace of vaccination will determine how fast the economic will recover. Explaining the numbers, Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian said while the overall economic impact of the second wave is not likely to be large, it would be difficult to predict exact growth number amid predictions of a third wave. “Our assessment is it poses some downside risk to growth in the first quarter,” he said, while admitting that the economy needs fiscal support. Sakshi Gupta, senior economist at HDFC Bank, said while the yearon-year numbers for the AprilJune quarter might look upbeat due to a low base, the sequential growth is likely to contract. “Looking forward, while the year-on-year numbers for the first quarter might look upbeat due to a low base, the sequential growth is likely to contract. In particular, with the spread of the virus more acute in rural areas in this wave, rural demand and sectors dependent on the rural economy might come under stress.” media muzzled High time to define limits of sedition law: SC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Stating it was high time to define the limits of the sedition law on free speech and media rights, the Supreme Court on Monday gave protection to two Telugu TV channels from coercive action by the Andhra Police. FIRs were registered against the two channels – TV5 News and ABN Andhra Jyoti – for airing the statements made by rebel YSR Congress MP Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju. “If TV channels say something (news), it cannot be called sedition,” said a three-judge bench, led by Justice D Y Chandrachud, while hearing a plea by the channels, which had invoked Article 32 of the Constitution to initiate contempt proceedings against the Jagan Reddy government for muzzling free speech. The court had earlier granted bail to Raju, who was also named as an accused in the FIR registered on May 14. “This is a case of muzzling the media,” the bench observed, adding: “We are of the view that the provisions of section 124A (sedition) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the IPC require interpretation, particularly on the issue of the rights of press and free speech.” Continued on P8 3 How are you ensuring that migrant agricultural labourers get vaccination? 4 25% of the 50% jab doses available to states, goes to private hospitals that primarily service urban areas. Core rural areas are getting left out NATIONWIDE MAY 30 may 31 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,65,553 1,52,734 2,76,309 2,38,022 3,460 3,128 May 30 30,35,749 doses May 31 25,52,501 doses Total doses: 21,58,18,547 Jab-o-meter Take your shot state wide MAY 30 may 31 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 13,400 21,133 94 7,943 19,845 98 govt extends partial curfew The State government on Monday extended the partial curfew till June 10 to contain the spread of Covid-19. However, the curfew relaxation timings of 6 am to 12 noon were not changed PF withdrawal allowed EPFO has allowed its over five crore subscribers to withdraw three months basic wages (basic pay + DA) or up to 75% of their PF as the second advance in view of the pandemic CM’s review meet State reports 1,179 black fungus cases, 14 deaths E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Fourteen out of 1,179 people infected with black fungus in Andhra Pradesh have died and 97 recovered. At present, 1,068 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals for black fungus in the State. The hospitals in the State are facing acute shortage of medicines to treat black fungus cases, Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal said. Taking stock of the situation at a review meeting on black fungus on Monday Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan , Reddy directed officials to make efforts to get adequate stock of medicines to treat the fungal infection. The officials informed him that the Centre, which controls the distribution of medicines for black fungus, is releasing the stock to States as per the quota. Efforts are being made to find alternative medicines to treat black fungus cases. Not only Covid patients after their recovery , but also non-Covid patients are found to be infected with black fungus, they said. Giving the details, Singhal said 1,139 Covid patients out of the total 1,179 were infected with black fungus after their recovery About 40 non-Covid patients were also in. fected with the fungal infection. Dispelling the theory that those who are on oxygen support for long and those who take steroid treatment are only getting infected, he said only 370 out of the total 1,179 black fungus cases, were on P5 oxygen support and 687 took steroid treatment.
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