chennai l thursday l june 03, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l vellore EDITION Big move to monetise rental housing market The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Model Tenancy Act, which offers legal protection to both owners and tenants States Can adapt it by amending laws Will unlock over 1 cr vacant houses Under the Act, separate rent authorities, courts and tribunals will be set up in districts. House owners can seek a maximum two months’ rent as security deposit from tenants, while it is six months’ rent for commercial property. States and Union territories can adapt the Act by enacting fresh legislation or amending their existing rental laws suitably ■ ■ Written Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said there are ‘1.1 crore vacant houses available for rent in the country, according to the Census 2011 The Act is expected to encourage owners to rent out their property Rental agreements to be submitted without the fear that tenants won’t vacate it later | P8, 10 to district ‘rent authority’ 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 Shadow over Centre’s 55-cr Covaxin target S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi THE Centre’s ambitious target of having 55 crore doses of Covaxin by December appears hard to achieve as Mumbai-based Haffkine Biopharma, one of the three companies Bharat Biotech has roped in to ramp up Covid vaccine manufacturing, will not be able to start production before February next year. The company is looking at a time line of eight months to roll out the first batch of Covaxin, said Sandeep Rathod, managing director of Haffkine BioPharma, a Maharashtra government undertaking. Sources told TNIE that a formal MoU between Bharat Biotech and Haffkine is still in the process of being signed. Haffkine has received `64 crore grant from the Centre and `94 crore from the Maharashtra government for the vaccine production. According to a government release, production will take place at the Parel complex of the company where , a biosafety level 3 lab will be set up with a capacity to produce 22.8 crore doses of Covaxin. The two other firms that Bharat Biotech has signed pacts with are central undertakings BIBCOL and Indian Immunologicals. Continued on: P8 policy prima facie arbitrary SC seeks full details on vaccine policy evolution, including file notings, in written order K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Terming the Centre’s vaccination policy as prima facie arbitrary and irrational, the Supreme Court in its written order sought all details on its formulation. The court directed the Centre to place on record all relevant documents and file not- ings reflecting its thinking while evolving the policy and , the purchase history of Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V so far. It also asked all states and Union Territories to specify their stand on providing free jabs. It saw a policy skew in allowing free vaccination for the vulnerable groups — those above 60 and the 45-plus with comorbidities — while enforcing a paid system for the rest. The order was part of the detailed hearing of Monday, which was made available on Wednesday . Countering the Centre’s pitch not to interfere in policy matters, particularly as the pan- sharp observations by Appears irrational Due to the importance of vaccinating individuals in the 18-44 age group, the policy for facilitating free vaccination for vulnerable groups under the first two phases, and replacing it with paid vaccination by state/UT governments and private hospitals for the 18-44 age group is, prima facie arbitrary and irrational. Under the liberalised vaccine policy that came into effect on May 1, the Centre is paying for the vaccines of the 60+ and people above the age of 45 with comorbidities. For the rest, the states can buy up to 50% of their vaccine requirements from manufacturers but they are paying a much higher price than the Centre. Private hospitals are paying even more. Addressing the Urban, rural digital divide The court asked the Centre to provide data on the percentage of population that has been vaccinated with one or three-member bench both doses, as against eligible persons in the first three phases of the vaccination drive. The data should include percentage of rural and urban population so far vaccinated. Vaccine production ramp up doable? While the Centre is confident of vaccinating everyone in the targeted age group by this December-end, the court sought full details as to how production of such high volume will be achieved. It also asked for an outline on how and when the Centre expects to vaccinate the remaining population. Pricing, dates of procurement demic situation was dynamic, the bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud said it does not intend to second-guess the wisdom of the Executive, but will determine “if the chosen policy conforms to the standards of reasonableness, militates against manifest arbitrariness and protects the right to life of all persons”. Regarding the pricing of vaccines, the bench asking the Centre to submit a cost comparison of the shots available in India as against their international price. “If `35,000 crore has been allocated for vaccine, why it cannot be used for vaccinating the 18-44 age group,” the court questioned asking the Centre to produce the entire file on its vaccine purchase history till date. It also sought the dates of procurement orders of all vaccines — Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V the number of doses ordered , and the projected date of supply . Can’t be silent spectators The Indian Constitution does not envisage courts to be silent spectators when constitutional rights of citizens are infringed by executive policies. Judicial review and soliciting constitutional justification for policies formulated by the Executive is an essential function, which the courts are entrusted to perform, the bench observed. It said across the globe, the Executive has been given a wider margin in enacting measures, which ordinarily may have violated the liberty of individuals, but are now incumbent to curb the pandemic. P7 TN-Centre tug of war over control of vax unit EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday renewed his request to the Central government to hand over the Integrate d Va c c i n e C o m p l e x a t Chengalpattu to the State government. “I wish to highlight the urgency of the moment, given the immediate commencement of vaccine production,” Stalin wrote in a letter, dated June 1, to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. Following the request, Stalin said, the Centre has informed that it intended to bring in a private partner on its own to operate the unused plant. The CM reassured that the State a month later... Puducherry Cabinet to swear in next week? Puducherry: A month after the declaration of election results in Union Territory of Puducherry, NDA partners, BJP and AINRC, have finally reached a consensus on sharing of ministers and posts such as Speaker, paving the way for induction of ministers in the N Rangasamy Cabinet. The ministers’ induction could happen sometime next week | P3 would wholeheartedly support putting the plant to full use, irrespective of whether the Centre or State operated it, and said there should be no further delay in the process. Meanwhile, speaking to reporters at Ayappakkam in Tiruvallur, State Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the Centre has sought time to inform its decision on handing over the plant and the State is expecting a positive reply soon. Deputy leader of DMK parliamentary party in Rajya Sabha, RS Bharathi, also represented to Jairam Ramesh, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, to convene a meeting to discuss the CM’s request. P4 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 1 june 2 1,27,510 1,32,788 2,55,287 2,31,456 2,795 3.207 June 1 22,08,941 doses June 2 22,45,112 doses Total doses: 22,08,62,449 Jab-o-meter Take your shot tamil nadu Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 1 26,513 31,673 490 june 2 25,317 32,263 483
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