bhubaneswar l friday l june 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l late CITY EDITION select your LPG distributor scheme to get rolling soon Aim to foster healthy competition An upcoming pilot project in Ranchi, Pune, Chandigarh, Gurgaon and Coimbatore to give customers the right to choose distributors giving you more value for money The pilot project is a precursor for a national launch. While booking a refill through a mobile app/customer portal, you will see a list of distributors along with their ratings. You can choose any distributor from the list and rate their service. The idea is to give you a wider choice of distributors, while fostering a healthy competition among dealers to retain their base ■ ■ The drive to offer more value for money comes a year after the govt stopped subsidising refills not covered under Ujjwala Yojana The subsidy was nixed after an oil-price plunge brought refill cost on a par with subsidised rates of around `600. Though the prices have since crossed `800 a refill, subsidy has not been reinstated 28 crore Domestic LPg customers in India as of 2020 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 No devotees at Rath Yatra Naveen announces aid for 2nd consecutive year for Yaas-hit farmers E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in New Delhi on Thursday | Special arrangement Cabinet shuffle buzz on, Yogi to meet Modi today Pressure from leadership to allocate plum portfolio to a former PMO man in ministry Raut lauds Modi amid Maha Pawar point Mumbai: Days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had a one-on-one with the prime minister in Delhi, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut lauded Narendra Modi, saying he is the top leader of the country and the BJP. But tamping down speculation, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said their government will not only complete its term, the allies will contest the LS and the state elections together | P9 Stay with Amarinder as CM, says panel Chandigarh: The report of a Congress panel set up to address the ongoing rift in its Punjab unit, suggested continuing with Amarinder Singh as the CM and making him the face of the state elections. It also recommended accommodating rebel Navjot Singh Sidhu and revamping the state unit. The report was submitted to party president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday | P9 M ANIS H ANAND @ New Delhi Amid hectic parleys within the BJP to control damage in Uttar Pradesh after the second wave of the pandemic left a devastating trail, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday called on Union home minister Amit Shah. Adityanath is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, with indications suggesting the CM may not be able to avoid a state Cabinet reshuffle. Earlier, BJP chief J P Nadda briefed Modi on the inputs collated by party general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh and state in-charge Radha Mohan Singh, who had camped in Lucknow for two days. Modi is reportedly closely monitoring the BJP’s preparations for the state polls next year, with regular exchange of inputs between him and Nadda as well as RSS leaders. While the CM had recently termed the buzz of a Cabinet reshuffle as media speculation, sources said he will eventually have to fall in line as the top leadership is keen on a few changes ahead of the February 2022 state polls. A K Sharma, MLC and former official in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), is widely speculated to get a key portfolio in the state Cabinet. While the CM hasn’t been amenable to the idea so far, a top ranking BJP functionary told this newspaper that Sharma would be given an important assignment in the state. Sharma, incidentally, was in the national capital when Adityanath called on Shah. Sources said BJP leaders and top RSS functionaries concur that while Adityanath should lead the party in the polls, a few changes in his ministerial team are needed to dispel the perception that he’s running a highly centralised administration, against which even the MPs and MLAs reportedly nurse grievances. However, the CM is known to enjoy the patronage of the RSS leadership. For the record, Adityanath described his meeting with Shah as a courtesy call, saying he sought guidance. The dark shadow of coronavirus is set to deprive devotees from taking part in the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath at Puri this year too with the gover nment on Thursday announcing the festival to be conducted without mass gathering for the second consecutive year. The annual car festival is scheduled on July 12. Moreover, chariots will be pulled only at the Sri Jagannath temple in Puri. The government has prohibited Rath Yatra ceremony in other temples across the State. Other Jagannath temples can observe the rituals within their premises without any celebrations. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said that the Supreme Court’s guidelines on conducting the annual festival of Lord Jagannath will be followed this year too. Only sevayats having RT-PCR negative report (test done 48 hours prior Nationwide Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 9 june 10 92,596 94,052 1,62,664 2,219 1,51,367 6,148 June 9 31,31,759 doses June 10 30,32,675 doses Total doses: 24,58,47,212 Jab-o-meter Take your shot File photo Rath Yatra announced, temple managing body not yet The Odisha Government on Thursday decided to organise the annual Rath Yatra without any devotees. However, for the process to be smooth, it has to constitute the managing committee (MC) of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) because tenure of the last panel expired in March and a new body has not been formed yet | P4 odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 9 june 10 6,019 8,032 43 6,097 8,299 44 11 districts turn green zone The new cases saw a jump as 6,097 more people tested positive for the virus in last 24 hours against 5,896 cases two days back | P2 crimson crescent It’s not a glowing-red waxing moon, but the sun reduced to a crescent during an annular solar eclipse observed in Canada’s Ottawa on Thursday | AP to the festival) and those who are fully vaccinated will take part in the proceedings. No person except sevayats will be allowed to participate in the rituals, he said, adding, these will be performed with bare minimum people as was done in 2020. The SRC said pulling of chariots will be done by sevayats, police personnel or any other officials as permitted by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). However, all such persons must have been vaccinated with two doses or tested ne g ative through RT-PCR. Each chariot will be pulled by not more than 500 persons including sevayats, police personnel and other officials allowed by SJTA. Other rituals associated with Rath Yatra such as Snana Yatra, Gundicha Yatra, Bahuda, Nabami Darshan, Suna Besha, Adhar Pana Niti and Niladri Bije will be perfor med in a similar CONTINUED ON: P7 manner. Keep families small, Sarma tells Muslims P r a s a n ta M a z u m d a r @ Guwahati Calling upon the minority community to “practise small family size” to reduce poverty, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday warned of conflicts for living space in future if the population continued to explode. T h e s t at e ment came against the backdrop of the eviction of 200 encroachers, mostly immigrant Muslims, drawing criticism from some quarters. Urging the minority-based political party AIUDF and All Assam Minority Students’ Union to work on population control, Sarma said a day would come when people would settle down on the land of Kamakhya Temple, leading to conflicts. He said his government would take steps to encourage population control. The government stands for the development of all communities but it will need community support, he said. “To remove poverty we have , to educate Muslim women and control population. We are there to educate women. However, poverty will never get reduced unless you control your population,” Sarma said. enrolment of girls up, Gender US to process student visa gap in higher education down applications from June 14 E x p r e ss Ne ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi THE gap between girls and boys in higher education institutes seems to be narrowing as 49% of the students in colleges are now girls, according to the latest All India Survey on Higher Education. The survey for 2019-20, released on Thursday, showed that during the five-year period from 2015-16 to 2019-20, there has been a 11.4% growth in student enrolment. The rise in female enrolment during the period was 18.2%. The higher education survey estimates the total enrolment in higher education at 38.5 million – 19.6 million boys and 18.9 million girls. Uttar Pradesh has shown the highest student enrolment, MAJOR FINDINGS l Gross enrolment ratio up 11% over a period of five years, female enrolment increases by 18% l Gross enrolment ratio rose to 27.1% in 2019-20 from 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015 l No. of universities up 30.5% from 799 in 2015-16 to 1,043 in 2019-20; Colleges up from 39,071 to 42,343 l UP recorded highest student enrolment in India with 50.9% female and 49.1% male students followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) for the age group of 1823 years in higher education institutes in India is 27.1. The ratio for male population is 26.9 and 27.3 for females. For the scheduled caste cat- egory, it is 23.4 and for scheduled tribes, it is 18.0 compared to the national GER of 27.1. “The continuous rise in the enrolment, number of institutions and gender parity is a part of our country’s major move towards improving access, equity and quality in light of National Education Policy said higher education ,” secretary Amit Khare while releasing the report. The GER increased by minuscule 0.8% in 2019-20. The percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in higher education in 2019-20 was 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015. Total enrolment in higher education stands at 3.85 crore in 2019-20 compared to 3.74 crore in 2018-19. E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The US Embassy in India on Thursday said it will restart processing student Visa applications on June 14, bringing muchneeded relief to the community worried over the uncertainty surrounding the procedures in the aftermath of the pandemic. “Student visas remain a top priority and we are making every attempt to facilitate student travel in time for the fall semester. On June 14, we will open limited July and August student visa appointments at posts across India,” it said. Students were advised to visit https://ustraveldocs.com/in to view slot availability and VISA schedule appointments. “Prior to your visa interview, please review your I-20 program start date. Students beginning a new program with a start date on or after August 1 may travel to the US up to 30 days prior to the date and do not need to submit a request for a national interest exception,” the embassy said. The embassy said continuing students may also resume their programmes on or after August 1, and travel 30 days prior to the resumption date. “We are unable to approve expedited requests for Fall 2021 students. If your appointment date results in a potentially late start, please reach out to your school to discuss options,” it said. E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced a package for farmers affected in cyclone Yaas. The package includes provision of input subsidy for small and marginal farmers who suffered crop loss of 33 per cent (pc) or more and conversion of their short-ter m loans to mid-term loans. Besides, he announced a subsidy worth `20 crore on farm equipment for the affected farmers. He assured farmers that steps will be taken to expedite preparation of crop cutting reports so that claims of farmers registered under the Pradhan Mantri Phasal Bima Yojana will be settled quickly . Small and marginal farmers of non-irrigated areas will get input subsidy of `6,800 per hectare. Similarly, in irrigated areas farmers will get input subsidy of `13,500 per hectare. For all weather crops like mango, cashew nut, coconut and kewra, the input subsidy for crop loss has been fixed at `18,000 per hectare. According to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), the minimum input subsidy for all weather and other crops have been fixed at `2,000 and `1,000 respectively Similarly, affected . farmers will get 25 per more Input Subsidy Non-irrigated area - `6,800/ha Irrigated area - `13,500/ha All weather crops - `18,000/ha Pisciculture - `12,200/ ha for farm restoration; `8,200/ha for fish seed subsidy for 2021 kharif crop along with one lakh quintal certified paddy seeds. The subsidy amount will be directly deposited in the bank accounts of affected farmers. As per the package, an incentive of `1,500 per hectare will be provided to farmers who had adopted modern farm techniques. The incentive will be available for 36,000 acre of land where modern farm techniques were adopted in cultivation. Money for purchase of insecticide and pesticide will be directly credited to the accounts of farmers as per requirement. The CMO maintained that 2,000 pump sets and 3,000 sprayers will be provided to farmers in the affected areas at 50 pc subsidy. Similarly, far mers of Balasore and Bhadrak districts where saline inundation damaged crops in a large area, `750 per hectare (ha) will be provided for nutrient management and soil ameliorants for 10,000 CONTINUED ON: P7 ha. E X PRESS READ HIV+ve people remain outside vaccine radar Monsoon arrives a day early Bhubaneswar: People living with HIV (PLHIV) may have an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and fatal outcomes, but they seem to be out of the Odisha government’s vaccination radar. Despite high comorbid condition, most of the HIV patients have not been administered Covid-19 vaccine due to lack of coordination between Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS) and anti-retroviral treatment (ART) centres | P2 Bhubaneswar: Several parts of Odisha received heavy rain on Thursday as south-west monsoon arrived a day ahead of its normal date. The monsoon current, India Meteorological Department said, covered Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Gajapati, Ganjam, and parts of Bargarh, Balangir, Sonepur, Boudh, Kandhamal, Nayagarh, Khurda and Puri districts on the day | P3 From next year, pay `24.78 per ATM transaction after free monthly limit E x p r e ss Ne ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Withdrawing cash from ATMs will be costlier from January 1, 2022, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed banks to charge customers up to `21 per transaction (plus 18% GST, which makes it `24.78). Currently, the cap is `20 per transaction plus GST. The increase, according to RBI, is “to compensate the banks for the higher interchange fee and given the general escalation in costs”. While the banking regulator has set the upper limit, banks charge different rates within the limit. For example, SBI allows five free transactions in a month. Thereafter, it charges `10 plus GST for withdrawing money from its own machines. For non-SBI ATMs, this will be `20 plus GST. ICICI Bank levies a flat `20 plus GST from the fifth transaction onwards. RBI has also increased the interchange charge from `15 to `17 for each financial transaction and from `5 to `6 for non-financial transaction. Interchange charges are the fees a bank pays to another lender when the former’s customer uses the latter’s ATM to withdraw cash. According to RBI, the first five transactions in a month will be free if customers use their own banks’ ATMs. They are also eligible for free transactions (including financial and non-financial) from other bank ATMs – three transactions in metro centres and five transactions in non-metros. These changes are based on the report from a committee formed by the central bank in 2019 to review ATM charges. The committee had submitted its report in July 2020. The last time the interchange fee for ATM transactions was changed was in August 2012, while the charges payable by customers were last revised in August 2014.
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