Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova celebrates after winning the French Open women’s title on Saturday | AFP HYDERABAD SUNDAY JUNE 13, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION TWO GREATS PARRY IN PARIS, SET, MATCH & EVERY POINT World No 1 Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 in one of the most exquisite semi-ﬁnals at French Open DJOKOVIC ‘ON TOP OF MOUNT EVEREST’ Nadal did lead the first set but by the time it was done, the Serb had got a solid opening into Friday’s match. Forget who you support. The 90-minute third set is reserved for eternity where two of the sport’s greatest pushed each other their limits. Djokovic’s words aptly describes the match, “You have to kind of climb Mt Everest to win against this guy,” he later said ■ 18 NEW CZECH-IN: WOMEN’S CHAMP BARBORA ■ ■ Barbora Krejcikova wins maiden Grand Slam title at French Open beating Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 The World No 33 becomes the first woman from Czech Republic to win a Grand Slam title in 40 years MEN’S FINAL: Djokovic vs Tsitsipas at 6.30pm (SUNDAY) | P11 NUMBER OF GRAND SLAM TITLES DJOKOVIC HAS WON 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 tax on black fungus medicine; levy on several Covid essentials slashed; vaccine to be continued to be taxed at 5% GST COUNCIL OFFERS COVID RELIEF A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi THE GST Council on Saturday decided to maintain status quo on tax on Covid-19 vaccines, which will continue to be taxed at 5%. However, the Council, which met via video-conferencing to discuss the recommendation by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on essential Covid supplies, slashed rates on medical grade oxygen, Covid testing kits, hand sanitiser and other items used in Covid-19 relief and management till September 30. “Five per cent GST on vaccines continues. The Centre will buy 75% of vaccines as announced earlier and will also pay its GST. However, 70% of income from GST will be shared with states,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told media after the GST Council meet. The FM explained that the existing 5% GST on vaccines will not be a burden on users as the Centre is paying for 75% of the vaccines which are given to citizens free of cost. However, those who go to private hospitals for vaccination will have to bear the cost of GST. The Council also removed the 5% tax on black fungus medicine Amphotericin B. Also, the rate on Covid drug Remdesivir has been lowered from 12% to 5%. The Council said more medicine will be added if it is recommended by the health department. Sitharaman added that the tax cuts are valid till September 30 this year as against August-end recommended by the GoM. The timeline may be extended, if required. However, the Council decided against cutting tax on RTPCR machines, RNA extraction machines, and genome sequencing machines. These items currently attract 18% GST. In the last GST Council meeting the finance minister announced a GoM headed by Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to examine whether any GST concessions or exemptions should be given on Covidrelief items. The GoM gave its recommendations on Tuesday and after that a single agenda meeting was called. However, finance ministers from Congress ruled States expressed disapproval on not providing zero-rate on Covid relief items and they walked out before the meeting concluded. NIRMALA TO CONSIDER HARISH’S REQUEST TO RAISE BORROWING LIMIT EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad RATES CUT From 5% to 0% Tocilizumab Amphotericin B From 12% to 5% Anti-coagulants like Heparin Remdesivir Medical grade oxygen Oxygen concentrator Ventilator, ventilator mask / helmet BiPAP machine High flow nasal canula device Covid testing kits Pulse oximeters From 18% to 5% Hand sanitizer Temperature check equipment Gas/ Electric/other furnaces for crematorium From 28% to 12% Ambulances `4K cr of losses UNION Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responded positively to Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao’s request to increase the borrowing limit under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act from the present four per cent to five per cent. While participating in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting on Saturday from BRKR Bhavan, Harish Rao informed Sitharaman that Telangana had suffered a revenue loss of `4,100 crore in May due to the implementation of the lockdown. In light of this, he requested her to increase the borrowing limit. Sitharaman assured Harish Rao that she would examine the same. Harish Rao said that the State was facing financial problems due to the lockdown and they did not know for how long the lockdown would continue. If the borrowing limit was increased under the FRBM Act, then the economic activity of the State would pick up and more employment could be provided to citizens, he said. If the Centre increases the borrowing limit to five per cent, the State can Harish Rao informed Sitharaman that Telangana had suffered a revenue loss of `4,100 crore in May due to the implementation of the lockdown raise an additional `10,500 crore loan in the current fiscal. The State has proposed to borrow `49,300 crore State Development Loans in the 2021-22 Budget. It may be mentioned here that the State has already raised loans of `7,500 crore so far in the first quarter of the current fiscal and is raising another `3,000 crore State Development Loan on June 15. Harish Rao supported the GST Council’s decision to reduce the tax on Covid-19 related materials. He wanted the Centre to provide Covid-19 vaccine doses to the States at the earliest and import vaccine doses as per the country’s requirement. The vaccination drive should be expedited in the wake of warnings of a third wave of Covid-19, he suggested to the Centre. Samples of zoo lions found contaminated? Six more counters opened at Tirumala Chennai: The three samples sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad for genome sequencing of the coronavirus strain that infected Asiatic lions in Arignar Anna Zoological Park, have allegedly been found leaking and contaminated | P5 Tirumala: The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has opened six more registration counters to provide accommodation to devotees. TTD Additional EO AV Dharma Reddy inaugurated the counters at Tirumala on Saturday and said arrangements were made in place for devotees. WITH THIS ISSUE CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF MANY KINDS PLUS 12 PAGES SAD eyes revival, BSP Huzurabad foothold with Punjab pact seat vacant as MEMORY LANE CJI Ramana gets nostalgic about Hyd H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi CHIEF Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana recalled his emotional attachment with Hyderabad during a function to felicitate him, organised by the Telangana High Court here on Saturday . The CJI, on a three-day visit to the city, recalled his memories from the year 1982 when he started his practice and from later when he was elevated as Judge of the then composite Andhra Pradesh High Court. Justice Ramana said ever increasing arrears and insufficient number of judges in the High Court made him quickly act upon these issues and recommend the Central government to increase the judges’ strength to 42. He expressed immense happiness over the overwhelming reception and affection shown to him by the legal fraternity and the people of the State. Chief Justice of Telangana High Court Hima Kohli welcomed the CJI. She praised Justice Ramana for his concern over the problem of ever increasing pendency of cases and for taking immediate steps to enhance the strength P4 of judges from 24 to 42. EXPRES READ GREENICIDE Trees chopped to make way for the Falaknuma rail over bridge lie beside a road, on Saturday in Hyderabad | S SENBAGAPANDIYAN THE Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday announced that they would contest the 2022 Punjab Assembly election as allies. The alliance comes at a crucial time for both the parties, with the SAD seeking to regain lost ground amid backlash over sacrilege case and its initial support to the Centre’s agri laws, and the BSP attempting to stay relevant on the national scene at a time it is facing existential crisis in its traditional stronghold, Uttar Pradesh, which also goes to the polls next year. The announcement was made jointly by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and BSP national general secretary S C Mishra, with the former calling it a ‘historic day’ in Punjab politics. Badal said the BSP will get 20 seats scattered across Malwa, Magha and Doaba regions, while SAD will contest from 97 in a house of 117. Mishra called upon the Dalits to support the alliance. At 28.9%, Punjab has the highest proportion of Dalit population, the traditional vote base of BSP. Through this tieup, the BSP seeks an encore of the 2019 LS poll results, when its vote share rose to 3.49% from 1.9% of the 2014 polls. Banks write off `1.53 lakh crore bad loans in FY21 to look good SESA SEN @ New Delhi INDIAN banks wrote off loans worth `1.53 lakh crore in 202021 to show low non-performing assets (NPAs) in their books, an analysis of the numbers released by individual banks show. This is the second-highest amount being written off in a financial year in the past decade. The highest write-off was in 2018-19 at `2.54 lakh crore. What is worrisome is that loans that have remained bad for years have been erased from the balance sheet of banks at the stroke of a pen. Corporate houses are among the biggest defaulters. Write-offs were high during Q4 of FY21 comprising 55.65% of total NPA written off in the year. Banks were sitting on `1.2-1.4 lakh crore worth unrecognised bad loans as of December 2020, which were identified after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on NPA classification. Yes Bank saw the sharpest surge in write-offs at `17,208 crore in FY21, followed by PNB WRITE-OFFS IN THE PAST 4 YRS 2018 2019 2020 2021 K1.44 K2.54 K1.45 K1.53 lakh crore lakh crore lakh crore lakh crore LOANS WRITTEN OFF IN FY21 `34,403 cr State Bank of India ICICI Bank `9,608 cr `17,208 cr Yes Bank `15,877 cr PNB Axis Bank Bank of Baroda Central Bank of India UCO Bank `13,906 cr `14,878 cr `5,992 cr `9,411 cr (`15,877 crore), Bank of Baroda (`14,878 crore), Axis Bank (`13,906 crore), ICICI Bank (`9,608 crore), and Central Bank (`5,992 crore). SBI wrote off `34,403 crore worth of bad loans in FY21, though it was lower than the previous year’s `52,387 crore. Meanwhile, Punjab & Sind Bank managed to reduce writeoffs by an impressive 96% to `70.51 crore in FY21 from `1,781 crore a year ago. Explaining the trend, Care Ratings’ chief economist Madan Sabnavis said gross NPAs shot up 43.7% from `7.1 lakh crore in March 2017 to `10.2 lakh crore in March 2018. After FY18, the NPAs witnessed moderation and reached `8.9 lakh crore by March 2020 driven by write-offs and lower slippages. Over the last two years, public sector banks registered substantial contraction in their gross NPAs and they are expected to be around `6 lakh crore by March 2021 compared with `6.8 lakh crore in March 2020. Eatala resigns, set to join BJP EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad “ vacancy has arisen to 31-HuA zurabad Assembly constituency”, was the notification issued on Saturday by State Legislature Secretary V Narasimha Charyulu, two hours after former minister Eatala Rajender tendered his resignation as an MLA. With the vacancy notified by the Assembly, the bypoll for Huzurabad segment may be held within six months. On Saturday, Rajender, accompanied by his followers, paid floral tributes to martyrs at the Martyrs’ Memorial at Gun Park before submitting his resignation letter at the Speaker’s office. He is all set to join the BJP on June 14, in the presence of BJP national president JP Nadda. Speaking to mediapersons after resigning, Rajender said he neither had a “Left” nor a “Right” agenda, and declared, “My only agenda is to end the feudal and dictatorial rule in the State.” He said that those wh o we r e e l e c t e d f r o m other parties were continuing as Ministers in the TRS govCONTINUED ON P4 ernment. DEEP DIVE High unemployment, dependence on remittances causing backwardness of TS Muslims MD NIZAMUDDIN @ Hyderabad EMIGRATION to the Gulf is not uncommon among Muslim families residing in the Old City area of Hyderabad. But corroborating this information with the data that unemployment is as high as 21 per cent among Muslims in the Old City gives an insight as to what might be the underlying cause. While emigration is common across Telangana, the dependence on remittance is higher among Muslim families due to socio-economic backwardness. As per the data available, the number of Muslim households receiving remittances is about twice as much as Hindu households. Another statistic that highlights the higher dependence on remittances among Muslims is while 19 per cent of Hindu families look at remittances as a source of pursuing education, among Muslim families it is 35 per cent. These, and other such data derived by analysing National Sample Surveys conducted in the ‘Inland North-Western’ and ‘Inland North-Eastern’ regions of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh provide a multi-faceted view of the hurdles that cause socio-economic backwardness among Muslims in Telangana. These have been presented in a book titled ‘Muslims in Telangana — A discourse on equity develop, ment and security .’ The book has been authored by academicians who were involved in the Telangana government’s ‘Commission of Inquiry on Socio-Economic and Educational Conditions of Muslims’ and has been edited by Chairperson of the Commission and retired IAS officer G Sudhir, educationist MA Bari, Dr Amir Ullah Khan of Dr MCR HRD Institute of Telangana (MCR-HRDI) and Prof Abdul Shaban from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), CONTINUED ON P2 Mumbai. KEY STATS FROM THE BOOK EMPLOYMENT EDUCATION Unemployment rate as high as About 11 per cent Muslims in the 5-15 age group are not going to school Only 7.4 per cent share in State Every second Muslim child/person in the age group of 16-20 years is not attending school 45 per cent among Muslims in the 20-24 age group government jobs, while their population share is 12.68 per cent Share in IAS, IPS and IFS posts in Telangana only 2.94 per cent Percentage of dropouts from education as high as 61 per cent in 18-20 age group Muslims’ share among doctors 49 per cent of Muslim OBC and advocates — 7.7 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively households in rural areas have no literate females HEALTH Occurrence of hypertension and diabetes higher at younger age as compared to other communities Habit of fat-rich food among the many factors causing high blood sugar among Muslims 24 per cent of children under age five are stunted and 13 per cent are severely stunted Low child mortality rate compared to other communities URBAN HOUSING The intensity of spatial concentration is the highest Very large number of households are in slums Many moneylenders operate in neighbourhoods
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