chennai l saturday l june 26, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l late city EDITION Pakistan remains in Financial Action Task Force’s ‘grey list’ The Paris-based money laundering & terror financing watchdog said Islamabad is yet to implement the action plan given to it in 2018 Pak told to Act on HOME-GROWN TERRORISTS $10 bn per annum loss for islamabad FATF said Pakistan must act on UN-designated terrorists based in the country such as JeM chief Masood Azhar, LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and its ‘operational commander’ Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. Islamabad has time till October to implement the action plan. FATF will undertake on-site visits to see if Islamabad is really doing its bit to curb terror financing ■ ■ FATF said Pakistan has failed to check risk of money laundering, leading to corruption and terror financing The Pakistan government claims it has passed legislations to curb black money and that the country has been losing $10 billion annually since it was placed in the grey list three years ago P10 June 2018 When Pakistan was placed in the terror finance watchdog’s grey list 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 Income tax relief for Covid treatment expenses, ex-gratia E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi IN a huge relief to Covid patients and their families, the Centre on Friday said all payments made by an employer towards an employee’s Covid-19 treatment as well as ex-gratia payments made to the family in case of death, will be exempt from tax. Acknowledging the large number of deaths and the financial difficulties faced by the family members of Covid victims, the finance ministry said many employers and organisations have extended financial help to such families. “In order to provide relief to the family members of such taxpayer, it has been decided to provide income-tax exemption to ex-gratia payment received by family members of a person from the employer of such person or from other person on the death of the person on account of Covid-19 during FY201920 and subsequent years,” it stated. While full exemption will be offered for any amount received from the employer, it shall be limited to `10 lakh if the amount is received from any other entity or person. Many not in sync with Centre’s roadmap; Mehbooba will abstain if special status is not restored, but PDP will contest state elections Day after, parties push for J&K statehood before poll F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar/New Delhi A day after the Centre unveiled its roadmap for the resumption of the democratic process in J&K, leaders of several parties said restoration of statehood must precede Assembly elections, while PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti claimed she would not enter the fray till special status under Article 370 is restored, though her party would. Explaining her rationale, Mehbooba said, “Otherwise they will say I am doing it for political gains. If PDP wins the polls, I will not be chief minister.” However, she said that her party would contest the polls as it cannot leave any democratic space otherwise it will be taken away by other forces. Mehbooba is the third J&K leader to decide not to contest polls. NC vice president Omar Abdullah and another party leader Aga Ruhullah have already made their entering the fray conditional to the restoration of full statehood. Senior National Conference leader and Gupkar Alliance coordinator Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi said holding of Jab-o-meter Take your shot June 24 54,07,060 doses June 25 54,48,406 doses Total doses: 31,43,72,466 NATIONWIDE june 24 june 25 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 54,069 68,885 1,321 51,667 64,527 1,329 tamil nadu june 24 june 25 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 6,162 9,046 155 5,755 8,132 150 Different strokes Centre Statehood to J&K to follow delimitation exercise and Assembly elections National Conference Wants restoration of statehood before J&K goes to polls PDP State polls after restoration of special status under Article 370 polls while J&K remains a Union Territory is not acceptable. “In Assam, they kept on hold the delimitation process and held Assembly elections while here they say delimitation will precede elections (while it remains a UT),” he pointed out. Another NC leader Imran Nabi Dar said the party’s position is clear: grant of statehood should be the first confidence building measure of the Centre. Articulating the stand of the Congress, senior party leader P Chidambaram said: “Congress and other J&K parties and leaders want statehood first and elections afterwards. Government’s response is elections first and statehood later. The horse pulls the cart. A state must conduct elections. Only such elections will be free and fair. Why does the government want the cart in front and the horse behind? It is bizarre.” Senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, who is also spokesperson of the Gupkar Alliance, told this newspaper that they had not attended the all-party meet in Delhi for holding elections. “None of us had gone there to demand elections.” Union home minister Amit Shah had on Thursday told the all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that while the Centre is committed to restoring statehood, it will happen after the delimitation process and the Assembly elections are over. “We did not get answers to our concerns. The PM did not offer anything concrete in terms of assurances,” Tarigami said. P10 j e g a dee s w a r i pa nd i a n @ Madurai “Can we kill people, throw money at them and say our job is done? Is that the society we want to build?” the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court asked the State government and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) here on Friday . A bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice TS Sivagnanam orally raised the question while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed challenging NHRC’s decision dated October 25, 2018 to close a suo motu case initiated by the commission on the Thoothukudi Police Firing incident. “It is somewhat alarming that the State through its police fires at unarmed protesters and no one is booked even three years after the incident. It may not augur well for a civilised society governed by the constitu, tional principles that we have, to merely throw money at the families of the victims and give closure to an incident of possible brutality and excessive police action,” the Bench observed. continued on: p4 PTR to script bulk of Budget speech For the first time in several years, the State Budget speech will be written by the presenter himself, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagrajan. The minister, speaking at a webinar organised by IIM Bangalore Alumni Association, said that he would be writing a bulk of the Budget speech himself, unlike former ministers who relied on IAS officers. When one asked what a ‘PTR Budget’ would look like, he said that the nature of politics is ments for the above decisions shall be proposed soon. The ministry has also extended some key tax compliance deadlines. These include the last date for furnishing TDS Sept 30 new deadline for Aadhaar-PAN linking The deadline to link Aadhaar with PAN has been extended by three months to September 30 that one should not go too far in building one’s own aura. “We are all part of a Cabinet and the same team. I do not want to make it look like there is a separate kind of PTR view of the world. There is a CM’s view... we all execute it.” “I would say philosophically two to three , things about the Budget that will be different this year from the last. First thing is, I will write the bulk of the Budget... many of the documents that are purportedly written by ministers and presented are actually written by IAS officers,” he said. Citing an example on the proceedings in GST Council meetings, Thiagarajan said, “I was told that in the first 42 meetings, representatives from TN did not write a single word of the speeches prepared and presented on the State’s behalf. They were all given by the IAS officers of the Commercial Tax Department and they were read.” P5 certificate in Form 16 to the employees by employers, which has been extended from July 15 to July 31. The deadline for making payments under the Vivad Se Vishwas direct tax dispute resolution scheme has also been extended by two months till August 31. Taxpayers have the option to make payments till October 31 with an additional amount of interest. #UnlockTN exercise continues E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday extended the ongoing lockdown in Tamil Nadu for another week, from June 28 to July 5, albeit with more relaxations. Public transport, which was allowed only in four districts, has now been extended to 23 more. This would mean, June 28 onwards, buses will be operated in 27 districts across the State. Besides, more relaxations have been allowed for the remaining 11 districts where the cases are on a declining trend. As was done already, all the 38 districts have been segregated into three categories, namely 1, 2, and 3. Category one has tit-bits No relaxation in hotels; only takeaways allowed Beaches across State will be opened for the public to walk between 5 am and 9 am Match box industries can function with full workforce across Tamil Nadu Shopping malls/complexes can function between 9 am and 7 pm in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu 11 districts — Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai. The districts that fall under category two (23 districts) are Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Kanniyakumari, Krishnagiri, Madurai, Perambalur, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Ranipet, Sivaganga, Theni, Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, Tirupattur, Tiruvannamalai, Thoothukudi, Tiruchy, Villupuram, Vellore and Virudhunagar. The third category has the four northern districts — Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu. The relaxations were announced on a day the State recorded 5,755 fresh cases of Covid-19. As many as 150 deaths, too, were reported, taking the toll to 32,051, and the total caseload to 24,55,332. continued on: P7 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Union Minister for information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday complained that social media giant Twitter had denied him access to his account for around an hour. Twitter’s action followed complaints that he had violated copyright laws by posting clippings from TV debates. A Twitter a spokesperson said, “We can confir m that the minister’s account access was temporarily restricted due to a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice only and the referenced tweet has been withheld. Per our copyright policy we re, spond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorised representatives.” Prasad posted a series of tweets in which he alleged Twitter’s actions were in ‘gross violation of Rule 4(8) of the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021’. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said this had happened to him as well and a ‘hyperactive DMCA’ was to blame for it. express read Nine cases of Delta Plus variant reported in TN 7 booked for assaulting doc, staff in Kovai hosp Pharmeasy to acquire Thyrocare for `6,300cr Ex-Kerala police chief secures interim bail Madurai: Tamil Nadu has reported as many as nine cases of Delta+ variant of coronavirus. It includes four patients from Chennai, three from Tiruvallur, one from Kancheepuram and a deceased patient from Madurai | P4 Coimbatore: A week after the IMA held a strike demanding law against violence on medicos, seven people were booked for allegedly assaulting a doctor and staff at a private hospital over an outburst on treatment cost | P2 Mumbai: Startup Pharmeasy on Friday announced acquiring diagnostics chain Thyrocare Technologies in a deal worth `6,300 crore, including buying the controlling stake from its founder A Velumani | P14 Thiruvananthapuram: A local court on Friday granted interim bail to former Kerala DGP Siby Mathews, who is arraigned as an accused by the CBI probing the conspiracy angle behind the 1994 Isro espionage case FISCAL WOES Debt-to-GDP Thoothukudi firing: NHRC, ratio swells to State govt in HC’s line of fire 58.73% in FY21 T h e r o a d not t a k e n CP B a l a s u b r a m a n ya m @ Chennai Shailesh Kumar, partner, Nangia & Co, said, “Though the relief is granted retrospectively from FY20 onwards, since the due date for filing ITR for FY20 has already expired, it would be important to see whether the government revives the time limit for filing ITR for FY20.” The finance ministry said necessary legislative amend- Twitter blocks minister for an hour, faces fury E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi IN another sign of the country’s worsening fiscal situation, the Central government’s total debt at the end of financial year 202021 has reached 58.73% of the GDP the high, est since 2007-08 when the debt-to-GDP ratio was 58.86%. The government’s total debt reached `116.2 lakh crore as on 31 March 2021, registering a 6.36% jump in the January-March quarter, according to a finance ministry report. At the end of December 2020, total debt stood at `109.2 lakh crore. In 2019-20, the ratio was 48.6%. The government’s total market borrowPublic debt ings also exceeded the The country’s total revised budget estipublic debt (Centre mate of `12.74 lakh and States) is likely crore for FY21. The to have touched gover nment had to 90% of the GDP in borrow `13.20 lakh 2020-21, the crore to finance a part highest ever of the fiscal deficit of recorded. In 2019`18.21 lakh crore. Rest 20, the total public of the fiscal deficit is debt to GDP ratio financed by money colwas 70% lected through small savings schemes and external assistance. During the January-March quarter of 2020-21, the Centre issued government bonds worth `3,20,349 crore against `76,000 crore in the year-ago quarter. Consequently , the rate at which the government borrowed during the fourth quarter also increased from 5.68% in the October-December 2020 quarter to 5.80%. “Yields on government securities hardened in the secondary market due to increase in supply of G-secs during the quarter. Further, hardening of yields was more on the short end of curve due to increase in weekly borrowing and also announcement of resumption of normal liquidity operations by the RBI,” the FinMin report said.
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