KALABURAGI THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION TATAS BID TO RE-ACQUIRE AIR INDIA 68 YEARS AFTER LOSING IT Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, on Wednesday submitted a ﬁnancial bid to acquire the loss-making carrier SPICEJET ALSO IN THE RACE, SAY REPORTS CABINET TO CLEAR THE WINNING BID If the bid by Tata Sons, the holding company of India’s largest conglomerate, is successful, it will mark the return of Air India to Tatas. The Tata Group founded Air India as Tata Airlines in October 1932 but lost it after the government nationalised the airline in 1953. SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh has also bid for the airline in his personal capacity, reports said ■ ■ The bid offering the highest price above the reserve price would be accepted. The winning bid will be examined by the transaction advisor before the recommendation is sent to the Cabinet Govt plans to sell 100% of its stake in AI, including AI’s 100% stake in AI Express Ltd and 50% in Air India SATS Airport Services Wednesday WAS THE LAST DAY FOR PUTTING IN FINANCIAL BIDS TO BUY AIR INDIA 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 Reforms, relief for bleeding telecom firms 100% FDI through automatic route; 4-year moratorium on all government dues; non-telecom revenues out of AGR J O N AT H A N A N A N DA @ Chennai THE Centre on Wednesday opened up the telecom sector to 100% foreign direct investment through the automatic route and announced a slew of measures to lift the distressed industry. These include a four-year moratorium on government dues such as adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and spectrum payments, besides rationaisation of spectrum charges. The government also tweaked the definition of AGR to confine it to telecom revenues, seeking to ease the `1.52 lakh crore burden on telcos caused by a 2019 Supreme Court order that held that the existing definition of AGR included nontelecom revenues. The moratorium on AGR dues provides an annual cash flow breather of around `14,000 crore for the industry, while the break on spectrum dues gives another `32,000 crore of annual cash flow relief, according to rating agency ICRA. Companies opting for moratorium need to pay interest on the amount and such firms will have the option to pay this interest by way of equity. Guidelines for the same will be finalised by the finance ministry . SURVEY OPS I-T sleuths search actor Sonu Sood’s properties E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Mumbai THE income tax department on Wednesday searched the Mumbai properties of film actor Sonu Sood, who has earned wide acclaim for his charity work during the pandemic. According to officials, the recent deal between Sood’s company and a Lucknowbased real estate firm is under the scanner and there was a mismatch in the account book. Therefore, a ‘survey operation’ was initiated on Wednesday they added. , The 48-year-old is known for his humanitarian efforts. He had organised special flights and buses for migrants stranded during the lockdown. He also arranged oxygen supply for Covid patients during the peak of the second Covid wave. Recently, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared him the brand ambassador for his government’s mentorship programme for school students. The move created a buzz that Sood may join politics, though the actor denied this. Reacting sharply to the survey, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged political vendetta behind it. “An I-T raid on a man as upright as Sonu Sood, somebody who has been called a messiah by lakhs of people, somebody who helped the downtrodden. If a man like him can be politically targeted in a well thought out witch-hunt shows that the current regime is insensitive and politically insecure,” said AAP leader Raghav Chaddha. Kejriwal tweeted that truth will prevail. “Sonu Sood has the blessings of lakhs of families, whom he had helped during their difficult times,” he tweeted. The relief on AGR and statutory dues will have a big impact on freeing up the telecom industry’s cash flow. Upcoming AGR due payments had placed serious financial constraints on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, which were struggling to arrange large-scale capital expenditure required for network upgradation and expansion. AGR dues of cash-strapped Vodafone Idea amounted to `58,000 crore and for Airtel, it `26,058 crore incentive scheme for auto sector The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Production Linked Incentive scheme for the auto sector to promote advance automotive technologies, including clean energy vehicles, with incentives worth B26,058 crore over a five-year period | P10 OVER HALF OF DAILY SEWAGE FLOWING INTO B’LURU LAKES EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru TENS of millions pumped into improving sanitation infrastructure may have literally gone down the drain. In a shocking revelation, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on management of storm water in Bengaluru Urban district, which was tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday noted that , more than 54 per cent of the 1,440 MLD (million litres per day) of sewage that is generated, is discharged into water bodies and drains in the state capital. “In the absence of required quality control methodology for drains, the lakes of Bengaluru are extremely polluted due to sustained flow of untreated sewage and industrial effluents, resulting in lakes frothing and catching fire repeatedly through waste floating on its surface,” the report said. Rampant mixing of sewage with storm water is posing a threat to public health. Sewage lines were drawn inside drains and large quantity of sewage was illegally let into them. Since wa- Heavy borrowings The state govt resorted to huge market borrowings of Rs 48,499 crore during 2019-20, resulting in 57% increase in cash balance for the current year at Rs 34,464 crore, compared to Rs 22,004 crore in the previous year, the Finance Audit Report said. P4 India calls out Pak, OIC for K-anard at UNHRC session EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE INDIA on Wednesday gave the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) a piece of its mind for raising Kashmir at the UN Human Rights Commission, calling it out for allowing itself to be held hostage by Pakistan. Exercising its rights to respond to comments made by Pakistan and the OIC on Kashmir at the ongoing session of the council, India said Pakistan has been globally recognised as a country openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists as a matter of state policy . The stinging response came from Pawan Badhe, first secretary in India’s permanent mission in Geneva. “India, as not only the world’s largest democracy but a robustly functional and vibrant one, does not need lessons from a failed state like Pakistan which is the epicentre of terrorism and worst abuser of human rights,” he acidly said. Pakistan, he added, has failed to protect the rights of its minorities, including Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Ahmadiyas. “Pakistan has been engaged in systematic persecution, forced conversions, targeted killings, sectarian violence and faith-based discrimination against its ethnic and religious minorities,” he said. Turning his attention to the OIC, Badhe said it has no locus to comment on Kashmir. “The OIC has helplessly allowed itself to be held hostage by Pakistan.... It’s for the members of the OIC to decide if it is in their interest to allow Pakistan to do so.” COVID WOES Couldn’t get ventilators for kin: BJP MLA E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru SHORTAGE of ventilators was among the major concerns during the peak of the Covid-19 second wave in the state and the government had to face flak from the Opposition as well as families of patients who were desperately looking for medical help. On Wednesday an MLA of the ruling , BJP himself took up issue in the Assembly and even blamed nonavailability of ventilators for the death of his relatives. “I am not talking against the government. I am just presenting to you the ground reality,’’ BJP was `43,000 crore. Reliance Jio only had to pay `190 crore as AGR dues by virtue of being a late entrant to the market. Among the other reforms announced by Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw are an 80% reduction in bank guarantees against licence fees. From now on, there will be no need to produce multiple bank guarantees to secure licences, he said. Interest rates and penalties on delayed statutory payments have also been cut, while the tenure of spectrum licences for future auctions has been raised from 20 to 30 years. With the enhanced FDI limit, the Centre expects to attract fresh investment in the sector. MLA Hartal Halappa, who represents Sagar constituency in Shivamogga district, said during Zero Hour in the Assembly while speaking on the issue of non-availability of ventilators. The lawmaker said that sometime ago, he even lost his sister-inlaw and brother-in-law as ventilator beds were not available in hospitals. Questioning the government on who should be held responsible for people not getting timely treatment, the legislator pointed out that a former Gram Panchayat president from Sagar had a fall and suffered brain haemorrhage. P4 I am not talking against the government. I am just presenting to you the ground reality. I even lost my sister-in-law and brother-in-law as ventilator beds were not available in hospitals Hartal Halappa, BJP MLA ter in drains is not treated, the untreated sewage from drains are flowing into water bodies, affecting the quality of ground water. This carries substantial risk of spurt in water-borne disease such as dengue, typhoid, cholera and others,” report said. The CAG report noted that rapid increase in the frequency of flooding in the city over the last few years, leading to destruction of roads, traffic congestion lasting several hours and extensive damage to public property and health, has highlighted the need for a thorough examination of the design, adaptability of infrastructure for the management of storm water and therefore, a performance audit was conducted. P4 IPL LIMITED AUDIENCE TO BE ALLOWED FOR MATCHES Games will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi with limited seating, keeping in mind Covid protocols, in the UAE NEP in schools to take off with lower classes P E A R L M A R I A D ’ S O U Z A @ Bengaluru THE Education Department is contemplating a phased introduction of the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) in schools from the 2022-23 academic year with focus on the first five years of schooling starting from Lower Kindergarten. The first five years of schooling come under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) under the NEP-2020. The department has constituted a cell that is coordinating with the Union Education Ministry for implementation of the plan. The thrust areas will be ECCE, Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, vocational education and school complexes. A task force for implementation of NEP in schools held its third meeting on Wednesday, with the next scheduled on September 22. Discussions have already begun, the implementation process has already been geared up, all works initiated for NEP2020 is being tracked, different tasks and timelines have been issued, and works are going on, said a department source. CONTINUED ON: P5 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT Sep 14 54,72,356 doses Sep 15 57,10,380 doses TOTAL DOSES 76,49,36,158 NATIONWIDE SEPT 14 SEPT 15 Fresh cases 25,404 27,176 Recoveries 32,127 38,012 Deaths 339 284 KARNATAKA SEPT 14 SEP 15 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 559 1,034 12 1,116 970 08 Cherry-picking names for tribunals angers SC this,” the CJI asked. ITAT appointments, too, were on simiT H E S u p r e m e C o u r t o n lar lines, the bench said. Wednesday came down heavily “As part of SCSC for NCLT, I on the Centre for cherry-pick- interviewed 534 candidates for ing names recommended by the judicial post and 400-odd for Search and Selection Commit- technical. Out of that we chose tees (SCSCs) for filling up tribu- 11 for judicial and 10 for techninal vacancies, adding it will cal. Of the judicial members, hold its hand for now on they selected four and hauling the government picked up three others up for contempt. from the waitlist. Same While the Centre with technical memclaimed it had notified b e r s. We t r ave l l e d 84 appointments in across the country for three different tributhis... But it seems to nals — National Com- Time sought be a waste of time,” pany Law Tribunal the CJI rued. “What is the (NCLT), Armed ForcVenugopal defended sanctity of the es Tribunal (AFT) and the government, citprocess if govt Income Tax Appellate ing a provision under has the last Tribunal (ITAT) — on the new Act. Justice word?” the bench September 12, a speChandrachud remindasked. The A-G cial bench led by Chief ed him that he was resaid, “Please Justice of India N V lying on a provision have it after a Ramana and comprisstruck down by the SC week. We’ll ing justices D Y Chanin July. When Justice reconsider nondrachud and L N Rao Rao emphasised the acceptance list.” took a swipe at it. government couldn’t The SCSC recomhave picked up people mended 11 judicial members from the list prepared for laterand 10 technical members for day vacancies, the A-G said the NCLT. But the appointment let- government was well within its ters suggest some members rights to do so. were cherry-picked. “We canVenugopal cited the The Trinot ignore selected candidates bunal Reforms Act, 2021, to asand go to waitlist. What type of sert the Centre’s dominance P8 selection and appointment is over such appointments. K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi EXPRESS READ Modi, Mamata, Adar on Time’s list West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made her debut on the list of 100 most influential people put out by Time magazine this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi continued to stay on the list, in the leaders’ category. The surprise element was Taliban’s negotiator with the US and Afghanistan’s new deputy prime minister Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was injured in a brawl with the Haqqani group in Kabul last week over the spoils of power and has since gone to Kandahar. The other Indian to figure on the list is vaccine czar Adar Poonawalla, who heads the Serum Institute of India
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