KOCHI l wednesday l December 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION UAE becomes first country to switch to 4½-day work week The new work week, aimed at improving employees’ productivity as well as work-life balance, will kick off from January 1, 2022 Flexi-hours, work-from-home options Move to align with global markets According to the new schedule, the work timings from Monday to Thursday would be from 7.30am to 3.30pm, followed by a half day on Friday from 7.30am to 12 noon. Saturdays and Sundays are full-day holidays under the new rule. Further, employees would be offered flexible working hours and work-from-home options on Friday, a government release said ■ ■ ■ The new system will first be implemented in govt institutions, schools and colleges. Private entities are expected to follow suit The change is expected to align the Emirates with global markets The Emirati governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already announced the four-and-a-half day workweek eight Working hours per day from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, it’s 4 ½ hours 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 CM promises discussions on Waqf issue E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ T’Puram A meeting of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha at Singhu border in New Delhi on Tuesday | PTI Wary SKM wants proposal rework on setting up MSP panel, axing cases H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh A panel set up by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farm unions, on Tuesday sought clarifications and amendments on a set of draft proposals the Union home ministry sent to it in writing to address their demands and facilitate ending their year-long protest. The panel hopes to discuss the ministry’s response on Wednesday to take a call. While the draft said a committee comprising representatives from the Central and state governments, experts and representatives of SKM and other farmer outfits will be formed to look into the demand for a legal guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism, the SKM does not want other farmer unions in it. The SKM is unwilling to allow space to outfits that were not part of the agitation, said senior leader Balbir Singh Rajewal. Second, the draft says all criminal cases against farmers will be withdrawn after the agitation ends. “We will not accept it. The government should immediately begin the procedure to withdraw cases in a time-bound manner. The Punjab government has already announced its decision to drop the cases,’’ Rajewal said. Third, the draft has in principle agreed to give compensation to farmers who died during the course of the agitation. “Our Jab-o-meter Take your shot Dec 06 71,91,939 doses Dec 07 66,37,528 doses Total: 129,46,08,045 count of the toll is 700. The Centre can follow the Punjab model, which involves `5 lakh compensation and a government job to the next of kin,’’ said Ashok Dhawale, another senior SKM leader. Fourth, on the proposed electricity amendment bill, the Centre says it will bring a bill in Parliament after due diligence and talks No consensus yet While farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu claimed a consensus has been arrived at and “nearly all demands” have been met, the SKM said there was no such thing. The morcha will reconvene at 2 pm tomorrow for further discussion, it said in a statement later with all stakeholders, but the matter is already on the winter session’s legislative agenda. “During talks held earlier with the SKM, the government had said it would not bring this bill in Parliament,’’ pointed out Dhawale. Fifth, on stubble burning, the Centre had assured that there will be no criminal liability on farmers. “But amendments in the Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021 have made stubble burning punishable in Section 15. It should be amended,’’ added Dhawale. NATIONWIDE dec 06 dec 07 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 8,306 6,822 8,834 10,004 211 220 statewide dec 06 dec 07 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,277 5,833 30 4,656 5,180 28 IUML to strengthen stir AMID the controversy over the move to conduct the recruitment to Waqf Board through the Public Service Commission (PSC), Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has promised to hold detailed discussions and maintain status quo until a final decision is taken. The assurance was given to leaders of Samastha Kerala Jem-iyyathul Ulama at a meeting here on Tuesday . Pinarayi clarified that the Waqf Board itself had taken the decision to conduct recruitment through PSC and the decision was conveyed to the govern- Kozhikode: Perturbed by the LDF government’s move to sideline the party, the IUML has decided to strengthen its agitation against the government’s decision. “IUML made several interventions in the issue, but the government’s actions prove that it doesn’t have faith in the party,” said IUML secretary M K Muneer. P4 SpiceJet set to appeal Madras HC’s winding up directive E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ Chennai / New Delhi A day after the Madras High Court ordered the winding up of SpiceJet over its failure to make payments to a Swiss maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service provider, the private carrier said on Tuesday that it was planning to appeal. SpiceJet owes around $24 million to Zurich-based SR Technics, with which it has a 10-year a g re e m e n t t o ava i l M RO service. On Monday, the single-judge bench of Justice R Subramanian allowed the petition by Credit Suisse AG, which had been assigned the right to receive payments due to SR Technics and ordered that the airline be wound up. The operation of the verdict was, however, stayed for three weeks following a plea by the airline on condition that SpiceJet deposit $5 million with the court in two weeks. The court rejected the airline’s contention that SR Technics did not possess DGCA’s approval from 2009 to 2015, saying the airline had availed of the services. SpiceJet said the Swiss firm made the “fraudulent misrepresentation” of having DGCA approval. This, the company said, is contrary to Indian and other applicable laws and therefore, makes the entire agreement infructuous. “Since the agreement falls and is void, Credit Suisse as an assignee does not and cannot have any claim against the company SpiceJet said. ,” ment. He said the government was not adamant that PSC should handle the recruitment. Samastha leaders informed him about the campaign by certain quarters that non-Muslims will also get appointment in TN opens dam at night, Kerala loses sleep Nejma Sulaiman & Manoj V i s w a n at h a n @ Idukki/Kochi “IT HAS been days since we slept peacefully. When night falls, our anxiety grows. We have to keep a watch on the river as water can gush into our houses anytime. We have to look for safer places. There is no end to our agony. The government says Tamil Nadu is not heeding our requests. Whom should we approach?” asks 60-year-old Lasar. This has been a routine for Vallakkdavu natives since November 30, the day the water level in Mullaperiyar dam touched the maximum per- @ New Delhi Billionaires’ wealth soars The share of global wealth held by billionaires registered a record surge during the pandemic. Around 2,750 billionaires own 3.5% of the world’s wealth now, up from just 1% in 1995 The gap between the haves and have-nots in India widened further in 2021, according to the World Inequality Report 2022, released on Tuesday. Authored by Lucas Chancel, co-director of the World Inequality Lab, and coordinated by famed French economist Thomas Piketty, the report notes that the top 1% of India’s population owns more than one-fifth of the total national income and the top 10% owns 57% . In contrast, the bottom half owns just 13%. “India stands out as a poor and very unequal country with , affluent elite,” said the report by the World Inequality Lab, which does work through evidencebased research on inequality worldwide. According to the report, the average household wealth in India is `9,83,010, with the bottom 50% owning almost nothing as their average wealth is a paltry `66,280. The middle class is also relatively poor, with an average Residents wade through water which entered houses and shops in Vallakkadavu area on Monday night | Express missible level of 142 feet. It rains heavily in the afternoons and Tamil Nadu releases water in huge volume in the night leading to inundation of houses on the banks of the Periyar at Vallakadavu and Chappath, the immediate downstream areas. The indiscriminate release of water has made life hell for around 300 families in Vallakadavu. On Monday night, the entire area got submerged as 12,654 cusecs of water was released from 8.30pm. On Tuesday TN raised five , shutters of the dam at 5pm, releasing 2,099.95 cusecs of water. During daytime, the discharge was reduced to 143 cusecs. Though TN can take 2,300 cusecs through the tun- nel, they were drawing only 900 cusecs. As concerns grew about the release of water from Mullaperiyar without proper warning, UDF MPs protested in Parliament demanding immediate intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the issue. “We have sought an appointment with the prime minister. We have submitted a memorandum seeking his immediate intervention to maintain a safe water level in Mullaperiyar dam and to stop release of water during night,” Idukki MP Dean Kuriakose told ● More on P5 TNIE. EXPRESS READ No Omicron in 8 Covid +ve people T’Puram: The samples of eight passengers who arrived from at-risk countries have tested for negative for Omicron, Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday. The state has so far sent 10 samples of infected passengers from at-risk countries for genome sequencing. P2 Bank denies loan, youth ends life all AT SEA Matilda, 60, gives water to her bedridden mother, Alice, 82, on the verandah of the Kerala Maritime Board office at Valiyathura in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. Left homeless after sea erosion, the two had been staying at St Roch’s HSS for one-and-a-half years, with 70 people belonging to 15 families. They had to move out after the school reopened recently | B P Deepu Inequality report: 1% Indians own 20% of nat’l income E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e Waqf Board once PSC takes over the recruitment. Pinarayi told them that the campaign was false and that there is no basis for such concern. Various Muslim groups under the aegis of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) had mooted a proposal to use Friday gatherings in mosques for a campaign against the Waqf Board appointments. However, Samastha leaders did not support the proposal saying it did not want to create a law and order situation in mosques. IUML alleged that the government wanted to destroy the sanctity of Waqf properties by meddling with its authority P4 . wealth of `7,23,930. At the same time, the top 10% of the population owns around `6,354,070, while it’s a massive `32,449,360 for the top 1%. The report notes that India’s liberalisation policies have led to one of the most extreme increases in income and wealth inequality observed in the world. While the top one per cent has largely benefited from economic reforms, growth among low and the middle income groups has been relatively slow and poverty persists. US doctor with roots in Kerala boards NASA’s moon mission HOUSTON: A US Air Force of- Ukraine, Menon was a first reficer who has roots in Kerala sponder during the 2010 earthwould handle the flight quake in Haiti, 2015 surgeon duties when earthquake in Nepal, and NASA shakes the dust the 2011 Reno Air Show off its manned moon accident. mission in two years. He got his bachelor’s Anil Menon, 45, a lieudegree in Neurobiology tenant colonel in the US from Harvard in 1999 Air Force and a former with a Master’s in MeSpaceX first flight sur- Anil Menon chanical Engineering geon, was among the 10 from Stanford Universitrainee astronauts named on ty in 2004. In 2009, he graduMonday. A physician born to ated with an MD from Stanparents from Kerala and ford Medical School. Thrissur: A 26-year-old was found dead at his residence in Gandhi Nagar here on Monday. Family and friends of Vipin alleged that he died by suicide after a private bank denied him a loan for meeting the marriage expenses of his sister. P4 K’taka, TN can run services till Pampa T’Puram: The state government has allowed state road transport corporations of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to operate Sabarimala bus services till Pampa. Earlier, they had permission to operate till Nilackal. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express
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