BENGALURU TUESDAY MAY 24, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 22 LATE CITY EDITION CAIT NOW TRAINS ITS GUNS ON ONLINE PHARMACIES The retailers’ body has alleged that e-pharmacies are resorting to deep discounting and violating the Drugs & Cosmetics Act DEEP DISCOUNTING AFFECT RETAIL CHEMISTS ‘CAN’T SELL PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ONLINE’ According to the Confederation of All India Traders, e-pharma firms such as Pharmeasy, Medlife, 1Mg, Netmeds and e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart are offering medicines at 30-40% discount plus free shipping. CAIT says predatory pricing and unfair business practices will impact the livelihood of lakhs of small chemists across the country ■ Predatory pricing is done with the sole intention of eliminating market competition, CAIT said. It also noted that sale of prescription drugs and medicines through online medium is illegal. The Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, does not permit home delivery as prescription “in original” is required, it added 75% DISCOUNT IS OFFERED BY E-PHARMACIES FOR WELLNESS PRODUCTS, CAIT ALLEGES CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Petrol tax slashed, but you aren’t getting full relief R A K E S H K U M A R @ New Delhi (From R) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the IPEF’s launch event in Tokyo on Monday | AP India joins pact for Indo-Pacific synergy, growth It covers half the population of the world and more than 60% of the global GDP Y E S H I S E L I @ New Delhi for Indo-Pacific is free and open,’’ said Biden. INDIA joined the Indo-Pacific The IPEF seeks to strengthen Economic Framework for Pros- economic partnership amongst perity (IPEF) that was con- participating countries with ceived by US President Joseph the objective of enhancing reR Biden and launched in Tokyo silience, sustainability, incluon Monday, with Prime Minis- siveness, economic growth, ter Narendra Modi saying he fairness, and competitiveness expects it to become the engine in the Indo-Pacific region, acof global economic growth. cording to a joint statement isThe IPEF covers half the sued on IPEF. population of the world and Amongst those who attended more than 60% of the the event virtually It isn’t a global GDP “India has . were leaders from traditional historically been at the Australia, Brunei, Infree-trade centre of trade flows donesia, Republic of pact: US in the Indo-Pacific reKorea, Malaysia, New g i o n , h av i n g t h e Zealand, Philippines, US National world’s oldest commer- Security Advisor Singapore, Thailand, cial port in Lohtal, Guand Vietnam. The Jake Sullivan jarat. India is commitIPEF will initiate dissaid the IPEF is ted towards working not a traditional cussions on trade, supwith all Indo-Pacific ply chains, clean enfree trade countries for an IPEF ergy decarbonisation, , agreement, which is both inclusive and Infrastructure adding new and flexible. The foun- challenges need and Tax and Anti-Cordation of resilient sup- new approaches. ruption among memply chains must be 3Ts The IPEF is part ber nations. — Trust, Transparen- of US efforts to Meanwhile, India cy and Timeliness,” counter China’s and the US signed an Modi said. Investment Incentive aggression on India is looking forAgreement (IIA) that trade in the ward to collaborating superseded a similar region with partner countries pact in 1997. The IIA under the IPEF framewas signed by Foreign work and work towards advanc- Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra ing regional economic connec- and US CEO of International tivity integration and boosting Development Finance Corpora, trade and investment within tion (DFC) Scott Nathan. The the region. IIA is a legal requirement for “The nations represented DFC, which covers various prohere today and those who will grammes, including debt, injoin this framework in future vestment guarantee, investare signing up to work towards ment insurance or reinsurance, an economic vision that will de- and feasibility studies for poliver for all peoples. The vision tential projects and grants. Priyanka to campaign for 2023 polls: DKS E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E NATIONWIDE MAY 22 MAY 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths KARNATAKA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,226 2,022 2,202 2,099 65 46 MAY 22 MAY 23 167 101 0 107 110 0 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT May 22 8,81,668 doses May 23 11,91,382 doses TOTAL DOSES 1,92,50,82,880 CONSUMERS were in for a shock on Sunday as the reduction in petrol prices thanks to the excise duty cut was lower than they had thought. Vehicle users in Delhi were expecting `9.50 cut in petrol prices but the reduction was only `8.69. Consumers in other cities also had to shell out more than expected. Reason: the state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) raised the base price of petrol overnight, which jacked up the net retail price. OMCs update the base price as and when backend crude and refining prices change. According to the price notification of OMCs, the oil companies increased the base price on petrol by 58 paise, making petrol almost `1 dearer. Following the hike in base price, the petrol costs `96.72 per litre in Delhi, instead of `95.91 per litre. It means people in Delhi were paying 81 paise per litre more at petrol pumps. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Saturday announced slashing the Cen- ‘Price benefits could be wiped out in a month’ The benefits of the excise duty cut would be lost in a month if the Centre allows fuel prices to be hiked like this, warned Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal tral excise duty on petrol by `8 per litre and `6 per litre on diesel. She claimed it would reduce the price of petrol by `9.5 per litre and of diesel by `7 per litre in Delhi. After confusion prevailed among consumers in Kerala on the real impact of the excise duty cut on fuel prices, the state’s finance minister K N Balagopal clarified that consumers in the state should have got a price reduction of `10.41 following the 8 cut in excise duty and the `2.41 reduction in state tax but the unex- ‘INSPIRING KIDS, NOT RELIGION, All-party meet on Bihar BEHIND TEXTBOOK REVISION’ caste census on Friday D O N N A E VA & S H I L PA P @ Bengaluru Minister for Primary and Secondary Education BC Nagesh on Monday officially released the newly revised social science textbook for Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC), while saying the focus of the revision was only on inspiring the students, and not on the religions of the writers. The just released textbook — 78 percent of the revised textbooks are already printed — includes a biographical chapter on Bhagat Singh written by author Dr G Ramakrishna, as well as a chapter on role models, ‘Nijavaada Aadarsha Purusha Yaaraagabeku?’, written by RSS founder KB Hedgewar. New chapters also included ’Shreshta Bharatiya Chinthanegalu’ by Shatavadhani Ganesh, author in Sanskrit and Kannada and an extempore poet in multiple languages; and ‘Thaayi Bharathiya Amaraputhraru’ by Chakravarty Sulibele, a writer who predominantly writes in Kannada and Hindi and who is the founder of Yuva Brigade (an organisation formed by likeminded individuals who intend to do something good for the country with the teachings of Swami Vivekananda as the guiding principles) and Sodari Nivedita (a women’s organisation started in September 2014 with a vision to spread the ideals of Swami Vivekananda). The revised textbook also includes passages on Sukdev, Shivarama Hari Rajguru, Narayanguru and Periyaar. Incidentally, the textbook had been revised twice. Previously, the textbook had four other chapters, including an essay on war by Kannada author Sara Abubaker, ‘Vyagragita’ by AN Murthy Rao (the first director of Kannada & Culture Department and who was known for his atheistic thoughts and writings). CONTINUED ON: P4 Edu-linked rows disturbing: Irish ambassador Irish Ambassador to India Brendan Ward said: “Multiple controversies do nothing positive for Karnataka’s international image. This is one of the most developed states in India. It is one of the richest and has traditionally had very high education standards. Some of the scenes we have seen over the last few months have been quite disturbing.” strong support base has been the upper castes. A caste cenIN a move that will force the sus could show a g reater BJP to take a clear stand on the number of OBCs and a reduced sensitive issue of caste census, population of upper castes, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish which strengthen the demand Kumar has called an all-party that the 50% reservation cap be meeting possibly on lifted. “It is all about May 27. Announcing OBCs, who have a sizthe decision on Monable population in Biday Nitish said there is , har,” said a political near-consensus on the analyst. date of the meeting BJP’s dilemma on though some parties the issue was clearly are yet to confirm. visible when senior The announcement party leader and depucomes two weeks after Nitish Kumar ty CM Tarkishore he had a one-on-one Prasad was evasive in meeting with RJD leader Tejas- his recently media interaction. hwi Yadav on the issue. He said the party was deliberatIn Bihar, caste remains the ing the subject and once a decimain factor for political groups sion was taken, it would be conto garner support of people in veyed to reporters. electoral politics but the BJP The Bihar Assembly had on has adopted an ambivalent ap- February 27, 2020 passed a resoproach towards the proposed lution requesting the Centre to exercise. While the BJP has hold caste census. It had passed made massive inroads into the a similar resolution on FebruOBC support base in Bihar, its ary 18, 2019. R A M A S H A N K A R @ Patna CM meets industry leaders, Lulu to invest `2K cr TALKS HELD WITH DASSAULT, NESTLE E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru KARNATAKA Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who is in Davos to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF), held a series of meetings with major industry leaders. While a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Lulu International Group for an investment of `2,000 crore in the state, many firms, including Dassault Systems, evinced interest to invest in Karnataka. The Lulu Group plans to open four shopping malls, a hypermarket and an export-oriented agri-processing unit in the state. The projects are expected to create employment opportunities for 10,000 people. Director of Lulu International Group AV Anantharaman, who met the CM in Davos, signed the MoU with state government officials. Bommai also held talks with heads of Jubilant Group, Hi- Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai holds talks with Lakshmi M Mittal, Executive Chairman of ArcelorMittal, at the World Economic Forum Meet in Davos, Switzerland CMO said Dassault evinced interest to invest in EV, modern production systems, industrial training for students in Digital 4.0 technology and Smart City project. Nestle showed interest in expanding the Nestle Instant Coffee unit in Nanjangud. The ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ project was discussed with Siemens to draw investments to Tumakuru, Hubballi-Dharwad and Mysuru. tachi, Siemens, Hero Motocorp, Dassault Systems and Nestle and showcased Karnataka as an ideal investment destination. The CM invited Jubilant Group to explore investment opportunities in pharma and FMCG sectors and made a pitch for the FMCG Park being set up in Dharwad. He explained the incentive package being offered by the Hitachi representatives expressed their interest to set up an EV charging infrastructure unit in the state. The company has showed interest in exploring opportunities in energy and digitalisation sectors considering the immense talent pool available in Bengaluru. Hitachi Energy has its head office in Bengaluru and is building an engineering centre which will engage about 2,000 engineers, the statement said. state government to draw investors to set up their units in the state. The group is keen to establish its R&D unit on a 10-acre plot at Devanahalli. Presently, about 9,000 people are working with Jubilant Group in the state, according to a statement issued by the C h i e f M i n i s t e r ’s O f f i c e (CMO). During talks with the CM, @ Bengaluru KPCC president DK Shivakumar said on Monday that Congress general secretary Priyan k a G a n d h i Va d r a w i l l campaign for the party during the 2023 assembly polls in Karnataka. “She has agreed to spend time in the state and will campaign during the assembly elections”, he told reporters in New Delhi. Shivakumar was in the national capital to finalise the party’s candidates for two MLC seats, from the assembly, election to which will be held on June 3, amid speculation of a rift between him and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah. On reports of Priyanka contesting the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls from Karnataka, Shivakumar said the matter did not P4 come up for discussion. JUST HANGING At `19 crore, a bridge to nowhere in Kumta SUBHASH CHANDRA NS @ Karwar THIS is a bridge to nowhere. Constructed at a cost of `19.18 crore to provide connectivity to the residents of remote Bogribail village, this mega-project was to span the Aghanashini river. But though the bridge is complete, it appears that the authorities forgot to build connecting ramps and roads leading to it. Resourceful villagers have now built a temporary ramp with arecanut tree stumps to use it to walk across. For Jayanth Naik, a villager pected base price shrank the benefit to `9.40. Base price may be changed on a daily basis or less frequently as the OMCs prefer, said Gaurav Moda, India Energy Leader, EY. The final price comprises base price, central excise, dealers’ commission and state VAT. Some taxes are absolute (like Central excise), some are levied as a percentage of the base price. So, the exact price reduction may vary from state to state. There is no such issue in the case of diesel. The bridge across Aghanashini river where villagers of Bogribail in Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada district have constructed a makeshift ramp to cross on foot from Bogribail, life has been nothing but jugglery for the last three years. He goes till the bridge on his bike and parks it under a big tree next to the riv- er. He then climbs the shaky ladder to the 30-foot-tall bridge and walks across to the other side to reach his destination. “This is like a house without a terrace. This bridge is almost of no use as no vehicle can go over it,” he said. The project was started five years ago to provide connectivity to Bogribail, Uppinnakatte and Aigle Kurve villages across the river by building the bridge and a road. The work was entrusted to the Karnataka Road Development Corporation. “We were taking a roundabout route to reach Honnavar or Kumta, which is 25 km long. This bridge can reduce our travel time, but it will happen only if the road is constructed,” said another resident Praveen Naik. CONTINUED ON: P5 EXPRESS READ Gyanvapi row: Court to decide on pleas today Lucknow: A local court in Varanasi on Tuesday will decide which petition is to be heard first in the Gyanvapi mosque case transferred to it by the apex court. District Judge A K Vishvesh on Monday heard arguments from both the Hindu and Muslim sides. P10 Vinai Kumar Saxena is new Lt Governor of Delhi New Delhi: Vinai Kumar Saxena, the chairperson of Khadi and Village Industries Commission, was on Monday appointed the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Saxena, 64, will succeed Anil Baijal who resigned last week citing “personal reasons” LICENSED WEAPONS Keep peace, not arms: Mann to Takht H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh AKAL Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Monday stirred the pot by urging all Sikhs to have licensed modern weapons, given the uncertain times they are living in. Hours later, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma took strong exception to the call, but Shiromani Akali Dal leaders supported it. Significantly, people in Punjab already have more than 3.50 lakh licensed weapons. The jathedar, in his address to mark the anniversary of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, urged Sikh boys and girls to keep traditional material arts like gatka alive. “Sikhs should also be armed with licenced modern weapons in today’s age,’’ he said while urging people to shun drugs. Akal Takht is the highest temporal seat of Sikhs. The jathedar is its high priest. Appalled by the statement, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann urged the jathedar to spread the message of peace, harmony and brotherhood, adding weapons don’t have any place in a rules-based civilised society. Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma said that jathedar should talk about communal harmony and peace rather than weapons, adding his statement gave a wrong message to the masses. For their part, Shiromani Akali Dal leaders justified the jathedar’s message, saying weapons are inte g ral to Sikhism. They said the call was in the context of the poor law and order situation in Punjab.
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