$ Foreign institutional investors are exiting India as they find US and European markets, with rising interest rates, more attractive Highest ever sale by foreign investors ■ Source: NSDL Selling spree likely to continue So far in 2022 (calendar year), FIIs have pulled out a whopping $21.3 billion (`1.62 lakh crore) from India, making it the highest ever net sale by foreign investors in Indian stock markets in less than five months. It has also dragged half the Nifty 50 shares into a bear market. A financial asset slips into a bear market when it falls more than 20% from its recent highs May* 17,144 * Till May 24 April March February nagapattinam l wednesday l may 25, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION FIIs pull out $21 billion from India so far in 2022 January BIG PULLOUT 34,966 41,123 35,592 Outflow (H crore) 33,303 Total 1,62,128 ■ Analysts expect FIIs to continue their selling spree, at around `32,000-33,000 crore a month, till the US Fed pauses rate hikes Meanwhile, fund flows into domestic equities via participatory notes (P-notes) rose to `90,580 crore in April from `87,979 crore in March as investors shifted base from China to India | P10 `52,987 cr Amount pulled out by fiis FROM INDIA DURING THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS 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 Centre imposing economic crisis on States, violating rights: Stalin E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ Coimbatore BJP fumes as Rahul meets known India baiter Corbyn E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi CONGRESS leader Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with British MP Jeremy Corbyn, who is known for his ‘anti-India’ views, in London has snowballed into a controversy back home. Rahul, who is on a visit to the UK, had met Corbyn on Monday and the Indian Overseas Congress shared a photo of the two along with Sam Pitroda, a close aide of the Gandhis. Demanding a clarification from the Congress, the BJP on Tuesday alleged the photo is Rahul’s endorsement of Corbyn’s position on Kashmir. “Rahul Gandhi meets UK MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who is known for his hatred and dislike for India, advocates Kashmir’s secession. Or how long and how much one can go on against one’s own country tweeted Union minis,” ter Kiren Rijiju. BJP’s national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said Rahul is a leader whose statement was once quoted by Pakistan in the dossier submitted to the UN against India. “The picture in which Rahul Gandhi is seen with Corbyn shows how Gandhi scion loves to be with those who nurture anti views against India”, Bhatia said. Defending the meeting, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said there is nothing unsual in political leaders having divergent meeting. Surjewala also shared a picture of Corbyn with PM Modi and asked, “Does it mean PM has endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s views on India?” NATIONWIDE May 23 May 24 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,022 2,099 46 1,675 1,635 31 tamil nadu May 23 May 24 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 35 32 0 59 36 0 Glad tidings Chief Minister MK Stalin opened the sluice gates of the Mettur reservoir to release Cauvery water for kuruvai cultivation in Delta districts, on Tuesday | V Sakthi | P4 India-US thrust on critical and emerging tech Want our ties to be closest on earth: Biden committed to make the IndiaUS partnership the closest on Amid US President Joe Biden earth,” Biden said. assuring Prime Minister Both leaders reviewed the Narendra Modi during their progress made in the India-US meeting in Tokyo that he is Comprehensive Global Stratecommitted to make the bilat- gic Partnership wherein they eral partnership the closest on are committed to strengthen earth, the two sides announced their defence partnership and the launch of a new initiative collaborate on health and panon critical and emergdemic preparedness. i n g t e c h n o l o g i e s China-Russia “Even though trade air drama (iCET) by their respecand investment betive National Security tween the two counChinese and Councils. tries is expanding it Russian India also joined the still is much below our warplanes on Combined Maritime potential, the India-US Tuesday Forces (CMF) based in conducted joint Strategic Partnership Bahrain as an associis a partnership of air patrols over ate member. The CMF the Sea of Japan, trust. Our shared valis a naval coalition of ues and our common the East China over 30 countries that i n t e re s t s. . . h ave Sea and the upholds rules-based strengthened the West Pacific order by countering Ocean during the bonds of this trust,” non-state actors on the Quad summit in Modi said adding that high seas and promotwith the India-US InTokyo, in a ing security, stability message of unity vestment Incentive and prosperity across Agreement he hoped the world’s most important to see concrete progress. shipping lanes. “The US has overlooked InA White House readout of dia’s stand on Russia, primarithe talks said both also noted ly to strengthen its position in the establishment of the Indo- the Indo-Pacific where they Pacific partnership for mari- want to counter China and the time domain awareness, which threat it is posing to countries plays a critical role in econom- like Taiwan. Indo, too, has been ic security and responding to putting forth its point on the humanitarian crises. Chinese military built up “There is so much our coun- around the LAC,’’ said an extries can do together and I am pert on India-US ties. P7 Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi Jab-o-meter Take your shot May 23 11,91,382 doses May 24 11,38,116 doses Total doses 1,92,65,52,757 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Quad Summit, in Tokyo on Tuesday | AFP Centre removes import duty on soybean, sunflower oil for two years to cool prices E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi AS part of its efforts to tackle mounting inflationary pressure, the Centre on Tuesday exempted import levy and cess on crude soybean oil and sunflower oil on a quantity of 20 lakh tonnes a year for two years. At the moment, there is a 5% agricultural infrastructure and development cess for importing these items. The latest move could bring relief to consum- ers as it will cool cooking oil prices. The government has already scrapped base customs duty on almost all edible oils, including palm oil and soybean oil, and imposed inventory limits to curtail hoarding. “Duty free import of 20 lakh MT per year for two FYs (2022-23, 2023-24) of crude soybean oil and crude sunflower oil will provide significant relief to the consumers,” a government statement read. The decision comes in the backdrop of oil prices jumping as much as 17% last month. The overall retail inflation in April was 7.8%. India is one of the top importers of vegetable oil in the world. Prices of edible oils skyrocketed after the Ukraine-Russia war started and Indonesia put a ban on palm oil exports. In the past one year, retail soybean and sunflower oil prices rose 15% each. In the open market, packed soybean oil is sold at `175 a kg while sunflower oil costs around `200 a kg. Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday accused the BJP-led Union government of imposing a kind of economic crisis on all State governments by taking away States’ rights. “Most welfare measures related to education, health, drinking water, electricity, roads, and food are being implemented by State governments, but the Centre is violating States’ financial rights and creating hurdles in serving people,” the CM said at an event held to mark one year of the DMK government at Attur in Salem district. In a veiled reference to the Gyanvapi mosque dispute, Stalin said the “Dravidian Model will not demolish anything but only build.” He went on to add that the model would not divide anyone but shall unite everyone. “Social justice, equality, selfrespect, love for language, and ethnicity are the pillars of the Dravidian Model of governance where development is not just economical but also social.” Without naming the BJP, Stain said some people were making false accusations against the government based on ‘spiritualism’ as they could not find any fault with the DMK regime. P4 mann sacks his Corrupt minister H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh Giving a dramatic push to probity in public life, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday sacked his health minister Dr Vijay Singla and got him arrested for seeking cut money for awarding government contracts and clearing payments. Singla was later produced before a local court, which remanded him in three-day police custody For his part, Sin. gla said, “It is conspiracy to defame the AAP and Bhagwant Mann government.” Both Singla and his Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Pardeep Kumar were booked by the police under the Prevention of Corruption Act based on a complaint from Rajinder Singh, Superintending Engineer in the Punjab Health Systems Corporation. The FIR said Singla’s OSD Kumar had demanded that the officer fetch 2% commission for a construction contract worth `41 crore the min- Whistleblower’s dramatic complaint About a month ago, Rajinder Singh, Superintending Engineer in Punjab Health Systems Corporation, was called by Pardeep Kumar, OSD to Singla (pic), to room number 203 of Punjab Bhavan Singla was in a hurry to leave, but told the officer to fully trust Kumar. “Whatever Kumar says is what I intend to say,” he assured and left Kumar mentioned allotments of construction works worth L41 crore and a separate L17 crore already paid to contractors in March 2% of the total L58 crore or `1.16 crore should be paid as bribe, they said The officer refused and requested that he be sent back to his parent department. He is due to retire on November 30 ister had already cleared and for a separate payment of `17 crore made to contractors in March. Since the total amount involved was `58 crore, 2% works out to `1.16 crore. When Rajinder Singh brought the harassment to Mann’s notice, he was asked to gather proof. The officer then taped a meeting he had with Singla and Kumar, where they reiterated their demand for bribe and said the cut money should be paid to his nephew. The officer handed over the explosive tape to the Chief Minister’s Office. Mann is learnt to have then confronted the minister with the recording and asked if the voice on the tape was his. Singla reportedly replied in the affirmative and was sacked. He is a first-time MLA and minister, as are most minis- ters in the Punjab ministry . Mann put out a video message making the announcement. “We found substantial proof of his corruption. I do not care if the opposition wants to use this to hit out at us,” he nonchalently claimed. Mann also sought to take the high moral ground saying this is the second time in the country’s history that a minister has been sacked by his own party for graft. The first one, he added, was in 2015 when AAP founder and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal chucked his own food supplies minister Asim Ahmed Khan on charges of corruption and handed him over to the CBI for questioning. Kejriwal, of course, was suitably impressed. “Your action has brought tears to my eyes,’’ he told Mann. But the Opposition mocked Kejriwal for claiming earlier that corruption had been completely eradicated in Punjab within just 10 days of the Mann government in the saddle. Infra boost Modi to launch `31K cr projects in TN tomorrow T M u r u ga n a n d h a m @ Chennai Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate key infrastructural projects in the railways, road, and industrial sectors, and lay the foundation stone for many new projects — worth over `31,400 crore in total — in Tamil Nadu on Thursday . This will be Modi’s first programme in Tamil Nadu in which he will share the dais with MK Stalin as chief minister. In January, Modi was scheduled to visit Madurai and Virudhunagar but the trip was cancelled due to the pandemic. The prime minister is expected to be in Chennai for just a couple of hours, during which he will dedicate five projects completed at a total cost of `2,970 crore, and lay the foundation stones of six projects worth `28,510 crore in the State. The key projects Modi is set to lay the foundation stone for include the `1,400 crore multi-modal logistics park in Chennai, the `5,850 crore 21km four-lane double-decker elevated road connecting Chennai Port to Maduravoyal (NH-4), and the `14,870 crore Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway project. Besides, the prime minister will inaugurate many railway projects, including the gauge-converted Madurai-Theni 75-km section, completed at a cost of `506 crore. It would offer faster and cheaper transportation, especially for agricultural purposes. Train services between Madurai and Theni are being resumed after a gap of more than 10 years as the gauge-conversion work took a long time. After the inauguration by Modi, Unreserved Express Special regular services will be run between Madurai Junction and Theni from Friday as per the schedule. Continued on: P5 Hues of nature Tourists at the flower show, held as part of the summer festival in Bryant Park, Kodaikanal, on Tuesday | Express Madras Univ plans spoken Tamil course to bridge language divide ‘Free English course for govt students’ Vice-chancellor of the University of Madras S Gowri said he plans to start a ‘Spoken English’ course for government school students free of cost. “When government school students enrol in professional courses, they face problems in understanding English. We can provide a bridge course to such students,” he added B i n i ta Ja i swa l @ Chennai If you are from outside Tamil Nadu struggling to understand the local language, University of Madras is extending you a helping hand. The university’s Institute of Distance Education (IDE) is planning a Spoken Tamil certificate course. Last year, a few nationalised banks approached the university to train its non-Tamilspeaking staff in the language to help them interact with their customers better. Accepting the request, IDE, on a pilot basis, designed a module and imparted online spoken Tamil classes to bank employees. It was an instant hit. Since last year, two batches of bank employees have been trained in ‘Spoken Skills in Tamil’. Sources said the institute has been receiving enquiries from a few other banks and the railways to train workers who can’t understand Tamil. IDE director K Ravichandran said the ‘Spoken Skills in Tamil’ course module comprises 15 sessions of 1.5-hour duration each. “The online classes were conducted on weekends and resource persons from the university well, versed in Hindi and Tamil, imparted lessons to bank employees. We had also roped in a few retired bank employees, who are good in both languages, to conduct classes as they are also able to teach bankingrelated terms used on a daily basis,” he said.
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