Centre blocks 232 foreign apps The apps, some of them Chinese, allegedly facilitated betting, gambling and unauthorised loan services, according to sources The apps posed a threat to India’s economic stability, an offcial said. They had materials “prejudicial to the sovereignty” of the country The ban comes amid complaints of extortion by representatives of lending apps with links to China chennai l monday l february 06, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION 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 `1K cr allocation to finally give TN 9 new rail lines B A NBUSELVA N @ Chennai AFTER nearly four decades, the railway network will see an expansion in Tamil Nadu with `1,057 crore allocated for nine new lines in the state in the 2023-24 budget. The new lines will connect Mamallapuram, Puducherry, Ranipet, Cuddalore, Tiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri and Dhanushkodi with the rest of TN, boosting tourism and economic activity . The last new single rail line commissioned in TN was Tirunelveli - Nagercoil - Kanniyakumari in 1981. This year’s allocation, unlike the `10,000 to `1 lakh in past years, will allow for revival of delayed work. The Chennai-Cuddalore rail link via Mamallapuram and Pondy (155 km) has received `50 crore and the final location survey is to be completed this year. The draft National Rail Plan 2050, released last year, stressed that rail links are to be developed to the UNESCO site of Mamallapuram and three other places. P5 Architect of kargil war, musharraf dies Y e s h i s e l i @ New Delhi Former Pakistan ruler General Pervez Musharraf survived many assassination attempts but succumbed to a rare disease on Sunday . He was 79 and suffering from amyloidosis, an incurable disease that occurs when an abnormal protein called amyloid builds up in organs. He had been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Dubai. Musharraf, a cunning military officer who was the architect of the 1999 Kargil war, was living in self-imposed exile in the UAE to avoid criminal charges back home. In December 2019, a special court had handed him a death sentence in a treason case. However, the sentence was nullified later by a higher court. Born in Delhi, Musharraf rose to prominence when he was made a four star general and the head of armed forces in 1998 by the then Pak prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He led the Kargil infiltration that brought India and RBI to hike rate by 25 bps before pausing: Experts Softening retail inflation to weigh in February 6-8 MPC meeting D i pa k M o n da l @ New Delhi Pervez Musharraf 11 August 1943 5 February 2023 Pakistan to the verge of a fullfledged war in 1999. This strained relations with Sharif, who finally dismissed him. However, the wily general overthrew the Sharif-led government in a bloodless coup and took over as the 10th president of Pakistan in 2001. During seven years in office, Muharraf oversaw a stint of economic growth while dodging three assassination attempts. His visit to India in 2001 for the Agra summit led to one of the most significant meetings between leaders of the two countries. AS the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India is set to meet during February 6-8 to decide the benchmark lending rates, most experts see another 25 basis-point (bps) increase in the short-term repo rates. However, some see chances of a ‘pause’ in rate hike given the slowing down of inflation, and recessionary outlook going forward. The banking regulator has been on a rate hike spree since May 2022 when it increased the repo rate, the rate at which RBI offers short-term loans to banks, by 40 bps for the first time in two years. Ever since, it has jacked up the repo rate by 225 bps in all. As for retail inflation, it has moderated after peaking at 7.8% in April 2022. Inflation fell to 5.88% in November and 5.72% in December, going below RBI’s upper tolerance level of 6% and giving hope that the rate hike cycle is likely to end. However, most experts now feel the MPC won’t let its guard down against inflation and will go ahead with a hike before hitting the pause button. “We believe RBI is at the end of its policy tightening cycle. A combination of rate hikes and liquidity normalisation has already resulted in an effective tightening in policy rates by nearly 300 bps, and we expect a final 25 bps hike in the February 8 policy meeting to 6.50%,” says a note from Nomura, a global financial services group. Nomura expects RBI to take a pause after February and even , start cutting interest rates from August 2023. Yuvika Singhal, economist with QuantEco Research, also says RBI will raise the repo rate by 25 bps before pausing. “At this week’s meeting, we are looking at possibly one last rate hike by the RBI MPC in its current hiking cycle,” says Sreejith Balasubramanian, economist at IDFC AMC. The 225 bps hike in repo rates since May 2022 has seen both lending as well as bank deposit rates going up significantly. Home loans are now attracting over 9% interest from the lows of 6.5% last year. Bank deposit rates have also gone up, albeit at a slower pace, to 7-7.5% for 2-5 year tenure. According to Pankaj Pathak, fund manager (fixed income) at Quantum AMC, there could be a pause in the February MPC given the ease in external factors and inflation, and growth in the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves over the past few months. express read ‘90% GC members back EPS candidate’ Chennai: Functionaries of the Edapapdi K Palaniswami camp of AIADMK on Sunday said 90% of the party’s general council members had backed KS Thennarasu, the bypoll candidate proposed by EPS | P4 PM to open Asia’s top copter plant in K’taka Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) new helicopter factory, which will be Asia’s largest, near Tumakuru in Karnataka on Monday
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