HYDERABAD MONDAY FEBRUARY 06, 2023 `9.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION CENTRE BLOCKS 232 FOREIGN APPS, INCLUDING CHINESE The apps allegedly facilitated betting, gambling and unauthorised loan services, according to sources ‘APPS THREATENED INDIA’S ECONOMIC STABILITY’ ACTION AMID HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS On the direction of Union Home Ministry, the Ministry of Electronics and IT issued an order to block 138 apps that were involved in betting and gambling on Saturday night. Separately, an order to block 94 apps engaged in unauthorised loan services was issued on Sunday. As per an official, the apps posed a threat to India’s economic stability ■ The action was taken under Section 69A of the IT Act. The apps had material prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India and were under government’s observation, sources said ■ The ban comes amid complaints of harassment and extortion by representatives of lending apps with links to China 288 APPS HAVE BEEN UNDER THE RADAR OF THE GOVT FOR THE PAST SIX MONTHS 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 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 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 shortterm 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 al- ready 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. Constitute JPC to probe Adani scam: KCR EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Farmer suicides have come down in Telangana. They are high in Maharashtra. What is the reason? To end the woes of farmers,the BRS came to the people with Ab Ki Baar, Kisan Sarkar slogan @Hyderabad BHARAT Rashtra Samithi (BRS) president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not constituting a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate Adani scam. He questioned the hesitancy of the Centre to accept the demand of Opposition parties for a probe into the crash of share prices of the Adani group. Chandrasekhar Rao addressed a well-attended public meeting of BRS in Nanded in Maharashtra, the first one outside Telangana, and also spoke to the media on the policies of his party. Addressing the media, Rao expressed concern over the fall in prices of Adani shares, in which the LIC invested its money. “Why Narendra The size of Telangana budget is `2.5 lakh crore. We are implementing Rythu Bandhu. Cannot Maharashtra implement such a scheme, when its budget size is `5 lakh cr? —K Chandrasekhar Rao Modi is not replying on Adani scam in Parliament even though the Opposition raised it in the House,” Rao asked. He alleged that the Centre was shielding Adani as he was a friend of the Central government. On irrigation front, Rao ex- tended a hand of friendship to Maharashtra. “Around 2,0003,000 tmcft of Godavari water is going waste into the sea every year. Chief Ministers of all the four States Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana should sit together and resolve any dispute on riv- 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 sen- PERVEZ MUSHARRAF 11 AUGUST 1943 5 FEBRUARY 2023 tence 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 V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad New Delhi: Bharat Biotech has delivered three lakh doses of its nasal Covid-10 vaccine to private hospitals in India, the Hyderabad-based pharma company’s executive chairman Krishna Ella said on Sunday. iNCOVACC, the world’s first intranasal Covid-19 vaccine, was launched on Jan 26 | P7 TODAY TPCC president A Revanth Reddy will embark on a Haath Se Haath Jodo Yatra from Medaram in Mulugu from Monday | P4 CONTINUED ON P4 Cabinet gives nod to Budget proposals THE major challenge before Finance Minister T Harish Rao, who is presenting the Budget 2023-24 on Monday, is increase in committed expenditure and to mobilise resources for pending assurances and payments. Though the State’s own tax revenues are increasing, so are new commitments that are adding to the State’s priority list such as the massive recruitment drive to fill vacancies. There may be around 10 to 15 per cent incremental hike in the budget outlay over 2022-23. The size of the Budget 2023-24 may be around `2.7 lakh crore The State Cabinet, which met at Pragathi Bhavan under the chairmanship of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday, approved the Budget proposals for 2023-24. Finance Minister Harish Rao will present the Budget in the Assembly on Monday. Legislative Affairs Minister Vemula Prasanth Reddy will present the Budget in the State Legislative Council. in 1998 by the then Pak prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He led the Kargil infiltration that brought India and 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 P9 countries. EXPRESS READ Bharat Biotech sends 3 lakh nasal shots to pvt hospitals REVANTH YATRA FROM Budget today: Harish faces uphill task Modi to inaugurate Asia’s largest chopper manufacturing facility to `3 lakh crore against the estimated size of `2.56 lakh crore in 202223. However, the moot question is whether the State will have anything left in its coffers for other development works except committed expenditure. As the State is going to fill around 80,000 jobs in government in 2023-24, the committed expenditure is likely to cross 50 per cent of its reve- nue receipts. As though this cup of woes was not full, employees are demanding constitution of the second Pay Revision Commission (PRC). If the State concedes the demand, the committed expenditure will further go up. If the subsidies too are taken into consideration, the committed expenditure may cross 60 per cent of the total revenue expenditure. CONTINUED ON P4 ARCHITECT OF KARGIL WAR, MUSHARRAF DIES AT 79 Y E S H I S E L I @ New Delhi er water sharing. Let the Maharashtra Chief Minister come to Telangana to discuss the issue,” Rao said. He recalled that when Devendra Fadnavis was Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Telangana reached an agreement with the neighbour and constructed Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme. “If necessary, the Maharashtra can utilise Godavari waters from Sriram Sagar Project in Telangana,” Rao offered stating that the river water disputes could be resolved through dialogue. He chose Nanded for holding the first meeting of BRS outside the State as the second biggest city of Marathwada shares border with Telangana. Several villagers of Nanded district wanted their merger in Telangana so they could get freebies being given by the BRS government. Will not target Russia with new weapons: Ukraine Kyiv: Ukrain said on Sunday that Kyiv would not use new long-range weapons from the West to strike targets in Russia. “On Friday, our partners decided to provide us with weapons capable of firing at a distance of 150 kilometres or around 90 miles,” a minister told a news conference | P9 SPY BALLOON SHOT DOWN The US military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America| AP/PTI EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru PRIME Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) new greenfield helicopter factory at Tumakuru in Karnataka at 3.30 pm on Monday He had laid the foun. dation stone for the project in 2016. But there will be no flypast at the event as certain parameters are yet to be met, sources said. A c c o rd i n g t o t h e Prime Minister’s Office, it is yet another step towards Atma Nirbharta in the defence sector which will enhance capacity and ecosystem to build helicopters at Asia’s largest helicopter manufacturing facility Initial. ly, the unit will manufacture the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), which is an indigenously designed and developed 3-tonne class, single-engine, multipurpose utility helicopter with unique features of high manoeuvrability . The factory spread across 615 , acres, will be expanded to manufacture other choppers, like the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Indian Multirole Helicopter (IMRH). The facility will also be used for repair and overhaul of LCH, LUH, Civil ALH and IMRH in the future. The factory has the potential to export Civil LUHs in years to come. The new facility can meet the country’s entire requirement of helicopters and attain selfreliance in helicopter design, development and manufacture in the country . The factory will have a manufacturing setup of Industry 4.0 standards. Over the next 20 years, HAL is planning to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in 3-15 tonne class here, generating employment for around 6,000 people. On the occasion, Modi will lay the foundation stone for the Tumakuru Industrial Township under the National Industrial Corridor Development Prog ramme, spread across 8,484 acres to be implemented in three phases as part of the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor. The foundation stones will also be laid for two Jal Jeevan Mission projects at Tiptur and Chikkanayakanahalli as part of Multi-Village Drinking Water Supply Project, to be built at a cost of `430 crore and `115 crore, respectively . Sarpanch attempts suicide over delay in clearing bills EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Adilabad THE sarpanch of Venunagagar gram panchayat in Pembi mandal of Nirmal district, Radha, attempted suicide by consuming pesticide at her house on Saturday night. The villagers who found her unconscious shifted her to the Nirmal government hospital for treatment. The condition of Radha who is in the ICU is said to be stable. Her family members claimed that she resorted to the extreme step due to delay in the release of funds for various development works she had undertaken in the village. They said that Radha took loans on a hefty interest rate for laying CC roads, construction of a model school and the grave yard improvement in the village. She also reportedly used her own money set aside for constructing a house of her own. With mounting pressure from debtors to repay the loans and no source of income, Rad- Sarpanches resorting to suicide not new These incidents are frequently happening in the State due to the delay in clearing bills by the government for works executed by sarpanches by borrowing money from moneylenders at a high interest rate. ha went into a state of depression and decided to end her life, they said. The government used to release funds for executing model school construction in phases but of late the contractors get the entire money after completion of the building. This new practice also became a cause of distress for Radha as she had to depend on loans to complete the construction of the school. Several sarpanches in the erstwhile Adilabad district are facing problems due to the ‘delay’ in releasing funds for the works they have executed.
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