madurai l saturday l march 25, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION U.S. state limits social media for teens amid mental health crisis Utah governor Spencer Cox signed a sweeping legislation requiring explicit parental consent for anyone under 18 to use social media platforms Bans algorithms that create addiction Law infringes on Minors’ privacy: critics The governor also signed a separate bill prohibiting social media companies from employing algorithms or techniques that would tempt minors to keep scrolling for hours and develop an “addiction” to the platforms. “We’re no longer willing to let social media companies continue to harm the mental health of our youth,” Cox, a Republican, said in a message on Twitter ■ The legislation will give parents full access to their children’s social media accounts, including posts and private messages ■ While parents and mental health experts have welcomed the move, lobbysts and civil liberties groups termed the law unconstitutional, saying it will infringe on teens’ rights to free speech and privacy March 2024 Social media firms are likely to challenge the laws before they kick off 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 No debate. Finance Bill passed with 45 amendments, including tax tweaks E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A day after passing the expenditure budget for 2023-24 without debate, the Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Finance Bill, too, without any discussion amid Opposition uproar demanding a JPC probe into allegations against industrialist Gautam Adani. The Finance Bill, which gives effect to the tax proposals in the Budget, was passed with 45 changes. One of the key changes is the removal of the tax benefits on long-term investment in debt mutual funds (MFs with over 35% allocation to debt securities). Now, gains from such funds, irrespective of the holding period, would be taxed at slab rates. Long-term capital gains Need action, not assurances: MEA on vandalism at missions abroad y E S H S E L I @ New Delhi IT is the obligation of the host country to provide security to foreign missions and ensure that diplomats are able to do their work, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday, referring to the recent vandalism at the Indian high commission in London. “These obligations were not met. We had conversations with the British government on this,” Jaishankar said in an event in Bengaluru. “Many countries have different views of their own security and of other people’s security We will . not accept this differential status,” he added. On Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs said India is not interested in ‘assurances’ by host countries but would like to see action. “Hope governments will take action and prosecute those involved,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, referring to the acts of vandalism at Indian missions in the UK, Australia, Canada and the US. Meanwhile, Members of Parliament for House of Commons, London, have condemned the vandalism at the Indian mission by Khalistani supporters. Meanwhile, Delhi Police has registered a case against Indian nationals involved in the vandalisation of the Indian high commission in London. It was done after the Ministry of Home Affairs directed the Delhi Police to take appropriate legal action on the receipt of a report from the Ministry of External Affairs over the incident at the Indian High Commission March 19. from debt funds would cease to get indexation benefit. “An arbitrage is being created right now where interest income from debt mutual funds is not distributed and converted into long-term capital gains of 20% (with indexation). In some cases, it comes to less than 10% due to indexation. Thus, many taxpayers are able to reduce their tax liability through this arbitrage. This is sought to be addressed,” the finance ministry said. In another setback to investors’ community the amended , Finance Bill has increased the securities transaction tax by 25% on both options and futures trades. On a positive note, the Bill brought relief to tax payers with income marginally higher than `7 lakh with an amendment clarifying that they won’t be unfairly taxed. There is no tax for income up to `7 lakh under the new tax regime but tax kicks in the moment one exceeds that amount. In such cases, the net payable tax can’t be more than the amount by which `7 lakh is overshot, says the amendment. In other words, if a person’s income is `7,00,100, the tax cannot be more than `100. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she will set up a panel led by Finance Secretary T V Somanathan to look into the issue of pensions while maintaining fiscal prudence to protect common citizens. Get set for proactive disaster mngt in TN green building. The centre will engage experts from variThe State Disaster Manage- ous fields and be equipped ment Policy 2023, released on with dash boards for continuFriday by Chief Minister MK ous monitoring of various Stalin, will mainly focus on risks. shifting from the exAs per the policy, isting approach of over 50 cyclones have reactive relief to a battered the TN coast proactive planning over the past century , of mitigation and posing a constant risk reduction. The threat to people livgovernment aims to ing in the coastal develop a new culdistricts. ture of prevention, Besides, other frePlan to preparedness and quent disasters in the boost infra quick response for state are floods, landin state managing disasters. slides, droughts, sea The policy gives a State Emergency erosion and sea wadetailed action plan Operation Centre ter incursion, heat at Chennai will to make Tamil Nadu w av e s , t h u n d e r disaster-resilient by be upgraded as a storms and lightning, Multi-Hazard enhancing the capacindustrial and chemEarly Warning ity of all stakeholdical disasters, fire acCentre and ers to respond in a cidents and forest relocated to a planned way and fires, and others. new green minimise loss of Among major disasbuilding lives, livelihood, and ters, the tsunami in economy . 2004, with a death toll According to the plan, the of 7,995, adversely affected State Emergency Operation people in many ways. The polCentre at Chennai will be up- icy also noted that a few pockgraded as a state-of-the-art ets of the state are vulnerable Multi-Hazard Early Warning to earthquakes and fall in Centre and relocated to a new Zone II and III. E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai disqualified Rahul no longer Wayanad MP, declares LS secretariat; entire Oppn condemns action; Congress plans nationwide ‘save democracy’ protests from Monday How it happened 2019 April 13: Rahul while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka makes the Modi surname slur April 15: Gujarat BJP MLA Purnesh Modi files a complaint in a Surat court June 7: Summons issued to Rahul July 16: Rahul appears in court for the first time. Purnesh Modi’s lawyer argues that CDs and a pen drive on Rahul’s speech establishes he defamed the entire community 2021 Oct 29: Rahul in court for the second time 2013 Mar 23: Rahul found guilty, sentenced to two years in prison; gets bail Mar 24: Lok Sabha secretariat disqualifies Rahul as Wayanad MP 4% hike `12,815.60D.a. in cr p.a. To cost exchequer The Union Cabinet on Friday increased the dearness allowance and dearness relief by 4% to 42% to benefit 47.58 lakh central govt staff and 69.76 lakh pensioners | P10 express read SC to hear pleas on CBI, ED misuse The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to list on April 5 pleas by 14 Opposition parties against the alleged misuse of law enforcing agencies like CBI and ED by the Union government to arrest political opponents | P7 TN govt ‘softens’ stance on National Edu Policy E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Chennai In what is seen as softening of stance on National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 by the DMK-led government, Tamil Nadu higher education minister, K Ponmudy on Friday said the state is ready to adopt the “best things” in the policy. He added, however, that states should be given freedom to follow their own education system. Speaking at the inaugural event of the national conference organised by the Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI) here, Ponmudy said, “Whatever best things are there in NEP, we are ready to adopt. But we should give freedom to states to follow their own system of education”. While agreeing to certain provisions drafted in the NEP, Ponmudy highlighted points that Tamil Nadu opposes, like the three language policy and public examinations for students of Classes 3, 5, and 8. RECORDED VIDEO COURSES for IIT JEE + CBSE + NEET Physics Maths Chemistry Biology th Class 7 to 12 BUY NOW! Learn from India’s Best Teachers to Register Pinarayi Vijayan, CPM Political challenges do not end with the hijacking of the membership of Parliament. The biggest movements are won on the streets, not in Parliament P r ee t h a N a i r @ New Delhi Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was Friday disqualified from the Lok Sabha, a day after he was convicted by a Surat court for two years in a 2019 defamation case. The disqualification kicked in from March 23, the day of his conviction, a notice by the Lok Sabha Secretariat said. In his first response, Rahul said in a tweet, “I’m fighting for the voice of India. I’m ready to pay any price.” Shocked by political earthquake, the party decided to hit the streets and take the matter to the people. At a high-level meeting, the party decided to hold mass agitations across the country from Monday “From Monday par. , ty workers will hold protests to ‘save democracy’ across states, districts, block and panchayat levels,” said party leader Jairam Ramesh. While the top brass of the party came out all guns blazing against the BJP the mood , was aptly captured by its national spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi who said the issue before the Congress was more political than legal. “It is a political issue because it signifies the systematic, repetitive emasculation of democratic institutions by the ruling party. It signifies the strangulation of democracy itself,” he said. Rahul won’t be able to fight elections for eight years unless he gets a stay on conviction. “We are confident we will get a stay on conviction and will remove the very ba- The hasty decision to disqualify @RahulGandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha is yet another episode in @ BJP4India’s authoritarian rampage against Indian democracy Akhilesh Yadav, SP In PM Modi’s New India, opposition leaders have become the prime target of BJP! While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the Cabinet, opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge chairing a meeting at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Friday to chalk out their response to Rahul’s disqualification Focus back on ‘vacant’ wayanad seat If Rahul does not get a favourable verdict from a higher court, his Wayanad constituency in Kerala would witness a bypoll, as general elections are more than a year away. If the Election Commission of India decides to hold by-elections in Wayanad, it could be along with the Karnataka Assembly polls, the announcement of which is expected in April. Wayanad is a safe seat for the Congress, which is why Rahul switched to it from Amethi in UP. Though neither the LDF nor the UDF have started discussions on candidates, the seat would witness a strong fight if the bypoll is held. sis of this disqualification, said Singhvi. It takes time to draft and file the appeal, he added, saying “They (govt) are taking advantage of that time through these disqualification notices but we have full faith in the law.” Singhvi pointed to some disturbing features in the disqualification. “Though the conviction is by a court, in Rahul’s case, the disqualification under Article 103 of the Constitution has to be by the President of India and under 103, the President has to first get the recommendation from the EC before disqualification. Admittedly it was not done,” he said. Echoing him, Ramesh said, “Rahul is paying the price for the success of the Yatra and for questioning Adani’s corruption and Modi government’s misdeeds.” In his pushback, BJP leader and I&B minister Anurag Thakur called Rahul a habitual loose cannon, recalling he had submitted a written apology in the Supreme Court for his intemperate remarks in 2018. Thakur went on to allege that Rahul considers himself above Parliament, the government, the judicial system and the country He added that the Gandhi . scion is on bail in as many as seven cases. P7 Mamata Banerjee, TMC It’s not just a fight of the Congress or Rahul Gandhi, it’s a fight of the entire opposition Arvind Kejriwal, AAP Sri Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification is an attack on democratic principles and Constitutional values of India. It reflects the autocratic and egoistic personality of Sri @ narendramodi K Chandrashekar Rao, BRS This intimidating tone sends a message that even the leader of the national party does not have the right to express his opinion MK Stalin, DMK Totally Disappointing. First P P Mohammed Faizal, Now @RahulGandhi Supriya Sule, NCP This is the murder of democracy. All agencies are under pressure. This is the beginning of the end of the dictatorship. The battle only needs a direction (now) Uddhav Thackeray, Sena Rahul must see this as a well thought-out conspiracy inside the Congress to oust him... Was he intentionally misled? Anurag Thakur, BJP
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