chennai l thursday l june 01, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 20 l late city EDITION `1 lakh crore to create world’s largest grain storage capacity The Cabinet has cleared the proposal aimed at reducing crop damages, preventing distress sales by farmers & strengthening India’s food security Move to strengthen cooperative sector The government is planning to create 700 lakh tonne of grain storage capacity in the cooperative sector over the next five years, said Union minister Anurag Thakur. This will help strengthen the country’s cooperative sector, as Primary Agricultural Credit Societies can diversify into the storage of food grains. The move is also expected to help create jobs in rural India, the minister added | P9 2,000 tonne godown in each block ■ A godown of 2,000 tonne capacity will be established in each block ■ Implementation of proposal will start within 45 days of Cabinet approval ■ Thakur said the country’s foodgrains production is around 3,100 lakh tonne, while the storage capacity is only 47% of the total output. He noted that in developed economies, the storage capacities are higher than output 2,150L tonnes projected level of India’s total grain storage capacity after 5 years 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 GDP data beats Rahul’s God quip to attack Modi forecasts, grows at 7.2% in FY23 P r e e t h a N a i r @ New Delhi Expands 6.1% in Q4; analysts say too early to celebrate as consumption yet to pick up chance that India may exceed this number (FY24 estimate) india’s economy threw up a this fiscal,” he said. surprise in the fourth quarter The fourth quarter also saw of FY23 as the GDP grew at a strong growth of 8.9% in infrarobust pace of 6.1%, beating structure investment and asset most estimates. This resulted creation. However, private conin a full-year growth at sumption continues to 7.2%, exceeding even be a drag as it grew the government’s own only 2.8% in Q4. estimate of 7%. Most experts advise The higher-than-excaution, saying it’s too pected growth in the early to celebrate. fourth quarter was aid“We must abstain ed by healthy growth in from reading too much construction (10.4%), into high frequency hotel and transport growth numbers. ConThe 2022-23 (9.1%), ag riculture tinued fiscal and monGDP growth (5.5%) and manufacturetary policy coordinafigures ing (4.5%) sectors. tion is crucial,” said The economy had underscore the Lekha S Chakroborty, resilience of the grown at 4.4% in the Indian economy professor, National Inthird quarter of FY23. stitute of Public Fiamidst global For the current year nance and Policy . challenges (FY24), the RBI has proAccording to Sunil jected a GDP growth PM Narendra Modi Sinha, principal econorate of 6.5%. According mist at India Ratings, to Chief Economic Advisor V the road ahead won’t be smooth Anantha Nageswaran, India if private consumption does can expect another year of not recover fully . solid economic performance. ICRA’s Aditi Nayar projects a “Risks are more evenly bal- 6% growth of real GDP in FY24 anced now as envisaged four with a downside risk of 50 bps months ago. There is a good due to El Nino threat. M o n i k a Ya dav @ New Delhi Better NUMBERS 6.1% growth D43.62 lakh crore Q4 of FY23 D41.12 lakh crore Q4 of FY22 GDP at constant (2011-12) prices 10.4% growth GDP at current prices in Q4 of FY23 is pegged at `71.82 lakh crore against `65.05 L cr in Q4 of FY22 Hindu women’s plea for right to pray at Gyanvapi maintainable: HC N a m i ta Ba j pa i @ Lucknow THE Allahabad High Court on Wednesday upheld the Varanasi district court’s order that the suit filed by five Hindu women seeking permission for daily worship of Goddess Shringar Gauri in the Gyanvapi complex was maintainable. The bench of Justice J J Munir had reserved its judgment after hearing both parties at length on December 24, 2022. The order came in a revision petition filed by Anjuman Intez a m i a M a s j i d ( G ya nvap i mosque management committee) in October 2022 against the Varanasi district court’s order of September 12, 2022. District judge A K Vishwesha had dismissed the mosque committee’s objection under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC. The judge observed the suit of the Hindu women plaintiffs was not barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provision) Act, 1991, the Waqf Act, 1995 and UP Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act-1983, as was being claimed by the mosque committee. In their plea for right to worship Goddess Shringar Gauri in the Gyanvapi complex located next to Kashi Vishwanath temple, the women said the mosque was once a temple, which was demolished during Emperor Aurangzeb’s rule. 6.4% Fiscal deficit narrows Fiscal deficit as percentage of the GDP in 2022-23, down from 6.71% in FY22 7.2% Estimated growth in real GDP during FY23 compared to 9.1% in FY22 Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in FY23 is estimated to attain a level of `160.06 lakh crore, against first revised estimates of `149.26 lakh crore Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the diaspora at the US, drawing a sharp counterattack from the BJP . Addressing a gathering in San Francisco, Rahul sarcastically said there are people in India who think they know more than God and Modi is ‘one such specimen’. “We have a group of people in India who are absolutely convinced that they know everything. They think they know even more than God. They could sit down with God and have a conversation and explain to him what is going on. And of course, our prime minister is one such specimen,” he said. “I think if you sat Modi ji down next to God, Modi ji would start explaining to God how the universe works and God would get confused about what have I created,” Rahul quipped. In his pushback, Union minWe have a group of people who understand everything. They can speak to scientists and explain science to them... In life, you can’t understand anything if you are not ready to listen ister Anurag Thakur retorted that Rahul’s insult of India during his foreign visits was unacceptable. “He wants to insult Modi but ends up insulting India, questioning India’s progress. He is trying to defame India at a time the world is acknowledging our growing stature,” said Thakur. Rahul in his address also criticised the inauguration of the new Parliament building, saying, “These are distractions. The real issues are unemployment, price rise, spread of anger and hatred, crumbling education system, price of education, price of health care. BJP can’t really discuss them so then they have to do the whole sceptre thing.” Shah visits 2 more Manipur districts Strife pushes sport out of mind of top athletes P r a s a n ta M a z u m d a r @ Guwahati Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday visited Moreh in Tengnoupal and Kangpokpi — two of the violence-hit districts in Manipur — and held discussions with various organisations to restore normalcy . “Held a meeting with the delegations of Kuki and other communities at Moreh. They expressed strong support for the government’s initiatives to restore normalcy,” Shah later tweeted. This was his third day in Manipur. At both Moreh and Kangpokpi, he was accompanied by home secretary A K Bhalla and Intelligence Bureau chief Tapan Kumar Deka. Moreh has a mixed population of Tamil, Nepali, Bihari, Rajasthani, Bengali, Punjabi, besides Meitei and Kuki communities. Hundreds of people, holding the national flag, greeted Shah when he visited the two places. Kuki organisations reiterated the demand for ‘separate administration’ and the immediate withdrawal of police commandos from Moreh. In a F i r oz m i r z a @ Chennai Home minister Amit Shah meets Kukis at a relief camp in Kangpokpi | PTI memorandum, they further demanded that Meitei radical groups Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Leepun be declared outlawed, citing their alleged involvement in the violence. The also sought a helicopter service from Moreh to Aizawl in Mizoram and Guwahati. A Kuki outfit claimed Shah positively responded to the demands on the withdrawal of police commandos and helicopter service. At both places, he appealed to people to maintain peace. Meanwhile, a civilian was injured in an exchange of fire between security forces and suspected militants in Imphal East district. Another gunfight was reported from Sugnu in Kakching district on Tuesday night. IN August last year, Likmabam Shushila Devi became the first judoka from India to bag multiple medals (both silver) at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. A year before that, she was the lone judoka from the country at the Tokyo Olympics. With big events like 2024 Paris Olympics lined up for the next couple of years, the 28-year-old should ideally be training. However, she is shuttling between home and a relief camp sheltering around 400 displaced people in her village Heingang Mayai Leikai, Imphal East (Manipur). Sport is not even on her mind right now. “How can we think of sports now? There are people here whose houses were burnt in front of them and their relatives killed. Hundreds of them have taken refuge in press camps. It’s been a month since the special ordeal,” Shushila told this daily . The relief camp set up at a community hall of a sports club has pregnant women and newborns. “Around 100 people sleep in a hall with hardly one fan in the heat. The summer means acute water shortage too. Somehow we are managing by donating foodgrain and helping them cook. But how long will it continue as even we will run out of stock someday said the judoka. ,” Another issue players are facing is lack of training. All the sports centres are shut. Bem Bem Devi, who went to meet Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday along with stars like Sarita Devi and Kunjarani Devi, said the situation is hurting athletes. “It is saddening because no sporting activity is going on. The Asian Games is coming up and preparation of every athlete here has been disrupted.” P15 DKS’s Mekedatu comment riles TN E X PRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai The statement of Karnataka Congress government’s deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar, who holds the irrigation portfolio, that his gover nment would build a dam across the Cauvery at Mekedatu has riled political parties in Tamil Nadu. While water resources minister Duraimurugan said the state government would oppose the proposal at all levels, all political parties, including the state unit of the Congress, condemned it. Duraimurugan also recalled that the verdicts given by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the Supreme Court have no reference about the dam. “Hence, building a dam at Mekedatu or building any other structure is not permitted in the uncontrolled intermediate catchment ‘D K Shivakumar rubbing TN on the wrong side’ “It is surprising to see that Mr Shivakumar chose to rub the neighbouring state on the wrong side within a few days of assuming office. I think officials may not have given him the full details,” says Duraimurugan areas where Tamil Nadu has rights as it will affect TN’s interests. It is therefore inappropriate to say Karnataka will construct a dam at Mekedatu,” Duraimurugan said. Greeting Shivakumar on the poll victory, Duraimurugan said, “I think I will have a chance to meet him in person soon. Let us discuss the issue in detail. Till then, I hope Mr Shivakumar will keep his patience.” PMK founder S Ramadoss condemned the Karnataka minister’s remarks that no progress has been made on the dam since 2018, and though `1,000 crore was allocated, land acquisition for building the dam has not take place. P7 Security cocoon Security personnel with bulletproof shields escort Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan, centre, after appearing in court in Islamabad on Wednesday | ap Munde rap Probe against sidelined WFI chief on: Police UJWAL JALALI a n d S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ New Delhi/Mumbai The Delhi Police on Wednesday said its probe against sidelined Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in a couple of sexual harassment cases is still in progress, refuting reports in a section of the media that sufficient evidence was not found to arrest him. “The cases filed by women wrestlers are still under consideration. Status reports are being filed before the court regarding the investigation,” a senior Delhi Police official said. Curiously, the police had from its official Twitter handle stated that the media’s claims were wrong, but deleted that tweet after some time. Singh is facing two cases of sexual harassment, one of them on a complaint by a minor, under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. But a man claiming to be the uncle of the minor victim sought to demolish her charges, alleging she was not a minor. He went on to accuse the agitating top wrestlers of using the minor to frame Singh. The pushback came from Delhi Commission for Women’s Chairperson Swati Maliwal, who said it was a criminal offence to reveal the identity of the minor victim. Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur urged protesting wrestlers not to take any step that could undermine sports or hurt players, adding proper action will be taken once the probe is over. Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP MP Pritam Munde, daughter of the late Gopinath Munde, became the first BJP lawmaker to express he displeasure at the denial of justice to the wrestlers. “The government should have quickly carried out an inquiry Action should have been . taken against the guilty. As a Lok Sabha MP and woman, I am very much concerned about it,” Pritam Munde said. Kejriwal to call on CM Stalin over Delhi ordinance today All universities in TN to have common syllabus sep vs nep E X PRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chennai Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday said the DMK will take steps to coordinate the opposition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The CM’s remark comes just a day ahead of his scheduled meeting with Delhi and Punjab CMs, Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann, in Chennai on Thursday over the Delhi ordinance. The Delhi CM will meet his Tamil Nadu counterpart as part of his effort to garner support from opposi- tion parties on the ordinance that seeks to restore the Lieutenant-Governor’s control over the transfer and postings of bureaucrats in the national capital. Asked whether meeting with AAP leaders was also part of “coordinating the opposition”, the DMK chief said, “That effort is already on. This is not new. DMK will also be involved in it wholeheartedly .” The CM was speaking to reporters at the airport after arriving in Chennai post his nineday trip to Singapore and Japan to attract investments. P5 & P7 E X PRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai Tamil Nadu higher education minister K Ponmudy on Wednesday said the state government will soon introduce a common syllabus for all state universities. Speaking to reporters after presiding over a vice-chancellors’ conference in Anna University on Wednesday, the minister said, “From next academic year, all state universities will have a common application system for PG programmes. Se- mester exam results of all TN universities will also be released on the same day .” Reiterating Tamil Nadu’s position over the National Education Policy (NEP), the minister said, “Universities in Tamil Nadu will function as per the State Educa- tion Policy (SEP) and once the policy document is out, I believe all vice-chancellors will cooperate in implementing it.” The minister’s comment assumes significance as it is seen as a response to Governor R N Ravi who is holding a separate vice-chancellors’ conference in Ooty on June 5 to discuss NEP . Common form for PG courses; result on same day “From next year, all TN universities will have a common application system for PG programmes. Semester exam results of universities will also be released on the same day. I believe all V-Cs will cooperate in implementing the SEP,” higher education minister K Ponmudy said With this statement, the minister has reignited the tussle between the state government and the governor over NEP . Speaking about the governor’s conference, Ponmudy said, “The governor acts arbitrarily without consulting the state govt. It is the discretion of V-Cs’ to attend the conference or to stay away from it.” Officials in the higher education department said the Tamil Nadu government has neither been informed nor invited for the conference by the governor’s office. continued on P7
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