FRIDAY ‘SELF RELIANCE WILL BOOST INDIA’S STANDING’ 28 AUGUST, 2020 morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard instagram.com/themorningstandard GOVT TO BAN IMPORT OF MORE DEFENCE ITEMS MUHARRAM The Prime Minister said the Centre will further restrict import of defence items to boost domestic industry SC SAYS NO TO PROCESSIONS Community could be targeted, adds court A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 l NEW DELHI l J8.00 l Modi PAGES 12 ALLEGED THAT PREVIOUS GOVTS IGNORED INDIA’S DEFENCE INDUSTRY OPTION 1 Vs OPTION 2 Centre pegs total GST collection shortfall in FY21 at 2.35L cr (`97,000 cr due to shortfall and the rest due to pandemic). The Centre offered two options: i) a special window to borrow `97,000 cr from RBI, to be repaid in five years; ii) borrow entire `2.35 lakh crore. Under 1st option i), states’ compensation entitlement will be protected. In the 2nd, states borrow more and pay for it using cess collected during transition period ‘THERE’S TRUST DEFICIT BETWEEN CENTRE AND STATES’ PUNJAB: Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said there is a clear trust deficit between the Centre and States. “We got a feeling a solution was being thrust upon us,” he said after the GST Council meeting There is a shortfall in revenue as we are facing an Act of God, which might even result in a contraction of the economy ‘CENTRE MUST TAKE LOAN AND PAY STATES’ MAHARASHTRA: Dy CM and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar urged the Centre to take a lowinterest loan and transfer the funds to states to help the latter survive financial crisis ‘CENTRE CAN BORROW AND RELEASE FUNDS TO STATES’ Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairing the 41st GST Council meeting via video-conferencing, in New Delhi on Thursday | PTI Addressing the defence industry outreach seminar, Narendra Modi said, attaining self-reliance in defence will help India become a net security provider in the Indian Ocean and make it a defence supplier for many friendly countries. He said ‘Atmnirbhar Bharat’ is not an inward looking idea. Rather, its aim is to enable India work towards attaining world peace | P7 ODISHA: Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari asked the Centre to release the pending GST compensation, adding that the Centre may borrow and release funds to the states STATES STARE AT L2.35 LAKH CR GST REVENUE BLACKHOLE Centre gives two options for States to meet revenue shortfall, offers to arrange borrowing from RBI at ‘reasonable rates’; FM terms economic distress ‘Act of God’ A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi FACING heat from States over non-payment of GST compensation, the Centre on Thursday said Union government is also affected by the shortfall in GST collections. AT the GST Council meeting, the Centre told states that the coronavirus-induced lockdown has severely impacted mop-up, leaving a gap of `2.35 lakh crore for the Centre to compensate states this year. “As per the Centre’s calculation, the compensation requirement by states in the current fiscal would be `3 lakh crore, of which `65,000 crore is expected to be met from the cess levied in the GST regime. Hence, the total shortfall is estimated at `2.35 lakh crore,”said Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan. Calling the pandemic an Act of God, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Centre has less headroom to meet the gap. The Union government can also not dip into the Consolidated Fund of India to pay off states, she said referring to the Attorney General’s advice. “The A-G’s clear opinion was that the compensation gap cannot be met from the Consolidat- ed Fund of India. He suggested the compensation cess levy can be extended beyond five years to meet the shortfall.” Briefing reporters, the finance minister said two options were suggested in the meeting. The first option is a special window for the states, in consultation with the RBI, to borrow `97,000 crore at a reasonable interest rate. The amount can be repaid by 2022 from the cess collection. The second one is to borrow the entire `2.35 lakh crore shortfall under the special window. The finance minister disclosed that states have asked for a detailed draft of the two options and sought a week’s time to study both options and come back to meet again. Sitharaman said the options are only for this year. The situation will be reviewed in April next year to decide the future course of action. Meanwhile, experts warn the revenue shortfall will be steeper than the government’s estimate. According to Jayanta Roy group , head, corporate sector ratings at ICRA, SGST collections are likely to fall 21% to `4,01,100 crore in FY21 from `5,05,800 crore in FY20, which will push compensation amount above `2.35 lakh crore. “With the aggregate protected revenues of the states being estimated by ICRA at `7,65,000 crfor FY21, the GST compensation requirement appears set to more than double to `3,639 billion (`3,63,900 cr) for the current fiscal from `1,653 billion in FY20,” he said. P8 TA M I L N A D U K A R N ATA K A ANDHRA PRADESH TELANGANA KERALA U T TA R A K H A N D JHARKHAND RAJASTHAN WEST BENGAL Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, who represented the State in the GST Council meeting on Thursday, urged the Centre to disburse `12,258.94 crore pending GST compensation. Jayakumar also asked the Centre to release the pending IGST dues of `4,073 cr Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who represented the State in the GST Council, said the State had achieved 71.61% GST collections despite the pandemic and urged the Council to pay compensation of `13,764 crore for the past four months Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath said States have more commitments towards public expenditure and asked the Centre to fulfil its commitment made during the introduction of GST of compensating the revenue loss to States Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao demanded the Centre release GST compensation dues of `5,420 cr and IGST dues of `2,700 cr to Telangana immediately. The state’s contribution to GST Cess was `18,082 cr. The State has received `3,223 crore as GST compensation Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the bifurcation of compensation amount as ‘normal’ and ‘due to Covid-19’ is not lawful. He said the Centre should borrow the entire sum and distribute among states, as it can easily mobilise funds at a lesser interest rate than states Uttarakhand state agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal said in the GST Council that the state awaits `2,000 crore as GST compensation. “We are ready to comply with the Centre’s directions and there is no issue of increasing the GST compensation years from five to 10 years,” he added Jharkhand Finance Minister Rameshwar Oroan said the State’s financial condition is really bad. Oraon suggested the Centre get loan from RBI and make the funds available to the states, so that the repayment of loans will be done by the Centre without putting any burden on States Rajasthan Electricity and PHED Minister B D Kalla demanded immediate release of GST dues of `6,990 crore to the State. “The economy is crippled due to the protracted lockdown. Our revenues will take a long time to recover. We demand immediate release of our share,” he said West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said the Centre must pay the compensation from different cesses that it collects. Mitra said, “In case of a shortfall, it is the responsibility of the Centre to explore resources for compensating the states,” he added New record Gearing up for ops: DMRC plans contactless travel, shortened timing Supreme Court rules states can make quota within quota for SC/ST tional for state governments to provide a further sub-categorisaTHE Supreme Court on Thursday tion of Scheduled Castes (SC) disagreed with a 2004 verdict of and Scheduled Tribes (ST). its Constitution Bench and held The bench ruled that allotting that held that states can make a specific percentage of the refurther reservations for served seats to a particusub-castes within the lar sub-caste will not vischeduled castes and olate Article 341(2), 342, scheduled tribes. and 342A of the ConstiA five-judge bench, tution as no enlisted headed by Justice Arun caste is denied the benMishra, noted that the efit of reservation. Unstate legislatures as well der Article 341 (2), only as Parliament have the the Parliament may inpower to grant reservaclude or exclude any tions in education and castes or tribes from the Reservation is a employment. “Once the list of SC/STs. very effective State has the power to The court was ruling tool for give reservations, it can on Punjab’s gover nemancipation of also make sub classifiment’s appeal against a the oppressed cation to extend benefit class. The benefit 2010 judgment by the to those sub castes not Punjab and Haryana by and large is receiving the benefit,” High Court that struck not percolating down to the said Justice Mishra, down Section 4(5) of the neediest and reading out the operaPunjab Scheduled poorest of tive par t of the Castes and Backward the poor judgment. Classes Act, 2006 as Supreme Court The bench also said unconstitutional. that it was of the view Section 4(5) of the Act that 2004 judgment in the EV Ch- provided for ‘first preference’ to innaiah was not correctly decid- certain castes for Scheduled ed as it held otherwise. “EV Ch- Caste reservations in public serinnaiah requires a vices. In its ruling, the High reconsideration.” The 2004 judg- Court had cited the 2004 judgment held that it is unconstitu- ment of the Supreme Court. G AYAT H R I M A N I @ New Delhi STRICT RULES INSIDE STATIONS K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi 1,023 deaths during the period TIME TAKEN TO ADD EACH ONE LAKH CASES Date Cases Days 2 Aug 17,50,723 2 3 Aug 18,03,695 1 5 Aug 19,08,254 2 7 Aug 20,27,074 2 9 Aug 21,53,010 2 10 Aug 22,15,074 1 12 Aug 23,29,638 2 14 Aug 24,61,190 2 15 Aug 25,26,192 1 17 Aug 26,47,663 2 18 Aug 27,02,742 1 20 Aug 28,36,925 2 21 Aug 29,05,823 1 23 Aug 30,44,940 2 24 Aug 31,06,348 1 26 Aug 32,34,474 2 27 Aug 33,10,234 1 D E L H I COV I D WAT C H STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative Recovered 1130 150027 Death 22 4369 Active cases -- 13208 Total +ve cases 1840 167604 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant Hospital 14135 3814 10321 Care centre 10143 715 5215* Health centre 594 243 351 HOME ISOLATION : 6596 *4213 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights (COVID-19) TESTING STATUS 15,03,722 Total tests done so far 79,143 Tests per million Source: Delhi health bulletin | Aug 27 In the elevator, only three persons will be allowed and on escalators, commuters would have to stand on alternate steps, maintaining 2.5m distancing. As per the CISF plan, only minimum gates at stations will remain operational and all the other gates will remain closed. Awareness campaigns will also be conducted at dedicated event corners created at all metro stations. THE DMRC and the CISF have prepared a list of standard operating procedures and a business community plan for commuters in case the government decides to restart metro services from September 1. Frisking, checking and ticketing will be completely contactless and the Aarogya Setu app will be mandatory to travel in the Delhi metro. Also, only those having an e-pass or are green coded will be allowed entry the CISF said. , There will thermal scanning of commuters at the entry gate. ‘Students want exams held at any cost’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi MAKING it clear yet again that the Centre won’t put off holding the JEE (Main), NEET exams, the Union education mini s t e r R a m e s h Po k h r i ya l Nishank on Thursday said most students want the exams to be held “at any cost”. “ Pa re n t s a n d s t u d e n t s through email and social media have said that the exams should be conducted in September,” he said in a video message. His comments came a day after chief ministers of seven opposition-ruled states decided to approach the Supreme Court seeking a postponement of the exams in light of the mounting Covid-19 cases in the country . “The National Testing Agency has informed me that over 7 lakh candidates have downloaded JEE (Main) admit cards while over 10 lakh DEMOCRACY FIRST Mizoram holds local polls, first amid Covid E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Guwahati DESPITE the Covid-19 pandemic, Mizoram held elections to village councils and local councils on Thursday but by maintaining the Covid-19 protocol, including social distancing. Over 500 village councils and over 70 local councils went to the polls. The polling was held in Aizawl, Lunglei, Serchhip, Champhai, Mamit, Kolasib, Khawzawl, Hnahthial and Saitual districts. The polling was not held in areas falling under the three autonomous district councils in Siaha and Lawngtlai districts of southern Mizoram. Altogether 4,54,180 voters were eligible to cast their votes in 558 village councils and 2,18,758 in 83 local councils under the Aizawl Municipal Corporation. The state election commission had postponed the election in 24 local councils due to the pandemic. A total of 8,491 candidates, including 2,102 women, were in the fray The parties . which contested included the ruling Mizo National Front, Congress, BJP, Zoram People’s Movement, Mizoram People’s Also, to sanitize and disinfect the commuters entering the metro premises, disinfectant tunnels will be installed at all metro stations. Metro services will also be curtailed, with the first train running at 7.30 am and the last at 8.30 pm. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the metro timing was from 6 am to 11.30 pm. As per the DMRC’s plan, passengers will have to maintain social distancing and wearing of masks will be compulsory both inside and outside the train. Hand sanitiser dispensers will be also installed at entry and exit points of stations. Conference, National People’s Party and the Hmar People Convention. The term of the village councils had expired on May 7 and it was extended till September 7. Chief Minister Zoramthanga went early to cast his vote. “I participated in the #Mizoram General Election to Village Councils & L o c a l C o u n c i l s, 2 0 2 0 . Thanking all the election officials and every part-taker for providing safe platform to many voters in exercising our constitutional franchise amidst this pandemic,” he tweeted. Given the pandemic, some political parties had demanded the deferment of the polls. “We were not in favour of the election as we were concer ned about the health of people but the MNF was desperate,” Congress spokesperson Lallianchhunga said. So far, Mizoram has recorded 974 Covid-19 cases, nearly 40% of them were reported from paramilitary forces. There are now 501 active cases. Earlier, Assam had deferred elections to the autonomous Bodoland Territorial Council. aspirants have downloaded NEET admit cards so far. This shows that the students want the exams to be held at any cost,” he said. Pokhriyal’s commenta were made after higher education secretary Amit Khare held a meeting with the officials in the PMO. The meeting was called as the at least three CMs reiterated demands to defer these examinations. P8 The plan also says that the entry of passengers will be stopped or regulated by the CISF and metro staff if the crowd increases in a station. The DMRC will deploy nodal officers for each of the 10 Delhi metro corridors and these officers will have the power to close a metro station in case the crowd increases to maintain social distancing. Apart from these, senior DMRC officials will be deployed on special duty at each station. Frequent announcements regarding Covid-19 and its rules will be announced inside the trains as well as on platforms. ANGER BUREAUCRATS, COPS SEEK ACTION AGAINST SCRIBE The editor-in-chief of a news channel had done an alleged expose on the ‘overwhelming’ number of Muslim candidates clearing the UPSC exams, which he termed as “bureaucracy Jihad” | P7 JUNIOR HOCKEY PLAYER JOINS BAKERY TO SUPPORT FAMILY S R I N I D H I P R @ Chennai THE Covid-19 pandemic and its impact has hit India hard. In a case of compulsion changing priorities, an aspiring hockey player finds himself working in a bakery to support his family . S Karthi of Tamil Nadu was part of the India junior men’s camp in Bengaluru in March. The family of five was dependent on his father’s income as a watchman. Once that reduced due to shorter working hours during lockdown, Karthi had no choice. “I decided to work in a bakery to help my family expenses. It fetches me around `5,000 per month, which is handy during these times. I also try to save from that. It’s a part-time job, from 10am to 3pm. Now that grounds are open, I go for training after work.” Hockey India has given a few players a one-time assistance of `10,000. Despite that, Karti is still forced to work in the bakery P11 .
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