FRIDAY ENHANCING CONNECTIVITY WITH ASEAN A PRIORITY: MODI NOVEMBER, 2020 PM said strengthening all kinds of connectivity, including in social, digital and financial spheres, with Asean is a major focus for India 13 epaper.morningstandard.in INDIA AND ASEAN HAVE SIMILAR GOALS facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard RESERVED 80% ICU BEDS FOR COVID PATIENTS High Court allows AAP govt to reserve 80% ICU beds in 33 private hospitals A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 4 EASING COVID STRESS Stimulus shot for jobs, businesses, economy Nirmala Sitharaman’s third package offers job creation scheme; emergency credit line guarantee extended till March A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi THE government on Thursday sought to lift the sagging economy through an early Diwali gift in the form of Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0. The long-awaited stimulus package, unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, aims to generate employment, offer credit support to 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee, and revive the real estate sector. Sources said many schemes are spread over 2-5 years and the additional spending this year will be `1.30 lakh crore. The cumulative stimulus measures announced so far stand at around `30 lakh crore, or 15% of the GDP ac, cording to Sitharaman. She pegged the total allocation of the measures announced on Thursday at `2.65 lakh crore. This includes the productivity-linked incentive scheme announced on Wednesday . The government extended the `3 lakh crore emergency credit line guarantee scheme till March 31 next year but the centerpiece of the third stimulus package is Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, which aspires to generate employment during the Covid recovery phase. It offers a two-year subsidy to companies that hire em- EPF INCENTIVE TO CREATE JOBS Scheme to generate employment during the Covid recovery phase Companies employing up to 1,000 Centre to provide subsidy for two years in respect of new eligible employees appointed on or after October 1, 2020 Employee’s EPF contribution Scheme to be operational till June 30, 2021 ELIGIBILITY GOVT TO PAY Employer’s EPF contribution 12% Companies employing more than 1,000 Employees’ EPF contribution 12% (of monthly pay) Total 24% of monthly wages 12% L 30 LAKH CRORE Cumulative stimulus package announced since the lockdown has touched 15% of the GDP Companies with less than 50 employees, if they add at least two new staff Firms with more than 50 staff, if they create a minimum of five new jobs ployees between September 30, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Under this, the government will pay both the employee’s contribution towards EPFO (12% of basic salary) and the employer’s contribution (12%) in firms with less than 1,000 staff. For larger fir ms employing over 1,000, the government will pay only the employee’s part (12%); these companies will have to continue to contribute 12% as before. The subsidy will be only for employees with monthly wages up to `15,000. To avail the scheme, companies with less than 50 employees will have to hire two new staff, while firms with headcounts above 50 will have to create five new jobs. The subsidy will cost the government `6,000 crore over two years. Experts say it will improve the jobs scenario. Sitharaman also allocated `10,000 crore more for the rural job scheme. The struggling real estate sector has got a good reason to cheer with the FM announcing `18,000 crore extra stimulus under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Plus, tax rules have been eased to allow sale of housing units worth up to `2 crore at a price 20% below the stamp duty circle rate. Currently, law restricts the differential at 10%, lest penalties under I-T Act will apFULL COVERAGE: P10 ply . RETAIL INFLATION AT 77-MONTH HIGH IN OCT EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi RBI had warned of ‘unrelenting pressure of inflation’ In its latest report on the state of economy, the Reserve Bank of India had flagged the unrelenting pressure of inflation as a downside risk confronting the prospects of economic recovery. “The foremost is the unrelenting pressure of inflation, with no signs of waning in spite of supply management measures...There is a grave risk of generalisation of price pressures, unanchoring of inflation expectations feeding into a loss of credibility in policy interventions and the eventual corrosion of the nascent growth impulses that are making their appearance,” RBI said INDIA’s factory output grew for first time in seven months in September, government data showed on Thursday, raising hopes that the economy may be on the mend. The cheer may be short-lived as another set of data released on Thursday showed retail inflation climbing to 77-month in October at 7.61%. On Wednesday, an RBI report had said that India has entered a technical recession in the first half of FY21 for the first time in history peg, ging an 8.6% contraction in GDP in the Se ptember quarter. According to the official data released on Thursday, the Index of Industrial Production was up on the back of improved mining activities, which grew at 1.4%, better demand of electricity at 4.9% and improvement in manufacturing activity, which contacted 0.6% against 7.9% dip in August 2020. Devendra Pant, chief economist at CARE Ratings, said the growth in industrial production would not have been possible without last year’s low base as IIP had contracted 4.6% in September 2019. He added whether this recovery is sustainable or not would depend on how the data comes in over the next few months. In another worrying development, annual consumer price inflation in India rose to 7.61% in October, the highest since May 2014, mainly on account of high food prices. Food inflation surged to 11.07%, the highest since January Vegetables inflation . stood at 22.5%, pulses at 18.3%, meat and fish inflation was 18.7%, while that for eggs, it came in at 21.8%. Aditi Nayar, principal economist at credit ratings agency ICRA, said the possibility of a rate cut in February 2021, too, looks slim at the moment, because inflation is expected to recede below 6% only after December. NEW DELHI J8.00 AROUND a decade back, grafts of Alphonso-Hapus — the king of the fruit —from Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri were planted in Malawi in Africa. The fruit is back in the off-season to Navi Mumbai via Africa. Traders as well as consumers say the quality and taste of these mangoes are the same as the Konkan region variety It is . selling for `700-800 a kg. Sanjay Pansare, former director of Agricultural Produce Market Committee, Vashi, says the grafting was done in over 1,500 acres of land. “They The imported Alphonso is selling for `700-800 per kg | EXPRESS PACT WILL BE SIGNED ON SUNDAY, WITH A CLAUSE FOR INDIA TO JOIN LATER | P9 minister, Nitish said: “It is up to the NDA to decide. We will abide by its decision.” Rebutting RJD leader Tejashawi Yadav’s allegation that the mandate was snatched away by the NDA through manipulation, Nitish said it was the NDA that got the mandate. Seeking to bring closure to the debate on his recent oneliner that this election was his last, he said: “I will continue serving the people as long as they would want.” Nitish said he will resign after the NDA legislative party meeting to pave the way for the installation of the next government. “The tenure of this government is till Nov 29. In the next few days, every thing will be cleared and completed.” P8 R A J E S H K U M A R T H A K U R @ Patna CHIEF Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday casually tossed the LJP bomb onto the BJP’s lap, saying it was for them to decide on the fate of Chirag Paswan’s party whose demolito, ion job reduced the JD(U) to third position in the recent Assembly polls. Chirag had dropped out of the state NDA weeks before polling to attack Nitish’s party but chosen to stay with the central NDA, saying he wanted to strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hands. “It is up to the BJP to look into this. We are analysing as how the votes were divided on the seats of our candidates. Both the NDA and the JD(U) JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar being greeted by party supporters as he arrives at the party office, in Patna on Thursday | PTI are studying it,” he said. Addressing his first press meet after the polls, Nitish said the gover nment for mation process will be discussed at an NDA meet on Friday The date . of the swearing-in will be finalised in the next few days. A day after Modi’s endorsement of him continuing as the chief minister, Nitish sought to weave out of a question on whether he wanted to head the NDA government again. Claiming that he never projected himself as the chief Iconic! Centre plans structure along Yamuna Farmers, Railways battle over trains services Train services in Punjab have been suspended since September 24, when farmers started their ‘rail roko’ agitation against the central farm laws. Though they later agreed to allow goods trains, passenger trains were not allowed. However, the Indian Railways has refused to resume goods train services in the state, saying it would either operate both freight and passenger trains or none at all. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Centre has decided to build an iconic structure at the proposed ‘Nav Bharat Udyan’ (New India Garden) to commemorate the 75th year of India’s independence. It will be located along the western bank of the Yamuna with the maximum permissible height of 134 metres. The government is also planning to extend the Central Vista Axis from the present 2.9 km to 6.3 km. On the eastern side, it will culminate at the western bank of the Yamuna. This would restore the original design envisioned for the Central Vista project. Spread over 20.22 acres, Nav Bharat Udyan would be a public place. It will be designed to have the iconic structure and infotainment facilities such as Sphere of Unity, Milestones Walkway, Jour ney of India, Tech Dome, Amphitheatre and public amenities in order to showcase India’s historical and cultural heritage and scientific achievements. It will also symbolise unity in diversity and aspirations of the ‘new India’, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said. The iconic structure has been planned to realise the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism and casteism, according to the government. The structure should should become a new symbol of the capital, the ministry said. It should be constructed with indigenous material. With the central axis of the vista starting from Rashtrapati Bhawan and culminating at India Gate, the structure should be aligned exactly on this central axis, the government said. This winter, Maha can taste Alphonso from Africa planted 400 trees per acre. The fruit tastes like Alphonso. The only difference is that its harvesting cycle is different as Malawi is in the Southern Hemisphere,” Pansare said. Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa. Itshorticulture is a large sector, with a warm soil suitable for mangoes. With mangoes being a lucrative produce, more ventures might come up. Pansare said the mango lover does not need to wait for the summer. “They can have it during Diwali as well. The initial reluctance can eventually give way to happy acceptance PAGES 12 RCEP Up to BJP to decide on LJP’s fate, says Nitish OFF-SEASON TREAT S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai Prime Minister Narenda Modi made the remarks at a virtual summit between India and the 10-nation Asean grouping. “We believe a cohesive and responsive Asean is needed for security and growth for all in the region,” Modi said. He added there are many similarities between India’s ‘Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative’ and Asean’s ‘Outlook on Indo Pacific’ among the fruit lovers”. The season for this Alphonso stretches for a month starting November, Pansare said. The all-pervading smell of Alphonso would force sellers to import more of such variety , says a trader. “The availability of this mango in the winters is nothing short of a miracle.” In Vashi, the first batch of 1,500 boxes arrived Wednesday , of which 500 were dispatched to Pune. “Once traders get a good response, they will start importing it in a large quantity via sea routes. That will reduce the import cost substantially Pansare said. ,” Farmers in Amritsar hold placards showing ‘Black Diwali’ this year as part of protests over new farm laws | PTI 30 farm unions of Punjab to hold talks with Centre today H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh SOME 30 Punjab farmers’ unions have decided to go to New Delhi for a meeting with the union government on Friday but they are firm that the three central farm laws should be withdrawn. The 30 unions will be holding talks with union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar and railway minister Piyush Goyal. The unions also want a change in the law brought in by the Centre to curb air pollution under which non-compliance is punishable by five-year jail or a fine of `1 crore or both. While their Dilli Challo programme on November 26-27 is as per schedule, they will celebrate Diwali by lighting torches. Har meet Singh Qadian, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Qadian) president said: “We do not expect much to come out of the meeting. Our demand is simple, the central government should withdraw the three laws. Not only these laws they should also amend the law brought by them to curb air pollution.” Qadian said “the very fact that defence minister Rajnath Singh first agreed to talk to us and now he was not attending the meeting and that the Delhi Police had denied farmers’ the permission to hold a protest on November 26-27 shows the in- DELHI COVID WATCH TESTING STATUS NATION FIRST, SAYS PM Modi unveils Swami Vivekanand statue in JNU, says ideology should not rule national interest | P5 tent of the Centre.” “The tax on diesel should be reduced because of the fall in prices of crude oil so that it benefits the farming community,” he said and added that the Centre should lift the “economic blockade” of Punjab by starting train services as farmers were no longer sitting on the rail tracks or platforms of railway stations. Asked about Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s appeal of allowing passenger trains, Qadian asked who would fight the battle if the agitation was continuously relaxed. “We went one step back so the government takes one step forward, but it did not do so.” 19,752 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 5,32,2274 Total tests done so far 2,80,119 STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 6,462 4,16,580 DEATH 104 7,332 ACTIVE CASES -43,116 TOTAL +VE CASES 7,053 4,67,028 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 16,590 8,588 8,002 CARE CENTRE 8,217 929 7,135* HEALTH CENTRE 527 294 233 26,252 HOME ISOLATION *153 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Tests per million Source: Delhi health bulletin | November 12 COVID DEATH COUNT IN DELHI CROSSES 100 FOR FIRST TIME EXPRESS NEWS S ERVI CE @ New Delhi THE Covid-19 daily death tally crossed 100 for the first time in the national capital on Thursday even as the number of cases registered saw a decline from the previous day . As many as 104 Covid-19 patients succumbed to death within a 24-hour span, pushing the overall death tally to 7,332. The previous highest singleday fatality count was on June 16, when 93 patients had died of the virus. The number of new cases reported on Thursday was 7,053, much lesser than 8,593 record- 7,178 6,953 7,745 SEE-SAW BATTLE WITH PANDEMIC 7,830 8,593 5,023 7,053 TOTAL CASES TOTAL DEATHS 64 79 77 71 83 85 104 NOV 6 NOV 7 NOV 8 NOV 9 NOV 10 NOV 11 NOV 12 ed on Wednesday, which was the highest ever single-day spike. Over the past few days, the capital has been witnessing an average of 70-80 deaths every day as the city is in the grip of a third wave. A total of 6,462 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day taking the number , of recovered people in the state to 4,16,580, the health department said in its statement.
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