TUESDAY CORPORATE AMERICA DECIDES TO PAUSE POLITICAL DONATIONS 12 US business houses are rethinking political contributions in the wake of the Capitol siege by Trump supporters last week JANUARY, 2021 GOLDMAN, JP MORGAN, CITI HALT CONTRIBUTIONS epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard POLL GAMBIT DIDI REACHES OUT TO MATUAS $14 bn No need for NRC, CAA as all Matua community members are Indians, asserts Mamata A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 NEW DELHI J8.00 ESTIMATED MONEY SPENT DURING THE 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PAGES 12 $ Goldman Sachs has announced freezing of donations through its political action committee (PAC). JPMorgan, the largest US bank by assets, will halt donations for six months, while Citigroup will put all contributions on hold for a quarter. Meanwhile, some firms like Marriott are pausing donations to Republicans who sought to overturn the election results SC set to issue orders today on setting up a court-monitored panel to address agitation; raps Centre for sloppy talks Stay on farm law implementation? K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi Farmers during their ongoing agitation over the farm reform laws, at the Singhu border in Delhi on Monday | PTI NOT EVEN ONE PLEA IN SC SAYING LAWS ARE GOOD, FINDS BENCH Observing that there is not a single petition before the Supreme Court saying the farm laws were beneficial, the bench told the Centre, “It will not help you to say that this was started by the last government. We are discussing constitutionality.” TESTING STATUS 33,926 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 94,48,744 Total tests done so far 4,97,302 Tests per million DELHI COVID WATCH THE Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it could stay the implementation of the three contentious farm laws as it came down heavily on the government for insisting on continuing with the laws despite the nearly twomonth-long farmers’ protest in and around Delhi’s borders. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde told Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the government had failed to hold effective negotiations with the protesting farmers, and stressed the need for a court-appointed committee to break the logjam. The bench will pass its order on Tuesday . The court blamed the government for framing the laws without enough consultation. “We do not want to repeat the criticism but we do not believe your negotiations are effective. We are at- STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 407 6,16,461 DEATH 13 10,691 ACTIVE CASES -3,354 TOTAL +VE CASES 306 6,30,506 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 12,110 1,508 10,602 CARE CENTRE 7,422 34 7,314 HEALTH CENTRE 307 15 292 1,491 HOME ISOLATION *74 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Source: Delhi health bulletin | January 11 China moves troops at rear, but no change in deployment along LAC E X P R E S S N E W S E R V I C E @ New Delhi CHINA recently moved around 10,000 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel deployed deep inside the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on their side, further away from the border. But there was no change in its deployment of troops and equipment on the Ladakh border, where they ingressed into I n d i a n ter r ito r y seve ral months ago. Confirming the development, a senior Army officer said, “There is no change in the troop positions from the Chinese side.” The deployment of equipment and systems, including the artillery ar, m o u r e d ve h i cl e s a n d missile regiments in the standof f mode, have also not changed. Though the purpose of the Chinese troop reorganisation was not immediately clear, there was speculation that it could be due to bad weather. Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria reached Ladakh on Monday and take stock of the operational preparedness as India and China are locked in a tense standoff in the region since May last year. The operational preparedness on the areas along LAC is being reviewed by the military brass for the last one month. “The CDS reached Ladakh in afternoon and will be visiting the forward areas in the Eastern Ladakh,” an official source confirmed. Gen Rawat will be briefed by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the commander of the Lehbased 14 Corps and other senior military officers, about the current situation, the source added. Air Chief RKS Bhadauria also landed in Ladakh on Monday . Apart from visiting the forward bases and the Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs), he took stock of the logistics supply. The IAF chief joined the CDS for a comprehensive discussion on operational matters with senior air force and army commanders at Leh. “During his visit to Thoise, he reviewed the ongoing logistic operations for support and sustenance of troops. He also visited DBO and Nyoma ALGs where he was given a security overview,” the source said. SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY “We don’t see why there is an insistence on implementation of the laws. It’s our intention to see if we can bring about an amicable resolution. That is why we asked why don’t you put the bills on hold. You want time for negotiation. If there is some sense of responsibility then you will not implement the laws,” the bench said tempting to make the atmosphere conducive by keeping the implementation of the laws in abeyance,” the CJI observed while referring to the suicides by farmers to say that it did not want any blood on its hands, and also voiced concern about the possibility of the protests turning violent. “Who is going to take responsibility for bloodshed if this sabre-rattling goes on and results in conflagration?” the bench questioned. When Venugopal claimed that the laws were based on the recommendations of various expert committees set up by past governments, including those of the UPA, the CJI cut him short. “It will not help to say that some other government started it. We are not on the merits of the laws,” CJI Bobde said. To Venugopal’s complaint that the farmers were being stubborn on their demand to repeal the laws, the CJI said they will be heard by the proposed court-appointed committee. Referring to the bench’s suggestion to stay the legislations, Venugopal requested it not to take such a drastic decision and to wait for some more time before passing orders. But the CJI was in no mood to relent. “Sorry to say we have to, because you, as , the Union of India, did not take responsibility You were not able . to solve the problem. You should have been able to solve the strike, but you did not,” the CJI said. Mehta sought to defend the government when the CJI asked him if the Centre was part of the problem or the solution. The Solicitor General said many organisations had come forward to support the laws as progressive. The bench also made it clear that the protesting far mers would have to move to another site to continue their agitation. Later in the day, the Centre moved the Supreme Court seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor or trolley march or any other kind of protest which seeks to disrupt the august gathering and celebrations of the Republic Day on January 26. It requested the SC to restrain anyone from conducting any protest march either in the form of tractor, trolley, vehicle P5,7 march by entering Delhi. NPA situation set to worsen, warns RBI E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi GROSS bad loans of banks could swell to 13.5% of total assets under the baseline stress scenario by the end of September 2021, according to an RBI report. Gross NPA of banks was 7.5% in September 2019. However, if the macroeconomic environment worsens, bad loans could rise to 14.8% — the highest in two decades, Reserve Bank of India’s Financial Stability Report (FSR), released on Monday warned. , The last time banks piled up NPAs was in 1996-97 at 15.7%. The stress test projections are close to what RBI had estimated in the last FSR in July . It had then said bad loan ratios might rise to 12.5% of total advances by March 2021 under the baseline stress scenario and to 14.7% under the very severely stressed scenario. Notably, the RBI report also cautioned the stress in the banking system is hidden for now, due to the regulatory forbearances such as loan moratorium, the standstill on asset classification and Covid-led restructuring all o w e d , a n d m ay s u r f a c e eventually . “The data on fresh loan impairments reported by banks may not be reflective of the true underlying state of banks’ portfolios. This can underestimate the impact of stress tests,” the RBI report said, urging banks to assess their respective stress situations and follow it up with measures to raise capital proactively . RBI’s stress test projections have come with several caveats. “...Considering the uncertainty regarding the unfolding economic outlook, and the extent to which regulatory dispensation under restructuring is utilised, the projected ratios are susceptible to change in a nonlinear fashion,” it said. FLYING COLOURS All-women crew of Air India’s first non-stop flight from San Francisco that landed in Bengaluru on Monday | ASHISHKRISHNA H P CENTRE TO FUND VACCINATION OF COVID WARRIORS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Centre will bear the full expense of vaccinating three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase. This was confirmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his videoconference call with chief ministers on Monday . “Health workers, both governIndia is entering ment and private, will be vaccinatinto a decisive ed first. Sanitation workers, other battle against Covid-19 and we frontline workers, defence forces, police and other paramilitary forcshould not let our guard down es will also be vaccinated in the now. We are first phase,” Modi said. going to start Thereafter, those above 50 years the vaccination and younger people with serious drive from co-morbidities will be given the January 16 vaccine against Covid-19. Narendra Modi, The PM also told the chief minPrime Minister isters that politicians including people’s representatives such as MPs and MLAs should not try to get the vaccine in the first phase. He also asked states to ensure that no rumours are spread against vaccination as the massive drive kicks off. During his interaction with the CMs, Modi said that apart from the two already-approved vaccines — Covishield manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — four others are in the pipeline. “Our experts have taken all precautions to provide the countrymen with effective vaccines,” he said. The vaccine rollout will begin on January 16 with the help of 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members, the CMs were informed. The priority of vaccination has been decided as per advice of experts and the scientific community after consultation with the states, the PM said. Vaccination is on in about 50 countries since past 3-4 weeks, and till now, only about 2.5 crore people have got shots, he said. On the other hand, India has set an ambitious target of vaccinating 30 crore people in the next few months, he added. Later, the government placed firm orders in advanced commitments for over 6 crore doses of accine from SII, Bharat Biotech for the first phase. After ink attack, Somnath Bharti arrested in UP N A M I TA B A J PA I & S I D D H A N TA M I S H R A @ Lucknow/Chennai THE ongoing discord between the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments turned uglier after AAP MLA Somnath Bharti on Monday had ink hurled at him in Rae Bareli and was arrested later for allegedly making objectionable remarks against UP CM Yogi Adityanath last week. The police said Bharti was arrested in connection with an FIR lodged against him in Amethi for his remarks allegedly referring to Adityanath and the state’s hospitals. The Malviya Nagar MLA was remanded in 14 days of judicial custody at Amhat jail in Sultanpur district. Minutes before the arrest, a man hurled ink at him when Bharti was emerging from a guest house. In videos, which went viral on social media shortly after the ink attack, Bharti is heard arguing with the policemen around him, telling them that he will strip them of their uniforms. Following the incident, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal issued a strong reaction, targeting his UP counterpart. “Yogiji, our MLA Somnath Bharti ji was going to see your government school. Ink was thrown at him? Are your schools so bad? If someone goes to see your school then why do you get so scared? Fix the school,” he tweeted, asking him to consult Delhi’s Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on how to go about it. State’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna demanded an apology from Kejriwal on the inciP4 dent. SHOW OF PATIENCE India draw test match in Sydney, win test of character S W A R O O P S W A M I N AT H A N @ Chennai IT was a day for new heroes. It was a day for unfairly maligned cricketers to remind India of the talent they possess. It was a day for putting bodies on the line to save careers. Weeks after being bundled out for their lowest score ever, they married heart, fight and spirit to outlast the Australian bowlers in a display of guts that will be re- counted in history books that will chronicle the triumphs of Indian cricket. That too by a bunch that included players who wouldn’t have figured in the XI if everyone was fit. The scoreboard will say Hanuma Vihari remained unbeaten on 23. It will say R Ashwin made an undefeated 39. What it won’t say is they battled their body, the Aussie bowlers and cheap shots from close-in field- Hanuma Vihari and R Ashwin hug after the match in Sydney on Monday | AFP ers for over 40 overs to steer India to a draw when that possibility seemingly did not exist after they lost captain Ajinkya Rahane in the second over of the day. While Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara played their part, the unbroken sixthwicket stand between Ashwin and Vihari made the difference. They shut out the pain and repelled everything. On Twitter, Ashwin’s wife, Prithi, posted “he could not stand up straight when he woke up this morning”. So he opted to keep stretching in the dressing room, shadow practicing while Pujara and Pant shared a 148-run partnership. By the time he joined Vihari, the latter was limping. Retiring was not an option. So they started to block. They took blows, they flinched, they popped a pill, they opted for extra protective gear when the easier way out was to walk away. Their vigil lasted more than 40 overs. They spoke in Tamil, as the countdown began. Vihari acknowledged how Ashwin kept guiding him during his innings llike an ‘elder brother’. Such was the emotion that “We did not even celebrate towards the end because we did not know what to make out of it,” Ashwin reP11 vealed on bcci.tv. BIRD FLU TEST CONFIRM VIRUS, DELHI ON ALERT T EST on samples of carcasses confirmed bird flu in Delhi. While the AAP government on Monday banned the import of packaged and processed chicken into the national capital, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia appealed the people not P4 to panic. SHRIPAD NAIK INJURED Ayush minister Shripad Naik was injured and his wife and personal assistant killed when their car overturned at Ankola in Karnataka on Monday night | P7
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