FRIDAY `62,500 cr accumulated in EPF accounts of HNIs 05 FEBRUARY, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in Of the 1.23 lakh high networth individuals in the EPF, one person has `103 crore in his account `5.92 crore facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard Average EPF corpus of a high networth individual SURVIVAL TAX AIMED AT HIGH-INTEREST EARNERS KUSHWAHA TO MERGE WITH JDU? At the same time, BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain may get a seat in the Bihar Cabinet A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Budget had removed tax exemption to interest accrued on PF investments exceeding I2.5 lakh per annum. Of the 4.5 crore EPF contributors, 1.23 lakh contribute large sums Revenue dept sources said while one person has I103 cr in account, two others have more than I86 cr each Committed to the empowerment of kisans, says Modi in fresh outreach AROGYA NIDHI Cancer fund down by half last year: RTI S O M R I TA G H OS H @ New Delhi `40,000 crore outlay in Budget to develop rural infra will benefit farmers, assures PM N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow ment of rural infrastructure in the Budget. CONTINUING his efforts to “Farmers will directly benepacify the agitating farmers, fit from investment in the infraPrime Minister Narendra Modi structure sector. Agriculture on Thursday said his govern- will turn into a profitable venment was committed to their ture for farmers,” he asserted. empowerment and self-reliOn the Chauri Chaura inciance. He was inaugurating the dent, the PM said the efforts of centenary celebrations of the the UP government had resultChauri Chaura incident in UP ed in changing the scenario in , where violence shook the Brit- the Gorakhpur region. “Earlier, ish Raj during the freefactories were closed, dom struggle. roads were damaged Releasing a postal and hospitals shut. stamp to mark the ocNow, a fertilizer factocasion, the PM said ry has come up, which that over 1,000 mandis will benefit farmers were being connected and generate jobs.” with the online agriThe Chauri Chaura culture trading platincident is significant for m e-NAM. “The in India’s Independmandis will be turned ence movement. On into markets of profit IT’S NOW A February 4, 1922, supLEDGER for far mers to sell porters of the Non-CoACCOUNT their produce with operation Movement ease,” he said. “The Budget this clashed with the coloModi listed several nial police, which time has measures taken by the virtually turned opened fire. In retaliaCentre towards mak- into an account tion, the demonstraing farmers self-detors torched the Chaubook (bahipendent in the last six khata) of income ri Chaura police post years. He said even & expenditure,” in Gorakhpur in which during the Covid pan23 personnel were Modi said demic, the country’s burnt alive. food grain production has Elaborating on the Budget, soared. the PM said experts were earHe called upon people to lier apprehensive about the unite in the spirit of freedom possible introduction of new struggle to make the growth taxs owing to the pandemic and missions, including Atmanirb- the subsequent economic crihar Bharat Mission, a success. sis. “Experts were thinking The PM said the Centre was that the Budget would burden making all efforts to help farm- the common man with new taxers become atmanirbhar (self- es. But the Centre ensured that reliant) and had allocated the people are not saddled with P4&8 `40,000 crore for the develop- additional burden.” IN THE NEWS T O D AY INDIA Rajiv case up to Prez The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has opined that the President is the competent authority to take a decision on the remission of sentence of AG Perarivalan, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Perarivalan had applied to the Tamil Nadu Governor for pardon in 2015. Onus is on Pak: MEA India said the onus is on Pakistan to create an amicable environment. “Our position is well-known. India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence,” the MEA said, a day after Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa seemed to extend a hand of friendship. INTERNATIONAL UN call to Myanmar The UN Security Council on Thursday expressed deep concern over the declaration of the state of emergency in Myanmar by the military and called for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders detained by the military. The 15-nation Council agreed upon a statement on Myanmar situation three days after the P9 military seized power. A security personnel crosses a section of road where iron nails have been put up at Delhi’s Tikri border on Thursday | SHEKHAR YADAV RUCKUS CONTINUES IN LOK SABHA Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted for the third consecutive day on Thursday due to protests by the Opposition. Amid the din and adjournments, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced a bill to amend the arbitration law and Union minister Nitin Gadkari replied to a few questions during Question Hour. In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition launched a vociferous attack on the Centre’s handling of the farmers’ agitation | P8 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi REACTING for the first time to the ongoing farmers’ protests in Delhi, the US on Thursday said the new farm laws could improve market efficiency. It, however, frowned upon the Narendra Modi government’s crackdown on protesters by snapping internet connectivity at protest sites. “Unhindered access to information, including the internet, is fundamen- Will try and play the ball that is delivered. If I stay around for a period of time, I will score some big runs. Virat Kohli, India captain Joe Root, England captain LET THE GAMES BEGIN International cricket comes back to India on Friday after more than a year. Here’s a brief look at the first Test between India and England MATCH-UPS Return of Kohli 1999 759/7 FIR AGAINST TOOLKIT, NOT GRETA: POLICE We haven’t named anybody in the FIR, it’s only against the creators of toolkit which is a matter of investigation and Delhi Police will be investigating that case Praveer Ranjan, Special Commissioner The Delhi Police lodged a first information report against unnamed authors of a toolkit that offered suggestions on rustling up international support for the ongoing farmers protests. The toolkit has been doing the rounds on social media and was tweeted by, among others, Swedish teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg. She then deleted and later reposted an updated version of the toolkit. Praveer Ranjan, Special Commissioner of Police said, “We haven’t named anybody in the FIR, it’s only against the creators of toolkit which is a matter of investigation.” However, her tweets on the farmers’ protest have been cited in the case filed. Preliminary enquiry has revealed that the toolkit was created by the Poetic Justice Foundation, a proKhalistani outfit. However, legal experts were appalled by the FIR. Senior advocate K V Dhananjay said, “Everybody in the world is competent to tweet about human rights abuse anywhere in the world. It is shameful that the Delhi Police is making our police force, judiciary and the legal profession become a laughing stock the world over.” As US prods, India draws parallel with Capitol saga Camaraderie of team based on trust. All of us working towards one goal, that is to see India win. After a paternity break, the Indian skipper returns to the helm of affairs. In a way, it’s the start of a big year for him, having not scored a single century in any form last year. A good beginning at Chepauk will put him in good stead for bigger challenges The top-20 HNIs have about I825 crore in their accounts, while top-100 HNI contributors have more than I2,000 crore. HNIs are estimated to earn I50L per annum as tax-free interest Root vs India’s spinners The England skipper is their best player of spin and how he handles it will set the tempo. If he flounders, the match could quickly become one-sided. But he’s in good form, having scored more than 400 runs in the two Tests against Sri Lanka in January | P11 The last time India lost a Test at Chepauk (vs Pakistan). They are unbeaten in eight matches since at Chennai India made against England in 2016 — their highest in Test history. It was the last Test in Chennai tal to the freedom of expression and a hallmark of a thriving democracy,” the US State Department said. Urging India to resolve the deadlock through dialogue, it said “peaceful protests” are SIKH OUTFIT IN FOCUS India has issued a legal request to the US regarding Sikhs for Justice, against whom the NIA has filed a case for planning large-scale disruptive activities in India hallmarks of a democracy . In response, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said temporary measures with regard to internet access in certain parts of the NCR region were taken to prevent possible escalation of violence. “As you can see, the US State Department has acknowledged steps being taken by India towards agricultural reforms,” Srivastava added. “The incidents of violence and vandalism at the historic Red Fort on the 26th of January have evoked similar sentiments and reactions in India as did the incidents on the Capitol Hill on the 6th of January and are being addressed as per respective local laws,” he added. The remarks from the US administration come a day after India hit out at celebrities like pop star Rihanna and environment activist Greta Thunberg for allegedly spreading inaccuracies about the strike. THE Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund (HMCPF) within the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) has a reduction by 50 per cent of funds allocated to the scheme in the year 20192020, reveals a government response to an RTI petition. The reply under the Right to Information query filed by activist Vivek Pandey stated that ` 50 crore was sanctioned for the cancer patient beneficiary scheme last year. It had, however, been cut by half from previous years. From the period 2014 till 2019, the government had created a corpus fund of `100 crore for HMCPF, it stated. The RTI also mentioned that there has been a sharp decline in the number of beneficiaries availing the scheme. While in 2014-15, 6,408 patients were benefitted, in 201920, only 275 people availed of the fund. The number of patients was 5,635 in the year 2015-16, 3,109 in 2016-17, 3,934 in the following year and 1,773 in 2018-19. Beneficiaries are patients suffering from cancer and living below poverty line. Set up in 2009, HMCPF has been established in 27 Regional Cancer Centres (RCCs). The financial assistance to a cancer patient up to `2 lakh is processed by the RCC. The HMCPF grant would not be used where treatment /facilities for cancer treatment are available free of cost. Individual cases, which require assistance of more than `2 lakh, are to be sent to the Ministry for processing. Revolving funds have been created in all the 27 RCCs and funds up to `50 lakh will be placed at their disposal. To avail financial assistance, patients have to submit documents including copies of income certificate and ration card. ‘INVOLVE PRIVATE SECTOR IN VACCINATION DRIVE’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE THE government should rope in the private sector for Covid vaccine distribution, according to India’s top industrialists. Talking to TNIE Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla on Thursday Confederation of In, dian Industry (CII) president Uday Kotak said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this. TVS group chairman Venu Srinivasan, CII director-general Chandrajit Banerjee, and Bajaj Finserv MD Sanjiv Bajaj also sat down with Chawla as part of TNIE’s Expressions, a series of live web casts with people who matter. “At CII, we have constituted a task force and we are closely interacting with the government on the need of the involvement of corporates in the process. We have to expedite the vaccination. During my interaction with Serum Institute, I learnt that although we are supplying vaccines fast, they are keen on distributing faster,” Kotak said. Banerjee said vaccinating in- dustrial workers should also be a priority of the government. While terming FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget bold and transparent, the industrialists said big capex and higher allocations towards infrastructure and health sectors will provide the much-needed boost to the ailing economy . Srinavasan said fiscal deficit should not be a matter of concern and the objective should be long-term growth. “For years, we have been crying hoarse over increasing investments in infrastructure and this certainly is a phenomenal aspect of the Budget. There are some sectors deeply impacted like hospitality tour, ism and aviation. We are expecting some measures in these areas. Infrastructure investments bring long-term returns. One has to remember, we are not a working-capital economy . We need infrastructure development,” Srinavasan said. Bajaj said a growth-oriented policy will help the financial services sector achieve strong P10 double-digit growth. BUDGET KEY TAKEWAYS THIS YEAR Political and economic commentator S Gurumurthy writes on need to expand the Development Finance Institution for infrastructure financing and the off-Budget dangers confronting the economy PAGE 7 Modi praise: Is Shah Faesal trying to claw back in Kashmir? F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar AFTER burning boats and criticising the Narendra Modi government for abrogating Article 370, IAS officer-turned politician Shah Faesal, who quit politics after his release from detention last year, has fuelled speculation that he is again trying to become part of the system by praising the Prime Minister and his government’s stand on farmers. Faesal’s new-found love for the Modi government has led to speculation that he may have mended his ways with the Centre and is eyeing a comeback in a different role in J&K. After two years of Faesal quitting his civil service job, his resignation has not been accepted by the government. A 2010 batch IAS topper, he had quit in January 2019 to join politics. Two months later, he formed J&K Peoples Movement. Faesal and his party became an instant hit among the youth. Despite that, some analysts opined that Faesal quit his job and plunged into politics at the behest of BJP to help the saffron party in the long run. He was among the signatories of the August 4, 2019, Gupkar declaration vowing to safeguard J&K’s special status and also among mainstream leaders arrested after the scrapping of Article 370. But after his release from detention, Faesal went silent and on August 10, announced quitting politics. After nearly five months of silence, Faesal praised the Modi government’s vaccination drive and described India as “jagat guru”. On the farmers protests, he backed the stand of Indian celebrities and cricket stars, saying: “Yes. Ghar ki baat ghar ke andar hi acchi.” With Faesal not missing an opportunity to praise Modi, there is speculation that he may return to his civil service job. There is also speculation that he may be appointed advisor to any of the two Lt Governors of J&K and Ladakh Untion Territories. For now, Faesal seems least bothered about the avalacnhe of trolls by netizens regarding his U-turn. Asked about his future plans, Faesal told this daily: “Have pat i e n c e, yo u wo u l d k n ow everything”. VOTES DIDI GOES ALL OUT TO WOO MATUAS With the Centre delaying the rollout of Citizenship Act, Mamata directs Trinamool to launch an aggressive campaign against the BJP’s ‘false promise’ of giving citizenship to Matuas PAGE 8
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