WEDNESDAY AMID CHAOS, TRAI SUSPENDS ANTI-SPAM RULES FOR 1 WEEK 10 The decision follows disruptions in banking, credit card payment and other transactions that involve SMS and OTP generation MARCH, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard Use Of blockchain tech twitter.com/TheMornStandard RELIGION CARD 40 crore MAMATA HITS BACK AT BJP WB CM takes on saffron saying she is as much a Hindu as anybody else A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI PAGES 12 J8.00 MESSAGES FAILED TO DELIVER ON MONDAY, ACCORDING TO MEDIA REPORTS The disruption happened after telcos implemented the new norms for commercial messages, which came into effect on Monday. The rules aim to curb unsolicited and fraudulent messages. SMSes and OTPs, when sent by banks and payment companies, are checked against the templates registered on the blockchain platform — a process called SMS scrubbing VIDESHI VOW IN DESHBHAKTI PUSH AAP govt promises Singapore income level for Delhiites, plans massive patriotism drive on 75th year of Independence S I D D H A N TA M I S H R A @ New Delhi L 2 ET DE G It’s an excellent budget presented amid difficult times. The foundation of the 2047 vision needs to be built today. I believe that the foundation has been laid down in today’s budget AM IT B AND `69,000 crore Budget of Government of NCT of Delhi in 2021-22 6.15% higher than Budget Estimates of D65,000 cr last year 16.95% over the Revised Estimates of D59,000 cr in 2020-21 Total budget outlay 25% Where will the money be spent 75 % RE `17,201 cr `51,799 cr Capital expenditure 55 % 45% Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM Revenue expenditure `37,800 cr `31,200 cr Schemes, Programmes and Projects Establishment and Administration Manish Sisodia, finance minister +3.55% +28.94% Education Health +43.11% Housing 2021-22 2020-21 `3,227 cr `2,977 cr `3,724 cr `3,274 cr Change `5,941 cr `9,394 cr `3,723 cr `5,328 cr `7,704 cr I feel it would be our great fortune if the schemes and plans mentioned (in the budget) would make a positive contribution to the dreams of a liberated homeland as envisioned by the great freedom fighters `9,934 cr Moving away from tradition, Sisodia, who is also the finance minister, read out the more than 12,000-word-long budget on an electronic tab rather than a paper-based file. The `69,000-crore budget is 6.15 per cent higher over the business estimate of `65,000 crore in 2020-21. While the finance minister said the government is in budget surplus like previous years, sources of revenue decreased by nearly 40 per cent due to Covid-19. The budget also promises free vaccines in all government hospitals for city residents. The government will launch a fresh initiative of 100 ‘Woman Mohalla Clinics’ and offer health cards to all residents where all their health history data will be available for easy access. Learning from Covid-19, the government has decided to have a first-of-its-kind ‘Virtual Model School’ for teaching online. It will also revamp the course structure of students till class eight. `15,815 cr SECTOR-WISE ALLOCATION `16,377 cr WRAPPED in high aspirations with a rich spread of nationalism, the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi presented its economic roadmap for the future on Tuesday Deputy Chief Minister . Manish Sisodia presented the `69,000-crore ‘Deshbhakti Budget’ marking the 75th year of India’s Independence. The government also set an ambitious target of matching Singapore in terms of per capita income by 2047. “For that, we have to increase the per capita income by 16 per cent and we will do whatever it takes to achieve that,” CM Kejriwal asserted. According to latest Economic Survey tabled in the assembly on Monday , Delhi’s per capita income has fallen by 5.91 per cent to `3,54,004 during 2020-21, as compared to `3,76,221 in 2019-20. In 2019, the GDP per capita in Singapore was around $65,233.88 (`47.52 lakh approx). Like previous years, education and health remained the priority of the Aam Aadmi Party government. Sisodia said a hundred specialised schools of excellence will be ANNUAL SAVINGS & opened across Delhi. An allocaCUMULATIVE GOAL tion of `16,377 crore — one-fourth The budget aims to enhance of the total budget — will be althe per capital income in Delhi located towards education. The to match that in Singapore by government, he said, would con2047. The government says it tinue with its popular free water, could be possible through electricity education and health , savings made by each family schemes. The government did per annum because of the free not introduce any fresh burden schemes of the AAP on the people, neither did it regovernment. The government, duce the current strain on the claims each family is saving pocket of the ‘aam aadmi’ about `30K per year. BUD I (common man). H Sisodia said the current budget will not only celebrate patriotism but national pride,” said Siso2 will also lay the foundadia. The gover nment 0 2 21-20 tion for the next 25 years. plans to put up large Tri“On the occasion of the 75th colours at 500 places. anniversary of our IndependThe gover nment’s 25-year ence, the coming year will be roadmap also included aspiring filled with an atmosphere of pa- for hosting the Olympic Games. triotism and national pride. In a step to make Delhi a global >From March 12 onwards, Delhi city, Sisodia promised that his will witness grand celebrations government will develop a robust and the whole city will be filled sports infrastructure so that it is with a sense of patriotism and able to host Olympics in 2048. +58.12% -12.08% +8.39% Transport Water Supply Power BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS This was the 7th budget presented by Manish Sisodia The budget was themed as ‘Deshbhakti Budget’ this year Next 75 weeks to be celebrated as ‘festival of patriotism’ Delhiites to get free Covid-19 vaccines at govt hospitals Govt proposes to set up Delhi’s first Sainik School City aims to host the Olympic Games in 2048 Trinamool Cong sees red as Election Banks should penalise Commission shunts out Bengal DGP CREDITWORTHINESS crony lending: CEA problem gets accentuated in the @ New Delhi context of infrastructure,” Subramanian said. CHIEF Economic Advisor (CEA) Subramanian also suggested Krishnamurthy Subramanian that the compensation of senior on Tuesday said banks must be- management in banks must be come more serious about allo- linked to the quality of credit, cating capital optimally and that and there should be a claw-back senior management should be provision in instances of everpenalised for crony lending. greening of loans or zombie “Crony lending is the elephant lending. “The board of directors in the room. Financial cannot be asleep at the sector in India has to wheel,” he said, adding take responsibility that that auditors are the it is the ultimate arbiter first line of defence on of capital and ensure this. optimal capital alloca“Auditors can’t say tion,” the CEA said this is something they while speaking at a Ficcannot do. Data analytci event. ics can do. Zombie lendSubramanian said ing and evergreening the quality of lending K Subramanian, CEA should be avoided as has remained a key they lead to suboptimal challenge for the banks since capital allocation,” he said. Subthe early 1990s, especially when ramanian noted that the size of it came to large loans in the in- the financial sector remains frastructure sector and advised very small compared to the size banks to give loan on creditwor- of the overall economy on any thiness of the company . parameter. “Banks need to ensure that “That is mainly because of capital allocation to the infra- the financial sector as a whole is structure sector is to creditwor- still to figure out a model to thy borrowers. The Economic make large corporate loans and Survey also highlighted that the large infrastructure loans, banking sector’s problems origi- which is a subset of that, in a nated from large loans that were way that does not lead to nonnot necessarily lent to the most p e r f o r m i n g a s s e t s , ” h e creditworthy borrowers. This explained. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE central Election Commission on Tuesday axed the West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra and replaced him with Neeraj Nayan Pandey, ahead of the high-voltage Assembly election contest in the state. It also directed the state government not to give Virendra any post that is directly or indirectly related to the conduct of elections. The change of guard came amid concer ns of violence flagged by the BJP Till now, Pan. dey was the Additional Director General of Police (organisation), who was part of the CBI team Top TN I-T officer transferred The Central Election Commission also ordered the removal of joint commissioner of Income Tax in Tamil Nadu, K G Arunraj, and his immediate attachment with the CBDT headquarters that probed the Taj corridor scam in 2002-2003 when he was on deputation. Earlier, the panel had removed Bengal’s Additional Director General of Police (law and order). “The ECI is acting at the behest of the BJP Virendra was an . efficient officer. The removal of senior officials will not have an impact on poll result and the Trinamool is all set to retain power,” said Saugata Roy the party’s MP , and spokesperson. Echoing him, Wrest Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the BJP’s trick to remove efficient officers would not provide electoral dividend in their favour. West Bengal is set for a closely watched contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and a surging BJP, which is hoping to win 200 of the state’s 294 Assembly seats. Elections will begin on March 27 and continue till April 29, making it the longest ever polls in the state. Rawat resigns to ouster, new CM expected today V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun AFTER four days of intense lobbying to save his chair, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Tuesday tendered his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya, who asked him to continue in a caretaker position for now. Rawat is the first BJP chief minister to be replaced midstream during the Modi-Shah tenure at the helm. It’s also being read as an indication to party chief ministers in other states to perform or perish. Had Rawat stayed on in office till March 18, he would have completed four years as chief minister of the state. The BJP’s Uttarakhand legislature party is scheduled to meet at 10 am on Wednesday to selected its new leader. The parGrateful for ty’s central observers, including naopportunity tional vice-president Dr Raman Rawat Singh and national general-secreannounced his tary Dushyant Kumar Gautam, will resignation at a oversee the change of guard in the state. Leaders like Dhan Singh Ra- press conference. “I am grateful wat, Anil Baluni, Ajay Bhatt and that the party Surendra Bhatt are in the race to regave me such an place Rawat in the top post. There is some buzz on the party opportunity. Only in the BJP a boy experimenting with a Brahmin as the new chief minister, in which who hails from a case Baluni could be the front-run- small village can become CM. It ner. “Since the party has already was a golden given opportunities to Thakurs, it opportunity of may want to put a Brahmin at the my life,” he said helm to balance the vote bank in the state,” said a source. The oath taking ceremony for the new chief minister is said to be scheduled on March 11, the auspicious Shivratri day Relaible sources said that the party did . not want to go into the 2022 state elections with Rawat as its face since at least 22 party MLAs are upset with him. “His kitchen cabinet, including certain ministers and a whole bunch of bureaucrats, exercised too much power. At least one-third of the MLAs were sidelined by the government under his leadership,” said a party insider whoc didn’t want to be quoted. However, the immediate trigger is said to be the creation of the Gairsain division — with two districts from Kumaon and Garhwal divisions — without even consulting local MLAs. Trivendra Singh Rawat tenders his resignation to the governor | PTI India ticks off UK for Parl talk on farm stir, summons envoy P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi Press freedom intact, says Indian mission Dismissing aspersions about lack of press freedom in India, the Indian mission in London said: “Foreign media in India have witnessed events first-hand.” A day after the UK Parliament held a debate on the farm protests in India, the Ministry of External Affairs summoned British High Commissioner Alex Ellis to express New Delhi’s opposition to the “gross interference”. “Foreign Secretary summoned the British High Commissioner and conveyed strong opposition to the un- warranted and tendentious discussion on agricultural reforms in India in the British Parliament. Foreign Secretary made it clear that this represented a gross interference in the politics of another democratic country. He advised that British MPs should refrain from practising vote bank politics by misrepresenting events, especially in relation to another fellow democracy,” a terse statement from the ministry read. Earlier in the day the Indian , High Commission in London dismissed the debate as being based on false assertions and without substantiation of facts. British MPs held the debate in response to the e-petition initiated by Liberal Democratic Councillor Gurch Singh. UK law mandates that any petition which garners over one lakh signatures must be debated in Parliament. According to a former diplomat, the harsh tone of British MPs indicates India’s handling of the protests has not gone down well with them. Another diplomat said any country can discuss any issue in their Parliaments but it will affect India’s image if a resolution is passed. “Had the debate resulted in a resolution against the government, only then would it become a cause of worry he said. ,”
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