SATURDAY BIDEN TAKES TRUMP LEGACY FORWARD, TARGETS CHINA 05 JUNE, 2021 US President on Thursday issued an executive order prohibiting Americans from investing in as many as 59 Chinese companies epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard SATELLITE FIRMS, IC CHIP MAKERS ON BLACKLIST DCGI NOD SERUM TO MAKE SPUTNIK V August 2 SII collaborates with Russian firm for developing Covid vaccine at Hadapsar facility A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI RBI cuts growth projections, pauses rates COVID RELIEF J&K begins compiling list of orphans for edu grant Ongoing 2nd Covid wave derails central bank’s estimates for revival of economy F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar WITH Covid-19 wreaking havoc on many families, snatching both parents in several cases, the Jammu and Kashmir administrator has directed all the 20 deputy commissioners (DC) to compile a list of children orphaned by the pandemic in the Union Territory . Secretary of the social welfare department Sheetal Nanda told this newspaper that the DCs have been asked to submit the list to the department by June 20. Last week, the J&K Administrative Council, headed by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, had approved the grant of financial relief through the Special Assistance Scheme for Covid mortalities (SASCM/Saksham) to extend scholarship to students, who have lost their parents or earning legal guardians to the pandemic. The special financial assistance applies only to the domiciles of the Union Territory . The special scholarship will be paid annually at the rate of `20,000 and `40,000 through direct benefit transfer (DBT) to children studying up to Class 12 and in colleges, respectively . Director of the social welfare department of Kashmir Bashir Ahmad said a joint account will be opened for the transfer of scholarship and the beneficiary can operate the account through his/her legal guardian till such time he/she becomes eligible to operate the a c c o u n t i n d e p e n d e n t l y. He added that the scholarship will be released at the start of the academic year. “The amount will be deposited in their bank accounts through DBT,” Ahmad said. He said for the children who are too young to go to school, the scholarship shall become operative from the date they are admitted to a school. S E S A S E N @ New Delhi AN explicitly dovish-toned RBI on Friday chose to keep interest rates unchanged as it lowered GDP growth projection for the current financial year to 9.5%, dashing hopes of a double-digit economic growth. The downward revision highlights the economy-wide stress. Even as RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das was convinced a normal monsoon and business resilience can aid economic recovery he ad, mitted there were risks to the growth. The central bank was also mindful of the inflation, which it estimates to be at a moderate 5.1% for FY22 despite the recent rise in commodity prices, which the monetary policy committee feels is driven by supply-side constraints. Announcing a slew of liquidity measures, Das said RBI’s focus is now shifting to equitable distribution of liP10 quidity . @ New Delhi IN what is expected to further ease the supply of raw materials to vaccine manufacturers in India, the United States has decided to lift the Defense Production Act (DPA) ratings on three Covid vaccines — AstraZeneca, Novava and Sanofi. AstraZeneca and Novavax are being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). “While the manufacturers will continue to make these three vaccines, this action will allow US-based companies that J8.00 PAGES 12 Panel set up to probe O2 shortage deaths in Delhi E X P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E @ New Delhi DEPUTY CM Manish Sisodia on Friday said the Delhi government has formed a committee to probe and disburse `5 lakh as financial aid among the families which have lost their loved ones due to shortage of medical oxygen amid the second Covid-19 wave. Starting mid-April, there were reports of distressed families scrambling to get oxygen cylinders for patients. Several hospitals, too, sent SOS messages alerting authorities on shortage of oxygen, with many deaths being reported at some facilities in the capital. “The second wave resulted in a massive oxygen crisis across the nation. Keeping this in mind, the Delhi government has formed a four-member experts’ panel with the responsibility to inspect the matter and disburse `5 lakh as medical as- EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi RBI has lowered the growth estimate for 2021-22 from 10.5% forecast earlier to 9.5% as “sudden rise in Covid-19 infections and fatalities has impaired the nascent recovery that was underway”. According to RBI’s revised estimates, Q1 growth is now pegged at 18.5% against 26.2% projected earlier. Q2 growth was lowered marginally to 7.9% from 8.3% POKE ME NOT! GOOD MONSOON TO TEMPER INFLATION “A normal south-west monsoon along with comfortable buffer stocks should help to keep cereal price pressures in check,” Das said. However, rising commodity prices, especially crude, together with logistics costs could pose serious challenges to the outlook. Das pegged quarter-wise inflation projections for FY22 at 5.2% in Q1; 5.4% in Q2; 4.7% in Q3; and, 5.3% in Q4, with risks broadly balanced POLICY RATES KEPT AT RECORD LOW The six-member Monetary policy committee decided to keep repo rate (at which banks borrow from RBI), unchanged at a record low of 4% and the reverse repo rate (at which RBI borrows from banks) at 3.35%. RBI had slashed the repo rate by 115 bps since March 2020, to soften the blow from the pandemic. It was last revised in an off-cycle policy review in May TARGETED REGULATORY MEASURES RBI introduced a liquidity window of `15,000 crore for contract-service sectors such as hotels & restaurants, transport, tourism, event management companies and beauty salons that have been disproportionately targeted in the latest round of lockdowns. The window is available till March 2022. RBI has also enhanced the threshold exposure for availing its restructuring programme for small businesses and loans to individuals for business from `25 crore to `50 crore `1.2 LAKH CRORE BOND BUYING RBI has announced the second phase government bond-buying scheme – G-SAP 2.0 – under which it will buy `1.2 lakh crore worth of bonds in July-September supply these vaccine manufacturers to make their own decisions on which orders to fulfill first,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said. All three vaccines are yet to be approved for use in the US. The DPA gives the US president powers to allocate materials, services, and facilities and award contracts that are prioritised over others to promote national defence. Former President Donald Trump had invoked the Act last February saying it will be used to protect America from coronavirus. The law prevents companies from exporting certain goods to keep them within the US. By invoking the DPA, the export of raw materials for vaccine manufacture was curtailed or banned from the US. Of the 350odd ingredients used for vaccine manufacture, the US is the source for around 70% of them. The issue of the DPA bar was first flagged by SII’s Adar Poonawalla, which created an uproar, forcing the Biden administration to partially lift it. A medic collects swab sample of an infant for Covid-19 test at a hospital at Nerul in Navi Mumbai on Friday | PTI NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JUNE 3 JUNE 4 1,34,154 1,32,364 2,11,499 2,07,071 2,887 2,713 June 3 26,24,971 doses June 4 33,57,713 doses TOTAL DOSES: 22,75,67,873 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT EXPRESS READ Punjab Cong infighting: CM meets party panel Chandigarh: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Friday met the threemember panel set up by the Congress high command to resolve infighting in the party’s state unit and apprised it of efforts to unite the party, as well as preparedness for upcoming assembly polls | P8 DESPAIR Job loss & curbs: Over 53K migrants back in U’khand V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun THE Uttarakhand Migration Commission’s report, submitted to CM Tirath Singh Rawat on Friday revealed that over , 53,000 migrant workers have returned to the state from across the country following the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Most of these migrants were employed in the hospitality sector, which has been severely hit in the pandemic. Thousands have lost their jobs due to the ongoing restrictions and apprehension among people to travel. Data shows that around 39% of people who have returned belonged to the hospitality sector, followed by students (12.9%) and manual workers (11.1%). “ total of 53,092 migrants have returned A to Uttarakhand between April 1 and May 5, 2021. Highest number of people have returned in Almora (27.97%) followed by Pauri (17.84%), Tehri (12.53%), Udham Singh Nagar (0.66%) and Dehradun (0.29%),” said SS Negi, vice-chairman of the Uttarakhand Migration Commission. Last year, till September, more than 3.57 lakh migrants had returned to the state. `43K project to build 6 conventional subs gets nod M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi IN one of the largest Make in India projects in the naval sector, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Friday approved a Request for Proposal (RFP) to build six conventional submarines at an estimated cost of `43,000 crore. The project will be under the strategic partnership model, P 75 (I), which means the whole process will be led by an Indian manufacturer. The submarines will be equipped with the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion system, the defence ministry said. The DAC was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. On January 21 last year, two domestic shipyard companies — state owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) and private sector firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T) — were identified as strategic partners for the P 75 (I) programme. These two strategic partners will now get the RFP in about a month and do the legwork, including scouting for global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to provide various systems. They sistance to all those families which lost a member due to oxygen crisis,” said Sisodia. The panel will meet twice a week and will look into each case and decide whether the death happened due to the shortage of the life-saving gas, he said. He said the Delhi government has sent the file to the office of L-G Anil Baijal. “The process of disbursal will begin immediately after the L-G’s approval,” Sisodia said. L5 lakh compensation to families of deceased If the panel ascertains that death of a patient had occurred due to shortage of oxygen, then the Delhi government will give a compensation of `5 lakh to the families of the deceased DELHI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JUNE 3 487 1,058 45 JUNE 4 523 1,161 50 ‘3rd wave will peak early if Covid code is ignored’ FY22 GDP GROWTH LOWERED TO 9.5% SII gains as US lifts curbs on raw material export on three vaccines EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Day President Biden’s executive order will come into effect On the blacklist are manufacturers of integrated circuits, optical components, satellite communications equipment and software. These firms are suspected to have close ties with the Chinese military or are providing surveillance services. The aim is to stop such firms from accessing US capital will submit their project reports in three months, after which their technical evaluation will be done and one shipbuilder picked. Contract signing can happen by 2022-end assuming the project is on the fast track. The chosen company will then begin building infrastructure with Central funds. The selected OEMs will transfer technology and train personnel, after which manufacturing will begin. It’s a 30-year project and its first submarine ought to be ready in about 10 years. “It will be a strategic shift in overall capability building towards manufacturing of complex systems,” an officer said. The DAC also approved Army’s `6,000 crore plan to procure air defence guns and ammo under the Buy & Make (Indian) category . CHANCES of a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic are pretty high and the next phase could turn out to be as bad as the current wave if people let their guard down, a top official warned on Friday . Talking to reporters during a press briefing by the health ministry on Friday, Dr V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog, underlined that the pandemic situation had improved not because of the virus behaviour but because of the measures taken to curb its spread. “If we again start doing what we were doing as a society in December 2020 and January 2021, the situation can again go into a difficult phase,” added Paul, who also heads the country’s national Covid task force. The more people neglect following Covid-appropriate behaviour, the more intense will be the next wave, he said. “But if we proceed slowly and continue the tightrope walk, the wave will be small… Maybe, there will be no waves at all,” he noted. Dr Paul, however, insisted that improvement in the pandemic situation will not happen automatically . “There are no crowds... a price that we pay but we have made it difficult for the virus to travel. We have to remember that when the peak is declining, if we start doing what we were doing in January, it will Ready for worst-case scenarios, says govt The Central government is prepared for the worst-case scenario and guidelines on upgrading medical infrastructure for kids will soon be shared with states, Dr Paul said come back again. This is mathematically valid and also valid by c o m m o n s e n s e, ” h e stressed. Many experts have said that while a third wave of the pandemic is a real threat and could occur given the still large number of people who may be susceptible to the virus, it is difficult to predict its timing and intensity .
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