saturDAY Pakistan remains in Financial Action Task Force’s ‘grey list’ 26 The Paris-based money laundering & terror financing watchdog said Islamabad is yet to implement the action plan given to it in 2018 june, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard under scanner Pak told to Act on HOME-GROWN TERRORISTS FATF said Pakistan must act on UN-designated terrorists based in the country such as JeM chief Masood Azhar, LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and its ‘operational commander’ Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. Islamabad has time till October to implement the action plan. FATF will undertake on-site visits to see if Islamabad is really doing its bit to curb terror financing ed raid on deshmukh house Action intensifies against former Maharashtra minister in bribery probe A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Page 8 Prasad slams Twitter for blocking him for an hour EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Amid the tussle between the Centre and Twitter over the recently notified IT Rules, Union Minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said the social media giant denied him access to his account for around an hour on Friday. This was over complaints that he had violated copyright laws by posting his clippings from TV debates. “Friends! Something highly peculiar happened. Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the US and subsequently they allowed me to access the account,” tweeted Prasad. He attached a screenshot which read, “ Yo u r a c count has been locked because Twitter received a compliant Digital Millenium Copyright Act Notice for content posted to your account.” He posted a subsequent screenshot saying the account was ‘available for use’. When contacted, a Twitter spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the Honourable Minister’s account access was temporarily restricted due to a DMCA notice and the referenced wweet has been withheld. As per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent by a copyright owner or their authorised representatives.” Prasad posted a series of tweets in which he alleged Twitter’s actions were in ‘gross violation’ of Information Technology Rules 2021. l New Delhi J8.00 l June 2018 When Pakistan was placed in the terror finance watchdog’s grey list PAGES 12 Income tax relief for Covid treatment expenses, ex-gratia EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IN a huge relief to Covid patients and their families, the Centre on Friday said all payments made by an employer towards an employee’s Covid-19 treatment as well as ex-gratia payments made to the family in case of death, will be exempt from tax. Acknowledging the large number of deaths and the financial difficulties faced by the family members of Covid victims, the finance ministry said many employers and organisations have extended financial help to such families. “In order to provide relief to the family members of such taxpayer, it has been decided to provide income-tax exemption to ex-gratia payment received by family members of a person from the employer of such person or from other person on the death of the person on account of Covid-19 during FY201920 and subsequent years,” it stated. While full exemption will be offered for any amount received from the employer, it shall be limited to `10 lakh if the amount is received from any other entity or person. Shailesh Kumar, partner, Nangia & Co, said, “Though the relief is granted retrospectively from FY20 onwards, since the due date for filing ITR for FY20 has already expired, it would be important to see whether the government revives the time limit for filing ITR for FY20.” The finance ministry said necessary legislative amend- ments for the above decisions shall be proposed soon. The ministry has also extended some key tax compliance deadlines. These include the last date for furnishing TDS Sept 30 new deadline for Aadhaar-PAN linking The deadline to link Aadhaar with PAN card has been extended by three months to September 30 certificate in Form 16 to the employees by employers, which has been extended from July 15 to July 31. The deadline for making payments under the Vivad Se Vishwas direct tax dispute resolution scheme has also been extended by two months till August 31. Taxpayers have the option to make payments till October 31 with an additional amount of interest. Day after, parties push for J&K statehood before poll Many not in sync with Centre’s roadmap; Mehbooba to abstain if special status is not restored, but PDP will contest state elections express news service @ Srinagar/New Delhi A day after the Centre unveiled its roadmap for the resumption of the democratic process in J&K, leaders of several parties said restoration of statehood must precede Assembly elections, while PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti claimed she would not enter the fray till special status under Article 370 is restored, though her party would. Explaining her rationale, Mehbooba said, “Otherwise they will say I am doing it for political gains. If PDP wins the polls, I will not be chief minister.” However, she said that her party would contest the polls as it cannot leave any democratic space otherwise it will be taken away by other forces. Mehbooba is the third J&K leader to decide not to contest polls. NC vice president Omar Abdullah and another party leader Aga Ruhullah have already made their entering the fray conditional to the restoration of full statehood. Senior National Conference leader and Gupkar Alliance coordinator Justice (Retd) Ha- Different strokes Centre Statehood to J&K to follow delimitation exercise and Assembly elections National Conference Wants restoration of statehood before J&K goes to polls PDP State polls after restoration of special status under Article 370 snain Masoodi said holding of polls while J&K remains a Union Territory is not acceptable. “In Assam, they kept on hold the delimitation process and held Assembly elections while here they say delimitation will precede elections (while it remains a UT),” he pointed out. Another NC leader Imran Nabi Dar said the party’s position is clear: grant of statehood should be the first confidence building measure of the Centre. Centre’s debt-to-GDP ratio climbs to 58.73% in FY 2020-21 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IN another sign of the country’s worsening fiscal situation, the Central government’s total debt at the end of financial year 2020-21 has reached 58.73% of the GDP the highest , since 2007-08 when the debt-toGDP ratio was 58.86%. The government’s total debt reached `116.2 lakh crore as on 31 March 2021, registering a 6.36% jump in the January-March quarter, according to a finance ministry report. At the end of December 2020, total debt stood at `109.2 lakh crore. In FY20, the ratio was 48.6%. The Centre’s total market borrowings also exceeded the revised budget estimate of `12.74 lakh crore for FY21. The government had to borrow l Public debt zooms The country’s total public debt (Centre and States) is likely to have touched 90% of the GDP in 2020-21, the highest ever recorded in the country. In 201920, the total public debt to GDP ratio was 70% `13.20 lakh crore to finance a part of the fiscal deficit of `18.21 lakh crore. The rest is financed by money collected through small savings schemes and external assistance. During the January-March quarter of 2020-21, the Centre issued gover nment bonds worth `3,20,349 crore against `76,000 crore in the year-ago quarter. Consequently the rate , at which the government borrowed during the fourth quarter also increased from 5.68% in the October-December 2020 quarter to 5.80%. “Yields on government securities hardened in the secondary market due to increase in supply of G-secs during the quarter. Further, hardening of yields was more on the short end of curve due to increase in weekly borrowing and also announcement of resumption of normal liquidity operations by the RBI,” the FinMin report said. Articulating the stand of the Congress, senior party leader P Chidambaram said: “Congress and other J&K parties and leaders want statehood first and elections afterwards. Government’s response is elections first and statehood later. The horse pulls the cart. A state must conduct elections. Only such elections will be free and fair. Why does the government want the cart in front and the horse behind? It is bizarre.” Senior CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, who is also spokesperson of the Gupkar Alliance, told this newspaper that they had not attended the all-party meet in Delhi for holding elections. “None of us had gone there to demand elections.” Home minister Amit Shah had on Thursday told the allparty meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi that while the Centre is committed to restoring statehood, it will happen after the delimitation process and Assembly elections are over. “We did not get answers to our concerns. PM did not offer anything concrete in terms of assurances,” Tarigami said. Two shots must for lawyers above 45 in Rajasthan r a j es h a sn a ni @ Jaipur Following a circular from Rajasthan High Court, advocates over 45 can physically appear in court 14 days after completing two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. This means around 80% of advocates in the state cannot appear in courts in Rajasthan. Jaipur Bar Association has opposed the move. Advocates have to show certificates of the second dose before entering the court. Many have taken the first and waiting for the second. High Court Bar President Bhuvnesh Sharma has called this decision wrong. “We talked about the requirement of one dose for physical advocacy We will register our . protest against this decision”, he added. Courts in Rajasthan will reopen on June 28. tractors hit the road again Farmers on their way to Delhi-Ghazipur border from Meerut to join the protests against farm laws on Friday | PTI Expert panel’s report lends oxygen to BJP-AAP blame-game EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi A report suggesting that the Delhi government had inflated the oxygen demand during the peak of the second wave when the city was facing a supply crisis has triggered a fresh round of altercation between Aam Aadmi Party and BJP . The consumption of 1140 MT claimed by Delhi government was four times the consumption calculated according to bed capacity (289 MT), said the interim report of a Supreme Court constituted sub-group headed by AIIMS-Delhi Director Randeep Guleria. While BJP leaders, including Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar and Delhi BJP chief Aadesh Gupta, mounted a heavy attack on the AAP government accusing it of “criminal negligence” and grabbing the share of other states, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made a strong emotional pitch in his defence while taking a swipe at the Centre. “My crime - I fought for the breath of my two crore people. When you were doing elec- NATIONWIDE june 24 june 25 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 54,069 68,885 1,321 51,667 64,527 1,329 claim by govt vs audit panel Five-member group constituted by SC to audit oxygen consumption in hospitals during 2nd wave noted “discrepancy” in actual consumption claimed vs calculated consumption Delhi govt’s claim of 1,140 Metric Tons was four times more than the calculated consumption as per bed capacity formula, which was 289 MT The Delhi government made claims for allocation of 700 MT oxygen using a ‘wrong formula’ on April 30 Singhal, Aruna Asaf Ali, ESIC Model and Liferay hospitals claimed extremely high oxygen consumption with very few beds tion rallies, I was awake all night arranging for oxygen. I fought and pleaded to get oxygen for people. People have lost their loved ones due to lack of oxygen. Don’t call them liars, they are feeling so bad,” Kejriwal tweeted. His deputy Manish Sisodia, however, questioned the very existence of any such report. “Where is this non-existent report? Is there a report which has been signed and approved by members of the Oxygen Audit Committee? The BJP has crossed all its limits in spouting blatant lies,” said Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s nodal minister for Covid-19, other than being the minister for More on Page 4 education. Delhi Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 24 june 25 109 131 08 115 198 04 When you were doing election rallies, I was awake at night arranging oxygen. People have lost their loved ones due to it. Don’t call them liars, they feel so bad —Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM Demand for oxygen was 4 times more than what it was. Rest of the states had to bear the loss. Making noise someone should learn from Delhi govt —Prakash Javadekar, Union minister holy mission Loudspeaker used to play bhajans delivers lessons as teacher takes class from temple m u k es h r a n j a n @ Ranchi The Covid-19 pandemic has caused several changes in the social and cultural behaviour of human beings. Some of these changes have been heart-warming. Some not quite. For an example of a change of the pleasant kind, one has to visit Jinouri village in Bokaro district of Jharkhand. Here, loudspeakers installed at the local temple for playing bhajans is used to impart lessons to kids. Schools closed for many months, teacher Bhim Mahto of Jinauri Middle School has turned the temple into a temporary school. He has been using the loudspeaker so that students attending classes can do so from their houses. Mahto calls students to the temple one at a time, so that they can clear doubts without causing overcrowding. According to him, he took this initia- Bhim Mahto teaches his students in Jinouri village of Jharkhand | express tive after realising that most of these children were not comfortable with online classes. “Parents were finding it difficult to afford smart phones for their children. I thought why not make use of the loudspeaker at the temple, which plays bhajans every morning and evening,” says Mahto. He spoke to villagers, who readily accepted his proposal. Using own resources, Mahto has made posters with English and Hindi alphabets, names and spellings of animals and body parts with pictures — things that are taught in classes I, II and III. “Students of one class are asked at a particular time to step out of home and go near these posters. I use the temple mike to tell them what these are. To know if they have understood properly I call them , one by one to the temple and clear their doubts,” he adds. Classes are taken thrice a week and Mahto has senior students as volunteers who guide the children in his absence. “It is commendable that this teacher has taken such an initiative. Since the concept was convincing, we allowed him to use the loudspeaker without a second thought,” said Mukhia of Poplo Panchayat Devanti Devi. She informed that Mahto also encourages kids to attend classes by distributing chocolates and fruits among them.
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