TUESDAY CAIT NOW TRAINS ITS GUNS ON ONLINE PHARMACIES 24 The retailers’ body has alleged that e-pharmacies are resorting to deep discounting and violating the Drugs & Cosmetics Act MAY, 2022 Deep discounting affect retail chemists epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard VANDE BHARAT RAILWAYS SET AMBITIOUS TARGET The railway ministry is working overtime to roll out 75 rakes before LS poll A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 According to the Confederation of All India Traders, e-pharma firms such as Pharmeasy, Medlife, 1Mg, Netmeds and e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart are offering medicines at 30-40% discount plus free shipping. CAIT says predatory pricing and unfair business practices will impact the livelihood of lakhs of small chemists across the country ‘Can’t sell prescription drugs online’ Predatory pricing is done with the sole intention of eliminating market competition, CAIT said. It also noted that sale of prescription drugs and medicines through online medium is illegal. The Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, does not permit home delivery as prescription “in original” is required, it added Petrol tax slashed, but you aren’t getting full relief R A K E S H K U M A R @ New Delhi (From R) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the IPEF’s launch event in Tokyo on Monday | AP India joins pact for Indo-Pacific synergy, growth EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Y E S H I S E L I @ New Delhi for Indo-Pacific is free and open,’’ said Biden. INDIA joined the Indo-Pacific The IPEF seeks to strengthen Economic Framework for Pros- economic partnership amongst perity (IPEF) that was con- participating countries with ceived by US President Joseph the objective of enhancing reR Biden and launched in Tokyo silience, sustainability, incluon Monday, with Prime Minis- siveness, economic growth, ter Narendra Modi saying he fairness, and competitiveness expects it to become the engine in the Indo-Pacific region, acof global economic growth. cording to a joint statement isThe IPEF covers half the sued on IPEF. population of the world and Amongst those who attended more than 60% of the the event virtually global GDP “India has . were leaders from It isn’t a historically been at the Australia, Brunei, Intraditional centre of trade flows donesia, Republic of free-trade in the Indo-Pacific reKorea, Malaysia, New pact: US g i o n , h av i n g t h e Zealand, Philippines, US National world’s oldest commerSingapore, Thailand, cial port in Lohtal, Gu- Security Advisor and Vietnam. The Jake Sullivan jarat. India is commitIPEF will initiate dissaid the IPEF is ted towards working cussions on trade, supwith all Indo-Pacific not a traditional ply chains, clean enfree trade countries for an IPEF ergy decarbonisation, , agreement, which is both inclusive and Infrastructure adding new and flexible. The founand Tax and Anti-Cordation of resilient sup- challenges need ruption among memply chains must be 3Ts new approaches. ber nations. — Trust, Transparen- The IPEF is part Meanwhile, India cy and Timeliness,” of US efforts to and the US signed an counter China’s Modi said. Investment Incentive aggression on India is looking forAgreement (IIA) that trade in the ward to collaborating superseded a similar region with partner countries pact in 1997. The IIA under the IPEF framewas signed by Foreign work and work towards advanc- Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra ing regional economic connec- and US CEO of International tivity integration and boosting Development Finance Corpora, trade and investment within tion, Scott Nathan. The IIA is a the region. legal requirement for DFC, “The nations represented which covers various prohere today and those who will grammes, including debt, injoin this framework in future vestment guarantee, investare signing up to work towards ment insurance or reinsurance, an economic vision that will de- and feasibility studies for poliver for all peoples. The vision tential projects and grants. P7 JAB-O-METER May 22 8,81,668 doses May 23 11,91,382 doses TOTAL: 1,92,50,82,880 NATIONWIDE MAY 22 MAY 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,226 2,022 2,202 2,099 65 46 DELHI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 22 MAY 23 365 530 01 ‘Price benefits could be wiped out in a month’ The benefits of the excise duty cut would be lost in a month if the Centre allows fuel prices to be hiked like this, warned Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal KHADI PANEL HEAD IS NEW DELHI LT GOVERNOR It covers half the population of the world and more than 60% of the global GDP TAKE YOUR SHOT CONSUMERS were in for a shock on Sunday as the reduction in petrol prices thanks to the excise duty cut was lower than they had thought. Vehicle users in Delhi were expecting `9.50 cut in petrol prices but the reduction was only `8.69. Consumers in other cities also had to shell out more than expected. Reason: the state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) raised the base price of petrol overnight, which jacked up the net retail price. OMCs update the base price as and when backend crude and refining prices change. According to the price notification of OMCs, the oil companies increased the base price on petrol by 58 paise, making petrol almost `1 dearer. Following the hike in base price, the petrol costs `96.72 per litre in Delhi, instead of `95.91 per litre. It means people in Delhi were paying 81 paise per litre more at petrol pumps. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Saturday announced slashing the Cen- 268 421 00 VINAI Kumar Saxena is the new Delhi Lieutenant Governor. He will be replacing Anil B a i j a l wh o r e s i g n e d a few days a go citing “personal reasons”. Saxena, a surprise pick even as the names of several experienced and well-known bureaucrats did the rounds initially, will “be the Lt Governor of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office,” a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said. Prior to taking up the responsibility at Raj Niwas, Saxena, 64, served as the Khadi and Village Industries Commission chairman. Saxena, who started his career as an assistant officer in Rajasthan with JK Group, was elevated in 1995 as general manager to look after a proposed port project in Gujarat. He then rose to become the CEO and was later elevated as Director of the Dholer Port Project. Born in March 1958, Saxena holds a pilot’s licence and has previously been on the committee to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Independence. Two years ago, he was nominated as a member on the Padma Awards Selection Committee for 2021. In his new role, Saxena will have to walk a tightrope given the Aam Aadmi Party government’s frequent run-ins with the Centre, the latest being the high court setting aside its doorstep delivery scheme. Baijal, a retired bureaucrat, too had his share of confrontations with the AAP government. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal welcomed Saxena’s appointment and assured him of his full cooperation. “On behalf of the people of Delhi, I extend a warm welcome to the newly appointed Lieutenant Governor, Vinai Kumar Saxena. For the better ment of Delhi, he will get full cooperation from the Delhi cabinet,” he tweeted Kejriwal also mentioned that he, in coordination with Baijal, had done many things for the city and tried to solve its various problems. Government sources said that Baijal’s resignation was the outcome of “a nudge” from public officials who “advised” him to put in his papers” immediately . tral excise duty on petrol by `8 per litre and `6 per litre on diesel. She claimed it would reduce the price of petrol by `9.5 per litre and of diesel by `7 per litre in Delhi. After confusion prevailed among consumers in Kerala on the real impact of the excise duty cut on fuel prices, the state’s finance minister K N Balagopal clarified that consumers in the state should have got a price reduction of `10.41 following the 8 cut in excise duty and the `2.41 reduction in state tax but the unex- All-party meet on Bihar caste census on Friday R A M A S H A N K A R @ Patna IN a move that will force the BJP to take a clear stand on the sensitive issue of caste census, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called an all-party meeting possibly on May 27. Announcing the decision on Monday, Nitish said there is near-consensus on the date of the meeting though some parties are yet to confirm. The announcement comes two weeks after he had a one-on-one meeting with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on the issue. In Bihar, caste remains the main factor for political groups to garner support of people in electoral politics but the BJP has adopted an ambivalent approach towards the proposed exercise. While the BJP has made massive inroads into the OBC support base in Bihar, its Akal Takht head tells Sikhs to get guns Azam Khan moves SC to protect his university NEW DELHI: SP MLA Azam Khan moved the apex court challenging a bail condition imposed by the Allahabad High Court. The top court was informed that the high court ordered the “demolition” of his Jauhar University as a condition for interim bail and now the district administration seeks to execute the order. H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh ‘India dismayed by WHO’s Covid report’ MIRROR OF RELIEF The North and South Blocks are reflected in a puddle after heavy rain in New Delhi on Monday. Rain and thuderstorms brought down the surface temperature by 11 notches, according to the weather office | SHEKHAR YADAV | P4 CONSERVATION Pre-Islamic heritage gets Centre’s fund and focus in capital PA R V E Z S U LTA N @ New Delhi ANGER SLUGFEST OVER ASSAM CM’S MADRASSA QUIP Asom Jatiya Parishad and Congress accused the chief minister of trying to divert people’s attention from the failures of his government. The remark had a communal design, they claimed. PAGE 8 TIME would travel in reverse if you were in Delhi’s Mehrauli – where Qutub Minar is located. Of late, something good has happened there for history’s revisionists as well as water conservationists. Take a trip down 1,000 years to know what is cheering up everyone in that corner of Delhi. An otherwise parched Mehrauli has a lesser known historical place, Anang Taal — a pond said to have been built by Tomar King Anangpal-II. The King is supposed to be Delhi’s granddaddy, the chief patron. Now the good news: The Delhi Development Authority is working on a comprehensive plan to clean and rejuvenate the water body to ensure regu- lar water supply . The DDA decision came three weeks after Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal visited the place. The National Monument Authority (NMA) has already drawn the attention of government agencies towards the dilapidation of the historical water body . In the first phase, DDA will prevent sewage from being discharged into the pond. The agency will bring in heritage conservationists for the project. “The pond’s main source of water was rain. Due to continued development activities, the catchment area has shrunk. We will check during the upcoming rainy season how much water it gets,” says Rajeev Kumar Tiwari, principal commissioner (landscaping), DDA. strong support base has been the upper castes. A caste census could show a g reater number of OBCs and a reduced population of upper castes, which strengthen the demand that the 50% reservation cap be lifted. “It is all about OBCs, who have a sizable population in Bihar,” said a political analyst. BJP’s dilemma on the issue was clearly visible when senior party leader and deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad was evasive in his recently media interaction. He said the party was deliberating the subject and once a decision was taken, it would be conveyed to reporters. The Bihar Assembly had on February 27, 2020 passed a resolution requesting the Centre to hold caste census. It had passed a similar resolution on February 18, 2019. LICENCED WEAPON EXPRESS READ GENEVA: India expressed its disappointment over the WHO report on excess Covid deaths. At the 75th World Health Assembly, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the top agency disregarded India’s authentic data in the process. pected base price shrank the benefit to `9.40. Base price may be changed on a daily basis or less frequently as the OMCs prefer, said Gaurav Moda, India Energy Leader, EY. The final price comprises base price, central excise, dealers’ commission and state VAT. Some taxes are absolute (like Central excise), some are levied as a percentage of the base price. So, the exact price reduction may vary from state to state. There is no such issue in the case of diesel. The agency plans a sewage treatment plant at the site so that treated water can feed the pond, said Tiwari. Last week, DDA vice-chairman Manish Kumar Gupta, accompanied by additional chief architect Manisha Gupta and NMA chairman Tarun Vijay inspected the reservoir. “We will approach the forest department for mandatory permission to remove the unwanted vegetation. As the site has heritage Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal had visited the place a few weeks ago | EXPRESS value, we’ll have to consult cons e r vat i o n e x p e r t s, ” s a i d Tiwari. According to historical references, the Anang Taal was 169 ft long and 152 ft wide. It had a depth of 40 ft. Syed Ahmad Khan, author of Asar us Sanadid, has written that water from this tank was used for making mortar for the construction of Alai Minar (unfinished minaret) in the Qutub Minar complex commissioned by Alauddin Khilji. On the World Heritage Day on April 18, the NMA had organized a heritage walk around the water body Well-known ar. chaeologist BR Mani, who has also served as the ASI’s additional director general, had led the walk aimed at creating awareness about Anang Taal. AKAL Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Monday created a storm by urging all Sikhs to get licensed modern weapons, citing uncertain times they are living in. Hours later, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma took strong exception to the call, but Shiromani Akali Dal leaders supported it. Significantly, people in Punjab already have more than 3.50 lakh licensed weapons. The jathedar, in his address to mark the anniversary of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, urged Sikh boys and girls to keep traditional material arts like gatka alive. “Sikhs should also be armed with licenced moder n weapons in today’s age,’’ he said while urging people to shun drugs. Akal Takht is the highest temporal seat of Sikhs. The jathedar is its high priest. Appalled by the statement, CM Bhagwant Mann urged the jathedar to spread the message of peace, harmony and brotherhood, adding weapons don’t have any place in a rules-based civilised society. Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma said that jathedar should talk about communal harmony and peace rather than weapons, adding his statement gave a wrong message to the masses. For their part, Shiromani Akali Dal leaders justified the jathedar’s message, saying weapons are inte g ral to Sikhism. They said the call was in the context of the poor law and order situation in Punjab.
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