DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2020, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 41ST GST COUNCIL MEETING States need to borrow via RBI to meet GST compensation deficit ` 70 per kilo ` 98 per kilo ` 119 per kilo ` 54 per Dozen Rs 2.35 lakh cr deficit in share, some states protest, Centre says will help THE CITY AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, AUGUST 27 FOUR DEAD, THREE HURT AS PORTION OF BUILDING CAVES IN PAGE 3 PREPARING PARLIAMENT Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu at a rehearsal on Thursday for the Parliament session which is expected to begin from September 14. Renuka Puri Sonia sends a message Top court says states can make categories in SCs, STs for deprived to Cong dissenters, delivers House snub Purpose is NEW DELHI, AUGUST 27 MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 27 DAYS AFTER 23 senior Congress leaders wrote to her asking for major changes in the party organisation, Sonia Gandhi delivered a snub to the dissenters in both Houses of Parliament. In Lok Sabha, two-term MP Gaurav Gogoi was appointed deputy to legislature party leaderAdhirRanjanChowdhury, and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu was appointed Whip. Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari,whowasoneof thedissidents,wasignored.Eventhough Tewaritooisatwo-termMP,heis muchmoreseniortoGogoiinthe party—havingbeenpresidentof the NSUI and Youth Congress, and a former Union Minister. In Rajya Sabha, where the senior-mostof the23dissidents, Ghulam Nabi Azad, is the party's leader, AICC general secretary (Organisation)KCVenugopalhas been made part of a new fivememberdecision-makinggroup. Gogoi new deputy leader, LS; Venugopal in panel for RS Both Venugopal and Gogoi are considered close to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Bittu, the MP from Ludhiana, first replaced Tewari as the party’s candidate for the seat in 2014, an election that the latter did not contest. “Manish (Tewari) could have come in at least as the deputy leader (in Lok Sabha),” a senior Congress leader said. This leader notedthatthree-timeMPShashi Tharoor – also a dissident – had been ignored too, but reasoned that Tharoor “couldn’t have come in since K Suresh, who is alsofromKerala,isthere”.Suresh CONTINUEDONPAGE2 WORLD CHRISTCHURCH SHOOTER GETS LIFE IMPRISONMENT PAGE 12 AFIVE-judgeConstitutionBench of the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that states can sub-classifythelist of Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs), to provide preferential treatment to the especially deprived among them “to achieve the real purpose of reservation”. “The State's obligation is to undertake the emancipation of the deprived section of the community and eradicate inequalities. When the reservation cre- MUMBAI, AUGUST 27 MUMBAI prepared for its first hand transplant late Thursday with 24-year-old Monika More, who lost her hands in a train accident in 2014, scheduled to undergo the surgery at Global hospital around 2 am on Friday. Two hands, donated by a 30year-oldman,whowasdeclared brain dead at Global hospital's Chennai branch on Thursday, Monika with her mother. File were being brought to Mumbai. Doctors in Mumbai said that astheman'sfamilyagreedtodonate both his hands, they were retrieved late Thursday in the Chennai hospital and flown to ● justice for all:Court WHEN QUOTAS create inequalities within beneficiary castes themselves, the state must ensure that resources and opportunities are redistributed and reallocated so that the purpose of the constitutional mandate of equal justice to all is fulfilled, the court said. ates inequalities within the re- served castes itself, it is required to be taken care of by the State making sub-classification and adopting a distributive justice method so that State largesse does not concentrate in few hands and equal justice to all is provided. It involves redistribution and reallocation of resources and opportunities and equitable access to allpublicand socialgoodstofulfiltheverypurpose of the constitutional mandate of equal justice to all,” the Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra ruled. The Bench, also comprising Justices Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah, and Anirudha CONTINUEDONPAGE2 LAC crisis: Jaishankar, Wang Yi set to discuss steps in Moscow next month SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, AUGUST 27 AT A time when India and China arelockedinamilitarystandoffin easternLadakh,NewDelhiisconsidering sending External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Russia next month, around September 9-11,wherehewillhaveachance tomeetChineseForeignMinister Wang Yi and discuss steps to resolve the border crisis, The Indian Express has learnt. Should this work out, it will Mumbai doctors attempt city’s first double hand transplant TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA E E X P L A I NE D ANANTHAKRISHNAN G Mumbaiinacharteredflight.The flight was scheduled to land by 12.30am,anddoctorsplannedto start the surgery by 2 am. “She got a call, and was admitted today. Surgery will begin late night,” said Ganesh More, Monika's cousin. “It is a complicated procedure, and we are making all preparations,”plasticsurgeonDr NileshSatbhaisaid,hoursbefore the surgery. In 2014, Monika had lost her hands when she attempted to CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Jaishankar has received invite for an SCO meeting be their first in-person meeting though Jaishankar and Wang met at the meeting of the RIC Foreign Ministers via videoconference on June 23 -- after the June 15 incident in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in clashes with Chinese troops. They also spoke over phone on June 17, two days after the clashes. Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for the Ministryof External Affairs, told reporters Thursday that Jaishankar “has received an invitation” to participate in a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in CONTINUEDONPAGE2 ARMY PREPARES FOR OCT WHEN WEATHER IMPROVES PAGE 6 59-member Andamans tribe reports Covid, alert in UT RAVIK BHATTACHARYA KOLKATA, AUGUST 27 NINECASESofCovid-19havebeen recorded among the Great Andamanese tribe, setting off alarm bells in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration. A Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), the Great Andamanese now number only 59. While five of the coronavirus patients have recovered, the othersaredoingwell,theofficialssaid. Whatisworryingtheauthorities is that the four new cases have been discovered in the remote Strait Island where the tribe is based. On Friday, a special community health officer will be reaching the island to keep a close watch on the tribe, as well as other PVTGs like the Jarawa, Shompen and Onge. WhiletheUnionterritoryhas seen 2,985 Covid cases (676 of which are active) and 41 deaths so far, the Great Andamenese is the first among its vulnerable tribes to be hit by the coronavirus. Dr Avijit Roy, Joint Secretary, CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Covid blueprint for JEE (Main): 10 lakh masks and gloves, 6,600 litres of sanitiser PAGE 1 ANCHOR RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, AUGUST 27 TENLAKHmasks,10lakhpairsof gloves,1,300infraredthermometerguns,6,600litresofhandsanitiserandanequalamountof disinfectant liquid, 6,600 sponges, 3,300 spray bottles and 3,300 cleaning staff — all at an additional cost of almost Rs 13 crore. This is the blueprint being adopted by the National Testing Agency(NTA)at660testsitesfor JEE (Main), the first national- levelentranceexaminationsince the Covid outbreak. Although various state governments have joined the chorustodeferthetestscitinghealth concerns,theCentrehasdecided to go ahead with JEE (Main) and NEET as planned, saying that a year would be lost otherwise and future admissions affected. JEE (Main), an online exam for engineering aspirants, is scheduled to be held from September 1 to 6 and NEET, a pen-and-paper exam for medical and dental courses, on September 13. About 8.58 lakh students have registered for JEE (Main), which will be supervised by 1.14 Students after appearing for JEE in Chandigarh. Express file lakh invigilators. Before the outbreak, the NTA hadidentified570testcentresfor JEE (Main), which has now been increased so that candidates are accommodatedinalternateseats tomaintainsocialdistancing.The number of shifts has been increasedfromeightto12,andthe number of candidates per shift reducedfrom1.32lakhto85,000. "Earlier, we had planned to assigntwoinvigilatorsfor30students. We have brought that down to two for 15. Hence, our requirement of invigilators has doubled to 1.14 lakh," NTA Director-General Vineet Joshi told The Indian Express. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 REFERRING TO the Covid pandemic as an 'Act of God' that will resultinacontractionoftheeconomyinthecurrentfiscal,Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that in the 41st meeting of theGoodsandServicesTax(GST) Council Thursday, states were presentedwithtwooptionstoresolve the contentious issue of compensation shortfall estimated to be Rs 2.35 lakh crore. State finance ministers, who in the meeting insisted on the borrowing to be done by the Centre to make up for revenue shortfall,latersaidtherewaslack of clarity regarding the proposals that were brought towards theendof thefive-hourmeeting. They also termed the move to make a distinction in the revenue shortfall on account of GST implementation and the pandemic as “unconstitutional”. The first option for states includes a special window to be BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Govt blames Covid, but payment stalled yr ago AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, AUGUST 27 provided, in consultation with the RBI, for borrowing the projected GST shortfall of Rs 97,000 crore and an amount that can be repaid after five years of GST implementation ending 2022 from the compensation cess fund. The second option is to borrow the entire projected shortfall of Rs 2.35 lakh crore -- both on account of faltering GST collections and the expected CONTINUEDONPAGE2 WHILE THE CENTRE Thursday chose to pin much of the blame forthedelaysonGSTcompensation payments to the slowdown inflicted by the pandemic, the delays preceded the Covid-19 shock by almost a year – when payments due for AugustSeptember 2019 got delayed. Since then, all subsequent payouts have seen cascading delays. The economic slowdown, whichhasbeenunderwayforalmost three years now, began to adversely impact GST revenue collections in August last year. Sequentially, the GDP growth rate slowed from 5.2 per cent in April-June2019to4.4per centin CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Maharashtra opposes plan, says Centre must borrow instead SANDEEP ASHAR MUMBAI, AUGUST 27 THE UDDHAV Thackeray government in Maharashtra is set for another confrontation with the Centre over delayed clearance of outstanding Goods and Service Tax (GST) payments. While the Centre on Thursday offered to open a special window to states in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India(RBI)forhelpingthemraise loans at a “reasonable rate of interest”forbridgingtheGSTcom- Forcing states to borrow will result in interest burden, says Ajit Pawar pensation gap, the state government on Thursday said that the Centreshoulditself borrowfrom the apex bank and pass it on to states to help them avoid a debt trap. It also demanded that the period of payment for compensation cess be extended by another five years. Attheepicentreof theCovid19 pandemic, Maharashtra’s economy – which makes up for nearly 14 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product – has suffered massive losses due to the prolonged lockdown. In a statement issued followingthe GST council’s meetingon Thursday, Finance Minister Ajit Pawar blamed the delays in the CONTINUEDONPAGE2 GOVT’SPLAN TOEASE CAP ON SPENDING HITS HURDLE PAGE 4
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