CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 SEPTEMBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR RAJNATH HEADS TO RUSSIA FOR SCO MEET ABE’S SPOKESMAN SEEN AS FAVOURITE TO SUCCEED HIM P9 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 32-26 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 14.4 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.97% Min. 79% TEMPERATURE Max: 30.7°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:20 hrs MOON RISES 05:11 hrs New moon on 17 Min: 24.6°C (-2) SUN SETS 17:53 hrs MOON SETS 18:15 hrs September P5 P5 Candidates leave their examination centre in Vivek Vihar, Delhi, after appearing for the joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main 2020 amidst the Covid pandemic on Wednesday. DEEPAK Facebook India chief appears before Parl panel: Amid a row over Facebook's alleged political “bias”, India head of the social media platform Ajit Mohan was on Wednesday questioned for nearly two hours by a parliamentary panel, which is discussing alleged misuse of social media platforms. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology had called representatives of Facebook to hear their views on the subject of safeguarding citizens' rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms. Govt to stop physical printing of calendars, diaries: The government on Wednesday said ministries, departments, public sector undertakings and public sector banks will stop physical printing of calendars, diaries and greeting cards. In an office memorandum the Department of Expenditure under the finance ministry also bannned printing of coffee-table books. All government departments and offices have been directed to make efforts to adopt innovative means to use digital or online methods for these items. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P12 This is a travesty and an abrogation of the fundamental basis on which the states gave up 70 per cent of their taxing powers, including the entire VAT regime, to usher in the GST regime KOLKATA, 2 SEPTEMBER Zero Hour also curtailed for Parl’s Monsoon Session PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 SEPTEMBER here will be no Question Hour, a curtailed Zero Hour and no private members' bills during the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have decided, citing the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting Opposition leaders to accuse the government of trying to “murder democracy” and of reducing “Parliament to a notice board”. In separate notifications, the two secretariats also said there will be no breaks as well during the session to be held from September 14 to October 1, and both Houses will function on Saturdays and Sundays. The session will be held in two shifts ~ 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Except for the first day, the Rajya Sabha will sit in the morning shift and the Lok Sabha will sit in the evening.“There will be no Question Hour during the Session. In view of the request of the government owing to the prevailing extraordinary situation due to Covid-19, the Speaker has directed that no day be fixed for thetransaction of Private Members' Business during the Session,” the Lok Sabha Secretariat said in a notification. A similar notification was issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. Slamming the move to dispense with Question Hour,Trinamul Congress MP Opposition MPs lose right to question government. A first since 1950? Parliament overall working hours remain same so why cancel Question Hour? Pandemic excuse to murder democracy We are not running away from any debate and (are) ready to discuss any issue or topic which will be decided in the Business Advisory Committee DEREK O’BRIEN PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS MINISTER Derek O' Brien said opposition MPs will lose the right to question the government and alleged that the pandemic was being used as an “excuse to murder democracy.” In the past, he said, the Question Hour was dispensed with during sessions of Parliament called for special purposes but the upcoming monsoon session is a “regular session”. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted: “Questioning the government is the oxygen of parliamentary democracy. This Govt seeks to reduce Parliament to a notice-board and uses its crushing majority as a rubber-stamp for whatever it wants to pass. The one mechanism to promote accountability has now been done away with.” The Congress party also tweeted separately that questioning the govern- ment is the“life-blood of parliamentary democracy”. “By doing away with this tool of accountability, the BJP Govt seeks to pass laws without any discussion and debate. It is an attempt to stifle democracy under the garb of the pandemic,” it said. Amidst the criticism, the government said it is not running away from any debate and that all opposition parties were told beforehand about the move with most of them agreeing to it. The government is ready for unstarred questions and it has requested presiding officers of both the Houses to facilitate this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi. Unstarred questions are those to which written answers are given by ministers, while starred questions are those to which answers are desired to be given orally on the floor of the House during Question Hour. PRALHAD JOSHI Slamming the Centre over failure to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) dues to the states, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that it undermines federalism and urged him not to destroy the trust between the states and the Centre on the issue. “Depriving states of GST Compensation is an attempt to undermine federalism,” Miss Banerjee wrote and asked the PM “not to allow an insufferable blow to the federalist polity of the nation by depriving the states of the GST compensation". Miss Banerjee said that if it is said that it is not the responsibility of the Government of India to compensate states for GST shortfall in this pandemic then “this appears to be an act of subterfuge to undermine the MAMATA BANERJEE WB CHIEF MINISTER trust reposed by the states in the spirit of cooperative federalism” and “an onslaught on the democratic and federal structure of the country”. “I am deeply anguished by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) imbroglio which tantamounts to a betrayal of the trust and moral responsibility of the Government of India towards the states, violating the very premise of federalism. “This is a travesty and an abrogation of the fundamental basis on which the states gave up 70 per cent of their taxing powers, inc- STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 SEPTEMBER A total of 10,281 farmers and agricultural labourers and 32,563 daily wage earners committed suicide in the country during 2019, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data released today. The farm sector suicides accounted for 7.4 per cent of the total 1,39,123 suicides in the year. Out of the total suicides, 70.2 per cent (97,613) were by males and 29.6 per cent (41,493) were females. The total of 1,39,123 suicides during 2019 showed an increase of 3.4 per cent in comparison to 2018. The majority of the suicides were reported in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh SNS and Karnataka. India's total tally of Covid-19 cases climbed to over 37 lakh onWednesday with 78,357 new cases of the infection reported in the previous 24 hours, while the number of recoveries has crossed 29 lakh pushing the recovery rate to 76.98 per cent, Union health ministry data showed. With 1,045 new fatalities in 24 hours, the death toll rose to 66,333. India has so far reported 37,69,523 cases of the novel coroanvirus, according to the data. At present there are 8,01,282, active cases in the country, which comprises 21.26 per cent of the total caseload, the Ministry data stated. The total number of Covid19 recoveries in the country Bengal adds 2,976 new cases, sees further decline in active case count KOLKATA, 2 SEPTEMBER West Bengal recorded 2,976 fresh Covid cases and 56 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total case count to 1,68,697 and the death toll to 3,339 today. With an increase in recovery rate to 83.53 per cent, 3,297 patients were discharged from hospitals in a single day. 1,40,913 patients have recovered so far. Continuing a trend seen over the past few days, the number of active cases has declined further, to 24,445, 377 less than the previous day’s figure. North 24-Parganas registered 728 single-day cases and six deaths while the daily case count in Kolkata was 393 in the last 24 hours along with 17 deaths. Howrah registered 11 deaths, which is the highest recorded in the district in a single day till now and 150 fresh cases. A high of 44,120 people were tested for Covid during the 24-hour period and a total of 19,75,493 samples have SNS been tested so far. has surged to 29,01,908, while the fatality rate has further declined to 1.76 per cent. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 4,43,37,201 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 SEPTEMBER India onWednesday banned 118 more mobile apps with Chinese links, including popular game PUBG, citing data privacy concerns and a threat to national security. This takes the total count of Chinese-linked mobile apps banned by India to 224. The 118 apps banned on Wednesday include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Alipay, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat reading, Government WeChat, TencentWeiyun, APUS Launch- er Pro, APUS Security, Cut Cut, ShareSave by Xiaomi, and CamCard, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, according to an official release. “The Government blocks 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public samples have been tested up to September 1, of which 10,12,367 were tested on Tuesday. Earlier today, the Union Health Ministry informed that fifty-four per cent of the total coronavirus cases in India were reported among people from 18 to 44 years of age while patients in 60 years and above bracket account for 51 per cent deaths. “Fifty-four percent of Covid19 cases are in the 18-44 years age group but 51% deaths are in the 60 years and above age group," the ministry tweeted. According to the ministry, there are 8 per cent cases and 1 per cent deaths below 17 years of age, 14 per cent of total coronavirus cases in India and 1 per cent of deaths recorded among the 18-25 age group. 37,69,523 8,01,282 78,357 62,026 66,333 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY, 2 SEPT 2020 Pranab diaries: Sharmistha to take the call on publication PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 SEPTEMBER honours on Tuesday, came into politics in 1969 and subsequently served as minister for External Affairs, Defence, Finance and Commerce and then as India's 13th president. Writing a diary every day was one of Mukherjee's ways to keep his famously encyclopaedic memory razor sharp until the very end, said his close friends. “I once asked him what the fate of his diaries would be, and he had said he'd given them to his daughter because a lot of controversies can take place. In his diaries, he wrote whatever he thought ~ things that were off the record ~ but he didn't want to publish it before his death, said veteran journalist Jayanta Ghoshal. Ghoshal, who had known the late politician since 1985, said Mukherjee was in the habit of writing diaries since his days as cabinet minister in the Indira Gandhi government and continued to write them after retiring as president. In fact, the length of his entries had increased after he demitted the president's office, he said. One entry that Gautam Lahiri, another senior journalist and long-time friend, knows of is a drawing by Mukherjee's granddaughter. This followed a conversation between Mukherjee, the child and then prime minister Manmohan Singh. “After Pranab Mukherjee was elected as president, Manmohan Singh went to his house and Pranab dacalled his granddaughter and said, You were looking for a prime minister, he is a PM. She didn't believe it and ran away. Later that day, his granddaughter drew a picture of Pranab da as PM. That picture is entered in his diary as a me- mory of the interaction between Manmohan Singh, his granddaughter and himself, Lahiri recounted. The entire interaction, the journalist explained, stemmed from the much talked about topic of how Mukherjee never became prime minister. Like most people, his family felt that he should be made PM. He never aspired for that and he never told anybody. He believed that the president's and the PM's posts are so honourable that they can only be offered, one cannot go hankering after them. But his family members, even his grandchildren believed that one day he would become PM, Lahiri said. Mukherjee, who had a ring- CMYK luding the entireVAT regime, to usher in the GST regime," Miss Banerjee wrote. Miss Banerjee reminded Mr Modi that he as CM of Gujarat had opposed the implementation of GST on various grounds while former finance minister Arun Jaitley had stated that the sole reason why BJP was opposing GST implementation was because it did not trust the Government of India in honouring compensation of GST losses to the states. “Today his words are ringing in our ears as we are losing trust on the BJP Government in the Centre, in honouring its solemn promise of fully compensating GST losses to the states,” she wrote. She added that the “agreed formula” for giving up taxing powers was the promise of full compensation of shortfall in GST collection for five years. Later in a Press Conference in Nabanna, Miss Banerjee said that she has spoken on behalf of all the chief ministers. “During the ongoing pandemic situation there is only burning and no earning. Why is the Centre moving back from its commitment?This is nothing but a breach of trust on the Centre’s part,” she said. The non-BJP ruled states and Union Territory Puducherry on Monday had rejected the Centre’s suggestion that the states should borrow to make up for the GST shortfall, saying the constitutional liability to fill the gap lies with the Union government. Govt bans 118 more mobile apps with Chinese links, including PUBG 54 pc Covid-19 cases in age group 18-44 yrs, 51 pc deaths among those aged 60 yrs and above KOLKATA, 2 SEPTEMBER The late Pranab Mukherjee, former president and long-time Congress leader, made his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee custodian of the diaries he wrote almost every day during his five-decade political career and authorised her to take a call on publishing them. “He has left his diaries with me, and left it to my discretion whether to get them published or not,” Sharmistha Mukherjee told PTI onWednesday. Mukherjee, 84, who died on Monday after a three-week battle with multiple ailments and was cremated with full state WHEN WEST ASIA DRAWS A LINE IN THE SAND Question Hour Depriving states of GST dues a bid to undermine federalism: CM dropped; Opp parties livid T THUMBNAILS Farm sector accounts for 7.4 pc of all suicides in 2019: NCRB KAFEEL KHAN FEARS U.P GOVT COULD . FRAME HIM side view of events in India as it evolved through the decades, had told reporters in May 2012 that he was a diary writer but had no plans to publish them during his lifetime. “That job will be done by my daughter,” he had said. He had also indicated that since the diaries were a truthful account of events as seen by an individual “it is always better that they be made public after the individual is no more”. Mukherjee served as India's president from July 2012 to July 2017. He continued to be a presence to contend with even after he demitted office, often making headlines as he attended book launches and delivered lectures. order,” the statement said. The move comes amid fresh border tensions with China in Ladakh. The statement cited numerous complaints received by the IT Ministry from various sources, including reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data to servers outside India. “The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the release said. Earlier on June 29, the government had banned 59 Chinese apps, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. That ban had come against the backdrop of a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh with Chinese troops. India-China talks, P5 Centre announces SOPs for resuming Metro services PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 SEPTEMBER Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri onWednesday said Metro train services will resume in a graded manner from September 7 across the country, except in Maharashtra, and passengers will have to follow preventive measures against Covid-19 such as maintaining social distancing and wearing face mask. Addressing an online media briefing, the Union housing and urban affairs minister said that all Metro lines will become operational from September 12. The minister, however, said that if the government finds that resumption of Metro services does not result in social distancing or leads to crowding and trains getting congested, it might have no option but to review the decision. The minister said that Metro stations in Covid-19 containment zones will remain closed when services resume from September 7. Puri said that wearing face mask will be mandatory during travel on Metro trains and added that masks will be provided to passengers on payment basis at stations. “Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to travel after thermal screening at entry into stations. Symptomatic persons will be advised to go to nearby Covid Care Centre or hospital for testing or medical attention,” Puri said. The central government said that Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai Line-1, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Maha Metro (Nagpur), Kolkata, Meet today on Kolkata Metro resumption KOLKATA, 2 SEPTEMBER Kolkata Metro Railway authorities will hold a meeting with Bengal government officers on Thursday to discuss matters relating to resumption of Metro train services in the city. Kolkata Metro Railway is considering resuming services from the third week of this month. According to sources, the tentative date for resumption of Metro services could be 14 September because of the complete lockdown on 11 and 12 September while 13 is a Sunday. If things go according to plan, the Metro authorities might decide to restart services from SNS 14 September. Details on Page 3 Gujarat and UP Metro (Lucknow) have prepared their respective SOPs. “The Maharashtra government has decided not to resume operation of Metro during September. Hence, Mumbai Line-1 and Maha Metro operations shall commence from October 2020 or as state government may decide further,” it stated. An official said that if passengers are not following antiCovid-19 measures, Metro rail corporations may have an option of “naming and shaming” them through social media.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.