MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 05 OCTOBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘FARM LAWS TO BE CONSIGNED TO WASTE BASKET’ P4 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 18 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 87% P6 ‘25 crore Indians to get Covid vaccine by July’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE TEMPERATURE Min: 18.5°C (+3) SUN SETS 18:02 hrs MOON SETS 09:55 hrs THUMBNAILS Candidates arrive at an examination centre to appear in the Union Public Service Commission DEEPAK prelims exam, in New Delhi on Sunday. Paswan surgery: Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party patron Ram Vilas Paswan has undergone a heart surgery, his son Chirag Paswan said on Sunday. Ram Vilas Paswan (74), who has been in active politics for more than five decades, has been hospitalised for the last few weeks. If needed, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution will undergo another operation in a few weeks, Chirag said. Navy glider crashes: A Navy glider on a routine training sortie crashed in Kochi on Sunday, killing two crew members, a Defence spokesperson said. The power glider took off from INS Garuda, a Naval air station here, and crashed near Thoppumpady bridge close to the naval base at around 7 a.m. Both the crew members of the glider -- officer Lt Rajeev Jha (39) and Petty Officer Sunil Kumar(29) -- were pulled out from the wreckage and rushed to the Naval hospital INHS Sanjivani. However, they were declared brought dead, the spokesperson said. NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER T he government is planning to utilize 40 to 50 crore Covid-19 vaccine so as to cover nearly 25 crore people by July 2021, said Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday. While the government is also keeping a close watch on immunity data with regard to Covid-19, it has also prepared a plan for building capabilities in HR, training, supervision, on a massive scale to inject nearly 25 crore Covid vaccine by the middle of next year, the minister said. The Union health ministry is currently preparing a format in which States would submit lists of priority population groups to receive the vaccine, especially health workers engaged in the management of Covid-19. The list of frontline health workers would include both government as well as private-sector doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitary staff, ASHA workers, surveillance officers and many other occupational categories who are involved in tracing, testing and treatment of patients. This exercise is targeted to be completed by the end of this October. A high-level committee under the chairmanship of Niti Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul is drawing up the entire process. The minister said committees are working on understanding the timelines of availability of various vaccines, obtaining commitments from vaccine manufacturers to make the available maximum number of doses P12 7,371 cases less than Saturday. India's steady trend of posting high level of daily recoveries also continues with 82,260 recoveries being registered in a span of 24 hours in the country. In contrast, 75,829 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported. India's total recoveries crossed 55 lakh (55,09,966) on Sunday. For a 13th day, the country has managed to keep the number of active cases of Covid-19 below 10 lakh, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday. It also said that an average of 11.5 lakh tests for detection of Covid-19 were done on a daily basis during the past ten days. From merely one in January 2020, India's total tests for detection of Covid19 have crossed 7.89 crore so far. There has been a commensurate dip in the Covid-19 positivity rate, it said. There are 9,37,625 active cases of Covid-19 as of 8 a.m on Sunday, which is Delhi cases: The national capital today recorded 2,683 fresh cases of Covid19, even as altogether 50,832 tests were conducted for the purpose, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. With this, the city's cumulative total of coronavirus cases rose to (SEE PAGE 2) 2,90,613. for India and supply chain management, and on prioritisation of high-risk groups. On which vaccine is better, the Minister said it is not possible to comment on the superiority of one vaccine over another although the government would ensure “that even if LJP walks out of NDA in Bihar, targets Nitish, bats for BJP-led govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Less than 10 lakh active cases for 13th consecutive day STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER KKR CAPTAIN KARTHIK FACES FLAK P10 Priority would be given to health workers: Union health minister Min: 35% Max: 35.2°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:17 hrs MOON RISES 20:13 hrs MARKET CAPITALISM HAS FAILED IN PANDEMIC: POPE FRANCE AND ISLAM NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER 65,49,373 9,37,625 75,829 82,260 1,01,782 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 04 OCTOBER 2020 we have multiple vaccines available, they will all be safe and will elicit the requisite immune response against novel coronavirus”. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Sunday walked out of the ruling National Democratic Alliance in Bihar ahead of the state assembly polls, as it attacked chief minister Nitish Kumar and announced that it would fight JD(U) candidates in the elections. While making its resentment with the JD(U) president Kumar clear, the LJP also went to great lengths to highlight its strong ties with the BJP asserting in a , statement that it wants the saffron party to head the future government in the state and its MLAs will work towards this goal. LJP president Chirag Paswan chaired the party's parliamentary board meeting in which a decision was taken to not fight the assembly election, which begins from October 28 in three phases, under Kumar's leadership of the NDA in the state. The BJP which heads the , NDA, has already announced that the alliance will fight the polls under Kumar's leadership, and he will be chief minister again if people vote it back to power. “Due to ideological differences with the JD(U), a member of the alliance at the national level and in the assembly polls, the Lok Janshakti Party has decided to fight the elections in Bihar separately from the alliance,” a party statement said. “We will triumph,” was the brief comment of Chirag Paswan as he sported a victory sign after the meeting. However, the LJP is likely to continue as the mem- ber of the NDA at the Centre as of now. The BJP's relations with the party have remained cordial, and the LJP has maintained that it will not contest against candidates of the saffron party. However, the LJP's decision has thrown open new possibilities in the Bihar polls as the party may end up damaging the JD(U)'s prospects at several seats. The opposition alliance of the RJD, Congress and the Left may receive a boost with the development. The LJP meeting also passed a resolution in favour of an alliance with the BJP , and said its MLAs will work to strengthen the hand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The party said it was keen to execute the “Bihar first Bihari first” vision documents it had prepared following interactions with lakhs of people from the state but an agreement on this could not be reached in the alliance. The LJP has said that it will contest on 143 seats in the election to the 243seat assembly. The ties between the JD(U) and the LJP had long been worsening over a number of issues. The JD(U) was also not keen to part India, China to hold military level talks on 12 October NETWORK EXTENSION STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER Phoolbagan Metro station, the first underground station of Kolkata Metro’s East West corridor to be made operational, was (REPORT ON PAGE 5) inaugurated by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday. SNS Corps commanders of India and China will hold their 7th round of talks on 12 October to discuss modalities for disengagement and de-escalation in eastern Ladakh to restore peace and tranquility in the border areas between the two countries. The two sides are expected to review the situation in the border areas against the backdrop of a five-point consensus reached between their foreign ministers in Moscow recently on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting, sources said today. The 6th round of meeting between Indian and Chinese commanders had taken place on 21 September after which both sides for the first time issued a joint statement which called for "earnestly" implementing the "important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries". They had also agreed to "stop sending more troops to the frontline". Lt Gen Harinder Singh and Lt Gen P G K Menon, who represented the army head- quarters, took part in the 6th rounds of talks. Lt Gen Menon is set to replace Lt Gen Singh as the commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps soon. Last week, the 19th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) took place between senior diplomats of the two countries. The diplomats had agreed to strengthen communication between ground commanders at the Line of Actual Control to "avoid misunderstandings and to maintain stability on the ground." A statement by the Ministry of External Affairs on the meet said both sides "noted that the agreement between the two foreign ministers should be sincerely implemented to ensure disengagement at all the friction points along the LAC." Stormy GST Council meet expected today; non-BJP states to oppose Centre’s borrowing options PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER The GST Council meeting on Monday may turn into a stormy affair, with non-BJP ruled states still being in disagreement with the Centre on the compensation issue. While as many as 21 states, mostly ruled by BJP or parties which have supported it on issues, had till mid-September opted to borrow Rs 97,000 crore to meet the GST revenue shortfall in the current fiscal, opposition-led states like Bengal, Punjab and Kerala have not accepted the borrowing option given by the Centre. Sources said in the 42nd meeting of the Council on October 5, opposition-ruled states would object to the Centre's borrowing options and demand alternative mechanism for funding GST compensation deficit. They feel that the constitutional liability of compensating states lies with the union government. In the current fiscal, the states are staring at a staggering Rs 2.35 lakh crore Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue shortfall. Of this, as per the Centre's calculation, about Rs 97,000 crore is on account of GST implementation and rest Rs 1.38 lakh crore is the impact of Covid-19 on states' revenues. The Centre in August gave two options to the states to borrow either Rs 97,000 crore from a special window facilitated by the RBI or Rs 2.35 lakh crore from market and has also proposed extending the com- pensation cess levied on luxury, demerit and sin goods beyond 2022 to repay the borrowing. The non-BJP ruled states are at loggerheads with the Centre over the issue of funding the shortfall. Chief Ministers of six non-BJP-ruled states ~ West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu ~ have written to the Centre opposing the options which require states to borrow to meet shortfall. While these states want the Centre to borrow to meet the shortfall, the Centre has argued that the revenue accruing from GST compensation cess goes to the states and the Centre cannot borrow on the security of the tax it does not own. Under the GST structure, taxes are levied under 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent slabs. On top of the highest tax slab, a cess is levied on luxury, sin and demerit goods and the proceeds from the same are used to compensate states for any revenue loss. Attorney General of India K K Venugopal had given his legal view on the compensation cess issue where he has opined that there is no obligation on the Centre under the GST laws to compensate for the loss of revenue. He had opined that the GST Council has to find ways to meet any revenue shortfall arising out of GST implementation. The payment of GST compensation to states became an issue after revenues from the imposition of cess started dwindling since August 2019. The Centre had to dive into the excess cess amount collected during 2017-18 and 2018-19. The Centre had released over Rs 1.65 lakh crore in 2019-20 as GST compensation. However, the amount of cess collected during 2019-20 was Rs 95,444 crore. The compensation payout amount was Rs 69,275 crore in 201819 and Rs 41,146 crore in 2017-18. During April-July of the current fiscal, the total compensation due to states stood at over Rs 1.51 lakh crore. with as many seats as the LJP believed was its due in the assembly polls, and Chirag Paswan's constant attacks on the Nitish Kumar government in the state soured their ties. The JD(U) had refused to engage in any talks with the LJP saying that Paswan's , party's alliance was with the BJP and not with it. Though the BJP was more accommodative of the LJP's concerns, sources in the regional party said, but the JD(U) believed that it overestimated its strength. The LJP primarily draws its vote bank in the state from a section of Dalits and also has several 'upper' caste leaders in its ranks who command influence in certain pockets. The Bihar assembly polls will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7, and the counting of votes will take place on November 10. The nomination process for the first phase, under which 71 of the total 243 seats will go to polls, began from October 1 and will end on October 8. In 2015, the LJP had contested 42 seats and won two. The JD(U) was then part of the opposition alliance which decisively defeated the NDA. Opp leaders meet Hathras victim’s family, continue attack on UP govt NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh faced more heat on Sunday over the Hathras incident from leaders of several opposition parties, many of whom met the family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped and later died. A Samajwadi Party delegation, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) vice-president Jayant Chaudhary and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekar Azaad visited the victim's house in a village in Hathras district and assured her family of all possible help. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra continued their attack on the UP government for its failure to take action against the accused, while their party announced that it will hold 'satyagraha' sit-ins across the country on Monday. BSP supremo Mayawati accused the state government of “maintaining silence” rather than providing relief to the victim's family. DMK President M K Stalin alleged that the safety of minorities, woman and the members of SC/ST community in UP was “generally a question mark”. The party said its Women's Wing led by its chief Kanimozhi will take out a candle light march towards the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Monday to demand justice for the Hathras victim. During the day, SP alleged that its delegation members were stopped briefly at a toll plaza near Agra by police at the state government's behest when they were on their way PTI to meet the family. More on Page 4
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.