CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 25 FEBRUARY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR OLI IN NO MOOD TO RESIGN, PREPARED TO FACE PARLIAMENT DIALOGUE CAN RESOLVE KASHMIR ISSUE: IMRAN P5 WEATHER Fog/mist in the morning. Mainly clear sky later. Temperature range to be around 32 °C and 21 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 97 % TEMPERATURE Min. 37 % Max: 32.3 °C (+2) Min: 21 °C (+2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:02 hrs 17:38 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 14:41 hrs 03:42 hrs Full moon on 27 February THUMBNAILS Tiger Woods was seriously injured after crashing his SUV on sweeping, downhill road in the Los Angels suburbs on Tuesday. Doctors tried to stabilise ‘significant’ injuries to his right leg. Woods' foundation said in a statement he was awake, responsive and recovering in the hospital. AGENCIES LITERARY The Literary page, featuring reviews and books, will appear on alternate Thursdays, beginning today. The Law page, too, will now appear on alternate Thursdays. RBI VOICES CONCERNS ABOUT CRYPTOCURRENCY P9 P8 Covid jabs for senior citizens from 1 Mar Amidst surge in cases, Centre sends high-level teams to 10 states/UTs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 24 FEBRUARY he Centre on Wednesday announced the start of the third phase of vaccination against the Covid-19 pandemic from March 1, even as India's cumulative vaccination coverage has crossed 1.14 crore recipients. Union minister Prakash Javadekar said people above 60 and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated free of cost at government hospitals. The minister, however, said that private centres will charge for the vaccination and the rate will be decided in the next three or four days as talks with vaccine manufacturers and private hospitals is going on. He made the announcement after the Union Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to launch the third phase of the world's largest vaccination drive, which began in India on January 16. “People above 60 years T of age, that may not be less than 10 crore people in the country, and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres,” Mr Javadekar said. Mr Javadekar asserted that the vaccination in India has been successful, “faultless with hardly any complaints”. The country reported 13,742 new cases in the last 24 hours on Wednesday with the overall tally mounting to 1,10,30,176 as per the health ministry's latest data. With 104 deaths due to the disease, the overall toll has touched 1,56,567. India's active cases stood at 1,46,907, with the country also reporting 14,037 recoveries during the same period. The Centre, meanwhile, has deputed multi-disciplinary teams to states witnessing a surge in Covid19 cases, including Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir, as well as West Bengal, to support them in effectively tackling the pandemic. 1,10,30,176 1,46,907 13,742 14,037 1,56,567 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 24 FEB 2021 The ministry said 86.15 per cent of the new cases recorded in the past 24 hours are from six states. Covid cases rose sharply in Maharashtra with the state reporting as many as 8,807 new infections on Wednesday. West Bengal today registered 202 fresh Covid-19 cases and 3 deaths linked to the virus, while 221 CMYK Negative test report must for flyers from 4 states KOLKATA, 24 FEBRUARY Amidst a surge in coronavirus cases in certain states, all air passengers coming to West Bengal from Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana shall have to carry Covid-negative RT-PCR report of tests conducted within 72 hours of flight departure for entry from 27 February onwards. State home secretary HK Dwivedi has urged Union civil aviation secretary PS Kharola to issue necessary instructions in this regard to the airSNS lines. patients were discharged from hospitals. The state's total Covid case count is 5,74,301, with the death toll at 10,256. Kolkata recorded 75 cases and 1 death. GIROUD STRIKES TO CLINCH IT FOR CHELSEA P12 ‘Govt has no business to be in business’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 24 FEBRUARY Cabinet OKs President’s Rule in Puducherry NEW DELHI, 24 FEBRUARY Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made his strongest pitch for privatisation of non-strategic PSUs, saying the government has no business to be in business and sustaining loss-making units on taxpayers’ money drains resources that could otherwise have been spent on public welfare schemes. He said about 100 under-utilised or unutilised assets with public sector units (PSUs) will be monetised, creating Rs 2.5 lakh crore of investment opportunities. “It is government’s duty to support enterprises and businesses. But it is not essential that it should own and run enterprises,” the Prime Minister said at a webinar on the privatisation approach in the Budget for 2021-22. The private sector brings in investment, global best practices, top-quality managers, changes in management and modernisation, he said, adding the money generated from the stake sales will be routed to public welfare schemes. Modi said his government is committed to privatising all PSUs barring four strategic sectors ~ atomic energy, space and defence; transport and telecommunications; power, petroleum, coal and other minerals; and banking, insurance and financial services ~ where the government will retain a bare minimum presence. “The government has no business to be in the business,” he said. Modi also said to speed up the disinvestment process, an empowered group of secretaries has been set up to settle investor issues. The government has to focus on development and the public sector and whenever it engages in business, it leads to losses, he said, adding several loss-making PSUs are supported by taxpayers' money. As much as Rs 1.75 lakh crore is being targeted from the sale of government stake in firms such as BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India Ltd, Pawan Hans, IDBI Bank and Container Corporation of India in the next fiscal year beginning April 1. Puducherry today moved closer to imposition of the President’s Rule after the Union Cabinet approved the recommendation of the Union Territory’s Lt. Governor for suspension of the Assembly following the collapse of the Narayansamy government. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Cabinet meet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the recommendation of Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, who was acting in her capacity as the UT’s Lt Governor. Javadekar said chief minister Narayansamy had resigned after some MLAs of his party left. As nobody claimed to form the government, the Lt Governor recommended “suspension” of the Assembly under Article 239 read with Section 51 of UT Act. The approval will be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind. After his approval, the Assembly will stand dissolved, and the UT is expected to be placed under President’s Rule, SNS Mr Javadekar said.
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