SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 MAY 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 EX-PREMIER’S GRAFT CASE A TEST OF JUSTICE IN KUWAIT CONSPIRACIES IN THE OPEN P7 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain. Temperature most likely to be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius. TEMPERATURE P11 P5 Min. 68 % Max: 34.2 °C(-1) Min: 27.7 °C(+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:51 hrs 18:16 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 21:34 hrs 07:26 hrs Next moon quarter on 02 June THUMBNAILS Relatives mourn the death of a Covid patient, outside a New Delhi hospital on Saturday. IANS Court grants bail to Navneet Kalra: A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in the oxygen concentrator black-marketing case, saying that he has clean antecedents and will not tamper with the evidence. During a recent raid, 524 oxygen concentrators were recovered from Khan Chacha, Town Hall and Nege & Ju restaurants (P5) owned by Kalra in the national capital. Wife of officer killed in Pulwama joins Army: 27 months after she lost her husband in an anti-insurgency operation in south Kashmir's Pulwama, 29-year-old Nitika Kaul on Saturday donned the army uniform after completing a one-year rigorous training in Tamil Nadu. (P5) MeToo second wave hits Tamil Nadu: A strong second wave of MeToo movement in Tamil Nadu is creating ripples in the state with "casualties" being noted poet and lyricist Vairamuthu and teachers of various prestigious schools in Chennai. The police booked two more teachers for sexually harassing students. This comes days after the police arrested G Rajagopalan, a teacher at the prestigious school in Chennai.(P4) IT'S TIME FOR NEW KIDS TO WOW TENNIS WORLD P12 CS row: Mamata PM announces welfare schemes decries Centre’s for children orphaned by Covid-19 vendetta politics PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 29 MAY RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 86 % ‘INDIA-PAK CEASEFIRE CONTRIBUTED TO FEELING OF PEACE’ CM urges Centre to withdraw order recalling chief secy STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 29 MAY erming the order to recall her state’s chief secretary, Mr Alapan Bandopadhyay, as “unconstitutional, illegal, unilateral” and “a result of political vendetta”, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today appealed to the Centre to withdraw it. On Friday evening, Mr Bandopadhyay was recalled by the Central government and asked to report to the department of personnel and training at North Block, New Delhi, at 10 a.m. on 31 May. The directive came a few hours after Miss Banerjee skipped the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the impact of Cyclone Yaas. “I appeal to the Central government to withdraw this letter and allow him (Mr Bandopadhyay) to work for the cyclone-affected people of the state and on Covid,” she said at a Press conference at Nabanna this afternoon. Miss Banerjee said that in view of the pandemic, she had asked for Mr Bandopadhyay’s extension on 10 May and the Centre gave its approval on 24 May. “Now after four days they are asking him to report to Delhi. Under which rule are they doing this? I sincerely appeal to them to withdraw the recall letter,” she said, adding that Mr Bandopadhyay is being unnecessarily maligned towards the end of his career. Miss Banerjee alleged that she had been humiliated on Friday using “fake T They (the Centre) are not only disturbing me but also my secretariat. I will appeal to you Prime Minister, Home Minister please do not indulge in such dirty tricks out of political vendetta... IAS and IPS officers have a lobby too. They are very shocked. This is totally unconstitutional and illegal CM MAMATA BANERJEE news that was pushed by the office of the Prime Minister”. “Why are you behaving like this? Is it just because we won a landslide victory (in the state Assembly election)? People of Bengal voted for us and they ousted you. Please accept the mandate,” she said. A major political row had erupted over Miss Banerjee reportedly arriving 30 minutes late at the review meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and instead of attending it, handing over documents related to the impact of the cyclone and leaving. Many BJP leaders, including party president JP Nadda, Leader of Opposition in the Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari and Union home minister Amit Shah slammed Miss Banerjee for this. Miss Banerjee said that she had sought the PM’s permission thrice before leaving. “I am ready to touch the PM’s feet for the welfare of Bengal’s people as they are my first to last priority. I can do everything for the people of my state. But I should not be humiliated and insulted.” Elaborating on her visit to Kalaikunda, Miss Banerjee said she had to wait on the road for 20 minutes for the ATC’s (Air Traffic Control) permission. “When we reached, they asked us to sit. I asked them to allow us a minute to submit a report. The SPG ( Special Protection Group) told us that the meeting will be in one hour. We told the PM that we’ve to go to Digha as the weather is not good... I handed over the report to him and took his permission three times before we left,” Miss Banerjee added. Referring to visuals being circulated of empty chairs at the review meeting, she said that she spoke to Mr Modi for several minutes which was not photographed and circulated. “Since last night so many political leaders have made unjust comments to tarnish my image and the image of my government,” she said. She further questioned why the Leader of Opposition was not present when the Prime Minister visited Gujarat or Odisha. “It was supposed to be a PM-CM meeting. Then later it was revised with the presence of Central ministers, Leader of Opposition and the Governor,” she said. On criticisms of her not welcoming the Prime Minister, Miss Banerjee said state minister Saumen Mahapatra was deputed as the Prime Minister’s minister-in-waiting. On the eve of his government’s second anniversary in its second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a number of welfare measures for children who lost their parents to Covid19, including ensuring a corpus of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 18 and providing for their education. Chairing a meeting to discuss steps which can be taken to support such children, he said they will be supported under the “PM-CARES for Children” scheme. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement that fixed deposits will be opened in the names of such children, and the PM-CARES fund will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each of them when they reach 18 years of age. This corpus will be used to give a monthly stipend from 18 years of age for the The PMO said that fixed deposits will be opened in the names of such children, and the PM-CARES fund will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each of them when he or she reaches 18 years of age. The government also announced pension for dependents of those having lost their lives due to Covid, among other benefits for the families who lost their earning members to the pandemic. next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education. On reaching 23 years of age, they will get the corpus amount for personal and professional use. The PMO also said children under 10 years will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school and those between 11-18 years of age will be given admission in any central government residential school such as Sainik School and Navodaya Vidyalaya. For higher education, children will be assisted in obtaining education loan. The interest on this loan will be paid from the PMCARES fund. All children will also be enrolled as a beneficiary under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), with a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh. The premium amount for these children till the age of 18 years will be paid by PM-CARES. As many as 577 children across the country were orphaned after their parents succumbed to Covid19, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani had said earlier this week citing reports from 1 April till 25 May. The government also A WAITING GAME People wait in a long queue to receive Covid vaccine doses, at a vaccination centre at Balurghat on Saturday. IANS GoM to examine GST exemption on Covid items Covid recovery rate touches 90.8 pc SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 29 MAY In pursuance of the decision of the GST Council at its 43rd meeting on Friday, the government today formed an eight-member group of ministers (GOM) to examine the issue of GST concession/exemption to Covid19 relief material and submit its report by 8 June. The group’s convenor is Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma. The other members are Nitinbhai Patel, Deputy chief minister of Gujarat, Ajit Pawar, Deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, Mauvirt Godinho, Minister for Transport and Panchayati Raj, Housing, Protocol and Legislative Affairs of Goa, K N Balagopal, Minister for Finance, Kerala, Niran- ITEMS ON LIST Covid vaccines, drugs and medicines Testing kits, Medical oxygen, pulse oximeters, hand sanitizers, oxygen therapy equipment PPE kits, N95 masks, surgical masks Temperature checking equipment jan Pujari, Minister for Finance and Excise, Odisha, T Harish Rao, Minister for Finance, Telangana, and Suresh Kumar Khanna, Minister of Finance, Uttar Pradesh. “The GOM shall examine the need for GST concession/exemption and make recommendations on ~ (i) Covid vaccines, drugs and medicines for Covid treatment, and testing kits for Covid detection; (ii) Medical grade oxygen, pulse oximeters, hand sanitizers, oxygen therapy equipment such as concentrators, generators and ventilators, PPE kits, N 95 masks, surgical masks, temperature checking equipment; and (iii) any other items required for Covid relief. The GOM on Covid relief shall be assisted by a Committee of officers from the Centre and the States as convened by the GOM,” said the ministry of finance in a statement. The GST Council on Friday left taxes on Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies unchanged after the BJP and Opposition-ruled states sparred over whether the tax cut benefits will reach the common man. Congress and other Opposition ruled states have been demanding a reduction in taxes but the central government felt the move may not result in tangible gains for people. Currently, 5 per cent GST is levied on domestically manufactured vaccines, while it is 12 per cent for Covid drugs and oxygen concentrators. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 MAY India’s Covid-19 recovery rate on Saturday went up to 90.80 per cent and the active caseload down to 22,28,724 after 1,73,790 fresh Covid-19 cases and 3,617 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said. India’s daily recoveries continued to outnumber new cases for the 16th day and 2,84,601 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry’s latest data stated on Saturday. A total of 1,10,811 more recoveries were registered during the last 24 hours as compared to the daily new cases. India’s active caseload has reduced to 22,28,724 on Friday ~ a new landmark since the last peak on 10 May this year. With 1,73,790 fresh cases reported on Saturday, this is for the third time since 13 April that India has recorded less than two lakh Covid cases. On May 25, India has recorded 1.96 lakh cases of Covid, and 1,86,364 cases on 28 May. The Health Ministry said that a total of 20,89,02,445 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 30,62,747 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours. Bengal: West Bengal today registered 11,514 fresh Covid cases and 148 deaths, with Kolkata recording 1,735 cases and 44 deaths. The state’s total Covid case count is 13,54,956, with the death toll at 15,268 while there are 1,02,398 active cases. MHA seeks citizenship applications from non-Muslim refugees PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 29 MAY The Union Home Ministry has issued a notification under the 2009 rules of the Citizenship Act, 1955 asking non-Muslims belonging to Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and residing in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab to apply for Indian citizenship. The fresh order is in no way connected to the Citizenship Amendment Act passed in 2019 as the rules under it are yet to be framed by the government. The Union home ministry on Friday night issued the notification for immediate implementation of the order under the Citizenship Act 1955 and Rules framed under the law in 2009. This benefit is extended to minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who fulfil all conditions applicable to any foreign citizen seeking citizenship by naturalisation after a minimum of 11 years of residency in India. Under the CAA, the period for this category was cut to five years. “In exercise of powers conferred under Section 16 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955), the Central government hereby directs that powers exercisable by it for registration as citizen of India under Section 5, or for grant of certificate of naturalisation under section 6 of the Citizenship Act 1955 in respect of any person belonging to a minority community in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, residing in the districts mentioned and NATURALISATION AFTER 11 YEARS OF RESIDENCY The Union home ministry on In 2016, 16 district colFriday night issued the notification lectors were given the power under the Citizenship Act 1955 to accept citizenship appliand Rules framed under the law cation in 2009, extending the benefit The fresh order is in no to minorities from Afghanistan, way connected to the CitiPakistan and Bangladesh, resid- zenship Amendment Act ing in 13 districts of Gujarat, passed in 2019 as the rules Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana under it are yet to be framed and Punjab. by the government. the states mentioned below....,” the fresh notification said. People who are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship are those currently living in the districts of Morbi, Rajkot, Patan and Vadodara of Gujarat, Durg and Balodabazar in Chhattisgarh, Jalore, Udaipur, Pali, Barmer and Sirohi in Rajasthan, Faridabad in Haryana and Jalandhar in Punjab. “The application for registration as citizen of India or grant of certificate of naturalisation as citizen of India under the said rules (Citizenship Rules, 2009) shall be made by the applicant online,” the notification said. In 2016, the Central government had in a similar step announced pension for dependents of those having lost their lives due to Covid, among other benefits for the families who lost their earning members to the pandemic. Also insurance benefits under the Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme have been liberalised. The benefit of the Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) pension scheme for employmentrelated death cases is being extended to those who have died due to Covid. Dependent family members of such persons will be entitled to the benefit of pension equivalent to 90 per cent of the average daily wage drawn by the worker as per the existing norms. This benefit will be available retrospectively with effect from 24 March last year and for all such cases till 24 March, 2022. The amount of maximum insurance benefit has been increased from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh. sought applications from members of these minority communities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh living in 16 districts in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The district magistrates of the districts and home secretaries of the seven states were allowed to receive and process the applications of these refugees for two years by the home ministry. In 2018, the said notification was extended for an indefinite period or till further order. With Friday night’s order, the total number of districts where such facility is available has gone up to 29 districts in nine states. The home ministry said the verification of the application is to be done simultaneously by the collector or Sec- retary (Home) at the districtlevel and the state-level and the application and the reports thereon shall be made accessible simultaneously to the Centre on an online portal. The collector or the secretary will make enquiries for ascertaining the suitability of the applicant. The instructions issued by the Centre from time-to-time shall be strictly complied with by state or union territory and district concerned, it said. The collector or the secretary on being satisfied with the suitability of the applicant, will grant him the citizenship by registration or naturalisation and issue a certificate of registration or naturalisation. The collector or the secretary shall maintain an online as well as physical register, containing the details of the person registered. Govt: India has enough Remdesivir NEW DELHI, 29 MAY 2,77,29,247 22,28,724 1,73,790 2,84,601 3,22,512 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 29 MAY 2021 The Centre has stopped allocation of antiviral drug Remdesivir to states as the supply of the critical medication has surpassed the demand, Union Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya said. “Now the country has enough #Remdesivir as the supply is much more than the demand. So we have decided to discontinye the Central Allocation of Remdesivir to States,” Mandaviya said in a tweet. The Minister noted the supply of the drug has been ramped up over ten times from just 33,000 vials a day on 11 April, 2021 to 3,50,000 vials per day currently. PTI Left censures MHA move as backdoor entry of CAA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 29 MAY The Centre’s move to verify and approve citizenship applications from members of minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh living in five Indian states reveals the government’s “fascist character” and is a way to give a “back door entry” to the CAA-2019, the Left parties alleged. The Centre on Friday issued a gazette notification granting powers under existing rules to authorities in 13 districts to accept, verify and approve citizenship applications from members of minority communities hailing from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. “Subterfuge. Rules under CAA 2019 not framed, yet the Central govt issues gazette notification to implement it. Petitions challenging Constitutional validity of CAA continue to remain unheard. Hope SC takes this up promptly & stops back door implementation,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a tweet. CPI general secretary D Raja alleged the move “exposes the fascist character” of the government. “It shows the insensitivity of a government if it pursues its political agenda at a time when thousands are dying every day due to a pandemic. This exposes the government as insensitive, anti-people and anti-democracy,” he said.
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.