CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 16 SEPTEMBER 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 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain. Temperature likely to be in the range of 31-26 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 039.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.98% TEMPERATURE Govt okays incentives for telecom industry Measures will provide relief to Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 15 SEPTEMBER Min. 80% Max: 31.2 °C(-1) Min: 24.6 °C(-1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:24 hrs 17:40 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 14:36 hrs 00:31 hrs Full moon on 21 September THUMBNAILS Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, at the launch of Sansad TV at Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday. SNS DCGI nod to Sputnik Light Phase-III trials: The I Drugs Controller General of India on Wednesday granted a go-ahead for conducting Phase III bridging trials of single-dose Russian Covid vaccine Sputnik Light on the Indian population. The approval follows a recent study published in medical journal Lancet that said Sputnik Light showed 78.6 to 83.7 per cent efficacy against Covid, higher than most two-shot vaccines. New ministers of Gujarat to take oath today : New ministers of the Bhupendra Patel-led government in Gujarat will take the oath on Thursday, a state BJP spokesperson said.The swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers, whose names have not been declared so far, will be held at 1.30 pm in Gandhinagar. PM, Mamata & Adar Poonawalla among Time's 100 'most influential‘: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla have been named among the 100 most influential people of 2021 by Time magazine. Time's annual list also includes US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Donald Trump, and co-founder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. NEET suicide: A 17-year-old girl , an MBBS aspirant belonging to Vellore district in Tamil Nadu, died by suicide on Wednesday as she was concerned that she may not get through the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test, in the third (P4) such case in five days in the state. he Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a wide slew of measures aimed at providing relief to the stressed telecom sector, by way of granting a four year moratorium on payment of statutory dues, rationalising Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) and allowing 100 per cent FDI in the telecom sector via the automatic route. The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also decided to rationalise Bank Guarantee requirements, including by considerably reducing such requirements against License Fee (LF) and other levies. The package was expected to boost 4G proliferation, infuse liquidity and create an enabling environment for investment in 5G networks, said Union telecom minister Ashwani Vaishnaw while briefing the media on the Cabinet decision. The reforms include rationalisation of AGR definition, reduction in bank guarantees to be made against license fee and other levies, rationalisation of interest rates and removal of penalties on delayed payment of license fee and Spectrum Usage Charge and no bank guarantee for future auctions. T He said the Cabinet has approved nine structural and five procedural reforms with additional relief measures for the telecom sector. These reforms were expected to protect and generate employment opportunities, promote healthy competition, protect interests of consumers, and encourage investment. The move would also reduce regulatory burden on Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), the minister said. The government excluded non-telecom revenues from the definition of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) prospectively. Telecom companies have to pay a prefixed percentage of AGR to the government as statutory levies but this will apply prospectively.The inclusion of non- telecom revenues had led to thousands of crores of dues piling up on companies like Vodafone Idea, pushing them to the verge of bankruptcy.For past dues, the Cabinet allowed a moratorium or deferment of up to four years in annual payments, though telecom companies will have to pay a small interest during the moratorium period. The structural reforms also include rationalisation of interest and penalties, no bank guarantees for future auctions, increased spectrum tenure from 20 to 30 years, while spectrum can be surrendered after 10 years. The reforms also encouraged spectrum sharing, the minister said. The measures should provide relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues. Telecom firms such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Communications owed nearly Rs 92,000 crore to the Centre as license fee and Rs 41,000 crore as spectrum usage fees. Among the procedural reforms, the government fixed auctioning of spectrum in the last quarter of every financial year, stopped cumbersome requirements of licenses and replaced it with self declaration, revised the rate of EKYC to just Rs 1, replaced paper customer acquisition forms with digital application and eased norms for SACFA clearance for telecom towers, the minister said. Tata bids for Air India disinvestment PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 15 SEPTEMBER The government on Wednesday said it has received multiple financial bids for buying national carrier Air India. Meanwhile, a Tata Sons spokesperson said that it has put in a bid for the airline. “Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser. Process now moves to concluding stage," DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey tweeted. The government is seeking to sell 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national The govt is seeking to sell 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India's 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd. airline, including Air India's 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd. The stake sale process, which begun on January 2020, faced delays due to the pandemic. In April 2021, the government asked potential bidders to put in financial bids. Wednesday (September 15) was the last day for putting in financial bids. Tata Group was among the multiple entities that had put in initial expression of interest (EoI) in December 2020 for buying the Maharaja. With previous attempts since 2017 failing to get any significant interest and after receiving feedback from potential investors, the government had in October last year sweetened the EoI clause relating to transfer of Air India's debt to the new investor, giving bidders flexibility to decide on the quantum of humongous debt they want to absorb. As per the Air India EoI floated by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) in January 2020, of the airline's total debt of Rs 60,074 crore as of 31 March, 2019, the buyer would be required to absorb Rs 23,286.5 crore. The rest would be transferred to Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle. Bengal restrictions SC flays Centre for ‘cherry picking’ names for tribunals extended till 30 Sept STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 15 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed displeasure over non-filling of vacancies in the tribunals across the nation and said the manner in which appointments have been made clearly indicates ‘cherry picking’ of names by the government. The top court asked the Centre to make appointments within two weeks to the tribunals which are facing severe crunch of presiding officers as well as judicial and technical members, and apprise it of reasons if persons from the recommended list are left out in the process. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V There are around 250 posts lying vacant in various key tribunals and appellate tribunals. Ramana and Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao said the condition is pitiable at the tribunals due to the vacancies and the litigants cannot be left in the lurch.“We are a democratic country. You have to follow the rule of law,” Ramana said. “The appointment letters which have been issued clearly indicate they have selected cherry picking three names from the select list and others from the waitlist, ignoring others in the select list. In service law, you can't go to the waitlist ignoring the select list. What kind of selection and appointment is this?" the bench asked the Attorney General K K Venugopal. “I have seen the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) appointments.... more recommendations were made. But in appointments, cherry picking was done. What kind of selection is this? And the same thing was done with ITAT (Income Tax Appellate Tribunal) members also. We are very unhappy with how the decisions are being taken,” the Chief Justice said. There are around 250 posts lying vacant in various key tribunals and appellate tribunals. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 15 SEPTEMBER The West Bengal government today extended the existing Covid-related restrictions and relaxations till 30 September. According to the notification issued by state chief secretary HK Dwivedi, all outdoor activities ~ including the movement of people and vehicles ~ shall remain prohibited from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. However, essential and emergency services will be allowed to continue unhindered during this period and beyond, the government said. The state government is yet to permit movement of local trains, while chief min- ister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said that schools would be reopened after the Durga Puja vacation provided the situation permits. Employers, management bodies, owners, and supervisors of all offices, establishments, and workplaces shall be responsible for provisioning Covid safety measures, including the regular sanitisation of workplaces, the vaccination of employees for compliance with stated directives and Covid appropriate norms. The order also said that employers must encourage work-from-home practices as much as possible. The restrictions were first imposed on 16 May and have been extended at regular intervals. ‘Kill rapist’ call mounts over T’gana rape-murder STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 15 SEPTEMBER 3,33,16,755 3,51,087 27,176 38,012 4,43,497 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2021 As the manhunt is still on for the main accused in the rapeand-murder case of a six year old girl in Saidabad area of Hyderabad, demands for extra judicial killing have raised by a TRS minister and party supporters due to the political heat that they are facing over the heinous crime. As Hyderabad police contacted their counterparts in neighbouring states to spread the net further, many people have demanded that the accused should be killed by police, meeting a similar fate as that of the four accused in the rape and murder of a veterinary doctor which took place in November 2019. Recalling the encounter in the Disha case, Telangana labour minister Ch Malla Reddy said: “It is a terrible crime. There should be an NCRB: Average 77 rape cases daily in ’20; maximum cases lodged in Rajasthan PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 15 SEPTEMBER Nearly 77 rape cases were reported across India on an average every day in 2020, totalling to 28,046 such incidents during the year, the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data issued on Wednesday showed. Overall, 3,71,503 cases of crime against women were reported across the country last year, down from 4,05,326 in 2019 and 3,78,236 in 2018, the NCRB, which functions under the Union home ministry, stated. encounter. He will be caught and encountered. There is no question of leaving him.” Mr Reddy also promised ex Among states and Union Territories, the maximum 5,310 rape cases were lodged in Rajasthan in 2020 followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,769), Madhya Pradesh (2,339), Maharashtra (2,061) and Assam (1,657). National capital Delhi logged 997 such cases during the year, the data showed. Of the total cases of crimes against women in 2020, there were 28,046 incidents of rape involving 28,153 victims, according to the NCRB data for the year. Out of the total victims, 25,498 were adults, while 2,655 were below the age of 18 years, it stated. gratia and other benefits to the family. Similar opinions were expressed by TRS supporters as well as they tried to defend the state government while dismissing the charge from opponents that this was a rerun of the Hathras case. “This should be Disha 2:0 if he tries to escape while police are trying to catch him,” said a TRS supporter on Twitter. The parallel with Hathras came up due to an erroneous statement from municipal affairs and urban development minister KT Rama Rao who in an earlier tweet had claimed that the accused had been nabbed within 48 hours of the crime, though the police are yet to take the main accused Pallakonda Raju in custody, six days after the crime was committed “I was misinformed . Regret the erroneous statement.The perpetrator is absconding and Hyd- erabad police have launched a massive manhunt for him,” wrote Rao correcting his earlier tweet. CMYK
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