SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 01 JANUARY 2022 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR DECLINING FORTUNES ‘IN PUNJAB, WILL MAINTAIN PEACE & BROTHERHOOD’ RAGHUVANSHI LEADS INDIA TO EASY WIN OVER LANKA ‘HYBRID IMMUNITY GIVES PROTECTION’ P3 P6 P7 Rising threat: India logs 16k fresh cases in 24 hrs Health ministry says 1,270 cases of Omicron detected so far from 23 states and UTs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 31 DECEMBER WEATHER MAINLY CLEAR SKY. SHALLOW TO MODERATE FOG IN THE MORNING. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 20 AND 04 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 97% Min: 42% TEMPERATURE Max: 19.4°C (0) SUN RISES 07:14 hrs MOON RISES 06:43 hrs Min: 03.8°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:36 hrs MOON SETS 16:02 hrs THUMBNAILS The last sunset of the year 2021 seen at Raisina SUBRATA DUTTA Hills, in the Capital on Friday. I ndia witnessed a massive spike in Covid cases with 16,764 fresh infections and 220 Covid-related fatalities reported in the last 24 hours, Union Health ministry data showed. The country’s Covid-19 tally rose to 3,48,38,804 and number of active caseload of the infection has gone up to 91,361 after witnessing a downward trend for a few months, the data said. India's Omicron tally crossed 1,000 on December 30, with Maharashtra reporting its highest single-day infection involving the new strain. According to the health ministry there were 1,270 cases of Omicron detected so far from 23 states and Union Territories. Almost 374 of those patients have been discharged. Leading the Omicron tally are Maharashtra and Delhi with 450 and 320 cases respectively. On India rejects China renaming places in AP STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE There is no science behind night curfews when it comes to tackling the spread of Covid variants, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan has stressed.In a TV media interview, she said that countries like India must formulate science-based policies for curbing the spread of the virus. “Things like night curfew, there is no science behind it. One has to take evidence-based measures. There is a whole list of public health measures,” she told CNBC-TV18. “Entertainment venues are places where these viruses spread the most. It's natural to bring in some restrictions there,” she added. “What we can expect to see in India is a surge of Omicron cases, I think it is just beginning now in some of the cities and is going to infect a lot of people,” she said. In a separate tweet , Swaminathan said: "Hospitalisations are also rising, mostly in unvaccinated people. Though #Omicron may cause less severe disease, a small percent of a huge number is still very large & can overwhelm health sysANI tems". 3,48,38,804 91,361 16,764 7,585 4,81,080 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 31 DECEMBER 2021 Delhi sees spurt in cases STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 31 DECEMBER Delhi today reported 1,796 fresh Covid cases, the highest single-day count after May 22 when the tally was 2,260, according to the Health Department bulletin. According to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin, issued late in the night, the positivity rate surged to 2.44 per cent from 1.73 per cent the day before. There was, however, no death due to the virus infection. Meanwhile, the Covid infection rate in the city has climbed to 2.44 per cent, the highest in last (SEE P2) seven months. NEET row: Docs call off strike STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 31 DECEMBER The 14 day long strike of resident doctors of capital hampering health services was called off on Friday. The doctors resumed their work from 12 p.m. The strike was called after a meeting between the members of the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) and Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police. “Last evening we met the Joint CP of Delhi. The Delhi Police have initiated the process of quashing the FIR," said Dr Manish Nigam, president of FORDA. Joint CP has sent a video message to rebuild the trust between the doctors and the police, he said. In a statement, FORDRA said that a series of meetings of FORDA Representatives was held with multiple Delhi Police officials. It was highlighted by the Delhi Police that they have the highest regard for doctors. They are well aware of the hardships of Doctors and as earlier, they are willing to cooperate with STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL India has provided to Islamabad the list of Afghan contractors and truck drivers who would transport Indian wheat to Afghanistan via Pakistan, as the two sides inch closer to finalise the agreement. Diplomatic sources were quoted as saying by The Express Tribune of Pakistan that both sides in principle agreed to the moralities and the wheat shipment would begin once Pakistan approves the list of Afghan contractors and drivers. India in October had announced 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat for Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance and requested The UNDP has warned that 97 % of Afghans would slip below the poverty line by June next if urgent steps are not taken to help them Pakistan to open its border for transporting the food grains. Pakistan, which otherwise does not allow two-way trade between India and Afghanistan, decided to create an exception by allowing the Indian wheat to pass through its land route. Pakistan said the decision of allowing India to transport wheat was taken keeping in view the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and must not serve as a precedent for future transshipment. Hyderpora encounter was ‘transparent’: DGP Singh STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 31 DECEMBER J&K DGP Dilbag Singh on Friday asserted that Srinagar's Hyderpora encounter was “transparent” and asked the political leaders who are questioning the “clean chit” given to the security forces to submit evidence to the investigation panels. “We have made it clear Hyderpora operation was transparent. If they have evidence, they should present it to the investigation panels,” he said at the yearender press conference while replying to questions on the issue. “We feel hurt about the utterances of such political leaders who were raising fingers at the encounter” Dilbag Singh said. The DGP also said the political leaders’ comments are unlawful and the law will take its own course in the matter. Giving details of the antiterror operations, Dilbag Singh said; “We've completed a target of 100 successful operations and 44 top terrorists have been neutralized this year. We're on the lookout, working to get more evidence on people who in a way very cleverly try to support militancy. They're into soft separatism, we've taken action against some of them and we'd be looking for more evidence against them. No one is above law and their properties have been seized. A total of 182 terrorists, including 44 top ultras, were killed in 100 successful operations in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021, DGP said. The two sides struggled to agree on moralities as Pakistan initially suggested for the transportation of wheat under the banner of the United Nations. But New Delhi made a counter proposal, suggesting the wheat be carried either by Afghan or Indian trucks. Sources said the Pakistani authorities were in process of vetting the list submitted by India. The shipment would be set in motion as soon as Pakistan approves the list provided by India. But the two sides reluctantly agreed to work this time as the people of Afghanistan are in desperate need of help as UN figures show nearly 23 million Afghans are facing acute food shortage. NEW DELHI , 31 DECEMBER Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has decided to defer the decision to increase tax on textiles from 5 per cent to 12 per cent. The decision to maintain a status quo on the GST rate on textiles was taken in an "emergency meeting" of the GST Council held in the national capital under the chairmanship of the Union finance minister. “We retain the status quo. We have decided don't go from 5 per cent to 12 per cent,” she said. Sitharaman said the issue of GST on textiles will No proposal to extend ITR filing date, says Revenue Secy: This year around 60 lakh more people have filed Income Tax Returns (ITR) when compared with the last year and the government has no proposal to extend the due date, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj said on Friday. “There is absolutely no proposal to extend the date," Bajaj said. The due date for ITR for the financial year 2020-21 ends on December 31, 2021. be sent to the tax rate rationalisation committee, which will submit the report by February. “Textile was the only issue in this meeting," she said adding the issue of the increase in GST on footwear was not discussed during the meeting. The GST Council in a meeting held on 17 September in Lucknow had decided to hike GST on textiles and footwear items from 5 per cent to 12 per cent effective from 1 January, 2022. According to reports, the council deferred the proposal on the back of reservations from state governments and industry. Indian industry welcomed the GST Council's decision. “A big relief to the textile and clothing industry - we enter 2022 with a fresh bout optimism as the big fear recedes -AAa great and timely gift by the GST Council," said Sanjay K. Jain, ICC National Textiles Committee Chairman and MD, TT Limited. Modi to break ground for `700 cr Major Dhyan Chand Sports Univ in Meerut STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 31 DECEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Meerut,Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday where he will lay the foundation of Rs 700 crore Major Dhyan Chand Sports University. Giving this information here on Friday, a Prime Minister Office note stated that the Prime Minister would visit Meerut at 1 pm to lay foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in line with “his vision of establishing world class sporting infrastructure in all parts of the country.” The proposed University will be equipped with modern and state of the art sports SPORTS IN MIND The proposed University will be equipped with modern and state of the art sports infrastructure The university will also have housing facilities for shooting, squash, gymnastics, weightlifting, archery, canoeing and kayaking, among other facilities The University will have the capacity of training 1,080 sportspersons including 540 female and 540 male sportspersons infrastructure. The University will be established at Salawa and Kaili villages of Sardhana town in Meerut at an estimated cost of about Rs 700 Crore. “One of the key areas of focus for the Prime Minister is inculcating sporting culture and establishing world class sporting infrastructure in all parts of the country. The establishment of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University at Meerut will be a major step towards fulfilling this vision," the PMO further said. the Medical fraternity for any issue at any time. “A virtual meeting of FORDA with all RDA Representatives was convened late in the evening whereby all the proceedings were conveyed and all concerning points were discussed in detail. It was unanimously decided to call off the agitation on 31st December, 2021, 12.00 p.m., considering various factors including patient care," said FORDRA. However, the doctors association has said that a national meeting with all the RDA representatives will be convened by FORDA on January 6. As the health ministry is supposed to submit the Committee Report to the Supreme Court before January 6, 2022 and will publish the NEET-PG 2021 Counselling schedule following the Court hearing, the association said. Medical staff of MS Ramaiah Hospital and College wish people a ANI safe New Year 2022, in Bengaluru on Friday. FM: GST on textiles will not be increased from 5 % to 12 % NEW DELHI, 31 DECEMBER The strike was called after a meeting between FORDA and the Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police. HOPE FOR A SAFER WORLD India, Pakistan close to deal on wheat transport to Afghanistan NEW DELHI, 31 DECEMBER India has rejected China's move to rename some places in Arunachal Pradesh in its own language, asserting that the North-eastern state would always remain an integral part of this country. Reacting to the development, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said this was not the first time China has attempted such a renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. China had also sought to assign such names in April 2017. ''Arunachal Pradesh has always been, and will always be an integral part of India. Assigning invented names to places in Arunachal Pradesh does not alter this fact," he added. China's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced that it had standardised in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet the names of 15 places in Zangnan, the Chinese name for Arunachal Pradesh, according to staterun Global Times. This is in accordance with regulations on geographical names issued by the State Council, China's cabinet, it said in a report. Among the official names of the 15 places, which were given exact longitude and latitude, eight are residential places, four are mountains, two are rivers and one is a mountain pass, the report said. This is the second batch of standardised names of places in Arunachal Pradesh given by China. The first batch of the standardised names of six places was released in 2017. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of its territory in South Tibet. patients have been discharged as per the health ministry data. Mumbai today saw a massive 47per cent jump in daily cases as 5,428 infections were reported in 24 hours. At 8,067 Covid cases, Maharashtra saw a 50percent spike in daily cases. Eight deaths were reported in the same period. Delhi has the second highest cases of Omicron infection at 320. Howev- No science behind night curfews in India: WHO chief scientist NEW DELHI, 31 DECEMBER Goyal new Kolkata Police commissioner: Vineet Goyal, a 1994 batch IPS officer on Friday assumed charge as the new commissioner of Police (CP) Kolkata, succeeding Soumen Mitra, who has retired. The IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, who was earlier the ADG, Special Task Force, Bengal police, said that that greater utilisation of technology in the detection of crime and strengthening of cyber cell are some of the areas that he would like to give more focus on to carry on the good work Kolkata Police is doing. Thursday night, one case of Omicron was reported from Bihar. Today, Kerala recorded “44 fresh confirmed cases of Omicron, taking total cases of the coronavirus variant to 107 in Kerala", the ministry reported. Among the 23 states and UTs that have reported the Omicron infection so far, Maharashtra tops the list with 450 cases of this variant. Of them, 125 er, 57 of them have been discharged from the hospital. Among other states, Gujarat has so far reported 97 Omicron cases and Rajasthan has a total of 69 cases. In Telangana, 62 people have so far tested positive for Omicton while in Tamil Nadu the count stands at 46. Karnataka has logged 34 cases and Andhra Pradesh so far has 16 cases of this variant. Haryana and Odisha have 14 Omicron cases each while Bengal has reported 11 cases so far. However, the Omicron case count is in single digit for Madhya Pradesh at 9 and Uttarakhand at 4 cases while Chandigarh and Jammu & Kashmir have 3 cases each.Uttar Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have 2 cases so far. Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, Manipur and Punjab have one case each so far. All those with symptoms should "immediately isolate themselves and follow home isolation guidelines,” the central government has said. P12 The Sports University will be equipped with modern and state of the art sports infrastructure including synthetic Hockey ground, Football ground, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Kabaddi ground, Lawn tennis court, Gymnasium hall, Synthetic running stadium, Swimming pool, Multipurpose hall and a Cycling velodrome. The university will also have housing facilities for shooting, squash, gymnastics, weightlifting, archery, canoeing and kayaking, among other things. The University will have the capacity of training 1080 sportspersons including 540 female and 540 male sportspersons, according to the PMO note. I-T dept raids mobile manufacturing companies NEW DELHI, 31 DECEMBER The Income Tax Department (IT-D) on Friday carried out searches across India against the foreign-controlled cellphone manufacturing companies for their alleged involvement in tax evasion. “Certain foreign-controlled mobile communication and mobile hand-set manufacturing companies and their associated persons were raided by our team. The raids were conducted in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Delhi-NCR,” said an IT-D official. The searches revealed that two major companies have made remittance in the nature of royalty, to and on behalf of its group companies located abroad, which aggregates to more than Rs 5,500 crore. It was found that these companies had not complied with the regulatory mandate prescribed under the Income Tax Act, for disclosure of transactions with associated enterprises. “Such lapse makes them liable for penal action under the Income Tax Act, the quantum of which could be in the range of more than Rs 1,000 crore,” an official said. One of the companies utilised the services of another entity located in India but did not comply with the provisions of tax deduction. The quantum of liability of TDS on this account could be around Rs 300 crore. Raids at fintech and software services companies revealed that a number of such companies have been created for the purposes of inflating expenses and siphoning out of funds.
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