kollam l tuesday l February 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION Stranded Rohingya vessel drifts into Indian waters The boat left Bangladesh shores days ago and has been adrift for a week after its engine broke down, according to the UNHCR representative picture Refugees have run out of food and water India urged to locate and rescue them UNHCR director for Asia and the Pacific, Indrika Ratwatte, said the refugees on board the vessel ran out of food and water several days ago. “Many are in a highly vulnerable condition and are apparently suffering from extreme dehydration... A number of refugees have already lost their lives, and that fatalities have risen over the past 24 hours,” he added ■ ■ ■ The refugees were on their way to Malaysia, when their boat broke down and started drifting towards Andaman islands UNHCR said it has alerted authorities of states surrounding the Andaman Sea to find the vessel and disembark the refugees Over a million Rohingyas are in crowded camps in Bangladesh 90 Estimated No. of refugees, including women and children, in the boat CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI As border cools, Chinese FDI set to flow in again Nominated MLAs E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With border tensions with China appearing to be ebbing, the Centre has decided to clear as many as 45 Chinese investment proposals worth over `20,000 crore. Confirming the development, officials in the finance and commerce ministries told TNIE that these FDI proposals include highprofile ones that have been stuck due to tensions between the two countries. These include the proposal by Chinese auto giant Great Wall Motors to manufacture electric vehicles in India. Other notable proposals include the one by SAIC Motor Corp and projects in the electronics and power sectors. SAIC, which started selling cars in India in 2019 under its brand MG Motor, has invested $400 million in India and wants to bring in more investment bolster its production capacity. Great Wall plans to invest $1 bn in India. “There are about 45 pro- posals in the pipeline awaiting approvals. The aggregate value of these proposals is `20,000 crore. Now that talks have resumed and tension has eased, those deals are likely to go ahead,” said a commerce ministry official. Officials clarified that it is not just Chinese companies but several proposals by Hong Kong and Singa- Rahul gets behind tractor’s wheel, drives home a point ‘PM unable to see farmers’ problems’ Kalpetta: Rahul Gandhi has said PM Narendra Modi wants to allow the country’s agrarian sector to be owned by two or three of his friends. “The entire world can see the difficulties faced by the farmers, but the government in Delhi is unable to understand them. P7 Rahul to inaugurate Yatra’s final event Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves at party workers during a tractor rally organised on Monday at Muttil, in his constituency of Wayanad, expressing solidarity with the farmers protesting in Delhi. AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, left, looks on | T P Sooraj T’Puram: Rahul Gandhi will inaugurate the culmination event of Ramesh Chennithala’s Aishwarya Kerala Yatra at Shanghumugham on Tuesday. P7 Govt cancels fishing deal, CM orders investigation ‘Leftists commenting on Sabarimala to get votes’ Jose gets ‘Two Leaves’; Kappan floats new party T’Puram: The state government on Monday cancelled the controversial agreement between Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) and US-based EMCC to build 400 trawlers and five mother ships. CM Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered a probe into the circumtances which led to the deal. P6 Kasaragod: CPI leader C Divakaran’s statement that helping two women enter the Sabarimala shrine was a mistake was an admission that the LDF government was behind the move, said BJP state president K Surendran. “Such statements are made because the polls are near,” he said. Kochi: A division bench of the High Court on Monday upheld the election panel’s order declaring the Jose K Mani-led faction as the official KC(M) and granting it the official ‘Two leaves’ election symbol. Meanwhile, Pala MLA Mani C Kappan, who recently walked out of LDF, has floated a new party. P6 express read HC cites ill health to grant poet Rao bail Mumbai: Granting interim bail for six months to poet Varavara Rao on medical grounds, the Bombay High Court said on Monday though he was accused of serious offences under the stringent UAPA, the court must take a humanitarian approach on account of his ill health. Soosa Pakiam vests rights with aux bishop T’Puram: Ahead of his retirement in March, Archbishop of Latin Church M Soosa Pakiam has vested more rights with auxiliary bishop Christudas Rajappan. In a letter sent to the clergy, the archbishop said he was due to retire on March 11, his 75th birthday. P7 Smugglers kidnap wife of gold ‘carrier’ Alappuzha: A gold smuggling gang from Koduvally abducted the wife of a ‘carrier’ from her residence at Mannar near here. Bindu, 34, wife of Binoy, ‘Kuruttikkattu’ was taken captive by the gang which broke into house around 2am on Monday. They later set her free at Vadakkancherry. P7 Sreesanth scalps five, helps Kerala beat UP Kochi: S Sreesanth, who is on a comeback trail, bagged a fivewicket haul to help Kerala defeat Uttar Pradesh in an elite Group C match in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day cricket tournament in Bengaluru on Monday. It was his first five wicket haul in List A cricket in over 15 years. P13 pore-based companies were also stuck in the process, including a large bunch of private equity investors which were looking to invest in the Indian startups. India had tightened the rules for FDI proposals from China amid standoff between the armies of the two nation. India had also banned a numbers of Chinese apps. There are about one dozen startup deals which are stuck, because of want of security clearance. Once it is done, it will bring a big relief An official RBI asks Centre, states to reduce indirect taxes on petrol, diesel E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi WITH fuel prices touching historic highs, the RBI has urged both the Centre and states to reduce indirect taxes on petrol and diesel. Taxes levied by the Centre and local governments make up for 60% of the retail cost of petrol while it is 54% in the case of diesel. “Calibrated unwinding” of taxes is needed to reduce price pressures in the economy, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said in the Monetary Policy Committee meeting that concluded on February 6, its minutes showed. “CPI inflation, excluding food and fuel remained elevated at 5.5% in December, due to inflationary impact of rising crude oil prices and high indirect tax rates on petrol and diesel, and pick-up in inflation of key goods and services, particularly in transport and health categories” said Das. topple Pondy govt UT headed for Prez rule months ahead of polls; CM accuses Speaker of flouting norms D e b j a n i D u t ta @ Puducherry Puducherry created history on Monday with an elected government being toppled by nominated legislators, who were allowed to participate in the trust vote. With a number of legislators jumping ship, the floor strength of ruling CongressDMK combine fell to a mere 12 on Monday The Opposition had . 11 votes of elected members, which went up to 14 when the three nominated MLAs — all from BJP — were considered . Shortly after the confidence motion, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy resigned. The Opposition has also decided not to stake claim to form the government, which means the Union Territory is headed for President’s rule. The Congress and DMK termed the development as a murder of democ- racy. Narayanasamy accused Speaker VP Sivakolunthu of flouting guidelines by letting nominated legislators vote. After the CM moved the motion, government whip RKR Anantharaman asked the Speaker whether the three nominated members had the right to vote. The whip said as nominated members could not vote in Presidential polls, they couldn’t take part in the trust vote. As the Speaker did not respond, the CM said he would go to Raj Nivas and resign, and the ruling MLAs walked out of the House. However, as they walked out, the Speaker announced that the confidence motion of the CM was defeated. “This is not proper, as per guidelines,” Narayanasamy claimed. “The Speaker should have sent the motion for voting even if the Treasury Bench was absent. Hence, the Speaker’s ruling is P7 incorrect and invalid.” The BJP has been playing the most dangerous game of replacing democracy with communalism and money power. On the other hand, the Congress has stooped to such a level that its workers have become mere products that can be bought for money — Pinarayi Vijayan, CM
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