Note it! An above average rise in note circulation in FY21 was reported by the RBI due to the pandemic. A look at the numbers Circulation 16.8% 7.2% Spike in value Rise in volume `500 bhubaneswar l friday l may 28, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late CITY EDITION RBI slowly withdrawing `2,000 notes from system Since 2018, `1.82 lakh crore worth notes have been pulled out of circulation. RBI had frozen printing of pink notes 2 yrs ago reducing dependency on high-value notes The move indicates RBI’s intent to reduce dependency on high-value bank notes. From 33,632 lakh notes in circulation in 2018, the number fell to 27,398 lakh notes in 2021, a decrease of 6,234 lakh notes. In value terms, `2,000 face value notes worth `6,72,642 crore were in circulation in 2018, which came down to `4,90,195 crore in 2021, a decline of `1,82,447 crore | P10 Notes were the most in circulation with a 31.1% share RBI stats 9.7% 85.7% Fall in note indent (reprinting) order Share of `500 and `2,000 notes in total value 0.3% Fall in supply of banknotes Reason: Precautionary holding of cash by the public due to Covid-19 45.48 cr Ramping up printing of `500 notes ■ ■ ■ A former RBI official said the withdrawn notes could have been soiled ones, which were not indented (reprinted) by the bank RBI is ramping up printing of `500 notes to match the demand for cash. It now accounts for 68.4% of total notes in circulation Another reason for the withdrawal could be to dissuade hoarders worth soiled `2,000 notes disposed of by the RBI in 2020-21 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 Power supply restored in 70-80% areas, CM told; alert sounded for possible floods in Baitarani river CM makes aerial survey, seeks damage report CM Naveen Patnaik taking stock of the cyclone-affected areas | Express E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar CHIEF Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday asked the district collectors to submit reports on houses damaged by Yaas to the State government within seven days. The Chief Minister, who had made an aerial survey of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendarapara and other districts in the afternoon, re- viewed damage assessment and post-cyclone reconstruction work with senior of ficials in the evening. Stating that the focus should now be on relief, restoration and reconstruction measures, he asked officials to work on a war footing to restore power, telecom and drinking water infrastructure in the cyclone hit areas as early as possible. He said that all major roads should be made free for communication by tonight. He asked the district administrations of Jajpur and Bhadrak to remain alert in view of the possibility of floods in Baitarani river due to heavy rainfall in its catchment areas. Appreciating the work of the entire administrative machinery including district administrations for pre-cyclone planning which resulted in evacuation of people to safer places, the Chief Minister also praised people for their cooperation. He also appreciated Centre for its cooperation for tackling the situation and thanked all Central organisations including NDRF and IMD for their relentless CONTINUED ON: P5 work. PM to visit Odisha today Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Odisha on Friday to assess the impact of cyclone Yaas that left a trail of devastation in a few northern districts of the State. As per his tour programme, the Prime Minister will chair a review meeting likely to be attended by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and senior officials of the government after his arrival at Biju Patnaik International Airport here. The meeting will in all possibility be held at the airport. After the meeting, the Prime Minister will undertake an aerial survey of the affected areas of Bhadrak and Balasore districts. Thereafter, he will proceed to East Medinipur for an aerial survey and later he will take a review meeting in West Bengal, said a note of Press Information Bureau (PIB). Bridging trials waived off for global vaccine manufacturers S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The Centre has now decided to exempt foreign Covid-19 vaccine makers from bridging trials in India completely, after announcing last month that the first 100 beneficiaries of foreign vaccines will be assessed for seven days for safety outcomes before the vaccine is incorporated in the immunisation drive. The development comes in the backdrop of the negotiations between the Centre and Pfizer on the import of its vaccine, which is likely to begin in July. V K Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog, said in a press conference on Thursday that Pfizer has indicated the availability of its vaccine for India while other terms of the agreement are under discussion. “They have requested indemnity from all nations. We are examining this request. There is no decision as of now,” he added. A document, released by Niti Aayog to issue a detailed clarification on the narrative that the government is not doing enough to ramp up the supply, said the Centre ‘proactively’ eased entry of vaccines approved by US FDA, EMA, UK’s MHRA and Japan’s PMDA, and WHO’s emergency use listing into India in April. “These vaccines will not need to undergo bridging trials,” said the statement. “The provision has now been amended to waive off the trial requirement altogether for the well-established vaccines manufactured in other countries.” We will continue our constructive dialogue... It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public Twitter statement E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi/Bengaluru Bird’s eye View Aerial view of a cyclone-affected area in north Odisha on Thursday | Express Collectors to monitor health of people from cyclone shelters E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar WORRIED over the possibility of a fresh spread of Covid-19 following Yaas, Odisha government on Thursday asked collectors of 12 districts to closely monitor symptoms among persons returning from cyclone shelters and those engaged in relief and restoration works. Collectors of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Puri, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Angul and Khurda have been asked to conduct Covid test of people housed in cyclone shelters and government buildings if they show symptoms. Families in cyclone Additional Chief Secretary of Health PK Mohap- shelters are now atra said people shifted to cyclone shelters had stayed returning to their there in close quarters while the rescue personnel and homes. It is people engaged in post cyclone restoration activities important that they should be had also worked in close proximity to others. “The families in the cyclone shelters are now re- closely monitored turning to their homes. The restoration works will for Covid also be completed soon. It is important that the per- symptoms sons concerned should be closely monitored for Covid PK Mohapatra, Addl symptoms over the coming weeks. In case of any Chief Secy of Health symptoms, they should be immediately isolated and tested on priority basis,” he said. The Health department has asked the collectors to sensitise the house-to-house survey teams to be particularly vigilant in surveillance of cyclone shelter-returned families and the CONTINUED ON: P5 field restoration team members. WHAT THE REPORT SAYS WITH the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on India’s healthcare infrastructure as well as the country’s economy it , could take several months before glimpses of an economic rebound could be seen. “The near-term outlook is clouded, with an accentuation of downside risks and potential externalities of global spillovers,” the Reserve Bank of India said in its annual report for 202021, released on Thursday. Even as daily new infections have started dropping, it still “remains high for comfort” and the macro-economic costs of this wave are likely to spill over into July the central bank noted. , The slow pace of inoculation and bleak global economic outlook also add to uncertainty . Already, most economists have trimmed India’s real GDP forecast to settle at 7-8% in FY22. RBI, which had projected 10.5% for the current financial year may also follow suit as its projection was based on the assessment done in March. For now, however, RBI has re- counterpunch The only instance of scuttling free speech... is Twitter itself and its opaque policies, as a result of which people’s accounts are suspended and tweets deleted arbitrarily without recourse Ministry’s statement Govt, Twitter turf fight gets nasty Pandemic clouding near-term economic outlook, says RBI S e sa S e n @ New Delhi first punch rally in the domestic equity Sharp markets despite expected GDP fall poses the ‘risk of a bubble’ Indian industry suffered deep losses due to the pandemic the pandemic hit most While sectors, it opened up vistas of expansion for domestic pharmaceutical firms tained its projection. “This is the most optimistic scenario that can be envisaged at this juncture – it provides a limited window to establish strict pandemic protocols and logistics, ramp up vaccines production and medical supplies, fill gaps in the health infrastructure and build up stocks, especially of vaccines, in preparation for the next wave of infections. In all other outcomes, losses in terms of lives, jobs and output are likely to be adverse and long lasting” the RBI noted. Price instability the RBI said, , remains a key concern constraining monetary policy from utilising any available room to support growth. e x p r e s s r ead Redouble efforts to trace Covid origins: Biden Tejpal verdict judge criticised Washington: President Joe Biden has ordered the US intelligence agencies to ‘redouble’ their efforts in investigating the emergence of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic and report back to him in 90 days, amid growing controversy about the virus’s origins from a bio laboratory in China | P9 New Delhi: The Bombay High Court at Goa on Thursday directed sessions judge Kshama Joshi, who acquitted journalist Tarun Tejpal in a 2013 sexual assault case, to redact portions of her judgement that could reveal the identity of the woman before the order is uploaded on the judicial portal | P8 GST council meet Remove tax on Covid medicine, clear GST dues, 7 states tell govt R a j e s h As n a n i @ Jaipur AHEAD of the GST Council meeting on Friday, seven nonBJP-ruled states have unanimously asked the Centre to remove the goods and services tax (GST) on medicines and medical equipment used to treat Covid-19. At the moment, these attract GST in various slabs ranging from 5% to 18 %. The states also sought early release of the outstanding GST compensation to all states. “The Centre should have zero rates on goods related to Covid so that there is no loss of input credit and consumers can also get relief,” said Rajasthan Urban Development and Housing Minister Shanti Dhariwal in a virtual meeting of the finance ministers of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Rajasthan on Wednesday . Both the issues will be raised in the GST Council meeting on Friday sources said. , Both the issues will be raised in the GST Council meeting on Friday States will also seek to en. hance their additional borrowing limit to 5% of the GDP sourc, es said. The virtual meeting, hosted by Rajasthan minister Dhariwal, was attended by West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, Punjab’s Manpreet Singh Badal, Jharkhand’s Rameshwar Oraon, Chhattisgarh’s T S Singh Deo, Kerala’s K N Balagopal and Tamil Nadu minister Palanivel P10 Thiagarajan. Gloves were off on Thursday as the spat between Twitter and the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) turned ugly, with the former calling out the Centre’s new regulatory regime and the latter saying the platform has no locus in dictating India’s legal policy framework. Both claimed their goal was to protect the user’s privacy and the freedom of speech and expression. With Twitter claiming it was being intimidated by the Delhi Police for flagging BJP leader Sambit Patra’s tweet on an alleged Congress toolkit as ‘manipulated media’, the latter piled on it, calling the statement mendacious, “designed to seek dubious sympathy and impede a lawful enquiry”. “Twitter Inc. has taken upon itself, in the garb of terms of service, to adjudicate the truth or otherwise of documents in public space. Twitter is purporting to be both an investigating authority as well as an adjudicating judicial authority. It has no legal sanction to be either. The only legal entity... to investigate is the police and to adjudicate is the courts,” said Delhi Police spokesperson Chenmoy Biswal. The ministry said the company is refusing to comply with those very regulations in the intermediary guidelines on the basis of which it is claiming a safe harbour from any criminal liability in India. The Centre said that Twitter’s statement is an attempt to dictate its ter ms to the world’s larg est democracy. The ministry charged Twitter with being complacent in taking action against those who incited violence during the Red Fort violence, promoting vaccine hesitancy through its platform as well as showing Ladakh a part of China during the border disputes between two countries. It asked Twitter to stop beating around the bush and comply with the laws of land. “Twitter is just a social media platform and it has no locus in dictating what India’s legal policy framework should be,” the ministry said. Earlier in the day, Twitter said it is planning to advocate changes in the core elements of the recently-framed social intermediary guidelines. “To keep our service available, we will strive to comply with applicable law in India. But, just as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law,” the company said in a statement. Full statements of Twitter, MeitY & Delhi Police on newindianexpress.com Second wave of Covid-19 showing signs of easing NATIONWIDE MAY 26 MAY 27 Fresh cases 2,08,921 2,11,298 Recoveries 2,95,955 2,83,135 3,847 Deaths 4,157 odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 26 MAY 27 11,623 10,635 35 6,736 11,551 34 Jab-o-meter May 26 17,19,931 doses Take your May 27 shot 26,58,218 doses Total doses: 20,54,51,902 The Centre on Thursday said the number of active cases and the testpositivity rate have seen a decline, indicating that India is possibly witnessing a downswing in the second wave of Covid-19 | P7
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