KOCHI l tuesday l june 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION World Bank clears $500 mn to support MSMEs in India Providing working capital for small biz The multilateral development bank said it will support Indian government’s efforts to revitalise the Covid-hit MSME sector ‘MSMEs are Indian economy’s backbone’ The $500-million Raising and Accelerating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Performance (RAMP) will provide better access to finance and working capital for MSMEs by strengthening the receivable financing markets. It will also scale up online dispute resolution mechanisms to address the problem of delayed payments, the World Bank said ■ ■ “The MSME sector, a critical backbone of India’s economy, has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India He added that the RAMP programme will support MSMEs firms to return to pre-crisis production and employment levels 18.5 yrs is the maturity of the World Bank loan with a 5.5-yr grace period 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 Centre blinks, ‘arbitrary & irrational’ vax policy nixed Differential pricing for states chucked; govt to procure for 18+ too; new policy from June 21 M ANISH ANAND @ New Delhi Making a sharp course correction after widespread criticism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the Centre will take full responsibility for free vaccinations across all age groups. Private hospitals, however, can continue procuring 25% of the manufactured vaccines and levy a maximum of `150 extra as service charge for administering the jab. The rollout of the policy rollback will begin on June 21. Modi also announced the extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojna scheme till Deepavali, November 4, for 80 crore of the population to avail free foodgrains. In his address to the nation, Modi sought to put the earlier policy in place since May 1 in context, saying the decision to ask states to procure doses for the 18+ was taken in line with their demand that they be given greater flexibility . “From June 21, Monday, the Centre will provide vaccines for all citizens above the age of 18 years free of cost. The Centre will procure 75% of the vaccines manufactured and give them free to the states. No state in the country will have to bear any cost.” Modi added that the Centre and the states will work out the modalities of the rollout in the next two weeks. He also entrusted the states with the task of ensuring that private hospitals charge only `150 as service charge for vaccinations. The reverting to the pre-May 1 vaccination procurement policy came in the backdrop of a Ballpark fiscal cost of free vaccines Estimated total 94 cr number of adults Total number of doses required @ 188 cr two doses/person Doses administered as on 23.3 cr 6 June Total additional 164.7 cr doses required Cost of additonal doses at average I24,705 cr I150/dose 75% cost to be borne by the I18,528.75 cr Centre Total additional cost for the Centre A18,529 crore Note: We have assumed I150 per dose as Centre’s cost. This is excluding the logistics cost the Centre could incur number of chief ministers appealing the Centre to take full responsibility for the procurement besides the Supreme Court taking a hard look at the the policy formulation. Modi sought to project that the Centre is in full control of the situation to deal with the ongoing pandemic. Exuding confidence that India will be able to scale up vaccinations, Modi stated that seven vaccine candidates are at the trial stage, including three in advanced stages, while work is in progress for a nasal vaccine. He informed that trials of two vaccines are on at a fast pace for children amid the scientific community expressing concerns about them being vulnerable in the next wave of the pandemic. SC’s sharp posers & observations Why don’t you procure vaccines also for the states? Dual pricing and procurement policy prima facie discriminatory Why can’t Centre pay from I35,000-crore budgetary allocation for procurement for the 18+? Universal vaccination, including for all 18+, is Centre’ primary responsibility TPR factor, LOCKDOWN EXTENDED TILL JUNE 16 WHAT’S ALLOWED Textiles, stationery, jewellery , optical shops, shops selling hearing aids, women's hygiene products, footwear, bookshops and repair shops to function on Friday from 7am to 7pm. Vehicle showrooms will be permitted to open on Friday from 7am to 2pm for essential maintenance. Sale of vehicles not allowed Additional stringent restrictions to be in place on Saturday and Sunday. Only certain activities permitted Submit files on how the policy was conceived, including file notings PM blames it on states, Opposition faults govt E x p r e ss Ne ws Se r v i ce @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sought to point fingers at states that suggested decentralisation of the rollout, to deflect blame for framing the widely criticised Covid vaccination policy that came into effect on May 1. “The Centre had been running the vaccination since January 16, and the people were following all the protocol to get the jabs. But some of the states began demanding decentralisation, while there were questions about the age groups and the priority categories. Varied kinds of pressure tactics were employed, including questions about initial vaccinations of senior citizens,” he said. A similar line of argument earlier came from NITI Aayog member V K Paul, who had squarely blamed the states for messing up the campaign. But CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury criticised the PM’s reasoning. “The Union government and the BJP must learn to accept responsi- bility for its failures when people of this country have paid with their lives. This incessant focus on spin and PR is an assault on and insult to the millions who perished in the pandemic,” he said. Yechury attributed the latest policy shift to pressure from the Supreme Court’s observations. Opposition-r uled states broadly welcomed the PM’s decision. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said “as the Prime Minister stressed multiple times that health is a state subject, it will be appropriate for each state to be given complete control over registration, validation and administration procedures.” Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo had a pithy one-liner: “der aaye dusrust aaye” (better late than never). Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he had written twice to the PM and the Union health minister for Central procurement and distribution of vaccines for all age groups. “This was the only feasible soP7 lution,” he said. AFTER many twists and turns including an acrimonious fight between Piramal and Adani groups, the corporate insolvency resolution process of DHFL has finally seen a closure with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approving Piramal Group’s bid for the distressed home loan provider. Piramal Group’s resolution plan offers `37,500 crore against creditors’ total claim of `86,700 crore. The creditors included banks, financial institutions as well as around 74,000 fixed deposit holders. As per Piramal’s plan, banks will have to take a haircut of 6065% while it is even higher for fixed deposit holders at 75%. However, the NCLT order suggests that the Committee of Creditors reconsider the amount for deposit holders. DHFL was referred to the NCLT by the Reserve Bank of India in November 2019, mak- Banks & financial institutions to function on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. June 10 & 15 to be holidays Those engaged in construction activities during lockdown including site engineers/ supervisors can go to worksites and back home on production of ID cards/authorisation letter Shops and establishments permitted to function now can continue to do so with additional guidelines statewide Fresh cases Recoveries june 6 june 7 14,672 9,313 21,429 21,921 227 Deaths NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 221 june 6 june 7 1,14,460 1,89,232 2,677 85,979 1,83,718 2,094 June 6 33,53,539 doses June 7 31,04,989 doses Total doses: 23,59,39,165 Jab-o-meter Take your shot CBSE: Hold Class 12 practicals online The Central Board of Secondary Education on Monday asked all schools affiliated with it to complete internal assessments by Juneend and conduct practical examinations for Class 12 students online. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express What will happen to DHFL shares? The shares of DHFL would be delisted from stock exchanges post acquisition by Piramal Capital and Housing Finance, say experts citing IBC guidelines and Sebi delisting norms. The company may merge itself with DHFL for which a call would be taken after all legal and regulatory clearances are obtained ing it the first financial service provider to be taken to the tribunal for insolvency . RBI invoked the new rule for insolvency of financial services providers to refer DHFL for insolvency, over its failure to repay a loan from State Bank of India. NCLT admitted the insolvency application on 3 December 2019 and appointed R Subramaniakumar as administrator. Also in the race for DHFL were Oaktree Capital, which had offered `34,000 crore, and Adani Group, which was ready to shell out `33,000 crore. P8 18 DEAD IN PUNE CHEM FACTORY FIRE Fire bellows out of a unit at SVS Aqua Technologies at Ghotawade Phata in Pune on Monday | PTI Most of those killed are woman workers At least 18 workers, mostly women, were charred to death in a devastating fire that broke out at a chemical firm in an industrial area in Pune district on Monday afternoon, officials said. One other worker suffered burn injuries Firm manufactures chlorine dioxide Maharashtra, Central govts announce L7L aid According to the officials, the fire broke out at SVS Aqua Technologies, which manufactures chlorine dioxide, and is located at Urawade in the Pirangut MIDC area of Mulshi tehsil on the outskirts of Pune city Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar announced an ex-gratia of J5 lakh to the families of those who died while Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced J2 lakh each ex-gratia for the next of kin of the deceased Shame on you Kerala, sharing child abuse content THE police have registered 370 cases and arrested 28 people in connection with a statewide crackdown on individuals and groups that indulged in sharing of child abuse content via social media and darknet. The raids were conducted on Sunday by 310 teams, under the supervision of district police Police officers check documents of two-wheeler riders at Statue Junction in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. The government has been relying mostly on police officers to enforce the restrictions | Vincent Pulickal Flight after 2 Covaxin doses: Options explored The state government is looking at different options to facilitate overseas travel for those who have taken two doses of Covaxin, which has not been approved abroad yet. Cong ignores chieftains again, Sudhakaran to be named state president C y n t h i a C h a n d r a n @ T’Puram Close on the heels of V D Satheesan’s appointment as the opposition leader against the wishes of prominent groups in the party, the Congress central leadership is set to neglect ‘chieftains’ again and appoint firebrand leader K Sudhakaran as the new state president. The Kannur MP who turned , 73 last month, is not affiliated to either the ‘ ’ or ‘I’ groups led A by Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, respectively A formal announcement . regarding Sudhakaran’s appointment is expected in a day or two. Tariq Anwar, the party general secretary in charge of the state, is learnt to have submitted his report to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday evening. According to sources, Anwar has recommended Sudhakaran in tune with the feeling that only a vibrant leadership can revive the Congress in Kerala. Having interacted with party leaders in the state, Anwar found that Satheesan and almost all young MLAs and MPs K Sudhakaran supported Sudhakaran. It is learnt that only three MPs -Benny Behanan, Adoor Prakash and V K Sreekantan -- refrained from suppor ting Sudhakaran and that two of them wanted to lead the party themselves. K Muraleedharan, MP, told Anwar that he would accept whatever decision the ‘high command’ takes. Another aspirant for the post, Mavelikkara MP Kodikunnil Suresh, did not get adequate support within the party Being a Dalit lead. er who has risen to the level of working president, Kodikunnil told the central leadership that he should be the natural successor to Mullappally Ramachandran, the current state president. However, he found little support from other lead● More on P4 ers. FIR against Surendran for ‘bribing’ namesake in polls E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i ce @ Kasaragod 3 0 7 M O R E C ASES , 2 8 A R R ESTS E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i ce @ T’Puram THE government has extended the statewide lockdown till June 16 following recommendation by the health and police departments. Total lockdown will be imposed on June 13 and 14. Health officials suggested that restrictions should continue till the test positivity rate drops below 10% while police officials opined they should be in place for at least two more weeks. Meanwhile, as per the High Court directions, it was decided to include advocates and High Court staff in the priority category for vaccination. Private bus employees too would be given priority . Instructions were issued to the health department to verify whether respiratory therapists should be posted at hospitals treating Category C Covid patients. A decision was also taken to carry out scientific study on Covid infection among kids. Government, quasigovernment bodies, PSUs, corporations and commissions to function with 50% staff capacity from June 17 Piramal Group’s bid for DHFL gets clearance Dipak Mondal @ New Delhi E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i ce @ T'Puram chiefs. Cyber experts and woman police officers also took part in the raids. Cyberdome nodal officer ADGP Manoj Abraham said raids were carried out in 477 centres simultaneously As . many as 429 gadgets, including mobile phones, hard disks, memory cards, laptops and computers, were seized. “The gadgets had abusive images and videos of children. Explicit images of sexual abuse of children from five to 16 years were recovered from several devices,” said Manoj. Many of the arrested were highly educated youths, including those working in the IT sector. Manoj said they were sharing the content on encrypted apps and websites. They also used advanced software to erase that and format their devices every three days to avoid detection. The initial assessment of the police is that some of the suspects were involved in child trafficking as chats to this effect were recovered from their ● More on P4 devices. There was a big conspiracy to slap serious charges against BJP leaders and arrest them. We’ll counter the case. K Shreekanth, Kasaragod dist BJP chief BADIADKA police registered an FIR against BJP state president K Surendran for allegedly bribing namesake K Sundara to pull out of the assembly elections in Manjeshwar. The FIR was registered on the direction of Kasaragod Judicial First Class Magistrate Court II on a petition filed by CPM district committee member and LDF candidate in Manjeshwar V V Rameshan. “We moved the court demanding a police investigation into Sundara’s statement that he was bribed to withdraw from the elections,” said advocate C Shukkur, who represented Rameshan in the court. Shukkur said the petition named only Surendran as accused. “It’s up to the police to find out the others involved in the ● More on P4 case,” he said.
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