YK MYK TRANSPARENCY IN POLITICAL FUNDING HAS BEEN SACRIFICED OPINION RANCHI THURSDAY, 1 APRIL, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—10, ISSUE—324 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) MAX 36 C MIN 17 C Govt spends 70 pc of budget funds despite Covid: CM OMCS TO REDUCE LPG CYLINDER COST BY RS 10 FROM APRIL NEW DELHI: State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) will reduce the price of domestic LPG cylinder by Rs 10 per cylinder from April 1. Domestic LPG cylinder will cost Rs 809 per cylinder in Delhi, effective April 1. In a statement on Wednesday, OMC major Indian Oil Corporation said that prices of crude oil and petroleum products in the international market have been on a constant uptrend since November 2020. "As India is largely import-dependent on crude oil and the prices are market-linked, the increase in international prices resulted in increase in the domestic price of petroleum products," the statement said. CORE SECTORS OUTPUT CONTRACTS 4.6 PC IN FEB NEW DELHI: The output of eight core sectors declined by 4.6 per cent in February, the steepest contraction in the last six months which experts said could drag the overall industrial production in the month into the negative territory. All the key segments, including coal, crude oil, natural gas, and refinery products, witnessed a decline in production, according to the official data released on Wednesday. The growth rate of infrastructure sectors -- coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity -stood at 6.4 pc. RANCHI: Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren on Wednesday stated that that the state government would be able to spend over 70 per cent of the budget allocation in the financial year 2020-21, which ended today, despite the bottlenecks caused by the Covid pandemic. Speaking to media persons at Project Bhawan, the CM said that the state government would be able to reach the expenditure level of the previous government. He pointed out that as per practice the withdrawal of money from the treasury would continue till midnight on Wednesday. It may be stated here that earlier Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon had said that the departments that expended very little should surrender their money to the government. Meanwhile, former minister Saryu Roy informed that he has learnt from reliable sources in the finance department that the state government had expended 70 percent of the allocated amount till afternoon while it was all set to achieve figure of 75 percent by mid night. Roy opined that achieving such figures in Covid condition was both pleasing and surprising. He said that the state faced the Covid pan- INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,21,50,912 TOTAL DEATH: 1,62,509 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 128,971,684 TOTAL DEATH: 2,819,170 demic right from the beginning of the financial year, adding the revenue collection of the government was also quite low. He stated the expenditure of the government was 38 per cent in January, which increased to 46 per cent in the third week of February and 64 percent by March 22. He said that the quality of budgetary expenditure must be analysed to get the real picture. He stated the previous government had spent 84.60 per cent in 2015-16, 84.39 per cent in 2016-17, 80 per cent in 2017-18 and 81 per cent in 2018-19. Roy said that he was of the opinion that government should present a zero-based budget this financial year. He opined that there is huge scope for increment in tax and non-tax revenue of the state. The state government should plug the leaks in tax collection and bring discipline to expenditure. GOVT CUTS SMALL SAVINGS RATE FOR APR-JUN TO 3.5% NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Finance on Wednesday announced the reduction in the small savings rate from 3.5 percent for the first quarter of the financial year starting April 1, 2021. The small savings rate during January-March was 4 per cent annually. Further, in an office memorandum, the Department of Economic Affairs said that the 1-year time deposit rates have been reduced to 4.4 percent from 5.5 percent, and the 2year, 3-year, 5-year time deposit rate have been cut to 5.0 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively, on a quarterly basis. The 5-year recurring deposit has been cut to 5.3 per cent from the previous 5.8 pc. SANJAY SAHAY Polling, presiding officer, electoral officers on their way to polling station from exam distribution center, on the eve of 2nd phase of assembly election, in East Midnapore district on Wednesday. ANI Time for a united struggle against BJP: Mamata’s letter to oppn leaders KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee wrote to several opposition leaders saying that the BJP wants to establish a one-party authoritarian rule in India and time has come for a united and effective struggle against its attack on democracy and Constitution. The three-page personal letter was sent by Banerjee to non-BJP leaders, including Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK leader M.K Stalin, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hemant Soren, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, BJD leader Naveen Patnaik, YSR Congress leader Jagan Reddy, NCP leader Farooq Abdullah, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and CPI (M) leader Dipankar West Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee addresses an election campaign rally, at Singhur in Hooghly District on Wednesday. ANI Bhattacharya. In a threepage letter to Opposition leaders dated March 28, the Trinamool Congress supremo said, "I am writing this letter to you, and to several leaders of non-BJP parties, to convey my serious concerns over a series of assaults by the BJP and its government at the Centre on democracy and constitutional federalism in India." "The BJP wants to make it impossible for nonBJP parties to exercise their constitutional rights and freedoms. It wants to dilute the powers of the state governments and downgrade them to mere municipalities. In short, it wants to establish a one-party authoritarian rule RANCHI: As almost a dozen of players from Chandigarh and host Jharkhand were found Corona positive, organizers of the 11th National Junior Women Hockey Championship were forced to postpone the mega show which was scheduled from April 3 in Simdega. Chief Minister Hemant Soren spoke to players and got information about their health. The Chief Minister encouraged the players of both the teams by talking to them and convinced them not to worry about anything. He assured them that the government will take care of them in every way and all of them will be completely healthy and will soon return to their homes. In his tweet, the Chief Minister gave directions to the officers and said that everyone should be properly taken care of their health so that everyone can get well soon. Bholanath Singh, President, Hockey Jharkhand disappointedly said, “This is very unfortunate for us that players are found positive and we are not in a position to allow Simdega District unit to The CM encouraged the players of both the teams by talking to them and convinced them not to worry about anything. He assured them that the government will take care of them in every way and all of them will be completely recover soon. conduct this championship.” “Our first responsibility is to provide all medical support to our visiting team Chandigarh and host Jharkhand team players and staff and we are satisfied with the initiative taken by the government in this regard,” Singh said. He said, “All positive players have been quarantined and have also been provided all facilities including medical support. Simdega district administration is also in alert mode and is taking care of everyone.” “We are happy to say that Chief Minister Hemant Soren himself is taking interest and speaking to all payers and this will definitely boost the morale of every player and organizers,” the Hockey Jharkhand president said. Disappointed over the turn of events organising secretary Manoj Konbegi said that all in India," she wrote. She stated, "I strongly believe that the time has come for a united and effective struggle against BJP's attacks on democracy and Constitution." In her letter, Banerjee, who is taking on BJP's Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram assembly constituency in the state, gave seven instances of alleged "assaults" on democracy and cooperative federalism by the BJP. In her letter, she discussed the controversial new law that gives more powers to Delhi's Lt Governor compared to the elected government and said that "the Lt Governor has been made the undeclared Viceroy of Delhi, acting as a proxy for the Home Minister and the Prime Minister". "What the BJP has done in Delhi is not an exception. It is increasingly becoming the rule," she said. RANCHI: Governor Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday inaugurated an old age home for the retried army personnel in Gumla district. The home, which is the first one of its kind in eastern India, would provide accommodation and other facilities to soldiers left alone. The 20-bed home would provide various facilities to the soldiers including nutritious food, medical check up and entertainment. Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said that she was proud that a large number of youths from the state are fighting to protect the country. She said those who sacrificed everything for country deserve to live a decent live in the last stages of life. The governor stated that she had ordered officials to cooperate in implementation of the scheme. She observed that after retiring and coming back to home the soldiers face a number of problems, including rehabilitation, proper education of children and establishing in the civil society. She said it was duty of the society to counsel the children who do not look after the retired soldiers adding that soldiers should spend the remaining part of the life with the family adding they need not go to the old age home. The Governor said she is pained to know that many soldiers face deceit from their relatives who want to take away their wealth. She said in many cases they live a lonely live after death of their wife and the vice versa. She said that Central Coalfields Limited has assured help to the old age home, adding other companies should also promote such efforts under their corporate social responsibility programme. 693 test Covid positive in Jharkhand Hockey tourney postponed as 11 players test positive in Simdega PC JHA CORONA METER GUV OPENS OLD AGE HOME FOR ARMYMEN SANJAY SAHAY Sky will be clear. AT A GLANCE SCREEN & CINEMA Morning India Rs. 5 WEATHER TODAY I CRIED FOR TWO WEEKS: BRITNEY ON SHOW ABOUT HER LIFE the preparation for hosting the prestigious national hockey championship was ready but the Corona infection spoiled all our efforts. “Positive players and other team members are relaxed and tension free here after the government initiative towards the players and medical attention giving confidence to them,” the organizing secretary said. However, Hockey India in its recent tweet announced that due to increasing Corona infection the 11th National Junior Women Hockey Championship has been postponed till further notice. RANCHI: The second wave of corona pandemic is getting stronger day by day. As many as 693 were tested corona positive Wednesday while on Tuesday as many as 418 were tested positive. Out of total figure test positive 351 is from Ranchi while remaining others are from other parts of the state. With total active cases in the state reached to 2254 from 1968 across the state while in Ranchi the figure continue to be 1260. While 693 new cases were detected 122 people, who were earlier tested corona positive, were tested INSIDE STATE GOVT GEARS UP TO REDUCE IMPACT OF SECOND COVID WAVE PAGE 3 corona negative today. There is no death today while number of death was three on Tuesday. According to data made available by health department growth rate in the state is 0.26 percent which is less than average country level growth of 0.36 percent. WHO releases report on global tracing of Covid origins GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday released a report on the global tracing of Covid-19 origins, following a joint research with China on issues including the pathways of the virus and future investigation in different countries. A total of 34 experts from the WHO and China jointly conducted a 28-day research from January 14 to February 10 in Wuhan, China, Xinhua news agency reported. They made assessment of the likelihood of possible pathways. According to the report, Covid19 introduction through an intermediate host is "likely to very likely," introduction through cold/food chain products is "possible," and introduction through a laboratory incident is "extremely unlikely". China believes that the joint research will play a positive role in promoting global cooperation in Covid-19 origin tracing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, as the international community continues to raise the credibility and transparency of the report by the World Health Organization on Covid-19 origins, China on Wednesday sought to shift attention away from efforts inside its borders to trace the source of the coronavirus, arguing that health experts should start looking for clues in other ACCORDING TO THE NEW YORK TIMES, CHINESE STATE MEDIA OUTLETS REJECTED CRITICISM FROM THE WHITE HOUSE AND OTHERS THAT BEIJING HAD NOT BEEN TRANSPARENT IN THE INQUIRY. countries. According to The New York Times, Chinese state media outlets rejected criticism from the White House and others that Beijing had not been transparent in the inquiry. "Maybe it's time for scientists to dig somewhere else and test more hypotheses to solve the mystery," said an article in Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid owned by China's ruling Communist Party. The Chinese foreign ministry echoed that sentiment, saying in a statement that the investigation into the origins of the virus was a "global mission that should be conducted in multiple countries and localities." The Ministry said it was "immoral" and "unpopular" to politicize the issue of virus origin tracing after 14 countries, including the United States, raised concerns in a joint statement on the World Health Organization report released Tuesday, following its Wuhan investigation. "We have repeatedly emphasized that origin tracing is a sci- THE 124-PAGE WHO REPORT, BY A TEAM OF 17 CHINESE SCIENTISTS AND 17 GLOBAL EXPERTS, CONCLUDED THAT THE CORONAVIRUS PROBABLY EMERGED IN BATS BEFORE SPREADING TO HUMANS THROUGH AN INTERMEDIATE ANIMAL. entific issue, and it should be carried out cooperatively by global scientists and cannot be politicized, which is also the consensus of most countries," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in a regular briefing Wednesday. Hua said the joint statement questioning the report is concrete evidence that countries like the US "disrespect science" and "engage in political manipulation." "Study of origins is a matter of science, which should be jointly conducted by scientists all over the world. To politicize this issue will only severely hinder global cooperation in the study of origins, jeopardize anti-pandemic cooperation, and cost more lives. It would run counter to the international community's aspiration for solidarity against the virus," the Ministry said. The Ministry further claimed that from January 14 to February 10 this year, Chinese experts and international experts from WHO and ten countries formed a joint team and conducted joint research for 28 days in Wuhan.