YK MYK PRASHANT KISHOR’S CONGRESS GAMBIT STILL UNCERTAIN ‘UNPREDICTABLE NATURE OF THE CHARACTER KEEPS VIEWERS HOOKED’ OPINION SCREEN & CINEMA Morning India Rs. 5 RANCHI THURSDAY, 28 APRIL, 2022 PG-12, YEAR—11, ISSUE—345 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) PM urges oppn-ruled states to lower VAT on petrol, diesel AT A GLANCE 11 PEOPLE ELECTROCUTED DURING TEMPLE PROCESSION IN THANJAVUR THANJAVUR: At least 11 persons have died due to electrocution during a temple festival in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday morning. The incident took place in Kalimedu village after a temple car came in contact with a high voltage power line and went up in flames, police said today. The incident occurred during the annual chariot festival. More details awaited. BILAWAL BHUTTO INDUCTED IN PAK CABINET, LIKELY TO BE NEXT FM ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari took oath on Wednesday as the federal minister of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif's cabinet. He is likely to be given the portfolio of the foreign ministry. President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Bilawal. The oath-taking ceremony was held at Aiwan-iSadr, Geo tv reported. Bilawal was first elected to the National Assembly in 2018. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 43,062,097 TOTAL DEATHS: 522,223 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 510,269,578 TOTAL DEATHS: 6,246,343 NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called upon opposition-ruled states to follow the Centre's decision by reducing taxes on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the people from the price hike. "In order to reduce the burden of rising petrol and diesel prices, the central government reduced the excise duty last November. We had urged the states too to reduce their taxes. Some states reduced the tax and provided benefits to the consumers but some didn't do so," said PM Modi. Naming opposition parties ruled states, PM Modi said, "Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu did not follow the advice of Central Government and people in these states are burdened with price rise." "I request these states to do now what they should have done in November. By reducing the VAT you can lower the burden faced by the residents," he added. PM Modi made the following comments during his interactions with Chief Ministers of several states over rising cases of COVID19. The Central government in November had reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively. Following the Center's decision, 25 states pandemic particularly in view of the new variants of the Omicron. We were expecting new directions on the issue and also announcement regarding free booster doze." and Union Territories, mostly ruled by BJP or their allies had reduced VAT on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers. PM’S MEETING KICKS OFF POLITICAL STORM RANCHI: The interaction of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi with the Chief Ministers (CM) and ministers over rising Covid cases in the country acquired a political color in Jharkhand with different parties claiming that PM deviated from the main issue. It may be stated here that CM Hemant Soren skipped the meeting and the state was represented by the health minister Banna Gupta. The PM spoke on need for vaccination of people and to remain on the alert as some of the states have witnessed a rise in Covid cases in the past two weeks. He also stressed the issue of high fuel prices in some opposition-ruled states including Jharkhand and urged them to cut value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. Speaking to media persons after the meeting Gupta said, " The PM has called the meeting on urgency of Covid Gupta added that PM speech was, however, mainly focused on petrol and diesel prices. He said that Jharkhand was not allowed to convey its views even though I raised my hand several times. He claimed that the PM approach during the meeting was purely political. JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said that it is unfortunate the PM mentioned the names of the states, which are ruled by opposition parties, while format and mobile mode. A pre-test on NPR update was undertaken in the selected areas of all the states/UTs except Assam along with the pre-test of Census. The demographic and other particulars of each family and individual are to be collected/updated during the updation exercise of NPR. No documents or biometrics would be collected during the updation, the report read. The Union government has already approved the expenditure of Rs 3941.35 crore for updation of NPR. In 2015, a few fields such as name, gender, date and place of birth, place of residence and father's and mother's name were updated and Aadhaar, Mobile and Ration card numbers were collected. Notably, protests were witnessed against the National Population Register (NPR), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in different parts of the country in 2019. MORE ON PG 5 ED ATTACHES ASSETS OF MECON OFFICIAL ‘NPR required to update birth, death and migration’ NEW DELHI: To incorporate the changes due to birth, death and migration, there is a need to update the National Population Register (NPR) again, according to the 202021 annual report of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released on Wednesday. The report read that the government decided to update the NPR database in the entire country except the state of Assam along with the Houselisting Phase of Census 2021, from April to September 2020, as per the convenience of the State/UT governments. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the work of NPR updation and other related field activities have been postponed until further orders. The government prepared an NPR of all the 'usual residents' in the country in 2010 by collecting specific information about each resident. The NPR is prepared under various provisions of the Citizenship Rules, 2003, framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955, the report read. For updating the NPR database, a three-pronged approach would be adopted which includes self-updating wherein it is proposed to allow residents to update their own data fields after following some authentication protocols on a web portal. The approach also includes updating NPR data in paper speaking fuel price issue. Congress party state president Rajesh Thakur said that it is the nature of BJP to divert the attention of people from main issue. The RJD state spokesperson Manoj Kumar said that the meeting was meant to mislead the people of the country. He said that the centre should consider reducing the goods and the services taxes instead of asking states to reduce VAT. BJP state president countered the criticism against the PM and said that the Jharkhand government should reduce the VAT prices and bring relief to the people from rising fuel prices. SANJAY SAHAY Loudspeakers are being taken down from religious places, in Gorakhpur on Wednesday. ANI LIC IPO price band at Rs 902-949 per share; offer opens on May 4 NEW DELHI: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has set its price band for the Initial Public Offer (IPO) at Rs 902 to Rs 949 per equity share. The public offer starts on May 4 and will remain open for bidders till May 9, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said on Wednesday. The size of LIC IPO is set to be the largest so far in the country. The government targets to raise Rs 20,557.23 crore by offloading 3.5 per cent of its equity stake or 22.13 crore shares of LIC. This is substantially lower than the earlier projection of about Rs 60,000 crore. Addressing a press conference, Pandey said, "Even after the reduce size of Rs 21,000 crore, the LIC IPO will initially be the biggest ever IPO will not crowd out capital and monetary supply, given the current environmental constraints," he said. in the country." The government has decided to reduce the size of the IPO due to the volatility in the market. "This is right-sized considering the capital market environment and The IPO will be a pure offer for sale. Out of the 22.13 crore shares offered for sale, around 5.93 crore shares have been reserved for anchor investor portion. Employee reservation portion is at 1.58 million while policyholder reservation at 22.14 million. Half of the shares are reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIB), 15 per cent of the shares will be reserved for non-institutional investors while the rest is for retail investors. Policyholders will get a discount of Rs 60 per equity share. Retail and employees will get a discount of Rs 40. RANCHI: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 1.28 crore rupees of MECON officer Upendra Nath Mandal and his wife Supriti Mandal in a case related to criminal misconduct by a public servant. The attached assets include immoveable properties in the form of one residential duplex apartment and one car belonging to Supriti Mandal. ED sources informed that investigation related to money laundering was started by the agency in 2021 against ED sources informed Mandal and that investigation others. The step related to money was initiated on laundering was basis of a FIR started by the registered by agency in 2021 the CBI in this against Mandal and regard. others. The step was It has been initiated on basis of alleged that a FIR registered by Mandal had the CBI in this entered into a regard. criminal conspiracy with the two firms to accept illegal gratification of around Rs 1.65 crore. The amount was received through different bank accounts of Mandal and his relatives. Mandal had evaluated the technical bid of proposal submitted by Zeal India for work in the Durgapur Steel Plant. The work was awarded to the company but investigation later revealed that it was not having the requisite experience. Meanwhile Shiv Machine Tools participated in a tender floated by Bokaro steel plant (BSL). Mandal evaluated and finalized the technical bid for the work which was awarded to the company. It is alleged that the company paid Rs 94.39 lakh to Mandal. A random examination of the machines installed at BSL revealed that their prices were high. Subsequently Mandal received money from these two firms in his and relative's bank accounts to the tune of Rs 1.85 cores. Indoor air quality at public places needs regulation: NGT NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday said that there is a need for regulation of indoor air quality in public places. A case is made out for a direction to evolve an appropriate mechanism by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in coordination with other concerned Ministries particularly the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Ministry of Health, with CPCB being the nodal agency. The Tribunal's direction came on April 19, during the hearing of an application filed by Dileep Nevatia stating that Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) is as serious as Outdoor Air Pollution (OAP). It has the potential of affecting public health. IAP causes a large number of premature deaths due to pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer. The most affected groups are women and young children. The bench headed by its Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel while passing the direction also said, Joint Committee may hold its first meeting within one month and after deliberations work out appropriate standards and protocols for indoor air quality for safeguarding public health at Public places under the EP Act, EP Rules or the Air Act within three months. It will be open to the applicants to make their respective representations before the Committee. Based on the report of the Committee, MoEF/CPCB may issue appropriate orders under the relevant statutory provisions. Advocate KC Mittal appearing for the applicant stated that Morbidities associated with IAP are respiratory illnesses, viz., acute respiratory tract infection and COPD, poor perinatal outcomes like low birth weight and stillbirth, cancer of nasopharynx, larynx, lung and leukaemia. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide cause wheezing and exacerbation of asthma. Nitrogen dioxide causes respira- tory infections and deteriorates lung functions. Sulphur dioxide has an additional etiological role in the exacerbation of COPD and cardiovascular disease, submitted the lawyer. The risk of poor perinatal outcomes, viz., low birth weight and perinatal death increases from exposure to carbon monoxide. People disturbed by excessive levels of indoor noise have increased levels of stress hormones that raise their blood pressure and other risk factors, leading to disease and death. In terms of the environmental burden on health, noise is second only to air pollution, according to the WHO. In spite of this factual position, no standards have been laid down for IAP by the MoEF&CC or the CPCB, submitted Advocate KC ACCORDING TO THE APPLICATION, LARGE PUBLIC BUILDINGS WHERE PEOPLE GATHER IN LARGE NUMBERS NEED TO MAINTAIN SAFE AND HEALTHY AIR QUALITY BY APPROPRIATE REGULATION UNDER PROVISIONS OF THE AIR ACT, 1981, TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST AIRBORNE INFECTION. Mittal. According to the application, large public buildings where people gather in large numbers need to maintain safe and healthy air quality by appropriate regulation under provisions of the Air Act, 1981, to safeguard against airborne infection.