01042021-TTB-01.qxd 3/31/2021 11:59 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.89 | 14 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 US MEASURES TO COUNTER VIOLENCE AGAINST ASIANS WORLD /thetribunechd SENSEX ENDS FY21 WITH SPECTACULAR 68% GAINS BUSINESS UNITE AGAINST BJP, MAMATA WRITES TO OPPN LEADERS BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com thursday | 1 april 2021 Thaw in ties: Pak restarts SC panel submits report on agri laws 85 stakeholders consulted | CJI-led Bench likely to take up matter on April 5 import of sugar & cotton Tribune News Service Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 31 In a sign of further thawing of diplomatic ties, Pakistan today approved the resumption of cotton and sugar imports from India. Its newly appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar announced the Pakistan Economic Coordination Committee’s (ECC) decision to import 0.5 million tonnes of white sugar and cotton from India. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also Minister-in-Charge of Commerce and Textile, had approved the proposals put before the EEC. The imports are being framed as a necessity. Azhar said Indian sugar was currently the cheapest in the world and Indian cotton House-to-house surveillance in Pb, Chd: Centre New Delhi, March 31 In view of the Covid surge in Punjab and Chandigarh, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Member Health, NITI Aayog, VK Paul today directed the district officers of Punjab and Chandigarh to refocus on effective house-to-house surveillance and identify active cases for timely testing, contact tracing and swift isolation. Punjab has reported a 21 per cent week-on-week increase in new cases and 2,740 average daily cases over the past seven days. During this period, it also saw 30 per cent week-onweek rise in deaths. — TNS INDIA YET TO TAKE CALL ON PAK GOODS Pakistan had banned trade with India on August 10, 2019, after the change in status of Jammu and Kashmir. A day later, India imposed 200% duty on Pakistani goods. 1ST MAJOR STEP IN REVERSING TRADE SUSPENSION ■ Pak lifted ban on import of medicines from India in May last year ■ Its Wednesday’s decision is first biggest step in revers- ing trade suspension ■ Move a symbolic gesture as its largest share of Indian exports included polypropylene, reactive dyes, pharma & tea imports would bridge the raw material shortfall for the textile sector. The first signs of resumption of trade will bring relief to the region as well as the ecosystem around Wagah that became a hostage to the rising tensions. Trade had begun declining even before Pakistan banned all trade with India on August 10, 2019, after the change in status of continued on page 11 New Delhi, March 31 As agitating farmers refuse to let go of their demand for withdrawal of the three farm laws, a Supreme Courtappointed three-member panel has submitted its report to the court in a sealed cover on measures to end the deadlock. The panel comprising Pramod Kumar Joshi (Director, South Asia international Food Policy), Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices Ashok Gulati submitted the report on March 19, sources said. The fourth member of the panel, Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann, had recused himself. The panel was asked to study the three farm laws, consult all stakeholders and FARMERS PROTEST AT GHAZIPUR BORDER. MANAS RANJAN BHUI ■ 3-member committee held SKM: MARCH TO PARL, E-WAY BLOCKADE NEXT discussions with 85 farmers’ organisations and other stakeholders ■ It also held 9 internal meetings before submitting its report. The government too held several rounds of talks New Delhi: Stepping up pressure, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday announced it would block the KMP expressway for 24 hours on April 1 and hold a march to Parliament in May. INSIDE 9 INTERNAL MEETINGS submit its report in two months. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde – which had on January 12 stayed the implementation of the three laws till Mark low vax coverage pockets: Centre Interest rates on small Shots for all 45-plus from today JABS IN PVT FACILITIES Chandigarh Delhi New Delhi, March 31 As India gears up to extend its Covid vaccination drive to all people above 45 from tomorrow, the Centre today asked the states and UTs to identify low vaccine-coverage pockets, particularly in districts reporting a spike in fresh infections, and take remedial steps. The Centre assured the states of adequate vaccine supplies, asking them to cap wastage at less than 1 per cent of the stocks and involve private facilities to 32.37% Goa 27.12% MP 21.82% Haryana A health worker takes a sample in Amritsar on Wednesday. PTI 43.11 % Punjab Tribune News Service 50.30% 19.13% Uttarakhand 17.25% All India 16.53% CAP WASTAGE RATE AT LESS THAN 1 PC: CENTRE DGCI EXTENDS COVISHIELD LIFE TO 9 MTHS RANDOM TESTING OF FLYERS AT DELHI AIRPORT PFIZER SAYS ITS VAX SAFE FOR 12 TO 15-YR-OLDS EX-PM GOWDA, WIFE INFECTED; 26 ATHLETES AT NIS, PATIALA speed up the drive. The national vaccine wastage rate is averaging 6.5 per cent and corresponding rates are as high as 17.6 per cent in Telangana, over 11 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and over 8 per cent in Punjab. The online registration for vaccinations starts tomorrow morning. Eligible groups can register on www.cowin.gov.in or Aarogya Setu. The Centre said onsite registration will be available daily at the nearest health facilities, but only after 3 pm. “Before 3 pm, the facilities will entertain people who have registered online and booked advance appointments. The identity cards permitted include Aadhaar, voter card, driving licence, bank passbook, passport among others,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. continued on page 11 edit: Expand vax drive savings schemes cut Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 31 It’s bad news for fixed income depositors. The government on Wednesday cut the interest rates on a slew of such schemes, including the post office small savings schemes, for three months and Senior Citizen Savings Scheme to 6.5% from 7.4 % per annum. The interest rate on PPF has been cut to a 44-year low of 6.4% from 7.1% per annum while the five-year monthly income account scheme will offer 5.7 per cent instead of 6.6 per cent payable monthly. On the one-year time Chandigarh, March 31 Elections approaching, the Punjab Cabinet today cleared the setting up of an enforcement directorate (ED) to check illegal mining. An announcement in this regard was made by Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh during the Budget Session. The ED is to be set up under the Mining and Geology Wing of Water Resources Department. Headed by a senior police officer not below the rank of Deputy Inspector General (DIG), it will ensure that those involved in the sand and gravel business do not charge above the sale price ceiling laid out in the mining policy. It will also stop unauthorised movement of minor minerals within the state and at interstate borders in conjunction with mining officials and facilitate prosecution of the accused under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. VILLAGERS PROTEST In Ropar, residents of villages on the banks of the Swan and Sutlej have been holding a dharna near the Algran bridge since March 15, demanding a clampdown on the mining mafia. They say the depleting underground water table has rendered tube wells useless. INSIDE The districts of Mohali, Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Nawanshahr, Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Sangrur and Bathinda will be given special attention to ensure legitimate mining operations. The ED will have the mandate to chalk out strategies, measures and methods to achieve its objectives in coordination with the Director-Mining, chief engineers and districtlevel enforcement committees under the DCs. It will develop actionable intelligence for the purpose and co-ordinate with agencies of neighbouring states. Shimla, March 31 All government school students in Himachal Pradesh, barring those in Class X and XII, have been promoted to the next standard irrespective of their result in the annual examination conducted recently. The final exams of nonboard classes were held from No relaxation for those who skipped exam March 8 onwards. The result was prepared too, but the government decided to promote all of them in view of the Covid situation, which had restricted classes to online mode. The students of continued on page 11 deposit, the rate of interest will be 4.4% while on the fiveyear deposit the rate will remain 5.8% per annum. The biggest cut is on the one-year deposit. The new rate stands lower by 1.1%. The interest rate on post continued on page 11 BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari at a Mohali court on Wednesday. His wife has written to the President, seeking security for him during transfer to UP jail, as directed by the SC. TRIBUNE PHOTO: VICKY India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia. According to the report, the country had ranked 112th among 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020. India's gender gap on this dimension widened by 3 per cent this year. NATION Court ruling makes no mention of ‘love jihad’ NIKITA MURDER Bhartesh Singh Thakur Tribune News Service Chandigarh, March 31 The judgment pronounced in the Nikita Tomar case concludes that convict Tausif’s infatuation for the victim led to the killing. It makes no mention of “love jihad”. However, Home Minister Anil Vij as well as president of the Haryana State Commission for Women Preeti Bhardwaj had cited “love jihad” as the reason for the 20-year-old Faridabad student’s murder to press for a law against “conversion” in the state. “It is clearly established that Tausif had a liking for New Delhi, March 31 The NIA today said a special court has sentenced a Pakistani terrorist belonging to the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to a 10-year rigorous jail term for conspiring to attack India. The NIA said LeT terrorist Bahadur Ali conspired to carry out terrorist attacks at different places in India, including Delhi, after crossing over to Jammu and Kashmir following instructions from his handlers in Pakistan. It said, “Bahadur Ali was convicted by the special judge for NIA cases on Friday under various laws.” 3 cops discharged in Ishrat Jahan case Ahmedabad, March 31 A special CBI court here on Wednesday discharged police officers GL Singhal, Tarun Barot and Anaju Chaudhary in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case. The CBI had on March 20 conveyed to the court that the state government had declined sanction for prosecution of the three accused. — PTI Free bus travel for Pb women from today chandigarh, March 31 Women in Punjab will travel free of cost in all government-run buses within the state starting Thursday, provided they carry their Aadhaar card, voter card or any other proof of residence. The Cabinet on Wednesday accorded its approval to the scheme that is expected to benefit over 1.31 crore women/girls. — TNS Gender gap: India Fire breaks out in slips 28 places Delhi hospital New Delhi, March 31 Bhanu P Lohumi Tribune News Service PPF to fetch 6.4%, lowest in 44 yrs | Biggest cut on one-year deposit Tribune News Service IN BRIEF Poll in mind, Pb clears HP promotes all pupils ED to curb illegal mining except of classes X, XII Tribune News Service further orders and appointed a panel to suggest measures to end the stalemate – is expected to take up the matter on April 5. The panel held 12 rounds of consultations with various stakeholders, including farmers’ groups, farmer producer organisations (FPOs), procurement agencies, professionals, academicians and private as well as state agriculture marketing boards. The panel is said to have held consultations with 85 farmers’ organisations and other stakeholders to end the stalemate that has continued since November last year when thousands of agitating farmers blocked key entry points to the Capital. It also held nine internal meetings before submitting its report. The government too has held several rounds of talks with farm leaders. Pak LeT terrorist jailed for 10 yrs Hry Home Minister had hinted at ‘conversion’ WHAT THE COURT SAID This is a case where interest of society and justice shall be served by imposing life imprisonment than putting the accused to death. The case does not fall in “rarest of rare” category. Addl Sessions Judge victim Nikita Tomar… and tried to abduct Nikita Tomar, showing a pistol. When she valiantly resisted his attempts, he shot her,” Additional Sessions Judge, Farid- abad, Sartaj Baswana, concluded in the judgment which was made public today. After Tausif and his friend Rihan were sentenced to life imprisonment on March 26, Vij had stated that the state would approach the high court to seek death sentence for the duo. Bhardwaj too had said had there been a law on conversion, the punishment would have been more severe. NEW DELHI: A fire broke out on Wednesday morning in the ICU of the Safdarjung Hospital here following which 50 patients were evacuated, fire officials said. No casualty has been reported in the blaze that broke out around 6:30 am, they said. — PTI Implementation of labour codes on hold NEW DELHI: The four labour codes will not come into effect from April 1 as states are yet to finalise the relevant rules, which means that there will be no change in take home pay of employee. NATION NCB arrests actor in drugs case MUMBAI: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested Bollywood actor and former Bigg Boss contestant Ajaz Khan in connection with a drugs case. — PTI
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).