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January 2021
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With morale running high, Aizawl FC aim for win over Indian Arrows        England bowl Sri Lanka out for 381 in 2nd test        Coal India says geared up to meet any surge in fuel demand from power sector        Customary 'Halwa Ceremony' kickstarts process of compilation Budget documents        Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87        UN: Violence in Sudan's Darfur killed 250, displaced 100,000        At 78 and the oldest president, Biden sees a world changed        Delhi Police has given nod to farmers' tractor parade on Jan 26, claim protesting unions        Govt to continue ban on Chinese apps including Tiktok        Rahul Gandhi assures revisiting GST when Cong is voted to power at Centre        Strong India following Netaji's footsteps, from LOC to LAC: PM        Stage set for grand finale of 23rd JK Racing Tyre National Racing Championship        India's track and field athletes to have first shot at Olympics in IGP Series starting Feb 18        Red carpet welcome for Rahane; Siraj heads straight to father's grave        Average flat size increases 10 pc in 2020 across 7 cities to 1,150 sq ft: Report        Rupee gains 6 paise to close near 5-month high of 72.99 vs USD        Experts: 15 more days to reach trapped China mine workers        Global Teacher Prize winner Ranjitsinh Disale hails Biden's education focus        India provides 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal        SC notice to Centre, others on plea against web series Mirzapur'        
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Kerala News
Central financial package lacks public healthcare initiatives: Kerala CM
 
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said that the five-phased financial package announcements by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had nothing for the public healthcare sector. During this Covid situation, a substantial public healthcare package was required,he told reporters. "Many international agencies have pointed out that the package will cost an additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore from the central budget this year. Even if we add free ration and direct cash transfer to ordinary people, it would not have been five per cent of the total package", he said.

The bulk of the Rs 20 lakh crore was the amount made available to banks as part of the RBI''s monetary policy and the amount that these banks are expected to pay to farmers and small businesses, he said. The reality is that banks are wary of giving loans during the present financial uncertainty,he said and charged that the centre had opened up most sectors for private investment while the public sector will be limited to some strategic areas. However, strengthening Public Sector Units is the Kerala Governments policy, he said. The state government had earlier announced a package for the Micro-Small and Medium-Sized (MSME) sector and this will be implemented in conjunction with central announcements,the Chief Minister said.

The government will take immediate steps to make maximum use of the credit facilities announced by the central government for MSMEs. Kerala will take full advantage of the Rs 40,000 crore increase in the budget allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme, he said. Steps have also been initiated to utilise the additional refinance fund available to Kerala Bank and the Kerala Grameen Bank through NABARD with the Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Local Self Government and Self Help Groups, Vijayan said. While welcoming the increase in borrowing limit of states from three to five per cent of the GDP, he said thepre- conditions laid down by the centre, however, were not acceptable in the federal set up.

"Kerala has been in the forefront in demanding a hike in the borrowing limit of the states and we welcome this decision. But we are not happy with the conditions set for the use of the increased limits", he said. The states'' domestic revenues have fallen drastically during the Covid situation. So even if the borrowing limit was increased, it will be of limited benefit. Such preconditions are not acceptable in a federal set up, he added.


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INTERNATIONAL NEWS
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