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Friday, May 29, 2020

Daily briefing: Centre mulls calamity cess on GST; Chinese troops test new areas in Ladakh

From RBI's announcement on extension of moratorium on loans to Ghoomketu review, a look at our top stories today.

Written by Leela Prasad , Liu Chuen Chen | New Delhi | Updated: May 23, 2020 9:53:21 am
cyclone amphan, coronavirus, india lockdown, coronavirus india, india china tension ladakh, india lockdown migrant workers A look at the top news today, May 23, 2020.

In a no lockdown scenario, according to various modelling projections, the country would have seen its Covid-19 case count balloon to a figure anywhere between 14-29 lakh and the number of deaths as high as 71,000. Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said gains of lockdown 1 and 2 (March 25-April 14 and April 15-May 3) are visible now.

A calamity cess on Goods and Services Tax (GST) is likely on the cards to tide over the economic crisis, The Indian Express has learnt. However, at least two states, one of them ruled by the BJP, think it’s a bad idea as the industry is already facing a “huge crisis.

Post September, banks are expecting non-performing assets to shoot up after the RBI on Friday extended its moratorium on loans for another three months. And coupled with the GDP growth slipping into negative territory this year due to the sluggish business activity, it will impact banks more than initially anticipated.

The focus of the Chinese troops transgressing into Indian territory appears to be four locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), official data shows. And they have also made forays into new areas last year.

A day after the World Health Organisation warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for Covid-19 treatment, a Lancet study has revealed that using the drug may harm patients as clinical trials have shown increased rates of mortality and heart arrhythmia.

Chief editor of Studies in Indian Politics Suhas Palshikar has advice for Opposition parties. According to him, if the Opposition truly engages in politics at this historic moment, they would be ensuring a possibility of a political response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Politics alone can be survival therapy for democracy — perhaps in doing that Opposition parties would be ensuring their own survival too,” he writes.

With domestic flight operations set to resume on Monday, anyone entering this Union Territory and five states will have to stay at home or an institutional quarantine for a minimum of seven days.

The WHO has become a battleground of global politics for failing to question China over the COVID outbreak. Now, as the World Health Assembly resolves to hold a “systematic review’, we take a look at what is it that the WHO could have done and where do various countries including India stand on this.

Can a film starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the main act be a drag? While Ghoomketu revolves around a wannabe writer of Bollywood movies, the lead actor has been given the most banal, overused lines and situations, writes our film critic Shubhra Gupta.

A “desperate” 1,200 km migrant journey to Bihar on a second-hand cycle pedalled by a 15-year-old girl with her injured father sitting behind was lauded by US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who joined social media to salute what she called a “beautiful feat of endurance”.

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