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Sunday, 12 April 2020 - Imphal Times

Coronavirus: Maharashtra extends lockdown till April 30

IT News
Mumbai, April 12

With the continuous spike in Covid-19 cases, the Maharashtra government on Saturday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown period till April 30, hours after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray attended a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing from Mumbai.

In a live webcast, Thackeray said the lockdown, which was supposed to end on April 14, will be extended till April 30 in view of the lack of any other options. He said the decision on lifting curbs completely after April 30 will be taken depending upon prevailing situation.

Explaining the broad contours of the plan, Thackeray said while restrictions would be eased in certain areas in the state during the extended period, they will become stricter in others.

The CM said he had conveyed this decision to the prime minister during the meeting of all the chief ministers. Telangana, West Bengal, Odisha and Punjab have also extended the lockdown period till April 30.

Thackeray said the decision regarding pending examinations, restarting of industrial units and the migrant workers stranded in the state will be announced before April 14. He further said that the complete lifting of the lockdown will depend upon how soon the chain of the coronavirus transmission is broken.

"Maharashtra has always shown the path to the country. In the present crisis too, the state will lead in defeating the coronavirus, which has attacked all and not spared even the PM of the UK,"  Thackeray said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 24 March, had ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, limiting movement of the entire 1.3 billion population of the country. The lock down was ordered after a 14-hour voluntary public curfew on 22 March, followed by enforcement of a series of regulations in the country's COVID-19 affected regions. The lockdown was placed when the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases in India was approximately 500.

In the meanwhile, on the 19 th day of lockdown, while national tally of  COVID-19 and its aftermath was: Deaths-228 and active cases-8500, the Maharashtra's tally was: Deaths-127 and total active cases-1895.

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Donations to CM’s Covid Relief Fund

IT News
Imphal, April 12
Donations to CM’s COVID-19 Relief Fund is coming from different sections of the society. Playback singer Mandakini Takhellambam donated Rs. 20,000, Loyola School, Bishnupur donated Rs. 25,000, BB Paul Mental Development Home, Mongshangei donated Rs. 30,000, Manipur Municipal Administrative Service Association donated Rs. 2,00,000, Kh. Basanta Singh, Irom Soni and Hajarimayum Sujata Devi donated Rs. 60,000, Priyoshakhi Enterprises donated Rs. 20,000, CPDO, ICDS, Imphal East-I donated Rs. 84,000, Eputhou Houkri Hungkei Pakhangba Thingkuching Thougal Lup donated Rs. 50,000.

The Chief Minister expressed profound thanks to all those who have contributed to the fund.

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Fake quote about COVID 19 impact on economy attributed to Ratan Tata

IT News
Mumbai, April 12

A Facebook post about experts predicting major economic downfall due to coronavirus is getting traction on social media. The content of the post has been wrongly attributed to industrialist Ratan Tata.

A clip resembling newspaper report titled “Very motivational at this hour” was  shared with the FB  post. The report quotes Tata as having said “ Although some experts have predicted that due to COVID 19 economy will be in doldrums, I don’t think so. On the contrary the economy will bounce back. If the experts were to be believed, after the total destruction in World War II,  Japan had no future. But the same Japan in just three decades or so, made US cry at the market place. If the experts were to be believed, the Israel would have been wiped out from the world map by the of Arabs. But the fact is different”.

“As per the rules of Aerodynamics, the Bumble Bee cannot fly. But it flies, because it does not know the rules of Aerodynamics. If the experts were to be believed, we should have been nowhere in 83 cricket world cup”.

“If the experts were to be believed, Wilma Rudolf, the first American lady to win 4 Olympic gold in athletics, should not have been in a position to walk without braces, no question of running”. “If the experts were to be believed, Arunima Sinha, can hardly lead a normal life. But she climbed the Mount Everest”. “ The corona crisis in no different. I do not have any doubt that, we will defeat the Corona hands down and the Indian economy will bounce back in a great manner”.

The same article was published on 09 April 2020, on a website named purplerealtors, but without any attribution to Ratan Tata. There is no trace of the article on any of Tata’s social media accounts and no other publications have carried any reports on the same.

Ratan Tata has stated he had no connection with the post on Facebook. In a twitter message Tata said that “ This post has neither been said, nor written by me. I urge you to verify media circulated on WhatsApp and social platforms. If I have something to say, I will say it on my official channels. Hope you are safe and do take care”.

Meanwhile, Ratan Tata donated Rs 500 crore towards battling Covid-19, while Tata Sons donated an additional Rs 1,000 crore later. Stating Covid-19 one of the toughest challenges, Ratan Tata on March 28 tweeted that he has committed Rs 500 crore for the development of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the frontline medical staff, ventilators, testing kits and modular treatment facilities.

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AMMOCOC condemns publication of misinterpreted article; Demands unconditional release of Md Chingiz Khan

IT News
Imphal, April 12
In an urgent meeting held today, at its office chamber at Hatta, Imphal East, AMMOCOC, the apex body of the Muslim Organizations in Manipur strongly condemns the publication of an article in a local newspaper that gears up communal tensions after the Nizamuddin Markaz issue and appeals the Chief Minister of Manipur for immediate release of Md. Md Chingiz Khan, a research scholar at JNU, Delhi without any conditions on humanitarian grounds. Stating that the article published on 7th April 2020 in a local daily is the Manipuri version of a part of his original research work which has already been published in the FORWARD Press on May 22, 2019 under the caption “The Identity Crisis Of Manipuri Muslims”, the apex body claims that the same article has been misinterpreted in terms of language, tone and sense so as to create intentionally a misconception among the various communities. It is maintained that, the article was posted to the editor of the local newspaper long before the outbreak of nCovid19 in Manipur and the recent Nizamuddin Markaz issue. To everyone’s surprise, the article was suddenly published on 7th April 2020 without any intimation to the author for any corrections if any or proof reading (as the article was written originally in English). The local daily published the same article in a different angle leading to the misconceptions of the general public at this situation of the state under the serious nCovid19 issue. Questioning about the intention of the newspaper to publish an article that may create misconception to the general public at this situation, the apex body requests all local newspapers to take the utmost care and precautions before publishing any sort of news items, articles or columns to avoid communal tensions.

Maintaining that Md Chingiz Khan who came out to be a meritorious student with bright career right from his childhood has published more than 40 research papers in his credit, participated at many seminars and conferences in the national and international levels, the apex body appeals the Government of Manipur to look into the matter afresh in view of his future prospects and demands immediate release of the research scholar who is not indulged in any political colour in life.

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Lessons we have learnt from ongoing economic collapse due to COVID-19

By Dr Mayengbam Lalit Singh
Asst. Professor, Dept. of Economics,
Kha Manipur College, Kakching

It is very interesting to acknowledge that every economic crisis in the world has taught us good economic lessons and helped in reshaping policies in future. When retrospection, there were two major economic collapses (depression). The first one was the Economic Depression in 1929 where major manufacturing industries were shut down. The first reason behind the economic depression was high population increase in the USA that led to high increase in demand for manufactured goods. In order to meet the demand, so many industrial units mushroomed. There were high speculations for profit motives which led to huge investments in manufacturing sectors. More and more workers were employed to produce in large scale. All these created a deflated bubble for supply of manufactured goods which overcame volume of demand. As a result, the entire volume of manufactured goods could not be sold and hence the downturn of business motives of investors. It affected synchronously on all industrial units, then economic collapse with shutting down of industries and investments along with mass unemployment. Classical economists with their theory “Supply creates its Own Demand” failed to explain the economic collapse. This economic collapse taught us a good lesson that supply of goods and services should be exactly matched with demand. So it is very important to calculate the demand schedule of an economy.

The second economic collapse was the Great Depression that took place in 2008 in the financial sector in the USA. There was a huge boom in the housing sector in the USA before 2008 which led to financial sectors (both public and private banks) investing in the housing sector. There were reports of many citizens who could not build houses due to low earnings but they expected their own homes. Pulled up by demand, the construction sector built apartments and started selling in coordination with these financial houses (banks). These banks lent their money to these low earning groups of people with elastic recovery periods at minimum or zero interest rates. Default of repayment by loanee in the housing sector crashed the financial sector and other sectors too in chain form. So, the USA government learnt a good lesson that it should not be determined by the market and instead the government has to regulate it depending on situations.

When referring to the ongoing economic recession due to pandemic COVID-19, a paradigm shift may take place from economic globalisation to protectionism. The great economist, Adam Smith with his view on specialisation and globalised trading system has failed to explain the ongoing economic recession. In a nutshell study, we can learn lessons from the economic collapses faced by three types of groups of countries in the world.   Firstly, we can learn from the groups of developed and wealthy countries. Developed countries are characterised by high per capita income along with the highest contribution of the service sector to the share of national income. These are popular G-7 countries (USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan) which have been fighting against COVID-19 at present. Before the popular wave of economic globalisation during the 1970s, these countries were manufacturing and technological hubs. However, during the globalisation period, most of the manufacturing firms in these countries had shifted their production plants to developing countries in order to take advantage of cheap labour and factors of production (inputs) in these developing countries. That’s why these countries face shortages of even basic medical equipments since manufacturing countries halt production during ongoing pandemic COVID-19. So, developed countries might learn a good lesson to maintain a portfolio of national income by increasing the share of manufacturing sectors. Apart from developed countries, there are other wealthy countries which are characterised by either huge revenue from the export of oil & gas or tourism industry. They import agricultural products and manufactured goods from developing countries. During this pandemic crisis, their economies have been crippled since demand for their oil and tourism had been shrunk. They also learn lessons to diversify their revenue generation not only from above mentioned sectors but also from agricultural and manufacturing sectors. 

As mentioned in the above, developing countries are characterised by proportionate shares of agriculture, manufacturing and respectable tourism. Economic globalisation along with cheap factors of production enables them to produce agricultural goods and a wide range of manufactured commodities. They produce not only to meet growing demand in their countries but also to meet demand from both developed and less developed countries. During the ongoing COVIC-19 crisis, their economies are least affected as compared to other two groups of countries. BRICS, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, etc. are the examples of such countries.

Less or least developed countries are also affected in huge quantum due to an acute shortage of manufactured goods which had been imported from developed and developing countries. They also learn lessons which compel them to introduce basic manufacturing sectors rather than producing only agricultural products.

Finally, our state, Manipur has learnt good lessons which motivate us to produce basic manufactured goods such as clothing, foot wares, and other basic items domestically. Agricultural products in the state are hardly sufficient. Hence, the state government needs to encourage both agricultural and basic manufactured products by injecting respectable funds in order to avoid of an acute shortage of basic goods during such pandemic COVID-19.

 

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