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Chidambaram flays delay in setting up of Economic Task Force

He questioned Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saying the Ministry of Finance has disowned responsibility for constituting the task force.

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, March 24 : Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday attacked the Modi government for the delay in setting up a Special Economic Task Force to analyse the effects of coronavirus pandemic on Indian economy and to create a road map to reduce the financial strain.

In a series of tweets, the senior Congress leader wrote: “Woke up to read the shocking news that, four days after the PM’s announcement, the promised Economic Task Force has not been set up by the government!”

He questioned Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saying the Ministry of Finance has disowned responsibility for constituting the task force.

“Why doesn’t the FM pick up the telephone and speak to the PM? Or is that taboo in this government?” he asked.

In his address to the nation on March 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the setting up the task force to assess the requirements of various sectors and oversee implementation of the proposed measures.

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Nizamuddin Railway station employee found corona positive

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New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) A 59-year-old employee of Indian Railways who is posted at the Nizamuddin station has been tested positive for coronavirus. The man has a few months left for retirement.

According to the Northern Railway, he was undergoing treatment at Central Hospital of Northern Railway, due to which 15 employees including doctors have also been infected in this hospital. This employee came to the hospital on March 31 and thereafter on April 2 due to poor health. Initially, there were no traces of coronavirus in him.

Deepak Kumar, Public Relations Officer of Northern Railway, said: “On April 2, when the man came to be hospitalized, the doctors suggested him to undergo MRI and CT scan tests. On April 6, when his report came, he was found positive for coronavirus. The patient has been sent to Rammanohar Lohia Hospital.”

Meanwhile, all 15 people of the Northern Railway Central Hospital, who came in contact with the corona-affected railway staff, have been kept in isolation. These people include doctors and nurses.

The infected railway staff works as a supervisor at the Nizamuddin railway station, hence, doesn’t come in direct contact with the people.

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Crowds at UP banks as lockdown extension appears possible

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Lucknow, April 8 (IANS) With newspapers and television channels announcing the possibility of the national lockdown being extended, people, on Wednesday, started rushing to the banks that witnessed substantial crowds.

The police in Uttar Pradesh had a tough time ensuring social distancing outside the banks.

The bank staff also tried to persuade the customers to stand at circled spots to ensure social distancing. However, since most banks do not have shades or porches, the customers were obviously uncomfortable standing in the sun.

Most of the customers at nationalized bank branch in Hazratganj area were senior citizens.

One of them said, “I have been standing here for about 40 minutes. There is no bench or chair for us. Moreover, the sun is right above our heads. There is no problem in waiting but some facilities should be made for senior citizens.”

Another customer, meanwhile, admitted that he had come to withdraw money after learning that the lockdown is likely to be extended.

“My pension has not come till now but I am going to withdraw money from my account because everything is being sold at a premium in the lockdown,” he said.

A police inspector, managing crowds outside another bank, said, “We understand their problem but they should also understand the need for social distancing. We are not enjoying this duty but rules have to be followed.”

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Markets open in red on Wednesday

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Mumbai, April 8: The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a negative note during the morning session of the trade.

The Sensex of the BSE opened at 29,701.92 points and touched a high of 29,916.22. The Sensex touched a low of 29,602.94 points.

On Tuesday the Sensex closed at 30,067.21 points.

The Sensex is trading at 29,743.07 down by 324.14A points or 1.08 per cent.

On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 8,688.90 points after closing at 8,792.20 points.

The Nifty is trading at 8,728.60 points in the morning.

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