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India to get 102% rains during monsoon season: Skymet

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

In a good news for farmers and the country, Skymet, the private weather forecaster, has predicted a normal monsoon with 102% rains during June to September.

The El Nino is expected to have no negative impact on Indian monsoon and normal rains will follow, said Skymet on Thursday.

Skymet said it expects 102% rains during the monsoon season (June to September), which is within the 96%-104% normal range. The forecast has an error margin of 4%.

“The monsoon onset is expected to be early, around May 27, and fairly strong. Pre-monsoon rain will also be strong across the country. Unseasonal rain will continue well into May,” a Skymet release said.

India’s grain-bowl belt, Punjab, Haryana and west UP are expected to receive good monsoon showers, said the agency.

The forecast comes despite predictions by international agencies that El Nino conditions would continue through summer and into this year’s autumn season. During an El Nino, waters in east and central equatorial Pacific heat up abnormally, leading to changes in wind patterns that affect the Indian monsoon.

Skymet CEO Jatin Singh said “We do not think El Nino will impact the monsoon this year. That’s because the El Nino is expected to peak before June and would be in the devolving phase during the rainy season”.

For this year, Skymet has given a 49% chance of a normal monsoon (96%-104% of average) and a 25% probability of above normal rains (105%-110%). The chances of below normal rains (90%-95%) are seen at 16% while the odds of a drought are a mere 2%.

The agency expects good rains in June and July at 107% and 104% of the average, respectively. August (99%) and September (96%) should also see normal rainfall in the country, it said.

The monsoon, which supplies over 80% of India’s annual rainfall, is crucial for the country’s economy and crops.

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Punjab Govt Imposes Covid Taxes on Liquor

Punjab imposes Covid cess on liquor to cope up with revenue losses caused by the lockdown which has been put in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic

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Punjab Government imposes COVID taxes on liquor. Wikimedia Commons

Faced with huge revenue losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the prolonged lockdown in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday gave the go-ahead to the imposition of Covid cess on liquor with immediate effect.

The move will help the state mop additional revenues of Rs 145 crore in the current fiscal, a government statement said.

The state is facing a revenue shortfall of Rs 26,000 crore, which is 30 per cent of the total budget revenue estimates for FY 2020-21, necessitating some tough measures to generate additional revenue, said the Chief Minister, while accepting the recommendation of the group of ministers, which was constituted on May 12 to examine the matter, to levy additional excise duty on liquor during the current financial year.

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Imposing taxes on liquor will help Punjab mop additional revenues of Rs 145 crore in the current fiscal. Pixabay

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The proceeds of the additional levy shall be utilised entirely for Covid related expenditure, said the Chief Minister, directing the Department of Excise and Taxation to charge the cess in the current year.

Amarinder Singh had earlier asked the group of ministers, comprising the Finance Minister, the Education Minister, the Housing and Urban Development Minister and the Forests and Wildlife Minister, to examine the proposal regarding levy of special cess or Covid cess on the sale of liquor to partially recoup some of the revenue losses amid this unprecedented crisis. (IANS)

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Punjab Government Increases Penalties for COVID Voilations

Punjab Government imposes stiff fines for Covid violations

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Punjab imposes strict fine on COVID-19 Voilations. Pixabay

To further strengthen the management and control of COVID-19, the Punjab government on Friday increased the penalties for violation of guidelines relating to containment of the virus, ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 3,000.

Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said penalties need to be increased and made more stringent to keep the state safe from the virus.

He said Rs 500 penalty will be imposed for not wearing a mask and spitting in public places; Rs 2,000 for violating home-quarantine instructions and violating social distancing norms by owners of shops, commercial places and public transport buses and auto-rickshaws; and Rs 3,000 for violating social distancing norms in cars.

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Rs 500 penalty will be imposed for not wearing a mask. Pixabay

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The Minister said non-payment of fine would attract legal action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code as per the regulations framed under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897. (IANS)

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Haryana Govt Imposes Fine for Spitting in Public and Not Wearing Mask

A fine of Rs. 500 will be imposed on anyone seen breaking the norms

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"Now there is provision of imposing fine for spitting and not wearing mask in public places," Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij told the media. Wikimedia Commons

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Wednesday said the state had made a provision of imposing a fine of Rs 500 each on people for not wearing masks and spitting in public places as per Latest news on coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Now there is provision of imposing fine for spitting and not wearing mask in public places,” he told the media.

He said it was the priority of the government to contain the virus. For this, the rules have been framed and a notification would be issued on Wednesday itself.

Vij, who also holds a health portfolio, said state four districts — Gurugram, Sonepat, Faridabad and Jhahhar — located in the NCR have been worst-affected districts.

In Gurugram and Faridabad, 33 and 22 new cases, respectively, were reported on Tuesday.

He said in the state the virus doubling rate is 19 days, recovery rate is 66 per cent and the testing rate is 4,000 per million.

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Anyone seen without a mask will be fined in Haryana. Pixabay

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“If we leave four districts located in the NCR and the cases related to the Tablighi Jamaat, Haryana will be the number one state in the country to contain the virus,” he said, adding, “still we are in a better position”.

The minister said 12 positive cases relating to frontline policemen were reported from Jhajjar on Tuesday.

He said he issued directions to provide and make it mandatory for the policemen on duty to don gloves, masks and other safety gear. (IANS)