Over 1.5 lakh employees of shopping malls in Karnataka lost jobs in a year

News Network
June 13, 2021

Bengaluru, June 13: More than 1.5 lakh employees in shopping malls across Karnataka have become jobless due to lockdowns and restrictions over the past year and owners have incurred losses in crores of rupees. Mall owners have urged the government to allow them to reopen by June 21 to help them stem the tide.

Mukesh Kumar, chairman, Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) & CEO, Infiniti Malls, said for every person directly employed with malls, on an average, three others are indirectly employed, providing logistics and support.

“In such a scenario, at least 1.5 lakh people have lost their jobs in the state,” Kumar said during a press conference in Bengaluru on Friday. “Though around 50,000 of them were reemployed after malls reopened for a brief time, many were laid off during the second lockdown,” he said. He said over 50% of malls, a majority of them standalone ventures, will close down if no support is provided.

Sunil Munshi, AVP operations, Orion Malls, said almost 80% of employees working in malls, shops, restaurants and service sectors come from economically weaker sections.

Kumar said a moratorium extended by RBI last year ended in March and they now have nothing to fall back on. “There has hardly been any revenue for a retailer or the mall. The past few months have been so stressful that we don’t know how to cope,” he said.

He said on average, revenue from retail in malls in the state is Rs 2,000 crore per month. They pay Rs 350 crore GST. Due to lockdowns, retails have incurred losses of Rs 20,000 to 25,000 crore and governments have suffered GST loss of Rs 3,000 crore. “Malls have lost 15% of the revenue generated by retailers,” Kumar said.

Kumar said pre-Covid estimates show that across India, 1,000 malls generate monthly revenue of Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 crore. The whole ecosystem has suffered almost Rs 1 lakh crore losses.

Najeeb Kunil, CEO, PPZ Mall Development & Management Services Co said they have urged the state government to provide waivers around rental / lease, electricity charges, upcoming renewals of existing permits / licenses / NOCs among others. They have also sought waiver of property taxes payment till January 2022 and support around minimum wages rates and guard-board payments until FY 2021-22.

He also feared a downstream effect hitting smallscale industries and small businesses which have no income with shopping malls shut. “The sooner they take a call and heed our requests, the better it will be for everyone in the ecosystem, not just the developers,” he said.

SCAI members said that the solution lies in reopening the shopping malls as soon as possible. Kunil said vaccination is a major solution. “We hope to be back to 90% of footfall by October,” he said.

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Ramesh Mishra
 - 
Friday, 25 Jun 2021

THE GLOBAL ECONOMY DURING AND AFTER COVID-19, PANDEMIC
The disciplined, law-abiding and skilled nations would reestablish the economy expediently than undisciplined, lawless and unskilled countries. Covid-19, the pandemic has crumbled the global economy putting India 50 years behind. Indian leaders were irresponsible in handling the Covid-19, pandemic, due to their Godly attitude and for the lack of respect for the Rule of Law causing massive death during the Covid-19, pandemic. India is now doomed.
Ramesh Mishra
Victoria, BC, CANADA

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News Network
August 2,2021

New Delhi, Aug 2: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a plea for bail to 53-year-old Kerala Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery to allow him to marry the girl whom he raped and impregnated when she was a minor.

A bench presided over by Justice Vineet Saran refused to entertain a special leave petition filed by the victim to permit her to marry the convicted priest.

Senior advocate Kiran Suri said the accused should be released to let him marry the victim.

The bench, however, asked him to go to the trial court.

Appearing for the accused, Advocate Amit George submitted that he sought bail so that he would be able to marry the petitioner. He also claimed that it was his fundamental right to marry the victim.

The bench, however, said the High Court has taken into consideration all the aspects of the matter, therefore we don't intend to interfere in the matter.

Vadakkumchery was sentenced to 20 years in jail on February 17, 2019, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. He was dismissed from priesthood by the Vatican. 

Earlier, the Kerala High Court had turned down the plea by the convict. 

The priest was arrested on February 27, 2017, near Kochi International airport when he was trying to slip out of the country. The case against him was lodged by a child line agency. The girl, who was a student of class XI, gave birth to a child on February 7, 2017, at a hospital run by the management. During the trial, the victim and her mother had turned hostile. 

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News Network
August 2,2021

Bengaluru, Aug 2: Following his second visit to Delhi for forming a new ministry in the state, the political pundits and BJP insiders are speculating that the central leadership may weigh the political prospects of the party in the poll-bound state.

Going by the recent cabinet expansion at the central level orchestrated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, political prospects of the party in poll-bound states and caste matrix, were weighed by these political masters.

For instance, four new ministers were inducted from Karnataka, taking the total representation from the state to six. The other two ministers from the state being Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Karnataka goes to poll in 2023 or less than 21 months from now. The party is determined to retain its dominance in the state by swearing in Shobha Karandlaje, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, A Narayanswamy and Bhagwant Khuba from the state.

Modi and Shah also had applied a similar matrix in other poll-bound states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Uttarakhand. They not only gave importance to the geographical factor, but also caste factor, when they picked ministers in the central cabinet.

They also ensured backward classes were adequately represented. The expansion saw 12 ministers from the Scheduled Caste community, including two with cabinet rank – Virendra Kumar and Pashu Pati Kumar Paras. There were 27 ministers representing various backward communities across the states.

So, the pundits are speculating that a similar matrix will be applied by Modi and Shah to ensure that caste balance is maintained after taking into consideration geographical factors when they sit to form the new ministry in Karnataka.

This criteria was quite evident when they sat to induct ministers from poll-bound states including Karnataka. Narayanaswamy is SC (Left), whereas Karandlaje and Khuba hail from Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, respectively.

The political analysts are also of the view that the central leadership may consider the affiliation of the aspirants with the RSS. Except Chandrasekhar, all other inductees in the central cabinet have affiliations to the RSS.

The analysts also are speculating that the central leadership may induct low-key legislators in the Basavaraj Bommai ministry like they did by including Khuba and Narayanaswamy in the central ministry. The party may look to woo the SC (left) and backward class communities, as it did during the expansion of the central cabinet.

Bommai flew to Delhi Sunday night along with Joshi in the same flight. He is expected to meet the National Party president JP Nadda today. After reaching Delhi, he held discussions with Joshi and party's National General Secretary (Organization) BL Santosh until late night.

Bommai is likely to return to Bengaluru in the evening after meeting Nadda with the list of ministers.

So, the political pundits are expecting some surprises for the people of Karnataka when the list of ministers are made public by Bommai.

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News Network
August 1,2021

Bengaluru, Aug 1: The Karnataka government has notified an order prohibiting diversion of funds from Hindu temples to non-Hindu religious institutions.

The government has barred deviation of funds from either the 'tastik' amount or the annual grants.

As many as 757 religious centres and 111 prayer centres in the state receive 'tastik' and annual grant from Muzrai department. The order instructs that such grants be given to the concerned institutions through the Department of Minority Welfare, Hajj and Waqf.

A notification in this regard was released by the Karnataka Hindu religious institutions and charitable endowments department, popularly known as muzrai department, dated 23 July. It restricts diversion of funds from Muzrai department controlled Hindu temples to any other non-Hindu causes.

The decision was taken after members of the state and district Dharmic Parishads opposed the diversion of funds from Hindu temples to other religious institutions.

Diversion of the funds from the muzrai department to imams of mosques were recently opposed by Hindu organisations.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad had opposed the decision of the government to provide Covid pandemic relief to the imams of 41 mosques and madrasas of Dakshina Kannada district from the funds of the muzrai department.

The VHP, instead, had urged the government to use the funds from 'devasthanams and temples' for the Hindu community.

In reply, Muzrai Minister Kota Shrinivas Poojary had assured the Hindu organisation to stop the financial aid from the department to non-Hindu religious institutions.

The Muzrai department had earlier distributed food kits worth Rs 1,500 each to all archakas of C-grade temples in May this year.

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