Pvt medical college hospitals in DK must reserve 50% of beds for COVID-19 patients: Minister

coastaldigest.com news network
August 10, 2020

Mangaluru, Aug 10: All private medical college hospitals in Dakshina Kannada should compulsorily allocate 50 % of their beds to the government for treating COVID-19 patients, said district in-charge minister Kota Srinivasa Poojary.

He was speaking after visiting AJ Hospital and Research Centre and Srinivasa Medical College Hospital to review their COVID-19 management measures here recently.

The Minister said that safeguarding public health is the priority of the government. Private hospitals should cooperate with the government in managing COVID-19.

Mr. Poojary said that the government is supplying rapid antigen test kits to private hospitals and has directed them to conduct free sample tests for COVID-19.

The government will supply 50 more ventilators to Dakshina Kannada shortly, the Minister further said.

Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra asked the hospitals to display boards at their entrances mentioning the details of COVID-19 treatment costs prescribed by the government. They should also display the details pertaining to the Ayushman Scheme.

He said that the Health Department has deputed Arogya Mitra health workers to each one of the medical college hospitals to give information to people on Ayushman. If they were found failing in their duties, action will be initiated against them.

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News Network
September 16,2020

Mangaluru, Sep 16: An NRI woman from Udupi district who had mysteriously gone missing at Kuwait International Airport, is now reportedly in the custody of Kuwait CID police.

The 63-year-old woman was supposed to board an Indigo flight to Bengaluru from Kuwait on September 12.

She had spoken to her daughter from the airport and informed her that there was some issue with her immigration clearance after which her phone was not reachable.

The woman had a valid ticket and was on her return journey. Her boarding had been cleared at the airport. With no clue about the woman, her daughter uploaded a video clip on social media seeking help to trace her.

It is now gathered that the Kuwait CID police took the woman into custody. However, the reason for her detention is not known.

The woman's daughter, who is concerned about the fact that there is no information why her mother has been detained, has got in touch with NRI Forum Karnataka former vice-president Dr Arathi Krishna, who in return has established contact with the embassy officials and requested them to address the issue.

The woman was working as a housemaid in Kuwait for the last 28 years.

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News Network
September 15,2020

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Bengaluru, Sep 15: Close on the heels of the Union government allowing the states to borrow up to five per cent of the state's GDP, the cabinet on Tuesday approved the decision to amend the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act in order to borrow an additional Rs 33,000 crore in this fiscal year.

The proposed amendment will enable the Karnataka government to increase the borrowing limit from the present three per cent to five per cent of the GSDP (gross state domestic product), which can go up to Rs 36,000 crore. Recently, the Union Finance Minister had allowed this as a one-time measure for all the states in the country. Karnataka is one of the early states to take this route to mop-up revenues to meet its needs.

 Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting here, Karnataka Law and Parliamentary affairs minister, J. C. Madhuswamy said that the state will also sell "B-Kharab" land (wasteland) existing within the periphery of 18 kms in and around Bengaluru at four times the present guidance value.

He added that everyone knows the truth behind why the state government had to opt for this route. "Due to the pandemic, we are helpless, we need money to kickstart various projects. Therefore, the state cabinet has approved to amend the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act, which will allow us to borrow up to Rs 36,000 crore but at present we have decided to use it to the tune of Rs 33,000 crore," he explained.

According to him, all these years, whenever such borrowings were undertaken, it was used only for capital investment purposes, but for the first time the state has decided to utilise it for expenditure purposes also.

Generally, in government parlance, capital investment is considered to be an investment in development projects or to introduce welfare programmes, while expenditure is deemed as payment of salary and other day-to-day expenses incurred by the government.

Across the state, sporadic protests in the recent past by doctors, teachers, guest lecturers and others over the delay in their salaries was also another reason why the Karnataka government has opted for this route, a senior bureaucrat told IANS.

The minister added that the state government had not forgone its demand to the tune of Rs 11,000 crore GST share from the Union government. "We will relentlessly pursue to recover this share from the Union government. We have not forgone our claim on this. Like all other states, we will also continue to demand from the Union government to release our share," he added.

Responding to a question about the government's decision to auction the Kharab land in Bengaluru, the Law Minister added that whenever the state government allots land, sometimes, that land will also contain Kharab land, for which the government would not have recovered the cost.

"But now within Bengaluru, the land prices have shot up to an unprecedented level that even this Kharab land fetches a good value for realtors. Therefore, the state government will recover the cost from them to legalise it in their favour. Most of the Kharab land is used to build housing or commercial complexes. Hence, the state is now planning to charge four times the present guidance value in such cases," he explained.

According to the Minister, Karnataka will also renew the mining lease that was awarded to the National Minerals Development Corporation in Bellary, where they have been operating for the last several years. "With the renewal of mining lease to the NMDC, the state is expected to mop-up to the tune of Rs 650 crore annually," he said.

Answering to another question, Madhuswami asserted that there was no proposal before the state government to divide Bengaluru city into three or four municipalities, but there was a proposal of dividing Bengaluru into four zones. "Bengaluru will be divided into four zones. To effect this change, the state government is planning to introduce a new Act exclusively in the forthcoming Legislature session," he said.

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News Network
September 18,2020
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Yediyurappa

Bengaluru, Sept 18: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday brushed aside speculation of Janata Dal (Secular) joining the state government or extending any support.

The chief minister, who is in the national capital on a three-day tour, dismissed such reports that emerged after JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy recently met him to discuss "development-related works".

"It is all speculation, there is no truth in it. As one of the leaders of the Opposition party, Kumaraswamy had recently met me to discuss development-related works. There was no political issue discussed in that meeting," Yediyurappa told reporters here when asked about the reports.

He said his party BJP has a comfortable majority in Karnataka and does not require any support from JD(S).

Yediyurappa also refuted the Opposition's charge that his son and BJP state vice-president B Y Vijayendra was acting like a "super CM". He said Vijayendra was focusing on the party works and not interfering in the functioning of the government.

"Some of the opposition leaders are making baseless allegations out of jealousy looking at his political growth," Yediyurappa said.

He said he would discuss the expansion of the Cabinet with party president J P Nadda later during the day. Yediyurappa also held a discussion with BJP National General Secretary B L Santosh.

Earlier during the day, the chief minister called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Union Ministers to discuss development works related to the state, according to an official statement.

Yediyurappa called on Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar at the Parliament House and requested for early grant of the 'Terms of Reference' for the Mekedatu project and first stage forest clearances for the Kalasa and Banduri Nala projects in the state.

He later met Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and urged the government to declare Upper Krishna Project Stage-III and Upper Bhadra Project as National Projects, the statement said.

The chief minister also requested for early approvals and clearances for irrigation and drinking water projects including Mekedatu and Kalasa Banduri Nala to utilise the water resources allocated to the state.

He also called on Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and requested him to expedite the process of disinvestment of the Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited, it said.

On September 17, Yediyurappa had met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as well as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

With the speculation that the chief minister may undergo cabinet expansion, several leaders from the state including former ministers H Vishwanath and MP Renukacharya have come to the national capital.

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