QAhmedabad: Swine Flu Kills 4 More; CM’s Plans For State Budget

1. Swine Flu Claims Four More Lives in Gujarat

There's no respite from swine flu as four more deaths were reported in the state on Tuesday, 5 February. According to the state health department, one swine flu death each was reported in Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Kutch, and Junagadh city on Tuesday, 5 February.

With these, swine flu deaths in the state since 1 January went up to 47. Health department data showed that 57 new cases were reported in the state on Tuesday. Twenty-five of these cases were from Ahmedabad city alone. Ahmedabad has reported 238 swine flu cases this year and reported four deaths.

Five swine flu cases were reported from Vadodara city, four from Rajkot city, and three each from Bhavnagar city, Rajkot Banaskantha, and Anand. Two cases were confirmed in Patan.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)

2. Sahaj Report: ‘Acute Shortage of People in Health Sector, Affecting Rural Women Most’

A report prepared by the Society for Health Alternatives (SAHAJ) has pointed out “an acute shortage of trained human resources” in the health sector in Gujarat, which according to it “has very serious implications for providing quality healthcare services, especially to women in rural areas”.

“There is an acute shortage of trained human resources — trained doctors, nurses and specialists — (in Gujarat). This has very serious implications for providing quality healthcare services, especially to women in rural areas. Attempts to rope in private partners to improve efficiency of services lack explicit framework for reaching people. Maternal health remains a staggering challenge, particularly in the rural and tribal interiors and poor urban pockets,” stated the report, which has identified migrant women, Dalit women, women with disability and LGBTQI groups as marginalized groups for the state.

(Source: Indian Express)

3. Alpesh Thakor Finds Place in All Gujarat Congress Lok Sabha Panels

Amid the buzz that he is likely to bid adieu to Congress, MLA and prominent OBC leader Alpesh Thakor has been given key responsibilities by the party for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The MLA from Radhanpur has been included in all seven committees for Gujarat Pradesh Congress, as per the list announced by the party on Tuesday, 5 February.

Thakor has been named as a member of the state Congress coordination committee, and also included in the Pradesh Election Committee for Lok Sabha election. He has been named as convenor of the campaign committee, which would be headed by ex-MLA and former state Congress President Siddharth Patel.

The All India Congress Committee said in a release that the committees were approved by party president Rahul Gandhi.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)

4. Bank Fraud: Brother Duo Withdraw Bail Pleas from Gujarat High Court

The Vadodara-based businessmen brothers, Sumit and Amit Bhatnagar, on Tuesday, 5 February, withdrew their bail petitions from Gujarat High Court. The brother duo — who are also promoters of private firm Diamond Power Instrastructure Ltd (DPIL) — are lodged at Sabarmati Central Jail for allegedly duping a consortium of 19 banks to the tune of Rs 2,654 crore.

Justice Sonia Gokani on Tuesday disposed the petitions after Bhatnagars’ lawyers informed the court that they want to withdraw the case. Earlier on Monday, 4 February, the High Court had expressed its opinion that it was not inclined to grant bail to the accused petitioners.

The special public prosecutor for CBI R C Kodekar had opposed the bail petitions on various grounds, including non-completion of investigation, tampering with witnesses and evidence, among others. The CBI informed the court that the progress of the case is underway and it would take at least three months to complete.

(Source: Indian Express)

5. Follow Centre's Model in Gujarat Budget, CM Vijay Rupani Tells Officials

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani wishes the budget of upcoming fiscal year to be a populist one. The chief minister on Tuesday, 5 February, called a meeting of all the ministers in his cabinet and finance department to follow the Center's model while preparing the budget.

The state government is going to present the budget on 19 February and since the Lok Sabha polls are approaching, it is going to be a 'vote on account' kind of budget, but the CM also wishes to please the needy through this budget, added highly placed sources in the government.

Sources said, "The chief minister analysed the budget presented by PM Narendra Modi-led central government. He observed that the Center, though it being a vote on account, made many announcements of schemes for different classes. The chief minister is also of the opinion that Gujarat government's budget should be along the lines of the central budget."

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)

6. Ujjwala Scheme: Tribals ‘Lose’ BPL Status for APL Families, CM Announces Subsidised Kerosene per Month

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday announced that APL (Above Poverty Level) families who do not have LPG connections will be entitled to four litres of kerosene per month at subsidised rates with immediate effect.

The entitlement will, however, not be available to APL families living within the eight municipal corporation areas of Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Gandhinagar, Vadodara and Surat.

According to an official statement released by the state Information Department, the subsidised kerosene will be available to BPL families in other areas and it will benefit 47 lakh households.

The announcement has come close on the heels of representations made by Ahmedabad-based NGO DISHA and other non-governmental organisations.

(Source: Indian Express)

7. Online Land Premium Payment in Entire State: Gujarat Government

After introducing a slew of changes, including online Non-Agricultural (NA) certification system, the state government is set to expand the online land premium payment system to the entire state in a month.

The premium payment is for conversion of land from new tenure to old tenure. The online premium payment system is going on as a pilot project in five districts, viz. Surat, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Bharuch and Vadodara.

"The online premium payment system will be expanded to all districts in the state by end of the month. This will help in speeding up the approval process," said Pankaj Kumar, additional chief secretary of the revenue department.

Kumar was speaking at an open forum on 'Online NA Permission & Land Reforms and Revenue Laws' organised by real estate developers' body GIHED CREDAI.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)

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