tirupati l FRIday l APRIL 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION ` finMin asks banks to foot ‘interest on interest’ bill gOVT IN NO MOOD TO SHARE `8,000-CR BURDEN The Union finance ministry has informally asked banks to reimburse or adjust the compound interest charged during the loan moratorium period RISING COVID CASES TO HIT RECOVERY: rbi Banks had approached the finance ministry for help in settling the compound interest waiver, estimated at around `8,000 crore but the government is in no mood to compensate lenders. The Supreme Court had on March 23 ruled banks cannot charge interest on interest for accounts that sought a moratorium last year and that the amount must be refunded ■ ■ The uncertainty due to the surge in Covid cases and localised lockdowns prompted RBI to vote for status quo in interest rates, as per minutes of the MPC meeting released on Thursday Covid-19 is the single biggest factor blocking the path to economic recovery, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said in the meeting | P10 June 2-4 Next meeting of the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI No reason to appoint Salve: Dave Plan to ramp up O2 output in State Let HCs hear matter: SC Bar body “There is no reason why Mr Harish Salve should again and again be appointed by Chief Justice Bobde as amicus curiae. He has been a non-resident and living in London for a long time. He does not know the realities of India,” says Dushyant Dave “High Courts appear to be best suited to deal with the situation, hence it would be proper to allow the Hon’ble High Courts to continue dealing with the present issue,” the Supreme Court Bar Association’s intervention petition before the top court SC wakes up, legal eagles fret E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Six high courts hearing Covid cases is creating some confusion and diversion of resources, says bench; experts want HCs to stay in play The Supreme Court on Thursday took suo motu cognisance of the health emergency caused by Covid-19 pandemic though a clutch of high courts are already seized of the matter, a decision that was panned by a section of senior lawyers. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde took note of the fact that high courts of Delhi, Bombay, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Calcutta and Allahabad were dealing with issues related to Covid and asked the Centre to present a national plan to face the health crisis. “The situation in various parts of the country is grim. There seems to be a sudden surge in the number of covid patients and mortality Nonetheless it seems that a . certain amount of panic has been generated and people have Scrutiny of invoked the jurisdicfour points tion of several high The court said it courts in the country wanted to take up seeking relief,” the orsupply of oxygen der read. and essential “They (HCs) are exdrugs, method and ercising jurisdiction in manner of best interest. But it is vaccination and creating confusion and the power to diversion of resourcdeclare lockdown. es,” the bench ob“We want the served, adding, “We power to clear are almost in a nationlockdown to be al emergency .” with states and it “The high courts should not be a have passed certain orjudicial decision,” ders which may have the CJI said the effect of accelerating and prioritizing the services to a certain set of people and slowing down the availability of these resources to certain other groups whether the groups are local, regional or otherwise,” the detailed order stated. The bench said it intended to transfer to itself some of the related issues pending in various high courts. But senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi later said he completely disagreed with the view of the Supreme Court. “High Courts are competent to deal with the issue as it unfolds in the concerned state... It’s a retrograde step. High Court will become redundant now,” he reasoned. Appointing senior advocate Harish Salve as amicus curiae to assist it, the bench issued notice to the Centre and posted the matter for Friday the last working day of , CJI Bobde. Justice N V Ramana will take over as the next CJI on Saturday . During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asked the bench, “Do we respond to high courts now or we respond here?” “We will issue notice to the Centre and then we will issue notice to high courts and eventually we will bring some issues here. All we want is a national plan on these issues,” the CJI said. The bench told Mehta it didn’t intend to supersede any order of the high courts as of now. At 3.14 lakh, highest-ever single-day spike in any country Maharashtra All Central and state govt offices will work with 15% attendance except those in emergency services. Other offices too will function with 15% strength or five persons, whichever is more NATIONWIDE April 21 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,95,041 1,67,457 2,023 April 22 3,14,835 1,78,841 2,104 Uttar Pradesh: Long queues at cremation centres in Agra as bodies pile up New Delhi: Centre urges corporates to consider converting their vacant office buildings into temporary Covid care facilities Jerusalam: Israel issues travel warning for India and six other countries covid tracker 66,944 Active cases 9,97,462 Total cases 7,541 Covid toll 1,58,35,169 Total samples tested stateWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Samples tested April 21 A Covid-19 patient waits for admission outside the Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan Hospital in New Delhi on Thursday | Shekhar Yadav covid helpline Covid-19 AP http:/hmfw.ap.gov.in/covid.dashboard. App to get info aspx - Covid dashboard 8297-104-104 - WhatsApp Chatbat number - type Hi, Hello, Covid to know official information about Corona https://esanjeevani.com/ - website to contact doctors through video call and get medical aid Aarogya Setu App can be downloaded from Google Play Store April 22 9,716 3,359 38 10,759 3,992 31 39,619 41,871 hosp infra K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Dial 104 for info on Covid services 1902 to lodge complaints Total beds in 192 hospitals - 22,615 Available beds - 13,882 (at 8 pm) Available ventilators - 2,677 Ensured adequate oxygen supply to states: Centre E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi States’ O2 quota raised In view of the surge in oxygen demand due to an exponential rise in the No. of Covid patients admitted in hospitals, the Centre has raised the quota of oxygen for states Amid reports of acute shortage of oxygen in some states and instances of some private hospitals moving court for urgent directions to ensure timely supply of the life-saving gas, the Centre on Thursday said it is giving 6,822 MT of liquid medical oxygen per day to 20 states against a demand of 6,785 MT/day The announcement came . after a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take stock of the situation. In the review meeting, the PM stressed on increasing production of oxygen, raising the speed of distribution and using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities. He also said that states should come down heavily on hoarding. According to the Centre, availability of liquid medical oxygen has been raised by 3,300 MT per day with contributions from private and public steel plants, industries, oxygen manufacturers as well as through prohibition of supply of oxygen for non-essential industries. Over 1L Covid patients avail of Aarogyasri E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Over one lakh Covid-19 patients have availed of free treatment in private hospitals under the YSR Aarogyasri Scheme in the last one year. The State government has spent `309 crore for extending the Aarogyasri benefit to the Covid-19 patients. The medical bills paid by the government were more than the annual family income of the beneficiaries in some cases. As on today a total of 1,00,033 Cov, id-19 patients have received free treatment in various private hospi- tals across the State under Aarogyasri. Free treatment is being extended in all government hospitals and private hospitals taken over by the government, whether or not the Covid patient is eligible under Aarogyasri. The numbers stated here are only pertaining to Aarogyasri beneficiar- Govt spends `309 crore to extend benefit to 1,00,033 As on today, a total of 1,00,033 Covid-19 patients have received free treatment in private hospitals under Aarogyasri. The State government has spent `309 crore for extending the Aarogyasri benefit ies who chose to get treated in private hospitals. If the number of Covid patients availing treatment in government hospitals is also taken into consideration, the total number of beneficiaries will be more than double. Andhra Pradesh is the first State in the country to include Covid-19 in the healthcare system of the government. Within days of the outbreak of the pandemic in the State, it was included in the list of medical and health procedures of Aarogyasri, the State’s flagship healthcare P3 scheme. Industries and Commerce Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy on Thursday directed officials to come up with an action plan to meet the oxygen demand of the State fully in case there is a further surge in Covid-19 cases. During a virtual review meeting with officials of industries, medical and health departments and representatives of oxygen plants in the State, he took stock of demand and supply of oxygen. As per the data with the State government, a maximum of 300 MT of oxygen was used a day for medical needs during the first wave of Covid last year. According to an estimate, 516 MT of oxygen is required if all the 26,000 beds equipped with O2 supply in the State are occupied by Covid patients. Out of the total 440 MT of oxygen allocated by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh, the State is only getting 340 MT of oxygen now. The State gover nment is of the view that it will be sufficient to meet its current demand. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), supplies 100 MT of oxygen to AP out of its total production of 200 MT a day As . per the allocation made by the Centre, RINL supplies the remaining 100 MT of oxygen to Maharashtra. Apart from 100 MT from RINL, the State gets 60 MT from Liquinox Gases in Srikakulam Gadkari thanks CM Union Minister Nitin Gadkari thanked Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for sending 300 ventilators to Nagpur. He called up Minister Goutham Reddy and conveyed his thanks to CM and 40 MT from Ellenbarrie Industrial Gases in Vizag and the remaining quantity from Odisha and Bellary in Karnataka. Besides proposing to reopen the closed air separation plants and pressure swing adsorption plants, Goutham Reddy said a short term policy will be rolled out for setting up PSA plants in the State to meet the increasing P5 demand for oxygen.
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