Thursday, May 14, 2020

DSS commences transportation of Stranded Personnel

All stranded personnel will be required to pay for the travel / ship ticket as per promulgated rates

Port Blair, May 14: In the last few day, the Directorate of Shipping services carried out registration of stranded personnel who wish to be transported To and From A&N Islands. As of today, a total of 3846 personnel have registered to be transported out of Andaman Islands and 3125 no of personnel have registered to be transported from Mainland to A&N Islands.
Whilst sailing schedules from Andaman to Chennai and vice versa were tentatively planned on 06.05.2020, the A&N Administration had also taken up the matter seeking approval of competent authority for transportation of stranded personnel by Air. However, as approval of the competent authority for Air Travel is still awaited, the DSS has therefore now also proposed to transport passengers by ship.
In the meantime the Government of Tamil Nadu has intimated that due resurgence of COVID-19 cases at Chennai, and their quarantine facilities not being ready, they are not in a position to accept any incoming passengers at Chennai for the time being, till the quarantine facilities are in place. Following these constraints, the sailing to and from Chennai cannot be planned immediately, until the consent of the Tamil Nadu Government is received. Therefore in the initial phase the sailing to and from Kolkata sector will be planned.
Due to the ongoing restrictions and requirements to comply with the norms of social distancing, the ships of the Directorate will be able to carry only 50% of its capacity i.e 600 passengers each. Further, the protocol as suggested by MHA will be strictly followed for screening and transportation of stranded personnel. All incoming passengers would also are require to undergo mandatory quarantine as per protocol. All stranded personnel will be required to pay for the travel / ship ticket as per promulgated rates.
The firm dates of the sailing will be announced at least three Days in advance and priority shall be accorded to the patients, students and other personnel in distress, registered with the Directorate. All sailings will be subject to weather conditions en-route.
As and when Chennai and Vizag sectors are ready to commence operations from their respective ports, sailing shall also be schedules to these ports depending on the list of registered personnel and availability of ships.
With regard to the Inter Island movement of stranded personnel, it is intimated that as of 14th May 2020, a total 2211 passenger have already been transported between various islands and regular sailing are being planned by the DSS, depending on the request  received from various District Administrations, a communication from Dy. Director, DSS said here today.

MP requests MoHFW to resume ANISHI Scheme for Islanders

Port Blair, May 14: Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament, A&N Islands has taken up the matter with the Hon’ble Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, New Delhi regarding continuation of ANISHI scheme upto 31st December, 2020 for cashless treatment upto Rs.5 lakhs for the Islanders.
Mr. Sharma has stated that in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, only one Government Hospital namely GB Pant Hospital is available for treatment of general diseases and in case of serious diseases such as Cancer, Cardiac, Neuro, Brain Tumour, Accidentals cases etc, such patients are referring to Super Specialty Hospitals at Chennai and Kolkata under a scheme introduced by the A&N Administration namely “Andaman & Nicobar Islands Scheme for Health Insurance (ANISHI) for cashless treatment upto Rs.5 lakhs (Five lakhs) per patient since 2015. Now the aforesaid scheme of ANISHI has been closed with effect from 31st March, 2020 on introduction of Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
In this regard he further informed that many hospitals earmarked for treatment under Ayushman Bharat Scheme at Chennai and Kolkata have already been pre-occupied for the treatment of COVID-19 pandemic, hence it would be difficult for our Islanders to get treatment in the hospitals under Ayushman Bharat scheme for emergency serious medical treatment other than in the Super Specialty Hospitals which were empanelled under ANISHI scheme upto 31.03.2020.
Therefore, in order to safeguard the health care of the Islanders, he requested the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare to consider for continuation of operation of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Scheme for Health Insurance (ANISHI) for the Islanders till 31st December, 2020 for getting treatment at empanelled Hospitals at Chennai and Kolkata under ANISHI scheme.

Finance Minister announces major stimulus package for MSMEs

New Delhi, May 13: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced Rs.3 lakh crore collateral free loan scheme for businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as part of a Rs.20-lakh-crore economic stimulus package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
For salaried workers and taxpayers, some relief was provided in the form of an extended deadline for income tax returns for financial year 2019-20, with the due date now pushed to November 30, 2020. The rates of tax deduction at source (TDS) and tax collection at source (TCS) have been cut by 25% for the next year, while statutory provident fund (PF) payments have been reduced from 12% to 10% for both employers and employees for the next three months.
NBFCs get attention
Apart from MSMEs, other stressed business sectors which got attention were non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), power distribution companies, contractors and the real estate industry.
This is the first tranche of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday as a Rs.20 lakh crore economic package. That package includes the ongoing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, meant to support the poorest and most vulnerable communities during the pandemic, as well as several measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India to improve liquidity. More tranches are expected in the next few days.
Ms. Sitharaman side-stepped queries on the actual cash outgo for the government, as well as how the Centre intends to raise the needed funds.
Ernst and Young's chief policy advisor D.K. Srivastava estimated that the measures announced on Wednesday amounted to Rs.5.94 lakh crore, which include both liquidity financing measures and credit guarantees, although the direct fiscal cost to the government in the current financial year may only be Rs.16,500 crore.
MSMEs will get the bulk of the funding. The Rs.3 lakh crore emergency credit line will ensure that 45 lakh units will have access to working capital to resume business activity and safeguard jobs, Ms. Sitharaman said. For two lakh MSMEs which are stressed or considered non-performing assets, the Centre will facilitate provision of Rs.20,000 crore as subordinate debt. A Rs.50,000 crore equity infusion is also planned, through an MSME fund of funds with a corpus of Rs.10,000 crore.
The definition of an MSME is being expanded to allow for higher investment limits and the introduction of turnover-based criteria. In a bid to fulfill the Prime Minister's vision of a self-reliant or "atmanirbhar" India, global tenders will not be allowed for government procurement up to Rs.200 crore.

Inclement weather condition, power supply may be disturbed

Port Blair, May 13: In view of inclement weather conditions, repeatedly transmission faults are occurring and resulting in heavy disturbances in power supply. The Electricity staffs are working round the clock to resume the supply after rectifying the defects. The major faults noticed are entangling of High Tension & Low Tension Lines. The consumers are requested to bear with us, as we are trying our best to restore the power supply and to provide our best service to the public. 
The Electricity Department requests the consumers to inform to the nearest site office if they observe flash, abnormal sound in the Electric System so that the technical team can reach and solve the problem. The falling and snapping of line could be dangerous, hence the citizens are requested that on sighting of such happenings inform the nearest Site Offices, Police Stations, Fire Brigade so that safety measures can be taken. They are also requested not to touch or come near the snapped lines and also not to allow other people and cattle etc. to come near the snapped lines.
The consumers/general public can also inform the aforesaid situation over phone to the respective Junior Engineers/Assistant Engineers/Executive Engineers of the areas or Electricity Control Room Telephone No. 03192-235250, for immediate attention and quick action, a communication from the Electricity Department said here. 

Consumers advised to be vigilant and inform Dept. of CS&CA, if any unfair noticed

Port Blair, May 13: The Department of Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs is relentlessly enforcing various provisions of the Rules & Regulations framed under the Essential Commodities Act 1955, the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. In its exercise resulted in nabbing those persons/ shops/ establishments involved in any form of unfair trade practices and the violators were booked under relevant sections of the Act. Penal actions as per laid down procedures are taken in a time bound manner to act as a deterrent and so far an amount of Rs. 2,43,000/-  has been imposed on them as penalty during the Lockdown period in South Andaman. 
Apart from the above, dedicated Control Rooms are functional in all District Headquarters wherein numerous complaints were received out of which 95% of cases were redressed in 24 hrs. Further, this Department imposed capping on the price of all Essential Commodities including perishable items such as Vegetables & Fruits with adequate publicity, which is regulated in true spirit resulting in effective control of the market price.
All the proactive action taken by this Department has sensitised the consumers of this UT of their rights as the consumers have become very vigilant by promptly reporting any kind of unfair trade practices noticed by them.
The consumers are advised to be vigilant and inform the matter related to overcharging of any Essential Commodity to the notice of the Director, Directorate of Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Port Blair via text message only on mobile number 9434266828 or to the Control Room over Toll free Phone No. 18003453197 & on Ph No: 03192-234062, a communication from the Director (CS&CA) said.

Vocal about local, but no snub to globalization

New Delhi, May 13: There are at least four discernible strands in Prime Minister Modi's speech of Tuesday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on May 12 sought to outline his vision for India in a post-coronavirus world order. It was a reiteration of his worldview and his faith in India's Manifest Destiny, seeking validation in the crisis of the old order.
Mr. Modi's pro-market supporters and his Left critics both understood him as an ally of global capitalism in 2014. Stephen Bannon, the ideologue of the Trump uprising in the U.S., termed Mr. Modi's politics as anti-globalism - a point that he reiterated in a recent interview to an Indian channel. There are at least four discernible strands in Mr. Modi's speech.
First, import substitution, an objective that drove nationalist economic policies in the 20th century, is back. Profit-driven globalisation had brought to the fore multiple insecurities of countries already when the pandemic struck, and it multiplied these fears manifold overnight. The biggest superpower's struggles with procuring enough masks and paracetamol, for instance, has exposed its vulnerabilities. Self-reliance is suddenly not a bad idea again. Mr. Modi's policies had already reflected this thinking earlier, but the new context has given him the courage to be "vocal about local". In a crisis, only the local capacities can be useful.
Second, this is not a rejection of globalisation, but a call for a new form of globalisation. Mr. Modi said, from profit-driven to people-centric. He believes that India is the repository of such a wisdom, it's the "Vishwa Guru", teacher of the world. "The global brands of today were sometimes also very local like this….they became global from (being) local." He elaborated further on India-led globalisation - on climate, on being helpful to other countries by offering them supplies in a time of crisis, led by the principle of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam".
Third, the manner in which he brought China into the picture, without naming it. India's self-reliance can only be at the cost of China. The current crisis could work to China's advantage further if it is business as usual. His speech obliquely questioned the Chinese grip over global supply chains, and was an invitation to western partners such as the U.S. for closer partnerships. Whether he could continue with his hyper-nationalist policies while actively being allied with the West is an open question.
Fourth, his notion of reforms for self-reliance, not for globalisation. The word reform is an ambiguous one but widely used as a code for pro-capital measures. In 2016, in his keynote speech at 41st AGM of U.S. India Business Council (USIBC), in Washington DC, he explained his views on "reforms". "I have said several times that my aim is to reform to transform. For me, reforms are those policies that transform the lives of ordinary citizens. In the last two years, we have taken a comprehensive package of reforms which go beyond mere economic reforms," he said, adding that "policies to ensure that growth benefits the poor and the weaker sections" and "a frontal attack on corruption", were reforms. On the same lines, on Tuesday, he counted as a reform, the government's ability to make cash payments to the poorest. "Bold reforms to create a self-reliant India," he said, will now be "broadened, giving a new height". His list of reforms overlaps substantially with the demands of owners of capital - rational tax system, simple and clear rules-of-law, good infrastructure, etc. But the slant clearly is state support for the national capitalists. Read with the emphasis on local companies going global, it becomes clearer. Trade liberalisation is unlikely; in fact, there could be more protectionist measures.
Additionally, his speech narrows the gap between the government and the rest of the Sangh Parivar. "Small scale industries, farmers and labourers are the three pillars of the Indian economy. The emphasis of the PM's speech was on these three," said Saji Narayanan, president of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). The BMS has been scathingly critical of the changes in labour laws made by the Bharatiya Janata Party governments in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in recent days, but Mr. Narayanan does not expect anything similar coming from the Centre. "There are still advisors within the government who have different views, and we will wait for the details in new announcements. But the political vision in the PM's speech is very encouraging," he said. The Swadeshi segments within the Parivar are buoyant.
But this is not an easy act to pull off. India has severe limitations in capital, technology and human resources. Balancing the interests of capital and labour is not easy. But as a political statement, this could not have been clearer or stronger, though his vocal, free-market interpreters are unlikely to make Mr. Modi's case this time. (The Hindu)

PBMC initiatives amid COVID-19

Port Blair, May 13: To prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 in Port Blair City, PBMC has been taking the following initiatives with active participation of elected representatives. To acknowledge the great efforts of Sanitation Workers, Smti S.Selvi, Councillor, Ward No. 05, PBMC distributed essential commodities  viz. dry Ration items in Ward No. 05.  PBMC has been arranging breakfast / Lunch across various Wards in collaboration with Civil Society Organization. Breakfast was distributed in Ward No 13, Ward No. 17 and Ward No.18. Lunch was arranged for the Sanitary Mazdoors by Mr L.Moorthy, Nominated Councillor, in Ward No.4 and by Smti Anusia Devi, Councillor at Ward No 9.
Every year before the onset of Monsoon, PBMC carries out a Major drain desilting works to prevent flooding. As a part this exercise desilting work near Marine Hall, Mohanpura Market, Bus Stand, Main Office of PBMC and near Delanipur School were taken-up by PBMC on 07/05/2020. On 12/05/2020, an inspection was carried out by Chairperson, Secretary and Officials of the Council at the Brichgunj Check Dam located in the Quarry area. PBMC has taken-up the restoration works and raw water will be drawn from the source for treatment and further distribution to households. 
On 09/05/2020, another 318 Tons of water was transported from Rutland through Barge. As on date, a total of 2949 tons of water has been transported from Hutbay and Rutland Island through vessels and Barge. Self Help Groups constituted under the DAY - NULM got an order from the Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) to prepare 5570 face masks. It is worth mentioning that the stitching activity was completed within a 10 days of time. Further PBMC has awarded another contract to make 5000 face masks to the SHG.

Low pressure area develops in Bay of Bengal, likely to turn into cyclone by May 16

Port Blair, May 13: A Low-Pressure Area has formed over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman Sea, in the morning of today, the 13th May 2020.and very likely to concentrate into a Depression over central parts of south Bay of Bengal on 15th and further intensify into a Cyclonic Storm over southwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal by 16th evening. It is very likely to move northwestwards initially till 17th May and then re-curve north-northeastwards.
In association with the above system, the conditions will become favourable for advance of southwest monsoon over south Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and Andaman & Nicobar Islands around 16th May 2020.
Under its influence, the following adverse weather is likely over south & central Bay of Bengal and adjoining Andaman Sea from 15th May onwards.
Wind warning
* Squally winds, speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely to prevail over south and adjoining central Bay of Bengal on 15th May 2020, 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph over the same region on 16th May. Wind speed is likely to increase further becoming Gale force winds speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph over southwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal from the evening of 16th May. Squally winds, speed reaching 45-55 kmph are likely to prevail over Andaman Sea on 15th & 16th May.
FISHERMAN WARNING: Due to formation of low pressure area over Southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining South  Andaman Sea and likely intensification of the system, the fishermen are advised not to venture into South and Central Bay of Bengal from 15th May 2020. Those who are out at sea over these regions are advised to return to coast by tomorrow.IMD KOLKATA.For further enquiries / information contact helpline of State Emergency Operation Centre at Helpline No. 1077 & District Emergency Operation Centre at Helpline No. 1070.
INPUTS from Indian Coast Guard Andaman and Nicobar Region,
The Coast Guard Stations at various locations in A & N Region, in coordination with local fisheries authorities, are sensitizing the fishing community on persisting rough seas/inclement weather at sea and urging the fishermen to refrain from moving out to sea till 18 May 20. The Coast Guard vessels on deployment are sensitizing fishermen at sea and guiding them to return harbour. All Coast Guard authorities have intimated that they have alerted their ships and establishments in A & N to maintain highest state of preparedness to meet any contingency.
For any emergency/assistance at sea, call Coast Guard SAR Agency at Toll Free number 1554. The general public is advised to take precautionary measures and in case of any emergency contact in the following phone numbers of State Control Room, District Control Room and Emergency Operation Centres.
State Control Room:  03192- 238880 (Tele-Fax), 1077(Helpline), District Control Room: 03192-238881, 1070(Helpline), EOC (Campbell Bay): 03193-264020, EOC (Kamorta): 03193-263222, EOC (N&M): 03192-262960, EOC (Hut Bay): 03192-284014, EOC (Car Nicobar): 03193-265241, EOC (Swaraj Dweep): 03192-282030, EOC (Ferrargunj): 03192-266527, a communication from DO, State Control Room said here.

07 apprehended poachers tested, COVID-19 found negative in them

TMI Correspondent
Car Nicobar, May 13: 07 Myanmarese were apprehended from the forests of Kakana village on 24/04/2020, soon after, the 07 Myanmarese were put under Institutional quarantine for 14 days in a govt. guest house in Kamorta with police surveillance. Later, their blood samples were collected and sent to ICMR, Dollygunj, Port Blair recently, which is today as per reports, COVID-19 test reports of all them were found negative. The Deputy Commissioner, Car Nicobar informed that, all of them will be sent to Port Blair from Kamorta for legal process.

Citizens' Corner 14/05/2020

* People at ANIIDCO Wine shops are struggling under Sunny and Rainy days, but bravely facing any climate through lengthy queues whatsoever before them to get two 750 ml bottles. Even a professional drunkard can't do that much struggle to get two bottles of whiskey every day. But, men behind the men in queues are succeeding in storing the stock of liquor to sell at high rates and grabbing the opportunity to run their illegal sale in 'Gumties'. Surprisingly, liquor business is emerging as a successful business even amid COVID-19 pandemic and Lockdown period too.

* On the other side, crime rate is tend to increase after opening of Liquor shops in city, which may go for a tough challenge for the police to tackles. Of course, the economy of the govt. will hike but should also focus on other challenges before it. One can observe, numbers of COVID-19 positive cases are seen increased only after opening of Liquor shops and domestic violence reports also increased at many places in India.

* ANIIDCO should also need to initiate Door Delivery system to serve Liquor bottles to people's door steps, to avoid violation of physical distancing norm, which is always seen happening in the queues and controlling by A&N Police 24x7 near Liquor outlets in the A&N Islands.

* Admin. through many tweets informed that sufficient sanitizers, marks and gloves are available in A&N Islands. On the other side, some frontline workers including media persons are not been issued any such materials to protect themselves from the Coronavirus in the A&N Islands.