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PATNA: Masqoor Ahmed Usmani, Congress candidate from Jale constituency for Bihar polls never aligned with Jinnah’s ideology, said party’s General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala on Saturday.

This comes a day after Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Giriraj Singh said that the grand old party and mahagathbandhan need to tell that whether they support Jinnah’s ideology.

“The BJP is preparing controversy in hatred factory, to divert attention. Our Jale candidate never aligned with Jinnah’s ideology. When he was an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student, he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for removal of Jinnah’s portrait from AMU, Parliament and Bombay High Court. But PM Modi never responded,” Surjewala said during a press conference here.

The Congress party gave the ticket to former President of Aligarh Muslim University Student’s Union Dr Maskoor Ahmad Usmani as a candidate from Jale seat, Dharbhanga for the upcoming Bihar Assembly Elections 2020.

In 2019, Usmani was booked under sedition charges for raising anti-national slogans. In 2020, Twitter suspended his official account for criticizing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on the arrest of Safoora Zargar and Meeran Haider.

Congress has denied the party’s ticket to former Railways Minister Lalit Narayan Mishra‘s grandson Rishi Mishra who had contested unsuccessfully from Jale segment in Darbhanga district in the 2015 assembly polls, a year after he had grabbed the seat in a by-election. He had lost the seat to Jibesh Kumar of the BJP.

Assembly elections in Bihar will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and 7. The counting of votes will take place on November 10.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Pandemic to shave off 40% operating profit of pvt hospitals: Report

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MUMBAI: The pandemic will eat up around 40 per cent of the operational profit of private hospitals this fiscal, as billing has plunged drastically due to the virus outbreak and the resultant proclivity of people to avoid hospitals for non-emergency situations, says a report.

The Crisil report released on Tuesday, however, noted that a large number of pandemic cases, which though is low-margin, will get these hospitals an additional revenue to the tune of 15-20 per cent.

Further, with the relaxation in lockdown and travel restrictions, footfalls have started improving from July, helping bed-occupancy levels.

The report also expects bed-occupancy levels to stabilise 65-70 per cent of the pre-lockdown levels in the second half of the fiscal. This, along with additional revenue from the pandemic treatment will help limit overall decline in revenue to 16-18 per cent, as against 17 per cent annual growth logged in the two preceding fiscals, it said.

Since the pandemic-driven lockdowns that began late March, hospitals have been on a crisis path as people began to avoid going to hospitals for regular consultations and began to postpone elective surgeries, which have been the most lucrative procedures for any hospital, especially organ transplants among others.

“A triple whammy of postponement in elective surgeries, revenue loss from the highly profitable medical tourism segment, and increasing costs will lead to 35-40 per cent reduction in operating profit of private hospitals this fiscal,” Crisil said.

The report is based on the analysis of 40 hospitals, including 36 rated by the agency, which account for over Rs 36,000 crore of the sector’s revenue.

Even though the trauma and emergency treatment account for 28-30 per cent of revenue continued, but at a much lower level, given the fewer accidents during the lockdowns.

On top of these, medical tourism, which accounts for 10-12 per cent of revenue but gets the highest margins, especially for large hospitals, came to a complete standstill, due to travel restrictions imposed as part of the lockdowns.

However, the pandemic is set to bring them around 20 per cent of the revenue despite low margin.

“Treating COVID-19 patients is expected to provide an additional revenue stream and may contribute 15-20 per cent to revenue this fiscal. But it is not as profitable as other revenue streams. Additionally, given the high fixed cost structure of hospitals, lower overall occupancy will result in lesser absorption of overheads.

“This, coupled with the increased cost of safety and sanitation will lead to 35-40 per cent decline in operating profit this fiscal,” the report said.

Weakened operating performance accentuated cash-flow challenges in the first half and to manage the situation, hospitals have deferred 35-40 per cent of planned capex for this fiscal, and are now resorting to short-term debt funding.

About a third of the agency-rated hospitals also availed moratorium for loan repayments which supported their liquidity during the first half.

Nonetheless, the credit outlook for the sector remains moderately negative, with credit metrics being impacted primarily by lower profit, the report said adding that the deterioration in performance is expected to be only temporary, and a strong bounce-back is likely in the next fiscal supported by pent up demand.

“Elective surgeries cannot be postponed indefinitely and medical tourism is also expected to recoup as travel restrictions ease. We expect a healthy 25 per cent revenue growth in fiscal 2022, and operating profitability to recover to pre-pandemic levels, including due to lower share of less-profitable treatment for the pandemic patients,” the report said.

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INDIA

Rajnath Singh approves new DRDO procurement manual to facilitate indigenous defence industry

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NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday approved a new procurement manual for Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to encourage the participation of the Indian industries in research and development activity to facilitate the indigenous Defence Industry.

Rajnath Singh said that the new manual will help towards realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

“The new DRDO Procurement Manual will facilitate the indigenous Defence Industry by simplifying the processes and ensuring their participation in design and development activities. PM-2020 will help towards realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of Atma Nirbhar Bharat,” defence minister Singh tweeted.

The new DRDO Procurement Manual will facilitate the indigenous Defence Industry by simplifying the processes and en… https://t.co/cfSfIzJ3Kn

— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) 1603177544000

Prior to Singh’s tweet, Office of Defence Minister (DMO) had announced the approval of a new procurement manual for DRDO to achieve the goal of self-reliant in Defence industry.

“Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has approved a new DRDO India Procurement Manual (PM-2020) to encourage more participation of the Indian Industry including startups and MSMEs in Research and Development activity and also to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence,” DMO tweeted.

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INDIA

PM Narendra Modi to share message with nation on Tuesday evening

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NW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share a message with the nation at 6 pm on Tuesday.

“Will be sharing a message with my fellow citizens at 6 pm this evening,” he said in a tweet.

आज शाम 6 बजे राष्ट्र के नाम संदेश दूंगा। आप जरूर जुड़ें।Will be sharing a message with my fellow citizens at 6 PM this evening.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1603179161000

Modi has addressed the nation a number of times during the COVID-19 crisis in which he has spoken about various measures, including lockdown, being taken to curb the pandemic and also announced economic and welfare packages.

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