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October 17, 2001 - October 17, 2001

CM's kin to pay Rs 6 lakh penalty to Customs Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Chief Minister Narendra Modi's brother Prahlad Modi, the proprietor of Swaminarayan Enterprise who was slapped with a fine of Rs 6 lakh by the Customs for having imported second-hand diesel engines instead of new ones, has withdrawn his application challenging the penalty from the Gujarat High Court.

He had pleaded that a fraud was committed and he was cheated. Instead of new engines, for which he had placed orders, he was supplied with old ones. However, during earlier trials, the court had felt that there was a prima facie case.

A penalty of Rs 10 lakh has also been imposed on Arvind P Patel, who was the agent of the Japanese company from which the engines were imported, but was later disowned by them.

Earlier, a stay was granted by the Gujarat High Court on further proceedings. When the matter came up for hearing before Justice M H Kadri, the application was withdrawn as the court was not inclined to admit the matter.

The transaction had taken place in 1991, when the goods were received by Kandla Customs in November 1992 and in 1993 a case was lodged in Kandla. A penalty of Rs 6 lakh was imposed under Section 112(1) of the Act on Modi and Rs 10 lakh on Arvind Patel by the Customs and Gold Control Tribunal.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Vaghela rules out rejoining BJP Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Shankersinh Vaghela said on Tuesday that there were absolutely no chances of his going back to the Bharatiya Janata Party because the party has failed as an instrument to serve the public.

"BJP is now an aimless, hopeless and a party without principles," Vaghela said while delivering a lecture here organised by Ahmedabad Rotary Club on 'Public life and citizen'.

Commenting on dethroning of Keshubhai Patel from state's chief ministership by the BJP, Vaghela said that his stand was vindicated by the decision though it was three and half years late.

Earlier speaking on the topic Vaghela urged the intelligentsia to come forward and join politics to do away with 'useless' politicians without any concept of public service.

He said the country was paying for the indifference shown by the intelligentsia towards politics as a career, resulting in unqualified people without any concept of public life managing the affairs.

A belligerent Vaghela also took pot-shots at the bureaucracy blaming it for spoiling the politicians and 'drifting' them away from serving the public.

"But this happens when a person who had never seen a fridge in his life was made a minister or given an important position," he remarked adding that intelligentsia should come forward to join politics.

Good politicians were less in number and 'useless' politicians were steering the wheel, he said adding that intellectuals of the society were responsible for the present state of affairs.

"Today politicians are synonymous to uselessness," Vaghela remarked urging people from all walks of life to join politics to make it more meaningful.

Sharing his vision of Gujarat with the audience, Vaghela said he desires a Gujarat comparable to European and Western countries rather than states within the country.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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No need for panic on anthrax, says health minister Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: The state government has undertaken various precautionary measures to combat any anthrax outbreak as per the advice given by a team of doctors, who had undergone a study on the possible threat posed by biological and chemical weapons at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune.

Health minister I K Jadeja told mediapersons that all primary and community health centres in rural areas and government hospitals have been alerted against a possible anthrax attack. Though the disease was endemic to India it could be treated effectively by the use of commonly available antibiotics.

He said a team of doctors headed by Bharat Kazi has returned after undergoing necessary study and training to deal with a possible anthrax onslaught, and the health commissionerate has taken the necessary steps including storage of antibiotics in all hospitals and health centres across the state.

"There was no need for any panic, but at the same time the government has taken adequate precautionary measures to deal with any eventuality."

India has already developed an anti-anthrax vaccine, but it is available only for the armed forces. He appealed the people to take medical assistance in case of symptoms like fever, acute headache and coughing. The anthrax bacteria could enter the human
body through breathing, skin or through the consumption of infected meat.

To a question on whether the government has opened any special cell to monitor and check any possible anthrax attack, he said, "We are closely monitoring the situation and at this stage there was no need for any special cell."

The minister said no case of the disease has been reported from any place so far, but senior officials have been asked to review the measures on a regular basis.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Promises of simple administration and quick services Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: After completing a year in office, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation mayor Himmatsinh Patel held out some more promises for Amdavadis.

"Simple administration, quick services" is the motto adopted by the mayor and the Congress for the following fiscal year in the corporation. But that apart, the mayor could not recount many achievements on the infrastructure development front.

Instead Patel lambasted the BJP and its 13-year rule at the AMC as the reason behind the financial crises of the corporation and the slow progress in development work.

Pointing towards a plethora of problems Patel said, "First it was rescue and rehabilitation, then the post-quake job on clearance of debris and demolition of tottering structures. This lasted for more than four months and made a sizeable dent in the corporation's fund, then came the Fifth Pay Commission's diktat worth Rs 32 crore. The quake also hit our octroi collections as did a market recession."

"Despite all these hurdles we have made significant progress in waiving the 18 per cent penalty on pending property tax cases, effecting a collection of over Rs 32 crore. The Congress, even during peak of summer, managed to reach water where the BJP could not, and till date has been supplying an excess of three crore gallon water, as compared to last year. On the other hand, the BJP has left behind a debt of Rs 422 crore resulting in a draw of Rs 100 crore annually on the corporation's funds," said Patel.

In reply to BJP's allegations of no development project ever since the Congress came to power, the mayor quipped that the ruling party does not believe in spending lakhs in receptions and inaugurations or Rs 4.5 crore in doing-up Tagore Hall. "We are focused on reaching civic facilities like drainage and water to all, especially to the deprived lot living in slums and shanties," said Badruddin Sheikh, the Standing Committee chairman.

Pointing towards the ongoing development work worth Rs 34.06 crore and the work to be undertaken worth Rs 26.34 crore, the Congress showed off the 18 per cent penalty-interest waiver in property tax and to the handing over of 1,811 slum quarters to masses living below poverty line as some of their major achievements.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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14 IAS officers transferred Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: In the third round of bureaucratic reshuffle since Narendra Modi became chief minister, as many as 14 top IAS officers were transferred on Tuesday.

The major transfers include that of Manjula Subramaniam as principal secretary, energy. Her place at the urban development and urban housing department has been taken over by Sudha Anchalia, serving right now as sports, youth and cultural activities secretary.

P Paneervel, who was in the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, is the new municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad. D Rajgopalan, MD, Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation, has been made MD of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation. In Rajgopalan's place, R L Meena has been posted.

The other important transfers are that of D Jagatheesa Pandyan as MD, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Hasmukh Adhia as industries commissioner, P K Pujari as economic affairs secretary, K Kailashnathan as water supplies secretary and chairman of the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board, and Sunil Sud as chief executive officer, Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board.

Anil Mukim, who is in the CMO, has been given additional charge as information and broadcasting secretary.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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