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June 11, 2001 - June 12, 2001

Cottonseed oil units threaten to halt output Tuesday, June 12, 2001

AsianAge
Ahmedabad June 11: The Gujarat Oil Refiners Association has in a letter to chief minister Keshubhai Patel said they will be forced to terminate production of the cottonseed oil due to the harassment caused by raids since the past 11 months by the state sales tax department.

In the letter, association president Bharat Patel said that the raids have caused immense losses to the production of cottonseed oil and the producers are almost on the verge of closing down their units.

Mr Patel said despite representing their problems to finance minister Vaju Vala and the sales tax commissioner the problems of the cottonseed producers are yet to be addressed by the state government.

The association also called for a probe into the crores of sales tax bungled by the groundnut oil millers of Saurashtra by a retired high court judge or vigilance commissioner.

Mr Patel complained that the sales tax department and the state civil supplies department are hesitant to act against the artificial price rise of groundnut oil and the manipulation of the market by the oil millers despite having full knowledge of their activities.

Mr Bharat Patel praised the concern shown by the chief minister for farmers in the state, and brought to light the problems faced by the cottonseed farmers, especially after the natural calamities that affected the agricultural production of the cottonseed adversely.

Mr Patel in the letter said the production rate of the cottonseed oil has increased since the past few years and is at par with the production of groundnut oil. This has definitely given some relief to the consumers in the state.

But due to some modifications in the oil policies in last two years by the state government, the cottonseed manufacturers and the refineries are affected. Mr Patel said the raids are being conducted on the instigation of the Saurashtra Oil Millers Association.

Citing another problem the association said it is also finding it difficult to compete with imported oil which is causing havoc to the local market. The Gujarat Oil Refiners Association also called for action against disco edible oil where cheaper edible oil such as palmolein and soyabean oil is adulterated with the groundnut oil.

This, it claims, is being done to evade sales tax and also adulterate groundnut oil. Moreover, a lot of adulterated groundnut oil is being sold without bills, the alleged.

The association also complained that due to the repeated the manufacturing rate has fallen. The association claimed that the president of the Saurashtra Oil Millers Association, Mr Uka Patel, has an evident initiation behind the sales tax raids.

This matter was brought into light by the association through several letters to the minister of finance for the state, Mr Vaju Vala and to the commissioner of the sales tax department, copies of which were also forwarded to the chief minister but the government took no action.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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Heavy rush for college admissions Tuesday, June 12, 2001

AsianAge
As many as 1,826 forms for F.Y.B.Com and 700 forms for F.Y.B.Sc were given out to students during the day. 1,207 forms for commerce courses and 650 for science courses were received by the university.

About 667 students filled their forms for commerce (Gujarati – A stream), 271 for commerce (Gujarati – B stream) and 269 for Commerce (English). Students desiring to take admission in F.Y.B.Com can fill the admission forms till Wednesday.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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CERC petitions GERC seeking refund of bills Tuesday, June 12, 2001

AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 11: Consumer Education and Research Society, Ahmedabad, has petitioned the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking refund of the increases in electricity bills paid by consumers of the Gujarat Electricity Board and Ahmedabad Electricity Company during the last five years.

The petition referred to the admission of the power utilities during the hearing on the tariff before the GERC, that the loss of coal during transit amounted to eight per cent shortage, increasing the cost of power generation by Rs 0.11 per unit and with the addition of the government tax and duties the cost amounts to Rs 0.16 per unit.

The collieries are also responsible for the hike in the unit cost by supplying low quality coal. CERS has also sought all the records regarding the matter and also regarding the loss of vital material in the rail transit, to prove that the consumers need not have paid the tariff hikes on this account.

According to the CERS, this is a burden that was being passed over to the consumers. Pending the decision on its petition, CERS called upon the Commission to see that these utilities deposited the consumers’ money in a separate account. The CERS has also urged the Commission to make Coal India Limited and Indian Railways as ‘Proper and necessary parties to the petition.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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New academic session of AMC schools begins Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Asianage
Ahmedabad, June 11: The new academic session of Ahmedabad Municipal School Board began on Monday. The academic session began in schools of the municipal board situated in Odhav, Bapunagar, Saijpur, Asarva and Meghani Nagar, a press release said.

According to the press release, the chairman of the municipal school board, Dr Ganpat Parmar visited 38-school buildings that presently shelters around 89 schools.

Out of the 38 buildings visited, five are badly damaged. Meanwhile, the mayor, Himmatsingh Patel announced that four of these schools will be rebuilt. In all about 214 schools are damaged. However, there are only 19 schools which are unsafe and need repairs before they can be used, said municipal commissioner, K. Kailashnathan.

The municipal school board on Monday distributed 142 tents acquired from Unicef to 59 schools. Around 170 teacher kits and 2350 students kits which includes school bags, note-books, compass boxes and floor mats were also delivered.

These kits will also be provided to other schools within next five days, the press release added. It has also been informed that no post-quake work has begun in schools located in some areas of Meghani Nagar, Charanagar, Naroda and Kubernagar.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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Good cause: Bhatt, Grover support rally for education Monday, June 11, 2001

AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 10: The leader of the Siksha Yatra that reached the city on Sunday, Mr Kailash Satyarthi, demanded from government to levy education tax on multinational corporations and big industrial houses.

While addressing a press conference, Mr Satyarthi said, “This step would solve the problem of requisite funds for ensuring free, compulsory, uniform and quality education for all.”

He said the Centre could lobby with developed countries and multilateral bodies to waive some amount from India’s debt repayment dues, which can then be used for educating poor masses of India.

“This is feasible going by the instances of developing countries that have applied this method. The only thing needed is pro-active measure,” Mr Satyarthi said. The 12,000-km, 115-days Siksha yatra reached Ahmedabad on Sunday.

On reaching here, Siksha yatris took out a rally from Gandhi Ashram to Income Tax office in which film personalities Mahesh Bhatt and Gulshan Grover also participated.

While speaking to the media, Gulshan Grover said, “It is very unfortunate for our country that not a single leader or parliamentarian has raised a voice against the atrocities on children living below the poverty line, who are forced to work as labourers.”

He further said, “I was under the impression that I am the greatest villain, but the real and the most dreaded villains are present in the society today who are responsible for the plight of these children.”

Bhatt, who was also present at the rally, said, “The government should ensure that the son of a wealthy and poor man study under the same roof. But, I think this dream won’t be fulfilled in my lifetime.”

The yatra would move ahead from Ahmedabad on June 11 at 8 am and state education minister Anandiben Patel will flag off the rally. Gulshan Grover and Mahesh Bhatt would also attend this rally.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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