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Karnataka ministers, legislators to take 30% pay cut to fund fight against Covid-19




A file image of B.S. Yeddyurappa | Facebook

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Bengaluru: Ministers and Members of Legislature in Karnataka will take a 30 per cent cut each in their salaries and allowances to fund the fight against coronavirus in the state, for a year.

An ordinance to reduce the salaries of Ministers and Legislators by 30 per cent for one year to meet the exigencies arising out of COVID-19 pandemic was approved by the state cabinet headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday.

“…we have cut by 30 per cent salaries and allowances of all Ministers, MLAs, MLCs, also Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip every one for one year from April 1, amounting to Rs 15.36 crore,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, he said, “we have consent from all the political parties for this, so we have passed the ordinance today.”

The Union Cabinet on Monday had approved a 30 per cent cut in salaries of all Members of Parliament and a two-year suspension of the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme.

The cabinet on Thursday also approved two more ordinances, including the one with regards to deferment of GST remittance until June.

“We have passed the ordinance deferring the demand of GST taxes, they were due by this month, government of India has made a provision to pay the GST taxes till June-end, so we have followed the suit and we have also amended the law,” Madhuswamy said, adding that an ordinance giving relaxation for farmers in a few districts facing cases under the provisions of Land Grabbing Act, has also been approved.

The Minister said the cabinet has also decided to temporarilydistribute rations for two months to over 2 lakh people without ration cards, whose applications are pending before the Revenue department.

Aimed at helping farmers involved in floriculture who are affected by lockdown with no marriages or functions, the Chief Minister asked Ministers to calculate the area under flower cultivation and estimated loss, he said, adding the government after considering loss, plans to give them compensation.

Later speaking to reporters, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said Ministers have been told see to it that there is no shortage of seeds and fertilizers for farmers.

There are reports of paddy crop being destroyed due to hailstorm in parts of Koppal, he said, adding the agriculture department and district administrations have been asked to submit the estimates of loss.

Also read: This 56-year-old IAS officer is the brain behind Bhilwara model of fighting Covid-19


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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