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State government’s order asking businessmen to be fully vaccinated is ill-conceived, arbitrary: Dipen Agrawal

From left: Dilip Kamdar, Dipen Agrawal, Dr Nitin Raut, Micky Arora and Deepak Deosinghani

From left: Dilip Kamdar, Dipen Agrawal, Dr Nitin Raut, Micky Arora and Deepak Deosinghani

Dipen Agrawal, Convenor of Sarkar Jagao Vanijya Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (SJVBSS) and President of CAMIT (Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade) has said that the state government’s order asking businessmen and their staff to be fully vaccinated in order to be able to operate is ill-conceived and arbitrary.

Agrawal, along with other prominent businessmen from Nagpur, recently met Guardian Minister Dr Nitin Raut for thanking him for taking stock of ground reality and impressing upon the concerns of the businessmen. Agrawal said that state government order dated August 8, 2021, and consequent orders issued by Nagpur District Collector Vimala R and Nagpur Municipal Corporation Commissioner Radhakrishnan B have practically reversed the relaxation.

Agrawal stated that the orders stipulate that, in order to able to operate the business, owner and staff of shops, malls, restaurants, bars and banquet halls should be fully vaccinated and 14 days should have passed after second dose. The orders further prohibits entry of persons in malls if they are not fully vaccinated and 14 days have not passed after second dose.

Agrawal further said that the condition of fully vaccination violates the fundamental right of freedom to carry on any occupation, trade or business of a particular category or class of citizens who are otherwise entitled to do so, making the order ill-conceived and arbitrary. The order restricts the fundamental right to life of an individual by stripping off his/her right to livelihood.

Dilip Kamdar, co-convener, said that even though the decision of state government is for the welfare of masses, there should be no room for coercive or negative reinforcement of vaccination by seizing the right to livelihood of citizens. The right to and the welfare policy for vaccination should not affect a major fundamental right; i.e., right to life, personal liberty and livelihood, especially when there exists no reasonable nexus between vaccination and prohibition of continuance of occupation and/or profession.

Micky Arora highlighted that the Union government announced and authorised states to vaccinate persons in the age group of 18 to 44 years from May 1, 2021. However, due to shortage of vaccines, the state government suspended the vaccination of 18 to 44 years from May 12, 2021. Further after resuming vaccination for persons in age group of 18 to 44 years, on June 19, 2021, state government restricted and prioritised vaccination of persons in age group of 30 to 44 years and fully opened vaccination for persons above 18 years from June 22, 2021. Against this backdrop, the state is not justified in imposing the fully vaccinated condition.

Vijay Talmale said that till date supply of vaccine is not stabilised and thus government vaccination centres in Nagpur are operational only for 2 or 3 days in a week. Talmale said that the Union government has increased the duration between two doses of Covishield vaccine from the initial notified gap of 4-8 weeks to 8-12 weeks and to current gap of 12-16 weeks in June 2021 and further informed that vaccination of persons below 18 years is not yet started.

Rajnikant Bondre, President of Associations of Coaching Institutes, said that, the state government order dated August 11, 2021, has not placed any new restriction on coaching classes. However, the NMC commissioner has withdrawn the permission given to operate coaching classes at 50% capacity under its order dated August 8, 2021. The uncertainty and frequent unilateral change is adversely affecting students from Nagpur preparing for competitive exams, he added.

Summing up, Agrawal requested Dr Raut to impress upon the State Disaster Management Authority to harmoniously construct the provisions of law and principles of equity, good conscience and justice. Agrawal stated that instead of mandatory condition of fully vaccination, a condition should be prescribed udner which owner of shops, malls, restaurants, bars and banquet halls should ensure that their staff and visitors are at least vaccinated once (first dose) and persons below 18 years should be exempted from this condition. Agrawal further asked Dr Raut to direct the local authorities in Nagpur to restore operations of coaching classes at 50% strength, so as to secure the interest of most affected segments of economy due to frequent lockdowns.

Prominently present during the meeting were Kirti Devi Mulgulgundkar, Dr Sameer Phale, Jayant Ganvir, Dr Manoj Tawani, Rahul Rai, Jagdish Agrawal, Narendra Wankhede, Dinesh Naidu, Shyam Shendre, Deepak Deosinghani and office bearers of various associations of most affected sectors.


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Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2022: Tathastu Resorts in Pench placed among top 10% hotels in world

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Nation Next Newsroom | Nagpur

View of one of the rooms at Tathastu Resorts in Pench

Travel company ‘Tripadvisor’ has rated Tathastu Resorts, situated at Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, amongst the top 10% hotels in the world. Every year, Tripadvisor recognizes businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to hospitality excellence with a ‘Travellers’ Choice Award’ and Tathastu has made it to this list for the third consecutive year. The award celebrates businesses that have received great traveller reviews from guests around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year was, Tathastu stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to their guests.

Speaking about the recognition, Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor, said: “The Travellers’ Choice Awards recognize the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests. Ranking among the Travellers’ Choice winners is always tough but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travellers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.”

Tathastu Luxury Resort in Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh is spread over lush 15 acres featuring 59 state-of-the-art Rooms, equipped with a banquet hall. The resort’s close proximity from Nagpur ensures smooth connectivity from all major cities of the country. It also has an in-house spa and wellness centre, a temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool, an art centre and a range of activities making it the perfect getaway for families and corporates to plan their trips and events.

To know about Tathastu Resorts, you may visit www.tathasturesorts.com or call on 9765550607

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MIHAN-SEZ Commissioner, trade leaders form Business Advisory Committee, conduct 1st meeting

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From left: Dipen Agrawal, Suresh Rathi, Dr V Sraman, Shivkumar Rao, Julfesh Shah and Manohar Bhojwani during BAC’s meeting

The first meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) for MIHAN – Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was held in Nagpur on April 26. BAC was constituted recently with Dr V Sraman (Development Commissioner, MIHAN SEZ)) as Chairman, and Dr Dipen Agrawal (President, Chamber of Association of Maharashtra Industry & Trade), Julfesh Shah (Chairman, Nagpur Chapter of Chamber of Small Industry Associations), Manohar Bhojwani (CEO, Diet Foods International), Shivkumar Rao (President, Vidarbha Economic Development Council) and Suresh Rathi (President, Vidarbha Industries Association), as co-committee members.

During the meeting, Dr Dipen Agrawal suggested that BAC should work on three fronts simultaneously:

1) to reach out to present investors/units and on priority resolve the problems faced by them
2) different regions have different problems hence committee should endeavor to study and propose region specific practical policy modification for MIHAN-SEZ to government and
3) to review the marketing strategy to promote the project so as to attract new investments in MIHAN.

Julfesh Shah informed that the committee members are of the opinion that it is important to attract large companies to MIHAN rather than go after small-scale units. Manohar Bhojwani said that MIHAN is a place that offers world-class infrastructure, and yet manufacturing units shy away from setting up their plants there. Bhojwani opined that this is primarily because of the SEZ policy, which doesn’t make it attractive for units to opt for MIHAN – SEZ. He felt that the committee should make a representation to the central govt., listing out suggestions to make the SEZ a viable choice for industrial development.

Shivkumar Rao mentioned that the SEZ policy being unfriendly to investors is an issue that the central govt. recognizes, and is likely to announce an employment-oriented, industry-friendly policy by the end of Sept 2022, as announced by the finance minister in the budget. He felt that while we may give suggestions to the central govt., it is important for the committee to focus on settling the existing issues for which the most important thing is for the MADC (Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited) to be on board. He felt that without MADC on board, the BAC would function more like a pressure group. Rao further felt that MIHAN was still an attractive location for the services sector, particularly finance, IT, MRO, defense and education.

Suresh Rathi mentioned that while we may wait for the new policy to be announced, we have to simultaneously start working on resolving the difficulties of the existing investors, particularly those who have been allotted space within the SEZ, but have not been able to commence operations for some reason. He also highlighted the efforts that have been put in by VIA to address problems of various unit-holders in which MADC was also invited.

After hearing the views of members, Dr V Sraman highlighted the existing problems in MIHAN and complimented the industry associations and trade bodies on their pro-active approach. He advised members of the BAC to help him and the region to be an attractive destination for industrial investment. He assured to frame terms of reference of the BAC. The meeting concluded with a field visit to the SEZ area.

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CAMIT chief meets Dr Nitin Raut over power shortage, load shedding issues in state

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Dipen Agrawal (President, CAMIT) with State Power Minister Dr Nitin Raut

Dr Dipen Agrawal, President, CAMIT (Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade), recently met Dr Nitin Raut (Minister for Energy, New & Renewable Energy, Government of Maharashtra) and discussed the issue of power shortage and proposed load shedding.

Agrawal said that poor electricity supply is widely recognised as a key impediment to firm growth and productivity. Trade and Industry as a whole suffers from power cuts and with 15 out of 27 IMD locations recording more than 40 degrees in Maharashtra and Vidarbha topping with 44.7 degrees, it becomes even more difficult for shops, trade, commerce, agriculture and industry as a whole to operate without proper power.

This directly effects the productivity, sale and revenue, which in turn reduces states tax collections and as the losses pile up many jobs will also be lost. Uncertain power supply and uncertainty over supply of power creates confusion and disrupts planning and strategies. The power outages result in thumbs down to new investments across sectors in trade, commerce and industry. Load shedding has effects on agriculture as well, right from water pumps to processing of agricultural produce everything is disrupted.

Dr Agrawal appealed to the minister to do whatever he and the department can to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the consumers and do away with the proposed load shedding. He requested the minister to address the issue by analysing whether it is a power demand – supply mismatch or fuel (coal) crisis, only then the department can arrive at a solution. He further added that a stable and reliable supply of electricity is essential for almost every aspect of our daily lives and a necessary condition for economic growth.

Dr Raut assured there is no load shedding implemented as of now and it is expected that month of May would pass smoothly too, MSEDCL is not only buying power from private generators but also buying from power exchanges to the tune of 1500 to 1800 MW of power. He also said that the generation shortfall is mainly due shortage of coal and the same is being sorted out. Adani Power which has a PPA with state has increased the supply to 3000 MW.

Agrawal on behalf of business community of the state expressed his gratitude towards Dr Nitin Raut for patiently hearing the issue of load shedding and assuring his best efforts to get them addressed by energy department/ministry.

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