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‘Safe’ Goa needs to arrest trend of people flocking in: Oppn

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Digambar Kamat

Panaji, May 27 : The Goa government needs to arrest the trend of persons who are travelling to Goa just because it is a safe zone and not because they are stranded elsewhere and are returning to a place they belong to, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said on Wednesday.

“I can understand the case of Goans who are stranded and want to return. But there are lots of other people who want to come to Goa for various reasons. And unless we screen them properly and make border checking stricter, I have a feeling the number of positive cases may increase,” Kamat told reporters in Panaji.

“The trend is, since Goa is in a better situtation (compared to other states), many people from abroad or outside (the state) want to come to Goa to take rest. This kind of thing is going on. So we have to keep a check on this. Only Goans who are stranded abroad, those who are coming back from other parts of India should be welcome,” Kamat added.

Goa currently has 39 active Covid-19 cases, according to the state Health Ministry. The coastal state had zero active cases earlier this month, but with relaxations in subsequent lockdowns facilitating more inter-state travel, Goa saw a surge in cases, most being persons who entered the state via Maharashtra.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has already appealed on several occasions that tourists and those who do not have a residence in the state, should not travel to Goa by taking advantage of the easing of inter-state travel restrictions.

Business

Healthcare sector revenues likely to grow by 20% in FY22: ICRA

he risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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healthcare sector

New Delhi, Jan 19: Even as the healthcare sector witnessed squeezing of revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, its long-term outlook remains stable on the back of swift rebound in occupancy as well as structural factors, ICRA said on Monday.

The rating agency expects the occupancy of companies in the sector to bounce back substantially to 60 per cent in FY22, from the estimated occupancy of 52 per cent in FY21, and the revenue growth to be at 20 per cent in FY22, against an estimated contraction of 19 per cent in FY21, aided by a lower base as well.

There has been significant sequential improvement in occupancy every month after the sharp fall in April and the pent-up demand is also likely to support the performance, as elective procedures cannot be delayed indefinitely by domestic as well as international patients, the report noted.

Due to the high operating leverage, the EBITDA margin is likely to rise to 13 per cent in FY22, against an estimated EBITDA margin of 9 per cent in FY21. The capital expansion was already slowing down, even pre-Covid, and is likely to remain modest in FY22 as the players have adequate capacity to grow over the medium term and the near-term focus is on better utilisation of the existing facilities rather than expansion of the network.

Consequently, the capex as well as startup costs of new hospitals are likely to be much lower going forward, which will also aid profitability. The net debt is expected to stay largely range-bound, but the debt protection metrics is likely to improve significantly due to a sharp rise in accruals, ICRA said.

According to Kapil Banga, Assistant Vice President, ICRA: “The credit risk profile of entities in the sector had been on improving the trajectory over the last two years and notwithstanding the near-term disruption due to the pandemic, as well as given the essential nature of the services, ICRA believes the sector will resume on its growth trajectory in FY22. The risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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India

Air India Express deploys robotic technology to disinfect aircraft

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Air India

New Delhi: Air India Express on Thursday said that it has become India’s first airline to introduce robotic technology to disinfect and clean aircraft interiors.

The airline on Thursday used a robotic device fitted with an UV lamp system to disinfect one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft at Delhi airport.

At present, UV-C disinfection system is identified worldwide as one of the most effective forms of disinfection.

“This technology is tested and approved by NABL laboratory for its efficiency to disinfect the surfaces from germs, bacteria and viruses,” the airline said in a statement.

“Air India Express has tied up with ground handling agency AISATS to launch this technology in India as it is important that surfaces commonly touched by both passengers and crew are disinfected and kept clean.”

The robotic device, fitted with a collapsible arms, is specifically designed to disinfect aircraft seats, under-seat areas, inside overhead baggage compartment, aisle ceiling, window panels, cockpit instrumentation area, overhead switch panel and interiors from viruses and bacteria.

In addition, the airline plans to extend this technology for its aircraft operating from other airports in its network in the country.

–IANS

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Industry

Industry body lauds BSNL’s move towards Indian equipment for 4G

On Friday, BSNL had issued a notice saying that it would test the quality of Indian telecom equipment before letting indigenous manufacturers participate in the 4G tender to be floated by the company.

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New Delhi, Jan 3 : The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has lauded state-run BSNL’s move to test India-made telecom equipment before allowing indigenous manufacturers participate in the 4G tender to be floated by the company.

Terming the move as the right direction in fulfilling the vision of self-reliant India, PHD said that it would ensure level-playing field for all indigenous technologies and also strengthen India’s cyber security preparedness.

In his letter to Anshu Prakash, the Secretary of Department of Telecommunications (DoT), PHDCCI Telecom Committee’s Mentor and Telecom Export Promotion Council Co-Chairman, Sandeep Aggarwal noted that although the cost may be high initially, but eventually the move would lead to higher GDP, high tax collection and employment generation.

“The government may have to shell out some higher cost to buy indigenous technologies through its wholly-owned subsidiary i.e. BSNL initially, but within a few years, it will reap 100s of billion dollars’ worth of additional GDP and huge tax collection on top of adding highly paying jobs for the tech India and the manufacturing sector,” he said.

Aggarwal, however said that Indian manufacturers having been largely sidelined from the bulk of the 4G telecom business of ‘Core’ and ‘RAN’, may not be able to match the pricing of the “hugely competitive, subsidised, politically and militarily motivated” technologies developed by the Chinese, and American companies.

“The game changing requirement of only Indian source code with unrestricted and irrevocable access to BSNL/DoT for the offered ‘Core’ and depositing of Indian/Foreign source code of ‘RAN’ in an escrow account shall mean full control possibilities by the Indian government against any current and prospective misuse of 4G equipment for snooping.”

He was of the view that the latest move of BSNL and the government’s ‘National Directive on Security’ will ensure level playing field for all indigenous technologies and ensure that this time, the Indian companies do not lose out on the business.

On Friday, BSNL had issued a notice saying that it would test the quality of Indian telecom equipment before letting indigenous manufacturers participate in the 4G tender to be floated by the company.

The BSNL plans to procure equipment for 57,000 sites for 4G services.

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