|Thursday, March 16, 2000,
to liberalise excise policy
4 drug traffickers
liberalise excise policy
GURGAON, March 15 The Haryana government has decided to liberalise its excise policy from the new financial year to boost the sale of liquor. It aimed at meeting the challenges posed by the neighbouring states, especially Delhi, as these have been attracting tipplers from Haryana, causing a huge loss to the state exchequer.
The trend of fall in the sale of liquor was reflected yesterday when vends selling country-made liquor and Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) in this district were auctioned for Rs 47.29 crore as against Rs. 53.25 crore last year.The liquor vends in Rewari and Mahendragarh districts were also auctioned along with those in Gurgaon while the vends in Rewari district registered a 12 per cent increase in comparison to last year.
Those in Mahendragarh district registered a fall while Gurgaon is adjoining Delhi, Mahendragarh borders Rajasthan.It is authoritatively learnt that the state government plans to liberalise the rules and give major concessions to the tipplers, contractors and licence holders. The measures include increasing the number of liquor bottles from four to six that an individual could carry. There will be no change with regard to beer and the limitation of 12 bottles would continue.Also, the vends for country-made liquor and IMFL would be allowed to do business in both brands in the urban areas.
As per the present policy, specified vends strictly sell either of the brand.The new policy would allow the vends to open two sub-vends for sale of country-made liquor in the rural areas. According to the present norm, a vend can at the most open only one sub-vend. Also, the fee for opening a sub-vend has been reduced from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 50,000.
Moreover, the new policy envisages additional quota to the tune of 25 per cent to the country-made liquor vends. Simultaneously, the practice of charging Rs 30 per proof litre on the additional quota in lieu of licence fees will be abolished. The quota to the IMFL vends will also be enhanced. The earlier charges levied in lieu of licence fees in cases of additional quota will be reduced from Rs 41 per proof litre to Rs 25 per proof litre.The new policy will allow bar licences to only three star hotels and above.
from ST to cover deficit
CHANDIGARH, March 15 Haryana Finance Minister Sampat Singh today said that the revenue received from the uniform Sales Tax system and pending arrears of the States share of Central taxes would go a long way in covering the deficits of the Budget proposals submitted in the House yesterday.
Mr Sampat Singh said this in his reply to the discussion on the Budget proposals in the House today. The Finance Ministers reply, however, was preceded by walk-out by the Congress members as well as the lone member of National Congress Party (NCP) and the only member of the Republican Party of India (RPI). While the Congress legislators left the House following Speaker Satbir Singh Kadians refusal to allow Barwala MLA Jai Prakash to speak. Mr Jagjit Singh Sangwan (NCP) and Mr Karan Singh Dalal (RPI) were also denied opportunity to speak by the Speaker.
Mr Sampat Singh, said that an enhanced amount of Rs 155 crore on account of the States enhanced dues of Central taxes was pending as arrears which Haryana would be receiving soon. He added that Haryana had incurred huge expenditure by welfare measures such as doubling of old-age pension and including fresh names in the list of beneficiaries under this scheme and the Kanyadan scheme. The concessions like abolition of octroi, reduction of market fees for agricultural produce and the decision to give Rs 110 per quintal to sugarcane farmers also had its effect on the States coffers.
He added that despite such steps the State could mobiles additional revenues. The rationalisation of tax structure by introducing the self assessment by traders having incomes of up to Rs 50 lakhs was a great success, the Finance Minister said. The enforcement was also effective, he said and added that while Excise and Sales Tax revenues diminished at the time of the Bansi Lal-led regime, the collection improved by more than 13 per cent after the INLD took over in last July.
He also told the House that Rs 2900 crore (including Rs 252 crore still in the pipeline) as investment for industries had already materialised for Haryana. To the Oppositions charge that the government did not have any policy on unemployment, Mr Sampat Singh said that the industries would create more than 64,000 jobs in Haryana.
On huge loan burden on Haryana, the Minister said that a developing state had to borrow from outside agencies to create an infrastructure. He said that worldwide recessionary trends also contributed to Haryanas problems economy of which was predominantly agriculture based.
On questions on the grant on the Agroha Medical College, Mr Sampat Singh said that the Haryana Government had set an example by allocating 99 per cent recurring grants to a privately managed institution.
The government had left out fertiliser, diesel and pesticides from the uniform Sales Tax net, he pointed out.
The Finance Minister said that Rs 396 crore and Rs 8 crore had been, respectively, kept under non-plan and plan funds for the police forces.
He said that Rs 20 crore had been set aside in the Budget for flood protection works. For flood control additional funds would be obtained from the NABARD and other institutions, he said. The state government was also contemplating negotiations with the World Bank for flood control schemes, he said. He said that for Hisar-Ghaggar drain, a committee would be formed with a representative from the Central Water Commission (CWC) to resolve the inter-state issues. On Mr Bansi Lals charge that the subsidy on power sector was not adequate, Mr Sampat Singh said that it was more than what Mr Bansi Lal had given and submitted the related figures also in the House. Mr Sampat Singh said the government had inherited deficits from the previous government. He also ridiculed former Finance Minister and Congress legislator Mange Ram Gupta, who had left along with his colleagues and said that Mr Gupta had also always presented deficit Budgets in the House.
Earlier, the Opposition attack on the Budget was spearheaded by Mr Mange Ram Gupta who highlighted that the taxes introduced HVP-led regime to compensate for the loss of Excise revenues were not withdrawn by the government. Mr Gupta also said that government was planning to mop up Rs 200 crore by its changed policy on the registration of transferred HUDA plots. He challenged by Town and Country Planning Minister, Mr Dhirpal Singh projected figure for stamps and registration duties were only Rs 41 crore more than the current years expected receipt. Mr O.P. Jindal, Congress member, also raised an important point as he demanded that Sales Tax Tribunals should be headed by a member of the Judiciary, instead of bureaucrats. The abolition of Municipal Committees and cess on agricultural produce were the two other issues which figured in the speeches of the Opposition legislators.
Capt Ajay Singh Yadav,
Mr J.P. Sharma, Mr Chandar Mohan, Mr Shadilal Batra and
other Congress members today participated in the
discussion on Budget. From the INLD, Mr Suraj Mal, Mr
Rampal Kundu, Mr B.S. Rawat and others spoke. Ms Anita
Yadav (Congress) and Ms Sarita Narayan (BJP), Mr Devraj
Dewan (Independent), etc, also spoke. Many members,
deviated from the agenda and spoke on issues related to
their constituencies and on other general issues.
hopeful of getting pending WB loan
HISAR, March 15 The Haryana Government has not given up hope on getting the remaining instalments of the World Bank loan for power reforms in the state. The government representative and the World Bank officials are scheduled to meet in Chandigarh by month end.
The World Bank has stopped the payment of the due instalment of Rs 1100 crore as the state government had expressed its inability to increase the power tariff on agriculture in the state.
Under the agreement signed between the Government of India and the World Bank in November 1997, the Haryana Government was supposed to get a Rs 2400 crore loan for power reforms in the state. While the then government headed by Mr Bansi Lal had accepted the terms and conditions, the present government has several objections, particularly regarding the hike in tariff for the agricultural sector.
The World Bank has so far sanctioned Rs 180 crore of the total loan and of this only Rs 120 crore have been released. The project has run into rough waters as it may not be possible for the INLD government to implement the same.
The sources said, there was only one option left with the government by paying the amount of subsidy towards the respective corporation. On the other hand, the state government will also insist on relaxing some of the conditions, particularly bringing down the rate of increase, in tariff for agriculture sector. The tariff in the agriculture sector, according to World Bank conditions has to be increased by 141 per cent in the next three days.
The sources clarified,
although it was not the obligation of the present
government as the conditions had been accepted by Mr
Bansi Lal, yet it (the government) would try its best to
ensure that the farmers interests were not harmed.
liquor to influence voters alleged
ROHTAK, March 15 There is a virtual free flew of liquor in villages in the ongoing panchayats, block samitis and zila parishads elections these days. The heavy supply of liquor has reportedly put behind all poll issues and promises of development by the candidates.
Reports from the villages indicate that a majority of the candidates are depending upon the supply of liquor to win the elections. A resident of a nearby village admitted that all four candidates contesting for the post of sarpanch had been offering liquor to every household of the village since the day they filed their nomination papers. He said each candidate had been supplying one bottle of liquor every day to several households in the village. He said when these candidates were asked about the development work they intended to do after winning the election, most of them said it would be decided after they win.
According to some of the eyewitnesses, many of the voters in the villages have been demanding only a particular brand of whisky from the candidates. They said the flow of liquor had started in the Assembly elections held recently. The situation seemed to have worsened during the panchayat elections. Activists of Arya Samaj have blamed the political parties and the failure of the authorities to check the malpractice. According to them, money and liquor were used to "buy" votes during the Assembly elections also.
The first phase of the poll for the panchayats in the district was held on March 12 while the second one is due to be held tomorrow. The elections for local bodies like municipal committees and councils will be held on April 2. The poll for the zila parishads is also being held along with the panchayats and the results are likely to be declared within 24 hours of the polling. Results of poll to the 37 gram panchayats in the district have already been declared.
by RPI over statute review
CHANDIGARH, March 15 The Haryana Assembly witnessed today first walk-out as Mr Karan Singh Dalal, lone Republican Party of India (RPI) member, walked out of the House to protest against the acting Speaker Rampal Majra's decision to not allow any discussion in the Assembly on the proposed review of the Constitution.
The issue came up in the House when a questionnaire, accompanied by a letter was circulated among the members. The letters, sent by a Bangalore-based Institute of Parliamentary Studies, wanted to know the members' views about review of the Constitution.
Mr Karan Singh Dalal promptly stood up and said that a conspiracy was being hatched to change the nature of the Constitution of the country which was drafted by the late Mr B.R. Ambedkar, Mr Dalal demanded that the issue must be discussed in the house. He was supported by the opposition members including CLP leader Bhajan Lal. Mr Dalal said that even though the subject was not listed for discussion the issue could be debated under rules 66 of the Assembly procedure.
Even as the ruling party and opposition members were engaged in heated exchanges over the issue, Mr Sampat Singh, who is also the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, said that the Assembly was not competent to discuss the review of the Constitution, Mr Sampat Singh also pointed out that the letter was sent to know individual opinions of members and not for discussing inside the Assembly. He reminded the members that the discussion in the House was supposed to be on the Budget proposals only.
KAITHAL, March 15 In a demolition drive launched by the municipal council here, portion of shops, which were constructed illegally, were demolished yesterday. Before launching the operation the police sealed the Chhatrawas road from all sides and no traffic was allowed.
The encroachments were removed on the orders of the Deputy Commissioner, Dr Mahavir Singh.
The affected shopkeepers said they were not given enough time to remove their goods and added that they were not encroaching upon government land. They further said they were paying house tax to the municipal council and their construction was not illegal. They alleged that certain shopkeepers were spared for no reason.
Besides municipal officials, the Naib Tehsildar-cum-Executive Magistrate, Mr Baru Ram, was also present.
The Executive Officer, Mr Bishnoi, said the illegally constructed shops were demolished through legal procedure.
slaughter issue rocks Haryana House
CHANDIGARH, March 15 The issue of cow slaughter figured in the Haryana Assembly today as Congress member Mr Balbir Pal Shah while participating in the discussion on the Budget proposals, said that a large number of cows were being regularly slaughtered in the Mewat region. He urged the government to take immediate steps to stop slaughtering of cows in Haryana. The government may take undertakings to this effect from the families who indulged in the act of cow slaughter, he suggested.
While reacting to his
speech, Mr Illyas Mohammed, Minister of State for
Fisheries, said people in the Mewat region were never
involved in cow slaughter. He, however, admitted that
slaughter of cows was taking place in the Mewat region,
and added that some outsiders were responsible for it. He
said after Mr Om Prakash Chautala had taken over as the
Chief Minister of Haryana, there was virtual stop in the
slaughtering of cows. Former governments, headed by the
HVP and the Congress had never done anything to stop cow
slaughter, he said. He also pulled up the Congress member
saying the Mao community was not responsible for cow
slaughter. Mr Balbir Pal Singh, however, clarified that
he did not intend to hold any particular community
responsible for it.
PANIPAT, March 15 After the arrest and interrogation of a criminal, Kala of Bawaria gang, three police teams have been sent to different places in Uttar Pradesh to nab other gang members who were involved in a robbery attempt at local St Mary Church here recently.
According to district police chief, Raghubir Singh, Kala has also confessed about the gang's involvement in attacking the priest of this church and looting of church property on January 1.
He said that as part of a search operation the police had arrested four drug traffickers and seized 48 kg of chura post from their possession. Cases under the narcotics drug prevention Act have been registered against them. Besides, the police have seized 60 bottles of illicit liquor from a Maruti car and arrested two persons Kulwant and Surjit of Faridpur in Punjab.
The Chandni Bagh police also arrested two alleged criminals when they were planning to commit a robbery at Siwah village on the GT Road last night, he said and added that one country-made pistol, 12 cartridges and a sharp-edged weapon was seized from them. The criminals have been identified as Anil and Amrish of Uttar Pradesh.
power supply resented
SONEPAT, March 15 Residents here continue to experience an acute drinking water shortage owing to erratic power supply and low voltage.
According to official sources, since the power supply is erratic, the smooth functioning of the tubewells at the Murthal waterworks, the only source of water supply to the city is being affected.
Residents living on first floors are the worst affected.
Residents have installed booster pumps directly on the main water pipe. Booster pumps, besides adding to the consumption of water, draw mud and contaminated water that causes water-borne diseases. The authorities of the Public Health Department have failed to check the unauthorised installation of booster pumps by the residents in almost all parts of the city.
Meanwhile, inquiries made by this correspondent revealed that damaged electric motors at the boosting stations had not been repaired since the past one week.
Representatives of various political parties, social and voluntary organisations and trade unions today urged the authorities concerned to take immediate steps for improving the water supply in the city.
kiosks auction held
KARNAL, March 15 The auction of both foreign and country liquor kiosks for Karnal, Kurukshetra and Panipat districts was held here today. It fetched an increased revenue to the Excise and Taxation Department.
According to official sources, the auction of kiosks for Kurukshetra district registered an increase of 16.37 per cent which was the highest in the three districts. The kiosks were auctioned for Rs 2723.46 lakhs as against Rs 2340.40 lakh last year. Panipat district registered an increase of 15.04 per cent over last year. The bid was down at Rs 3333.57 lakh as against Rs 2897.80 lakh last year.
Similarly for Karnal, the auction fetched Rs 3860.42 lakh as against Rs 3581.45 lakh last year thus experiencing an increase of 7.79 per cent over the last year.
The auction was held in the presence of Mrs Jyoti Arora and Mr Devendar Singh, Deputy Commissioners of Kurukshetra and Karnal, respectively. Mr Yudhvir Singh, Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Haryana, presided over the proceedings.
rationalises recruitment process
HISAR, March 15 The Vice-Chancellor of the CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Mr Vinay Kumar, has rationalised the recruitment process for various teaching research and extension jobs. Sources in the university said, the qualifications had been set according to the standards set by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The university is filling up various posts, lying vacant for the past few years. The recruitment process in the university had been halted for some time due to the ban imposed by the previous government on recruitments in all universities.
The teaching community has hailed the VC's decision for adopting the model qualifications set by the university's Academic Council. They said it would improve the academic and research standards in the university. The sources said, model qualifications had already been notified to ensure fair recruitment.
KAITHAL, March 15 The members of the local District Bar Association continued their strike today in protest against the proposed amendment to the CPC and the Advocates Act which, they said was against the interests of the advocates and the litigants as well.
The lawyers have been demanding action against policemen who assaulted the protesting lawyers in New Delhi. They condemned the adamant attitude of the Central Government, specially the Union Law Minister, Mr Ram Jethmalani, for its failure to initiate any dialogue with the striking lawyers to solve their problems.
Hundreds of litigants who had come to the district court here had to go back disappointed because of the lawyers strike.
restored to parents
SONEPAT, March 15 The city police today claimed to have recovered 16-year-old girl, Promila, a student of class XII who was allegedly kidnapped by Feroz Khan, alias Jaunoo, of Tharia village on the intervening night of January 28 and 29 from her house in Kailash Colony of this city.
Mr K.P. Singh SSP, said here today that the police had arrested the culprit immediately after the recovery of the girl who was handed over to her parents. Both the culprit and the girl were medically examined.
The SSP said, the girl told the police that the culprit had lured and taken her to Delhi, Ghaziabad, Dehra Dun and Roorki where she was kept in illegal confinement and repeatedly raped by him.
The arrest of the culprit followed the registration of a case by the girl's father.
SONEPAT, March 15 The Rai police has arrested three youths, Ashok of Rajpur village and Rajesh and Sunil of Bad Khalsa village, and recovered a stolen canter (HR-10/8066) from their possession.
Mr K.P. Singh, SSP, said here today that the Canter belonged to Mr Summanda of Bad Khalsa village and had been stolen on March11 night.
Referring to another
case of theft, the SSP said the Gohana police had
recovered a truck (HR 11/0489) from Rattan Garh village
which was allegedly stolen from Gohana town on March 12.
The truck belonged to Mr Om Parkash, a resident of
Chand elected Deputy Speaker
CHANDIGARH, March 15 Independent legislator Gopi Chand was today unanimously elected Deputy Speaker of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha.
Members belonging to the main opposition, the Congress, the RPI and the NCP were not present in the House at the time of the election. They earlier had walked out from the House when their demand for more time to participate in the Budget debate was not accepted by the government.
The name of Mr Gopi Chand was proposed by Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and seconded by Mr Krishan Pal Gujjar (BJP).
Mr Gopi Chand represents the Gurgaon assembly constituency in the state.
Earlier, the BJP
reportedly turned down the offer for Deputy
Bhiwani MC poll cancelled
CHANDIGARH, March 15 The municipal election to Bhiwani Municipal Council, which was scheduled to be held on April 2, has been cancelled due to defects in the wardwise electoral rolls prepared for this council as has been brought to the notice of State Election Commission by the Deputy Commissioner, Bhiwani, in his report.
Stating this here today,
the Haryana State Election Commissioner, Mr T.D. Jogpal
said, notification for preparing the wardwise electoral
rolls afresh was being issued immediately. The election
programme for holding election to this council will be
issued as soon as the electoral rolls were finalised.
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