|P U N J A B||
Thursday, September 16, 1999
|Panel to review financial
Chief Secy heads committee
CHANDIGARH, Sept 15 The Punjab Council of Ministers today constituted a committee under the Chief Secretary to consider proposals for "financial reforms".
Call to reject Sikh Gurdwara Act draft
PATIALA, Sept 15 Calling upon the Sikhs and the SGPC to reject the latest draft of All India Sikh Gurdwaras legislation prepared by Justice (retd) Harbans Singh.
PHRO demands action against abductors
AMRITSAR, Sept 15 The Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) has demanded action against those Punjab police personnel who were responsible for the alleged abduction and illegal confinement of Mrs Jagwant Kaur, a widow whose husband was shot dead by terrorists in 1991.
notice to Punjab on lensmans beating
for deployment of CRPF
move to curb absenteeism by doctors
workers block traffic
University to have modern theatre
on grain markets refuted
office roof collapses
|Lance Naik cremated with state honours||PSEB staff stage rally|
Panel to review financial
CHANDIGARH, Sept 15 The Punjab Council of Ministers today constituted a committee under the Chief Secretary to consider proposals for "financial reforms".
The decision of the government reflects its increasing concern over salvaging the situation and the recommendations will spotlight its perspective how it intends to raise its financial resources and strike a balance between taxation and spending.
Alongside the committee, the Chief Minister himself will head a Cabinet subcommittee which will process and implement the recommendations of the Chief Secretarys committee. This is a positive step which has come at a time when states financial management required a second hard look given the tight position, which has in the recent past forced the treasuries to be selective in clearing payments and diversion of money from development to salaries.
The administrative weaknesses of the system and political compulsions can not be lost sight of when it comes to collecting revenue for the state to enable it sustain the rotation of the wheel of development. This wheel of growth runs on the steam of finances. The growth has also to match equity; these are knotty issues intertwined with social values.
The proposed committee, therefore, will have to address itself to not only raising money for growth but also match growth with equity. Both are often described as complementary though sometimes it is argued that to an extent there is also a trade-off between the two?
Besides this balancing equation (dovetailing economic policies with equity) the committee is expected to take-off from the known factors responsible for "fiscal decline" and also from the already "suggested remedies" to put Punjab back on the economic rails, taking care of last stagnating agriculture and increasing role of small-scale industrial sector, which is the backbone of the agro-industrial economy.
The government has with it a strategy paper on fiscal management dated November, 1998. It also has with it a string of measures enunciated by the Finance Minister in his March, 1999, Budget speech. For reasons well known and officially unexplained, most of those measures were grudgingly rolled back.
The fiscal decline has been identified to: slow down on infrastructural investment; excessive dependence on the government for capital formation; heavy direct and indirect subsidies, including concealed ones; falling growth rate of tax and non-tax revenues; abolition of important local taxes; centralisation of administrative controls; and proliferation of man-power.
The "implications" of outgo of revenue at a much faster rate than inflow of revenue are well known and so are the solutions. But judging from the "mood" of the Council of Ministers and the first-hand "feedback" which the ministers obtained during the statewide Lok Sabha campaign has made the government wiser. Hence the committee under the Chief Secretary.
There is a growing reeling within the government that unless there is proper monitoring, particularly, of the schemes and money sanctioned for social sector and the same reached the intended target group nothing would be achieved. The government difficulties are understandable. One tends to empathise on that. Administrative system and political constraints cannot be wished away.
The TNS raised the issue of Punjab finances and their management with Mr Sanjeev Gupta. He is a Chandigarh born expert working as chief of the Expenditure Policy Division of the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Though on a short holiday here, he shared his concern over the way Punjab was shaping up.
Mr Gupta (he is son of a retired Punjab-cadre IAS officer, Mr J P Gupta) has made available to TNS the latest publication of the IMF "economic policy and equity", which he has edited (the other two editors are: Vito Tanzi and Ke-Young Chu). This book is the proceedings of a global conference of the same title held in June, 1998, which had taken cognisance of similar situations the worldover: lack of financial resources, not reaching target population, weak administration, legal and political obstacles.
According to Mr Gupta, the term equity is a "multidimensional" concept which goes beyond the "income distribution" and encompasses distribution of "opportunity, wealth, productive assets and consumption as well as availability of employment opportunities". Dovetailing economic policies and equity will lead to "alleviation of poverty, better social cohesion and a reduction in scope for political conflicts". All this is essential for Punjab given its troubled post and placement in a higher economic (prosperity) bracket.
Mr Gupta went a step further, saying that higher government spending in "education" and "health care" also pays off well particularly in the long-term perspective. Allocation and spendings within the two social sectors (education and health) improve access to and attainment in schools and reduce mortality rates for infants and children. This will lead to second-generation reforms.
Nevertheless what Punjab
needs is a strict monitoring mechanism and an honest
spending (corruption-free) for visible and desirable
results when it comes to raising resources and sustaining
growth. Sops to employees alone will not help.
Call to reject Sikh Gurdwara
PATIALA, Sept 15 Calling upon the Sikhs and the SGPC to reject the latest draft of All India Sikh Gurdwaras legislation prepared by Justice (retd) Harbans Singh. The Sikh intelligentsia Forum Punjabi University here feared that the draft might create disunity among the Sikh community within and outside the country.
An emergency meeting of the forum held here today in which scholars from all over the state participated decided to oppose the draft.
Prof Kulwant Singh Grewal, patron and Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon president respectively of the forum said in a press note that the new draft was contrary to the Sikh tenets and traditions and would destroy the internal cohesion of Sikh community by attempting to create as many as 10 regional state boards with the present Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee being reduced to just one of these 10 regional state boards.
The meeting also noted that the definition of the term "Sikh" had already created a split in the community and regretted that Justice Harbans Singh (retd) in his latest draft, captioned as the Sikh Gurdwaras Bill 1999 had just done a rehash of his old discarded provisions and proposals.
Way back in 1979, the Punjab government had appointed a committee headed by Justice Harbans Singh (retd) Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to prepare draft of a All-India Sikh Gurdwara legislation. The draft was submitted to the Barnala government in 1986. The draft was just a one man's show of Justice Harbans Singh (retd), who did not take into consideration the views of the other members, who as such declined to sign the draft, the press note said.
The scholars present at the meeting observed that in view of widespread criticism of the earlier draft the Barnala government rejected the same and appointed a new committee to "draft" the proposed legislation vide notification no. 498 dated August 18, 1986 with Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, president of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation as its member secretary. The new committee had prepared a draft but in the meantime the Barnala government was dismissed.
The meeting also raised a question about the authority, competence and the jurisdiction of Justice Harbans Singh (retd) to prepare and submit this draft direct to the government of India, as it was not within his domain as Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Elections, to prepare such a draft single-handedly, bypassing the authority of the SGPC as Chief Commissioner Gurdwara Election, his assignment relates only to the conduct of gurdwara election. Neither the central government nor the Punjab government nor the SGPC had given assignment to Justice Harbans Singh (retd). Worse still Justice Harbans Singh had even tried to by-pass Indian Parliament to make the Bill into an Act under a provision of the Punjab Reorganisation Act which empowers the central government to make amendments in the gurdwara legislation through an executive order in the form of notification.
JALANDHAR (PTI): Several Sikh organisations, including the World Sikh Council (WSC), today criticised the move to amend the Sikh Gurdwara Act as proposed by the Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections, terming it a direct attack on the Sikh ethos and interference in the communitys internal affairs.
"The Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections, Justice (retd) Harbans Singh, has no right to propose any amendments in the current Act and the draft notification sent to Union Home Ministry, if passed, would pave the way for interference by the centre in Sikh shrines management," WSCs regional chairman Kulbir Singh Kaura said in statement here.
The Akhand Kirtani Jatha International, a major Sikh group which shot into limelight following the decade-long militancy in Punjab, also strongly castigated the amendment move, saying removal of the disqualification bar on alcoholics from becoming voters in gurdwara elections would result in drunkards running Sikh shrines.
"The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) must summarily reject the amendments proposed by the Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections," the jatha said in a statement, adding the move had put a question mark on Justice Singhs right to propose the amendments in the first place.
Sikh Missionary College, a seminary preparing Sikh preachers and literature related to the community and its scriptures said the proposal to change the definition of the "Sikh" was fraught with dangerous consequences.
"The draft notification, if passed, would make even an apostate (patit) eligible to elect or contest elections of the SGPC, a body meant to manage the pious Sikh shrines. This will be a major blow to the community," the statement issued by the missionary college said.
The Social and Religious Panthic Watchdog Group, assailing the move, said the SGPC should set up a broad-based committee in the form of a Sikh constituent assembly which should discuss the proposed amendments on a point-wise basis and underline the lacunae instead of dismissing the issue.
LUDHIANA (FOC): A number of Sikh scholars who gathered here in the head office of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle took strong exception to certain proposed amendments in the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925 and the manner of making such amendments. Speaking on the occasion., Mr Gurcharanjit Singh, presented a paper on comparative study of Gurdwara Act, 1925 and the proposed amendments, principal Ram Singh, Chief Organiser, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle emphasised on retaining the word "patit" in the Act. Similarly the clause regarding intake of liquor by a person claiming to be a Sikh, should not be deleted, he said.
He advocated that a Panthic draft of the proposed all-India Gurdwara Act should also be prepared, Principal Surjit Singh, Principal Prem Singh, Principal Kartar Singh, Mr Sarabjeet Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Kirpal Singh Advocate, Prof Balwinderpal Singh endorsed these views in their speeches.
The meeting welcomed the
proposed amendments regarding election, term and
conditions of president as well as lowering of age of the
voters. It urged the SGPC to accept these amendments in
the best interest of the Panth. The scholars felt that no
amendment should be made only by an executive order. The
right procedure for making such amendments is that the
proposal should come only after approval from the general
house of the SGPC as per the Nehru-Tara Singh pact.
Facelifts damage legacy of art
AMRITSAR, Sept 15 This holy city, which was the hub of all kinds of artistic work during the regime of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, has failed to preserve the age-old relics and historical monuments in their original shapes, thanks to the callous attitude of all concerned. Its historical buildings, which remained a centre of attraction for students of religious studies, architects and art lovers from all over the world, either stand partially demolished or are in a bad shape.
The murals and frescoes in most of the dharamshalas and akharas, especially near the Golden Temple, have disappeared after repainting. Unmindful of the rich art work, the mahants of various akharas and dharamshalas had painted all the walls adorned with murals. Parts of the ancient building of the Brahm Buta Akhara adjoining the Golden Temple stand demolished. The new building is being freshly painted, leaving no signs of the original murals or frescoes.
Mr Sat Paul Danish, who has done a lot of work on murals, said that it was unfortunate that no trace of history was left in the Brahm Buta Akhara. Though the infighting among the mahants was partly responsible for ruining this age-old art, portions of this akhara were demolished under the galliara scheme (beautification of the surroundings of the Golden Temple).
According to renowned art critic Kanwarjit Kang, the art work which was common in 18th century Punjab became a popular mode of embellishment in the first quarter of the 19th century.
Dr Sheharyar, an eminent Punjabi poet and art critic, says that while Maharaja Ranjit Singh repaired the principal buildings of the golden temple and gave all sorts of help for the construction of the buildings adjoining Harmandir Sahib, it is the duty of the present state government to preserve the entire art work. "If the present government wants to provide rule on the pattern of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, it must preserve the art work of his regime".
No effort is being made to save the surviving wall paintings. The remnants of wall paintings in the samadhi of Baba Bala Nand are decaying. The huge three-storeyed building was constructed in 1888 AD by Mahant Bhishambar. All the murals of Akhara Beri Wala near Guru Ram Dass Serai have been destroyed. While the old murals were badly repainted, portions of the akhara have also been demolished. The ancient Bohar tree outside the Brahm Buta Akhara has also been uprooted.
Mr Sat Paul Danish is also critical of the facelift being given to two Ramgarhia bungas in the Golden Temple complex. These bungas were constructed by Sikh warrior Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia in 1753 AD. After his death in 1803, his son, Sardar Jodh Singh, got it completed.
However, Mr Harjit Singh, General Secretary of the Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia Federation, claims that the facelift has been given in accordance with the drawings available in the Sikhajaibghar of Darbar Sahib.
"Every effort was made to preserve the old design," he claims. However, he admits that while one bunga was given a facelift by the federation, then SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra had stopped the facelift being given to the other bunga following complaints by Sikh devotees. After all verification, the facelift work was again resumed by Mr Tohra.
He further claimed that the SGPC had assigned the task to the Ramgarhia federation on October 2, 1996, on the basis of its unanimous resolution (number 831) passed on August 16, 1995.
PHRO demands action against abductors
AMRITSAR, Sept 15 (UNI) The Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) has demanded action against those Punjab police personnel who were responsible for the alleged abduction and illegal confinement of Mrs Jagwant Kaur, a widow whose husband was shot dead by terrorists in 1991.
In a complaint addressed to Inspector-General of Police J.P. Birdi and circulated amongst newsmen here today, the PHRO vice-chairman Kirpal Singh Randhawa claimed that Jagwant Kaur, a resident of Suhakarpura village was abducted by a five-member Punjab police party at the behest of a police informer from Cinema Road in Batala on September 9.
The police informer, who was identified as Kaka, was also a member of the abduction party, Mr Randhawa claimed.
Mrs Jagwant Kaur, who was also present at the press briefing, alleged that the motive behind the abduction was to sexually assault her.
In her affidavit she had stated that Kaka had been harassing her and making advances towards her for the last one year and it was at his behest that she was abducted.
Mrs Jagwant Kaur, a peon at Government High School in Hardo Jhande village, near Batala, alleged that on September 9 when she was returning home she was bundled into a Maruti car by Kaka and the policemen in the car tried to molest her but she resisted.
After failing in their mission, Kaka and the cops dumped her at the Batala city police station where an aged Sub Inspector came to her rescue and prevented any further harassment.
After spending the night at the police station a false case under Section 109 of the Cr. P.C. was registered against her and she was produced before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, who released her on bail.
murder of 2 sisters
JALANDHAR, Sept 15 The local police here has solved the murder of two sisters in Alichak village by their relations and said it was an attempt to cover up to show the deaths as a accidental.
The incident occurred on last Sunday when two sisters Mandip Kaur (18) and Kuldip Kaur (17) died due to electrocution from exposed wiring in their house in Alichak village.
Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, said here today that the mother of the deceased Usha Rani wife of Gian Chand who was not present in the house on the fateful night as she was lured away on the pretext of meeting a relation in Sarinh village near Nakodar by her other relations. She expressed apprehension that her husbands brother Nachhattar Alias Pappu, her mother-in-law Naseeb Kaur and other relations were behind the double murder. He said it was found that the six persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy to murder two girls due to their alleged bad character and that they were allegedly bringing a bad name to the family.
In 1998 a case under Sections 363/366/376 of the IPC was registered with sadar police station against certain persons for allegedly abducting and raping these two girls and the accused persons were arrested and are now in jail. After this event the family members had become highly critical of two girls and had accused them of eloping with two boys and thus bringing a bad name to the family. They entered into a criminal conspiracy and decided to kill the girls in order to teach them a lesson. To cover up the murders, they cleverly decided to use the subterfuge of deaths due to electrocution and the police was supposed to be fooled by the way the bodies were arranged with electric wires dangling around them.
On September 11 Usha Rani and her younger daughter were taken away by Sikander to Sarinh village to the house of a relation where wife of Nachhattar alias Pappu was staying. And after her departure Naseeb Kaur and Paramjit Pamma remained in the house along with two girls. Later Nachhattar and Malkiat came to the house in a Maruti van and were later joined by Sikander who came back from Sarinh village. All these persons killed the two girls during night by strangling them and then used electrical wires to make the death appear like an accident due to electrocution. In the morning of September 12 Usha Rani was informed telephonically by Paramjit that his daughters had died due to electrocution.
HC notice to Punjab on
CHANDIGARH, Sept 15 The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the Punjab Government for September 22 on a writ petition preferred by Mr Ajay Verma and Dr Prem Singh, press photographer and Editor of Desh Sewak newspaper, published from Chandigarh, praying for directing the Punjab Government to register a case against the Union Minister of State for Industries, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and certain others for allegedly roughing up Mr Verma and snatching his camera.
This order was handed down by Mr Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi before whom the petition came up for hearing.
The others against whom the case is sought to be registered are Mr Jagdish Singh Walia, Markfed chairman, and Mr Raj Kumar Bansal, a BJP leader of Kotkapura in Faridkot district, apart from the SSP of Faridkot, Mr A.S. Rai, and Mr Balbir Singh Khehra, SP (Headquarters), Faridkot.
In their petition Mr Verma and Dr Prem Singh stated that the former was deputed to cover the poll for the Faridkot parliamentary seat held on September 5. At 11.30 am Mr Verma was taking photographs of a car damaged in violence near the Jaito octroi post at Kotkapura. Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is contesting the election from the Faridkot parliamentary constituency as the SAD candidate, reached there in a Tata Sumo vehicle. He was accompanied by Mr Bansal, Mr Walia and others.
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal came out of his vehicle and started giving instructions to Mr Walia and Mr Khera. When Mr Verma started taking photographs of Mr Badal giving instructions, Mr Badal got panicky and shouted at him asking him not to take snaps. But as Mr Verma continued clicking. Mr Sukhbir Singh slapped him and snatched his camera. Mr Walia and Mr Bansal then started beating him. He was rescued by Gurupdesh Bhullar and Mr Phool Mittal, two correspondents who had come with the petitioner. Mr Khera, who stood nearby, however, refused to take any action.
In his petition Mr Verma claimed that he, along with other persons, went to Kotkapura police station and asked the SHO to register a case against the accused persons. He tried to submit written account of the incident, however, the policemen refused to take any action. Nor were they inclined to receive the written complaint.
The petition stated that journalists reached the police station, held a demonstration, raised slogans against the Punjab Police and Mr Sukhbir Singh. It was with a great difficulty that the police received the complaint for the registration of the case. However, the case was not registered.
In the meantime several other officers, including Mr Mohamad Mustafa, DIG and Mr Jagpal Singh Sandhu, Revenue Commissioner, Ferozepore division, also reached the spot. To begin with, the SSP agreed to register a case. However, he changed his mind after Mr Mustafa whispered something into his ear.
Mr Verma stated that a Chandigarh-based journalists association condemned the incident and requested the Punjab Government to take necessary action. He also claimed that attempts were made to return his camera unofficially. However, he refused to accept it. On the contrary, he insisted that a case be registered against all the accused persons and the camera be made case property.
He said all his efforts
to get the case registered failed. Therefore, he
approached the High Court for issuing the necessary
directions for ordering the Punjab Government to register
a criminal case against all accused persons.
DCC for deployment of CRPF
FEROZEPORE, Sept 15 The Ferozepore District Congress Committee (DCC), expressing distrust in the local civil and police administration, has demanded deployment of the CRPF in place of the Punjab Police for the security of the ballot boxes and also at the time of counting of votes in the Ferozepore parliamentary constituency.
The DCC president, Maj (retd) Harminder Singh Bhullar apprehended unfairness in counting too and to avoid this demanded posting of outside staff for the counting of votes in the Ferozepore district. He alleged that election to the local parliamentary constituency was not held in free and fair manner.
Maj Bhullar regretted that none of the accused responsible for the attack on the Congress workers on the day of polling had been arrested so far. On the other hand, the police had arrested Congress men in false criminal cases registered against them, he alleged and added, the PPCC president, Capt Amarinder Singh was aware of these things.
The DCC president said that on a request from certain senior Congress leaders, the local SSP had ordered an inquiry into the cases registered against certain Congress men and in case "justice" was not done to Congress men in the inquiries, the DCC would be forced to launch a peaceful agitation.
Regarding factionalism among Congress men in the district, Maj Bhullar said that he would try his best to end groupism in the DCC, which would be reorganised within a month or so and "real" Congress men belonging to every faction would be given suitable posts in the reorganised set up of the party.
To a question he admitted that the party's base at grassroots level was not strong. If the party had a strong base and strength in the district, none could dare to implicate Congress men in alleged false cases as had been done now, he added.
Punjab move to curb absenteeism
CHANDIGARH, Sept 15 The Punjab Council of Ministers today expressed concern over the complaint of prevailing tendency of absenteeism among doctors and paramedical staff of the Health and Animal Husbandry departments in the rural areas.
It decided that the panchayat of the village concerned will henceforth, be empowered with the authority to pass a monthly resolution, certifying "regularity and punctuality" of doctors and paramedical staff posted at the village. A register would be maintained by every panchayat for recording attendance and adherence to duty hours by doctors and paramedical staff and the register would be regularly scrutinised by the civil surgeons and deputy directors of animal husbandry for taking follow-up action.
The cabinet ordered stern disciplinary action against those who failed to provide essential services to the people, especially in the rural areas.
The council also decided to post doctors at all the focal points in due course of time.
A sub-committee of the Cabinet was constituted to formalise a policy governing postings and transfers of the employees on the principle of "fairness, transparency, efficiency and public interest".
The Council also
appointed a committee under Mr R.S. Mann, Chief
Secretary, to consider various proposals of financial
reforms in the state. The recommendations of the
committee will be placed before a Cabinet sub-committee
under the chairmanship of Mr Parkash Singh Badal for
taking a final decision on implementation.
Cong workers block traffic
AMRITSAR, Sept 15 Congress activists led by Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, President of the District Congress Committee (Urban), today blocked traffic for more than two hours in protest against the alleged move of the district police to book some party leaders in false cases.
Those who participated in the protest rallies, dharna and procession included Mr R.L. Bhatia, a senior Congress leader and former state Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Raj Kumar, General Secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Ashwani Sikri, a former MLA from Batala, Mr Inderjit Sharma and Mr Ravinder Bularia. The Congress leaders carried placards and banners against a private hospital management, the Punjab Government and the police for 'harassing' Congress leaders and workers.
Mr Sharma said that the Congress would resort to drastic steps if the police and district administration failed to step the "harassment" of Congress workers within 48 hours.
He demanded that a
worker of the BJP, who was admitted to a private hospital
after an alleged clash with Congress activists, should be
shifted to a government hospital and a board of doctors
should submit a report on the issue. The Congress would
not allow the district police to register
"false" cases against its activists, he added.
Punjabi University to have
PATIALA, Sept 15 The arts auditorium of Punjabi University here will soon be converted into a modern theatre to stage plays and dramas.
This was announced by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, at the theatre hall of the Theatre and Television Department of the university after the staging of 'Warris', a popular production of the department which has already run more than 500 shows.
Dr Gurcharan Singh, Head of the Drama Department, said with this announcement a long-pending demand of the department had been met.
Earlier, students and members of the drama repertory of the department staged a gripping performance of 'Warris' written by the late dramatist Sant Singh Sekhon and directed by Dr Gurcharan.
The play presents the lesser-known aspects of the life of poet Sayeed Warris Shah (immortalised for his composition 'Heer') against the backdrop of the 18th century Punjab when the tyrant Ahmed Shah Abdali used to attack and loot the masses and the constant battles between the Sikhs and Muslims for supremacy in the region after Abdali goes back to Kabul.
The Vice-Chancellor also
announced that the monthly stipends of the repertory
members would be enhanced. He said he would make
arrangements that the play is staged in Delhi and at
Anandpur Sahib in April next year during the concluding
ceremony of the Khalsa tercentenary celebrations.
Claims on grain markets refuted
RAMPURAPHUL, Sept 15 Mr Jaswant Ballo, president, Kacha Arhtia Association, yesterday said the Punjab Government and its agencies had not made proper arrangements in the grain markets of the state.
In a press note issued here he said though the paddy had started arriving in the markets, the markets lacked proper arrangements of drinking water and urinals.
He pointed out that Punjab Mandi Board authorities had asked the commission agents to arrange fans and tarpaulin covers for the paddy crop which was not justified. He added that the Punjab Mandi Board which took 4 per cent market fee on the sale of paddy and other crops should make arrangements for all these items.
He pointed out that tall claims of officials regarding arrangements in grain markets were not correct.
He demanded that all procurement agencies should ensure the timely payment and lifting of paddy. The agencies should be held responsible for the damage due to rains not the concerned commission agent through whom it was procured.
He added that the Punjab
Government should hold meetings of farmers, commission
agents and officials of procurement agencies jointly so
that many problems which were of minor nature could be
solved on the spot.
Treasury office roof collapses
BATALA, Sept 15 A part of the roof of the Treasury office here collapsed this morning.
Mr Sudama Bhagat, Treasury Officer, said that this building had been constructed in 1974 by the PWD (Band R). He further said that he had phoned the Executive Engineer, PWD (B and R), at Gurdaspur to inform him about the roof collapse. However, only the Office Superintendent, Mr Dhirat Ram, had met him and not the Executive Officer, Xen, PWD (B and R).
Lance Naik cremated with state
TARN TARAN, Sept 15 L Nk Balwinder Singh, who sacrificed his life in Kargil sector, was cremated today at his native village of Malmohri with full state honours.
Mr Parag Jain, SSP, Tarn
Taran, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, Mr
Gurinderpal Singh Sahota, SDM of Tarn Taran, and civil
and military officers laid wreaths on the body. The
funeral pyre was lit by Mr Mangal Singh, father of the
staff stage rally
PATIALA, Sept 15 A rally-cum-dharna was staged in front of the PSEB head office at The Mall here by a power employees front constituted by the coming together of several employees organisations of the board.
The dharna was staged in protest against the non-acceptance of the long-pending demands of the employees and to urge the Punjab Government and the PSEB management not to follow policies detrimental to the health of the board that were leading to huge financial losses.
Mr Daljit Singh,
secretary of the front, and Mr Jarnail Singh Dhindsa,
chief organiser, said in a press statement later that the
dharna also demanded immediate implementation of dearness
allowance on the Central Government pattern, shift and
risk allowance for the employees, bonus according to the
new pay scales, a jump of three increments to all the
board employees as given to the engineers, regularisation
of all the work-charged drivers and 8 per cent quota for
the children of the board employees for recruitment in
the board. Several speakers addressing the rally also
criticised the anti-employees policies of the state
government and called for removal of ban on recruitment.
yatra on Nov 17
LUDHIANA, Sept 15
The last Jagannath Raht yatra will be held here on
November 17. This information was given by Mr Rajeev
Duggal, General Secretary of ISKCON, Kurukshetra, and
Bhagwan Jagannath Rath Yatra Mahotsava Committee,
Ludhiana. He also said the Hare Krishna Utsav would be
celebrated on November 18.
LUDHIANA, Sept 15 The Health Department has launched a new campaign to popularise the non-scalpel vasectomy (NSV) method.
In a joint statement issued to the press here yesterday, Dr Rajinder Kaur, Civil Surgeon and Dr J.S. Bhullar, District Family Welfare Officer, said this was a safe method and a convenient alternative to tubectomy.
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