Chandigarh Tribune
Sunday, January 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Ad hocism watchword in PGI
By P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — At the PGI — Postgraduate Institute of Medical Edcuation and Research — here ad hocism runs through the administration and academics.

The institute, set up by an act of Parliament as a centre of "excellence", though in its mid-thirties, has become a victim of man-made crisis: unionism, litigation and, more so financial. As a consequence of the stranglehold of these problems, research, training, projects and patient-care is getting gradually affected. The unattractive pay packet and perks often keep talent away; mediocrity seems to be flourishing.

The precarious situation at the PGI does not portend well for the suffering humanity, which still looks up to the institute as the last resort. All along the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has remote-controlled this institute, which today cries for care and attention. The casual approach of the ministry to the problems that beset the institute and the proposals it submits for approval can be judged from just one single factor: the PGI did not have an "institute body" for exactly one year, December 31, 1997, to December 31, 1998!

At present though, a new director in Dr S.K. Sharma, has been appointed, a formal approval of his appointment is awaited. The institute has no Dean; there are no sub-Deans either. It is widely whispered that for some years "money and not merit" has played a role in admissions. Now the system of paper-setting and examination has been changed.

So pathetic is the state of the functioning of the PGI that despite four projects having been accepted and approved "in principle" there is no money to enable the institute begin work on them. In the Ninth Plan, sources inform TNS, the institute asked for a budget of Rs 336 crore. But because of the various constraints, the allocation of Rs 200 crore was made for the following projects: 1) second phase of advanced paediatric centre; 2) advanced cardiac centre; 3) advanced eye-care centre; and 4) bone marrow transplant centre.

The powers that be, however, have shot down the PGI demand for a "trauma centre" despite the dire need for one in view of the vulnerability of the northern region to accidents and mishaps.

The work on none of the projects has started, though, two years of the Ninth Plan have elapsed. In fact for want of good, effective, responsive governance, the proposal for consolidation of the existing facilities and infrastructure has not been possible, resulting in deterioration in services and maintenance.

Although some of the PGI requirements appear elementary, the same have not been provided for. Take for instance, computerisation of the central registration office. There is no Registrar. Retrieval of data is difficult. But for clinical research data PGI has no source. Even basic research suffers for want of data and money.

The PGI does not have Internet, e-mail and computer interconnectivity services either within the institute or with the two other hospitals in Sectors 32 and 16. Now, sources say, the finance committee meeting, schedule to be held in New Delhi on February 5, is to take up this information technology facility and upgradation. The project cost for this is estimated at Rs 30 lakh. Even the library is yet to be equipped with Internet facilities. The existing "paging services" have almost been knocked out. These are non-existent.

There is also a move to "re-do" the operation theatres and equip them with the latest technology. But given the ground reality this seems to be only a distant dream.

Till the other day, the PGI had as many as 140-odd vacancies against a sanctioned faculty strength of 350, approximately. Only 90-odd vacancies could be filled. Still over a score of departments sans professors. The "required type" of professionals are simply not available or, perhaps, are unwilling to join the PGI because of poor salary structure. With a majority of the senior-level faculty retiring in quick succession by 2002 and 2003, it is time the powers that be take steps to resuscitate the PGI.

Here is an institute with 1,200 indoor patients capacity (bed strength) attending to nearly 30,000 to 40,000 patients, annually, in the emergency (now a new OPD block is nearing completion) and receiving, on an average, six to eight lakh patients per year. Yet it is slowly decaying. It is unable to cope with rush, acquire latest medicare equipment and technology.

To enable the PGI survive and sustain, it has to be run on professional lines the way private hospitals are being run elsewhere. No doubt lab/room charges and other fees have been enhanced. There is a limit as to how much the institute could generate from within to be self-financing. (To be concluded)Back


Education board flouts own guidelines
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 29 — Acting against its own guidelines to take action against the private schools which indulge in malpractices by making private candidates appear as regular candidates, the Punjab School Education Board has failed to take action against a private school at Bathinda. A son and daughter of a Punjab bureaucrat had appeared as regular candidates in the matriculation examination of the board held in March, 1999, through Dasmesh Public Senior Secondary School, Bathinda.

Though the case came to the notice of the board authorities within a few weeks after the examinations were held, no action like issuing show-cause notice and then withdrawing affiliation of the school had been taken. Investigations reveal that both the candidates, Jeevan Jyot Bhatti and Amanpreet Singh Bhatti, had filled the examination forms through two schools — MSD Senior Secondary Public School, Bathinda, and Dasmesh Public Senior Secondary School, Bathinda.

While they were enrolled as regular candidates with MSD Senior Secondary Public School, they also applied through the second school. As both the schools were duly affiliated, the staff in the board took the names of the candidates under the Principals’ signatures of the respective schools. The manipulation then escaped the eyes of the board as there was no practice to tell the names of candidates of different schools and all the work was done manually.

Sources in the board said that four roll numbers —525299, 525404, 527265 and 527275 — were issued in the name of the wards of the bureaucrat. Two of the roll numbers were issued in the name of Jeevan Jyot Bhatti and the other two were issued in the name of Amanpreet Singh Bhatti. The candidates, instead of appearing from their regular school, were got appeared from Dasmesh Public Senior Secondary School.

When the irregularity came to the notice of the board it was referred to the UMC committee and both the schools were asked to appear before the officials concerned with the relevant record. While the MSD Senior Secondary Public School produced the relevant record, the officials of the other school failed to show up several letters written to it notwithstanding.

Since then no action had been taken against the school. Sources in the board said the case required withdrawal of affiliation to the school after issuing the show-cause notice to it.

In 1998 the board had withdrawn affiliation of certain schools after it was found that at least 60 schools had made private candidates appear as regular candidates. Another 15 cases were detected last year. The board authorities had then stated that strict action would be taken against the schools which indulged in such malpractices. Back


Stinking toilets of city hospitals
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — Nauseating stench fills the nostrils as you walk past the toilets of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and the Sector 16 General Hospital. Dirty toilets, overflowing drains and choked sewerage speak volumes of the apathy of the authorities concerned.

The sanitary conditions in these hospitals are far from satisfactory even as the matter is before the court following a public interest litigation for directions to the authorities to provide basic amenities, besides maintenance of hygienic conditions. A visit to these hospitals revealed the absence of certain basic facilities and lack of proper upkeep, particularly of the toilets.

A majority of the patients in the PGI pointed out that toilets for the patients situated on each floor of the hospital buildings are in a miserable state. ''The condition is so bad that a foul smell emanating from them engulfs the wards as well as corridors, resulting in inconvenience to the employees, patients and their attendants,'' said one of them. A woman attendant, Krishna, in one of the wards said that she had to literally hold her breath to avoid nausea.

The public toilets in most of the departments, particularly the OPDs and the Emergency OPD, are in a pathetic condition. The situation is worse wherever there are English latrines, for many illiterate visitors to the hospital, who do not know how to use them, ease themselves on the floor. In a few other cases due to choked sewerage, people prefer to sit out on the floor.

A few persons who visit the medical OPDs regularly pointed out the infections they are exposed to in the wake of poor hygienic conditions.Spit, a major source of infections can be seen in the corridors, ramps and stair cases. The situation is no better in the private wards on the fourth and fifth floors as cockroaches and rats can be seen at some places.

The hospital authorities, when contacted, said that since the building was almost 38 years old, most of these public toilets had outlived their life due to heavy use. The authorities further add that huge quantities of Recumin Bait and other insecticides are regularly sprayed in all the major areas to keep away the rats. These include Nehru Hospital, ICU, CCU, operation theatres and the radio diagnosis unit. However, in the Advanced Pediatric Centre (APC) due to the fear of children eating these granules, traps are being used. However, this perennial problem can only be solved if the bathrooms are overhauled, said one of the officials.

The Sector 16 General Hospital is no different when it comes to sanitation. Though there is some improvement in the recent past, still it is far from satisfactory. Mr Padam, whose mother was recently admitted to the female surgical ward, revealed that rats in large numbers are present in the hospital and they come out mostly at night. One of the patients even complained of being bitten by a rat during her stay in the hospital and further disclosed that they even damaged the luggage and other stuff lying under the bed. The Medical Superintendent, Dr J.L. Chowdhary, when confronted with the problem, suggested that the beds of the patients may be shifted and said that medicine was being put regularly to keep them away. ''It is very disturbing when the rats run around at night and climb on the beds,'' said a patient.



Adopt WHO essential drug list: experts
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — The two-day workshop on the "Rational use of drugs", sponsored by WHO-India under the essential drug programme in collaboration with Delhi Society for Promotion of Rational Use of Drugs, began here today.

Representatives of various organisations involved in the procurement of drugs emphasised that the concept of essential drug list of WHO needs to be implemented. Drugs which cater to the need of maximum number of patients should be made easily available. They suggested that there should be uniform policy in the procurement and distribution of drugs for all hospitals from a common pool.

The aim of the workshop, being organised by the Pharmacology Department of GMCH-32, is to work out a coordinated programme where rational use of drugs and drug purchase policy could be taken up unitedly.

Prof S. K. Sharma, Director-Designate, PGI, warned against the "Pill for every ill'' culture, which is prevalent today. The Director, Health Services (DHS), Dr Joginder Singh, said that rational use of drugs is a pre-requisite for a good health delivery system.

Welcoming the guests, Prof V. K. Kak stressed on the need for the adoption of the essential drug concept to promote rational use of drugs so that their cost may come down. He further said that the essential drug list is not a curb on prescribers and also endorsed a set of ethical criteria for medicinal drug promotion, which should be based on truthful, reliable, accurate, balanced and up-to-date information.

Sharing similar views, Prof C. L. Kaul, Director, NIPER, said the maximum impact of drug usage on society's health is not so much dependent upon the availability, affordability and accessibility as on rational use of drugs at the clinical level.

Prof Usha Gupta from Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi, told about her experiences in formulating and implementing the concept of essential drug list successfully in New Delhi. Prof N. K. Goel, Head of the Department of Pharmacology, GMCH, stressed upon the need to alter the essential drug list as per the changing scenario. Prof S. K. Kulkarni from Panjab University recommended prescription auditing as a tool in implementing the concept of rational drug use. Prof Vijh, Head, department of Forensic Medicine, GMCH, conveyed the concept of Consumer Protection Act (CPA) for implementing the right drug prescribing habits.

Dr C. S. Gautam, a reader in the Pharmacology Department, covered the topic, "Rational drug usage" touching the aspects on rational drug promotion, patient education, patient compliance. Later, a team from GMCH-32 under Prof D. P. Mehta, Medical Superintendent, described at length the concept of rational procurement of drugs, distribution and storage of drugs.

The workshop is being attended by about 50 delegates from various specialities in PGIMER, Panjab University; National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research, Mohali, Sector 16 General Hospital and Command Hospital. Most of these institutions were represented by their Medical Superintendents and Joint Medical Superintendents. Back


Jerath's plea on documents
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — Former UT Chief Engineer K.K. Jerath's application seeking the supply of certain documents "relied upon by the prosecution" in First Information Report number one of 1999 will come up for orders by the UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr B.S. Bedi, on February 2.

In his application, Jerath stated that the documents were required "to meet the allegations at the stage of framing up of charges and to cross examine the prosecution witnesses."

Jerath added that even the court, "it was felt, would be seriously handicapped at the various stages of the trial for the want of these documents". He added that the documents had been referred to in the challan and the allegations had been supported by them.

The FIR, it may be recalled, was registered by the UT Vigilance Department against Jerath and six other accused. It pertained to the alleged preparation of inflated estimates for laying cable from Sector 34 to Sector 21.Back


Radical changes in Constitution will endanger democracy’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — Apprehending the possibility of a dictatorial regime commanding the country if the Constitution was tampered with, legal luminaries here believe in time-to-time amendments, but insist that radical changes in the basic structure can “endanger the democratic set-up”.

Claiming 50 years to be a short time in a nation’s history to discard the parliamentary system, constitutional experts, including former Advocate Generals and an Additional Solicitor General, assert that the presidential, or any other system, could also lead to “concentration of power” and complete “absence of accountability”.

“The Constitution was framed to serve generation after generation. Its framework cannot be dabbled with. Moreover, any politically-motivated amendment could be dangerous for the country,” they emphasise.

The debate regarding the need to review the Constitution was triggered off after the President, defending its soundness , advised in favour of “ensuring that the basic philosophy behind the Constitution and the fundamental socio-economic soul of the Constitution remain sacrosanct”.

The President was also emphatic that the recent experience of instability in the government was not sufficient reason to discard the parliamentary system in favour of presidential or any other system.

Today, giving credit to the Constitution for having preserved and strengthened democracy, senior advocate-cum-former Additional Solicitor General K.T.S. Tulsi says that “endeavour to change parliamentary philosophy could lead to authoritarianism and dictatorship”.

He adds that the lack of accountability in a presidential set-up could lead to the secure executive ignoring the “poorest in the land” as the policies would be tailored “to repay the debts of those running the election campaign”.

“Money”, Mr. Tulsi believes, “would play a bigger role as thousands of crores would be required to run a nationwide election campaign for directly electing the President or the Prime Minister. The possibility of a common man rising to the highest office would also be wiped of”.

Suggesting a solution for curing the instability in the parliamentary system, Mr Tulsi asserts that “smaller parties with less than five per cent of the national vote, and less than same percentage of state votes, should not be recognised as national and state parties”.

Agreeing with Mr Tulsi, former Haryana Advocate General Mohan Jain states that direct voting for the President as in USA was not feasible in “a multi-religious, multi-caste” country like India.

Describing democratic set up as “the best”, Mr. Jain argues, “Democracy is perhaps the only system where dissatisfied citizens can change the government after every two or three years without bloodshed”.

“Stability,” Mr Jain predicts, “would automatically follow after one or two elections as the people would make up their minds once and for all. Besides, by then there would be a two party system”.

Emphasising against “a total change in the Constitution”, former Punjab Advocate General G.K. Chatrath says that the amendments are possible “but only in accordance with the scheme of the Constitution”.

Terming the efforts to review the entire Constitution as an “exercise in futility”, he says, “the basic structure of the Constitution is secularism, democracy, federalism and Fundamental Rights. Nobody can, should, change it”. Parliament, he adds, “is supreme. The country is united so long as democracy, judicial review and secularism is there. All the talk about bringing a change is to detract the nation’s attention from important matters, including poverty and education facilities”.

Asserting that political will to implement the objectives of the Constitution, and not a complete change, is required, a professor in Panjab University’s Faculty of Law, Dr Paramjit S. Jaswal, says, “The Constitution has not failed. Those running the Constitution have”.

Citing an example, he says, in 1978 an Article was amended to provide protection to the persons arrested under the preventive detention laws but till date it has not been brought into operation.

“Yes,” says former Punjab Advocate General G.S. Grewal. “The President was partially right when he said we have failed the Constitution. What is required is no Presidential system, but specific amendments”.

Insisting that the Constitution cannot be blamed, advocate Balram K. Gupta asserts; “Constitution is a living document. It has to be interpreted keeping in view the needs of the time. There is no immediate necessity for reviewing the Constitution. The Constitution remains under review constantly . The Indian Constitution is flexible enough to adapt in the changed circumstances. There is no need what-so-ever to change the fundamentals”.

Insisting that the basic structure of the Constitution could not be altered as it was “settled law of the land”, former Haryana Advocate General Hawa Singh Hooda says: “There is hardly any scope for review as all the organs — legislature, executive and judiciary — are functioning amicably. Review is desirable only if the masses desire”. Back


NGOs asked to step up work
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — More NGOs in the city should come forward to take up development programmes for weaker sections of society, said the Mayor of Chandigarh, Ms Shanta Abhilashi, while inaugurating the Vikas Parv 2000 of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Advisory Board.

She further asked NGOs to identify and take up services, especially for the disabled, and said the board would provide financial assistance for such activities. Outlining the main objective of the parv, Ms Kamla Sharma, Chairperson of the board, said 2000 was meant for the development of marginal sections of society, particularly women, children, the aged and the disabled. Mr S K Parsad highlighted development programmes of the board and stressed the role of NGOs in bridging the gap between the government and the people. The function was attended by 60 representatives of different NGOs in the UT.Back


Snatchers strike again
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 29 — Within a span of 24 hours, snatchers again struck in Phase 3-A late last evening. This time, the scooter-borne youths snatched a gold-plated bracelet from a woman around 40 years of age. They escaped after the woman raised the alarm.

According to information, the woman, whose name could not be ascertained, was strolling near the park in front of House No. 617, Phase 3A, when the incident took place.

Though no case has been registered, the incident was confirmed by sources in the police.

Earlier, two scooter-borne youths snatched gold jewellery from two women at gunpoint in Phase 5 last night. The victims, Pushpinder and Saroj, both residents of Phase 5, were strolling on a road near the temple when the snatchers struck. The youths, who had covered their faces and were in their early twenties came on a Bajaj Chetak scooter and escaped under the cover of darkness.

Meanwhile, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr G. P. S. Bhullar, today held a meeting with the SHOs of local police stations, in charge of local police posts to review the law and order situation in the township.

According to sources, the SSP while taking serious note of the incidents of snatching had ordered patrolling in the township. At least 16 mobile parties were set up to do intensive patrolling.Back


Bid to kill Panchkula resident
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against three car-borne youths on the complaint of Mr Manoj Pal Laswas, a Panchkula resident and nephew of a former Haryana minister.

The complainant alleged that he was signalled to stop near the housing board roundabout near Mani Majra and while he was opening the door to come out of the van, B. S. Mankotia, one of the youths, sporting a lohi, shot at him with a revolver.

The bullet grazed him below his armpit. The assailants fled from the scene of the crime.

He was rushed to the Sector 16 general hospital where his condition is stated to be stable. A case under Sections 307 and 120-B, IPC, has been registered.

Forging lottery ticket: The police has arrested a resident of Jandiala on charges of forging a lottery in a bid to claim a prize of Rs 2 lakh. Sources said Mr Vinod Bhalla, Director, Punjab State Lottery, lodged a complaint that the accused had tampered with the number of the ticket to claim the prize.

A case under Sections 420, 468, 471, 511, IPC, has been registered.

Eve-teaser held: The police has arrested Dev Raj of Dera Bassi, on the charges of eve teasing from near the PGI. A case under Section 294, IPC, has been registered.

Smack seized: The police has arrested Madan Lal, a resident of Delhi, from near the Government High School, Sector 26, and seized 15 gms of smack from him. A case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

Car stolen: Mr Bal Krishan, a resident of Sector 32, reported that his car, (CH-O1K 2394), has been stolen.

A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.


Burglary: Thieves broke into a godown of electronic goods in Zirakpur and decamped with goods worth over Rs 3 lakh.

The burglars are reported to have taken away the booty in a truck. The police is yet to register a case. Back


Sohana SHO transferred
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Jan 29 — The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sohana Police Station, SI Parvinder Singh has been transferred. Inspector Balwinder Pal, has been posted in his place. The outgoing SI has been made in charge of Special branch, Ropar.

Though senior police officials could not be contacted to ascertain the reason for the shuffling, sources in the department said it had been done in connection with the death of the 25 year-old youth of Sohana, Jasbir Khan after he consumed some poisonous substance while in police custody.

Earlier, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ropar, Mr G. P. S. Bhullar, had ordered the registration of a case of negligence against Head Constable Sarabjeet Singh and Home Guard Sarwan Singh for not frisking the victim before taking him into their custody.Back


Industrial Advisory Committee recast
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — The Chandigarh Administration has reconstituted the Chandigarh Industrial Advisory Committee with the Adviser to the Administrator as its Chairman.

While the Home Secretary-cum-Secretary, Industries, would be the Deputy Chairman, the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, the Finance Secretary, the UT Chief Engineer, the UT Chief Architect, the Deputy Commissioner, the CITCO Managing Director, the Director of Industries, the Delhi Financial Corporation DGM and the Lead District Manager of the PNB would be the members.

One representative each from the PHDCCI, the CII, the Industries Association, the Federation of Small Scale Industries and Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) GM and the President of the Chandigarh Industries Association will be the other members of the committee.

Meanwhile, the Director of Industries will be the Chairman of the newly established Industry Facilitation Council. The Lead District Manager of the PNB, a representative of the SBI, Sector 17, the SIDBI GM, the President of the Industries Association of Chandigarh, the President of the Federation of the Small Scale Industries, the President of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, the President of the Chandigarh Industries Association and Standing Counsel of the Administration in the CAT will be the members.Back


Protest by LIC officers’ body
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 29 — Members of the LIC Class I Officers Association held a demonstration in support of their demands.

Mr A.S. Dhawan, Secretary of the association, said the protest was against the offers made by the management during the recently concluded negotiations with their representatives and the management. As per the second phase of agitations, officers are withdrawing the cooperation extended by them beyond office hours from February 1 to February 16.

A day-long dharna would be organised on March 3, he added. Back


Plan to create ‘dedicated fund’
From Our Correspondent

ZIRAKPUR, Jan 29 —The Punjab Government plans to create a “dedicated fund” for the benefit of aged persons in the state. The beneficiaries will not have to pay repeated visits to the departments concerned to collect their pensions. All old-age pensions will be released from this account every month.

This was stated by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister of Punjab, at the launching of “UDISHA” a training programme, in Lohgarh village near Zirakpur, here today. The programme has been launched by the Department of Social Security for Women and Child Development (DSSWCD), with assistance from the World Bank.

About 5.5 lakh old persons will benefit from the old-age pension scheme and the pensioners will now be given pension every month. The scheme has been put into force this month.

As many as 1,190 pension letters, involving about Rs 13 lakh, were given to old persons. Cheques for Rs 2.5 lakh were also distributed by the Finance Minister. About 5,022 pensioners will benefit under this scheme in Dera Bassi block.

The minister also declared that the Punjab Government would spend Rs 200 crore every year on old-age pension, Kanya Jagrit Jyoti, Maternity Benefit, Mahila Jagriti and Anganwari schemes. The minister also declared a hike of Rs 100 per month in the wages of anganwari workers. The social security officers would be re-designated to gazetted posts, he assured the audience.

The villages and colonies of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the state would be covered under the sanitation scheme by next year. Flush-toilets and other projects to maintain cleanliness would be launched for the weaker sections of society, he said.

While addressing a massive gathering, Mr Govind Singh Kanjla, Social Security and Women and Child Development Minister, said the aim of the programme was to make the downtrodden aware of the development schemes. By starting the old-age pension scheme, the BJP-Akali Government had paid respects to “aged persons”, he said.

After an enquiry, about 1.57 lakh fake pensioners had been detected. They had been drawing pension for the past couple of years. The government had thus saved Rs 45 crore per year, said Mr Kanjla. Ms Surinder Kaur Grewal, Chairperson, Punjab Raj Mahila Commission, said the anganwari scheme which was launched in 1975, had not reached the real beneficiaries even after 25 years. Female infanticide still persisted and there were 707 girls for every 1000 boys, which she said, was a shocking equation. She appreciated the government for constituting the Mahila Commission and appealed to women to oppose drugs and dowry.

Those who spoke at the function included Mr R.L. Kalsia, Director of DSSWCD, and Mr Narinder Sharma, sarpanch of Lohgarh village.

Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, Ms Romila Dubey, Secretary of DSSWCD, Mr Sher Singh Sidhu, SDM, Mr H.S. Bhullar, DSP of Dera Bassi were present.Back


Good response to ST scheme
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, Jan 29 — The Self-Assessment Scheme introduced by the Haryana Government for the sales tax payees is gaining popularity.Launched for a period of two months from January 1, 2000, to February 29, 2000, the policy is about self-assessment of sales tax by the assesses and registered dealers.

The District Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO), Mr M. P. Mittal, said that the traders and industrialists who have an annual turnover of Rs 50 lakh, are eligible for the scheme. He added that there was however, no ceiling for all those selling tax free and tax paid goods which included cement, electrical goods etc.

All 'tax-exempted units', refund claims and appeal cases will however, not be included under the scheme. The scheme would also extend to those people who have been issued notices, he said. The ETO informed that traders need only to submit their annual sale- purchase proceedings, justifying the pre-requisite limit of turnover, to be eligible for the policy.The documentation in this regard has been reduced for the benefit of customers.

Sales tax payees now will not have to fill in forms 14 and 15. Only a certificate seeking for tax exemption under the rule for self assessment is required. The acknowledgement receipt for the same will now be treated as the Assessment Order. The ETO informed that the department would scrutinise only 10 per cent of the cases being registered under the new scheme. The remaining 90 per cent would be deemed authentic without any further scrutiny.

Those payees who had earlier submitted insufficient sales tax due to some reasons or delayed it, are eligible to benefit from the scheme by adding interest at the rate of 2 per cent per month. Also, those who had delayed in filing their quarterly returns can deposit the same by paying Rs 5 a day under the Haryana Sale Tax and the Central Sales Tax (CST) Act, he said. The tax assessment for those failing to enter the scheme before the expiry of the due date on February 29, shall be assessed on a regular basis by issue of routine notices, said Mr Mittal.Back

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