|Wednesday, May 10, 2000,
resents LAD tax
mafia active in Haryana
seeks steps to check drought-like situation
the scourge of hepatitis B
authorities in a fix
SOS to government
hurt in shooting incident
|Haryana scraps JBT test
1.5 lakh applicants left high and dry
CHANDIGARH, May 9 About 1.5 lakh applicants who took the test for admission to the JBT course in Haryana have been left high and dry with the state government scrapping the test.
Humane approach to prisoners
Samata merges with SJP
promoted as DSP
parishad poll results
provides fodder to Rajasthan
file papers for Rori seat
Industry resents LAD tax
HISAR, May 9 Octroi is back in Haryana in its new incarnation as the local area development (LAD) tax which will be levied on all goods entering the state from May 5 onwards at the rate of 4 per cent of the value of goods. The new tax is expected to put an additional burden on the industry and the consumers.
The tax has been imposed through an ordinance issued on May 5. The revenue generated through this tax is proposed to be used for the development of the local areas which are under the jurisdiction of the local bodies such as municipal corporations, municipal committees, cantonment boards and zila parishads.
Traders will not be covered by the ordinance. Besides the information technology industry units exempted under section 13 and 13 (B) of the Haryana General Sales Tax Act, 1973, will also not be covered by the ordinance. Industrial units exporting 75 per cent or more of their produce in a year have also been exempted from tax.
The new tax has sent the industry in the state in a tizzy. Though highly placed sources in the government claimed that the new tax will generate Rs 100 crore a year, industry sources said the tax will mean an additional burden of anything between Rs 500 to 600 crore a year on them. They point out that one of the biggest producers of stainless steel based here alone will have to pay an additional Rs 100 crore a year by way of LAD tax.
They point out that on an average total sales tax collections in Haryana, including the excise were to the tune of Rs 1,800 crore a year. The average sales tax rate is 4 per cent the same as the new one. Thus after deducting excise and sales tax generated through traders, the new tax will mean an additional burden. They said this would make the entire industry in the state unviable.
The ordinance says that to avoid a cascading effect of the tax on the industry, the government is considering to allow reduction in tax payable or paid in the state under the Haryana General Sales Tax Act or Central Sales Tax on goods manufactured from the new material imported in the states and sold in Haryana. Even if this were to be done at a later stage, it will mean almost no relief to the major industries since their sales are mostly outside the state.
However, the new tax will mean the prices of all goods manufactured in Haryana will go up by a minimum four per cent. Some of the consumer goods likely to be affected are Maruti vehicles, Hero Honda and Escorts Yamaha two-wheelers, Kelvinator refrigerators, air conditioners and vanaspati ghee and refined edible oils.
There has been a strong reaction against the imposition of the new tax in business circles. The total realisation of revenue from octroi at the time of its abolition in November, last year, stood at around Rs 65 crore. The new system of assessing house tax introduced recently will yield more than double the amount as revenue. They, therefore, do not see any logic in the introduction of the new octroi in the form of LAD tax.
The ordinance does not
make it clear whether the revenue earned from the
jurisdiction of a particular local body will be allocated
to that body itself. If this is not done, the allocation
will be left to the state government which will in effect
mean dilution of the local bodies themselves.
Land mafia active
CHANDIGARH, May 9 A former Haryana minister and RPI MLA from Palwal, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, alleged here today that after Mr Om Prakash Chautala became the Chief Minister the land mafia had become active in the state.
Talking to newsmen Mr Dalal said now a land mafia, which enjoyed the patronage of the ruling party, had grabbed a valuable piece of land belonging to the controversial Dhirendra Brahmachari. The land, measuring about 5.37 acre, was situated in the middle of South City, one of the posh areas of Gurgaon.
Mr Dalal alleged that on the basis of the false memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between a resort company and Mr Murli Chaudhary and Mr Nand Kishore Chaudhary, nephews of the late Brahmachari, the company had occupied the land and had started constructing a boundary wall around it. Interestingly, he said, while the ownership of the land was vested in the Brahmachari, its 90-year lease was with the former Union Law Minister, Mr Hans Raj Bhardwaj.
Under the MoU, the Brahmacharis entire property comprising a house in Friends Colony, Delhi, Shiva Gun Factory, Jammu, Dhirendra Yoga Publications, Aparna Studio and Air Aparna had been sold by the Chaudhary brothers to the resort company for Rs 2 crore and an advance of only Rs 10,000 had been paid to the two brothers. Mr Dalal said as per the trade practices, 10 per cent of the sale price was paid as earnest money.
By paying only Rs 10,000 the company was now claiming to have the possession of the land. It had also gone to the court seeking permanent injunction against the Chaudhary brothers, who had repudiated the MoU in the court by saying it was never signed by them.
Mr Dalal said out of fear of the powers-that-be, not even Mr Bhardwaj was eager to defend the property. Even the advocate of the Chaudhary brothers had been threatened. The district administration and the police had not registered any case despite a written request by the Chaudhary brothers.
Giving other instances of the activities of the land mafias, Mr Dalal reiterated that a valuable piece of land in Sector 13, Gurgaon, would be released from the acquisition proceedings by HUDA soon because the family of the Chief Minister, he alleged, had already entered into an agreement to sell the land with the owners of the land. Another 5,000 sq yard had been forcibly purchased by the first family of the state near the Jansandesh office in Gurgaon.
Meanwhile, the Additional Political Adviser to the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Dharambir Singh, has termed Mr Dalals allegations as totally false and baseless.
MP seeks steps to check
SONEPAT, May 9 Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, a BJP MP, today expressed grave concern over drought-like conditions in at least 10 districts of Haryana Mohindragarh, Rewari, Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Jhajjar, Rohtak, Sonepat, Faridabad and Hisar and urged the Union Government to send a team of officials for assessing the losses suffered by farmers.
Talking to mediapersons here, he also demanded immediate steps to combat the drought conditions and overcome problems of power and water facing the farmers and other people. He warned that if the Union Government failed to take any steps, the farmers would be ruined.
Referring to the on-going dispute between Haryana and Punjab on the issue of SYL canal and river waters, Mr Sangwan demanded immediate intervention of the Centre for resolving this dispute. He pointed out that a 121-km-long portion of this canal in Haryana had already been completed and only 6 km portion in the Punjab territory had been left incomplete.
He urged the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to take initiative and solve this dispute on the Cauvery pattern.
The BJP leader also said that there had been an acute scarcity of power and water in the rural areas and all the ponds and tanks had dried up.
He urged the state government to take serious note of the problem and take immediate and effective steps to ensure regular supply of power and water to the people.
On the other hand, reacting sharply to the statement of Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, the Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Mr Satbir Singh Kadyan, claimed here that there had been no shortage of power and water in villages and that the state government was taking all steps to fill ponds and tanks with canal water to meet the requirements of the people.
Speaking at a function here, he also claimed that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, was already in touch with the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to end the stalemate about the issues of river waters and construction of SYL canal in the Punjab territory.
ROHTAK, May 9 A former Town and Country Planning Minister Mr Seth Sri Kishan Dass and a former Deputy Commissioner of Rohtak were again called by the vigilance officials to their office today for interrogation in connection into the corruption case registered against them.
Mr R.K. Garg, the then Executive Engineer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) who had also been booked also deposed before the vigilance officials for first time here today.
It is reported that the interrogation which started in the morning will continue for about three days. The former minister was earlier been grilled by the vigilance officials for about two days on May 6 and May 7.
Mr Seth Sri Kishan Dass, Mr Anil Kumar, a former Deputy Commissioner of Rohtak and Mr Garg have been charged with spending about Rs 11.40 crore on laying and repairing of roads in Rohtak out of the total amount of Rs. 13.35 crore allocated to HUDA for the repair of roads in Hisar, Bhiwani, Panipat, Rohtak and Sirsa districts after floods in 1995. It is alleged that the former minister connived with the two officials to increase the Budget and spent most of the funds in Rohtak town alone.
Fighting the scourge of hepatitis
FATEHABAD: The Rotary Club here has resolved to make Fatehabad free from the dangers of Hepatitis B considered even move dangerous than AIDS.
The club has been organising camps in which vaccination against Hepatitis B is given to hundreds of people.
The club President, Mr Vikas Bansal , has set up a team who have offered their services for the camps. Mr Brij Bhushan Midha and Dr P.L. Jindal were made project chairmen of this project, which started on February 13. As many as 604 persons were vaccinated at the first camp on that day. The second camp was organised on March 12 to administer the second dose to those who had earlier been vaccinated. Besides, the first dose of the vaccination was also given to 978 persons.
Another camp for the second dose was organised on April 16, where as many as 555 persons came to get themselves vaccinated.
The third and final dose will be administered on two days August 13 and September 10.
While Rotarians like Mr Ramesh Kathpal, Mr Raj Kumar Chugh, Mr R.K. Kaushik, Mr Jagdish Chander Sharma and Mr B.S. Nain have been offering their services for the registration of those who visit the camps, many doctors like Dr Pawan Dhuria and Dr Gulshan Madan have been administering the vaccine to participants.
Talking to this reporter, Dr P.L. Jindal, co-Chairman of this project, said Hepatitis B was emerging as the deadliest disease the world over. The disease has no symptom, but if not treated in time could lead to liver failure. Such patients fall into a come and ultimately die.
He said Hepatitis B was
a viral disease and was 100 times more infectious than
AIDS. The gravity of the disease could be gauged from the
fact that the number of patients who die from Hepatitis B
in a single day is equal to the fatalities from AIDS in a
full year. He said every 20th person in the country was a
Hepatitis B carrier. The disease was the second biggest
cause of liver cancer after tobacco. Once infected,
patients could hardly be cured. Vaccination was the only
Hospital authorities in a fix
AMBALA, May 9 The Civil Hospital authorities of Ambala city are in a fix as to where to accommodate a UP labourer who was admitted to this hospital a few days back following injuries he received in a mishap. He later lost his mental balance.
According to information, the labourer, Shambhu (30), a resident of Madhopur (UP), sustained serious injuries on his left hand in a mishap at Ambala cantonment railway station a few days back. Except the thumb all the four fingers of his left hand were smashed in the accident. It could not be ascertained how the labourer managed to reach Ambala all alone from UP.
The railway police got him admitted to the Ambala cantonment Civil Hospital on April 24. From there he was shifted to Ambala city Civil Hospital on April 28. He, however, recovered enough consciousness to disclose his native address of Madhopur to the hospital staff.
The hospital authorities have informed his relatives but none has turned up so far. Thinking that the address told by Shambu may not be correct, the hospital authorities approached the local police twice to help to inform his relatives through their wireless network so that he could be handed over to his relatives. The hospital staff feel that the police have not taken the matter seriously.
According to sources, the staff of the surgical ward where Shambu is admitted are fed up of his actions as sometimes he takes off his clothes and under garments and sometimes passes his stool and urine on the hospital bed.
It is learnt that the
staff of the ward has requested the Principal Medical
Officer to shift the patient some where else. Rather it
would be better to shift him to any mental hospital since
the Ambala Civil Hospital does not have the proper indoor
facility for a psycho patient. The PMO has also asked the
Civil Surgeon to advice him in this regard. Some of the
doctors were of the view that Shambu should have been
shifted to the Amritsar mental hospital.
MDUs SOS to government
ROHTAK, May 9 The financial position of Maharshi Dayanand University has worsened to the extent that it has gone to the government for help.
The executive council of the university, which met in Chandigarh yesterday, has urged the government to release a monthly grant of al least Rs 2.20 crore till August so that it could pay salaries to its teaching and non-teaching employees and meet other contingency expenses.
The university hopes to meet the expenses from August onwards from its internal sources. It proposes to earn Rs 800 crore from its Directorate of Distance Education and another Rs 916.05 crore from internal receipts, an increase of Rs 195 crore over last years income.
The agenda prepared for discussion at the meeting presented a very gloomy picture about the universitys finances. The university, it said, had to repeatedly raise loans against the provident and pension funds of its employees for paying salaries.
The university, the note said, had failed to pay Rs 18.29 lakh as remuneration of examination work to teachers for 1999-2000, as a result the teachers were reluctant in performing duties related to the current annual examinations. Some teachers have refused to evaluate answerbooks of the annual examination for want of remuneration, the agenda said.
The note added that the results of the annual undergraduate and postgraduate examinations would be delayed and the admission schedule notified by the university would be disturbed.
The ongoing development work at the university has been held up for want of funds and it has to suffer heavy arbitration losses.
Because of shortage of funds, the university has not been able to purchase the equipment necessary for various laboratories thereby adversely affecting the studies of the students.
The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is also facing the threat of derecognition from the AICTE as the university has failed to provide separate building and laboratory. The AICTE has so far accorded temporary approval for want of the above facilities. The department has been accommodated in the building of the Mathematics Department.
The university is
dependent to a large extent on the grant-in-aid from the
state government, as its most important source of
generating revenue. The B.Ed correspondence course has
almost dried up following imposition of restrictions by
the UGC and the NCTE.
5 hurt in shooting incident
AMBALA, May 9 Five persons were injured seriously in a shooting incident at Naraingarh, 40 km from here, yesterday.
According to a police report, a function was being organised on the campus of a sugar mill at Naraingarh by the staff of the mill. People from a nearby village were also watching function standing near the boundary wall of the mill. Members of the staff on duty objected to this and asked them to go away.
When women of the staff members tried to push them away some of the villagers started throwing stones at them. Meanwhile, some one from inside the mill premises fired at the villagers injuring five. Two of them were stated to be serious.
The Superintendent of Police, Mr Navdeep Singh Virk, said a case had been registered against the mill authorities. On the other hand the mill authorities demanded the registration of a case against those who initially threw stones at the staff members.
Haryana scraps JBT test
CHANDIGARH, May 9 About 1.5 lakh applicants who took the test for admission to the JBT course in Haryana have been left high and dry with the state government scrapping the test.
About 4,000 seats of JBT teachers, as a result of the scrapping of the test, have gone waste for the academic year, 1999-2000, which has been declared the zero year by the state Education Department.
Why the extreme step? While the government claims that certain malpractices were detected, its critics say the test was scrapped because the ruling partys favourites could not be accommodated in the objective-type test.
The State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT), Gurgaon, has been conducting the common entrance test for the JBT and allied courses offered by various private and government institutions in the state since 1994. It has been following the same method as it adopted this year.
The test for 1999-2000 was scheduled in August last. But in view of the Lok Sabha elections, the test was postponed. It was further delayed because the government relaxed the minimum qualifying percentage, from 50 per cent to 40 per cent, for the Scheduled Castes candidates.
Ultimately, it could be held in December last. The result was tabulated with the help of computers within a week of conducting the test. But suddenly the Director of SCERT, Mrs S. Sandhir, who had been conducting the test since 1994, was abruptly transferred to Chandigarh in the last week of December. Instructions were issued that the result should not be declared.
The RPI MLA from Palwal, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, alleged here today that the ruling party wanted to accommodate about 1,500 of its favourites in the JBT admission. Since they could not be accommodated in view of the objective-type examination paper, the powers-that-be cancelled the examination.
Since the result had already been tabulated, the government was afraid that if it made changes in the result after the transfer of the Director, somebody might make the original result public. Therefore, Mr Dalal alleged, the government cancelled the test, wasting full one academic year even though the state was facing an acute shortage of JBT teachers.
The Commissioner, Education, Mr Prem Prashant, said an inquiry was conducted and certain irregularities, like eraser marks, were detected, which vitiated the examination system. Also it was found that those who scored just 45 per cent marks in their matriculation examination, were able to secure top positions in the JBT admission test.
In view of the irregularities, the government decided to cancel the test.
Humane approach to prisoners
GURGAON, May 9 The authorities in the Judiciary, the police and the jail here are contemplating adopting a joint approach for expeditious trial of undertrials and convicts, especially those charged with less heinous crimes.
According to observers, if this line of thinking becomes part of policy and is implemented, it would have wide ramifications on jails in other districts as well.
The Superintendent of Police, Gurgaon, Mr Shatroojit Singh Kapoor told TNS that the issue had come up for discussion at some monthly meetings of the Coordination Committee (CC). The District and Sessions judge is the chairperson of the CC. Besides the Deputy Commissioner, the police chief and the jail superintendent, the meetings are attended by the District Attorney (Prosecution) and the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Mr Kapoor confirmed that the police had initiated case studies of jail inmates to ascertain the gravity of their offences for adoption of a liberal approach for purpose of grant of bail to them as well as their speedy trial. The police has already contacted the jail authorities for the purpose.
He gave broad indications that those charged with minor offences and who were in the jail for more than two years, would be treated liberally.
Undertrials accused of heinous crimes like murder, but when circumstantial evidence proved that they were not notorious or habitual criminals would also be shortlisted for special treatment.
Inquiries reveal that there are about 630 undertrials and convicts in the jail. A quick survey suggest that there are about 150 undertrials who could fit the bill for liberal treatment.
The philosophy behind the proposed leniency is rooted in the policy of ensuring that the Fundamental Right to Life and liberty of a person as laid down in Article 21 of the Constitution is protected. Because of the large number of inmates, the jail has become overcrowded with inmates allegedly deprived of even basic conveniences in violation of Article 21.
An expert on Jurisprudence said the development was in conformity with the modern approach where the shift was from deterrent/retributive to reformative aspect in crime administration.
According to sources, the police which had earlier been opposing the move, is now openly supportive. Earlier, it was for prolonged detention as it felt that detention of possible law breakers would reduce pressure on it in the field.
Haryana Samata merges with SJP
ROHTAK, May 9 The state unit of the Samata Party was today merged with the Samajwadi Janata Party.
Announcing this at a press conference here today Mr Dhan Singh, president, state unit of the Samata Party, said a resolution in this regard was unanimously passed at a state executive meeting on April 16. The resolution was approved at a meeting of the state council yesterday.
He said the move regarding the merger led by its national president Chandra Shekhar, a former Prime Minister, was targeted at establishing a third front at the national level. He alleged that the National Democratic Alliance was following the footsteps of the Congress by promoting multinational companies at the cost of small-scale industries. He said efforts were on to negotiate with several small parties in the state to strengthen the party base at the state level and claimed the party was getting a favourable response. However, he refused to name the parties.
7 promoted as DSP
CHANDIGARH, May 9 The Haryana Government has promoted seven Inspectors as Deputy Superintendent of Police.
Zila parishad poll results
ROHTAK, May 9 Mr Dharampal Makrauliwala was unanimously elected as Chairman of the zila parishad at a meeting held here today.
Mr Dharampal has been chairman of block samiti and zila parishad and is considered to be a close associate of the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.
Mr Balwan Singh Kharainti was also elected unopposed as vice-chairman and Mrs Parmeshwari Devi was elected chairperson of the block samiti.
JHAJJAR: Zila parishad member from ward No 9 Narender Deswal was elected chairman of the 15-member council at a meeting held at the local Panchayat Bhavan on Monday. Mr Mahender Sen from ward No. 14 was elected the vice-chairman.
The election was held under the supervision of the Deputy Commissioner.
NARNAUL: Mr Ram Singh has been unanimously elected chairman of the zila parishad, Mahendragarh, here on Monday. For the post of vice-chairman Surender was elected.
Haryana provides fodder to
CHANDIGARH, May 9 The Haryana Government, responding to the appeal made by the Prime Minister to mitigate the sufferings of the people in the drought-hit states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, has undertaken massive relief operations by providing free wheat straw to animals.
An official spokesman said here today that already 600 tonnes of fodder and 30 tonnes of cattlefeed had been despatched to the two states through trains.
The spokesman said besides moving fodder by rail, 2,500 tonnes of fodder had been sent from Haryana by road to neighbouring districts of Hanumangarh, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Jalore and Churu in Rajasthan.
He added that about
2,000 tonnes of fodder and 120 tonnes of cattlefeed had
been sent to Gujarat. Arrangements has also been made
through Hafed to procure another 5,000 tonnes of wheat
straw for the western state.
file papers for Rori seat
CHANDIGARH, May 9 Eleven persons had filed their nomination papers for the Rori Assembly byelection till 3 p.m. today when the deadline expired.
Among those who filed the papers today was Mr Abhay Singh Chautala, President of the Haryana Olympic Association and younger son of the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.
The Congress has fielded a new face, Mr Baldev Das Mahant, to oppose Abhay.
The other candidates are
Mr Kalu Ram (BSP), Mr Avtar Singh and Mr Major Singh
(both INC), and Mr Duli Chand, Mr Rup Ram, Mr Dana Ram,
Mr Mohinder Kumar, Mr Madan Mohan and Mr Ruldu Ram, all
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