Wednesday, August 23,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No exams in schools from December to March 15
Teachers to be engaged in census work
By Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — There will be no exams for the school children from December 1, 2000, to March 15 next year. The reason? pre-occupation of teachers in the ongoing census operations. With this, the current as well as the coming session in the schools and colleges is expected to be delayed. However, this situation is likely to prevail all over the country.

Following the census operations, the UT Administration has also put a ban on the transfer of the school teachers till March 2001. The UT Administration has reportedly received directive from the Census Commissioner asking the Administration not to conduct examination for primary and secondary classes during the period from December to March 15, during which the training and field operations of the census will be held. Since a large number of enumerators and supervisors who carry out the field work include primary and secondary school teachers, the directive by the Census Commissioner is to enable the participation of these teachers in the census work.

Complying with the directive, the UT Education Department has also asked the Central Board of Secondary Education to finalise the schedule for the examination of classes X and XII so that the department may prepare the schedule for other classes.

However, if this is to happen, it implies that the exams for the Board as well as non-Board classes which normally start from February and end by March, will not start before March 15. The results, thus, will be late by nearly two months, thereby delaying the session — both current as well as the coming one — by nearly two months. This might also mean delay in the competitive entrance exams which are held after classes X and XII.

The session for the colleges also will start after the declaration of the results of class XII and X.

While houselisting operations for the census have already been completed, population enumeration will be done from February 9 to March 5, 2001. For conducting both these operations a large number of officials and teachers from the schools are put on duty.

With the ban on the transfer of teachers, comes to an end the hope of many teachers who have forwarded requests to the UT Education Department, which has reportedly received more than 100 applications for transfers this year. The directive however, states that in emergent cases, transfers can be done.


Two held in liquor vend employees’ murder case
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — The mystery shrouding the double murder of Sector 24 liquor vend employees was today solved by the Special Crime staff of the local police with the arrest of two persons. Raids were being conducted till late in the evening to nab at least three other accomplices.

The two — Som Nath and Jhia Lal — were tracked down from Uttar Pradesh by a team of officers. A total of Rs 54 lakh was also recovered from their possession.

The accused had hacked to death two employees sleeping inside after striking at a liquor vend. The duo had decamped with nearly Rs 40 to 45 lakh in the wee hours on August 17.

The deceased were 34-year-old Roop Lal and 28-year-old Nand Kishore, working as salesmen at the liquor shop owned by Lada Liqours. While the body of one of the deceased was found in the toilet in the rear of the shop, the other was recovered lying in a pool of blood on a bed adjacent to the counter in the front.

They had been reportedly hacked with a sharp-edged weapon and had the police baffled as there were no signs of forced entry. It was also surprising since the duo had let somebody inside, especially when they knew that there was such a large amount of money in the shop. A sum of Rs 7 to 8 lakh, which was left behind, was mostly currency of small denomination.


Restructure Centre-state ties: Vardhan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 22 — The CPI general secretary, Mr A.B. Vardhan, today suggested the restructuring of Centre-state relations and giving more financial and administrative powers to the states to enable them to fulfill their socio-economic obligations.

The recommendations of the 11th Finance Commission in respect of devolution of share from central taxes to the states should be rejected out of hand and pegged at 50 per cent. He lent full support to the Chief Ministers’ conclave demanding the rejection of the recommendations of the commission. But he added a rider. He did not agree that a division between developed and developing states should be created.

Mr Vardhan was speaking at a meet-the-press programme at the Chandigarh Press Club here today. He was in town for a CPI-sponsored convention on Centre-state relations.

In his view the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s policies had neither direction nor purpose. These only showed a drift. The government was seen to only react. It lacked a “pro-active” policy, militarily and politically speaking, on the burning issues. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar were deliberately compounding the confusion. The former was acting as the “ruling” political face and the latter (the Sangh Parivar and its siblings) acted as the “Opposition”.

The manner in which the economy, education, science, culture and other social facets were being given a “saffron” colour posed a danger. It was replacing scientific truth with myths. Mr Vardhan admitted that in several respects the Left could have done much more on national issues but it did not do so. “There is a fall and erosion in our working”, he confessed.

Mr Vardhan identified Kashmir, glorification of brigands like Veerappan, succumbing to international financial outfits (the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund), not adequately protecting the country’s and states’ interests in such regimes as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and multinational companies (MNCs), as some of the key issues to which solutions must be found.

He referred to the President’s Address to the Nation on the eve of Independence Day. He wondered how men like Veerappan could kill 2,000 elephants for ivory, fell “sandal” trees worth several hundred crores and yet go scot free. Not a single bureaucrat, politician or businessman had ever been touched. Conceded, the kidnapping of a South Indian matinee idol was a “sensitive” issue. Any wrong step could create a law and order problem. But it also spoke of the “failure” on the part of successive governments in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in apprehending a criminal in 17 years.

On Kashmir and Pakistan, Mr Vardhan was candid. He wanted Article 370 to be left alone. The quantum of autonomy to be granted in that state had to be carefully decided upon. Despite the trans-border exchange of fire and insurgency, India had to keep the dialogue going with Pakistan for a solution. “On either side of the border there are hot-headed and irresponsible politicians”.

In guarded language Mr Vardhan said the USA was keeping the Kashmir issue alive. He warned against yielding to any pressures to divide Kashmir into three parts on the basis of religion.

Mr Vardhan said the CPI was a victim of male chauvinism, admitting as much when a journalist wondered how a “progressive” political party like the CPI could fail to give women their due in the party. “We did raise the demand for 33 per cent reservation in Parliament. Yes, it could not become a movement”.

The CPI general secretary later addressed the convention. He told newsmen that unity among Left parties was still elusive. Unless all Left parties joined hands the Right-wing parties would not face any challenge.

A resolution adopted at the convention, according to the Punjab CPI secretary, Dr Joginder Dayal, cautioned the BJP against obstinate insistence on the review of the Constitution. Anything of that sort should be done within the purview of Parliament and various national and recognised regional political parties and a consensus evolved on a mechanism acceptable to all.

The CPI rejected out of hand any slogans laced with communal and religious emotions like the demand for a “Hindu Rashtra” or “Khalistan”. The party was opposed to limiting the powers of the Centre to just four departments, namely defence, communications, currency and foreign affairs.

The resolution further stated that though it favoured more financial and administrative powers to the states it was against the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. (Mr Vardhan wanted the Sarkaria Commission recommendations to be implemented.)

The convention suggested the formation of a judicial council comprising all members of the Supreme Court to make recommendations on the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the state high courts in consultation with the Chief Minister and the Chief Justice of the state concerned.

The resolution demanded amendments to Article 356 to prevent its misuse by the Centre and to protect the state legislatures. It wanted Article 365 to be deleted so that the Centre could not invoke it.

On globalisation and liberalisation, Mr Vardhan said it was creeping into the country as “imperialist” globalisation wherein developed countries were growing at the cost of developing countries. There were safeguards available within the WTO. India must exercise its right to protect the interests of its farmers and small scale industries.

In fact, a convention of small-scale industries has been called by the CPI in New Delhi on August 29 to understand their problems in the context of the WTO provisions and MNC entry.



55 LPG cylinders confiscated from hotels
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA Aug 22 — In a significant haul, officials of the Indian Oil Corporation and the Food and Supplies Department here today confiscated over 55 LPG domestic cylinders which were being used for commercial purposes in hotels and restaurants in the city. The raiding party plans to register FIRs against the violators.

The booty of the officials actually came from the third raid conducted at a hotel in Sector 5, even as some employees were trying to “cover up” the act. An inspector of the Food and Supplies Department informed that one of the workers was taking a cylinder into hiding when he arrived on the scene.

Following the direction he was heading for, the party of four comprising an IOC official from Karnal, after checking the premises went to the terrace where they found the cylinders beneath rucksacks, all covered up and stashed in one corner. As many as 27 domestic cylinders came from this hotel.

Justifying the “discovery”, the owner first stated that the cylinder belonged to the employees. However, on being asked for papers to substantiate the claim made by him, he backtracked, only to inform that these had been “collected” from residents of the city to arrange for free food and lodging of players arriving for a tournament tomorrow for which they had already sought permission which could not be produced when asked for. Following this, the confiscated cylinders were loaded into a waiting three-wheeler.

The crackdown began at around 3 pm today when the party descended at a popular restaurant in Sector 11 from where they recovered a couple of cylinders following a green signal by the Deputy Commissioner. After completing formalities, the party of four moved on to another adjoining restaurant which failed to add to the cylinder number since the news of the raid had already spread in the market.

Later in the evening, the raiding party managed to lay its hands on domestic cylinders being used in small booths and shops. The raids were conducted in Sectors 5, 7, 10 and Raily village.

At a hotel in Sector 12 A in Raily, the going became tough for the raiding party as an employee, on being confronted for putting a domestic cylinder to use for commercial purposes, raised a big hue and cry, refusing to part with his cylinder. In spite of being threatened of police action, he was unperturbed.

Finally, the police had to be called in even as efforts were being made to convince him. However, before the arrival of the police the matter was settled with the employee giving in. Four more cylinders were confiscated m various eating joints of the city.

The IOC official, Mr SN Khanna, said that similar raids would be carried out in the whole of Haryana. “We have been advertising against the use of domestic cylinders for commercial purposes but hotels and restaurants have not obliged, which necessitated the cracking of the whip. There was no alternative but to carry out raids to check the misuse,” he said.

Why cylinders for domestic use are misused?

A domestic cylinder, weighing 14.5 kg, is a lucrative option since the charges of a commercial one, weighing 19 kg, are almost double. Against the subsidised price of Rs 214.04 for a domestic cylinder, a commercial one costs as much as Rs 481. Also, there is significant variation in the security price where a domestic cylinder is priced at Rs 900 against a cylinder for commercial use, priced at Rs 1500. 




Help the cops to serve you better
By Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — Do the men in khaki really deserve the brickbats that are dished out to them day in and day out? Which government servant puts in an average 14-hour day round the year for no additional benefit? Which employee is on call on festivals when others are busy celebrating with their families? Who cannot help his children in their studies since he is no duty?

This and much more is part of the everyday existence of the policeman. It is commonplace to curse the cops, although a majority of them feel that they are on the receiving end no matter how much effort they put in for helping and serving the people.

The feeling of fear and mistrust in the minds of the people towards the man in uniform has crystallised over the past years and is proving to be the stumbling block in smooth public-police relationship. While the common man perceives the cops as generally brutal and corrupt, the former feels that the criticism, not that there are no black sheep, is unduly harsh.

A majority of the officers in the field, especially at the OR and NGO level, feel that they are not only overworked, but also frustrated at the lack of promotional avenues, besides lack of acknowledgement from people and superiors. “We are pulled up for the slightest fault, while there is hardly any incentive. Some of us are stagnating for the past decade and there are many instances officers have been at the same level for more than 12-15 years,” questioned an Inspector level officer.

“The monotony of policing does takes its toll on the personnel at all levels. Given the nature of duties performed by the men, it is hardly surprising that many of them become complacent during the discharge of their duties. Add to it the constant pressure to perform according to the high expectations of the people and officers and you can imagine the emotional turmoil among the men,” discloses UT IGP B.S. Bassi.

Come festival time or other major event, the feeling of deprivation aggravates. The policeman is on duty till late at night and by the time his shift is over, the family is asleep.

The IGP says problems are also affected by the nocturnal nature of duties. The biological clock is affected and somethings you have people who have not slept for more than 48 hours.

The fight system of checks and balances is such that any irregularity bring swift punishment, which is not so in other departments. When a cop sees that another government employee has got away with much more, he feels dejected and it also adds to his guilt complex, affecting his performance levels.

Commenting on the steps being initiated to redress these problems, Mr Bassi said while it would not be possible to tone down the nature of duties, efforts were afoot to ease the pressure. For this, the sports wing was being strengthened and intra-unit competitions would be a regular feature in the coming months. Teams from various units would be encouraged and the personnel would be asked to participate in one game of the other, so that their attention was diverted from their pressing schedule.

He added that a sport meet was on the cards in January. The people, while bringing the irregularities of the cops to the notice of senior officers, should also come forward to discharge their duties and help them to serve the people in a better way, the IGP stressed.


Temples decked up for Janamashtami
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — The temples are decorated and decked up for the auspicious occasion of Janamashtami, falling tomorrow. Idols of Lord Krishna and cradles adorn all the temples of the city.

Tableaus exhibiting the life of Lord Krishna can be seen in all the temples. Processions are being carried out in the city to mark the occasion. In some temples at midnight a baby in a decorated cradle is planned to be brought to the temple to symbolise the birth of Kanhiya.

All the idols in the temple are decorated with new dresses and the entire getup of the temples wears a new look. Temples are decorated with fancy lighting and it seems as the whole city is celebrating the eve. 


Girl accuses father of forcing her to commit suicide
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — In a daughter versus father case, city resident Manpreet Sohal has accused her father, Balwinder Singh, of meddling with her life till she decided to commit suicide. Taking up her petition, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice of motion for September 21.

Seeking directions to her father against interference, Manpreet stated that she decided to end her life after Balwinder Singh refused to marry her with a friend and fixed her engagement with the person of his choice against her wishes.

Claiming to have committed the grave sin of being born in Balwinder Singh's family, she maintained that her father was depressed due to the birth of a daughter as he had three sisters of marriageable age. For two years after her birth he did not see her face, the petitioner added.

Blaming her father for being narrow minded, she also alleged that she could not build up her career because of him as he wanted to get rid of her by performing her marriage.

Manpreet said she started working as an executive in Delhi but was not left in peace. A call to her friend, she added, revealed that a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, at her father's behest, called him to his office for inquiring about her whereabouts. The friend, she alleged, was also tortured and his purse was taken away.

On friend's request, she added, she reached Chandigarh and was told that her father wanted to implicate her and her friend in some false criminal case.

Asking for directions to let her live with all liberties guaranteed to a citizen, she also sought directions to the DIG against implicating her and her friends in false cases.


State EC quashes SDM’s order
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR Aug 22 — In a development relating to elections in the four remaining wards of the SAS Nagar Municipal Council, the Punjab State Election Commission, today, quashed an order passed by the Returning officer-cum-Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), SAS Nagar, through which the latter had rejected the nomination papers of an independent candidate on the plea that the candidate did not belong to the Backward Classes. The candidate, Kulwant Singh, had filed his nomination papers for reserved ward no. 17.

It may be pertinent to mention that the elections to the 23 wards of the council on last Sunday are already shrouded in controversy regarding misuse of power by the state government.

The Punjab State Election Commissioner, Mr C.D. Cheema, in his orders today observed, “The allegation by the candidate that the order passed by the Returning Officer is due to political pressure and with malafide intention is, therefore, difficult to ignore”. He further observed that the action of the Returning Officer of ignoring the certificate of Backward Class, issued by him was a step in violation of the election process and against justice.

The candidate complained that his nomination papers were rejected despite the original copy of a Backward Class certificate ( dated August 12) issued by the SDM himself. The Returning Officer-cum-Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) had cancelled the nomination papers of the candidate on August 18 but the order was delivered to the candidate only at the time of scrutiny i.e. August 21.

The Election Commissioner ordered the District Electoral Officer (DEO)-cum-Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Ropar, to enquire into the matter and report back to the commission. The commission asked the DEO to clarify whether the Backward Class certificate issued by the SDM was genuine and if so, how had he rejected the certificate.

The DEO in his reply to the Election Commission said the Backward Class certificate issued had been cancelled after due verification by the Niab Tehsildar, SAS Nagar, on a complaint received by Ishar Singh on August 16. The Naib-Tehsildar in his verification report said the candidate ran a floor mill and did not work as black- smith.

Mr Cheema observed that the Niab Tehsildar and the Returning Officer did not provide sufficient opportunity to the candidate to explain himself and instead cancelled his nomination papers on the plea that he did not belong to the Lohar community. He said the method adopted in cancelling the valid documents amounted to unjustified way of debarring the candidate from contesting in the civic polls. By delivering the cancellation orders on the day of scrutiny, the seat went uncontested. The commission also vacated a stay granted earlier for holding election to ward no 17.

Meanwhile, the commission is reported to have directed the District Election Officer (DEO) to enquire into the incidents of bogus voting and violence during the election to the 23 wards of the civic body held on last Sunday.


Stone crushers defy PPCB orders
From Bipin Bhardwaj

ZIRAKPUR Aug 22 — Disobeying closure orders of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), stone crushers are still operational in Zirakpur and its surrounding areas.

Moreover, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities have not disconnected the electricity supply to these units, despite PPCB’s directions in this regard.

The Board had issued directions for the closure of all the stone crushers operating from Zirakpur and its surrounding areas. The board authorities have also directed the Punjab State Electricity Board to disconnect the electric supply to these units from August 3 onwards.

Mr A.K. Mahajan, Chairman of the PPCB, has said that the owners of the stone crushers were operating the units without installing adequate and appropriate pollution control devices. In a notification, he observed that they had failed to obtain the consent to operate from the Board under Section 21 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. The crushers were examined by the officers of the Board and it was found that they fall in the capital periphery zone (CPZ). It was observed that the units also do not meet with the guidelines notified by the government.

Notices under Section 31-A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 as amended in 1987, were served to the units to stop the operations since the crushers were discharging hazardous emissions.

In a communique, he had said in case any industry did not comply with the directions, the owner would be liable to action under Sections 37/39 read with Section 40, of the Air Act.

The Board had also directed that the plants would not be restarted unless all necessary air pollution control measures were taken and the concentration of various pollutants conformed to the emission standards laid down by the PPCB.

Sources revealed that there were 24 stone crushers in Zirakpur area. Of these, 10 were closed down by their owners after formation of the erstwhile Nagar Panchayat. And after the directions of the Board 14, would have to wind up.

The residents of the area, however, have demanded the immediate closure of the crushers in the locality. They have favoured the Board’s decision and said delay in winding up of the units would further add to air pollution.

Mr Ranbir Samra, president of the Zirakpur Stone Crusher’s Association, said that an appeal has been filed with the Appellant Authority of Environment against the closure orders issued by the PPCB. Moreover, a case is pending with the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the judgement is awaited. The association will follow the directions of the court, he said.

Mr Samra informed that crusher owners had purchased 34 acres of land at Sanouli village for the purpose of relocation. The area is said to be in the central periphery zone (CPZ). He submitted that the Government should provide them with infrastructure like road, electricity and other basic facilities before shifting them from the present place.

The authorities in the electricity sub-division office at Zirakpur were not available for comments. 


A road motorists cross with fear
From Our Correspondent

NAYA GAON Aug 22 — Claustrophobic feeling grips you just as you cross the Naya Gaon barrier towards Khuda Ali Sher. Lined along the road are tin sheds erected by shopkeepers illegally. Adding to the congestion are rehriwallas and three-wheelers waiting for customers incessantly.

Flouting all rules and regulations, some shopkeepers have even erected permanent bhattis -- a clear testimony of "we give a damn" attitude of the authorities.

They, however, maintain that anti-encroachment drives are launched every now and then. "In the absence of strict punishment against encroachers, the structures keep coming up again and again," asserted an official.

Victims are poor commuters. "It is almost impossible to pass through the crowd even at modest speed of 30 km per hour. I always drive with the fear of scratching my car", complained Mr Bhupinder Singh, a football coach with the Sports Authority of India.

In the absence of any visible action by the authorities, there are some shopkeepers volunteering to clear the encroachment themselves. The president of the Market Welfare Association, Mr Kanwar Inder Singh, said: "I am ready to pull down the structure on the road".

He added: "We all want patwaries of both Punjab and UT to come here and measure the area and tell us from where Punjab starts and Chandigarh ends".

Regarding rehris and three-wheelers, villagers said that the offenders were at times challaned by the Enforcement Wing of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh. But a look at the road tells a different tale. The bus stop has become parking place for three-wheelers.


Union flays lock-out in factory
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR Aug 22 — The Mohali Trade Union Council today alleged that the management of an industrial unit, MOI Engineering Ltd, declared a lock-out in violation of the Labour Act. Mr Jagdev Singh, General Secretary of the council, said neither the workers had given notice of any strike and that the dialogue between the management and the workers regarding the latter’s demands was going without any interruption in the functioning of the unit.

He alleged that the Labour Department was involved in anti- worker action of the management. The council held a protest rally in front of the office of the Assistant Labour Commissioner in Phase 5 here. The management of the factory and the Assistant Labour Commissioner (ALC) was not available for comments.


Order on employing helpers, servants
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — The District Magistrate, Mr M. Ramsekhar, today ordered that all owners, managers or tenants of commercial establishments would have to inform the police station concerned before employing any servants, helpers, maids or part-time helpers.

All details would have to be furnished in writing. Any breach in the order would invite action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. The order will remain in force till October 20.


Newspaper staff wear black badges
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 22 — Employees of The Tribune group of publications wore black badges in response to a call given by the National Coordination Committee of Newspaper and News Agencies Employees Federation to protest against the poor and inadequate scales of pay recommended by the Manisana Wage Board. They also urged the Central Government to effect a suitable increase in the pay scales over and above the wage board report

The demands include a consolidated increase of 20 per cent on the basic pay plus DA plus interim relief, 100 per cent neutralisation of the DA on the pattern of Central and state government employees, equating Chandigarh with the four metro cities in respect of CCA and house rent allowance for newspaper employees of the city, as it has been declared as the most expensive city in the country by various surveys.

A delegation of the union led by Mr B.S. Jandu, later submitted a memorandum containing these demands to the UT Administrator, Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), for forwarding it to the Prime Minister.



Colourful function by ISKCON
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — A colourful religious function was organised on the eve of Sri Krishna Janamashtami by the local body of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at a Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36-B, here today.

Thousands of devotees thronged the temple, according to Bhakti Vinod Dasa Prabhu, President, local unit of ISKCON.

The main attractions of the programme were Radha Krishna prayer, followed by nritya natika. A play on Sudama charitra was also staged, followed by dandia nritya.


Telephone panel meeting
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — The local Telephone Advisory Committee (TAC) met here today. Issues like printing of the new telephone directory, slow Internet connectivity, delay in rectification of faults and in release of new connections in Mani Majra, were discussed, among other things.

The TAC was assured that technical bids for printing of the new directory had been opened and financial aspects were being looked into. The meeting was also told that a new exchange would be commissioned in Sector 25, Panchkula. A demand for installation of more PCOs at public places was also put forward.

On the issue of having identity cards for the TAC members, the meeting was informed that the Department of Telecom had refused any such card. 


Business environment and women entrepreneurs
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — Notwithstanding Ms Sumati Morarji of the Shipping Corporation, Ms Yamutai Kirloskar of the Mahila Udyog Limited and Ms Shahnaz Hussain of the Beauty Clinic, in India, women’s presence in business still remains a relatively new phenomenon. Incidentally, this is the area where a woman does not enjoy any advantage by just being a woman. In fact, in today’s cut throat competition fueled by the gender bias, women have to face quite a few problems.

Most of the women entrepreneurs are of the opinion that there will never be a special business environment for them. They have to exist, do business and be successful in this very existing environment. Although, almost half of the population of the country are women, yet businesses owned and operated by them constitute less than seven per cent. Perhaps, it could be a reflection on social, cultural and economic distortions in the decades of development.

Even today, most of the financial institutions prefer giving loans to men than women. Because of this most of the firms, owned by the women, are either being managed or run by the male members. In fact 35 per cent of the women enterprises are being operated by proxy. This has been revealed in a research carried out on the women entrepreneurs by the Teachers Technical Training Institute in the city.

The study carried out by Dr B.S. Bhatia, Dr J.S. Saini and Mr S.K. Dhameja has revealed interesting facts about the performance and problems of women entrepreneurs in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. According to Dr Saini, women’s participation in economic activities and production of goods and services is far greater than formal statistics might reveal. May be this is due to the fact that most of it takes place in the informal sector including the households.

To study the status of women entrepreneurs, six districts of Punjab and Haryana, which included Ambala, Gurgaon, Faridabad , Ludhiana, Jallandhar and Amritsar, besides Chandigarh, were selected.

The aim was to determine how many women are involved in intensive entrepreneurship as a career, says Mr Dhameja. The second objective was to ascertain the nature of their activity and the problems or constraints faced by them as entrepreneurs.

For this, a study was carried out on 175 women entrepreneurs taking 25 per district. As many as 65.14 per cent, belonged to the category which had started their career in the age of 25 to 40 years.

All of them had good educational background but a majority, almost 54.29 per cent, had no prior experience of either manufacturing, trading or servicing activity when they started their enterprise. And as many as 57.7 per cent had no income before they started their own enterprise.

The researchers selected the respondents on the basis of number of workers, a minimum of five, in their firm In these seven districts about 70.9 per cent of the women were found to be employing five to nine workers in their enterprise. A small, but still very significant 3.3 per cent, had more than 50 workers. Therefore the contribution of women entrepreneurs towards employment generation was certainly noteworthy.

As regards the marital status of the respondents it is observed that 84 per cent of the women entrepreneurs were married at the time of start of enterprise. This shows that majority of women start their enterprises after marriage may be because the responsibility gets shared. Incidentally maximum enterprises were found to be having sole proprietorship followed by partnership. A limited number was found to be having private limited companies.

One of the objectives of the research was to seek the opinion as also their attitude regarding issues related to women entrepreneurship. Most of the respondents did not agree that the right place for a woman was home or agree to the observation that they had started business out of sheer compulsion. However, they did agree that it was difficult for a woman to survive as an entrepreneur, especially when there was no support from husband or a guardian.

Of all the problems and constraints enlisted by women entrepreneurs, 81.7 per cent were socio-personal, says Dr Saini. These include personal problems like resistance by husband, of dual duties followed by non cooperation of society and of course financial constraints. Even though they may work for two thirds of the world’s work hours, yet they receive only 10 per cent of the income area and own less than one per cent of the property.

Women face problems in availing government assistance. Harassment and large amount of paper work besides unnecessary interferences make the matter worse. Women in Punjab face specific state related problems. Although legally, they cannot be refused, still women entrepreneurs face problems in getting sales tax numbers and electricity connections.

Moreover finance companies create hinderance as they prefer giving loans to partnership firms. Here is how proxy comes into play. There are lot of schemes for the women. In India, women may constitute seven to eight per cent of the business but out of these 35 per cent are being run on proxy, adds Dr Saini.

They also face production and marketing problems. Social constraints multiply the problems. The fact is that a women entrepreneur faces much more obstacles than her male counterpart.

The study has some interesting recommendations which includes the all important financing aspect. Availability of finance has to be made easy which plays an important role for any business activity. Training programmes are also of immense help, says Dr Saini.


Floor area ratio may go up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH Aug 22 — An increase in the floor area ratio (FAR), which means more built-up area, may be allowed in industrial sheds in Chandigarh. An increase of upto 33 per cent is on the cards, according to sources.

A notification in this regard, which is part of the several amendments in industrial byelaws of Chandigarh, is expected this week. This increase will mean that a plot of 1000 square yards in which 750 sq yards of total construction is allowed, will now change and 1000 square yards of construction is to be permitted.

This FAR will cover all floors in the industrial shed. The move had become a must as a large number of industrial shed owners had been complaining of lack of covered space. Such space is required for office and works that need to be carried out inside. This will also help the upcoming IT industry, that needs more space.


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