Friday, September 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Kisan Mela begins amidst students’ protest
From Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Angry students of the College of Agriculture in Punjab Agricultural University today stormed the main pandal of the annual kisan mela, forcing Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to inaugurate the mela from the stall of a private tractor manufacturer.

Apprehending trouble, the authorities had shifted the venue of inauguration as the students had started gathering outside the pandal well before the arrival of Mr Badal. The police was present in strength but slogan-shouting students managed to outwit it. As the students took control of the main pandal, the mela authorities postponed most of the functions. The students wore black badges as a mark of protest. The students of PAU were supported by the students of the agricultural wing of Khalsa College Amritsar and Barjindra College, Faridkot. They were protesting against the alleged refusal by the Chief Minister to accept their demands.

Contrary to the earlier programme, which included formal release of different seed varieties by the Chief Minister, the inaugural function proved to be quite brief. The changed venue of the function had tight security arrangements and only select people, who included some politicians, the Vice-Chancellor, some officials of the local administration and a few scribes, were allowed inside the stall. Even senior scientists and professors were not allowed in by the extra cautious security personnel. Probably for the first time, the chief guest left without addressing the farmers.

By the time the Chief Minister finished his brief speech at the changed venue, the students had already gathered near the main pandal. Although a heavy contingent of police was deployed, the students managed to outwit them.

While the mela was scheduled to start at 11 am, it was inaugurated at 9 am. While the university and local authority maintained that this was because of the Chief Minister’s preoccupation in Sunam , the striking students claimed that the authorities wanted to prevent the show of strength by the students.

The formal launching of various seed varieties and other related functions scheduled to be held in the main pandal were postponed till 2.30 pm. However, the students continued to stay put in the pandal and refused to budge.

The students who are on strike for the past few days, are demanding filling of various posts of ADOs and HDOs in the Agriculture Department by the Punjab Government. A delegation of four students, including Mr Harbir Singh, Kamaljeet Singh and two girl student representatives, had met the Chief Minister early in the morning at the Circuit House. The meeting had been arranged by the local authorities. However, the students said that they were not satisfied with the assurance of the Chief Minister.

According to Jagroop Singh Bal, spokesperson, Punjab Agricultural University students association (PAUSA), the Chief Minister did not make any commitment about filling vacant posts. He disclosed that the CM gave a simple assurance to them, only saying that he would be looking into their demands after he got free from Sunam assembly byelections.

The students were not satisfied with the assurance as they wanted a firm commitment from the Chief Minister. After the news spread in the campus that the Chief Minister had not made any commitment the students, including girls, started converging outside the main pandal of the mela. They started shouting slogans against the government and the university authorities. As the number of students started to swell, they felt encouraged and stormed the main pandal. Although a heavy police contingent was present, the students overpowered them. The police exercised maximum restraint, otherwise the situation could have taken an ugly turn.

However, all this had hardly any affect on the kisan mela as students themselves clarified that they were not going to obstruct the mela. They said that they had to resort to the protest only after all their peaceful pleadings had fallen on deaf ears.


Satluj Hospital firing case
Police role comes under fire
By Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — The role of the local police in the Satluj Hospital case has come under fire from several quarters. The registration of a case of attempt to murder a DSP by the Security In charge of the hospital and the charging of two other directors of the Satluj Hospital as conspirators late last night is alleged to have been done at the behest of the estranged founder-director after a deal was struck with the police.

However, the police also registered a case of attempt to rape today against the founder director, Dr B.S. Mathur. The case has been registered on the statement of Dr Jyoti Tah, wife of one of the directors, charged with the attempt to murder. Dr Sekhon has, however, not been arrested so far.

It is also being alleged that the firing at the policeman was never done in the hospital, rather in a police van, when the main accused, Brig (retd) P.S.Toor, was being taken to the police station along with several other armed policemen.

Interestingly, the police claims that the accused ex-serviceman is still at large, but is likely to be arrested soon. Two of the directors, Dr Ravi Tah and Dr S.N. Mathur, were arrested by the police last night, but were today released on bail. The three persons had been charged under Sections 307, 324 of the IPC and under various sections of the Arms Act.

The police has also been accused of misbehaviour, with the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, allegedly hurling abuses at two lady doctors and another director, Dr S.S. Grewal. The police chief is alleged to have threatened the three doctors of getting the hospital closed down after getting all of them put behind bars.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, when contacted, denied the allegations and brushed these aside as being preposterous. “ My police officers rushed to the spot as soon as we got the information and acted in a mature manner. The police was rather on the defensive and everything was done within the course of law,” he said.

He also said that all cases relating to Satluj Hospital were being looked into by the crime branch, Chandigarh, and after last night’s incident. The local police had intimated the crime branch officials of the latest developments.

It may be noted that the tug of war between the two sides, led by Dr B.S. Sekhon, founder Director of the Hospital and the other directors — Dr Ravi Tah, Dr S.N. Matur, Dr Chaddangi and Dr S.S. Grewal — had been going on for quite some time over the ownership of the hospital. Dr Sekhon had been unceremoniously removed from the directorship of the hospital by other four directors. After a string of cases being registered by the two parties against each other, the entire case file had been sent to the crime branch at Chandigarh.

According to information available, one of the lady doctors, Dr Jyoti Tah, was examining patients in one of the wards, when she came across a patient occupying a bed and with no case file. Dr S.S. Grewal, one of the directors of the hospital, while talking to TNS said that when Dr Jyoti asked him how he was in the hospital, he reportedly said that he had been admitted in the hospital by Dr Mathur.

Dr Grewal alleged that later when Dr Jyoti was going out of the ward, she was forcibly pulled inside a private room by this man, Surinder Singh.” There she was molested by Dr Sekhon, his brother-in-law, Tejinder Singh, Mohinder Singh, a former accountant of the hospital and Davinder Singh, a former ECG technician at the hospital. “

Later, when she managed to escape, her clothes had been torn and she had bruises all over. While all others rushed out of the hospital, Surinder Singh was caught by the hospital staff and a few attendants of the patients. “We tied him up and immediately informed the police. However, the police led by DSP Harmanbir Singh caught our security officer and began beating him up. It was then that the police also took away Surinder Singh, but let him off the hook. In fact, the firing incident is also concocted by the police to help out Dr Sekhon,” Dr Grewal said.

However, the police claims otherwise. The SSP said that when the police party, led by DSP Gill, reached the hospital last night, he was not allowed to enter the premises and the doctors demanded that they would only deal with the police chief. “ The DSP then tried to enter through the back gate, but Brig Toor hurled abuses at the Punjab Police. In a fit of excitement, he had also taken out his point 455 pistol and aimed it at the DSP, but it missed its aim and PHG Rajinder Singh was hurt.”

He says that he then himself went to the hospital and admits that he could have pulled up the doctors for all that went on, but denies that he was abusive or passed any derogatory remarks.


Bharatiya Kisan Union to stage dharna today
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Sept 21 — Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, President, Bhartiya Kisan Union, told newspersons here yesterday that they would hold a dharna at Sahnewal on September 22 in protest against the policy adopted by the government regarding the purchase of paddy.

He further said although the government has declared the date of the purchase of paddy as September 21, they doubt the statement. As the government has a surplus in store, he said, the declared date is an eyewash to calm down farmers for the time being and harass them later.

The Bhartiya Kisan Union has given an ultimatum to the government that if within 230 hours of the declared period, the purchase is not upto the mark, an action- programme would be undertaken by them. The dual policy of the government is sure to rebound, Lakhowal said. They are bound to protest first in market committee, Sahnewal and then in front of the D.C. office at Ludhiana.


Fewer seed varieties disappoint farmers
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Thousands of farmers today thronged the PAU Kisan Mela which began here today. Dressed in traditional attire, the farmers appeared enthusiastic about the mela. They had come from different parts of the state .

With curiosity writ large on their faces, farmers evinced keen interest in the displays at various stalls put up by the university authorities to guide them about crop patterns and insecticides and other necessary information for farming activities.

But in sharp contrast to previous years, there was not a great rush, in the morning, probably due to the heavy security arrangements in view of the Chief Minister’s visit. The participation of students was also very thin due to their boycott of the mela.

Soon after the Chief Minister left the scene, students of the college of agriculture stormed into the main pandal where they organised a protest rally in support of their demands. While fiery speeches were being made by the student leaders, the cops on duty were watching the proceedings nonchalantly.

The seed distribution centre and other stalls, including demonstration stalls, in the mela attracted a great rush of farmers. However, some farmers were disappointed as they could not get any new variety of wheat. They said no new seeds were available and they were getting the same seeds of wheat variety PBW-343.Some of them bought the seeds while others said that they already possessed them. But the University had reportedly put 6000 bags of this seed on sale.

Scenes of progress and development were apparent. While earlier the farmers used to come in tractor trollies, now they were coming in various cars including luxury ones like Safari and Lancer. Most of the visitors found the stalls selling eatables most attractive.

According to Dr M. S. Bajwa, Director, Research, PAU, there was a sale of Rs 35 lakhs last year and the sales were expected to be more this time. However, the sales were not as much as expected, said a stall owner.

Earlier, speaking after inaugurating the mela, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal appreciated the efforts of the university scientists in developing various varieties, which had helped the farmers to improve their lot. He also emphasised the need for introducing modern technologies in farming.

Former Chief Minister and senior Akali leader, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala appreciated the efforts made at the PAU in helping farmers to use latest farm technology.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh pointed out that agriculture was going to be more competitive and the farmers needed to be more technology oriented.


Punjab farmers go in for diversification
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Farmers of Punjab are increasingly adopting diversification of agricultural practices as conventional farming is not proving to be profitable. Most farmers attending the PAU Kisan Mela here today said practices like dairy farming, beekeeping and fish rearing were more profitable than conventional farming.

Mr Thana Singh (62), who visited the mela after about 12 years, belongs to Nathana village, 20 km from Bhatinda. He had virtually abandoned farming all these years because his sons had become disillusioned with the occupation. Even if he owns a 25 acre farm, he does not consider it enough to hold the attention of his sons for long. He is planning to adopt beekeeping which may prove to be more profitable for his sons.

Mr Bharpur Singh is a young farmer of Faizgarh Gurtharhi village near Malerkotla. He visits the mela almost every year to buy improved seeds developed by the university scientists. He says that paddy farming is losing popularity and diversification is in. However, he cannot do much on his 8 acre farm where he has planted some vegetables for domestic consumption. He is planning to adopt dairy farming.

Mr Sham Singh (53) and his grandson Gurvinder Singh, a Class XII student, residents of Lehra Gaga village near Sunam, spent the night in a queue outside the seed counter at the mela. They were among the first buyers in the morning today when the counter opened. Besides seeds, they also bought guava and lemon saplings.

They own a small dairy farm that has 10 buffaloes. Gurvinder wants to continue his studies along with helping his grandfather on his 40 acre farm.

Mr Buta Singh of Chhanna Gulabsinghwala village near Sangrur is in the dairy farming business, besides being a conventional farmer for the past three years. His brothers and he own a 20 acre farm and have employed only one farm hand. Mr Buta Singh is also a member of the village panchayat. He is seriously planning to adopt beekeeping.

Mr Mukand Singh (55) of Dalla village near here has been in the dairy farming business for the past many years. He says that the business is more profitable than conventional farming.

Mr Bahadur Singh (56) of Gajiana village near Moga who visits the PAU Kisan Mela every year to buy seeds, does not find conventional farming to be profitable as well.


Wadali brothers enthral audience

THE faulty sound system dampened the spirits of the otherwise vibrant Wadali brothers, famous Sufi singers, who presented a mesmerising show at the Kundan Vidya Mandir under the aegis of SPICMACAY’s ongoing series of cultural programmes in the city here today.

The singers, peeved at the faulty sound system almost left the hall in a huff after singing for nearly 40 minutes, instead of the scheduled one-and-a-half-hour. The audience also left the hall dissatisfied. Even the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, who had been seated in the hall well in time apparently lost patience due to the delay in starting the show and after waiting for half-an-hour, he left the hall.

However, the singers showed a glimpse of their talent in the short time that the sound system worked properly. Though it did not quench the thirst of the audience for Sufi music yet it left a deep impression on their minds .

Puran Chand Singh Wadali and his younger brother Pyara Singh Wadali, sang with rare zest and zeal and their music stirred the souls of the young students who were completely in sync with them and applauded cheerfully.

The duo had trained under their father and guru, Mr Thakur Dev, and were later students of Pandit Das of Amritsar. They were awarded the coveted Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991 for their contribution to Punjabi folk music.

The Wadali Brothers hail from the sacred land of the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev and their singing is deeply steeped in religion. The two brothers are dedicated to popularising the music of the Sufi Saints. Their vibrant and robust singing of kalams touched the chords of everyone’s hearts.

The passionate rendering of the songs in their rich voice made the whole presentation ‘an affair to remember.’

They rendered into their robust a piece by Baba Farid, titled rab jaagda. The next was a ‘Kafi’ of Bulle Shah, Ghunghat Chuk O, Sajna, Hun Sharam Ka nu Kariye. Through the song, they urged people to look within themselves.

Damadum Mast Kalandar was sung in their own inimitable style. To involve the students, they kept on narrating folk lore. This kept the interest of the students intact. The control of their voice, the high pitch mastery in rendering alaaps within the songs were all simply breath taking. They sang the numbers with gay abandon and deep passion. The song ended and so did the programme, for the sound system had folded up again, much to disgust of the artistes and the audience. — AA


Phone services improve slightly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Telephone services in the city remained affected for the third day today though there was partial improvement in the STD lines to Mumbai and Delhi.

Though no official press note of the local Telecom employees Union about their support to the Junior Telecom Officers strike in select parts of the country has been received, the STD lines from the city to Delhi, Mumbai and parts of South India have been functioning erratically for the last three days.

A number of PCO owners in the city said that though the services improved today, still difficulty was experienced in getting connected to these cities. The PCO owners said calls to Mumbai and Delhi are connected after repeated efforts though earlier the lines were jammed.

Even out-station calls coming to the city were having disturbance. The calls, if connected was disrupted in between. At times the calls got disconnected after two or three rings only.



‘Expand medical facilities in city’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — The District Youth Congress (DYC) President, Mr Parminder Mehta, urged the state government to suitably expand the medical facilities in the city, in view of the tremendous increase in population during the last few years.

Inaugurating a free medical camp, which was organised by the City Health Council in Basti Jodhewal here yesterday, he said at an average 150 patients were admitted to the local civil hospital. Two patients lying on at a single bed in the civil hospital were a common sight and a large number of poor patients were turned away for lack of bed strength.

Mr Mehta said claims of the state government, notwithstanding, the fact was that civil hospitals in the state were poorly stocked and poorly equipped. “Medicines were not available, the diagnostic equipment was either not available or non-functional, and at times, the medical and para-medical staff was not present in the government hospitals and dispensaries,” he added.

He also urged the government to take effective steps against profiteering in life saving medicines and over-charging by private hospitals and nursing homes.


Trust member’s plea to SSP
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Dr G.S.Grewal, honorary president and secretary of the Guru Nanak Education Trust, has given an application to the Senior Superintendent of Police requesting him to add charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy against the seven accused office-bearers, management members and the college principal, who had earlier been booked on charges of cheating and fraud.

Dr G.S. Grewal also denied the claims made by Mr Gurbir Singh as being the president of the Guru Nanak Education Trust and said the latest court orders in the case were in his favour and recognised him as the president of the trust.

In a press note, Dr Grewal said Mr Gurbir Singh had claimed himself to be the president of the trust on the basis of a court order dated July 27, 1994, which also recognised Mr Jagdev Singh as the secretary. He said in terms of this order, a meeting of the trust was held on May 15, 1998, which elected Dr Grewal as the President and Mr Jagdev Singh as the Secretary.

He said Mr Gurbir Singh had moved an application on May 27 seeking injunction against Dr Grewal as acting president, which was ultimately dismissed on February 1, 2000.



Daler’s effigy burnt 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Punjabi pop king Daler Mehndi faced the wrath of the All India Sikh Students Federation (Bhoma group). Irked over his video album ik dana, the AISSF activists, led by senior vice-president, Mr Gurdeep Singh Leel and advisor Mr Pritam Singh Bharowal, burnt the effigy of the singer, along with the audio and video cassettes of the song.

Earlier, the AISSF activists, carrying the effigy of Daler Mehndi, marched in procession from Aggar Nagar to Clock Tower, where a rally was held.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Leel observed that Daler Mehndi had mocked the Sikh community and had shown small kids in traditional Sikh attire, taking liberties with girls, which was in bad taste and in violation of the principles and culture of Sikh religion. He warned that the AISSF activists would continue to stage protests and burn effigies of the singer till he presented himself at the Akal Takht and apologised for his ‘sin’.


Students to organise anti-addiction march
By Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Ludhiana zone, will organise an anti-addiction march on September 23. More than 2000 students from 50 schools and colleges will participate in the march here.

In a press conference held today, Mr Charan Kamal Singh, Zonal Secretary, said that the march has been organised in view of the fact that students of schools and colleges were getting addicted to a variety of drugs. He said ‘‘several shops selling drugs were being opened close to educational institutes, making the drugs even more easily available to them. Owners of liquor vends are violating norms by opening them till midnight, decorating them against rule and putting up larger sized hoardings. The main aim of organising the march is to bring about awareness in the public. ’’

Giving details of the route of the march, Mr Charan Kamal Singh said that the march will begin simultaneously from Master Tara Singh Memorial College, Sargodha Khalsa High School and Ramgarhia College. Contingents from all the colleges will meet at the Jagraon Bridge and move towards Bharat Nagar Chowk. At the chowk, the students from Government College for Women and the institutes from Model Town will join the march. At Bhai Bala Chowk, students from Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College and GGN Public School will merge with the march.

Moving further towards Aarti Chowk, students from schools and colleges of Haibowal area will join the march and a demonstration using a public address system will be held near the roundabout. The march will then reach the Punjab Agricultural University gate number 2 where students from schools at Dugri, Rajguru Nagar and Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar will also reach. Arriving at the Pal Auditorium, an anti-addiction convention will begin, which will be presided over by Mr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of the university, principals of schools and colleges and deans of various departments of the university.

Mr Charan Kamal Singh informed that Principal Ram Singh, chief organiser of the organisation, will take part in the march. He also said that several resolutions will be passed regarding the relaxation of rules and regulations by the administration.


Three injured
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Sept 21 — Three persons were badly injured when a Gypsy coming from the opposite direction hit their scooter.

It is reported that Beer Singh, his wife Jinder Kaur, and their 7-year-old daughter, were coming from Katani village near Gurdwara Katana Sahib on their scooter (PUJ-8901), when a Gypsy hit them. The ASI, Mr Harbans Singh, Doraha, rescued the three and admitted them to Sidhu Hospital.

In another accident, a cyclist, Jagtar Singh, was badly hurt by a Maruti car at the Chawa Chowk near Gurdwara Manji Sahib.


She aims for betterment of humanity
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — She is a woman who believes in change. Change not to suit her personal interests, but a change that would be good for society as a whole.

Says an energetic Mrs Hardeep Kaur, Director of Income Tax (Investigations)," We all have to realise that we are travellers in this world and have to leave it one day for the future generations. Our larger goal should be to have a new world order based on truth, honesty and integrity so that at least our children can have a good life.”

A dedicated and committed person, Mrs Hardeep Kaur’s story is that of a woman who has had it all — a career record that could be the envy of many, a good home-maker and a proud mother. She feels that women should be proud of the fact that they have been endowed with multifarious responsibilities and that they can handle them so well.” As it is they also get an opportunity to prove that they are better than their male counterparts by being perfect human resource and finance managers.”

Talking about her work, she admits that she is committed and sincere, but reserves her comments when asked if she enjoys being on the hot seat.” It is basically the way you choose to handle yourself professionally that determines if the chair you are occupying is a bed of roses or a seat of thorns. I believe in socialising selectively, and with people who are dealing with me as a person and not as an officer. Plus, one has to be very professional and once your reputation as an upright officer goes around, people themselves stop bothering you.”

Though she says that she is personally and professionally quite satisfied with the way things have shaped up, she says that she is often disillusioned with society.” I feel that over a period of time there is something amiss and our society as a whole has become quite stagnant. For any society to progress, change is a vital component. Our main concern should be on education which imbibes moral values — something we have abandoned over the past 30 years.”

Talking about the women in the present day society, she says that there is a diversification in the women’ s liberation movement.” While women have realised their rights, they have to be equally aware about their responsibities. I am quite optimistic that this will be the millennium of women. And complete emancipation of women will go a long way in curtailing the population problem too.”

Mrs Hardeep Kaur says that she believes in a casteless and anti-feudal society. This is perhaps the reason that she has not changed her maiden name and refuses to go by convention. She also says that her major influences in life are her father and knowledge of Sufism.


‘Give company secretaries more control’
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — In the changed scenario of liberalisation and increasing global competition under the WTO system, only those companies will survive that will run their operations in a transparent, efficient and accountable manner. Company secretaries can play a crucial role in encouraging this process.

To meet the challenges of the profession, a new syllabus for company secretaries has been designed which will shortly be introduced. This was announced by Mr J. Sridhar, President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). He was speaking at a press conference organised by the Ludhiana chapter of the Northern India Regional Council (NIRC). It was organised as a part of its annual-day celebrations and to create awareness among companies regarding good governance.

Dr S.P. Narang, Secretary of the ICSI, said the body had signed an MoU with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) of London for exploring areas of close cooperation.

Mr Sridhar said the DCA and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) might recommend that appropriate legislations should be passed to ensure that all companies complied with the provisions of various corporate laws. The Government should also make the legal secretarial audit of companies mandatory. The institute has demanded a greater role for its members in ensuring that companies obey various corporate laws.

Mr Sridhar said the council of the Institute had constituted a Secretarial Standards Board (SSB), comprising its senior members to formulate secretarial standards and guidance notes. While formulating the secretarial standards, the board will take into consideration the applicable laws, usages, business environment, practical application and best secretarial practices worldwide.

He welcomed the enforcement of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA). He urged the government to amend the Act to allow the company secretaries to appear before the Appellate Tribunal and Special Director (Appeals). He said company secretaries were already recognised under various Acts to appear as authorised representatives before various tribunals and quasi judicial bodies, including the Company Law Board, MRTPC, Securities Appellate Tribunal, TRAI and Central Electricity Regulatory Committee.


‘80 p.c. companies are corrupt’
By Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Mr J. Sridhar, President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, works in Maharashtra Scooters, a Bajaj Group company at Pune, as the Controller of Finance and Company Secretary. He has been elected to the central council of the institute. At a seminar on Corporate Governance and the Role of Company Secretary, Ludhiana Tribune talked to him on matters concerning corporate governance and the role of company secretaries.

What is the history of the ICSI?
The ICSI is a premier national professional body constituted under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980. Its role is to regulate the working of company secretaries in India.

Why don’t most of the registered companies employ Company Secretaries for corporate governance?
About 80 per cent of the companies are corrupt. The government should ensure the proper implementation of the Company Secretaries Act. According to Section 383 A of the Act, the companies having a paid-up capital of Rs 50 lakh or more should appoint Company Secretaries and held accountable for corporate governance.

What is the importance of a CS in the changing scenario of globalisation?
Companies have to raise capital in the national and international markets to compete and expand their operations. Foreign financial institutions demand standardised accounting practices and transparent financial transactions. These can be handled in a proper manner by a CS only.

What is a good corporate governance? Have you developed some indicators to judge it?
Good corporate governance involves socially responsible behaviour and transparent and efficient services to investors, customers. This also involves payment of taxes and environment-friendly production practices.

We are trying to develop some standardised indicators of good corporate governance. However, number of investors’ complaints, SEBI’s complaints and good media coverage and community welfare schemes run by the company are some of the indicators by which companies can be judged.

It is generally alleged by the students preparing for the CS exams that they are exploited by trainers during their internship.

We don’t have any legal power to stop this practice. However, we try to create awareness among students, trainers and companies. Students should also concentrate on developing their skills.

What is the future of the CS practice in India?
More companies than ever before are realising the importance of CS. Presently we have 13,500 CS professionals. We are also making the required changes in the syllabus to make it relevant in the changing scenario. If there are skilled company secretaries in the market, they will be absorbed by companies.



CICU flays power tariff hike
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 21 — Charging the Punjab State Electricity Board with rampant corruption, financial mismanagement and anti-industry bias, the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) today demanded that the board should be disbanded and power generation, transmission and distribution be handed over to private parties.

The CICU president, Mr Inderjit Singh, and the General Secretary, Mr Avtar Singh, while addressing a news conference here, flayed the PSEB administration for effecting yet another hike in the power rates by way of increase in the monthly minimum charges (MMC) for all categories of consumers with effect from August 1, 2000. They said the industry had yet to recover from the impact of power tariff hike and adjust itself, while the PSEB had inflicted another blow.

According to PSEB’ own estimates, out of a total 28,000 small-scale units in the city, more than 10,000 were paying MMC due to severe demand recession, which went on to show that these units were not running to their respective capacity. With the increase in minimum charges, ranging between 20 to 100 per cent, the industrial units, most of which were already sick, would have to shell out anything from Rs 1000 to Rs 32,000 extra per month. The CICU leaders apprehended mass closure of industrial units, particularly in the small-scale and tiny sector, which would further lead to unemployment among the industrial workers.

Mr Inderjit Singh, was particularly critical of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, whom he charged with ‘betrayal’ and ‘back-stabbing’, “At a meeting held on June 8, Mr Badal had given a commitment to the representatives of industry that after the power tariff hike effected last month, the power rates will not be revised for at least one year.”

Charging the PSEB top brass with pursuing anti-industry policies, the CICU leaders said the “conditional voluntary disclosure scheme” introduced by the PSEB, had failed to serve the purpose and not even a single industrial unit could take its advantage and get the additional load sanctioned or regularised. Even though the industry had insisted that there should be no condition on availing the VDS, the PSEB authorities , while issuing the commercial circular (57/2000 on Aug 10, 2000), had imposed the condition of obtaining a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) each from the municipal corporation and the Pollution Control Board, which had virtually negated the purpose of the scheme since the NOCs were not being issued by the two bodies.

Mr Inderjit Singh further deplored the PSEB for its new purchase policy, under which almost entire purchases worth several crores were being made from outside the state and the local manufacturers were being totally ignored for reasons best known to the PSEB management. In addition to purchase of material at higher rates, the board was incurring extra expenditure on transportation from far-off places.

The CICU leaders demanded a high-level probe into the purchase of material by the PSEB from outside the state and asked the government to impress upon the board to revert to the policy of domestic purchases.

The CICU president remarked that the populist policy of the state government of supplying free power to farm sector had wrecked the financial position of the PSEB, which in turn was penalising other categories of consumers, including industry to make up its losses. He urged the government to immediately release promised funds on account of free supply to agriculture sector in order to improve the financial health of the PSEB.

Mr Vinod Thapar, chairman of the Knitwear Club, who was also present, said the increase in MMC would hit the knitwear industry hard because ‘the industry is seasonal and there was absolutely no working during January — April.’

Mr Charan Singh Kohli, president of the Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association, Mr Ram Lubhaya, President, Industry Welfare Association, Focal Point, Mr Phumman Singh, vice-president CICU and Mr G.L.Pahwa, president of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association were also present.

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