Sunday, October 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Oppn seeks Badal’s resignation
Dharna against poor paddy procurement
From Tribune Reporters

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — Eight opposition parties, including some farmers organisations, today staged a dharna and mass demonstration at the Mini Secretariat here to focus on the woes of paddy growers and to protest against the callous and indifferent attitude of the government procurement agencies.

Leaders of the participating political parties assailed both the union and the state governments for their failure to come to the rescue of the farmers of Punjab who had been forced to spend sleepless nights in the mandis, waiting for the elusive purchase by the government agencies.

The protest was organised by the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, the Janata Dal (S), the MCPI, the CPI-M, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party, the Lok Bhalai Party, the Lok Sangharsh Party and a faction of the Bhartiya Kisan Union.

State president of the Janata Dal (S) Harish Khanna criticised the delay caused in purchase of paddy in the state mandis and the resultant harassment to the farmers. He said contrary to tall claims of the government, which claimed to be champion of the cause of farmers, only about 30 per cent of the paddy brought to the markets had been purchased so far. Poor lifting of the purchased stock was also impeding the procurement operations.

Mr Hira Singh Gabria (SHSAD) and Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri (MCPI) alleged that traders and rice millers were exploiting the paddy growers by paying a lesser price and the farmers were made to pay bribe to officials of procurement agencies for selling their produce. The decision of the union government to offer graded price for paddy, not conforming to specification, was also condemned.

The speakers called upon the government to enforce strict control over the procurement agencies who should be asked to speed up the procurement process and ensure immediate purchase of paddy arriving in the mandis. Adequate facilities were also demanded for the farmers who had to wait for days together in the mandis.

They flayed Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his ministerial colleagues for their utter failure to safeguard the interests of the farmers. "The government had no moral right to stay in power and it should immediately quit, owning responsibility for the misery and worsening condition of farmers in Punjab," they demanded.

The hike in prices of petroleum products also came in for sharp criticism, with the leaders of political parties claiming that the state farmers would have to bear an additional burden of around Rs 500 crore on account of hike in prices of diesel and the cost of production would go up by Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 per hectare. An immediate rollback in the prices of petroleum products was demanded.

Leaders of the participating political parties, including Mr Subhash Beri, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Paramjit Singh Sidhwan, Mr Taresm Jodhan, Mr Kuldip Singh Ghalib, Mr Dildhiraj Singh Mann, Mr Tarsem Jodhan, Mr Raghbir Singh Bainipal, Mr Amar Nath, Mr Gurbaksh Singh Pudain, Mr Labh Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr. Baldev Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh Balliewal presented a memorandum to Additional Deputy Commissioner S.R.Kler.

SAMRALA: On the call given by the opposition parties of Punjab, 'black day' was observed in the Samrala grain market. Most of the commission agents closed their shops today for about two hours.

Mr Harpal Singh Dhillon, the president of the Ahrtiya Association, said that a cut of Rs 25 per quintal in the price of paddy would ruin the farmers who were already caught in a debt trap.

Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, general secretary of the BKU, condemned the attitude of the Union Government who had increased the minimum support price of paddy by Rs 20 this year but imposed a cut of Rs 25 thus bringing down the paddy price by Rs 5 as compared to the last year. He said the policies of the BJP government in the centre were totally against the interests of the nation. He warned that if these policies continued the country would have to face a food crisis in the near future.

KHANNA: Farmers and the activists of the BKU blocked traffic on the GT Road, near the main gate of the local grain market, in protest against the slow procurement of paddy on Saturday.

According to the reports, neither the government agencies nor the private traders had made any purchase in this market for the last three days due to the confusion created by the government orders. Two days ago, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had ordered that paddy could not be purchased at less than Rs 540 per quintal. However, the next day the Union Minister for Food and Supply had reduced the rate of paddy by Rs 25 per quintal, giving some relaxation in specifications.

Due to these different orders, a confusion was created among the procurement agencies and they had stopped purchasing the paddy. Mr Ranbir Sood, press secretary of the Punjab Arhatiya Association, said that PUNSUP had started procuring the paddy today but the officials of this agency had purchased only two heaps out of 2000 heaps.

He said that in the Rahon grain market, an extension of the main mandi, the department had not purchased a single bag of paddy while the FCI was purchasing paddy at the rate of Rs 515 per quintal. 


Paddy crisis hits consumer market
By Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — The principal markets of Ludhiana are wearing a deserted look even during the festival season, thanks to the ongoing crisis over the purchase of paddy in the grain markets of the state.

The farmer-government impasse has brought the procurement operations to a grinding halt, which in turn has seriously affected the circulation of money. Farmers who have traditionally been using their farm incomes to buy necessities of life as well as spending on festive occasions, are unable to do so this year because the procurement agencies continue to insist their produce has not met the specifications laid down by the Government of India.

Even after the announcement of new procurement prices for different grades of paddy, purchases in the mandis have not begun so far. Little wonder, the shopkeepers of Ludhiana are a disappointed lot, with Dussehra sales already having fizzled out and Divali offering little hope.

This seems to be the true reflection of the state of economy in Punjab today, which has been badly hit after the farmers were unable to find buyers for their paddy. The economy appears to be embroiled in a catastrophic situation due to the ongoing crisis about paddy procurement. The farmers are feeling cheated by the state and central governments, and are organising protests every day all over the state. The central and state purchasing agencies are confronted with a difficult task and the industry and service sectors are also feeling the pains of decreasing demand of their products in the rural sector. The government ‘of farmers’ is also looking for a corner to save its face.

Economists are of the view that the production of paddy this year has been about 120 lakh MT, substantially higher than last year. The average rate was increased to Rs 540 per quintal, as compared to Rs 520 last year. About 60 lakh MT of paddy has reached the market, out of which 35 lakh MT has been purchased by the agencies, though payments have not been made in most of the cases.

The lowering of the rate to Rs 515 per quintal means that the farming community will get approximately Rs 150 crore less as compared to the earlier announced price, based on the recommendations of the Price Commission, which announces the prices after taking into consideration the cost of agricultural inputs. The earlier announced increase in the petro prices will also affect the farming community to the tune of approximately Rs 150 crore. The crop of potato and wheat have met a similar fate. The cooperative sugar mills have to pay about Rs 4 crore to the farmers.

Prof M.S. Rangi, senior economist, marketing, PAU, is of the view, ‘‘The rural economy of the state will have more than Rs 300 crore less to spend due to the paddy crisis and increase in diesel prices. Moreover, the payments have not been made by the arhtias and purchasing agencies in most cases. The crisis is more acute in districts like Ferozepore, Kapurthala and Jalandhar, where paddy has been reported to have been sold at even below Rs 300 per quintal.’’

Consequently, the shopkeepers and farmers are going to have a lacklustre Divali this year. Mr Narinder Pal Singh, a leading sweet-maker of the city, is pessimistic about the sales. He says, ‘‘We used have a heavy rush of farmers coming out of mandis. This year, there are no orders from them.’’ Even the provision stores and clothing merchants are feeling the heat. Mr Surinder Bajaj, a cloth merchant, opined that this year, they would have at least 30 to 40 per cent less profits due to the prevailing paddy crisis.

The most devastating affect of the decline in farmers’ income will be probably on the market of consumer durable goods. Mr V. K. Dhir, manager, sales, passenger car division of Dada motors, says, ‘‘The 30 to 35 per cent sale of cars is made by the rural consumers in the months of September and October. However, this year, the sales have declined by 20 to 30 per cent. We sold 70 to 80 Maruti cars during this period last year, out of which 25 to 30 were rural customers, mainly big farmers. But this year, not a single farmer has entered the showroom.’’

Similarly, the sales of two-wheelers have declined. Mr Suresh Sethi, sales manager of a big two-wheeler showroom, says, ‘‘In Ludhiana alone, the dealers will lose business to the tune of crores of rupees in this season. We have lost about 500 rural customers this year. If we had earned that amount, we would have spent the amount somewhere.’’

The market of electronics goods, colour TVs, refrigerators, washing machines and other items is facing decline in rural sales. Mr Sham Singh Harika, advisor, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), opined that farmers were unable to buy even the inputs for the next crop. Many of them would have to postpone the marriages of their wards due to the distress sale of paddy.

Mr Surjit Singh, a small farmer, says, ‘‘The government gave the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ during the wars, when the whole nation was in crisis. Now they have insulted the farming community by exploiting us.’’

Prof Rangi warns that for the next two years, the Punjab economy will have to suffer from overproduction and distress sales, that may result in suicides and wide protests, unless the government takes some serious measures. The decline in tax collection and purchases by the government departments will also affect the market in coming months.


400 undertrials want surety bond
By Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — Nearly 400 undertrials, mostly migrant labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, are languishing in the Central Jail here for want of some ‘known and responsible’ local person, who can get them released on bail by furnishing surety bond.

With more than nearly 1,100 undertrials and slow pace of the disposal of their cases in the courts, the jail has become over crowded.

The space is falling short in the jail and so are its financial resources. Besides providing food to them, the jail authorities also remain overburdened due to the necessary transportation of the undertrials to courts. Then, there is also the problem of proper managing the affairs of the jail due to the high number of undertrials.

Mr Amarjit Singh, Superintendent, Jail, here when contacted said the number of such persons were growing and if some solution was found within the legal provisions, they would welcome it.

In fact, over the past few years the condition of such undertrials, who committed some crime in an alien place and have to remain behind bars sometimes even more than what there actual sentence could have been, has become a debatable issue among legal experts apart from the jail authorities.

According to rules governing the release of an undertrial on the bail are a surety bond by a local person. This is necessary to ensure the presence of the accused in the future hearings of the case. The provision has been made so that the undertrial does not run away and justice is hampered.

Mr Ashok Bhakhri, chairman, Young Lawyers Forum, feels that the problem is a complex one. He said if the issue was viewed from the point of view of the undertrial, it seems injustice. The problem of the jail authorities is also understandable. If the legal view is considered then it is also important that a check is kept on the undertrial so that he does not run away.

Mr Bhakhri informed that the issue had been discussed among lawyers at various levels and it was resolved that some kind of relaxation should be made in the bail provisions to avoid such harassment of the undertrials. He said though a Supreme Court ruling says that a person can be released on bail bond furnished by a person from any state in the country but in practice it is avoided due to the fear of running away of the accused.

According to Mr Pardeep Gupta, vice-president of the forum, the issue needs to be addressed at the earliest. He said it was a pity that several labourers had to languish in jails, sometime even more than their actual sentence could have been, while there was a provision in the law to release them.

He pointed out that due to long stay of the undertrials in jail, it is feared that they actually become hardened by getting more chance to interact with other criminals.


Forum fines Telecom Dept Rs 7500
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — In a significant decision, the District Consumer Redressal Forum has directed the General Manager, Telecom Circle here, to pay a compensation of Rs 7500 to a resident of Jamalpur Awana Colony for not providing him with a telephone connection three years after he had applied for it.

The forum overruled the justification of the Telecom Department that the area concerned was non-feasible as the complainant, through his representative S. S. Sarna, succeeded in proving that the department had provided telephone to others in the same colony. The department was thus penalised for ignoring the seniority of the complainant.

According to a copy of the orders received here today, the Punjab Khaptkar Sangh, on behalf of the complainant Rajinder Singh, contended before the forum that on his application for a telephone connection, the DoT allotted him a waiting list number in May 1997. But till today, he has not been provided with the connection.

Accusing the department of jumping over the seniority, the sangh said at least three residents of the same area were provided with a telephone connection though they had applied much after the complainant. The sangh said whenever they approached the DoT, they were told that the area was non-feasible. They said they were amazed how the department was giving connection in the same ‘non-feasible’ area to other applicants.

The complainant also furnished documents that the DoT had issued an advice note to the complainant in June 1998. The notice also rebuffed the claims of the non-feasibility of the area, as according to the rules, the note is issued only after ascertaining the feasibility of the area concerned.

On the basis of such evidence against the DoT, the forum held the department deficient in providing service to the consumers. Directing it to provide a telephone connection to the complainant as early as possible, the forum also ordered payment of compensation of Rs 7500 and Rs 500 as costs to the complainant.Back


Finance company booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — Timely intervention by the local police has saved a lot of gullible investors from getting duped by a finance company that was promising to double the money in ten days.

A police party led by the SP City II, Mr Pramod Ban, and the SDM, Mr Kuldip Singh, raided the premises of Jai Janta Company at Subhash Nagar and arrested one of the accused, Harpal Singh, with Rs 70,000 cash. All the other accused, however, managed to escape the police net.

The company, owned by SRK Sharma, Bahadur Singh, Harpal Singh and Jit Singh, had been operating in a few areas in Basti Jodhewal and in Subhash Nagar for the past fortnight. The company was promising to provide benefit to its customer within a few days after he had deposited half the amount with them and at half the price that was deposited. This way, the company is learnt to have duped a large number of people.

The police claimed that the accused had been trying to win over the confidence of people and make a reputation for themselves to lure more people by giving a few of the goods booked with them at low prices. The company had also been taking cash from its investors on the promise of doubling it and returning it in a few days time. A case under Section 420 of the IPC has been registered. Back


Inmates’ harassment continues at dera
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — The inmates of Dera Dhakki Sahib, Maksoodra, have charged the district administration and police with failure to implement the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, even after a period of one month.

“The blockade (nakabandi) of all roads, leading to the dera was being continued by certain residents of Guria Patti, Maksoodra, who enjoyed the patronage of the ruling party. No devotee or sewadar of the dera could move around and the police force, deployed around the dera was looking the other way”, they said.

A spokesperson of Dera Dhakki Sahib told that following the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K.Sandhu, the SSP, Khanna, and the Subdivisional Magistrate, Payal, on their visit to the dera, had given an assurance that unrestricted movement would be ensured for the devotees and sewadars, but the situation had not improved.

“The residents of Guria Patti, opposed to the dera, had been further emboldened and the sewadars were being harassed. Not only this, foodgrain, pulses, vegetables and other items of daily use, including feed and fodder for the cattle, were not being permitted inside the dera. Even the veterinary doctor, who had come to the dera to examine sick animals, was accosted and forced to go back,” the spokesperson added.

The Bench of Mr Justice K.S. Kumaran and Mr Justice N.K. Sood had issued directions to the district administration on September 13 to provide unrestricted access to devotees at Dera Dhakki Sahib so that they could pay obeisance, but the callous administration, was still flouting the court directions with impunity at the instance of their political bosses, the dera inmates alleged, lamenting that human rights of the devotees and sewadars were being violated and even the cattle were not being spared.


CMC to get facelift
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — The Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC) has drawn up a comprehensive plan for giving a facelift to the institute. According to the Director, Dr Slas Charles, the institute will present an entirely different look, with more specialisations.

The plan came under discussion at the annual governing body of the CMC held here yesterday and today. The college has already tied up with the Louisiana University in the United States for setting up a specialised emergency room and trauma centre. Dr Charles claimed that the trauma centre would be one of the best in the country. The college would also start a postgraduate course based on emergency room care. The course would be called Diploma in National Boards.

The CMC also plans to start a cancer programme. Dr Charles said the purpose was to set the international medical standards here and to make these accessible to the common man. The governing body also approved the annual budget to the tune of Rs 42 crore for running the hospital and the college. The budget, besides improving health facilities to the patients, provides for some "controlled incentives" to the employees. However, there is no plan of allowing private practice to the doctors of the college.

The body also constituted a committee for selecting the Principal for the college. Dr Charles pointed out that Dr A.G. Thomas had served two terms as Principal. Trying to set at rest all the speculations, the Director clarified, "It should not reflect upon the work of any individual". He pointed out that Dr Thomas was a renowned plastic surgeon and he would continue to be with the CMC.

The committee comprises, besides Dr Charles, the chairman of the governing body, Dr Shyam Prasad, Dr Sam Raj, Associate Director, CMC, Vellore, Dr Bidari, Director, Meerut Medical College, Ms Leena Bose from the Church of North India, Mr Justice Devdas and Dr Sam Kishen. The body also approved the appointment of Dr John Pramod, Head, Department of Psychology, as Registrar. He replaces Dr J.C. Saha, whose extended term ends in January.

The governing body appreciated the services being rendered by Dr Charles as Director. Within three years, the annual budget of the institute rose from Rs 18 crore to Rs 42 crore. Dr Charles said emphasis was on minimising the necessity for donation in running the day-to-day affairs of the hospital and the college. Most of the budget is generated from patients. According to Dr Charles, income from patients accounts for 65 per cent, with 7 per cent from the college and the rest from donations.


During the week ended October 13, the 30-scrip LSE index slid from its opening of 128.09 on Monday to close at 119.83 on Friday marking a downfall of 8.26 points. Similarly, the BSE sensitive index fell from its opening of 4106.15 on Monday to 3738.93 on Friday reflecting a loss of 367.22 points. The overall sentiments in the market during the week remained dull with bears dominating over bulls. The downfall was triggered by week sentiments prevailing in overseas market. The tech savvy NASDAQ composite index has fallen by more than 1,000 points in the past one month. The other factor responsible for the steep downfall was fear of economic recession looming large on the Indian scenario.

Panacea Biotec Limited is a company engaged in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. The company has manufacturing facility for vaccine and pharmaceutical production in New Delhi. The company has recently modernised its machinery in the said unit which has enabled it to obtain GMP certification as per the WHO guidelines and accreditation by WHO for vaccine plant for procurement by UNICEF.

For the year ended March, 2000, the company earned a total income of Rs 195 crore as compared to Rs114 crore

During the year company launched several innovative products, including Nimulid MD (mouth dissolving), which dissolves in the mouth without the need of water and provides immediate relief to the patient in a situation, when access to clean and hygienic water is difficult.

The company intends to launch several products in the current year in areas such as orthopaedics, diabetology and ENT. It has also made its foray in information technology and intends to launch portals in the field of health care in the current year.

The Company declared a total dividend of 100 per cent for the year 1999-2000 on the back of comfortable cash position and reserves. The scrip of the company is being quoted at around Rs 270 at BSE and has touched a high of Rs 569 and a low of Rs 138 in the past twelve months.

It seems that the markets have bottomed out and will witness recovery in the next settlement. Otherwise also the impending festive season and comfortable level of liquidity in the market will affect the market. The outlook for the next week is bullish. 


It’s time to get house in order

Come Divali and people start gearing up month or two in advance to put their house in apple-pie order. The most tough and laborious job is to get the house painted both inside and outside. The doors have to be enameled, the grills and gates have to be painted. The whole thing costs exorbitant amount but more than that the labour, the dust, the loss of things due to shifting of things from one room to another, the allergic cold that takes monstrous proportions due to the heavy pall of dust in the house.

An army of workmen with drums, sand papers, buckets, brushes invade the house. Every room has to be emptied out, the cupboards have to be stripped. The ordeal last in proportion to the size of the house. Suddenly, you are a stranger in your own house as your entry is forbidden in some rooms. Your normal routine is sadly disturbed but the end results, when the house looks very clean and fabulous with a new coat of paint on walls and doors makes you forget the tortures you had to undergo while the house was being painted.

In a survey done by this correspondent reveals the market has been invaded by foreign brands of colours, both for exterior and interior of the house.

According to Mr Sushil Aggarwal, an owner of a hardware store, "People are not yet aware of the imported paints but we try to persuade them to buy these paints as they are superior." — AA


Demand of surety bonds flayed
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — The District Taxation Bar Association (Sales Tax), Ludhiana, has termed the demand of surety bonds at the time of applying for registration certificate as illegal.

Mr Satish Aggarwal, vice-president of the association, said here today that of late, authorities had been demanding surety bonds at the time of application for the grant of registration certificate under the Sales Tax Act. He said the demand was illegal, arbitrary and unfeasible and against the law, as laid down under the Punjab General Sales Tax Act, 1948, and rules thereof.

Mr Aggarwal stated further that by the notification dated April 11,2000, the Punjab Government had abolished additional tax (to maintain uniform rate of taxes) by the newly introduced Panjab Social Security Act,2000. But now, the authorities were insisting strongly on deposit of cess, as due date for filing of sales tax returns was October 20. Mr Aggarwal said they were at a loss as to how and where to deposit the said cess.

He said they did not know which challan form was necessary for depositing the cess. He added that it was unfortunate that even after a lapse of six months after the new Act came into existence, no rules had been framed to simplify matters for the traders registered with the Sales Tax Department. He lamented that sales tax on 24 items had not been slashed so far, in spite of approval at the highest level about two months ago. 


Kids make candles, divas
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — An exhibition of candles and divas made by primary students of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School was organised here today.

Over 1500 students decorated differently shaped candles and divas using colour paints and glitters. Accessories like ribbons, ghungroos, mirrors, beads, plastic flowers, golden and silver gotas and eatables like pulses, grams and rice were used to adorn those. Some of the students had prepared divali thalis covered by colourful wrapping papers and plastic sheets.

The prizes were given class-wise. In Class I, Abhivek stood first, followed by Damanjeet and Gurpreet. In Class II, Chhaya, Tanvi and Jasrema stood first, second and third, respectively. In Class III, Bhuven was declared first, Rajesh stood second and Harshita was declared third. In Class IV, Kushal Raj, Jashan and Kavish stood first, second and third, respectively. In Class V, Neha bagged first prize, Bharat stood second and Ashima was declared third.

The judges were Ms Raman Aggarwal, Ms Monica Dhoul and Ms Asha Bhateza, teachers from the same school. Ms Paramjit Kaur, Principal of the school, said next year a similar exhibition would be organised and the candles would also be kept for sale, so that the money collected could be used for charity.


Namdhari chief calls for world peace
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — Spiritual head of the Namdhari Darbar Baba Jagjit Singh today called upon the religious heads all over the world to strive for the good and well-being of all the living creatures of God.

Addressing the Harmony Day celebrations at Bhaini Sahib, about 30 km from here, he asked the religious leaders to initiate such steps that would narrow down the differences, end all kinds of conflicts and wars to achieve the world peace.

Baba Jagjit Singh, who had recently attended the millennium world peace summit of religion and spiritual leaders at the UN headquarters in New York, reiterated the clarion call which he had given to religious and spiritual heads. "Let us all jointly work for the well-being of all living beings, donate something out of our own share to others and protect the rights of others. By doing so, we shall achieve world peace," he said.

In his address at the Namdhari Darbar headquarters, the Baba observed that the problems of poverty in developing nations, environment and prevailing conflicts between various countries could be resolved once the world community learnt to have love and trust for others. Mutual respect and warmth for other nations could end many a long drawn conflict.

The Namdhari Darbar chief said he had met many religious leaders at the world peace summit. All of them had expressed concern over poverty, hunger and illiteracy in developing and under-developed nations and had resolved to take steps to alleviate the suffering of humanity.Back



CICU flays proposed power cess
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings has condemned the proposed power cess in the form of a levy of five paise per unit for all industrial, commercial and domestic consumers in the state. The chamber feels that by the proposal, the PSEB has caused a flutter among power consumers , especially the industrialists.Back


JD (U) leaders expelled
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — Mr Amar Singh Mehmi and Mr Kartar Singh have been expelled from the Janata Dal (United), according to the party president, Mr P.J.S. Mehta. In a press note, Mr Mehta stated that both the leaders had also been removed from their offices ‘for a period of 6 years for their anti-party activities’. Mr Amar Singh and Mr Kartar Singh were general secretary and secretary, respectively, of the state unit of the dal.Back



Theft in temple
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — A theft of cash was reported in a local temple in the Salim Tabri area yesterday.

According to the police, when some devotees visited the temple in the early morning yesterday, they found the donation box broken. Moreover, the crown on an idol was also reportedly missing.

The police said, although all locks on the outer gates of the temple were found intact, the thieves had reportedly entered from the roof top.Back


Site for buyers and sellers of steel
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — Buyers and sellers of steel can now avail the opportunity to interact and trade with their counterparts in the Indian sub-continent, the West Asia, South-East Asia, Europe and Africa by logging on to clickforsteel.com, India’s first internet-based steel trading platform for buyers and sellers of steel.

The site will also enable the members to find the ideal price-product combination, latest news and special reports on steel industry.

This is what Mr Abhijit Ranade, chief marketing officer, Clickforsteel Private Limited, told at a press conference here today. He said the site was launched in April but trading was started last month. He said that out of the total 3000 members on the Mumbai-based site, more than 25 are from Ludhiana and over 300 belong to the rest of Punjab.

Giving details of the site, Mr Ranade said, “Negotiations on phone and fax take a lot of time but by trading by the site one can save both time and money. At one click, a buyer can access a large number of sellers. Similarly, a supplier can access a web of customers. The site helps the user bridge geographical boundaries, time zones and provides a wide variety of products.’’

About the charges levied, he said, “Membership is free of cost. The sellers have to pay 1 per cent of the total sale as commission. However, buyers do not have to pay at all.”

“At clickforsteel, one can also find financial organisations, insurance companies, inspection companies and shipping companies for value-added services like online credit, logistics, quality certification and transportation.

He claimed that the site has facilitated 30,000 tonnes of steel trade aggregating Rs 35 crore in 12 weeks.Back

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |