Thursday, March 1, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Budget brings tears and cheers
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 28 — While the the budget proposals have put the textile manufacturers in a high spirit, the mood in the small-scale units is of disappointment. The long-pending demand of the textile manufacturers pertaining to the reduction of custom duty on the import of the textile manufacturing machinery has been met. The dereservation of the small-scale sector would adversely hit those engaged in this sector.

Welcoming the Budget proposals, Mr Vinod Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club, said that loans worth 50 billion would be made available for the small-scale sector under credit textile technology upgradation fund. It would give a big boost to the modernisation of the textile sector, which was facing grave challenges with the flooding of the Indian market by cheap goods from China and other countries.

The owners of small-scale units said that the dereservation of this sector in one go was never expected. It would have been better if this had been done in the phased manner.

The exporting units and capital market here has greeted the Budget which has many provisions for them. The rationalisation of excise and custom duties and the simplification of tax collection procedures are expected to provide a relief to the recession hit industry. The industry has welcomed the slashing of excise and customs duty and removal of restrictions on direct foreign investment.

In view of the Gujarat earthquake and drought in many states, the people were expecting a hard Budget since the fiscal estimates had to be revised by the government. But the Finance Minister has succeeded in clubbing the fiscal gap to 5.1 per cent despite shortfall in government revenues.

The capital market has welcomed the proposed enhancement of the limits of direct foreign investment in domestic companies from 40 per cent to 49 per cent. Mr R.C. Singal, president, Ludhiana Stock Exchange, said; ‘‘The abolition of all kinds of surcharges on corporate and individual income taxes would benefit the industry. Exemption of long-term capital gains if invested in new public issues would help the growth of the primary capital market.’’ Mr Tarvinder Dhingra of LSE also claimed; ‘‘The Budget is a capital market friendly Budget. It will increase the growth of the economy.’’

Hosiery industrialists feel that they expect to benefit from the cut in customs duty on the import of textile machinery from 15 to 5 per cent under the technology upgradation fund. The customs duty on the import of silk and cotton waste up to 15 per cent is also expected to provide a relief to the industry.

The federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India has decried the desreservation policy announced by the Finance Minister in his Budget speech today. Reacting to the Budget proposals, Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the federation, noted with concern that the country was “heading towards economic slavery”. Emphasising protection for the small-scale sector, he pointed out, “if protection is good for USA... why can’t our country protect domestic industry”.

Mr V.K. Goyal, chief executive of the Vardhman Spinning and General Mills, said the Budget presented by the Finance Minister is a “balanced one and based on the principles of growth”. He said certain measures announced in terms of dividend tax on corporates from 20 to 10 per cent, abolition of surcharge on income tax payable by corporates and on corporates, removal of 10 per cent surcharge on imports is a welcome step. He added that the allowance of accelerated depreciation of 50 per cent on plant and machinery purchased under technology upgradation fund is also a step in the right direction.

Mr Goyal said the Finance Minister has done well to offer tax holiday to infrastructure sector. “We do need a strong infrastructure in order to become efficient and competitive. This step shall encourage more and more investors to come forward for investment in this sector”, he added. He concluded that the “Budget is growth-oriented and well directed”.

Mr Tulsi Dass Jaitwani, vice-president the All India Beopar Maha Mandal and Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, described it as a moderate budget. He said: “In my opinion is neither tough nor hard, not even soft but a moderate through and through”. He said: “The Finance Minister has presented an excellent Budget and he deserves to be congratulated”.

Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, general secretary, Pradesh Beopar Mandal, said: “For the first time in so many years we have got a reasonably good Budget and we should acknowledge it”. He pointed out the Budget proposals have tried to draw a balance to make it friendly for everyone.

Mr Omkar Singh Pahwa has appreciated the Budget proposals and said it will give a boost to the industrial growth in the country. He pointed out that after a long time such a Budget had been presented by the government. 


Electricity bill for Rs 24,909 quashed
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 28 — The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has quashed the electricity bill of Rs 24,909 of Mr Ashok Kumar.

Mr Ashok Kumar purchased a house, along with electric connection (SW14/0323), in Harnam Nagar. He got the first electricity bill of Rs 305 on March 29, 1999. This was followed by two more bills of Rs 316 and Rs 736 in May and July, 1999, respectively. Then he got a bill for Rs 24,909, including Rs 2,166 on account of surcharge, on September 27, 1999.

Ashok Kumar met the PSEB officials who advised him to deposit Rs 4,550, 20 per cent of the bill. According to a junior enigineer’s report, the meter reading showed the consumption of 9468.27 units. Ashok Kumar deposited Rs 450 as fee for getting the electricity meter checked. The meter was taken away and Ashok Kumar was invited to the ME Lab.

But the PSEB officials did not provide him lab report. He received a bill, showing a consumption of 8349 units, for Rs 21,122, including arrears of Rs 20,613, in November, 1999. He got another bill on February 1, 2000, which didn’t indicate meter reading regarding the consumption of the 100 units. Ashok Kumar met the board officials who asked him to deposit the amount.

The board challenged the jurisdiction of the forum to try the case. It maintained that the meter was correctly working and the consumption had been rightly recorded.

The Forum observed that as per electricity bills received by Ashok Kumar the maximum consumption of electricity was 478 units against the sanctioned load of 1 KW so it was unbelievable that the consumption would be 8349 units for two months. The Forum further stated that even if the load was used for 24 hours to its full capacity the consumption could not be more than 1440 units.

The Forum held that the consumption of 8349 units only could be due to the sudden fault in the meter and as such the disputed demand was not justified at all and was liable to be quashed.Back


Knitwear units to file quarterly ST returns
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 28 — The Excise and Taxation Department has agreed to the request of the members of the Knitwear Club to continue with the quarterly arrangement instead of monthly deposit of sales tax.

It may be mentioned here that the members of the Knitwear Club had requested the excise and taxation officials to exempt the knitwear units from monthly filing of sales tax returns.

According to a press note, a delegation of the club led by Mr Vinod Thaper, president, Mr Rajinder Bhushan Maini, senior vice-president, Mr Narinder Miglani, general secretary, and Mr Kunal Sood, executive secretary, met the three Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioners, Mr L.A. Khan, Mr M.S. Kundlas and Mr T.L. Jindal, in this connection.

Mr Vinod Thaper, said that knitwear was a seasonal industry and there were hardly any sales in the last financial quarter of January to March. So the Excise and Taxation department would hardly get any tax revenue from the knitwear firms.

Moreover, the cash sale of goods spanned about two months only and most of the transactions were on credit basis. He added that due to credit sales the manufacturer paid the tax from their own pocket till the sale proceeds were realised from the retailer. Therefore, he said the quarterly provision was in the interest of the knitwear manufacturers.


Institute for blind cries for light
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, The Government Institute for the Blind, Jamalpur, lacks proper infrastructure for meaningful education to the 50-odd students residing in the premises. The pity is that the Education Department does not bother about the specialised needs of the students as the correspondent never saw any models or aids which could help them understand the subjects better. Paramjit, their English teacher said, “How can I make them understand the colours and the words like majestic or tell them about the enormous sea without a model? I was not born visually challenged so I know the things, but I cannot make the students feel without tangible objects. Of course, the students do get degrees but they do not have concepts, with the result that these students suffer from a massive inferiority complex and society does not lessen it as it never encourages these students to mingle with the normal students of other schools.”

The institution is housed in a sprawling 12-acre of land and has a number of classrooms, unclean and unswept. This correspondent was told that many of the teachers had gone for census duty. The students are taught subjects for the Punjab Shiksha Board. Besides these subjects, the children are taught music, cane work and they are encouraged to play games like cricket. “For cricket, a special kind of a ball that makes a sound is used so that the children can hear it and play with it,” said Mr Gurbax Singh, a physical instructor and Punjabi teacher of the school.

“My parents could not afford to educate me since here the education and the boarding and lodging is absolutely free, I was sent here,” said Preety, who had come from Himachal Pradesh. The children have come from as far as Nepal to study in this school. Earlier, Mr Hari Ram Aggarwal, the craft teacher (himself visually handicapped), said that the children were making cane baskets, candles and detergents.

“Some of the teachers were visually handicapped and thus could interact with the students well. The integrated approach of keeping the orthopaedic handicapped girls and visually challenged children of both sexes was successful,” said Mr Rajkumar Lamba, Welfare Officer of the institution. They were helping each other.

The main problems faced by the institute is lack of funds. However, the government is trying to solve this problem by setting up a audio-cassette recording room, which would be rented out and the money collected would be used for the institution. Similarly, an auditorium is being constructed to be let out to the public for hire and thus generate income for the institution.

Society has to learn to accept these handicapped children though they are children of a lesser God. The initial hesitation turns into fondness for the employees. The students come from lower middle class homes and cannot afford medicines. So people can in a systematic way provide medicines.

Out of 23 orthopaedic challenged girls residing in the institution, 11 are taught shorthand and typing, whereas the rest of them are taught tailoring. These girls become proficient and later find some occupation to earn for themselves. They help visually challenged students in reading and writing their letters and a cordial atmosphere prevails. 


Registration order may be reviewed: DYC
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 28 — Owing to the public resentment and political pressure the district administration is understood to have agreed to review its order asking landlords to provide details with regard to their tenants, employees and domestic servants to their nearest police station here.

The pressure had been building up from the day first against the order which was issued on February 22. This was claimed here today by a delegation of the Youth Congress which met the district Magistrate, Mr S.K. Sandhu.

Four cases were registered today for violating the District Magistrate’s order issued under Section 144 of the Cr PC. With this the total number of cases registered for violating the order has gone to 41.

Residents of Jiwan Nagar were reportedly woken up at 6 a.m. today by the police to gather the desired information. Some tenants were reported to have shifted during the day.

The delegation was led by Mr Parminder Mehta, President DYC. He told Mr Sandhu that the arrest of innocent persons was uncalled for. He said that police should have given some time to residents to provide required information.Back


Karnal girl wins Matiz in bunte bunte contest
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 28 — Vardhman Spinning and General Mills Limited, Ludhiana, today announced the final results of Bunte Bunte Kismat Chamke contest. Deepti Khurana of Karnal won the first prize Matiz Car. In all 1046 prizes had been declared during the mega contest. Earlier the company had already announced 4036 prizes during the four monthly contests.

The second prize winners are Shama Aggarwal of Amritsar, Jyoti Aggarwal of Indore, and Bindu Bala of Dhen village, district Kangra. These winners have won Tanishq jewellery worth Rs 42,000 each.

Neeru of Kaithal, Pushpa Lata of Jammu, Anamika of Dehradun, Ropari of Faridabad and Nidhan Singh of Gurdaspur have won third prize, Kinetic Honda DX scooter.

Seven participants who won the fourth prize, LG fully automatic washing machine, include Sita Shrestha, Kathmandu; Pratibha Baid, Patiala; Amarjit Kaur Rehal, Hoshiarpur; Shanti Tripathi, Satna; Himmat Kaur, Patiala; Kamaljit Kaur, Kapurthala; Sarabjit Kaur, Zira.

The 10 fifth winners for LG microwave oven are: Poonam Goyal, Chandigarh; Sarojini Vilankar, Gwalior; Rajshree Dhammavat, Varanasi; Ritu Thareja, Delhi; Usha Rani, Bhatinda; Madhvi, Haldwani;l Lalita, Muzzafarpur; Shamina, Gorakhpur; Suchitra Jaiswal, Ranchi; Lata Vohra, Lucknow.

20 winners for the sixth prize Titan wrist watches are: Riyaza Parveen, Srinagar; Harinder Singh, Rajpura; Rekha, Bhind; Vinod, Jalandhar City; Anita, Panchkula; Ram Kanya, Kota; Manjit, Batala; Mithlesh Purwar, Etawah; Ranjana, Shimla; Suman, Bulandshahr; Nidhi, Ludhiana; Jyoti, Jwalapur; Alok, Rai Bareilly; Bharti, Kaithal; Suman, Gondia; Atuk Mushra, Allahabad; Nisha, Mandi; Vinita, Bhopal; Rika, Shillong; Anjana, Lucknow.

The Chief Executive Officer, Mr V K Goyal, informed that the top 26 winners of the mega contest will be invited in April, 2001, where Renuka Shahane will present the prizes to the winners. Renuka Shahane is the official brand ambassador for Vardhman and she had played a very vital role in the launching of this consumer contest. He said, “We believe that the skill of hand-knitting should be recognised and the toppers should be rewarded for their brand loyalty and interest in the category.

Mr Goyal also informed that the dealers from where the winning entries were received have also win 26 prizes in the mega contest. M/s Kumar Wool House of Karnal has won 2 return tickets for Mauritious in addition to other 26 dealers those who have won attractive prizes. 


Costly mistake
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 28 — Mr Ajent Singh Sandhu (59) an NRI, acquired a 40-square-yard plot (25-G) in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar through special power of attorney in 1996. His problems started when he came to know that the original allotment of the plot, in the name of Ms Sundari Kaur, had been cancelled in 1992 because of a clerical mistake. The money for the said plot, Rs 3,520, was paid on January 24, 1990, vide receipt number 58331 by the allottee.

Now in spite of the fact that the ‘mistake’ has been detected, the Improvement Trust is not renewing the allotment in his name.

Mr Sandhu told Ludhiana Tribune today that he had contacted some members of the NRI Sabha in this regard but they too, could do very little to solve his problem.


Cheques distributed under shagun scheme
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Feb 28 — Eighty-eight cheques were distributed by the local MLA, Mr Bachan Singh Cheema, under the Shagun scheme among the people at Ramgarh village, 10 km from here, today. Praising the scheme, Mr Cheema said that Punjab Government was first in India to start Shagun scheme of Rs 5,100 for every SC girl. The SDM of Khanna, Mr S.S. Gill, Tehsildar, Mr Kulwant Singh Uppal, and the circle president of SAD Khanna, Mr Gurcharan Singh Raikhy were also present on the occasion.


Gold and cash stolen from car
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 28 — An briefcase containing 11 tolas of gold ornaments, pashmina shawls, some clothes and Rs 30,000 was reportedly stolen from a Santro car ( PB-10-AJ-1015) at about 11 p.m. on Monday. The complainant, Mr Denesh Kumar, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, had parked the car in front of Kumra Palace. It is learnt that the total loss is about Rs 80,000. A case has been registered under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code.

Land grab case
Chhajja Singh and Gurmukh Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib along with some unknown person have reportedly occupied the land of Mr Harcharan Kaur, a resident of Ranjit Singh park on Monday. The complainant alleged that the accused had threatened her. The police has registered a case under Sections 448, 452, 506, 511 and 34 of the IPC.

Landlords booked
The police has registered four more cases against the landlords for not informing the police about their tenants. Those booked are Mr Jawaher Singh Ganj, Mr Kishori Lal, Mr Manpreet Singh, all resident of Islam Ganj and Mr Jaswant Singh, a resident of Habib Ganj.


Unidentified body found
On the information of Mr Kulbir Singh, a resident of Bhadal Thuha village, 2 km from here, the Amloh police recovered the body of an unidentified person (about 45) from the fields near the bank of Kaur Wala (minor) on February 26. The police has registered a case U/S 302, IPC, and sent the dead body for postmortem. The body was spotted when Mr Kulbir Singh went into his fields. Mr R.S. Jangoo, SDM, Amloh, declared the body as unclaimed which was cremated by the municipal council, Amloh on Tuesday. The postmortem was conducted on February 27 at the Civil Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh, by Dr Gulshan Rai, M.O., Amloh. The cause of the death was suspected to be a head injury. Back


Wool export council to organise seminar
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 28 — The Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council will organise a seminar on Bar-Coding for Exports on March 3 at Maharaja Regency.

Mr Ashok Jaidka, chairman of the council, said the seminar would be inaugurated by Lala Lajpat Rai, Member Parliament.Back

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