Tuesday, March 6, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Holiday resort takes people for a ride
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 5 — Gold Crest Holidays Pvt Ltd, a company claiming to take people on holiday trips abroad, has allegedly duped several persons in the city after promising them trips to countries like England and Canada for amount as less than Rs 2 lakh. The package included travel, stay and local movement charges. But actually it only offered domestic travel for the same amount.

The company is reportedly having a unique modus operandi. An official of the company would call up people that they have won some gifts under different schemes through coupon and pamphlet system. Then the winners were summoned to the office, where they were “pursuaded” to opt for the tour under “fabulous” schemes.

Narinderpal Singh, a coin collector and one of the victims, received a similar call one day from the company. He was promised that he would be taken to Canada at a cost of Rs 1.8 lakh for return journey. Since the offer was alluring, he opted for it. The company officials asked him to deposit half of the amount. However, his father deposited only Rs 20, 000 about a year back. Subsequently, Narinderpal was told that he would be taken for a trip to any place in India only and not abroad for Rs 1.8 lakh. Narinderpal refused and demanded his money back.

For last one year Narinderpal and his father are daily visiting the office of the company but have not got back their money. At one stage the company offered them to return their money in ten weekly installments. But the very first cheque for Rs 2,000 bounced as there was only a balance of about Rs 300 in the company’s account. Mr Narinderpal has filed a complaint against the company with the police for dishonouring of the cheque.

Fed up with the tricks played by the company officials, Mr Narinderpal Singh today had filed a written complaint before the Senior Superintendent of Police, pleading with him that action should be taken against the company officials who were duping people.

The company reportedly keeps on shifting its office from one place to another. Currently it has shifted to a marriage palace Malhotra Mahal, Phase I Dugri. None of the officials could be contacted as the person sitting on the reception said that “all the officials of the Gold Crest Holiday Resort had already left”. There was one common reply to about a dozen telephone calls made to the company’s office and there was one common reply from the official who identified himself as Rajesh Thakur, that the concerned persons dealing with the case were not there.


Board exams: ever too late
By Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, March 5 — With no intimation regarding duties of examiners having reached the District Education Department, examination centres or school teachers directly, seems the Punjab School Education Board is too late at accomplishing their tasks at the proper time.

While examinations for Classes X and XII are scheduled to begin from March 12, school teachers and district examination controllers are still unaware about their duties. With just two working days left before the examination, they are a worried lot.

Sources in the District Education Department revealed that the worried officers sent a fax to the board officers at SAS Nagar, that the list of duties be sent at the earliest. It may be mentioned here that from this year, while the Superintendent at the centre would be headmaster or a principal of a high or senior secondary school, JBT teachers would act as supervisors for the examination. Similarly, the centre superintendents for the Class V examination would be headmasters of the primary schools and teachers of the senior secondary schools would be appointed as supervisors.

However, the new system has caused some confusion, as well as resentment, especially among teachers of the primary section. The teachers of primary schools, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said that the students of Class V were already tense as they were to appear first time for the board examination. They said that supervisors from senior secondary schools would not be able to deal with the problems of the students.

Resentment also prevails among the primary school teachers as soon after the census duties, they have been told to do a survey, under which they have been told to collect date regarding the number of schools in a ward, number of students from backward castes and scheduled castes, number of students falling in different age groups. The performas sent by the director of universal education have to be submitted by March 7, the day of commencement of examinations.

The primary section teachers said that they believed that after accomplishing census duties, they would at least have two days for revising lessons with the students. However, they could not get the chance to practice exercises of mathematics for the first examination, scheduled on March 7.

Besides, inadequate facilities at examination centres are also likely to hit the smooth conduct of examination, especially of the primary section. Most of the primary schools are without any buildings and adequate number of benches. Several schools have totally unsafe buildings and, therefore, examinations would be conducted in the open space, outside. The building of Government Primary School, Lakkar Bazaar, has been declared unsafe by PWD. The school, which is likely to be a centre for nearly 180 students, has benches for nearly 60 students. The school is also short of mats, which were being arranged from an adjoining school for the purpose.


Jubilant devotees await Id
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 5 — Thousands of Muslim devotees are buying ‘dumbas’ - the sacrificial goats. The city’s warming up to celebrate Id-ul-Zuha, the festival of brotherhood, love and peace, which falls on March 6.

In Ludhiana, where there is a considerable population of Muslims put at about 5 lakh, bazars in the old city have been given a facelift, particularly the area surrounding Jama Masjid wears a festive look much in advance.

Id purchases have already started. People, specially small children get new dresses from their parents. The entire Jama Masjid road has been tastefully decorated. Special speakers have been put on the entire Field Ganj road. Hundreds of sheep and goats were on sale for Id, as it is also called bakr Id.

Rates of goats vary from Rs 2,500 to Rs 30,000 depending on the breed. Rajasthani goats are more expensive as compared to desi ones.

According to the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi, the festival marks the tradition of sacrifice.

Mohammad Usman Bhai, said it is believed that Hazrat Ibrahim was ordered to sacrifice the life of his only son by Allah. The devil tried to stop him but he moved ahead with his mission. Seeing the devotion of Ibrahim, Allah placed a ‘dumbas’ head on his son’s. Thus, Hazrat Ibrahim’s son was saved. Muslims offer sacrifice on this day for the welfare of humanity.

The Shahi Imam has also drawn out the schedule for celebrations across the state. Mr Abdul Mannan Kaasmi, the spokesperson of Jama Masjid, said the schedule of Namaz-e-Id has been confirmed by the Imams of different Masjids and Idgaahs.

He said that Id celebrations would be held at a grand scale at the local Jama Masjid, where over 1 lakh devotees are expected to offer Id prayers. The Namaz will start at 10 a.m. at Jama Masjid in Ludhiana.

Id prayers would be performed on March 6, all over the state. At Idgah Malerkotla prayers will be held at 9:30 a.m., Idgah Phagwara at 9 a.m., Idgah Kapoorthala at 9:30 a.m., Jama Masjid Imam Nasir Jalandhar at 9 a.m., Jama Masjid Moga at 9:30 a.m., Jama Masjid Khairuddin, Amritsar at 9:30 a.m., Idgah Mandi, Ahmedgarh at 9:15 a.m., Idgah, Khanna at 10 a.m., Shahi Masjid Saraey, Doraha at 10 a.m., Masjid Dargah Hazrat Mujjahid Alif Sani, Sirhind at 8:45 a.m., Idgah, Bathinda at 9:15 a.m., Idgah Mall Road, Patiala at 9:15 a.m., Masjid, Bank Colony, Patiala at 9:30 a.m., Jama Masjid, Nawanshahar at 9:30 a.m., Jama Masjid, Pathankot 9:20 a.m., Jama Masjid, Jalandhar Road, Hoshiarpur at 9:15 a.m., Masjid, Kartarpur at 9:30 a.m., Masjid Dargah Panj Peer, Jalandhar 9:30 a.m., Masjid Raikot Road, Jagraon 9:30 a.m., Masjid Sufian Bagh, Ludhiana at 9 a.m., Sunni Noori Masjid, Ludhiana 9:15 a.m., Masjid, Raikot 9:15 a.m., Masjid, Samrala 9:15 a.m., Jama Masjid, Ropar at 9:30 a.m., Masjid Shaikhupura, Jalandhar 9 a.m., Masjid Batala near Congress office at 9:15 a.m., Idgah Sangrur at 9 a.m., Nakodar Jama Masjid 9:15 a.m., Masjid Jamia Habibia Shahpur Road Ludhiana at 7:45 a.m., Jama Masjid Barnala 9 a.m., Masjid Islamia School Mandi Gobindgarh at 9 a.m., Masjid Ahrar Gill Road at 9 a.m., Masjid Focal Point Ludhiana at 9 a.m., Jama Masjid Faridkot at 9 a.m., Jama Masjid Morinda at 8:45 a.m., Masjid Khamano at 8:30 a.m., Jama Masjid Tarantaran at 9:15 a.m., Masjid Air Force Halwara at 9 a.m., Masjid Chaksaraey Ludhiana at 9 a.m., Masjid Ferozpur at 9:15 a.m., Masjid Roja Brass Sharif 9 a.m. and Masjid University Ludhiana at 9 a.m.


Forum fines PSEB
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 5 — The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board to pay a compensation of Rs 3,000 to a complainant for deficiency in service, and release the connection to the complainant.

In the complaint, Ms Parveen Kumari of the Civil Lines area had said that she had applied for a commercial connection for her ration shop and had deposited the necessary amount with the opposite party. She had also deposited the test report fee on May 15, 1999. She said that she visited the office of the opposite party a number of times for the release of the electric connection but the same was not released to her.

She further said that on one of her visits to the board office she was verbally told that the connection was not being released to her because her landlord had filed an objection regarding the arrears of the rent. The landlord had filed an ejectment petition against her which was dismissed.

The forum in its order held that connection could not be refused to a tenant simply because the landlord lodges a protest. It further held that when the complainant is in possession as a tenant and had applied for a connection and the opposite party had issued demand notice, the opposite party should have released the connection. There are rules which require that in case the landlord lodges a protest, the connection can be released. The tenant has to produce the indemnity bond and in this case no such bond was called for.

So the forum directed that a compensation of Rs 3,000 should be given to the complainant as compensation and connection should be released to her within one month of the order.


Row over road project continues
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 5 — The project of building an elevated road over the Old GT Road here from Jagraon Bridge to Chand Cinema continues to be controversial. Various political parties and municipal councillors are divided over the issue.

The Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, and the Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon of the Bharatiya Janata Party, support the project. However, the local unit of the BJP has taken an opposing stand.

The leader of the BJP in the MC, Mr Pran Bhatia, said not more than 60 per cent of the city population had sewerage facilities and clean drinking water. He said many localities on the periphery of the city had no civic amenity. The MC had obtained a Rs 150 crore loan from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) for its water supply and sewerage projects, but had not stopped wasteful expenditure.

The BJP had said the MC was showing undue haste in executing the project, where the expenditure was expected to cost Rs 38 crore. It said the project had not been discussed in detail in the MC House. In this regard, the Minister for Local Bodies had issued written orders to the Director Local Government Department of Punjab on February 18 to tell the MC that the matter should be brought up at the House meeting. However, the government had not issued any instructions to the MC so far in this regard.

Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, Convener of an action committee of traders and shopkeepers of various commercial centres along the Old GT Road, said the MC had no funds for such projects. The MC was borrowing heavily for water supply and sewerage infrastructure and was also wasting money on such projects that would be of no use. He said he feared that there would be disruption in commercial activity in markets along the Old GT Road between railway station and old sabzi mandi, once the construction of the road began.

In the absence of any instructions from the state government, the MC was going ahead with the project. Firms have been shortlisted for the project and the quotations will now be placed before the Finance and Contracts Committee (F and CC) of the MC for approval.

The technical consultants for the project said the span of the elevation will be between Chand Cinema and Budha Nullah on one side and the elevation of Jagraon Bridge on the other. The road will be a dual carriageway.

The elevated road will be 3 metres away from the building line on both sides of the national highway and the 20 metre vacant space between pillars will be used for parking vehicles. The road will be connected with the multi-storey MC parking complex and the proposed flyover that is to replace the railway overbridge (Lakkar Pul) in Civil Lines here, say MC officials.


Pay challan or attend meeting
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 5 — The traffic police has introduced a new way to educate the public about the traffic rules. Under the programme chalked out by Mr Arun Paul Singh, SP (Traffic), violators of traffic rules will be given two options — receive a challan or attend a meeting where locals are educated about the traffic rules.

To enforce this programme, the traffic police has started retaining the documents of vehicles of violators. Documents are returned to them only when they give a proof that they have attended the meeting.

Mr Ajit Singh and Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, Chairman and President of the Punjab Pardesh Beopar Mandal, respectively, in a press note issued here today, said a team of about 30 traffic policemen led by a traffic police inspector had stopped several vehicles at Mata Rani Chowk today.

They seized the documents of vehicles of the violators and asked them to attend a meeting on traffic rules in the Model Town Children’s Park here today.

Mr Aggarwal said the traffic police was harassing the public by forcing people to attend such meetings. He said, however, government officials and traffic policemen openly flouted the traffic rules regarding wearing seat belts and helmets.

Mr Arun Pal Singh, SP (Traffic), said, “The campaign is aimed at educating the public. Violators have the option either receiving a challan or attend a meeting on traffic rules.

Such meetings are conducted everyday and about 60 persons attend these each day. A feedback form is also filled by participants and till now, no one has complained of harassment.”

The traffic police has almost stopped challaning drivers of two-wheelers who have the pillion rider not wearing a helmet. Car drivers who do not wear seat belts are also let off.

Sources in the office of the S.P (Traffic) said, “Officially, we issue challans to violators as ordered by the High Court, but the traffic staff has been told not to do this if pillion riders are without helmets and car drivers without seat belts, as in the city, speed limit is too low to justify such a rule.”

However, Mr Arun Pal said, “No such instruction has been issued to the staff. It is impossible to tell the number of challans that have been issued in the city limits for the violation of these rules, as no such record is kept.”

Residents said there was confusion on whether the rules were officially being enforced or not. They also said the traffic police should approach the High Court if they found that implementing the order would not be practical.

A number of residents have alleged that orders on helmets and seat belts were being openly flouted and used by the traffic police to harass people.


Satta operators held
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, March 5 — The Khanna police claimed to have arrested one smuggler and three satta operators here today.

According to the SSP Khanna, Mr R.N. Dhoke, the Additional SHO, police station city, Mr Nirmal Jeet Singh, stopped a man on doubt near local cremation ground and during search half kilogram of charas was recovered from his possession. The police has registered a case under Sections 20, 61 and 85 of the NDPC Act.

In another case ASI Maghar Singh conducted a raid near Samrala Road Railway Crossing and arrested Dalbagh Singh, Jarnail Singh and Chander Bhan while operating satta. An amount of Rs 735 was recovered from them. A case has been registered under the Gambling Act against them.


It should be a simple, solemn Holi this year
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 5 — Reacting to the decision of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, not to celebrate Holi because of the catastrophic tragedy that claimed thousands of lives in Gujarat, people in Ludhiana today favoured a simple and solemn Holi this year.

A number of people belonging to different strata of society including the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr K.S. Aulakh, the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, were of the unanimous view that the Holi this year should either not be observed or observed with all simplicity to express solidarity with those who suffered in the Gujarat catastrophe.

Dr Aulakh strongly argued that there should not be any celebrations this year. “It is a practice everywhere in each and every family that if any of the family members dies, no festival is celebrated for the entire year. We have lost so many lives in Gujarat, therefore we should not celebrate Holi this year as a mark of respect towards those who lost their life and everything in the earthquake”, he said. He pointed out, Punjabis have always shared the grief of others and it was acknowledged by a minister from Gujarat who was recently on a visit to Jalandhar.

Similar views were echoed by the DC, who maintained that people this year on Holi should not forget the tragedy that struck the mankind only recently. “There should be a sense of solidarity and I am sure it prevails among all of us with the people of Gujarat as was reflected from the generous contributions towards the relief”, he observed. Sharing others grief also gives great satisfaction, he said.

The Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, remarked that there should be no celebrations this year. He held, “while hundreds and thousands of people have died or lost everything, we should not celebrate Holi. We should share the grief and pain of people in Gujarat and maintain all simplicity and solemnity on Holi”.

Mr A.K. Kansal, working as a Trust Engineer with the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, stressed that there should not be any celebrations this year on Holi. All of us have been shaken and moved by the Gujarat catastrophe and we should not forget it so instantly”, Mr Kansal said, while making a fervent appeal to everyone not to celebrate Holi this year.

Mr Babu Ram, a fruit seller in Ghumar Mandi here disclosed that most of the shopkeepers and traders in the market had decided not to celebrate Holi to express their solidarity with people in Gujarat. “There will not be more important occasion than this when we should share the grief and tragedy of people in Gujarat”, he said, while appealing to others to observe a simple Holi.

The students of the PAU were also unanimous in their view that Holi should not be celebrated this year. Avneet Thind and Avneet Dharni, final year students of the College of Home Science, observed that the money that would have been spent on Holi should be donated to the Gujarat Relief Fund. They felt this was a testing time for the entire nation and everyone should be ready to share his responsibility.

However, Rohini and Ruchi, two other students of the PAU while agreeing that “we should share the grief of people of Gujarat”, but they added, “the day should not pass like any other routine day, we should celebrate Holi, albeit in a simple and solemn manner”.


‘Extend registration date of tenants, servants’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 5 — The members of the Public Cause (a forum for voicing common problems of the people and to focus public attention on various ills plaguing the society) have demanded that the date for giving information regarding the tenants and domestic servants, as directed by the district administration, should be extended to March 31.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, Director, Public Cause, in a press statement said it was ‘unimaginative’ and ‘unresponsive’ on the part of administration to direct the house owners in the city to furnish the required information within seven days. He said that photographs of the tenants and domestic servants were to be affixed on the performa and photographers may take undue advantage of the short period by increasing their rates. It will also create problem to the police officials to receive the information. Holi can also create trouble in moving about.

Mr A.K. Banerjee, general secretary of the forum, said city houses had 12 lakh tenants, domestic servants and migrant labourers out of the total population of 32 lakh. Certain tenants and migrant labourers were away from the city for more than 10 days, it would be difficult to accomplish the same work at such short notice.


Congress leaders rap government
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 5 — Senior Congress leaders have criticised the Akali-BJP government for its alleged failure to come up to the expectations of the people of the state. Speaking at a public meeting several Congress leaders including Mr K. K. Bawa, secretary, PCC, and Mr Pawan Dewan, All-India President of the Indian Youth Congress (Urban Development Cell), alleged that law and order was at its worst and the government had broken all the records of corruption.

Addressing the meeting Mr Bawa said, it was the Congress government headed by Mr Beant Singh which heralded the peace in the state. He alleged that by the wrong policies the current government was leading the state towards another era of chaos and confusion. Mr Bawa observed that the industrial growth in the state was on a decline due to the wrong policies of the government.

Mr Bawa alleged that the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was only keen in promoting his family and wanted to see his son become a minister at the Centre by “backdoor entry”.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dewan pointed out that there was widespread unemployment prevailing in the state. He warned, this may not augur well for the peace in the state. He said, crime was increasing at an alaraming rate in the state which had been checked to considerable extent by the Congress government.

Mr Dewan alleged that the Akali-BJP government had no clear policy for the educated youth and the unemployed and they were feeling desperate. He claimed that only the Congress could provide a better alternative to the people. He claimed that the popularity graph of the government was on the decline and it was by manipulations and misuse of power that the ruling alliance had managed to win different byelections.


IHRO flays Arjun’s statement
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 5 — The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) today strongly refuted the Congress Leader and former Punjab Governor Arjun Singh’s view that Rajiv-Longowal Accord was still relevant and existing and that, if implemented, it would give a new direction to the state.

The IHRO has called upon the people of Punjab to censure the Congress leadership and its Akali collaborators in the state, who had betrayed them by signing the so-called Rajiv-Longowal Accord, which was mainly aimed at robbing the state of its natural wealth, especially, river waters and to reduce Punjab to a barren land.

The IHRO chairperson, Mr D.S. Gill, the General Secretary, Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, Secretary, Mr Jatinder Singh Sandhu and its women wing Secretary Ms Inderjit Kaur, in a statement here, has also asked the people to identify puppets of the Centre and their genuine representatives. Elaborating its stand, the IHRO activists held the former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, and his coterie, responsible for agreeing then, to complete the controversial SYL Canal.

The IHRO also took a notice of the utterances by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, who had claimed 50 per cent share in the electricity to be generated by the Ranjit Sagar Dam Project because Haryana had no right over the Punjab rivers’ and its hydel projects.

As the Rajiv-Longowal Accord was never accepted by any credible political group in Punjab and it had died its natural death, the IHRO and Sikh League has urged the ruling coalition in the state to reject the accord as sham document and start afresh by passing a resolution in the state Assembly listing Punjab issues, claiming its sovereign right over river water including its hydel projects and the left out Punjabi speaking areas in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Meanwhile, the IHRO has strongly condemned the demolition of Buddha’s statues and other monuments of historical importance in Afghanistan by Taliban militia and has asked the militia to learn a lesson from India where the demolition of Akal Takht and Babri Masjid and attacks on Christians and their religious places have put a question mark on the secularism of India.


PAU kisan mela at Patiala
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 5 — Thousands of farmers thronged the kisan mela organised by Punjab Agricultural University at Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Patiala today.

Addressing farmers after inaugurating the mela, Dr Gurcharan Singh Kalkat, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, advised them to give top priority to improving the quality of farm produce, judicious use of farm inputs and preservation of natural resources like soil and water.

Highlighting the importance of good quality seeds, Dr Kalkat exhorted the farmers to produce their own seed instead of purchasing low-quality seeds from private traders at exorbitant prices. He called upon the government to create the necessary infrastructure for marketing, storage and post-harvest handling of fruits, vegetables, milk, mushroom, pulses and oilseeds in order to diversify the cropping pattern.

Earlier, while welcoming the chief guest and farmers, Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director, Extension Education, said that Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Rauni, Patiala, had the expertise and facilities for practical training of farmers and farm women in bee-keeping, fruit and vegetable production, dairy farming, plant protection, proper maintenance of machinery and home science. He called upon the farmers, particularly young boys and girls, to become self-employed and self-reliant after getting the training. He cited examples of farmers who have produced seed and nursery of CH-1, and Ch-3 chilli hybrids for transplantation in 200, 700 and 150 acres. They have taken to this enterprise after learning the techniques of hybrid seed production from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra.

Dr Kolar also informed that the main kisan mela at Ludhiana campus will be held on March 15-16, 2001, while those at Bathinda and Gurdaspur will be organised on March 21 and 27, respectively.

Dr Malwinder Singh Tiwana, Additional Director of Research, made particular mention of Hara Madhu, muskmelon, sartaj and kesri maize, SL295 soybean and AL201 arhar varieties and informed that the seeds of these varieties were available for sale at the kisan mela.

Dr Sadhu Singh Malhi, Associate Director (Trg.), proposed the vote of thanks and informed the farmers that the Krishi Vigyan Kendra has well-equipped demonstration units in dairy farming, poultry farming, bee-keeping, home science, and farm machinery for which they should contact the kendra’s scientists.


Cycle manufacturers thank FM
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 5 — The cycle and cycle parts manufacturers here have thanked Mr Yashwant Sinha, Union Finance Minister, for tax exemptions given to the industry.

While welcoming the budget proposals, Mr D.S. Chawla, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said, ‘‘The budget is industry-friendly. All of us were quite worried about the imposition of excise duty on the cycle and cycle parts which have been exempted till now as the cycle is an eco-friendly vehicle mostly used by the poor sections of society.’’

In view of the Chinese threat to enter the domestic market under the provisions of the WTO, the cycle and cycle parts industry was trying to restructure their production and costing pattern. Some units have already started the automisation of their production processes besides studying the production processes of China and other countries.

A section of the industry was expecting some relief package for the growth of the industry. Excise duties have been slashed substantially in case of two-wheelers and cars. No announcement has been made to give an impetus to the cycle or sewing machine industries. In this regard, Mr Ajit Singh Kolar, a leading cycle parts manufacturer, said, ‘‘We are thankful to the Finance Minister that he has not hurt the industry in his budget proposals. However, no package has been announced for the growth of the industry.’’

The lowering of the highest custom duty on imports because of the elimination of 10 per cent surcharge on 35 per cent custom duty may affect the entry of cycle or cycle parts from China or other countries in the country. But the industrialists are not presently much worried about it. Mr Chawla said, ‘‘We will wait and watch the entry of imported cycle and cycle parts in the country which do not seem possible for the time being.’’

The proposed changes in labour laws in the budget will also have a minimum effect on the industry as most of the units are covered under the small-scale category. The insiders feel only the big units would get some benefit from these changes.

The industry observers feel it is because of the lack of political clout at the Centre that the government has not provided any direct or indirect incentive to the industry though it was playing a crucial role in saving the foreign exchange on petroleum products.

Bar coding will boost exports’
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 5 — The benefits of bar coding are relatively higher as compared to its cost. The exporters should not consider it as the unnecessary expenditure but an investment that will expedite the process of transportation and selling in the international market with ease. It will save time and provide a competitive edge to the exporters in the market, said Mr Anil Jain, an expert in the bar coding.

While making a presentation in a seminar conducted here on bar coding for exporters, he said, “The Centre may have postponed the date of implementation of the mandatory bar coding for all exporters. It is, however, in the interest of the exporters to use it.”

The seminar was organised by the Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council. Mr Lajpat Rai, Member, Rajya Sabha, inaugurated the seminar. He said the bar coding was useful for industry and trade, particularly, to the small and medium entrepreneurs who were not fully aware about these barcodings. The time coming ahead was very competitive and if we want to compete in the world market, we would have to follow the latest techniques, he said.

Mr Surinder Singh, vice president of the council, said, “The world market is full of competition. The cutting edge is available with those exporters who are able to provide the products of high quality international standards.” He also stressed the need to adopt new ideas from professionals of bar coding which would go a long way in shaping exports in future.

Mr Somesh Arora, Executive Director of the council, encouraged participants to have the maximum benefits of the workshop by interacting with the professionals to have the latest information on bar coding. He also mentioned that the exports of wool and wool blended products during the year 1999-2000 has reached to the tune of Rs 2110.30 crore and for the current year was of Rs 1523.45 crore by the end of December. About 40 participants from hosiery units participated in the seminar.

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