Thursday, March 15, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 200 jhuggis demolished
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
Municipal Corporation officials today demolished over 200 jhuggis in the Haibowal area. Several officials accompanied by a huge contingent of the police descended in the morning and started the demolition process. Nearly 12 persons were injured as they tried to offer a stiff resistance.

The slum cluster had come up in the locality during the past five years. Local residents had been complaining against the setting up of jhuggis for quite sometime. However, it was only today that the corporation decided to take action. They were reportedly being pressurised by local councillors against any such action.

Slum residents alleged that they were not informed in advance by the corporation so that they could make alternate arrangements. They claimed that they had been living there for the last several years. However, corporation officials claimed that the slum-dwellers were served a notice of eviction 15 days in advance.

Slum-dwellers also pelted stones on officials and the police. The window panes of bulldozers were also broken.

The police has registered a case and arrested six persons for trying to prevent corporation officials from doing their duty and attacking them.

Meanwhile, some slum-dwellers alleged that corporation officials also set on fire some jhuggis. However, the corporation officials denied the allegation. The fire started in the jhuggis almost at the same time when the corporation officials started the drive.

There was tension in the area for some time after the demolition. However, the situation was under control as a huge contingent of the police remained there for the full day. The slum-dwellers, including women, were shouting slogans against the corporation and the government. 


PIL against district administration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 14
The Public Cause, a voluntary organisation, has filed a public interest litigation in the court of Mr Justice A.B. Saharya, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, against the order of the District Administration, Ludhiana, of directing all landlords to furnish complete details of the their servants, tenants and employees.

It was stated in the litigation that Mr A.K. Bhandari, general secretary, along with a team of the organistion had conducted a survey of the city and talked to landlords and tenants on the subject of furnishing information. The survey reveals, “Due to inefficiency of the local administration to check crime, it is shifting the duties on to the landlords.”

Mr Bhandari stated, “People are unable to understand if this is the only method to check crime then why this has not been adopted at the national level.” He further stated, “if the local administration wants to collect information regarding migrant labourer or servants, it should do it on its own.”


Another dowry death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
Parents and other relatives of Gita who died under mysterious circumstances on Sunday night have alleged that she was killed by her in-laws as they were continuously harassing her for the past several years for the want of dowry.

According to Mr Rajesh Kumar, brother of the victim, ever since Gita was married to Raj Kumar in 1995, she was harassed by her in-laws. “She would frequently be beaten up and asked to get more dowry”, he alleged.

He said, Gita had an eight-month-old male child. They bore all the expenses at the time of the delivery. Subsequently the in-laws again demanded money and they paid Rs 20,000. But the demands never stopped.

He alleged that they were misled as Raj Kumar was not employed at the time of marriage. He was drunkard. Gita’s in-laws would always ask her to get money from her parents so that Raj Kumar could be settled in some business. “From time to time we paid them hefty amounts”, Rajesh Kumar claimed.

He said, on the fateful Sunday, his younger brother who lives in Delhi had visited Gita. There he found that she was being harassed and threatened and asked to get more money. Mukesh reportedly assured her in-laws that they would try to settle Raj Kumar. However, on the same night at around two, Rajesh Kumar received a call that Gita had died under mysterious circumstances. He said, when he saw her body it was full of scars and marks of torture which indicated that she might have been beaten to death.

The police has registered an FIR and arrested the main accused Raj Kumar. He was remanded to three-day police custody by a local court. 


5 Principals in 5 months!
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, March 14
With the fifth officiating Principal taking charge in a span of five months, the administrative work of Guru Nanak Girls’ College, Model Town, has been hit badly.

Ms Charanjit Mahal, lecturer in English and seventh in seniority, is likely to take charge after Dr Rajvinder Kaur, who was appointed last week, expressed her unwillingness to the management to continue as Principal of the college.

On March 7, Ms Paramjit Kaur, who had been working as the officiating Principal since December last, was told to resign following a letter from the Panjab University stating PhD as basic qualification for the post of Principal as per the latest UGC notifications. Since Dr Rajvinder Kaur was the seniormost teacher to be PhD qualified, she was told by the management to take over as Principal.

Later the college management had told the university authorities to review the case and give some relaxation regarding the qualification. Mr Gurbir Singh, representing one group in the management, said the college had now received a notification from the university that the qualification conditions in their case had been relaxed.

While giving explanation of new appointment, Mr Gurbir Singh said after the college received intimation regarding the relaxation of qualifications, Ms Rajvinder Kaur expressed her unwillingness to work as Principal owing to some domestic reasons. He further said six senior lecturers in the college also gave expressed their inability to work as Principal. Ms Charanjit Mahal, who does not have a PhD degree, agreed to accept the post and was, therefore, chosen for fresh appointment, he said.

It may be mentioned that Ms Mahal would be the fifth Principal in the college in the past five months. After Ms Jasbir Minhas had gone on medical leave in October, Indu Kaushal, Vice-Principal of the college, was appointed as Principal. Later, in December, Ms Paramjit Kaur had taken the charge, but she had to resign from the post as she was not PhD qualified. Ms Rajvinder Kaur was appointed on March 7 and now with her resignation, Ms Charanjit is likely to take over as the new officiating Principal.


Gurdial Singh dreams of new dawn
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
Age has not withered the rebel, the radical, the revolutionary and the iconoclast in Gurdial Singh, the noted Punjabi writer and Jnanapith Award winner for the year 1999. While throughout his life and in his works he has remained a champion of the deprived and the exploited, he continues to pursue the same ideal, untiringly and without any doubt.

Gurdial Singh was here today to attend the “Ru Ba Ru” programme organised by the Sahitya Akademi in his honour. During an hour-long conversation with Ludhiana Tribune, Gurdial Singh’s concerns were focussed on his ideal. While admitting that all that he had visualised, has not been realised he said he still had hope that the new dawn would certainly be there as he had great expectations from the younger generation.

He has keenly and closely watched two armed rebellions. One of the Naxalite movement and second of Punjab militancy. He argues that although the nature of both the movements was entirely different yet there was one thing is common in both these movements. “The sense of unrest and alienation among the youth for varied reasons. If this unrest and alienation is not properly channelised it is bound to explode as it did,” he added.

The Jananpith Award winner feels that the regional literature is yet to get its due place in India as the colonial mindset of giving preference to English still prevails across the country. He regretted that the governments, without any exception had failed the nation by not declaring Hindi as national language for the fear of antagonising some southern states.

Gurdial Singh strongly emphasised the need for adopting Hindi as national language. And pointed out that barring some people in few southern states, nobody is opposed to Hindi and the language is understood by the people in rest of the country.

The noted Punjabi writer sought to dispel the myth that English had come to be the national language in the country. He said, “not more than 10 per cent people in the country can read, speak or write English. It is the select elite which can speak or converse in English”.

He regretted, this was not a healthy trend as native languages were being ignored. He had a dig at the people like the Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishen Advani, who claim to be staunch votaries of Hindi but always prefer to speak in English even in the Parliament. He also criticised the Punjab government for introducing English from the first standard arguing that this is unprecedented as nowhere else in the world a foreign language is taught at this level.

Gurdial Singh has been bestowed with many awards and honours. He shared the Jnanpith Award for the year 1999 with another great Hindi writer Nirmal Verma. He maintains that there have been great Punjabi writers who have made better contribution to the Punjabi literature. However, he regretted that due to the non-availability of translation of their works these could not be appreciated and acknowledged.

He pointed out, there have been great Punjabi writers including Prof Mohan Singh, Gurbaksh Singh and Nanak Singh, who is the pioneer of Punjabi novel.

He was accorded a rousing reception at the “Ru Ba Ru” programme at PAU.

The programme was attended by several well known writers and senior officials of the university, including the Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat, the PVC Dr K.S. Aulakh, and noted Punjabi poet Surjit Patar.


Kisan mela to focus on higher output
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
With the significant theme of ‘precision farming for higher profits’, the two-day kisan mela will begin at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus here tomorrow.

The kisan mela, with emphasis on high production, will also concentrate on quality, profitability and at the same time will educate farmers to conserve the natural resources.

According to Dr M.S.Bajwa, Director, Research, PAU, while preparing the programme of the mela, scientists have kept an eye on April 1, the day of the implementation of WTO Treaty, which calls for the precision in farming.

“We want to make our farmers compete at the international level as far as the production is concerned” informs Dr Bajwa.

The kisan mela will also lay emphasis on minimising the cost of production and get the maximum profit out of the yield . According to experts at PAU, the highlights of the mela are in the context with WTO Treaty.

The mela would specially concentrate on various agricultural techniques, including bed planting ,timely transplantation of paddy and alternative crops. The farmers would also be educated about integrated pest management (IPM) that indicates attacking the pest with all possible means . It includes biological control, natural enemy of pests changing cultural methods of control along with judicious use of pesticides.

The literature available at the mela will include the packages of field practices for vegetable, fruits, flowers and mushrooms. It also includes various techniques of dairy farming biogas technology, environment, forestry guide and popular cultivation.

Another attraction of the mela will be the release of a book on field problems of crops . It contains colour pictures of insect pests attacking these crops along with the pictures of symptoms of the disease caused by these .

Various seed variety of different crops will also be made available. These include Paddy-PR116, PR115, PR113, PR108, PR106:, Maize - Prabhat, Megha, Sartaj: cotton-LH1556 and others.

The mela will be inaugurated by Mr Bhaskar Barua, Secretary Department of Agriculture, Government of India, who will address the gathering Act exhibition and field demonstration will also be held.


Resident alleges harassment by BSNL
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 14
Kasturilal Bhatia, a resident of the Kundan Puri area, Civil Lines, has complained that for the past three years he has been continuously harassed by the BSNL officials. He said he has been getting repeated reminders for non-payment of the bill for his telephone number 440029. The bill for Rs 1,008 included Rs 600 as shifting charges of the said telephone from one place to another in May 1997.

Surprisingly Mr Bhatia has never applied for shifting of his telephone. He has been living at the same place for the past several years and the telephone is also installed at the same place. The original bill was returned for issuing a correct bill after deducting the shifting charges of Rs 600. In the meantime, the complainant received the corrected bill and deposited the amount in July 1997.

But soon after Mr Bhatia started receiving the reminders again and again. He said, he personally approached the BSNL officials and explained the facts several times along with the amended bill. The subscriber alleged that instead of maintaining their own records, the department was sending reminders regarding the non-payment of the bill which had been cleared in 1997 itself. Mr Bhatia revealed, “not only are we receiving the letters but the officials are also threatening to disconnect our telephone line”.

General Manager, BSNL feigned ignorance on the issue and denied that anybody had approached the authorities concerned.


Stone of Shanti Bhawan laid
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 14
“Fulfillment of desires and love for worldly pleasures widen the distance between man and God resulting rivalry, quarrels, jealousy and tensions”, this message was conveyed by Dai Janki, Additional Chief Brahma Kumari Ishwaria Vishava Vidyalaya, Global Cooperation House London, known as ‘Delta’ Women of the world. She was addressing disciples at a pravachan organised by the local unit of the ashram here yesterday after laying the foundation stone of “Shanti Bhawan” on Amloh Road. Purification of thoughts affection, self introspection, and doing good things would lessen the tension and inculcate the spirit of brotherhood.

Mr B.S. Sudan, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, who was the chief guest said, irrespective of professors, class or gender everyone was burdened with different tensions and religious places provide relief from these for some time. He further said, we should develop self-confidence, self-discipline to cover all obstacles with sense of self realisation. One should do one’s duty honestly, which gives satisfaction. He offered the required space for the bhawan at district headquarters, Fatehgarh Sahib.

Mr Amar Shand, State Coordinator of Brahma Kumari Vishava Vidyalaya, said during the past 50 years, much progress had been made in the fields of science and technology, people in this materialistic age run after money and pray to God not for peace of soul but for material gains.

Speaking on the working of this institution Prof Hardeep Singh of Government College, Ludhiana said, 75 countries in the world including Russia were functioning properly. While 10 such centres were operational only in Russia, more than 5,000 centres were in India, controlled by its chief administrative head of the World Dai Parkash Mani ji with headquarters at Mount Abu in Rajasthan. He gave details of the working of the centres. The distance education wing of the centre has 15 branches which include self management, jurist wing administrative wing and women’s wing.

Mr Amar Nath, Sewa Dal; Kanahta Lal (a local industrialist); Kamla Kumari, convenor, Patiala unit; Raj Behnji, Incharge, Ludhiana; Shakhshi Bhenji, Incharge Local Unit; and Lata also spoke on the occasion . Mr A.N. Jindal, Additional Sessions Judge, Fatehgarh Sahib, Anil Suraj, Hony Secretary All-India steel Rerollers Association and Mr Charan Singh Matharu, were also present.


Enforce rules to check cruelty to animals: PFA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 14
The local chapter of the PFA ( People for Animals) has urged the local Municipal Corporation to enforce some rules regarding the registration of carts driven by bullocks, horses and mules.

According to its suggestions, there should be a compulsory health fitness check up by a qualified veterinary doctor before the registration or renewal of registration of bullock or horse carts every year.

Secondly, no injured or sick animals should be registered.

In order to prevent cruelities to animals, the cart owners must be told not to take any work from the animals for more than 9 hours in a day and for not more than 5 hours at a stretch.

In a letter to this effect to the Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Dr. S.S. Sandhu, here today, the PFA general secretary, Mr Ajay Jain, stated that People for Animals would be glad to help the authorities in implementing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.


Shock, dismay over Laxman’s action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
There is shock, surprise and dismay over the admission by the Bharatiya Janata Party president, Mr Bangaru Laxman, of having accepted Rs 1 lakh from some reporters of a portal, posing as arms dealers. A number of people Ludhiana Tribune talked to expressed dismay over the incident and felt that this was the most disgraceful for the entire nation that the president of the ruling party had accepted money for fixing an arms contract. Mr Laxman had been maintaining that he received the money as party fund.

Lieut C.S. Dhillon (retd) demanded that the government should resign as it had no moral authority to continue in office. He said the President of India should constitute an interim government and fresh elections should be held. He regretted that some senior Army officers were also involved in the scandal.

Miss Diksha, a college student, observed that this was an indication of the decline in the moral values among those who governed the country. She pointed out that it was shameful that the president of the ruling party had proved as bad as others. She added that there might not be many persons who were clean.

Dr Jasmine, a medical practitioner, said it was shocking to watch Mr Laxman counting the money allegedly offered to him as bribe. She regretted that senior leaders of other political parties had also been involved in corrupt practices. From where do political parties get money, she asked.

Mr Vikas Sharma, an architect, observed that it was a betrayal. Not many would have expected Mr Laxman to do what he did, he said. He added that this had shaken the faith of the country.

Maj G.S. Bhatia (retd) said the whole affair needed to be thoroughly probed. He pointed out that it could be a conspiracy by some persons to fix Mr Laxman or his party. It was too early to comment on anything or to arrive at judgements, he remarked.


CPI seeks resignation of Vajpayee government
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
The Sangh Parivar has been thoroughly exposed after the revelations of tehelka. com. The involvement of the President of the BJP in corrupt dealings has proved that the party was no more fit to govern the country, said Dr Arun Mitra, Assistant Secretary, district unit of the CPI.

In a press note issued here today, the party has condemned the involvement of Mr Bangaru Laxman for allegedly accepting money for fixing a fictitious defence deal. Dr Mitra said, “The party has no moral right to stay in power. Right from telecom scandal to Balco deal and now the defence deals scandal it has been proved that leaders of the BJP and allied parties were involved in corrupt dealings. They were using the name of religion and arousing people’s emotions to come to power.”

The district unit of the CPI has demanded resignation of the Vajpayee government in view of the exposure. Dr Mitra said it was an irony that even religion had been commercialised by the party. The parivar which claimed to be the champion of patriotism, morality, national unity and clean administration was now in the dock.

Dr Mitra said, “It is high time to think whether we shall allow the present economic policies of privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation to continue”. 


Gambling under govt patronage
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, March 14
“I play motta jua. There are 24 daily draws of lottery tickets. I buy tickets worth Rs 500 or Rs 600 for every draw. Thus in a day I spend about Rs 12,000 to Rs 13,000 on lottery tickets. By the end of the month, I make enough money to take care of my needs,” said Bunty, one of the many lottery addicts who hover around the lottery adda, behind Clock Tower.

Why he gambles so much ? His reply is: “I failed to find a job so I made gambling my profession. It is not an easy job as you have to do a lot of planning. Sometimes, I buy tickets with odd numbers and at other time tickets with even numbers. At other times, I just depend on my instincts.”

Most of the lottery addicts are unemployed persons who think that lottery will make them rich. Avtar Singh and his friends, who were hanging around the place said, “Most of the people spend all their earnings on these tickets. Mostly they are daily wage earners. They work one day, and the next day they spend the entire amount on tickets. The day they win, they are happy, and when their pockets are cleaned out, they go home and fight with their wives and often beat them to take out their frustration. The next step is to sell some household articles and the cycle starts again.”

The lottery is managed by the Punjab Government. Earlier, it used to be a one-digit lottery which means that the last digit of the ticket number decides the winner. Officials of the Lotteries Department hold that the government had started this to curb illegal gambling such as satta, parchis, matka etc which enabled private individuals to pocket the entire money. Sometimes they did not even give the prize money to the winners. The government appoints a sole selling agent who appoints stockists all over Punjab. The stockists in turn appoint agents.

One lottery ticket costs Rs 11. Of this Rs 10 goes back to the winners and Re 1 to the stockist, agents and counter sellers. The tickets are printed at the Security Printing Press of the government. The fist draw is held at 8.40 a.m. and the last draw at 6.30 p.m. The 24 types of lotteries have different names such as Shree Supreme, Raj Shree Parag.

That many people lose all their earnings in the hope of becoming lakhpatis and crorepatis does not bother the government. Its concern seems to be to make money under the pretense of saving the public from illegal gambling. But gambling is gambling and the government makes itself a party to the ruination of a large number of people.

The gamblers are hooked on lottery tickets in same manner as an addict is hooked on drugs.


Budget meeting adjourned
Our Correspondent

Jagraon March, 14
The Municipal Council held its meeting for passing the budget of the year 2001-2002 today, but due to strong protests from the opposition and some of the members of the ruling side, the budget could not be passed.

Mr Manjit Inder Pal Singh and Mr Ram Singh Thakural wanted to know from the president, Mr Baldev Krishan, why in spite of his assurance in the party meeting, why the details had been withheld. Opposition members, Mr Ravinder Sabharwal, Ms Kamlesh Sabharwal and Mr Purshotam Lal Khalija accused the president of having allowed enchroachment after accepting big amounts. Faced with stiff attitude of his own members and of the opposition, the president adjourned the meeting for March 26.


Pratibha loves to teach
Our correspondent

Ludhiana, March 14
If a person desires to achieve goals and is consistent and persistent in one’s efforts, no task is impossible, says Ms Pratibha Goyal, a member of the MBA faculty at PAU. Her organisational abilities were evident at Anjuman, an annual cultural event organised recently to encourage co-curricular activities of students.

Prior to joining this institute, she was working for the PSIDC. She later took up the post of deputy manager, personnel, Bathinda. She was also an announcer with All India Radio. She presented a paper on Role stress among women executives at a meeting of the Saarc conference at Pune in March 2000.

She started working on a project — Child labour in small-scale industries in Punjab — and her paper focused on the problems of child labour in agriculture, hosiery, sports goods and carpet weaving industries. She is the chief editor of PAU Magazine. She has written 20 research papers and has participated in international quiz competitions. Browning is her favourite author and she loves teaching.


Dial In for emergency
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 14
Dial 300300 in case of an emergency to locate the telephone numbers, address including the person whom you wish to contact, as part of a new service made available to customers. Dial In is currently a 12-hour service operational from 9am to 9 pm and can help one find an advocate, a doctor, architects, florists, crockery and even a marriage palace. If the information is not available then , the customer is called back and given the information. This information is available at the cost of a local call. 


Aphid attack likely
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
In a press note issued here today the scientists at Punjab Agricultural University have warned that aphid is appearing in the wheat fields. If the attack was not checked in time, it may effect the crop. The scientists have advised the farmers to check their crop and if the attack of aphid is noticed they should spray the crop with any one of the insecticides — Rogor 30 EC or Metasystox 25 EC or Anthio 25EC or Nuvacron 36 SL, 150 ml per acre in 80-100 litres of water.



Case registered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 14
The Sadar police of the city registered an accident case under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC against Mohinder Singh, driver of a truck ( PB-10E 9391), resident of Ladduwal. According to the statement of Mr Balwinder Singh, son of Late Mukand Singh, resident of Guru Nanak Colony, the truck allegedly hit his car (DBB 7346) as a result of which he and his wife were injured.

Another case of accident was registered by the Jodhewal police under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC against Rajinder Singh, driver of a four-wheeler ( OB-10E-9579). The complainant, Mr Bihari Lal, son of Mr Ram Naik, resident of Daulat Colony , stated that in the accident caused due to the negligence of Rajinder Singh, his wife and daughter were injured.



Field Ganj clash:16 booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 14
The city police has registered a case under Sections 452, 324, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC in connection with yesterday afternoon’s violent clash in Field Ganj in which swords were used quite brazenly.

The case was registered at the Division No 2 police station on the statement of Mr Sanjay Kumar, son of Mr Raj Kumar, a resident of Field Ganj, against Gurcharan Singh, owner of a shoe shop, and about 15 other persons accompanying him. Complainant alleged in his complaint that the accused came to his shop armed with swords and lathis and attacked them with these weapons injuring his brother, Amrit, and a friend , Harpreet.

Mr Hardev Singh, Inspector and SHO, Division Number 2 police station, has been appointed as the case officer.

Booked for assault:
The Division No 6 police station registered a case under Sections 323, 324 and 107 of the IPC in connection with a brawl between two youths of Ganesh Nagar in Janakpuri on Monday. Tejinder Kumar, son of Mr Ram Kumar, a resident of street No 4, Janakpuri, stated in his complaint that Shezad, son of Mr Fiaz Ahmed, a resident of Hari Kartar colony beat him up with a cricket bat while he was going to buy some medicines from a chemist. No arrest has been made so far as the accused is absconding.

Dowry case:
The police of the Division No 5 police station has registered a case of dowry harassment under Sections 406 and 498 of the IPC against Balwinder Singh, Karam Singh and Malkit Kaur, residents of New Prem Nagar, for demanding more dowry from their daughter-in-law, Rajinder Kaur, daughter of Harbhajan Singh , also a resident of New Prem Nagar. She complained yesterday to the SSP that her husband and in-laws were demanding more dowry from her.


Hard days ahead, Baruah tells farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 14
Indian farmers will definitely have to face a tough competition after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) treaty gets fully implemented in India from April 1. According to Mr Bhaskar Baruah, a former Union Agriculture Secretary, due to certain distortions in the treaty certain developed countries were continuing with huge subsidies to their farmers which has made the competition unfair.

He said India with several other countries had made a case before the WTO pointing out the distortions which can adversely hit the developing countries like India. In fact countries like Australia and New Zealand were also likely to be hit by these distortions as they were placed in similar conditions.

He observed these countries were likely to support India’s case at the WTO.

Mr Baruah disclosed that certain developed countries, including the USA and Japan, provided an annual subsidy of $ Rs 365 billion to its farmers.

Even export subsidies were provided to farmers there which needed to be removed. He said India and some other countries had been demanding that the subsidies should be reduced at least by 50 per cent.

He said the papers were filed with the WTO in January and it may come up for discussions at anytime after March 31.

While admitting that the competition was likely to be tough. But there are certain measures which allow the countries to impose tariff within agreed limits which ranges from 100 to 300 per cent on various articles like processed food. He held that the country had to be competitive at all costs.

The former Secretary, who played an important role in formulating the new agriculture policy, emphasised the need for diversification and qualitative improvement.

He pointed out while in quantitative terms country had made tremendous progress now the focus should be on improving the quality to match international standards of the competing nations.

To a question regarding the Centre stress on states not to provide free power to farmers, Mr Baruah observed that giving something free to someone for too long would not serve any purpose and would rather prove counter productive.


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