Tuesday, August 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Migrant labourer clubs dairy owner to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Apparently peeved at being rebuked for not doing proper work, a migrant labourer allegedly clubbed a dairy owner to death with an iron rod at Ramdutt Colony near Gopal Nagar, Tibba Road, early morning today. The accused ran away after breaking a mud-wall of a cattle-shed in the dairy.

The accused, Mangru, has been booked by the Basti Jodhewal police on a charge of killing Gurmeet Singh (45), the dairy owner. While the accused has absconded, the police has rounded up some persons who had introduced him to the dairy owner. The police is also learnt to have rounded up some former servants of the deceased. They have been detained for questioning, as the deceased had allegedly turned out most of them after bitter arguments over the quality of their work.

The police has ruled out an old enmity in the case as the labourer was employed at the dairy just nine days ago.

According to Sadhu Singh, a neighbour of the deceased, the gruesome incident took place at about 4:30 a.m. today. The deceased’s house and the dairy are located in one premises only. The dairy owner used to milk cattle daily at this hour with the help of his servant. However, today, when he came to the dairy, he allegedly abused his servant for not doing some work.

The servant objected to the abuses and as the arguments intensified, he allegedly picked up an iron rod (sabbal) and hit the dairy owner repeatedly on his head. As a number of relatives of the deceased rushed outside after hearing his screams, the labourer first tried to scale the locked front door and then broke a mud-wall of the cattle shed and fled.

The deceased’s relatives said they did not follow him as they began looking after the injured dairy owner. The dairy owner, however, could not survive for long. Later, a dog squad of the police was pressed into service but it lost the accused’s scent near a concrete road.

An FIR has been lodged on a complaint by the deceased’s brother, who claimed to be an eye-witness to the scene. The police said the accused was a resident of a village in Varanasi district in Uttar Pradesh.

The deceased is survived by his wife and four children, including three daughters.


Molestation case takes PAU by storm
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The controversy surrounding the molestation case involving a student and a faculty member of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) seems to have taken the campus by storm as a number of other girl students today came out openly in support of the alleged victim. The girl concerned alleged today that she was being pressurised to withdraw the complaint by certain teachers. The victim is learnt to have had a heated argument with a teacher.

While a section of teachers known to be close to the administration were busy in convincing the girl to withdraw the case, another group, known for its anti-administration stance, demanded strict action against the accused.

The case, first reported by Ludhiana Tribune, was taken seriously by the Punjab Government. Sources said Master Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, telephoned the Vice-Chancellor for conducting a speedy inquiry and punishing the guilty.

The university administration was taken by surprise this afternoon when several girls, supporting the victim, laid siege to the office of the Dean, College of Home Science, where an inquiry was being conducted.

The students were demanding the suspension of the faculty member concerned and were saying if justice was not meted out to the victim immediately, they would start an agitation with the help of various student organisations from tomorrow.

The university was abuzz with the allegations of the molestation of a postgraduate student of the Department of Soils a few days back. The Vice-Chancellor had then ordered an inquiry into the case.

At least 30 girls of hostel number 6 went to meet the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, this morning and demanded immediate action against the teacher who had allegedly tried to molest the student. The students, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said the Vice-Chancellor had assured them that after the completion of the inquiry, he would take appropriate action in the case.

The students said the VC had assured them that he had ordered an inquiry into the case, which would be conducted by the Dean, College of Home Science, Dr S.K. Mann.

The victim and her mother, who were present in the hostel, said they were fearing that the girl would be harassed afterwards in the university as she had lodged a complaint against a faculty member of the university. Her mother said she was also asked by Dr Mann to be present before the high-powered fact-finding committee which met this afternoon. The meeting was going on till late in the evening, but no decision was taken.

The students alleged that the university was delaying the matter unnecessarily as the victim had complained to the authorities past week.

They said the girl was agitated as she was being called by the various fact-finding committees and she was being interrogated like a culprit.

Sources close to the victim said she was pressurised by the authorities of the PAU in the first meeting of the inquiry committee, which was conducted by the Head of the Department, Dr V.K. Nayyar. The sources alleged that an office-bearer of the PAUTA had asked the girl to take back the complaint and forgive the faculty member.

The sources also alleged that another faculty member had threatened her of dire consequences if she did not withdraw her complaint. The member had also threatened that she had to complete her degree from the university.

Dr Balwant Singh, convener of the kisan wing of the NCP, in a press note, today said the episode had raised a question as to whether such teachers should be allowed to continue in the university or not.

He also said another question was that those persons who were threatening the girl whether she wanted a degree or not needed to reply whether the degree was being awarded by the institution or the persons concerned.


Vets out on city streets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Students of the College of Veterinary Science (COVS), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), today boycotted their classes and took out a protest rally through the streets of the campus to protest against the farmers, course being conducted by the university.

The students got a shot in the arm today as the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association (PSVOA) extended its support to the agitating students, who were demanding the immediate conclusion of the course in which the university was allegedly training the farmers in technicalities of veterinary surgery, including disbudding, artificial insemination and pregnancy detection test.

Meanwhile, the students of the College of Agriculture (COA) also continued their month-old strike today in favour of their demands, which included the advertisement of posts of teacher of agriculture in schools.

At least 400 students gathered in front of the College of Veterinary Science this morning and started marching towards the Thapar Hall, the administrative block of the university. They were raising slogans against the Dean, COVS.

A student leader, Baljit Singh, while addressing the agitating students, alleged that the Dean was not cooperating with the students. He said although the Dean had given in writing to the students that the university would not teach the technicalities to the farmers, only the management of dairies, he had not done anything to conclude the course, which was being conducted in the dairy farm of the university.

The students had started the agitation a week back alleging that the PAU was training the farmers the technicalities of the veterinarians, profession under the simple name of the course. While the university authorities were claiming that they were training the farmers under the Progressive Dairy Farmers Training Course to make them self-dependent in management of dairy farming, the veterinary students viewed the programme as a threat to their future job prospects.

The president of the VSA, Rajinder Kumar, in a written statement to the Press, said the representative of the PSVOA had met the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, in the morning, who had called a meeting with the student leaders in the afternoon. He said that the president of the PSVOA had assured them that the association would fight for the genuine demands of the students, which were also affecting the field veterinarians.

Meanwhile the students of the College of Agriculture (COA) continued their strike and sat on a dharna today. They were boycotting classes for the past one month in favour of their demands. They were demanding that the posts of teacher of agriculture in schools be advertised immediately. 


Journalists to boycott government functions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The secretary of the National Union of Journalists (India), Mr Ashok Singhi, has demanded immediate transfer of the DSP, who was allegedly involved in misbehaving with two journalists. The union has sought the intervention of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, into the matter.

The union has alleged that DSP Gurmail Singh misbehaved with the press photographer, Ashwini Dhiman, and City Cable team at the Ludhiana railway station on August 27. The union has also condemned the behaviour of the SSP, Mr Harpreet Singh Sandhu, with mediapersons.

Mr Singhi said the union would raise this issue in the forthcoming meeting of the union on September 1 and 2. Mr Gurkirpal Singh, general secretary, Chandigarh Journalists Association, has also condemned the incident.

Meanwhile, a meeting of journalists and photographers was held here this afternoon in which it was decided that the mediapersons would boycott all police and administration functions, if immediate action was not taken against the DSP.

The meeting also decided that the mediapersons would wear black badges for two days and the next course of action would be decided on Wednesday.

A delegation of the mediapersons will meet Mr Badal tomorrow and submit him a memorandum.


Tehelka reporters did a tremendous job’
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, August 27
Despite the adoption of objectionable means by the tehelka.com to expose corruption in the higher offices of the country, people have supported and favoured the story. They say everything was justified to expose corruption, but journalists should not adopt such means to handle every story. Mediapersons can cross certain limits when the context of the story strongly demands it, they say.

Ms Rashmi Gangwani, a professional, said the story was an eye-opener for the common man. She said this sensational story was meticulously planned and the journalists investigating the Armsgate scandal did not know that they would be asked to provide women as a part of bribe.

“If they had not used sex workers at that time, perhaps this landmark story would not have broken. However, these means are not justified in every story and journalist should avoid these means,” Rashmi opined. She said the government should not take any legal action against tehelka.com, as this would challenge the freedom of the press in a way.

Surbhi Jain, a final year BBA student, strongly supported the story and the means adopted. She said, “A lie for the good of society was worth 100 truths. There was no option for the reporters who were portraying themselves as arms dealers, but to provide girls to Army officers to get further information.”

“The reporters have used sex workers who are professionals and there is nothing wrong in hiring their services to expose such a big scandal. Moreover, the sex workers willingly did the job. The government should not take any legal action against the reporters”, Surbhi said.

Mr Stevon Soni, an advocate, appreciated the work of tehelka.com. He was of the view that a legal action against these journalists would discourage and demoralise the press in the country. He said, “The government should be thankful to tehelka people who did such a wonderful job, rather than finding shortcomings in their courageous effort to expose corruption.”

Dr J.A. Rahi, a priest, also appreciated the efforts of the tehelka.com reporters for exposing the level of corruption in India. He said instead of finding faults in the methodology to investigate the matter by the journalists, the government should punish the culprits.

Dr Rahi was of the view; “Our political system needs more transparency as is the case in the USA where an investigation report can compel the President to resign.” He said any legal action against tehelka.com would not be appropriate and it would be a direct attack on the freedom of the press.

Ms Gurinder Kaur, an academician, was of the view, “This is the height of corruption that we came to know after broadcasting of the Armsgate report”. However, this could only be a tip of the iceberg, he said.

She said whatever these journalists did was a compulsion. Had they not done it, the story might have remained worthless. This was a part of the sequence without which the story could not be completed, she added.

She opined that any legal action against the reporters of tehelka.com would not be justified. She said the government should rather punish the culprits as soon as possible. 


Of promises not kept
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Alamgir (Ludhiana), August 27
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal may be spending millions of rupees in his high-profile sangat darshan programmes every day across the state, yet there are many projects for which he or one of his colleagues had laid the foundation stones years back, but have not taken off so far. People feel that these projects are now as good as forgotten since the Chief Minister had embarked on new projects, while the old one have been buried.

There are two examples that stand in stark contrast to the claims of the government that many development works have been completed during its tenure. On May 15, 1999, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for a bus stand at Alamgir village outside the historic Gurdwara Manji Sahib. The gurdwara is famous since it was used as a resting place by Guru Gobind Singh.

Given its importance, there is a heavy rush of pilgrims, particularly on Sundays, and it usually leads to traffic chaos on these days. The management of the gurdwara had provided one acre for the construction of a bus stand there. Subsequently, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of the bus stand. While grass has started growing around the foundation stone, the government seems to have forgotten the idea to construct a bus stand there.

On July 2, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and the Bharatiya Janta Party organised a political rally there. Once again, the Chief Minister announced a Rs 30-lakh grant for the development of the area. Given past experience, local residents have little expectations that the funds announced may ever be released. They seem to have all reasons for this cynicism.

In another similar case, the residents of Jarkhar village are still awaiting the construction of a link road to Rania. The foundation stone of the road was laid by Mr Mal Singh Ghuman, a senior Akali leader and Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, on September 9, 1999. The foundation stone laying ceremony was organised amid much fanfare and attended among others by Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, currently the SAD(B) in charge of Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment, in which these two villages fall. The road would have shortened the distance between the two villages by many miles.

Residents of these villages feel that since the area is represented by Mr Hira Singh Ghabria, who has shifted his loyalities to Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the development works have been stopped. Mr Jagroop Singh, a resident of Alamgir village, pointed out that both these projects had been inaugurated or conceived when Mr Tohra and Mr Badal had not parted ways.


Complainants allege ordeal in LICHF fraud case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Officials of the LIC Housing Finance Limited, on whose complaint the city police booked about 30 persons on fraud charges two days back, had not only suffered at the hands of the accused for a long time, but also reportedly underwent an ordeal in getting the case registered.

According to sources, the officials of the company had complained to the police about the fraud against them way back in April last year. However, the police department was just sitting over the case for about 16 months and did not take any action on the complaint. It was alleged that one of the accused was a well-connected man and openly indulged in shabby deals. The accused, now in the police net, had reportedly exerted influence as well as pressure over the police officials all these months.

Sources said though the company had submitted a detailed report about the fraud and also furnished documentary proof in support of their allegations, the city police did not register the case. It had only sent the case to the DA (Legal) for opinion, which allegedly never came.

According to the sources, the allegedly influential accused even took money from the other accused in the case and claimed that he would sort out the matter with the police by using the money. The accused had allegedly threatened some officials of the LICHF with dire consequences if they pursued the case. An official of the company confirmed the allegations.

Mr B. R. Mehta, area manager, clarified that the accused had duped the LIC Housing Finance Limited and not the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), as was erroneously reported in these columns a few days back. While the area manager confirmed the ordeal officials of his company had to undergo for more than a year to get the fraud case registered, he denied that there was any involvement of the LICHF employees in the fraud, as was alleged by the police.

The fraud case involves about 30 persons booked in five different cases. They have been accused of availing hefty loans from the LICHF Limited and not returning these. The accused have also been charged with conspiring to show that the actual loanee had died while he was alive.


Domestic violence on rise
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 27
Who says wife battering is a thing of the past? It happens right here and is prevalent among the educated urbanites. This inference is drawn by most psychiatrists and psychologists from the alarming number of cases that are reported daily in the region.

“Surprisingly, the number of cases of wife beating that go unreported are far more than those that come to light”, say some local psychiatrists. Dr Rajeev Gupta, a local clinician, says, “The matter is reported only when it reaches a flashpoint, a stage when the women decide to take it no more”.

Recent incidents reported to social organisations and women’s bodies indicate that there are no particular demographic or socio-economic groups that exhibit higher traits of wife beating. In fact, such incidents have been reported by wives of administrative officers, lawyers, doctors and executives.

Many a times, the women try to pass off their “torture marks” as a mere accident, while some, when provoked, come out with the truth.

Ms Neeta (not her real name), a local resident, complained of acute ear pain and approached an ENT specialist in the city, who after examining her, gave his finding that her eardrum had ruptured. It was only after persistent cajoling by a psychiatrist that she disclosed that the ruptured eardrum had resulted from her husband’s slap in a fit of rage. “The postgraduate girl belongs to a reputed business family of Ludhiana. Her husband, who is an alcoholic, beat her up mercilessly if she does not obey him at times. Her eardrum got ruptured when he slapped her recently”, says the doctor who attended on her.

The doctor says people generally believe that domestic violence occurs in rural areas, where the girls are not educated and are taken for granted by their husbands.”It is surprising that domestic violence is more prevalent in urban society. The educated girls are also beaten up by their husbands. Some of them suffer from depression and get fits of hysteria, while some others complain of headaches and irritability. In severe cases, women even attempt suicide in frustration”, he says.

Local psychiatrists feel that the reasons for such violence are various factors, which include alcohol and drug addiction, extra-marital affairs, stress and tension. “The reason for the spurt in such cases is that majority of women do not retaliate. They feel ashamed while sharing their experiences with family and friends. Due to so many restrictions, they become the silent victims”, says Dr Gupta.

Ms Pappo Abnash Singh, a social activist and member of the local chapter of the Association of Social Health in India (ASHI), says they receive five or six cases every fortnight. “A majority of the women complain of being brutally beaten up by their husbands and express inability to retaliate. The husbands beat up the wives for various reasons, which include their inability to bear a child or refusal to comply to their physical needs or even saying no to bringing money from her parents. It is not only the uneducated, but even the educated men who beat their wives when there is an ego clash between the two, thinking that they can prove their masculinity through violence”, she says.

ASHI works for women who have been abandoned by their husbands. “We have members who are wives of administrative officers, social activists, a doctor and an advocate, who work for the welfare of the battered and exploited women. We appeal to such women to come forward without hesitation as their identity is kept secret”, adds Ms Pappo.

Ms Manju Mahendru, a Patiala-based psychologist, says in olden days, women were not independent and their mindset was different. “They used to think of the husbands as their patiparmeshwars and obey all orders. There was no conflict. But now women have become financially independent and they are aware of their rights.” says Ms Mahendru.


Fatehgarh Sahib to go green
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 27
A special 10-day long tree plantation campaign has been launched in Fatehgarh Sahib district by the district administration, involving social, religious, and educational association, rural youth clubs, municipal councils and other NGOs, during which mere than 2 lakh new trees would be planted in the district.

Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated the campaign by planting a tree in a ‘Van Maha Utsav’ function jointly organised by the Block Development and Panchyat Office and Forest Department at Bassi Pathana, about 5 km from here, today.

Addressing the function, the Deputy Commissioner said in spite of the introduction of the Forest Conservation Act in the country, the area under the forestry had witnessed a steep decline and during the past two decades the forestry had vanished from 5 lakh hectares. He said to achieve the targets the involvement of the public and NGOs was of the utmost importance.

He further said the state government had introduced a Forestry Plan with the help of the Japanese Government. Under this plan an amount of Rs. 409 crore has been arranged to promote the tree plantation in the state. He said the state government had decided to transfer ownership rights of the trees planted both sides if the link roads to the farmers along whose land they stand and will also enrust the care of those plants for the farmers. He said this would monetarily benefit the farmers in a big way and exhorted the farmers to look after the trees.

The Deputy Commissioner said all Youth Clubs in the villages had been motivated to plant 1,000 trees each during the campaign. For this purpose, the plants of different varities prepared by the Forest Department were being provided to them, he said. He exhorted the people in general, and youth in particular, to create awareness about environment.

Addressing the function, Mr Amarjit Singh Sahi, SDM, Bassi Pathana, said during the campaign, all department, concerned social, religious and educational organisations would plant trees on government lands, panchayat shamlats’ schools etc.

Mr S.P. Singh, Divisional Forest Officer and Mrs Ravinder Kaur, B.D.P.O., Bassi Pathana, also addressed the gathering.


Depoliticise bureaucracy, say pensioners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The Atma Raksha Sangh, a body of ex-servicemen, senior citizens and pensioners, at a convention held here yesterday urged the government to depoliticise the state bureaucracy. It appealed to the IAS, IPS, PCS and PPS officers to be loyal to the country and not towards any political party. In an unanimous resolution passed at the meeting, the members asked the state police to improve the law and order condition in the state, instead of providing security to a few VIPs.

Mr S.N. Vanaik, its organising secretary, expressed concern over the deteriorating moral values in society. He said, “The political parties have not bothered to implement the principles of the Constitution. The parties have indulged in inciting the common man in the name of religion, language and castes, instead of ameliorating his social and economic conditions”.

The speakers showed deep concern over the law and order problem in Jammu and Kashmir and North-Eastern states. They lamented that the state had failed to provide basic amenities, including drinking water, education, social security and justice, to the public. The meeting condemned the hefty increase in the salary and perks of the Parliament members. It criticised the provision of free residence and office to former state chief ministers for whole life. They said it was nothing but a sheer loot of the public money.

The body has decided to hold conventions and seminar in the state to expose the misdeeds of the politicians. Later, the members pledged to do something concrete for reshaping the destiny of Punjab and India.

Among others who present on the occasion were Mr H.S. Kahlon (Vir Chakra awardee), Mr Gopi Ram, Mr Rajiv Bhasin, Mr H.K. Sood and Mr B.R. Kaushal.


PPCC warns BJP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
The Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) has warned the BJP that if the ruling party tries to suspend the Congress municipal councillor, Mr Satpal Puri, they will boycott and disrupt the general house meeting of the Municipal Corporation.

Mr Surinder Dabur, district president, said in a meeting held here that the ruling party was unnecessarily criticising the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, in the much-hyped matter of elevated roads, just because their party councellors supported him.

It was decided in the meeting that if the ruling party would level false allegations on them, an agitation would planned. 


Speaker lays stone of substation
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, August 27
Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, today laid down the foundation stone of 66 KVA grid substation at Hedon Bet village. This project, with an estimated expenditure of Rs 4 crore, would be completed by March 31 next year.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Atwal said the grid project was the second multicrore project after the bridge across the Satluj. Mr A.K. Kundra, administrative member (transmission), PSEB, said the power crisis in the state would come to an end after this project. He further added that 600 MW of electric energy was being produced from newly-built Ranjit Sagar Dam, 210 MW from Lehra Mohabbat Thermal Plant and 250 MW from the Goindwal Project. With the installation of this project, any possibility of voltage drop in the adjoining 25 villages would be completely ruled out, he informed.

Mr H.S. Brar, SE, Circle Ropar, Mr R.P.S. Randhawa, XEN, Ghulal, Mr Mandeep Singh, SDO, Machhiwara, Mr Gurdial Singh Kotala, Vice-Chairman, PADB, Machhiwara, Circle, Jathedar Harjit Singh Sherian, Sarpanch Mohinder Kaur and Director, Milk Plant, Ludhiana, also addressed.


Sale season on in the city
Shivani Bhakoo
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
‘Avail up to 50 per cent discount on readymade garments’, ‘Genuine mega sale on footwears’, ‘Sale of new stocks, not the leftovers’: You go to any part of the city, the ‘catchy’ banners outside the showrooms and shops will tempt you to have at least a look into the showrooms.

The sales and discounts are available on readymade garments, which include a wide range of children’s dresses, nighties, gents shirts and trousers, kurta-pyjamas, ladies suits, sarees, lehangas, dress material and footwears. There has been an overwhelming response for jazzy tops, denims, capries and formals from girls and funky T-shirts and trousers, caps, shoes from guys of city. Besides, customers can avail up to 30 per cent discount on items like microwave and refrigerators at various showrooms.

Karun, a college-going student, feels that one gets tempted by the sale offer. “I get the T-shirts, trousers and other accessories at reasonable prices. Then there are ‘sales on sales’ at various showrooms, which provide things at throwaway prices”, he pointed out.

Ms Ashima Miglani, a home-maker, who usually buys things from sales, says: “If you feel that things are genuine and it is a good bargain, then sale products are the best. I know plain material can never be outdated, so I buy the stuff from sales and keep it for the next season. I also get gifts for my near and dear ones from these sales”.

Mr Pritam Singh Bhatia, a shopkeeper at Bhadaur House said: “Throughout the year the customer gives us so much profit, but I think the customers have also the right to enjoy some benefits. Keeping this in mind we provide them things at reasonable prices. We do not get any margin from sale products”. He added further: “People generally believe that shopkeepers put on such items on sale which are the leftovers or are the rejected ones. The customers are really smart. They demand variety and genuine products”.

Different products on sale are available at places like Ghumar Mandi, Sarabha Nagar, Model Town, Mall Road, Dandi Swami Chowk, Chaura Bazar, Field Ganj, Pakhowal Road, Bhadaur House and Malhar Road.

Mr Atul Gupta, a marketing executive, when contacted by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that this is all sale strategy. He said: “Fashion keeps on changing and new products according to the trends are added everyday. The old products need to be sold at cheaper prices in order to get a good clientele. Festive season is also progressing and shopkeepers who bear losses in sales can get their money back during festivals. Some shopkeepers put on things for sale out of competition”.


Hosiery gutted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
A fire broke out in a hosiery unit at Haibowal in the early morning today. According to the owner of the hosiery unit goods worth about Rs 15 lakh were destroyed in the fire.

The fire broke out at about 4.30 a.m. today. Mr Vinay Sharma, owner of the hosiery, unit said the exact cause of the fire could not be ascertained, but probably it was due to a short-circuit.


Ludhiana Stock Exchange takes austerity measures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) has taken austerity measures to combat its falling revenue after the introduction of the rolling settlement system on July 2. It has decided to cut down the administrative expenses and the financial benefits provided to the staff. The management expects to save at least Rs 40 to Rs 45 lakh annually through these measures, which have been taken with the consent of employees’ representatives.

Mr H.S. Sidhu, General Manager, LSE, disclosed that, “The net profits of the stock exchange has come down from about Rs 1.25 crore to a few lakhs only. Like other companies and organisations worldwide, which are trying to beat the recession, the LSE has also decided to introduce cost-economy measures”. The measures have been taken on the recommendations of the committee headed by Mr Tarvinder Dhingra, vice-president, LSE. He revealed that the promotion of staff had been held for a year. Other measures include suspension of LTC for a year, reduction in bonus from 20 per cent to 8.33 per cent and withdrawal of the allowances.

In fact after the introduction of the rolling settlement system, the daily volumes have sharply came down from Rs 30 crore to Rs 5 crore. Brokers admit that all regional stock exchanges are passing through a difficult phase. But the financial health of the LSE is much better. The introduction of the NSE and BSE trading at the exchange has helped the management to stabilise the income.


Industry forum resents political interference in PSEB
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
“The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is in a mess today and its performance on all fronts is at a dismal low.” Levelling this allegation here today, Mr Harish Khanna, president, Industry and Trade Forum, said the functioning of the Board had been marred by day-to-day political interference and the Board was being sacrificed at the altar of populist measures adopted by the state government.

Mr Khanna pointed out that last year, the Board had suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1,100 crore which had gone up to Rs 1,400 crore this year. The state government was openly interfering in the working of the Board as was evident from the recent tussle between the Power Minister and the Chairman of the Board, over the issue of transfers and postings of employees. This tussle has already taken its toll and cost dearly to the working of the board. He said the Board was already over-staffed, having a staff strength of 97,000.

Mr Khanna demanded that the political interference in the autonomous functioning of the Board should be stopped forthwith. He said the government should immediately review the populist measures and withdraw such decisions as these were putting a heavy financial burden on the Board.

He also demanded that the state government should issue a White Paper on the mismanagement of the Board and its financial position. 

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