Sunday, September 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Villagers resent ‘police patronage’ to accused
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
Residents of Kanganwal village near Sahnewal here are up in arms against the activities of an influential villager evading arrest on kidnapping and assault charges due to his association with some police officials.

While the villagers, supported by the panchayat and the Kanganwal Shopkeepers Union had been frequently visiting the Focal Point police station and the offices of the senior police officers to get the accused arrested and end the tension in the village, the accused was allegedly roaming free and even threatening the complainants and the villagers of dire consequences.

While the senior police officers were not available for comments, police sources said the allegation of police patronage in this case was unwarranted as the police had registered a case against the accused. The sources, however, admitted that the accused could not be arrested but said that the police had raided his possible hideouts. The villagers, however, alleged that the case was registered after five days only when a delegation of about 150 villagers met DSP )Focal Point) Gurjit Singh

The accused Shambu Singh had been allegedly spreading terror in the village after kidnapping a family of migrant labourer, Ram Prasad, on the night of September 15. The accused chose a minor daughter of the labourer to ‘unleash’ his terror. He, along with some other persons, kept the girl in a room away from the family and physically assaulted her besides mercilessly beating her up for several hours.

The victim’s family, had in fact no enmity with the accused but were being sandwiched between a dispute over some piece of land between the accused and Dahrampal Gupta, a Ludhiana resident.

The villagers, in a representation to Ludhiana Tribune, narrated the incident and their ordeal to get police action in the case. The representation signed by village Sarpanch Nirmal Singh and Bhagwaan Dass, president Kanganwal Shopkeepers Union, along with the victim’s family and several other villagers, claimed that Dharampal Gupta had bought a piece of land in the village on which some shops were also situated. The accused Shambu Singh and the victim Ramprasad also had shops on this plot.

The shopkeepers vacated the plot after the change in the ownership. However, Ramprasad was allowed by the new owner to continue his shop on his plot. The representation claimed that this angered Shambu Singh, who vent his ire on the victim on September 15. On that night, the accused, along with some other persons, entered the house of RamPrasad and after beating him up, his wife and two sons, took away his minor daughter. The girl was rescued after some hours by the villagers. The villagers, meanwhile, called the police but to their surprise the police began beating up the victim in front of the accused.

The villagers claimed that they received a cold shoulder response from the Focal Point police. They were relieved after the DSP ordered the registration of the case but were disillusioned as the accused was still roaming free in the village.


Industry unites to oppose ‘alternative’ octroi duty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
The Industrialists and traders of the state are up in arms against the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s, announcement of the state government’s decision to impose an alternative tax amounting to Rs 200-250 crore on trade and industry to recover at least 50 per cent of the losses that would be caused by the abolition of octroi, to be announced soon.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Badal said that the associations of industrialists and traders had agreed in principle to bear at least 50 per of the state’s burden after abolition of the octroi. The state government would generate the remaining amount through other measures. He said, ‘‘There would be no retrenchment of the employees in the Municipal Corporations and Committees, however, the industry and trade would have to bear at least half of the burden’’.

Asked if these taxes would be imposed through surcharge on sales tax, Mr Badal said,‘‘ The government has not yet decided, however, a decision would be soon taken in this regard soon, based on the recommendations of the experts’ committee constituted for this purpose’’.

The Industry and Trade Sangarsh Samiti, Punjab, the Fastener Manufacturers Association of India, the Knitwear Club, the Engineering Exporters Association of India and a number of other organisations here have condemned the move of the state government to impose taxes on them by merely changing the name of octroi. Mr Harish Khana, president, Industry and Trade Sangarsh Samiti, said,‘‘We welcome the government’s reported move to abolish octroi, but the recession-hit industry and trade can ill-afford to withstand any additional financial burden through proposed levy of entry tax, surcharge or cess on the sales tax and the tax on the over-all turnover on registered dealers’’.

Mr Mohinder Paul Jain, chairman and Mr Narinder Bhamra, general secretary of the Fastener Manufacturers’ Association of India, respectively, called upon the Punjab Government not to put any additional burden on the industry at this critical juncture as the industry was already passing through great recession.

Mr Jain regretted that the Akali-BJP alliance at the time of last Vidhan Sabha elections had promised to abolish octroi immediately after coming to power, however, no step was taken during the past four and a half years. Now at the time of elections, the government had woken up to abolish the octroi and that too with extra burden on them via other route.

The industry representatives said if the government could provide free electricity and water to farmers worth more than Rs 500 crore annually, it should also provide a relief worth at least of the same amount to the industrialists and traders, who were facing the worst recession in years. They threatened the state government to abolish octroi without any further delay, already implemented by most of the states, and not to impose any burden on them otherwise they would be forced to launch an agitation.


Doctor’s mission for the poor
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, September 22
Guru Angad Dev Sewa Society aims at improving public health. It caters to the aged, migrants and women. It also educates and trains women, so that, they can become economically independent. Its motto is “health for all”.

The society was formed by Dr A.S Nagpal as a repayment to the society that had helped him become a doctor. After practising as an ophthalmologist for nine years independently and in government hospitals, he gave up his lucrative practice and formed Guru Angad Dev Sewa Society in 1997 in collaboration with 10 like-minded persons. He has been the Founder President of the NGO since its inception. The society organises free eye-operation and medical camps, immunisation drives and talks on health and sanitation.

With a Rs 20 lakh grant from the HelpAge India and Rs 7 lakh grant from the Punjab Health Department, the society has been able to build a 25-bed hospital on the Chandigarh road here. The hospital is surrounded by industries and the ESI hospital that should cater to workers of these industries is 20 km away. The hospital takes up cases of industrial and road accidents. It has X-rays, ECG and laboratory facilities, besides a battery of qualified doctors. The hospital runs on no-profit-no-loss basis.

The society has adopted six slums under the RCH scheme of Unicef, with the international body providing it with all the funds. Community health volunteers are recruited from the village and are paid a stipend after they have received training in basic healthcare. These volunteers are mostly women who are taught how to prevent diseases from spreading. There are about 900 such volunteers. The society runs a free dispensary, where doctors provide people with natal and pre-natal care. The society has also launched a literacy project, under which, 25 school-dropout girls have been picked up from Tibba Colony, a slum, to prepare them for middle school examinations. This project will be extended in phases to many other slums as well. The society wants to adopt six more villages.

The NGO has built 10 modern fuel-efficient crematoriums in villages and it sends teams of doctors to screen villagers for eye diseases. If someone needs an eye operation, he or she is brought to hospital in the ambulance of the NGO.

The society has introduced laboratory-technician courses for women. Local women are also taught how to weave ‘durries’. The society takes care of the marketing aspect. The NGO has several programmes for senior citizens. Their psychological and physical rehabilitation is their primary concern. The society has selected 450 migrant labourers from slums, who are taught about health issues in 16 sittings. After the training is over, each of them gets a stipend, besides a first-aid kit, and made responsible for the health of 50 families.


Verdict on Jaya a lesson for all politicians
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, September 22
Local residents think that the Supreme Court judgement, directing the removal of Ms J. Jayalalithaa as Tamilnadu Chief Minister, would set an example for other politicians and would go a long way to cleanse our political system. In their opinion, only honest people with a clear track record should get higher offices of the country, only then the nation’s development could be expected.

A senior citizen, Mr Jagan Nath Jain, opined that this judgement would set an example for the other politicians and would create a sense of responsibility among the representatives of the people. He said there was a need to set limits for the people in power so that they would not dare to do anything not permissible under the Constitution of India. He said that if people were supporting a politician then it did not mean that he was above the law of the land.

Mr Jain was of the view that the appointment of the posts in high offices of the country like Chief Minister of a state, should be strictly according to the provisions of law without considering the peoples' mandate.

Another senior citizen, Mr R.R. Katyal, said that nobody was above law by virtue of their status, caste, sex, creed and colour in a democratic set-up like in our country. He described the judgement of the five-Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India, pronounced in the case of AIDMK supremo J Jayalalithaa as a step to improve the standard of political system in India which would help each and every section of society to have a clean and honest representative in the state Assemblies and Parliament.

Mr Katyal said that in the larger interest of the country, in all such cases the nomination papers of prosperous candidates who wanted to contest election for any seat in any state Assembly or Parliament should be critically scrutinised with clear-cut mandatory guidelines. It should be cross-checked that neither any inquiry or legal proceedings were pending in any court of law besides that such candidates should also not involved in criminal and corruption cases as applicable in the case of public servants, he added. He suggested that such steps before appointment of persons for high offices, would eliminate any legal complications like this case at later stage.

A professional, Mr Rakesh Chawla, had objected to the entry of undertrials and convicted people in our political system. He opined that this judgement would be a lesson for those politician who did not believe in limits and did whatever they feel like with the help of peoples’ mandate. He said that this would improve the present political scenario in the country. He thinks that this judgement is a lesson of morality and respect for law of the land, for the representative of the people.

An entrepreneur, Mr Sunil Khullar, opined that the Constitution was above the will of the public and the public will should be in accordance with provisions of law. He said that people mandate did not mean that any unlawful activity could be done.

Mr Khullar was of the view that this was a landmark judgement which would definitely improve the state of prevailing political system in the country. He said that this type of judgement, by the apex court was appropriate at this hour. This act of apex courts had once again evoked a sense of belief of people in law that nobody was above the law and even mighty politician were under its control.

A social activist, Mr Rajinder Soi, was of the view that after the apex court’s judgement, the politicians would give a thought to the matter which they had been ignoring for the past many years. He was of the view that the politicians who did not give a damn to the law of the land, would learn a lesson from this judgement that they had to work under certain limits as nothing was above the Constitution, even the peoples’ mandate.

The politicians in power were empowered to keep check on each and every activity of others and sometimes they forgot that they had to work for the welfare of the society under certain limits. In the past many years, the provisions of law had been flouted. But the apex court judgement had proved that nobody could play games with the Constitution, he said.


Life sentence for couple’s murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 22
Arjun Singh (27) of Bihar has been sentenced to undergo a life imprisonment for killing a carpenter, Nirmal Singh, and his wife, Paramjit Kaur of Ludhiana’s Gobind Singh Nagar. The couple had been killed on the night of October 8, 1998. The co-accused in the case, Mohan ‘Shankar’ of Bihar, has already been declared a proclaimed offender.

Mr Justice S.S. Arora, the Sessions Judge of Ludhiana, held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the accused. He also imposed a Rs 2,000 fine on Arjun, besides awarding him a severe punishment.

According to the prosecution, Arjun and Mohan used to make advances towards Paramjit Kaur. When the couple objected, they were eliminated.

The case against Arjun and Mohan had been registered on October 9, 1998, at the Focal Point police station on the statement of Puran Devi, mother of Nirmal Singh. She had alleged that Mohan and Arjun Singh had been construction workers at her house in Gobind Singh Nagar and used to stay there.

On the night of murder, Mohan and Arjun had taken away Nirmal Singh from his house on the pretext of visiting the house under construction. When Nirmal Singh did not return till late evening, her wife went to the house to look for him, but she, too, did not return. When Puran Devi and a neighbour, Jagjit Singh, went to the house to look for the couple, Mohan and Arjun met them near the gate and said the couple had just left.

When Puran Devi entered the house, she found the couple dead. Arjun Singh pleaded that, at the time of the incident, he had been his native village in Bihar. However, Arjun could not produce any evidence in support of his plea of ‘alibi’.


Chance for farmers to interact with scientists
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 22
Punjab Agricultural University will organise a ‘Kisan Mela’ at Bathinda on September 24. After announcing this, Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director of Extension Education, said the ‘mela’ would be third in the series of five such events that were to be organised by the Punjab Agricultural University to educate farmers about the latest agricultural technology.

In these ‘melas’, farmers will get to see demonstrations of the sowing of rabi crops.

The ‘Kisan Mela’ at Ludhiana will be held on September 27 and 28 and at Gurdaspur on October 1, 2001. These ‘melas’ are held twice in a year — in March and September. These provide farmers with a chance to interact with scientists.


The heroes with exceptional wit
M.S. Cheema

Ludhiana, September 22
Intelligence is a rare virtue. Wit is rarer still. Ludhiana had its wits; still has some. They are found in fine traces among educationists, connoisseurs, artists and poets.

Way back in the early fifties of the last century, Principal Harish Chandra Kathpalia, was suddenly asked why he took more years to get his BA/MA degrees than the normal students. With a twinkle in his eyes, he repeated “I studied, studied concretely, never hastened through.” A cotton cloth requires single stitching, a woollen needs double and even more”.

Though Sahir loved Ludhiana, his visits were rare. A mushaira was held in his honour at the Sutlej Club. At the suggestion of poet’s fans or due to his own liking for the poet, the Deputy Commissioner declared to rename the club road as Sahir Road. There was a roar of approval and applause. Modestly, Sahir stood up to say,”D.C. Sahib seems to know that most of my life has been spent on roads. Therefore, a road is considered to be most suitable memorial to me. But friends the memorial can wait till I live.....” The whole mood changed.

Poet Waryam Singh Mast was a master of satire. He disliked many men, but loved his dog. The dog followed him to a Kavi Darbar. Some one from the audience pointed out the presence of a collared dog. It was discovered that the pet belonged to Mastji. He was asked to see the dog out. Mastji went to mike and observed:” It is not a dog, it is a critic. It will catch the leg of a so-called poet, it might bark at the audience for undeserved applause. It is my device to improve the quality on the stage and the response of the audience.” The audience roared with laughter and shouted ,” Let it stay.... It will stay.”

Ram Narain Singh Dardi wrote good poetry. He was a popular stage artiste. At a certain Kavi Darbar, the compere asked him to present a new poem instead of the old one Dardiji had begun with. Dardiji politely observed, “You are continuing with this president for the last 20 years and expect fresh poems from me. Change the president, I will recite a new poem.

Suba Singh was a versatile personality. Besides having Master’s in Mathematics, he was a journalist, a poet! Had a glorious role in the I.N.A. under Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Giani Zail Singh liked him. He occupied a top position in Gianiji’s Public Relations set-up. At the wedding of Suba Singh’s daughter, Giani Zail Singh was requested to give Sikhiya. Amidst thousands witnessing the ceremony, Suba Singh got up to say , “God you are great. Look at what the stage-secretary is doing. A Zail is the small revenue unit, a Suba is the province. See my state, I am the father of the girl.”

Such is wit. Wits are our heroes.


Water reservoir construction begins at village
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 22
The SAD-BJP government, headed by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was committed to provide better civic amenities to the rural population and undertake development works in the villages, at par with the towns and cities. This was stated by Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Director, Markfed and in charge, Ludhiana rural constituency, while laying the foundation stone for the construction of an overhead water reservoir in Phullanwal village, near here.

Mr Dhillon announced that for the augmentation of water supply in the village, a tubewell would also be provided. Responding to the demand of the village population, Mr Dhillon assured that matter would be taken up at the appropriate level for carpeting of link roads to adjoining villages of Dhandra, Daad and Thakkarwal.

Mr Nirmal Singh, Sarpanch of the village, lamented that though the village was located in neighbourhood of the mega city but was being denied even the basic civic amenities. Focussing on the problem of drainage of water in the village, he demanded that necessary steps be initiated for disposal of water in the main sewer of Urban Estate, which was laid on the land belonging to the village. He also raised the issue of upgradation of the village middle school.

Prominent among others, who addressed the function were, Mr Tejinder Singh Sekhon, nambardar, Mr Man Singh, international kabaddi player and president of Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Sports Club, Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Saudagar Singh, Mr Ranjit Singh Sekhon, Mr Gurcharan Singh Sekhon, Mr Prithi Singh Dhillon, members of village panchayat Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Hari Singh and Mr Nirmal Singh Nimmi. Mr Paramjit Singh Sekhon, president, Phullanwal market, Mr Harbhajan Singh Grewal, Mr Parminder Singh Phullanwal, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal and Mr Lashkar Singh were also present at the occasion.

Meanwhile, Mr Jagdev Singh Tajpuri, a former Akali Dal Minister, addressed a series of ‘corner meetings’ in several villages, falling in Ludhiana rural constituency to listen to problems of the rural people. Addressing a meeting at the residence of Mr Lakhwinder Singh in Grewal Colony, he assured the residents that the matter for cleaning of Budha Nullah would be taken up with the civic administration.

Among others, Mr Piara Singh, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Khazan Singh, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr Anokh Singh, Mr Gurnam Singh, Mr Bakhshish Singh, Mr Jagtar Singh Gill and Mr Gurnam Singh Grewal attended the function.


Work on new road begins in Haibowal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 22
The residents of Haibowal locality in the city can look forward to a host of activities for infrastructural development and providing civic amenities, if the assurance made by the area councillor, Mr Hem Raj Aggarwal, is any indication. Laying the foundation stone for the construction of a road at an estimated cost of Rs 12 lakh in Prem Vihar Colony he said ongoing development works would be completed speedily and several others, including a project for providing street lights on Jassian Bridge, would be undertaken soon.

Addressing the function, Mr Pawan Diwan, chairman, Urban Development Cell of the Indian Youth Congress, lauded the efforts of the councillor for the overall development of the area. Blaming the SAD-BJP government for poor financial health of the state and worsening law and order situation, he claimed that the crime rate in the state had touched an alarming level of 41 per cent. He further observed that the people were fed up with the failure of the government on all fronts and were waiting for an opportunity to rid the state of the misrule.

Mr Tarlochan Singh Grewal, Mr Ashwani Sharma, Mr Ramesh Mahajan, Mr Joginder Singh Bedi, Mr K.K. Arora, Dr R.S. Yadav, Mr Rakesh Kalia, Mr Jwala Singh, Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, Mr Sunil Kumar, Mr Ajay Puri, Mr Santokh Singh, Mr Kulwant Singh, Mr Harjinder Singh and Mr Kuljit Singh were among those present at the occasion.

Meanwhile, the civic administration has sought to allay the charges of discrimination in disbursement of funds for development works to councillors, on the basis of party affiliation. Reacting to certain press reports regarding the discrimination of city wards represented by Congress party councillors for the allocation of funds, more than 10 councillors (mostly belonging to ruling SAD) have asserted in a signed statement that the allocation of funds was fair and equitable and there was no political discrimination as far as development works in the city were concerned.

The councillors have also placed on record their appreciation for city Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, and the Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu, who, they added, had been instrumental in accelerating the pace of city development and streamlining the civic services.

The signatories include Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Arjan Singh, Mr Ranjit Singh, Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Dharam Dev Singh, Mr Swarn Singh, Mrs Jaswinder Kaur, Mrs Kulwinder Kaur, Mr Kashmir Singh, Mr Harnek Singh, Mr Hakam Singh, Mr Harcharan Singh Gohalwadia and Mrs Surjit Kaur. 


Ramandeep is Rotaract Club chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 22
The new team of the Rotaract Club was installed at a ceremony held at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Civil Lines, here today.

For the current session, Ramandeep Singh Sekhon was appointed as president, Raminder Pal Singh as vice-president, Gurinder Singh as secretary and Bibu Gupta as joint secretary.

Highlighting the activities of the previous year, Mr Dalbir Singh Makkar, outgoing president, said the club organised several seminars, saplings plantation drive, hepatitis B vaccination programme, drug de-addiction rallies, pulse polio and dental check-up camps and collected relief material for the Gujarat quake victims. He encouraged the new team to continue with similar programmes in the current year.

Mr Charanjit Singh, District Governor of the Rotary Club, appreciated the efforts of the outgoing batch. He told the new team to come up with innovative ideas and indulge in welfare activities. Mr Kuldip Singh, Principal and president of the Rotary Club North, and Mr Manjit Singh Chhabra, teacher in charge of the club, were also present on the occasion. 


Party lovers set the floor on fire
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 22
It was another evening of fun, excitement, gaiety and merry-making for the party-freak Ludhianvis at Park Plaza yesterday. The dancing floor of the Plaza was set ablaze by the rhythmic and pulsating tunes of the DJs as many a young couple were not in a mood to miss an opportunity to shake a leg.

The non-stop party which the guests termed as one of the best had all the glitterati of the city letting their hair down.

The blast was organised by Bacardi with Friends. For the first time an alcove using fibreoptics was used. The fibreoptics changed colours frequently and twinkled like stars and enhanced the ambience. The DJs’ platform had lights over it and the mad lights rotated, swirled and their different colours bathed the people red, blue and yellow lights.

The exuberant crowd had come expecting an evening of good music and right ambience and they got it for they danced with gusto till the wee hours of the morning. The music played by guest DJ Jazzy Joe (of Taj fame) was hip-hop. This music was popular in the eighties and has made a comeback. The beat and rhythm is slow compared to Punjabi pop music. Its novelity pleased the dancer. Then Bhanu of Studio 69 started mixing popular Hindi numbers ‘Bhumroo, bhumroo’. The young and old came up on the dance floor for they could not resist the thumping beat and pulsating rhythm.

The tempo of music increased, the bodies of dancers gyrated to the tunes and they wanted more and more. The DJs interacted with the crowds and the mood became upbeat.


The protective sheath

Skin is the body’s largest organ. This is not the only reason that it is so essential in case of our favourite pets. The skin is an ingenious design of nature to protect and defend the soul underneath. It guards against dehydration by preventing fluid loss. It gives a base to the hair to grow and makes stroking a pet pleasing feeling. Skin is both tough and elastic. It is moist on the inside, relatively dry on the outside. It helps regulate body temperature through the blood vessels and reduces exposure to extreme cold by muscular action that fluffs the hair and traps heated air next to the body. In short, skin is a splendid bequest.

The skin is usually considered in terms of two principle layers , the epidermis or the outer layer and dermis, the inner skin. The epidermis is the body’s environmental shield .The epidermis is a mechanical barrier against injury, disease, and damage from ultraviolet light. This layer protects the internal organs from exposure to external environment and massive fluid loss. The ability to quickly replace a damaged epidermis is critical in mending trauma, particularly in cases where burns, abrasions, or cuts leave the body vulnerable to infection and dehydration. The outer layer has cells which are in an attack mode against any external allergy inducing organism or particle . If these cells are impassioned in their work, the dog can develop an allergy — an intensified immune response to a common substance.

Skin protects dogs from ultraviolet rays of the sun by providing a foundation for the hair coat and by producing melanin to colour hair and skin.

Inner skin

The dermis is the main support of the skin and passively protects the body from external injury. The cells of the dermis provide a framework for blood vessels to bring oxygen and nutrients to the skin and nerves to help the dog react to and interact with his world.

Under the dermis is the subcutaneous fatty layer that has two widely disparate jobs as protective shock absorber and food storage locker for certain vitamins and energy bits called lipids.

Do dogs sweat?

It is a myth that dogs do not sweat. The dog’s skin has two kinds of glands that produce fluids. The glands that produce sweat in us, have two other functions in dogs — they help seal the outer layer of the epidermis and they secret pheromones that give dogs a distinctive body odour. There are glands in the pads of the paws which do produce a watery secretions similar to sweat in man.

These secretions leave behind the damp paw prints in tense or anxious dogs and may also improve grip for a quick escape.

Why should you know all this? The only reason is to provide dog lovers with an insight to the wonderful protection mother nature has offered our pets. The skin not only provide the dog a wonderful hair coat that could make any owner proud but it is a mirror to the general grooming status of the dog. The skin provides valuable clues to the health of the pet. Any shedding of hair, odour from skin, itching will give ample information to you that there is something wrong. As a responsible owner you have to know the correct ways of taking care of the fur coat of the pet and the signs to look out for. And remember money may buy a good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of his tail. You have to work hard and give your unconditional commitment to get thousand folds of the same back.

— Jaspreet Singh


Faction ridden Cong has no agenda’
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 22
The ruling alliance will sweep the coming Assembly elections, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Patton village in the district yesterday.

He said the SAD had watched the interests of every section of society. The Congress in the state was faction-ridden and everybody dreamt of becoming Chief Minister. It did not have any policy or programme for the benefit of the public.

He said during the past four years, due to the increase in the MSP, farmers had been benefited to the tune of Rs 3150 crore and by way of free electricity and water as much as Rs 400 crore.

He said 41,000 electricity connections had been regularised and during the past three years, 13000 new connections allotted.

The government had released Rs 125 crore for 24-hour power supply to the rural sector. He said Rs 151.27 crore was being spent on various schemes in the state all Deputy Commissioners had been given Rs 2 crore each for the purchase of the required equipment to ensure uninterrupted power to rural sector.

On these occasion, he announced a grant of Rs 50,000 for a Dharamshala and Rs 50,000 for mahila mandal of the village. 


Scooter thief held
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, September 22
The local police has arrested Manjit Singh of Hargobind Pur village with a stolen scooter (PB-13-G-7318), at a check-post. It is learnt that the police from Dehlon, Ludhiana and Malerkotla was also on the trail of the suspect.

2 BOOKED FOR GAMBLING: The police has booked Iqbal Singh of Yamuna Nagar and Kewal Singh of Goraya under the Gambling Act.

5 INJURED: Five persons, including two women, were injured when a four-wheeler (PIL-9628) hit a Tempo yesterday. According to sources, the Tempo was carrying passengers from Ahmedgarh to Rohira village at the time of accident. The injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427, IPC, against the driver of the four-wheeler, Bhajan Singh of Ubhawal village. 



Recession hits bicycle industry exports
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
The exports of bicycle and bicycle parts are badly hit by the recession in the international market and the recent terrorist attacks on the USA has further aggravated the situation. Mr Rajinder Jindal, president, Engineering Exporters Association of India, said exports of the cycle parts, which stood at Rs 700 crore annually, may come down by 20- 30 per cent in the current year. The industry would be ruined if some corrective steps were not taken by the government immediately, he added.

He lamented that instead of supporting the exporters of the country, the Indian Government had reduced the incentives like duty draw back and the DEPB. Moreover, it was planning to withdraw the DEPB scheme completely from April 1, 2002, onwards. The income tax benefits to exporters were also being withdrawn gradually.

Mr Jindal pointed out that their association had submitted charter of demands to the state government to exempt octroi on material meant for exports, non-imposition of sales tax on exports’ incentives, exemption from peak load restrictions of power and first stage sales tax on packing material for exports.

He disclosed that a delegation of exporters had recently met the Financial Commissioner, Punjab, to exempt sales tax on export incentives, though their demand was accepted in principle but nothing has been done so far. He admitted that though some demands had been met by the authorities like unauthorised extension of load, relaxation for getting the NOC from the Pollution Control Board for expansion/modernisation and exemption from getting the NOC from Pollution Control Board for some more industries, but much more needed to be done.

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