Sunday, December 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 
AGRICULTURE
 

Govt agencies mute over paddy payment
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 1
Farmers and commission agents here are agitated over the delay in payments for the paddy procured by the State Government agencies. They have alleged that the agencies have not made payments for over one month despite the government’s claim that the payments would be made within 72 hours after the purchase of paddy.

Mr Sadhu Ram Nanda, president of the Arhtiya Association Khanna, alleged that except for FCI, no state agency had cleared its dues. Consequently, the situation of the commission agents had become awkward as farmers were demanding money from them to purchase diesel, pesticides, fertilisers and other agriculture inputs.

According to commission agents, only FCI had cleared its dues, while other agencies like Punsup had cleared the payment till October 18, Punjab Agro till October 22, DFC till October 13, Punjab Warehousing till October 10 and Markfed till November 5.

Two weeks ago, a strike was observed by commission agents in protest against the non-payment for paddy by the procurement agencies. Later an amount of Rs 5 crore was released by the Department of Food and Civil Supplies but after that no agency had paid any amount for the paddy procured. 

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Dec exams likely to be postponed 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 1
Uncertainty hangs over the smooth conduct of mid-term examinations in the Panjab University colleges, following the one week ‘‘ceasework’’ call given by the Panjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union.

While the colleges had set the date of examination in the first week, the examination were likely to be postponed in these colleges as the teachers refused to perform their duties. The senior teachers even told the college administrations that they would not allow the ad hoc staff to conduct the examination in their abscence.

With the Principals’ Federation, Non-government College Managements’ Federation and Non-teaching Employees’ Unions, were likely to join the teachers in the call, the probability of postponement of the examination had increased even more. A meeting of the four groups under the banner of ‘‘joint action committee’’ would be held tomorrow to decide over the fate of the examination.

Since the local colleges were closed on November 17 on account of the National Games, the dates were announced to the students before that time. December 3 was announced as the date of commencement of examination at most of the colleges, including Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women and Ramgarhia Girls’ College, the examination were scheduled to begin from December 4 at Guru Nanak Girls’ College, from December 5 at GGN Khalsa College and no date of examination had still been announced at Arya College.

Since the holidays from November 17 were announced all of a sudden, the question papers set and submitted by the subject teachers in all colleges by November 12 carried questions from the syllabus that was to be covered in next 15 days. The teachers had been demanding that they be allowed to re-set the question papers or the examination be re-scheduled with a gap of 15 days.

Commenting on the likelihood of the postponement of the examination, Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, president of the union, said that since the principals, managements and non-teaching employees had already conveyed us their support, the examination were likely to be postponed. He said that the union was raising such demands which were in favour of all groups. Four major common demands included implementation of the pension-cum-gratuity scheme, revision of grant-in-aid to the colleges, review of posts after 1981 and covering unaided colleges in the grant-in-aid scheme, he said.

Professor Sodhi further said that the college authorities could not depute the ad hoc staff for conducting examination as such teachers were ‘‘inexperienced’’ for the purpose.

Ms Harmit Kaur, Principal, Ramgarhia Girls’ College, said that even though there were chances that the examination would be postponed, she could not declare the same before the meeting of the joint action committee to be held tomorrow.

Meanwhile, an action plan for holding protest rallies at Ludhiana had been finalised by the district president of the PCCTU, Mr Kuldip Singh. On December 4, all teachers would assemble at GGN Khalsa College, march towards the residence of Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Minister of Technical Education, and submit a memorandum. On December 5, teachers would asemble outside the Mini Secretariat and submit memorndum to the Deputy Commissioner. On December 6, teachers would assemble outside Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Model Town, and proceed towards the residence of Mr Charanjit S. Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha. A rally would be held outside his office and memorandum would be submitted. On December 7, teachers would gather outside at Devki Devi Jain College for Girls and march towards the residence of Mr Satpal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Again from December 8 to 10, rallies would be held outside the residences of MLAs and MP. 

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