Wednesday, January 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Youth’s death: protests lead to ASI’s suspension 
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The district police today suspended an Assistant Sub-Inspector Ramninder Jit Singh Bhrasht, and registered a case against him and a Head Constable Jarnail Singh for allegedly being responsible for the death of a youth Harjinder Singh of the colony yesterday. The police took action following an over six- hour- long dharna staged by hundreds of people, including women, on Ludhiana-Ferozepore road chowk near Sacred Heart Convent School.

Interestingly, the two cops have been booked under Section 306, IPC. A police official said the police would take legal opinion on the matter also as the circumstances of the case were such that no case could be made.

The agitated family members, relatives and concerned residents of Bhai Randhir Singh marched to the chowk near the house of the deceased after receiving the body from Civil Hospital where the post-mortem was conducted at about 11a.m. The angry mob did not allow the traffic, even school buses to pass, which caused traffic jams on some other roads on which the traffic was diverted.

The youth, Harjinder Singh, had died of cardiac arrest at DMC hospital yesterday. He had complained of difficulty in breathing while returning home after meeting a police official to get action initiated against the ASI. His father Mr Nirbhai Singh took him to the DMC immediately where he died.

Heavy police posse was rushed to the site as the mob was very upset over the police inaction in spite of the pleas of Harjinder Singh and his family against the ASI. Raising slogans against the police, the mob insisted on the registration of a case of murder against the accused cops. Mr G.S. Sandhu (SP-city-I), ASP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh and SDM M.S. Jaggi held talks with the aggrieved family members to resolve the issue and to convince them that a case of murder could not be registered. The family members, however, refused to accept the police version and said the dilly-dallying attitude of the police had led to the youth’s death.

The mob was divided in different groups. The main group kept sitting at the chowk while the other groups raised blockades on the approach roads. The situation was tense as some groups in the mob were seen collecting stones and petrol.

Harjinder Singh, a youth of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, had died of a massive heart attack yesterday after the police officials allegedly did not pay any heed to his requests to punish the guilty police official who had allegedly beaten him two weeks ago.

Mr Nirbhai Singh, the father of the deceased, alleged that on December 30 last, Harjinder was chasing two gypsy women who had fled after attempting to snatch the purse of a women who had come to attend a function in the area.

The youth was chasing the women on a scooter, when the ASI and a Head Constable, posted at the Sarabha Nagar police station stopped his scooter and beat him up. When some residents of the area intervened the ASI let Harjinder go but only after getting his signatures on a plain paper.

Mr Nirbhai Singh alleged that the ASI had also threatened him that he would implicate him in some false case if he tried to complain against him. He said he, however, encouraged his son to complain against the cop and the youth went and gave a written complaint to SP (City I) who assured him that the DSP, Sarabha Nagar, would hold an inquiry in the matter.

He also said the father and son duo had gone to meet the DSP Sarabha Nagar at around 12 pm yesterday who said he had not received any complaint so no inquiry had been marked.

‘‘When we were coming back from the DSP’s office, my son started feeling breathless in the car. He drank a glass of water and became unconscious. I rushed him to the DMC where he was declared dead by the doctors’’.



Insurance Company directed to pay Rs 3 lakh for loss
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed United India Insurance Company Limited to pay Rs 3,03,800 on account of an insurance claim to M/s Garg Furnace Limited, VPO Jugiana, the GT Road, Ludhiana. The forum has also directed the insurance company to pay interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum on the said amount from the date of repudiation of the claim (October 25, 1999) till actual payment along with Rs 500 as cost of litigation to complainant.

M/s Garg Furnace Limited had filed the complaint on behalf of a Russian company M/s Recambio UL, Malugina. According to the complaint, the Russian company had sent a consignment of 2,100 bags of rice weighing 1,05,000 kg of Rs 29,40,000 to M/s Garg Furnace Limited on December 26, 1996. The complainant stated before the forum that the said consignment was insured with the company against the risk of loss or damage, shortage, non-delivery, pilferage and theft.

The consumer stated before the forum that when the consignment was received short by 217 bags and as such an insurance claim was lodged. It was alleged that the claim was not settled by the insurance company despite the fact that the loss was assessed by the surveyor.

The insurance company pleaded that the complainant could not file the complaint on behalf of a company abroad. It was denied for the want of knowledge that the complainant was authorised to file complaint on behalf of the company in Russia.

The forum observed that according to the survey reports the loss was assessed by surveyor at Rs 3,03,800 on account of short delivery of goods. 



Dead wood’ faces PAU axe
150 termite-infested trees felled
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Finally swinging into action the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) authorities have axed more than 100 trees devoured by termites on its campus. These trees were posing a threat to life of residents, students and visitors on campus.

While the termites had reportedly infested the entire campus but the authorities had to resort to felling of these trees that were actually consumed by the highly damaging insects leaving their hollow trunks intact. Two such trees were uprooted yesterday, one in Hostel Number 5 and the other near the hockey stadium in PAU due to high velocity east winds yesterday. Nobody was injured.

Sources said that while around 100 trees had already been axed, around 50 more trees were in the process of being felled. Facing a severe problem of termites the university had to do away with around 150 trees.

The Ludhiana Tribune had last month reported that the termites were devouring things in the administrative blocks, residential flats, various departments, hostels and even the trees.

While the authorities were yet to chalk out a plan to fight the termite menace causing loss to the university, the authorities decided to eliminate the infested trees that were posing a threat to the other trees in their neighbourhood.

A large number of trees had already died in the Students Home, hostels, residential flats and on the roadsides in PAU. These trees were converted into dead wood over the months as the PAU authorities were caught napping.

Eyewitnesses said that these trees did not die of age but suddenly started drying up after the termites’ colonies appeared on them.

The campus residents were happy with the decision as the felling was the only solution to the problem now. The residents said that the termites were damaging the doors, cupboards, electrical fittings and even clothes in their houses and they had tried all possible means to kill them.

A resident and an employee of the PAU, on the condition of anonymity, said that if they left the house unopened for three days the colonies of termites were found even in the cupboards.

While some scientists were of the opinion that some trees were being killed due to termites other scientists said that these termites could not kill a tree as these only feed on the dead bark of the tree. Scientists also said that the cause was suspected to be some fungus which was feeding on the roots and killing the trees.

Scientists of PAU agreed that termites were really causing a lot of damage to the university property. They also maintained that the problem was prevalent on the entire campus. A senior official of PAU, on the condition of anonymity, said that university scientists were working on the cause of death of those trees which had died on campus. He said that this kind of death was a mystery for the scientists not only on campus but all over the country. He also said that to control this damaging insect, its colonies had to be eradicated completely. 



Border tensions affect Army Day celebrations
Shruti Setia

Ludhiana, January 15
As war clouds continue to hover in the horizon along the Indo-Pak border and heavy deployment of the Army continued along the international border and Line of Actual Control, no parade was held in the city to mark the Army Day. Due to the unavailability of army personnel there was no parade on the Army Day in the capital also.

The usual celebrations were missing even in the local army complex because of the ongoing mobilisation of soldiers from the unit. There was no activity in the local units as these wore a desolate and deserted look since the personnel were already deployed along the border. However, those few who continued to be deployed in the local units were proud of the fact that they were engaged in more important job of ‘teaching the enemy a lesson’.

Similar spirit was high among soldiers who were boarding from the Ludhiana railway station to join their colleagues at Jammu and Ferozepore border were also missing the ‘Bara KhanA’ of their units. But they said that the celebration of the day would be more exciting after defeating the enemy. They seemed to be more excited over their assignment, which demanded valour and bravery and also commitment toward the integrity of the nation.

Army men, dressed in their ceremonial colours, take out a march past to show the strength of the Army to the other nations on this day. The usual parade includes a large display of tanks, missiles, radars and other military equipment. The Army Day parade is normally an attraction for the NCC cadets who can see it live during their Republic Day camp at Garrison Parade Ground.

Cadets get inspired and feel proud in marching on the same route after 12 days in Prime Minister’s Rally as the Armymen. 



Chill in the air keeps people indoors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
Inclement weather for the past three days has dashed hopes of city residents of clear weather after Lohri.

Though the year began on a chilly note, with fog and cold wave, the city had had of sunshine for three consecutive days after the severe winter spell.

The east wind, which started sweeping the city on Lohri eve, continues unabated. The weather has been cloudy for the past three days as a result of clouds. On the first day of ‘Maghi’ yesterday, the city received two spells of mild drizzle. A brief spell of rain was witnessed this morning in several parts of the city. The clouds refused to melt away.

It is not the unexpected dip in mercury which is bothering residents. The real villain is the ferocious east wind, which is making all outdoor activity a cumbersome exercise. Those who have to earn their livelihood by being on the move have been greatly affected




Thanks to the moderate and subdued speech of the Pakistan President, General Pervez Musharraf, the apprehensions of war, that were looming large, have also come down. More so after the speech was hailed by the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani. And the popular reaction in Ludhiana was also on the expected lines. Given the commercial mindset of most of the people, the city did not seem to be too perturbed over the threat of war, but still there were apprehensions among some sections about the horrors of war. Now, the focus again seems to have shifted on the elections and the prospects of various political parties, which have already started their campaigning.

Time-bound warnings

With almost all political parties announcing their candidates for constituencies, the first round has already been completed. The ticket aspirants, most of them belonging to the Congress, have returned home, reconciling to their fate. As the aspirants feel ignored, with tickets going to most of the unexpected candidates in Ludhiana, there is also considerable resentment among such aspirants. They may be down, but they are not out. They have already got themselves busy with other activities. In the first phase they are passing “unanimous resolutions” to oppose the nomination of almost all candidates for different reasons.

Traffic blues

Notwithstanding the phenomenal affluence, Ludhiana still does not have a five-star hotel. It may boost of big industrial houses like Heroes, Avons, Oswals and also the big Bhartis (of Bharti telecom), who basically belong to Ludhiana and have been brought up here only and others, yet there is no good hotel that could match the prosperous affluence. One self claimed ‘five- star’ hotel, located along the Ferozepore road, that has remained in thick of controversies, does not even have the required parking space of its own, the primary requisite for any business premise, more so for a hotel, that claims itself to be ‘five-star’. Scores of vehicles are parked on the adjacent Ferozepore Road and Pakhowal Road, much to the chagrin and inconvenience of the general public. Surprisingly, the administration and traffic police officials also fail to take notice of this violation, which leads to wide Ferozepore Road and Pakhowal Road becoming so narrow that even leads to the jam at the night. Problem becomes more acute during the night, as the traffic lights are switched off and there is no traffic cop seen around. Interestingly, it is the security staff of the ‘five-star’ hotel, which helps people park the vehicles on the road!

Unpleasant journey

The private bus service seems to take the passengers for a ride, more so on winter nights when their number is less. A few days ago, some friends were witness to the harassment meted out to Chandigarh-bound passengers by a ‘popular’ bus service. The owners of the service, in their endeavour to get the maximum benefits, had ordered the conductors to stop the night bus at Morinda, from where another bus was supposed to take the passengers to Chandigarh. The passengers were made to stand in open with their luggage for about 20-25 minutes. One shivering kid, with sleepy eyes, was heard asking his father to hire a taxi instead of waiting for other bus.

Magh & drizzle

The holy month of Magh, started with mild morning drizzle that led to a further fall in the mercury in and around the city. Thousands of devotees took a holy dip at the historic Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Alamgir, to mark the Maghi Mela, which coincides with Makar Sankranti. While special prayers were offered at all gurdwaras, langars were also served at different places. Although there was some relieving break from an otherwise continuous fog in and around the city, the drizzle in the morning delayed the day for the people for sometime. The sky remained overcast with dense dark clouds hovering in the horizon, throughout the day bringing down the temperature once again, which had otherwise, been rising for the past few days.

Crazy Ludhianvis

Ludhianvis can go crazy on anything, no matter what its content and quality may be. The craze can be about anything. The cars, clothes, houses, eating outs and the children’s education. It is all about showing off the status. For, these things mainly represent the status symbol in Ludhianvi society. As the process for fresh admissions to various schools has already started, some select few schools have been flooded with massive rush of applicants. If anything dominates the gossip these days after war probability and elections, it is the admission in schools. One particular school has reportedly received 3,000 applications for 250 seats. The impatient parents of the children are desperately seeking references for getting their children into the particular school. The school seems to have become another status symbol for Ludhianvis. Although the school claims to admit the students purely on the basis of merit, the common belief is that everything is done of references and recommendations. Some people, are said to be prepared to offer anything, to the extent of luxury cars to anyone, who can help them to get the admission in the school.

Moustache mania

Gone are the days when the moustaches were described to be the symbol of manhood, which represents courage, strength, valour and other self-claimed manly attributes. In fact in the past, people in the armed and security forces were said to be paid additional increment for sporting big moustaches, probably to create fear among people. But now, people, particularly the young ones prefer to be clean shaven, as that makes them look more presentable. There are still some people who still prefer to sport big moustaches. And it takes a lot to maintain these moustaches (see picture). — Sentinel



Public response lifts Panthic Morcha spirits
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur, January 15
With the Panthic Morcha nominating all three sitting legislators owing allegiance to the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, the party has been getting a good response from the general public. Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, a former minister, has launched his election campaign with gusto and has addressed public meetings in several villages in the Kila Raipur Assembly segment.

Mr Grewal was elected from the Ludhiana West seat on the Shiromani Akali Dal ticket in 1997. Now he had shifted to the Kila Raipur constituency. Mr Hira Singh Gabria and Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, Panthic Morcha nominees from the Ludhiana Rural and Dakha segments, respectively, were also carrying on their campaign.

According to Mr Grewal, the Panthic Morcha would go to the electorate on the issues of non-performance of the SAD-BJP government, rampant corruption and nepotism, particularly in high places, increasing lawlessness and criminalisation of politics. “At the same time, we have to caution the people against the evil designs of the Congress to come to power”, he claimed.

He claimed that the Panthic Morcha had snatched the traditional Akali agenda by sticking to the issues related to the Panth and Punjab. He pointed out that the morcha was stressing non-interference of the government in the Panthic affairs, solution to the water dispute and transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab. He observed that Mr Badal had been instead harping on development and peace, for which he deserved no credit.

He claimed that there was disillusionment among the general public as their expectations had been belied. Claiming that the Panthic Morcha would spring many surprises in the elections, he promised that their government would usher in a new era of peace and development in the state.

Mr Grewal had been banking on the development works he had launched in the area with the help of the MP local area development fund of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. He also hoped to benefit from the resentment among local SAD workers over the nomination of Mr Jagdish Garcha.



Traders bask in election sun
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, January 15
For the first time, wholesale shops of campaigning material for all major parties, including the Congress, the BJP and the SAD, have been opened here in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections. Earlier party workers of various political parties used to bring the material from Delhi and purchase some quantity from a few retailers. A few city traders had gone to Delhi to fetch the canvassing material in bulk as they did not want to miss the opportunity to make a fast buck.

Soon after the announcement of names of candidates for various Assembly seats in the state, these wholesale shops have been crowded with enquiries and placing orders. These traders have stocked a large quantity to earn as much as possible during this one month before polling.

One can witness huge stocks of party flags, caps, batches, car flags, ballpens, posters, stickers, pamphlets, banners and insignia with bear election symbols of various political parties. Some party workers can be seen wearing sarees to T-shirts on which the party symbol has been marked. Some enthusiastic and committed party workers can be spotted wearing special and colourful rings with grafted party symbols.

A trader claims that this time sales have picked up fast. One of traders says the demand for the material is so high that he may have to visit Delhi twice or thrice to get more stock.

Another canvassing material seller near Kailash Cinema says all material of the SAD has been sold, but still the demand is increasing. Congress and BJP workers have also started making purchases, he adds.



Congman revolts against party decision
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 15
With the announcement of Congress ticket for Ms Razia Sultana from Malerkotla constituency, the faction of the party led by Chaudhary Abdul Gaffar, a former Minister has declared a revolt against the decision and demanded to change the decision.

Hundreds of supporters of Mr Gaffar, held a protest meeting at local Ram Mandir Dharamshala and mounted pressure to him to contest as an Independent candidate.

Mr Narinder Sood, president of the action committee alleged the party high command had ‘sold’ the ticket to Ms Razia who had no base in constituency.

“The party has hurt the feelings of workers by denying the ticket to Mr Gaffar”, he added. Mr Ravi Sharma, block president Ahmedgarh and Mr Gurind Singh, president, Rural Congress, threatened to resign from the party along with all office-bearers, if it did not decide to change the decision and allots ticket to Mr Gaffar.



Cong district president
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Mr Krishen Kumar Bawa has been appointed president of the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (urban). He replaces Mr Surinder Dawer, who has been nominated as the party’s candidates from Ludhiana East.

The decision was reportedly taken in Delhi yesterday as the Congress decided to replace all district chiefs who have been allotted party ticket. Mr Bawa expressed his gratitude towards the Pradesh Congress Committee president, Capt Amarinder Singh. 



Allotment of SAD ticket sparks feud
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 15
Mr Sadhu Singh Ghudani, MLA Payal, has resented the decision by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, to give the party ticket to Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, state delegate, SAD (B), from Payal constituency.

An ultimatum has been served on the Chief Minister in this regard.

Mr Ghudani along with Akali leaders and workers agitated over the decision said Mr Badal should change his decision till January 20. A meeting in this regard was called at Ghudani village today.

He said out of a total of 101 villages under Payal constituency, sarpanches of 92 villages had expressed written resentment in this regard and appealed Mr Badal to review his decision. He further said he had been and would carry on to work for welfare of the party and did not want any position.

The meeting was attended by sarpanches, panches and people of surrounding villages . Among those who expressed resentment were Mr Prithipal Singh Bishanpura, senior Akali leader, Panthic Morcha, Mr Malkit Singh, Shahpur, sarpanch Achara Singh, Rampur, sarpanch Harminder Singh, Jarg, sarpanch Harinder singh, Ghudani, sarpanch Hari Singh, Ghaloti, sarpanch Jaswant Singh, Bair Kalan, sarpanch Malkit Singh, Jargadi, sarpanch Kashmira Singh, Bhadewal, sarpanch Gurnam Singh, Araichan, Mr Nirmal Singh Chaprani, president, Youth Wing BJP, among others.



Youth Akali Dal to mobilise cadres
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The Youth Akali Dal will mobilise its cadres at booth level in support of the Akali-BJP alliance candidates in all the 117 constituencies of Punjab during the forthcoming elections. This was stated by the youth wing president, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, after addressing a conference of party workers.

Mr Dhillon claimed that there was considerable enthusiasm among youth workers about the alliance and had already activated themselves. He said strategy was drawn up for the elections only. The workers were given thorough orientation about the developmental works carried out during the past five years under the Badal regime.



Seminar on female foeticide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
The Lions Clubs International District 321 F, has given a call to all its clubs to conduct seminars on female foeticide. As per the directives of District Governor D.K. Sood, member of the club in the region VI and VII jointly conducted a seminar here today at Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Model Town.

The guest speakers, Dr Neelam Sodhi, Dr Neeru Kapoor, Dr Gurmeet Mignalni and Dr Y.S. Walia spoke about the social evil. They stressed on creating awareness among people, especially new generation, during their speeches.

Mr P.S. Narang, region chairman, Lions Club International, said: “Decline in sex ratio is a result of sex determination tests and ban on such kind of tests by law or by awareness is the need of the hour.” 



Makar Sankranti celebrated
Tribune News Service

Children dressed up as deities at Shree Ayyappa Temple in Ludhiana on Monday.

Ludhiana, January 15
Makar Sankranti was celebrated at Shree Ayyappa Temple, Focal Point, here, with great religious enthusiasm by devotees of Lord Ayyappa yesterday.

The procession to mark the occasion consisting of an elephant, bearing Lord Ayyappa’s idol, accompanied by Thalappoli (the traditional form of paying respects to Lord Ayyappa by female devotees dressed in colourful Keralite costumes), Kavadiyattam, Kaldi, tableaux and conventional South Indian music, started form the temple in the evening.

Mr Jagdish Bali, in charge, Vishwanath Mandir, and other committee members welcomed the procession at Shiva Temple and after offering prayers they returned back to Lord Ayyappa Temple. After that special ‘pooja’ was performed in the temple. The function was attended by number of devotees.



Makar Sankranti yajna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
A 14-day Gayatri yajna got under way at Arya Samaj, Dal Bazaar, here, in connection with the Makar Sankranti celebrations yesterday.

The yajna fire was lighted by Mr Om Dutt Gupta and Pandit Surinder Kumar Shastri conducted the yagya. The function was presided over by Swami Sumnamati and attended, among others, by Mr Suresh Chadha, Mr Roshan Lal Arya, Mr Devpal Arya, Ms Janak Arya, Ms Indra Sharma, Ms Sharda Sharma and Mr Shrawan Kumar Arya.

Mr Devpal Arya said the yajna programme would be held from 3.30 pm to 5 pm till January 26.



IndusInd Bank counter opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
IndusInd Bank opened an extension counter at USPC Jain Public School, Jamalpur, here today. It was inaugurated by Mr T.R. Jain, president, Acharya Shri Atma Jain Samarak Samiti.

The bank’s first offsite ATM located at the GT Road was inaugurated by Mr Manjit Singh, Executive Director, Ludhiana Stock Exchange. Mr Fali Forbes, Executive Vice-President, IndusInd Bank, was present on both the occasions. He said with the launch of new extension counter and offsite ATM, the bank now had 54 outlets in the country. He said the bank had successfully established itself as a preferred bank amongst its corporate clients, and it was now carving a niche for itself in the retail segment. He tracked the past successes of the bank and expressed confidence in the highest levels of service being provided by its outlets across the country. He brought into focus the emerging role of the extension counter, which formed an integral part of the existing branch of which it was attached. The objective was to bring banking facilities within easy reach of the customers. He also stressed on the importance of the growing role of electronic distribution channels of which ATMs formed an integral part for all retail transaction.

The bank with its network in excess of Rs 500 crore, had grown by leaps and bounds in terms of deposits and advances, since its inception. The total volume of business was Rs 11,424 crore as on March 31, 2001.

Diamond jewellery exhibition

Diamond jewellery on display at an exhibition, which was inaugurated in Ludhiana on Tuesday. —RB

A three-day diamond jewellery exhibition was inaugurated here today. The exhibition, which has been organised by Enchante’, offers a wide- range of products like pendants, earrings, rings and delicate necklaces.

Religious icon pendants with diamonds are also available. These include big and small Ganeshas, Khanda, Ek Onkar and Om pendants. The price of these icons vary between Rs 3,995 and Rs 14,900 depending upon the size and number of diamonds studded.

In addition to these, customers can get delicate pearl strings each for Rs 4,995. Pearl rings, earrings and pendants are the centre of attraction among buyers. The range starts from Rs 990 to Rs 2,990.

Diamond zodiac pendants are on display costing Rs 2,900 each. One of the attendants at the exhibition said this kind of jewellery was the best gift for loved ones, friends and associates. “Indian women have great passion for jewellery, so these are the best gifts for them”, he said.

Ms Rajni Lamba, a visitor, said: “The Bandhini bangles and rings are something I was looking for earlier”.



Body protests against hike in excise duty
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India has flayed the steep hike in central excise duty on petrol from Rs 32 to Rs 90 and 20 per cent on diesel up to March 31, 2002, in order to contain the fiscal deficit.

Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the federation, in a press note today said the Finance Ministry was contemplating internal borrowings to the tune Rs 15,000 to 20,000 crore to reduce the fiscal deficit. He alleged that the Central Government had failed to control its expenditure that had gone up manifold.

The president said that he failed to understand that on the one hand, the government had increased the central excise on petroleum products, while on the other, it had reduced the petrol price by Rs 1.39 per litre. He decried that the petroleum prices were highest in India as compared to the rest of the world.

The federation urged the government to take effective steps to reduce the wasteful expenditure. He said Finance Minister must keep in mind ground realities prevailing in the country while presenting his 2002 Budget.


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