Sunday, May 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


18 freed, 10 still captive
Captors tortured pregnant bonded labourer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan got 18 bonded labourers, including women and children, freed from the captivity of a brick-kiln owner of Khamba village near Moga. According to the volunteers of the organisation, 10 more bonded labourers are still missing.

Some of the freed labourers were introduced to reporters here today and they said most of them had been held captive just because they had borrowed petty sums from the kiln owner. They gave the example of one person whose entire family was taken captive because he had borrowed Rs 365 from him.

According to Mr Jai Singh of the DDVA, volunteers received information from a source that there were 28 bonded labourers at the brick kiln, including minors and women. At this, they lodged a complaint with the Moga district administration on April 26, which was marked to the Subdivisional Magistrate, Ms Raghubir Kaur Khera.

The SDM found no bonded labourer at the brick kiln because, by that time, the kiln owner had come to know that the labourers had lodged a complaint against him. Two women labourers — Paramjit Kaur and Amarjit Kaur — were beaten up mercilessly and had to be hospitalised. Paramjit is pregnant.

When the DDVA volunteers met the SDM again in this regard, she told them to produce at least one bonded labourer, failing which, they would be put under arrest. A surprise raid at the brick kiln was planned, but the kiln owner got wind of it and when the raiding party reached the spot on May 3, villagers and kiln owners gave it a grand reception. Three DDVA volunteers — Ms Prabhjot Kaur, Mr Vivek Deol and Mr Jagjivan Singh — were with the SDM in the raid.

In spite of the cover-up attempt, the volunteers managed to trace and rescue 18 bonded labourers. Two of the injured were admitted to Civil Hospital at Dharamkote, but there was still no sign of 10 other bonded labourers. Mr Jai Singh said the kiln owner could harm these unfortunate labourers.

The 28 bonded labourers belong to six Dalit families of Ferozepore. Mr Jai Singh said the administration was deliberately taking a lenient view of the issue because all bonded labourers were Dalit.



Industrialist’s wife ‘stage-managed’ 
own kidnapping
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The wife of a rich industrialist in the city allegedly stage-managed her own kidnapping with the help of a ‘very close’ male relative in order to pocket a ransom of Rs 9 lakh from her husband. The alleged kidnapping drama was staged on March 14 last.

After over six weeks of investigation, the CIA (wing-I) of the city police today announced the arrest of 22-year-old youth, Sumit, a nephew of 40-year-old Archana Mittal, both of whom had allegedly planned the fake show. The woman is the wife of a well-known industrialist, Mr Ashok Mittal. She is yet to be arrested. The police claims to have conducted some raids to nab her, but she managed to evade arrest.

The woman had gone missing under mysterious circumstances on that day. A ransom note received by her husband stated that she would be released only after the payment of Rs 9 lakh. The husband, however, had some suspicion over the incident. He informed the police and complained that the woman had ‘run away’ with her nephew. The woman had returned of her own the next day. Developments in the case had prompted the police to order a thorough investigation into the case.

Ludhiana Tribune had carried an exclusively story on the case.

Revealing the kidnaping drama to mediapersons at the CIA headquarters here today, Mr Shiv Kumar, SP (D) and Ms Amandeep Kaur, DSP, said the accused youth Sumit was very close to the woman. He used to live alone in Hisar as his parents had died. He told the police that his Auntie Archana called him here some months ago. The woman and her husband were not having good marital relations. The woman often confided in him that her husband does not give her any money and she was not treated well. Their closeness grew, Mr Shiv Kumar said.

The accused told the police that in the second week of March, they hatched a plan to organise kidnapping of the woman and to collect ransom from her husband. As per the plan, they prepared a ransom note and left the city on March 14. They went to Jalandhar and spent a night in a hotel. However, the next day they learnt that the woman’s husband had lodged a complaint against both of them. At this, the woman returned to her house and he went away.

The police officials said the youth was arrested from the city. However, they did not disclose the place of his arrest. A case under Section 365 of the IPC had been registered against the two at the Model Town police station.

Archana has three children, including two daughters and a son. The woman had on her return to her home on March 15 claimed that she was kidnapped by four unidentified persons while she was standing outside her house. The kidnappers had come in a car and had forcibly taken her away. She told the police that her face was covered and she couldn’t see where she was being taken to. Later she came to know that she was at a place near Jalandhar, she had claimed.

The woman had claimed that she was kept at different places. On March 15 morning, she was taken to a bus stand and was told to board a bus for Ludhiana. She was asked not to talk to anyone as the alleged kidnappers were following her in a car.

According to her, one of the kidnappers later joined her in the bus and they reached Ludhiana. From there she was taken to some unknown place and later to Manju Cinema. She said the kidnappers were doing this as they feared the police would swoop down on them. The woman ultimately claimed to have run away from the cinema hall and reached home.

All her story had now been proved to be false, the police said.



Sharp drop in city’s ground-water level
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
“The ground-water level in the city is dropping at an alarming rate and from the existing level of about 70 feet, it is expected to further go down to 87 feet in the next 7 years.” This was stated by Mr R.L. Kalsia, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation while addressing a meeting of the Rotary Club here last night.

He urged the city population to be responsive to the fast depletion of the ground water and to do their best to conserve water and avoid wastage. “Members of the Rotary Club and other similar organisations can play a significant role in creating awareness among the people about precious gifts of nature like water.”

Focussing on major projects undertaken by the MC for infrastructure development in the industrial capital of Punjab, Mr Kalsia said that presently work was on for construction of four flyovers in the city and with the completion of these projects, the traffic problem was expected to ease to a great extent. “The civic body has to maintain a vast network of over 2500 km of city roads and a whopping Rs 70 crore are spent on providing water and sewerage facility to the people.”

He asked the city residents to pay their civic dues voluntarily and promptly to keep the wheel of development moving.

The MC Commissioner observed that the MC was striving to bring about a qualitative improvement in the kind of basic amenities being provided to the people.

He said work on projects of solid waste management and disposal of biomedical waste was about to commence and a massive HUDCO funded sewerage augmentation project for the city was already in progress. Expressing his serious concern on the increasing environmental pollution in the city, Mr Kalsia made a fervent appeal to the industry in general and the chemical processing industries and dyeing units in particular to take necessary measures for treatment and proper disposal of industrial effluents and toxic waste.

Earlier, Rotarian past president Deepinder Singh Ranger presented a bouquet to the chief guest while president Rotarian Sanjiv Sethi and secretary K.K. Chadha extended welcome to members and other distinguished guests.



Terrorist lands in police net after 11 years
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
After eluding security agencies for over 10 years by living in hiding under an assumed identity, an alleged dreaded terrorist of a militant organisation, Bhindrawale Tiger force (BTF), has finally landed in the police net.

The police has succeeded in arresting the alleged terrorist, Karamjit Singh, alias Laddi, who was wanted in about six cases of murders and robberies. The accused lived in hiding at different places.

Before his arrest from the Dasehra ground in Shimla Puri here yesterday by a team of the local PO staff, Karamjit was living in Khalra village of Amritsar district on the Indo-Pak Border under an assumed name Sukhdev Singh. He was running a scooter-repair shop in that village.

Briefing mediapersons about his arrest, SP (D) Shiv Kumar, SP(city-I) Naunihal Singh and SP (city-II) Sukhmohinder Singh said the alleged terrorist was an active member of the militant organisation. He used to operate in and around Ludhiana. He said the accused, along with three other accomplices — Mangal Singh, alias Pappu, Sukhdev Singh, alias Sukha, and Gurbachan Singh, alias Dogar, was involved in several killing an looting incidents.

Mr Shiv Kumar said while his other accomplices were either killed in police encounters or were behind the bars, he was absconding since 1991. He was allegedly involved in the killing of a bank employee and injuring two policemen at a cooperative bank near Sahnewal on January 7, 1991. On January 12, the same year, he, along with three other terrorists, killed two policemen. All these cases were registered at the Sahnewal police station. The accused was declared a proclaimed offender by a local court in 1992.



CM to decide on ticket distribution
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Unable to resolve the differences over the distribution of tickets for various wards of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, all the members of the selection committee headed by local MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, constituted for the purpose today moved to Delhi and left everything to Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Once the differences became serious, the selection committee decided to hold a meeting under the chairmanship of Mr Lal Singh at Chandigarh. The meeting was scheduled to be held at 11 a.m. However, after the committee felt that the issue may not be resolved at Mr Lal Singh’s level they decided to meet the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

However, the Chief Minister had already left for Delhi in the morning only. The committee members also rushed to Delhi to meet the Chief Minister and put forward their point of view. The Chief Minister, however, is understood to have asked the selection committee to finalise the list. He told a press conference here other day that he will not make any amendments in the recommendations made by the committee and he would approve its list only.

The party sources revealed that everything seemed to be moving smoothly until Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, the party MLA from Ludhiana Rural, objected to the selection procedure. His differences with the chairman of the selection committee, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib are too well known.

Mr Birmi has been asserting that the MLAs should have the final say in the selection process. He pointed out if the candidates are fielded against the will of the local MLA how can it be possible that they will be able to win. The issue assumes importance given the united front being organised by the opposition parties. There are 34 wards in Ludhiana Rural represented by Mr Birmi.

Mr Birmi has his own reasons. About ten sitting and former councillors of his assembly segment either worked against him during his elections or were indifferent. He has been demanding that none of them be given party ticket this time since they had openly worked against the party at a crucial time. He has also been demanding party nomination for five other councillors, who joined the party before the elections.

After the selection committee refused to entertain Mr Birmi’s claims he met the Chief Minister at Chandigarh on Thursday evening. The Chief Minister reportedly assured him that his opinion would be taken due care of. Following this, Mr Lal Singh, who is in charge for Ludhiana, summoned a meeting at Chandigarh today, which was shifted to Delhi as the committee members thought that the Chief Minister would be in a better position to resolve the issue.

Earlier it was proposed that a three-member panel for every ward would be formed and Captain Amarinder Singh would make the final pick. But there was a dispute on the issue as some people suspected foul play. This included Mr Birmi who said that only one candidate should be appointed on the recommendation of the MLA concerned. Mr Lal Singh was appointed as head of this selection committee.

But with reports that some “touts” on behalf of some central leaders were collecting Rs 5 lakh for a guarantee for the party ticket, local leaders objected to the selection procedure and decided to approach Captain Amarinder Singh in Delhi on the issue. It is now learnt that the party would announce the names of the candidates at the last moment on May 8, so as to enable the candidates to file their nominations on May 9.



Cong legal cell office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
The chairman of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Legal Cell, Mr Shamsher Singh Shergill, today released the list of office-bearers of the local unit of the Congress Legal Cell. The District Legal Cell chairman, Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera, ex-chairman PPCC Legal Cell, Mr P.D. Sharma, district convener, Mr Ashok Bhakri and Mr Hemant Kalia honoured Mr Shergill for being elevated to the post of Senior Additional Advocate General, Punjab. The cell also honoured the newly appointed Additional Advocate General, Punjab, Mr B.B.S. Sobti.

The office-bearers are: senior vice-chairman — Mr Rajesh Bali; vice chairman — Mr Pardeep Sharma; senior vice convener — Ms Kamaljyoti; vice convener — Mr Surinder Singh Khakh; general secretaries — Mr Kamaljit Sharma, Mr Sarwan Sehgal, Mr Harjasdeep Singh Rana and Mr Pradeep Arora; secretaries — Mr Rajesh Mehra, Mrs Sushma Bishnoi, Sanjay Modgil, Mr Bhupinderpal Singh Mangat; organising secretaries — Mr Dheeraj Sood, Mr Tanveer Singh Kular, Mr Devinder Singh Saini, Ms Manjit Kaur; finance secretary —Mr R.P. Singh; executive members — Mr Arvind Sood, Mr Parvinder Pal Singh Chahal, Mr Rushtampal Singh Sandhu, Mr Karamjit Singh, Mr Jyotisarup, Mr Kuldip Arora, Mr Mohammad Zahid, Mr Dinesh Katyal, Mr Bikram Grover, Mr Ravi Vashisht, Mr Balraj Singh, Mr Amandeep Singh, Mr Mandeep Singh, Mr Jaswinder Singh, Mr Sanjay Sharma, Mr Charanjit Singh, Mr Tejinder Singh, Mr Karan Singh.



PPSC members should resign: Advocate-General
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
Following serious allegations of corruption, the members of Punjab Public Service Commission should resign, said the Advocate-General of Punjab, Chowdhary Harbhagwan Singh, while addressing lawyers at the Bar Room, here.

He urged the general public to build up pressure so that the members of PPSC must resign, which would help in strengthening the faith of a common man in such an institution.

Earlier, he was given a warm welcome by the members of the District Bar Association Ludhiana.

Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, president and Mr Rana Surat Singh, vice-president of the District Bar Association apprised the Advocate-General about the problems being faced by the lawyers. They expressed concern over the slow progress of building of the lawyers’ chambers at New Courts Complex.

Despite paying Rs 2 crore for building the lawyers’ chambers long ago, till today no formal agreement had been signed, due to the lack of co-operation on the part of the government, which was demoralising the lawyers, said Mr Harish Dhanda.

Chowdhary Harbhagwan Singh assured the lawyers that their problems would be redressed soon.

He also appealed to the lawyers to help in the eradication of evil of corruption in judicial system.



Sant sammelan attracts large gathering
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
A mahan sant sammelan was held in connection with the birth anniversary celebrations of Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgharia by the Vishwakarma Ramgharia society at the Jassa Singh Ramgharia Hall in Janak Puri here today in which a large number of prominent saints and personalities of Vishwakarma and Ramgharia sects also took part.

The sammelan got under way with a team from Namdhari Mission, Shri Bhaini Sahib, rendering ‘assa ji di waar”. Prominent among other saints who graced the occasion were Bhai Gursewak Singh, Rara Sahib, Jarg, Baba Surjit Singh Leelan, Baba Nirbhai Singh from Patiala, Bibi Jaskiran Kaur Bhanwra, Baba Darshan Singh from Nanaksar, Bhai Talwinder Singh Khalsa and Baba Harjit Singh Bhanwra from Bhai Lalo Ashram. Students of Ramgharia Girls’ College also presented a shabad kirtan on the occasion.

Other prominent personalities present on the occasion included Mr Harcharan Singh Virsan, Mr Kulwinder Singh Virdi, Mr Jagtar Singh Gobind, Mr Darshan Singh Bhogal, Mr Balwinder Singh Reehal, Mr Gurbachan Singh from Nakodar, Mr Kapur Chand, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bittu, Mr Ram Murti Singh from Jallandhar, Mr Tarlok Singh Marwaha, Mr Sukhdev Singh Kalsi, Mr Surjit Singh Nota, Mr Prem Singh, Mr Malkit Singh, Mr Wassan Singh and Mr Inderjit Singh Virdi.

The function was presided over by prominent industrialist Giani Bhagat Singh of GS International.



Tearful farewell to crash victim
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 4
Heart rending scenes were witnessed at the funeral of Mr Rakesh Bali here today. Mr Bali (42) died after a MiG-21 crashed into the building of the Bank of Rajasthan in Jalandhar yesterday. He was an employee of the bank.

Hundreds of people had gathered at his residence when the coffin reached there. The coffin was carried by a team of Indian Air Force officials led by a Flight Lieutenant. Mr Bali is survived by his wife, son Varun (14) and daughter Ketki (12).

People from all walks of life participated in the funeral procession amidst emotional scenes. There was a considerable resentment among people as no official from the district or local administration visited the bereaved family to offer condolences.Back


Convention of Aggarwal sammelan on May 12
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
In order to strengthen the organisational base of the community in the wake of the present political scenario in Punjab, the first state convention of the Punjab Pradesh Aggarwal Sammelan would be held at the Aggar Nagar Community Centre here on May 12.

Giving this information, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, state president of the Akhil Bhartiya Aggarwal Sammelan, said that delegates from all districts and towns would attend the convention. After deliberations, the district-level youth wings, women wings and trade cells and a comprehensive marriage bureau would be set up. It may be recalled that the national president of the sammelan, Mr Pradeep Mittal, had made a special mention of the contribution made by Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal towards the betterment of the community during the national convention held at Kurukshetra in Haryana and Mr Aggarwal was also named the state chief for Punjab.



Man loses Rs 80,000 in daylight theft
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
An employee of a television dealer lost Rs 80,000 under mysterious circumstances from the Dugri road this afternoon.

Mr Kulwant Singh was carrying the money to a bank in his car when he stopped at an auto mechanic’s shop for filling air in the tyres. After getting the air filled, he was shocked to find the bag, containing the money, missing from the rear seat of his car.

He raised an alarm over the sudden disappearance of the bag. The vanishing of the money within few seconds from a crowded place, especially where some policemen of the PCR motor cycle squad were standing nearby, added to the mystery of the crime.

Senior officials of the city police rushed to the spot as initially they had received information that the victim was robbed at gunpoint. However, later it came out to be a case of theft.

DSP R S Parmar said the police had registered a case of theft under Section 379, IPC. 



Residents complain against noise pollution
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
Residents of Laxmi Street near Punjab National Bank in the Civil Lines have approached the SHO of the area with a specific complaint against a firm dealing in sanitation goods. They complained that workers created noise while unloading steel pipes in the street, particularly at odd hours. Apart from the noise, the residents are also sore over the manner in which the street is difficult to cross due to the goods dumped by the firm.

The application, which has been signed by over 12 residents of the street, further requested the SHO to put an immediate end to this menace.

Traffic cops booked: The Sadar police on Friday booked two traffic cops on a complaint by a Jeep driver Jagdev Singh who alleged that the cops, who were under the influence of liquor, intercepted him on the Pakhowal Road while he was returning from Daad village in the afternoon and snatched Rs 7,000 from him after beating him up. One of the cops, who was in mufti, was caught by some passersby while the one in uniform managed to escape.

4 booked for giving poison: The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 341 of the IPC against four persons on a statement of Mr Kishan Lal, father of 32-year-old Sunil Kumar, whose body was found under mysterious circumstances in Kundan Puri two days ago.

The father of the deceased had alleged that Rajni, Roop Kumar, both residing near Garhshankar village, Ashok Kumar of Kundan Puri and Virender Verma, a resident of Guru Nanak Pura behind Kailash Cinema, had hatched a conspiracy to eliminate his son by administering poison to him because of his reported affair with Rajni. He had found his son’s body near a culvert in Hargobind Nagar. The accused reportedly wanted to kill the victim because they did not want him to carry on with his relationship with Rajni and they gave poison-laced alcohol to Sunil, the father added further.

Watchman booked: The Salem Tabri police has booked a watchman Jagir Singh under Sections 353, 332,186 and 188 of the IPC on the statement of a home guard, Mr Bachittar Singh. The cop had alleged that while he was on patrol duty in Jamalpur on Wednesday, the accused, along with some of his friends, attacked him, beat him up and tore up his uniform as well.

Frauds cases: The division number six police has registered a case of fraud and  intimidation under Sections 420 and 506 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Harjit Singh, a resident of Bool village, against Balbir Singh of New Tata Tempo Union, GT Road, Dhandari. The complainant had alleged that he had bought a Tata 407 truck from the accused but the documents of the vehicle turned out to be fake. But the accused started threatening him, when asked for an explanation, he added.

On the statement of Ms Gurwant Kaur of Model House, the Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 402,420 and 506 of the IPC against Kuldip Singh, alias Deep Singh, who resides in Sarabha Nagar. The woman had alleged that she had given Rs. 3.75 lakh to the accused on the promise that he would send her son abroad. When the accused failed to keep his promise, she demanded back the money but he started threatening her, she added.

Suicide: Mandip Singh Soni (30), who had been living in Dr Ambedkar Nagar, allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance here on Friday. According to the members of the deceased’s family, the youth was under depression. The police has registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC and handed over the body to the family after an autopsy.

Cases of dowry harassment: The Haibowal police has registered a case of alleged harassment for more dowry on a statement of Ms Sukhwinder Kaur of Haqiqat Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, against her husband Sukhwinder Singh and mother-in-law Manjit Kaur, residents of Amritsar, under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC.

The division number two police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC against Anil Kumar Malhotra, Kimti Lal, Meena Kumari, Rekha, Seema, Sanjay and Vishal, residents of Panchkula, on a statement of Ms Monica, a resident of Prem Nagar here. The woman had alleged that her husband Anil Kumar and other accused subjected her to mental and physical harassment in order to get more dowry from her parents.

On the statement of Mr Shingara Singh of Field Ganj, the division number two police has registered a case of alleged harassment for more dowry against Gurdip Singh, husband of his daughter Balwinder Kaur, alias Babli.

Kidnapping alleged: The Civil Lines police has registered a case of alleged kidnapping on a statement of Mr Ram Kalip, a man residing near the Ferozepore Lines, under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC, against Manoj Kumar Bihari and Ram Varun Bihari, residents of the same area. The complainant had alleged on Thursday that the accused had kidnapped his granddaughter Poonam on April 30. A search is on for the accused.

Cases of beating: The Sadar police has registered a case of alleged beating under Sections 323 and 341 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Amarjit Kaur of Paddi village against Paramjit Kaur and her son Kuldip Singh, who are living in Phallanwal village. The woman had alleged that the accused beat her up because of a family dispute.

The Kotwali police has registered a case under Sections 341,294,506 and 323 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Kuldip Singh of Katani Kalan village, against Kulbir Nihang, president of a city-based auto-rickshaw union. The complainant had alleged that the accused beat him up abused him on Thursday.

‘Satta’ operator arrested: The Division Number Six police arrested Chaman Lal ‘Cheema’, a ‘satta’ operator, from Cheema Chowk on Wednesday and registered a case under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act against him.

Held with stolen money:
The local police arrested two youths — Ganesh and Parkash — and recovere’d Rs 30,000 from them that they had removed from the dickey of a Bajaj Chetak scooter (PD-25-B-1796).

A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered against them on the statement of a man called Balbir Singh ‘Fauzi’ of Sherpur Kalan village.

The complainant said he, along with his brother Jagraj Singh, had come to a branch of Punjab National Bank on Lajpat Rai Road here to withdraw Rs 30,000. After withdrawal, they kept the money in the dickey of their scooter and left to have some refreshment. The accused broke open the dickey, removed the cash and tried to flee on their scooter — a Vespa (BL-8-SN-2701) — but the complainants raised an alarm, at which, bystanders got hold of the two and gave them a beating.

The police has also impounded the scooter and its investigations have shown that there were two more accomplices of the accused. A search is on for them. The arrested youths were produced in the court of Mr H.S. Pruthi, SDJM of Jagraon, today and sent to the police custody till May 6.



Garment manufacturers flay spurt in acrylic 
fibre prices
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
An artificial scarcity and the resultant spurt in the prices of acrylic fibre has virtually created a crisis-like situation for the acrylic yarn spinners and the readymade garments industry here. The acrylic fibre, selling at a price in the range of Rs 62 per kg before imposition of anti-dumping duty by the Union Government, was now commanding a price of around Rs 90 per kg which had rendered the spinning and the garment industry unviable and uncompetitive.

According to Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, President, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, the acrylic yarn industry was given protection by the Government of India, which had imposed an anti-dumping duty on acrylic yarn, illegally imported from Thailand via Nepal. This protective measure had helped a lot in maintaining the equilibrium in the prices of acrylic yarn and acrylic-made hosiery goods, made for domestic and global markets.

He alleged that a handful of indigenous manufacturers of acrylic fibre, in the organised sector, were holding the entire lot of acrylic yarn spinners and garments manufacturers to ransom by resorting to monopolistic policies and creating an unfavourable supply situation. The acrylic fibre manufacturers were dictating terms and were raising prices at will to the detriment of the garment sector, including exporters and the spinning industry.

The CICU chief has urged the government to take immediate steps to ease the situation in the pricing and supply of the fibre. The Central Government needed to keep a close watch over the manufacturing cost of acrylic fibre and if desirable a price regularity committee might be set up to intervene and check monopolistic strategies adopted by these manufacturers. Further, other steps like scrapping anti dumping duty on imported acrylic fibre and a cut in import duty on acrylic fibre might also be considered.



Traders urged to unite against octroi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has urged all trade and industrial organisations of Punjab to press the government for repealing octroi. It has also urged all factions to forget their differences to put up a joint fight against octroi.

In a statement issued here, the president of the mandal, Mr Tulsi Das Jaitwani, said traders had struggled for five years to get the octroi abolished, but some skeptics had called the decision an election stunt to woo traders. “Because the decision was well-received, the Congress had also included abolition of octroi in its election manifesto. However, the verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has robbed traders of their sense of relief,” he said.

Mr Jaitwani said the financial position of the Punjab Government was so precarious that the new Congress government, inspite of its election promises, had not followed up the decision properly. “It showed undue hurry in issuing a notification to revive all octroi posts in Punjab as soon as receiving the High Court order.”

The mandal chief said the expected revenue through octroi was not so huge that an alternative could not be found, if only the government had taken traders into confidence. The government could have saved Rs 1,300 crore just by stopping free supply of water and electricity to farmers.

Mr Jaitwani said there was no octroi in almost all neighbouring states, due to which, business had flourished there. Octroi had made trade in Punjab suffer in competitive market. He said representatives of traders had constructive and practical solution for alternative sources of revenue for local bodies.


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