Friday, February 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Lobbying on for liquor vends
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, February 6
As the annual auction of the liquor vends in Punjab is nearing, hectic lobbying has started in the state.
The annual auction of liquor vends is completed before March 31 and liquor sale fetches more than Rs 1,400 crore revenue annually.

The state Excise and Taxation department has started interacting with various groups of liquor contractors to get feedback and formulate a new policy for the next financial year.

During an interactive session, small liquor contractors emphasised that they should not be eliminated from the trade and the government must ensure their survival. They requested that there should be no “political bargaining” at the time of auction.

The small contractors felt that the big ones were not allowing them to survive by controlling the business by virtue of their political clout.

They said liquor smuggling was also taking place and some of the liquor barons were selling liquor at their “own fixed prices.”

Inquiries show that bagpiper brand of IMFL, which costs Rs 62 per bottle, is being sold in the market at the rate of Rs 225 per bottle by contractors. Country-made liquor is sold at Rs 100 per bottle against the officials price of Rs 80 per bottle. The liquor contractors have urged the government to reduce the price of liquor to check drug addiction among the youth. They maintain that cheap liquor will prevent the youth from consuming drugs.

The excise officials observe that the decrease in the price would result in the fall in the revenue.

Inquiries further show that the quota of IMFL has also not been lifted by liquor contractors so far. It is estimated that about 10 lakh boxes of IMFL worth Rs 100 crore are yet to be lifted by the liquor vends owners for sale during the next two months.

There are apprehensions among the liquor contractors of the state that UP liquor barons are pressurising the state government to hand over the entire trade of liquor to them.

It may be mentioned here that the auction of liquor vends in the city had to be postponed thrice two years ago due to a tussle for the control of liquor vends.

Meanwhile, Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, Principal Secretary (Finance), has said the state government would achieve the target of collecting Rs 1,450 crore as excise duty during the current year. He said a sum of Rs 1,240 crore had already been collected and the remaining amount would come during the months of February and March.

It is learnt that the state government is contemplating a move to amend the state excise law to check the smuggling of liquor.



Smuggler held, liquor seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The district Excise Department, in a joint operation with the Samrala police, seized 20 bottles of different brands of liquor and arrested an alleged smuggler late last night.

A press note issued by Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, SSP, Khanna, here this evening said Excise Inspectors Maninder Singh and Shiv Kumar, along with Samrala police personnel, nabbed the alleged smuggler and seized the bottles. The bottles were being smuggled into the area from Chandigarh.



College holds poetry recitation contest
Our Corresponden

Ludhiana, February 6
An inter-college music competition was also organised in Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women this morning. Fifteen teams participated from different colleges. Dr. Kehar Singh , Chairman, Punjab School Education Board was the chief guest.

The results of the competitions are as follows:

Song competition — Sharanjit Singh, Shanti Tara College, Ahmedgarh, (first), Monica, Mater Tara Singh Memorial College, (second), Manpreet, G.N. Khalsa College for Women (third). The special prize was given to Amarpreet Singh, SCD Govt College.

Folk song competition — Hema Sharma, Ramgarhia Girls College, (first), Gurwinder Singh, Shanti Tara College, (second), Parneet Kaur, Khalsa College, Sidhwan Khurd, (third). Consolation Prize, Baljinder Singh, SCD Govt College and Renu Bala, Ramgarhia Girls College.

Ten college teams participated in the Fine-Arts Competition. 

The results are as follows:

Landscape on the Spot — Satinder, GN Khalsa College for Women,(first), Shweyta, Khalsa College for Women, (second), Manjeet Kaur, GHG College, Sudha,(third), 

Composition: Gurasis, GN Khalsa College for Women, (first), Navjot, Ramgarhia Girls College, (second), Rajita, KCW, (third).

Poster-making: Tinky, GN Khalsa College for Women,(first), Preeti, Govt College for Women,(second), Supreet, Govt College for Women, (third). Consolation Prize — Pooja.

Life-drawing — Shikha, GN Khalsa College for Women, (first), Prabhjot, Govt College for Women,(second), Sumeet, GN Khalsa College for Women, (third). Still Life: Jaspreet, GN Khalsa College for Women, (first), Kamaldeep, GNKCW, (second), Varinder, GCW, (third). Jaswinder GN Khalsa College for Women and Navneet, Ramgarhia Girls College.

Sukhi Brar, Singer, was the chief guest for the ‘giddha competition’. She gave many tips to the participants as how to perform giddha. GHG College Sidhwan Khurd, and GN Khalsa College for Women were declared joint winners whereas the KCW stood second, and first individual prize went to Davinder , second to Sukh Simran and third to Sarabjit.

An inter-college poetry recitation competition was organised in Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women yesterday. The function began with lighting of the ceremonial lamp by renowned Punjabi poet and writer Surjit Patar.

Thirtyeight students from 10 colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh participated in the competitions. Surjit Patar addressed the audience and congratulated the students.

Poetry recitation results are as follows:  

Amandeep Kaur Dua and Jaskanwal Sohi of the local Government College for Women, (first), Vivek of Government College, Chandigarh Road (second) and Harmisrat Kaur of the local Ramgarhia Girls College, (third).

Special prizes were also given to Ganga Ram of Government College, Rahra Sahib, Harbir Kaur of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Aditi of D.D. Jain College and Bikramjit Singh of the local S.D. Government College.

The chief guest of the inter-college declamation contest was Ms Sushil Gupta, Deputy Mayor, of the local Corporation. Fifteen teams from the state participated in the contest.

Results of declamation contest are : Pragya, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, here (first), Rachna Sharma, Arya College (second), Bikramjeet Singh, Government College (third). Special prizes were given to Harpreet, Malwa Central College of Education, Monika of GCW, Vivek of Government College, Chandigarh, Harsimrat of the local Ramgarhia Girls College.

Inter-college home science competitions in fresh flower arrangement, dry-cum-fresh flower arrangement, embroidery, soups and sandwiches were also organised. Nine colleges from the district participated in the competition.

In embroidery Upinder Kaur of the Government College for Women was declared first, Ravinder Kaur of Ramgarhia College second and Rupinder Kaur of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd was declared third, Sanpreet Kaur of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women got consolation prize .

In soups category the results were: Avneet Kaur, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women (first), Mandeep Kaur, Mai Bhago College (second), sandwiches competitions: Ritu Sharma of Guru Nanak Girls Ludhiana (first), Mandeep Kaur of Ramgarhia Girls College was (second).

In fresh flower arrangement, Kanika of the Khalsa College for Women got first prize, Amarpreet Kaur of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women and Damanjot Kaur of Guru Nanak Girls College were declared second. Megha of the Government College for Women was declared third.

In dry-cum-fresh flower arrangement Ayana of the Government College for Women was declared first, Amanpreet Kaur of the Guru Nanak College for Girls was second and Amrita Khanna of Arya College got third prize. Sonali of Khalsa College for Women got consolation prize.



Students’ conference at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Punjab Agricultural University is going to host the first ever international students’ conference in order to build global initiative among students for promoting the culture of peace. The conference is being organised by the Central Students’ Council, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle as part of the celebrations of International Decade for Culture of Peace and Non-Violence proclaimed by UNESCO.

Disclosing this here yesterday, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, who is also the chairperson of the reception committee emphasised on building a fearless society where dignity of labour is valued. He underlined the need to involve students and youth in building a society free from drugs and intoxicants and in removing disparities, and discrimination.

Mr Jatinderpal Singh, deputy chief organiser, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle and co-chairperson of the organising committee, called for giving peace a chance. He disclosed that the conference would strive for building a youth initiative for global friendship and cooperation for the promotion of culture of peace.

Mr Satnam Singh, joint secretary, organising committee of the study circle, said over 500 students from 20 countries would participate in the programme. While students from Hong Kong, Nagaland and Bangalore have already reached, others are expected to reach today.

Mr Satnam Singh said each participating college or university would be represented by three students who would be engaged in one of the three activities, including seminar, poster making and group discussion. The five topics for seminar to be held on February 8 would be “Promoting the culture of peace”? “Promoting the spirit of volunteering”, “Intoxicant-free society”, ‘Removing disparities and promoting equality’ and “Reviving value-based social system”.

For poster-making contest, students will prepare five to 10 cartoons, paintings and flow charts on any of the five topics. The posters will be on display in the Paul Auditorium on February 9. The conference will be inaugurated by Lieut-Gen. J.F.R. Jacob, (retd), Governor of Punjab, on Friday. A special self-realisation session will be organised in the afternoon.

On Sunday a session on inter faith initiative for peace will be organised in which religious heads of Hindus, Islam, Christianity, Bahai, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism will deliberate on peaceful co-existence in the world and release a joint declaration.

A balloon-releasing ceremony and poster-presentation session will also be organised during the conference. There will be various events and competitions for which prizes worth Rs 5,100, Rs 3,100 and Rs 2,100 and consolation prizes will be awarded to talented students. Demonstration of martial art by the American students, students show, sight and sound will also be organised during the conference.



Jee Aayan Nu to life, no to drugs: Harbhajan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
‘‘ I am not making speeches to become an MLA or an MP but I want to be MLA of your hearts so that you listen to me and take my advice seriously when I tell you to shun drugs as they are ruining our youth. Come forward students and bring change in the scenario. You have immense power within you. You have to harness it ," said Harbhajan Mann, the popular singer and film actor whose recent movie 'Jee Aayan Nu' has made him a hit with youngsters.

Harbhajan was addressing the students of the GGNIMT, Civil Lines here. Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, President, Lok Bhalai Party, which Harbhajan Mann has joined, was along with him The college had organised a cultural function which included kite flying competition, antakshari, folk dances and folk songs.

This was the 10th college where Harbhajan was addressing the students in his crusade to motivate students to fight evils like dowry and drug addiction.

He said he liked Hindi movies but he did not like the caricatures they made of Punjabi characters in those movies. ‘‘So I am trying to make Punjabi movies which will make Punjabis proud of themselves."

‘‘Earlier’’, he said, ‘‘Punjabis were first in every sphere- be it studies, sports, education, but now the youth of other states are much ahead of Punjabis. So you have to work hard to come to the forefront.’’ He sang ‘Heer’ in a very soulful voice. Later, the ‘Traditional Punjabi Dress’ contest was held. Harpreet Kaur (MBA II) and Virender Kumar (BBA IV) were adjudged winners. Other events organised on the occasion, included antakshri, tombola, kite flying and tug of war.

Director, Kuldeep Singh, Coordinator, Prof. G.S. Dua and Mr Gundeep Singh, Principal, GGN Khalsa College, congratulated the faculty. 



Man dupes cops, takes away scooter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
A man allegedly duped cops on duty at a police post and took away a scooter, which had been impounded by the policemen and kept as case property, by producing forged documents. A case has been registered in this regard.

The FIR registered at the Model Town police station on the directions of SSP H.S.Sidhu, however, does not mention any charges against any policemen. The police action came after a news report regarding the incident was published in these columns recently.

Traffic police personnel had impounded a Bajaj Chetak scooter (No. PB-10-AA- 2151), owned by Mr Daler Singh of Shahpur Road here, at Dugri area last month. It was kept as case property at the Atam Park police post.

Later, a person, who identified himself as Amit Kumar, took away the scooter from the police post authorities by showing documents issued by a district court permitting him to do so.

The matter came to light in the last week of January, when the owner of the scooter, Mr Daler Singh, visited the police post to take his vehicle back after paying Rs 1,000 fine. After the orders of the district police chief, officials of the Atam Park police post went to the owner’s house to get his statement.

Police sources disclosed today that the investigation into the case has been started from the district courts. It was being suspected that the man who took away the scooter could be working in the district courts and had easy access to stamps and documents.

The documents on which the scooter was taken away stated that the man was Amit Kumar of 17, Street Number 1, Azad Nagar. The address was found to be fake.



Controversial CD available
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Contrary to the claims of the district police that the duplicate audio-video CD’s and pornographic CDs business was being effectively checked in the city, especially after the busting of the alleged den of Jagdish Tangri in Gur Mandi, a highly controversial CD, including pictures of a couple belonging to industrial families of Jalandhar, which is doing brisk business here.

Interestingly, the CD raised quite a storm in Jalandhar last month causing a massive crackdown on the duplicate VCD business in that city. The boy and girl belonged to well-known families of the city.

The girl was reportedly lured by the boy and pictures were taken through a hidden camera. The boy took one of his friends into confidence and got a CD made. The friend, however, made more copies and sold the CD at a premium. The police after learning about the CD confiscated several copies of it. However, the VCD has now found its way into Ludhiana market. 



BJYM charges govt with political vendetta
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), while charging the Congress government in Punjab with witch-hunt of political opponents, has alleged that murder of a BJP activist, Dr Ravinder Kumar, in Jodhan village of the district, was a result of a deep-rooted conspiracy.

Former state president and a member of the National Executive of the party, Mr Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal, has further said the functionaries of the ruling party were trying to save the main accused of the cold blooded murder and the police also appeared to be a party in a bid to hush up the case. He cautioned the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the state police chief Mr Mahal Singh Bhullar and the SSP, Jagraon, Mr Mukhwinder Singh, against any attempt to hush up the political killing and further demanded immediate steps to apprehend the main accused. Maintaining that the BJP and its front organisations would not be intimidated by such repressive and undemocratic measures, Mr Grewal said ever since the Congress government took over the reins it was pursuing vindictive policy against functionaries of the SAD and the BJP to settle political scores. He also exhorted his party workers and allies prepare for a decisive battle against political vendetta unleashed by the Congress government.

Mr Grewal, expressing his concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab, noted with regret that after implicating its political opponents in false and concocted cases, the ruling party was now resorting to violent attacks against them. 



Streetlight project inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
The pace of development in the city has picked up with various developmental projects getting underway in different localities.
Congress legislator Surinder Dawar inaugurated double-fluorescent lights (sodium vapour lamps) as part of the streetlight project on Jail Road in the Field Ganj locality on Wednesday. The streetlight project worth Rs 4.28 lakh was initiated with the joint efforts of Mr Sanjay Talwar, councillor, ward No 49, and Mr Rakesh Parashar, councillor, ward No 51.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dawar said that with the commissioning of a new tubewell in the locality, adequate supply of drinking water was available to the residents. He said senior municipal corporation officials would visit the locality in the next couple of days to find a permanent solution to problems caused by open drain in the area. The area councillor Mr Talwar announced that work for fixing slabs on small drain and construction of a wall along the big open drain would be taken up soon.

Among others, the MC Superintending Engineer (B and R), Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Darbari Lal Talwar, Mr Ashok Parashar Pappi, Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Kulwinder Singh Gulati, Mr Vikas Dua, Mr Goldy Sabharwal, Mr Vipan Gulati, Mr Ajaib Singh Kapoor, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, Ms Pinki Arora, Mr Chanchal Singh and Mr Inderjit Singh Manga attended the function.

The MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, launched a Rs 19 lakh sewerage and water supply project in Prem Nagar, New Kirpal Nagar, Ajit Nagar and the New Madhopuri localities in ward No 60. Mr Dawar, MLA, area councillor Mr Rajesh Jain Kala Navkar, Mr Sanjay Talwar, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, Mr Chanchal Singh and Ms Anju Bagga, all councillors, were present on the occasion.

Addressing the function, Mr Sharma reiterated the commitment of the civic body for the all-round development of the city. He said the MC had made an area-specific developmental plan which would ensure funds, based on the actual need, for development to all city wards. The civic administration would take up developmental projects in undeveloped and underdeveloped areas on priority basis, he added.

In yet another function, the MC Commissioner laid the foundation stone of a road in the Mundian Kalan locality to be constructed at a cost of Rs 14 lakh. Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Prem Mittal, presided over the function, which was attended, among others, by area councillor Baljit Kaur (ward No 14) and Mr Hakam Singh Giaspura, member of the Finance and Contracts Committee of the MC.



Tributes paid to Satguru Ram Singh Ji
Tribune News Service

Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana), February 6
Rich tributes were paid to Satguru Ram Singh Ji, one of the architects of the Freedom Struggle and founder of the Non-Cooperation Movement, at a state-level function organised by the Punjab Government to mark his 188th birth anniversary (parkash utsav) at the headquarter of the Namdhari Sect, about 20 km from here today.

While the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, could not make it to the function due to other engagements, others who paid their tributes included Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, Punjab, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Public Health Minister, Dr Harbans Lal, Minister of State, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi and Mr Amrik Singh, all MLAs.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Hanspal said Satguru Ram Singh Ji had launched a well-organised movement against the British rule. He had waged a Non-Cooperation Movement by boycotting the services of British rulers and setting up schools, postal and judicial systems. “The Namdhari movement launched by Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji was, in reality, a revival of the Sikhism. The Namdhari Sect had spread fast and the number of the followers had gone up to 60,000 within 10 years, thereby posing a serious threat to the British Empire.”

The PPCC Chief regretted that the part of the sacrifices by Punjabis, particularly by Sikhs, had been deliberately undermined in the history of the country, which he demanded to be amended accordingly. He said Satguru Ram Singh was a far-sighted leader, who, during his struggle, had created administrative system right from panchayats to state-levels, which had played a frontal role in strengthening the foundation of the freedom struggle. He described the founder of the secta as an unmatched social reformer, who developed his own social system which had no place for social evils like dowry, casteism, killing of girl child and intoxicants.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh, who represented the Chief Minister of Punjab, while paying his tributes to Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji remarked that he was a great social reformers, who struggled throughout his life to eradicate the social evils in the society. “Sat Guru Ram Singh had created a strong force of Namdhari patriots, who made enormous sacrifices while fighting the British.” He announced that the state government would implement concrete programmes and policies to give shape to dreams of Sat Guru Ram Singh of providing equal opportunities to everybody in the state without any discrimination.

Sat Guru Jagjit Singh Ji, present head of Namdhari Darbar, in his religious sermon, advised the people to implement the directions of Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji of complete social boycott of the killers of girl childs.

Among others who addressed the function were Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, State Minister for Public Health, Dr Harbans Lal, state Minister for Forest, Mr Satinder Singh Noor, Head Sat Guru Ram Singh Chair, Guru Nanak Dev University, Mr Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Vice-President, Punjab Sahitya Academy, Sant Dalip Singh and Mr Gurdip Singh Bhaini.



Panthic calendar issue discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
A meeting of the Gurmat Sidhant Pracharak Sant Samaj was held at Jodhan Mansooran today to discuss the need of a panthic calendar in the light of Gurmat and Sikh historical and religious perspective. Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi presided over the meeting. Referring his previous meetings with Prof. Pal Singh Purewal in the presence of five head priests and Bibi Jagir Kaur , the then SGPC chief on December 22, 1999, highlighted the gross discrepancies in the Nanakshahi Jantri prepared by Prof. Pal Singh Purewal, Prof. Anurag Singh also highlighted the basic discrepancy in the said jantri.

It was decided that for the formation of a panthic calendar in panthic tradition and according to Sikh religious and historical traditions. A seminar would be held in Amritsar, in which special invitations would be sent to the SGPC, 11 member committee constituted by Shri Akal Takht, intellectual Sikh institutions to discuss the issue.

The meeting also condemned the “irresponsible and misleading” statement of the RSS, terming the Sikhs as Hindus and proclaiming that Sikh Gurus had advocated this philosophy.

It was also resolved that Sant Samaj, will observe the February 9 as Ardas Divas for Mr Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar.

Besides Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi, President of Gurmat Sidhant Pracharak Sant Samaj, Baba Seva Singh Rampurkhera, Sant Pramnjit Singh Mahalpur, Sant Hari Singh Randhawa, Bhai Mohkam Singh, Bibi Jasbir Kaur Khalsa Ludhiana, Baba Suchchain Singh, Sant Avtar Singh Badhnikalan, Sant Veer Singh Madoke, Sant Balbir Singh, and Sant Atma Singh were also present.



Basant Panchmi celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
Saraswati pooja and kite flying marked the celebration of Basant Panchmi in and around the city today. The Navyuvak Sangh held a Basant Mahotsav at Manohar Nagar on the Dhuri Lines. The function was marked by Saraswati poojan held under the supervision of Pandit Anil Sharma. A yajna and a cultural function were also held. The mahotsav was inaugurated by Mr Deepak Gupta, president , Ludhiana Sewa Sangh. Highlighting the importance of Basant Panchmi, Mr Gupta said the Basant is auspicious for poets, teachers and students.

Mr Naresh Gupta, president of the Navyuvak Sangh, told that a shobha yatra would be taken out tomorrow from Manohar Nagar and an idol of Sarswati would be immersed in the Sutlej river. Sarswati poojan was held at several places in the city.



Farmers to block traffic on Feb 15
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
Half a dozen farmers’ organisations today threatened that the ongoing movement of the non-payment of electricity bills by the farmers would be further intensified if the government failed to guarantee remunerative prices for agricultural produce. They further announced that as a part of their agitation a call had been given to block the traffic on February 15 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. all over the state.



Former Finance Commissioner dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Mr C.D. Kapoor, a retired IAS officer, father of Mr M.M. Kapoor, a retired DIG, Punjab Police, breathed his last on Tuesday after a short illness. He had served as the Deputy Commissioner, Ambala, Commissioner Jalandhar and Patiala divisions in joint Punjab and thereafter as Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Punjab in various departments and retired as the Financial Commissioner, Punjab, in 1971.



Need to ‘learn’ from Chinese success
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
While the Chinese contribution to the global textile trade grew from 4 per cent in 1980 to 13 per cent in 2002, Indian share grew from 2 to 4 per cent only during this period. This was stated during the inaugural session of a seminar on the WTO implications, being organised by the Apparel Exporters Association (APPEAL) here.

The experts including, Dr Prem Kumar and the APPEAL president, Mr Sanjiv Gupta, listed several reasons for this state of affairs which had left India far behind in the world trade despite massive human resource and raw material.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kumar maintained that during the past two decades, India had missed the global textile trade by about $32 billion. He said, India needs to learn from the Chinese experiment and there was an urgent need for industrial reforms particularly in terms of the labour laws.

He cautioned that the exports might suffer in the post-WTO scenario when the quota regimes would cease to exist. Quoting a Reserve Bank of India survey he disclosed that the textile profits as of now had come to zero. He attributed it to the lack of policy on the part of the government. He said that India should learn lessons from Chinese in terms of labour reforms and aggressive marketing.

Dr Kumar said, the opening up of the world trade was not going to bring any instant changes in the existing system. He said, it would be an evolutionary process and would take many years for the removal of the quota regimes.

Addressing the seminar, Mr Sanjiv Gupta pointed out, the textile industry was crucial for India’s economy. It currently contributes about 14 per cent of the Index of Industrial Production and employs about 30 million people. He disclosed, it also accounted for as much as 38 per cent of the export earnings equivalent to $13 billion in 2001 while adding less than 2 per cent to the imports.

He said the Indian textile industry had certain strong points like easy availability of cotton-based raw materials, ability to adjust to demand, virtual monopoly in embellishment and wide merchandise line. There were some weak points like low quality products, little value addition in production, non-availability of finances, lack of competitive export finance and poor packaging facilities.

In his inaugural address, the Municipal Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr S.K. Sharma, assured that the municipal corporation would provide necessary inputs to the industry for better and organised growth. At the same time he sought the corporation of the industry for “making Ludhiana a dream city.



PNB makes loans easy for teachers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
Punjab National Bank has decided to lower the income eligibility criteria to Rs 5,000 from Rs 10,000 a month for those teachers who are maintaining accounts with PNB branches. An incentive by way of rebate of 2 per cent in rate of interest will be given for regular repayment of loan at the time of the final adjustment of the personal loan. This was stated by Mr. U S Bhargava, General Manager, Punjab National Bank, Punjab zone, in a press note issued today.

A further rebate of 0.5 per cent is available and no processing fees will be charged till March 31 under the PNB festival season bonanza scheme.




Mandi Gobindgarh
Exim form: The representatives of All-India Steel Re-rollers Association has decided not to take Exim Form the Sales Tax office. At a meeting held here recently the association has urged the government to withdraw the form. The association has also decided to protest against the enforcement wing of the sales tax department. OC

Film exhibitors’ demand:
The Ludhiana Exhibitors Association in a representation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked for the total abolition of entertainment tax, industry status to cinema in the state, power supply to cinema houses at concessional rates. Other demands of the association include the strict enforcement of laws on film piracy and cable TV channels showing the new releases and making the exhibition of the Film Division films. OC



Woolen garments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
The Wool and Woolens Export Promotion Council (WWEPC)has procured orders worth $54,000 at ‘Pret-a-Porter Fair, Paris (France) held from January 24 to 27, 2003. This information was given by Mr Ashok Jaidka, Chairman of the council. 


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