Friday, February 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Five hurt as school bus stoned
Villagers identify assailants, case registered 
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Dullo Khurd, February 13
At least five persons, including three children, were injured when a private school bus carrying 50 children was attacked and stoned by a group of seven persons following a minor accident.
The number of injured could have been more had not the villagers intervened.

In what could be described as an act of sheer madness, the attack on the school bus was led by two youths who first hit their motor cycle at the rear of the bus, when it was negotiating a turn in the village at about 8:00 a.m. and then pounced on the driver accusing him of ‘wrong driving’.

The driver and the conductor were beaten up mercilessly with rods and had to be hospitalised. The children were students of Sri Guru Hargobind Public School in the nearby Thakkarwal village.

The goondaism did not stop there. The two youths were joined by five relatives of the same village. They continued to hit the bus crew before the screaming terrified schoolchildren. The children trapped in the bus and could do nothing except hide under the seats to escape injuries from the stones hurled at the bus by the assailants.

At least three children including two girls, suffered injuries on the head and the face. The windowpanes of the vehicle were smashed and some children were injured by broken glass pieces.

Some villagers tried to stop the hooligans but were also beaten up. The insanity of the attackers reached the highest point when they locked the bus and one of them attempted to drive it with the children into a village pond. By that time several villagers had gathered and thwarted the design. The children were rescued and huddled into a house.

On being outnumbered, the attackers fled the spot, with the warning to the family housing the children and rescuers that they would return.

The injured have been identified as Shinder Singh (driver), Buta Singh (bus conductor) and students Gaganpreet Kaur, Jyoti, and Harminder Singh. Several other children suffered minor bruises.

The assailants have been identified by the villagers as Sony, Shinda, Gogi and Vicky. Villagers alleged this was not the first incident involving these persons. They were a terror in the area and have beaten up several persons earlier too.

Responding to the SOS calls of the villagers, two PCR motor cycle squad teams reached the site, but no senior official reached the place till 11 a.m.

Parents of the children had a hard time consoling their children trembling with fear, even an hour after the incident.

When a Ludhiana Tribune team reached the village at about 9 a.m., a large number of villagers had gathered at the site and the road was partially blocked. The bus (PB-10-9623) presented tell-tale signs of the incident. Its windowpanes were broken. The number of bricks found in the bus was large. It seemed like a riot-hit vehicle.

An eyewitness, Bindri, said he was walking on the road when he heard screams of children and saw the accused beating up the driver and the conductor. The driver Shinder Singh, said he was hit on the hit his head with a rod. He said, the motor cycle was at high speed and hit the bus at the rear end for which he could not be held guilty. He said the attackers had threatened to teach him a lesson.

Gaganpreet Kaur, a student of class VII, who was hit on the head, said she was seated at on the front seat when some persons started pelting stones at the bus. “I was hit on the head and fell down. I heard someone saying hide under the seats and all of us did so.”

The district police has registered a case against several persons identified by the villagers for injuring five persons, including three children, travelling in a school bus.

Taking a tough posture, the Sadar police has requested the panchayat of Dullo Khurd village to file a formal complaint so that stringent action is taken against them.



Drive to check drug abuse soon: Lal Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
With a view to check alarming rate of drugs abuse among the youth, a state-wide drive would be launched by the government with the help of social, educational, religious and other non-government organisations, so that energy of the youth could be channelised for the development and social transformation.

This was stated by Mr Lal Singh, Finance, Planning and Food and Supplies Minister, while addressing a gathering at the 39th prize distribution function of the Amar Shaheed Sports Club at Latala village 30 km from here last evening.

He said with complete mechanisation of agriculture and adoption of wheat- paddy crop pattern, requirement of man power in agriculture sector had gone down, resulting in steep increase in unemployment among rural youths, which was a matter of serious concern for the government and the people.

He said the government had decided to set up youth sports and cultural clubs in all villages of the state and to entrust them the responsibility of looking after development process, involving youths in cultural and welfare activities and to make them realise their social responsibilities. He said under the new education and sports policies of the government, the main stress would be on ensuring the all-round development of students and to give them excellent training in different vocations, so that they could compete at the international level.

The minister said computerisation at all levels had turned the world into a small village and there were a lot of opportunities for technically trained men. He exhorted the youth to rise to the occasion and strive hard to equip themselves with technical and vocational education so as to compete at international level and refrain from drug abuse.

The minister gave away the prizes to the winners. He also announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the club.

Earlier, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, spoke about various programme that aimed at diverting the youth towards sports. He said international level infrastructure and equipment had been provided at all district headquarters for sportspersons. He said sufficient number of sports academies had also been set up at different places in the state.

The minister said the government had also decided to give suitable employment to the winners of national-level competitions in various government departments, besides giving them suitable monty awards.

He said to create more infrastructure facilities in rural areas, the government had decided to revive the scheme of construction of stadiums in big villages spending Rs 25 lakh in each case. He said the scheme had been scrapped by the SAD government, resulting in reverses to sports activities in villages.

Mr Bajwa said the government would encourage involvement of the youth in promoting sports and cultural activities in rural areas, and it would help in checking drugs abuse among the rural youth.

He said with improvement in the financial conditions of the state, the developmental process was being started on-large scale in the state. He announced that the project of strengthening and four-laning of the Ludhiana-Moga road would start on February 25. He said the Raikot- Ahmedgarh (via Latala) road would also be got repaired, by April 30 at a cost of Rs 75 lakh.

He announced a grant of 1 lakh for the construction of a stadium in the village.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, appealed to the youth to come forward to shoulder the responsibility of development and social reforms and announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the completion of stadium. Mr. Jagpal Singh Khangura welcomed the ministers and apprised them about various problems of the area.

Among others who were present on the occasion included Mr M.S. Chhina, SSP, Jagroan, Ms Simerjit Kaur, DFSC, Mr Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri, Mr Mohinder Singh Rahhin, Mr Jassi Khangura, Mr Avtar Singh, Chairman, Block Samiti, Pakhowal, and Mr Dharamjit Khera. 



ABVP’s warning to lovebirds
Tribune News Service

Activists of the district unit of the Shiv Sena protest against Valentine’s Day celebrations
Activists of the district unit of the Shiv Sena protest against Valentine’s Day celebrations at Clock Tower in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Photo Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, February 13
Love may be in the air but it is definitely in the line of fire. Several hardliners and students’ organisations affiliating with the Shiv Sena today issued a stern warning to lovebirds by burning greeting cards and staging a dharna against Valentine’s Day celebrations.

The ABVP burnt greeting cards at a college in protest against the festival. Sandeep Kapoor, district president of the parishad, said there anger among the young generation against the festival which had been thrust on us by the West and business organisations.

The Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) unit held a dharna at Clock Tower Chowk for over an hour and also burnt greeting cards. Addressing activists, leaders exhorted them not to let the western culture erode Indian values.

He called upon the youth to boycott the festival. He urged them to form small teams to educate people about the Indian culture.

Mr Ravinder Arora, a leader of the unit, said the day should be celebrated by not sending cards or flowers but by resolving to preserve the Indian culture.

Meanwhile, enthusiastic youngsters who are gearing up for Valentine’s Day will have to be wary of the special teams of the district police that will be patrolling the city to maintain “law and order”.

“We have made special arrangements for keeping hooligans under control and ensure that nobody is using force to harass women,” said Mr Arunpal Singh, SP (H), giving details about the police plans.

Even if some girls teased boys, action would be taken.

The basis of action would be lodging of a complaint either at a police station or the patrol party or a police control room. Driving without helmet, overspeeding and traffic blockades would also be checked.

The police had earmarked sensitive points in the city where special squads would be stationed. These were Ghumar Mandi, Model Town, Sarabha Nagar and all educational institutes.



Toll makes villagers’ life hell
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 13
The toll tax collection on NH is proving a major liability for Rajgarh village as a majority of commuters in order to avoid toll payment, use the routes via Rajgarh village to Doraha town and vice-versa, making the life of villagers a hell.

The other two routes taken by the commuters to evade toll are alongside Sidhwan Canal and via Kanech and Rampur villages to Doraha. The route via Rajgarh to Doraha is the nearest and easiest as a result the vehicular traffic flows through the village.

According to a villager, “We have been robbed of our peaceful life. The heavy vehicular traffic is a continuous threat to the lives of small children move about freely.”

On January 24, Karamjit Singh’s leg was broken when a vehicle hit him as he was coming out of his house. Pritam Singh, another villager, also received a fracture in an accident on the village road.

The villagers said this could turn into a major tragedy if the flow of traffic continued unabated. “Any school child cyclist or pedestrian can be crushed under a vehicle while crossing the village,” says one of them.

Mr Harnek Singh, a block samiti member and resident of the village, said,” The toll is taking a heavy toll on our social life too. Sitting on the phirni and engaging in endless talk has become a thing of the past. The privacy of our village has been eroded. Not only are we forced to spend restless days, our nights are also full of noise and pollution.”

The condition of the roads is deteriorating everyday. No government department has come forward to repair the roads. “We had decided to repair the road ourselves for which we had started accepting some monetary help from commuters. But the police look away the money terming it illegal. The road from over the village canal has been broken for which we had demanded pipes from the local administration but no aid has come so far,” he added.

A villager said an electric pole near gurdwara Jaisar had come crushing down when an overloaded truck pushed its way through it. “The pole could have taken several lives. The electric supply was snapped for several days,” he said.

Mr Harnek Singh said, “We related our tale of woes to the Transport Minister, Punjab, Secretary, Transport, Punjab-Chandigarh, SDM Payal, DTO Ludhiana and Chowki in charge, Doraha, but to no avail. The pleas have fallen on deaf ears.”

The villagers said a barrier must be imposed to check the traffic.



Small savings winners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The Finance, Planning and Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Mr Lal Singh, has said Punjab is all set to touch the record mark of Rs 2,700 crore net collection under various small savings schemes during the current financial year as compared to the net collection of Rs 2,135 crore last year.

He was addressing a gathering of small savings agents and investors at a state-level function organised to distribute prizes to winners of the 22nd lucky coupon scheme at Guru Nanak Bhavan yesterday.

Mr Lal Singh said the government had given employment to 18,000 small savings agents. Commenting on the success of the small savings movement in Punjab, he said the state had witnessed improvement in the net collection of small savings during the past decade.

He said the World Bank had agreed to release Rs 1,817 crore for supplying drinking water in the rural areas. He said over Rs 1000 crore were being spent on development projects and welfare schemes in the state, including Rs 125 crore on key projects of roads and bridges.

The minister appealed to the public to make maximum savings in post offices in the state under various small saving schemes. He announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the development of Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, said Ludhiana had been topping in collections for the past 22 years.

Mr Megh Raj, Director, Small Savings, said the department had achieved tremendous success in the mobilisation of small savings funds.

Among those honoured included Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Mr Iqbal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, Mr K. Shiva Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar, Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot, Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ms Usha Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, Muktsar, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, Mr. Megh Raj, Mr M.S. Jaggi, AC (G), and the Deputy Mayor of Ludhiana.



Dr Sofat held for extortion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
City-based doctor, Dr Sumit Sofat running an infertility clinic here was booked and arrested by the city police late last night on charges of extortion, trespass and illegal confinement of a city resident.

Dr Sumit Sofat and his father along with eight others have been accused of beating up Mr Rampal, a resident of Krishna Nagar. They have also been charged with forcibly breaking into his house and taking his signatures on papers.

Dr Sofat was arrested last night and was brought to the Civil Hospital here for a medical examination.



FCI official not fair, says Azad group
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 13
The FCI and the Panjab Food Agency Palledar Union (Azad) has urged the Chief Minister, Mr Amarinder Singh, to order a high-level probe into allegations of corruption against Mr K.L.Verma, assistant manager of the local FCI unit, who had been discriminating against its members in the allotment of work for the past six years or so.

In a signed press statement issued here today, Mr Zora Singh Nasrali, state secretary, Mr Karam Deol, state president, and Mr Shinna Khan, leader of the local unit of the union, said the assistant manager was running the unit according to his own set of rules instead of working according to the rules prescribed by the department.

Giving an example, the union leaders stated that labourers had been working under the direct payment system since 1997 and two labour groups, one known as the Nizam group and the other as the Azad group, had been working at the local FCI depot. But the assistant manager had been hobnobbing with the Nizam group and allotting more work to its members. As a result, members of the Azad union were suffering huge economic losses. The union leaders alleged that the assistant manager was not giving them any share in the work being carried out at the railway head.

The union leaders further stated that because of the nexus between the assistant manager and the Nizam group, special trains which belonged to contractors, were loaded by workers of the Nizam group. As a result, they were getting double benefit-wages from the contractor and the FCI as well. They were marked present in the office, while they working as private labour under the contractor, stated the union leaders, adding that members of the Azad group were not being given any work on the railway station as it was payable at double rate given. The union leaders further stated that as a result of the discriminatory attitude of the assistant manager, every worker affiliated with the Azad group was suffering a monthly loss of about Rs 3150.

After their representations to the higher authorities against the discrimination of the assistant manager, the District Manager at Sangrur had formulated a committee to recommend fair distribution of work among the workers. On the basis of the recommendations made by the committee, the DM had also issued a circular. But, the union leaders lamented, the assistant manager was bent on favouring the other group and as such was bypassing all rules and regulations.

The union leaders stated that since the high authorities had failed to take any suitable action against the assistant manager in spite of several representations in the past, they were suspected the involvement of higher officials. Citing another example of discrimination, the union leaders stated that the assistant manager had paid overtime from January 1999 to December 2000 to members of the Nizam group, about three months ago, but members of the Azad group were awaiting the same.

The union leaders, urging the Chief Minister’s intervention in the matter, called for a high-level probe into their allegations against the assistant manager. If no action was taken against the assistant manager in the immediate future, the union would be compelled to launch an agitation, added the union leaders.



Demand for qualified drivers for MC vehicles
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 13
The National Organisation of Government Employees (NOGE) and the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) have demanded the appointment of qualified drivers to run vehicles of the municipal corporation in the city.

Mr K.R. Tripathi, president, NOGE, and Dr Shiv Gupta, general secretary, INTUC (Punjab), in a press note today have appealed to the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, and the Local Bodies Minister, Mr Jagjit Singh, to appoint qualified drivers to run MC vehicles. They said at present about 300 vehicles, including cars, jeeps, trucks etc., were operating in the city, but it was a matter of great concern that only 70 qualified drivers were driving these vehicles. Rest of the vehicles were being driven by unqualified persons, such as beldars, safai karamcharis etc.

Mr Hans Raj Gagat, president of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Employees Union, lamented that the commissioner had ‘backed out’ from his promises and had decided not to give the MC tubewells on contract. Now these tubewells were being operated by unqualified persons. INTUC leaders said in case any accident occurred either by the vehicles of the corporation or at the tubewells, the commissioner himself would be solely responsible for the consequences. The Local Bodies Department (Punjab) should immediately issue necessary directions for recruitment of drivers, pump operators and safai karamcharis, said the union leaders.



Bus stand sans approach road
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, February 13
A bus stand constructed at an expenditure of over Rs 30 lakh about five years ago on National Highway No. 1 for the benefit of residents of this historical town has turned an eyesore.

Due to short-sightedness of planners, the bus stand suffers from major technical flaws. First, it can only cater to the needs of buses coming from Jalandhar. There is no provision for entry to buses coming from Ludhiana.

Second, there is no approach road for residents of the city for whom the bus stand has been constructed. As the authorities have failed to find a solution to the problem, the buses continue to halt at the edge of a rail overbridge, causing traffic disruption and accidents. The ‘on road’ bus stop leads to traffic congestion.

The passengers can not easily board a bus. There is always a fear of being run over.

The bus stand premises present a sorry picture, with not a single being in sight. It stands deserted.

Inquiries reveal that the Phillaur administration has written several times to the Central Public Works Department, New Delhi, to provide necessary space in the central verge of the National Highway to make a route for entry and exit points of the bus stand, but in vain.

Residents of the city suggest that in order to make the bus stand functional, the authorities will have to construct another bus stand on the other side of the road . In no manner will a diversion be helpful as buses can cause more accidents while taking a U-turn from or into the bus stand.

But that would need a lot of funds, and the government has little to spare.



War will serve no purpose: IDPD
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 13
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has termed the posture taken by the US Administration against Iraq as “dangerous and uncalled for”. The doctors said today that various experts had raised doubts about the evidence produced by Mr Collin Powell in his address to the UN Security Council.

Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, IDPD, in a press statement today, said even if the evidence was correct, the best alternative was to confirm it on the ground by UN inspectors and ask Iraq to destroy the weapons of mass destruction, if found. He said war was not the solution. This would lead to loss of life, bring about adverse changes in environment and damage economy all over the world.

Dr L.S. Chawla, president, Dr Bharti Uppal Secretary, and Dr M.K. Mahajan, president, IDPD, Punjab, said the UN was the sole international representative body to take decisions on such matters. Peace-loving people throughout the world had raised their voice against war.

“The USA must not act irresponsibly and show due respect to the people’s voice,” they said. The USA itself had over 12,000 nuclear weapons. The need of the hour was to eliminate the WMDs by all countries, including the USA. The doctors said they would build a mass movement of citizens against war in coordination with several peace-loving organisations.



Bhullar case: Cong leaders’ stand criticised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
A former general secretary of the District Youth Congress, Mr Yogesh Dewan, has in a press note released yesterday, condemned the Congress leaders who are in favour of granting amnesty to dreaded terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar.

Mr Dewan, questioned the credentials of Amritsar DCC president Inderjit Singh Baserke and said it was the fault of the Congress high command that people of Khalistani ideology were given key posts in the party.

He said former president of the Indian Youth Congress M.S. Bitta braved bombs to fight terrorism in the state when senior leaders of party supporting the issue of mercy to Bhullar, were sitting peacefully in Delhi.

He said it was painful that Congress leaders like Kapil Sibal and state Congress president were rallying behind a terrorist convicted of attack on the Indian Youth Congress headquarters in which several innocents has lost their lives. He said this had demoralised party workers who had taken took bold stand against terrorism.



Increase audit limit: Bar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 13
The Punjab Tax Bar Association has sought an increase in the accounts audit limit from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 2 crore.
In a memorandum to the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh recently, Bar members said the limit had not been increased for the past 18 years. They said the audit provisions in VAT were not required since these would introduce double audit system, once under the Income Tax Act and again under VAT.

Mr Lalit Takyar, convener, and Mr Sudhir Mehra, co-ordinator of the association, in a press note on Tuesday said that after consulting with senior founder members, the Punjab Tax Bar Association had appointed 50 office-bearers and executive members from various cities of Punjab.



Jatha marches from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The Joint Platform of Mass Organisations will organise jatha marches throughout the state from February 15 to February 25 against liberalisation, privatisation and communalism.

According to the conveners of the organisations, they will mobilise people for the March 8 mass rally. Under the programme, hundreds of public meetings and gatherings will be organised in the rural and urban areas. Arrangements have been made to bring people to the rally at the grain market. National leaders will also address the rally.



Badal attends sant sammelan
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 13
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD president, yesterday visited Bair Kalan village to attend the 278th barsi of Baba Thakur Gulab Singh.
He lauded the services of Baba Thakur Gulab Singh and appreciated the efforts being made by Baba Beant Singh for the promotion of the Khalsa Panth.

Captain Kanwaljit Singh, speaking on the occasion, said the dictatorial attitude of the government could not continue for long . He said, democracy is of the people, for the people and by the people, the Congress government cannot stop us from expressing our thoughts freely.



Cheer for India, get discount
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 13
Much to the joy of ladies, a slimming centre is offering reduced prices for losing 5 kg weight if India wins against Pakistan in the cricket match scheduled for March 1. But ladies need not despair as the centre assures the ladies that even if India does not defeat its archrivals, Pakistan, then, too, they can avail of a 50 per cent discount. All they have to do is to cheer for India.



Foundation stone stolen!
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, February 13
The foundation stone of the boundary wall of Government High School, Malikpur Jandali Khurd, was stolen by some miscreants within 15 hours of its laying by, Ms Razia Sultana, MLA, Malerkotla. The police came into action, but even the dog squad failed to trace the miscreants.

According to block samiti member Pavitar Singh Lambardar, Ms Razia Sultana, MLA, Malerkotla, had laid the foundation stone of the boundary wall of Government High School, Malikpur Jandali Khurd, at a function on Tuesday evening. The stone was intact till 6.30 am on Wednesday. A part of the wall holding the stone was found broken after around an hour. The foundation stone was missing

The matter was immediately brought to the notice of the police, but despite its best efforts, it could not find any clue in the case. Even the dog squad could not track the miscreants. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered.

Mr Mohammad Sudagar said the school had been functioning without a boundary wall for the past 30 thirty years. None of the past governments had cared to think about the safety of students. It was with the contributions of some NRIs that Rs 50,000 were deposited with the government to get a matching grant from the MLA’s quota and the work was now underway,” he said.

Ms Razia Sultana, MLA, said, “I do not think anybody can draw political mileage from the incident.”

Mr Amrik Singh, Sarpanch, Jandali, Mr Major Singh and Nirmal Singh have demanded a probe into the incident.

The incident is not the first such incident in the area. Around two years ago, the foundation stone of a sports stadium at nearby Ahmedgarh Chhanna village was broken by some miscreants. It was laid by the then Sports Minister, Mr Nusrat Ibram Khan Bagga. The police could not trace the miscreants even at that time.



Assn opposes exim policy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 13
The Federation of Yarn Trade and Industries has requested the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, not to impose Exim policy on trade and industry maintaining that it will create chaos and promote corruption.

In a letter written to the Chief Minister, the members said the federation had agreed on the levying of entry tax with a view to curb the corrupt practices of tax evaders in connivance with the sales tax officials. The step had increased the revenue of the state considerably and at the same time had put a check on tax evasions and corrupt practices of department officials.

The members were of the view that the statement of the Finance Minister, Mr Lal Singh, that the policy had become necessary to check large-scale sales tax evasion, was untenable in the presence of stringent sales tax laws and departmental procedures. The policy would result in harassment of honest tax payers and encourage corruption. This would not serve any purpose, rather it would hamper the production, restrict the movement of raw materials, other inputs and finished goods and hit hard the crises-ridden industry.

The members said they were assured that the Exim policy would be introduced only after consulting the representatives of trade and industry, but no one was taken into confidence before announcing it. They said before introducing any laws of regulations, economists should be consulted. 



Industry seeks relaxation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 13
Mr J.P. Sharma, General Secretary, Gobindgarh Steel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated in a press note here today that the entire re-rolling industry was granted consent by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to use furnace oil as fuel, which had become costly, rather out of reach.

As an alternative, the industry wanted to switch over to pulverised coal but the PPCB did not allow this on pollution grounds only for Mandi Gobindgarh town. The PPCB had fixed the limit of suspended matter in the stack gases at 150 mg per NMC, which was actually meant for integrated plants.

He further stated that the limit generally fixed for small-scale industries was 450 mg per NMC, but the PPCB did not allow the same, hence its objection is to allow the use of coal. The chamber had urged the PPCB to grant some relaxation of norms, as provided for the small-scale industry.

Punjab was a border state of the country without any natural resources. The industry in the state had to import almost each and every item of raw material from far-off states, but the finished products’ consumption was little within the state, which again were to be exported to other parts of the country.

As such, the state’s VAT proposals were not favourable to the industry in Punjab. The CST should be merged with state VAT chargeable at single source, inclusive of all other leviable taxes, he maintained.



Sops pulling hosiery industry out of state’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The Knitwear Club of Ludhiana has told the Punjab Government that there is a fear that the industry may migrate to three neighbouring states that are offering several sops. The club president, Mr Vinod Thapar, said this at a meeting with officials of the Industries Department. The meeting was convened by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Mr Vinod Thapar said here Wednesday that the sops offered by the neighbouring states to hosiery manufacturers were prompting the Ludhiana industry to shift there. The Knitwear Club had also argued against the proposals being incorporated in the industrial policy, under which, incentives to the industry are to be given in the border areas only. Mr Thapar said the CM had assured the club that tax structure would be rationalised.

The club raised several issues at the meeting and urged the CM to implement the suggestion at the earliest. The club members said the Centre had reserved funds for its Development of an Integrated Apparel Par and Textile Centre Infrastructure Development Schemes. Ludhiana featured in both schemes.

While the draft industrial policy laid emphasis on both schemes, there is no mention of the contribution to be made by the state government. The club wants the contribution to be on matching basis. The club said the onus lay on the industry to develop infrastructure and promote itself. It wants the state’s contribution to be clearly mentioned and encouraged in the draft industrial policy.

The Industry Secretary appreciated the efforts of the industry to independently implement the apparel park scheme. He said the state government was also interested in developing infrastructure.

The club said various industrial associations should be empowered, as these were representative bodies and nodal agencies for need-based development activities. It was suggested at the meeting that the government should empower these associations and also provide these with financial assistance. The government has given assurance for this.



PNB opens extension counter in school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Mr U.S. Bhargava, General Manager, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Punjab Zone, inaugurated an extension counter of the bank at Green Land Public School here today.

He stressed the need for teaching banking to the children. He said the bank was providing education loan to students at very competitive rates for higher education.

Mr Bhargava stated that the opening of the extension counter at the school was like “Saraswati-Luxmi samagam”.

Mr Bhargava informed that apart from loans for productive work, the bank was extending loans for improving living standards.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |