Monday, February 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Mind your language and potbellies, Advani tells cops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16
Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani today asked the Delhi Police to be people-friendly so that everyone could approach them without hesitation.
While addressing a gathering at the Delhi Police Raising Day he said, “Firmness is needed but decency should also be reflected.” He cautioned policemen against the use of foul language while dealing with the public.

He said the image of the police had improved but was still not “good". The physically fit septuagenarian was critical of some Delhi Police officers and men having potbellies and said this was a reflection of lack of exercise. The Deputy PM said the Hyderabad-based National Police Academy had been asked to frame guidelines on the basis of which the police forces of different states could be judged about their performance.

The Delhi Police worked under constant pressure of terrorists attacks and criminal activities in the national Capital, Mr Advani said, adding that the Home Ministry had decided to allocate Rs 1.5 crore for the Delhi Police Welfare Fund for this year, almost double the amount of last year.

He also said the provision of housing for Delhi Police personnel had been doubled in the 10th Five-Year Plan. Demands in this regard were put forward by Delhi Police Commissioner R. S. Gupta recently.

Earlier, Mr Gupta spelled out how the Delhi Police had been successfully preventing terrorists from striking in the Capital and bringing down the crime graph.

The Police Commissioner too pointed out that Delhi policemen needed to reform their “language and approach” while dealing with the public.

Attention was being given to modernisation of the police force, he said, citing that fax machines had been installed at 20 police stations to allow the public to send their complaints through it. Mr Advani also presented bravery and gallantry awards at the Raising Day function.



Raising Day: Delhi Police officers get medals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16
On the occasion of the Delhi Police Raising Day, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani presented the police medals for distinguished services and police medals for meritorious services to 30 officers who showed exemplary courage in their line of duty.

President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (Posthumous) was received by the father of SI Vinod Kumar Yadav who was killed while apprehending two dreaded criminals in 2001.

Two officers of the Special Cell, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Rajbir Singh and Inspector Mohan Chander Sharma were presented the Bar to Police Medal for Gallantry, for killing Abu Samal, alias Faisal, of LeT, wanted in Red Fort shoot-out case. The Police Medal for Gallantry was presented to ASI Anil Kumar Tyagi, Special Cell, Inspector Ishwar Singh of Connaught Place, Inspector Rajender Kumar Bakshi of Crime Branch, Inspector Rajbir Singh Malik and Head Constable Balram.

While the President’s Police medal for Distinguished Services was provided to Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), U K Katna, ACP Shyam Singh and Inspector Ranbir Singh.

The President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Services was given to 20 officers, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Anil Kumar Ojha, Additional DCPs Hari Mohan Meena, Alok Kumar, R S Ghumman and Dr P S Bhushan. ACPs Harmeet Singh and S S Sandhu, Inspectors, Bhoop Singh, Swadesh Saini, woman Inspector Yashoda Rawat, Inspector Ramesh Chander, Sanjiv Gupta, Anoop Singh Mann, Om Prakash Yadav, Sushil Kumar Bedi and Ramesh Sharma. In addition to them, SI Suresh Chander Tyagi and ASIs Ramjan Ali, Rajpal Singh and Som Dutt were the recipients of the award.

One killed: One person was killed by four miscreants last night when he refused to pay them the extortion money of Rs 20,000 which they had demanded.

The police said that four persons accosted the victim Mustaqin Ahmed (45), resident of Lal Quan and a dealer in computer electronics and demanded the money. When he refused, they shot him in his neck.



Immolation put off on assurance
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16
The two widows of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, who had resolved to commit self-immolation, aggrieved over the apathetic attitude of the government, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and members of the community, today decided to postpone their action for two months following an assurance that their grievances would be addressed. The widows, Manjit Kaur and Bhagi Kaur, residents of Tilak Vihar area, said they had postponed their self-immolation following an appeal by the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, and his plea to the Sikh community to extend a helping hand to the 1984 riot victims.

Several other victims of the riots said if the assurances proved to be empty then after two months had elapsed more women would come forward to commit self-immolation.

“It is better to embrace death once than die every day. We have been living like the dead for the past two decades while the perpetrators have been roaming free,” Manjit Kaur, who is a class IV employee in a government school, told NCR Tribune.

Bhagi Kaur, also employed in a school, said, “The recent acquittal of Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 riots case rekindled our memories of the riots.” Since morning there was a heavy police presence in the Tilak Vihar area, a colony set up for the riot victims, to pre-empt any attempt by the widows to commit self-immolation.

The two widows, who had gone underground since the past few days, returned to the Capital early this morning and positioned themselves on the terrace of a residential complex. A contingent of women police personnel brought the two widows to the ground after they were assured that the government would take measures to alleviate their grievances. Not to be left behind in garnering political mileage out of the issue in an election year, the Delhi BJP chief, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, assured the riot victims that he would urge the Centre to extend all possible help to them.

Stating that during his tenure as Chief Minister constructive action in the riot cases was taken and it was only the BJP which had taken up the issue in real earnest by appointing Justice Nanavati Commission to probe the riots afresh, he urged the widows to wait for the commission’s report. The Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr Tarlochan Singh, said the Sikh religion did not permit any person to take his life.

“The riot victims’ search for justice will continue to elude them unless the government sets up a separate court for the1984 riot cases,” he said.

The demands of the those widowed in the riots include punishment to be given to the perpetrators, re-starting of the pension stopped by the DSGMC, jobs for those who have not got them, financial help to the widows, soft loans from banks for those orphaned by the riots, free water and power and compensation of Rs 10 lakh.



The grass is greener on the other side of Haryana
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 16
Owing to lack of job opportunities in the state, a number of sportspersons of national and international fame, including about a dozen Arjuna Award winners from this district, have been forced to seek employment in other states and with different Central government organisations.

Though the Chautala government has introduced a new sports policy and has reserved three per cent government jobs for sportspersons, a number of them have left the state to take up employment elsewhere. The most recent case is of Ramesh Gulia of village Purkhas, an Arjuna awardee, who bagged a gold medal in the last Commonwealth Games held at Manchester in the United Kingdom. He had also won a gold medal in the Junior World Championship and was a silver medallist in the Asian Championship. Reportedly, when he failed to get a suitable job in the state, he joined the Indian Railways.

Similarly, ace runner Sunita Dahiya and athlete Seema Antikl, who represented India in a number of international events and won medals at the national level, have joined the BSF recently. Also, Neer Gulia, a member of the Indian Kabaddi team which won the gold medal at the Busan Asiad, and Commonwealth gold medallist, Sarwar, have joined the ONGC and Punjab Police respectively.

According to sources, more than 45 sportspersons who have represented the country at the international level from this district, including around 25 from village Purkhas, had to leave Haryana for greener pastures. Wrestler Rajbir Singh, who has been the national champion, feels: “It is a kind of brain-drain of sportspersons from Haryana.” Even after joining the Indian Railways, Rajbir Singh is hopeful that the Chautala government would do “more towards providing jobs” to sportsmen.



Undertrial found hidden on jail premises
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 16
One of the five undertrials, who had recently escaped from the Sonepat district jail, was nabbed by the jail authorities on Saturday. He was hiding in the fields on the jail premises for the last three days and subsisting on raw vegetables.

It is learnt that one of the jail officers noticed some suspicious movement among the standing crop He summoned the jail security staff and ordered a search during which the undertrial, Ashok, was found.

It seems that Ashok was not able to scale the boundary wall of the jail and had concealed himself in the field. However, he did not get another opportunity to escape as the security had been tightened after the jailbreak.

He has been now handed over to the police, so that they can interrogate him and obtain information about the other four escapees whom the police have failed to arrest despite raids on their possible hideouts.

In another development, two employees of the district jail, Ram Mehar and Ram Kumar, have been suspended on the charge of dereliction of duty. Both of them were posted outside the jail at the time of the jailbreak. The police have also taken into custody warden Maya Ram for interrogation.

On the fateful night, when warden Shamsher Singh took over from Maya Ram, he checked the walls and noticed a rope made of linen dangling from the wall. He immediately rushed to the tower and saw how the inmates made good their escape.

It is learnt that the escape plot was hatched by an undertrial, Aas Mohammad of Muradnagar. He was successful in securing the support of four other undertrials.

The five prisoners, who escaped on the night of February 13, were involved in cases of murder, dacoity, rape and loot etc.

According to a report, Anil of Kilorad village was facing trial under Sections 302 and 392 of the IPC (murder and dacoity) whereas another undertrial, Ranbir of Palra village, was facing trial under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of the IPC (kidnapping and rape). Similarly, Aas Mohammad of Muradnagar in Ghaziabad district (UP) was facing trial under Sections 309, 363, 366, 506, 25, 54 and 59, IPC, (murderous assault, abduction, rape and intimidation). The fourth undertrial was facing charges of abduction etc under Sections 364 and 384 of the IPC.



Majestic vintage beauties take the ramp
Tribune News service

New Delhi, February 16
The knight in shining armour — a 1937 Austin — is all set to charm you. Along with it, a host of vintage beauties rolled out on Sunday morning with their snooty owners to catch the attention of car buffs and participate in the celebrated vintage car rally.

Soon the tarmac was lined with Austins, Chevrolets, Rolls-Royces, Impalas and Fords in their antiquated best. To lend a touch of elegance were the owners attired in traditional apparel. Once out of the Statesman Building here, the cars proceeded to Sohna in Haryana for the day-long event.

The oldest participant in the rally, which was flagged off by Marshal Arjan Singh, DFC, Air Force, was the 1914 John Morris fire engine, which has been with the National Rail Museum since 1975. The vintage car in red & black had firemen perched atop, with one of them ringing a heavy metal bell, reminiscent of the old-time fire engines.

The engine was originally purchased by the Nizam State Railways and is one of the two Morris fire engines that are known to exist today. A 1937 Austin made in England was also in the fray. The owner, a descendant of a royal family from Bengal, admitted to spending a princely sum apart from long hours on its upkeep. The car has been brought all the way from Kolkata in a truck.

A blue 1938 Dodge convertible, picked up by the Mysore Nobles in 1950s from a New York state auction of Mafia property, caught the fancy of many. A 1959 Cadillac of the Sedan Deville Series was a reminder of the indulgences in the United States at that time. The 21.5 ft long and 6.8 ft broad, left-hand driven auto had tail fins measuring 48 inches from the ground, the highest in any production car in the world today.

The owner, Mr Titus, a practising Supreme Court lawyer, disclosed that the car, which is more than four decades old, has its original central locking system, power steering, power windows and brakes all intact.

A 1938 50 CC Rolls-Royce in black was purchased from the erstwhile Maharaja of Darbhanga. It had special lights, including fog lights set in silver, to aid the Maharaja when he went hunting and four built-in jacks for each tyre. The four-wheeler was made for royalty. With a bar cabinet, folding tables, foot rests, sun roof and a partition to protect privacy, the car is a dream come true.

Standing out in the milieu was a 1930 Ford which is now with the Border Security Force. The erstwhile Provincial Government of Madhya Bharat acquired the car. The car, despite its 60 odd years, still manages to run at 35 kilometres an hour, but the money it costs by way of fuel consumption is a another story.

The vintage beauties have also earned themselves pet names. Take the case of a 1937 Morris, christened ‘Lady Penelpy’. The little red and black car along with the rest of the magnificent four wheels gave Dilliwallas a quick ride into their majestic past.



Politicians warm up to demolition issue

Faridabad, February 16
The proposed demolition of A. C. Nagar in the NIT area tomorrow has put politicians in top gear. Condemning the police action against the protesters on Friday, they have threatened to move the court against the authorities.

Mr Kuldeep Bishnoi, former MLA and son of former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, has joined the string of leaders who have criticised the proposed demolition. In a statement here today, Mr Bishnoi said the demolition drive was discriminatory, undemocratic and unjust as thousands of poor people would be rendered homeless. He said considering that the Chautala government had failed to provide houses to the poor, especially the working class, in one of the largest industrial townships, how could they justify the demolition of 30-year-old houses. He said that A.C. Colony, which had a population of 40,000, ought to be regularised. Former minister A. C. Chaudhary also said that he had filed a petition in the high court on the issue which was likely to come up for hearing tomorrow at Chandigarh.

Mr Buta Singh, Mr Khurshid Ahmed (Congress leaders), Mr Karan Dalal and Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar (both MLAs) have announced that a dharna would be staged outside the Governor’s house at Chandigarh on February 18 and the NHRC would also be approached in this connection.

Mr Buta Singh has announced that he will take up the issue in the forthcoming Budget session .TNS



Haphazard development takes toll on city roads
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 16
Traffic jams and mishaps in the city are becoming a common phenomenon due to the rush of vehicles here. In the narrow lanes, the situation is more serious as all sorts of vehicles, including bullock carts and thelas, has made the smooth flow of traffic a nagging problem.

The traffic police are unable to cope with the situation as the town has grown considerably over the past four decades. Nearly 10,000 heavy vehicles pass through the heart of the town regularly.

In the absence of any planned project, the menace has assumed alarming proportions, giving rise to traffic jams and mishaps.

To reduce the pressure of heavy vehicles on the highway and town roads, a bypass had been proposed. However, the work on the project is yet to begin. The town needs a lot of improvement in respect of roads, parking lots, traffic lights and green belts.

The impact of the rain on Sonepat roads is obvious. Potholes, craters depressions, bumps and uneven surface are common on the roads of Sonepat.

The government agencies are content in doing patchwork. Despite the claim of the agencies like the PWD (B &R), the Sonepat Municipal Council, the Market Committee and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) of having launched a drive to repair these roads, filling up craters with brick pieces is the only activity visible to the citizens of the town. At some places, the workers of these agencies have levelled the surface with bags full of debris. According to sources in the Engineering Department, patchwork has become a regular exercise ever since the rain started this year. Potholes are filled up with bricks, red soil and debris. However, the fillings are washed away after the next spell of showers.

A large number of roads, include the Mamoon-Bhanja-Subzimandi road via the bus stand, the road between the railway crossing and the railway station, are lying unattended. According to residents, the majority of the roads were damaged about a decade ago, leaving death traps in the form of potholes. These roads have become a ‘nightmare’ for the people, particularly those ridding two wheelers.

Encroachments on roads have resulted in the blockage of drains, leading to water flowing freely on the roads and damaging the bitumen.

Official sources, however, point out that maintenance work during the past few years could not be taken up on a large-scale, as there was an acute shortage of funds. Moreover, no contingency plan has been drawn up by the agencies responsible for road maintenance.

Some roads that were repaired a few months ago were already in a bad state. These roads were damaged by the monsoon rain or by water flowing from the blocked sewers. It is also alleged that sub-standard materials were used and a high-level inquiry would expose the contractors and officials involved in the scam. Meanwhile, representatives of various political organisations, including the Haryana Vikas Party and the Congress Party have urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the functioning of the PWD (B&R) and other officials agencies and punish the officials responsible for the alleged irregularities in the construction and repairs of roads in this city and elsewhere in the district.



Garden festival at Said-ul-Ajaib from Feb 21
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16
The ‘Garden of Five Senses’ at Said-ul-Ajaib will play host to the 16th Garden Tourism Festival. Part of the drive of Delhi Tourism to beautify the city, the garden festival was started in 1988. This year the festival will start on February 21 and will be inaugurated by the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Shiela Dikshit.

The Said-ul-Ajaib village was once a barren land encroached by inhabitants. The place has now been transformed with trees lining the locale. The unfertile soils today sport rows of Kikars. Fragrant shrubs have been planted alongside and almost 200 varieties of plants appeal to the five senses. The three-day festival will have an attractive display of plants besides hanging baskets, floral animals, cacti and a rich variety of flowers. 



Drive to ‘clean up’ Rohtak to continue: DC
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 16
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Yadav, expressed the hope that Rohtak would soon become one of the most beautiful cities in the state. He was speaking at a seminar organised by the district unit of Haryana Union of Journalists (HUJ) here yesterday.

The seminar was part of a series of such programmes being organised by the union to provide an independent forum for debate on various issues of public concern. Different parties and NGOs participate in the event. 



One killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, February 16
One person was killed and three were injured when a tractor collided with an autorickshaw near Dawla village here today.
According to information, deceased Sombir, along with Pawan and Shamlal were travelling in an autorickshaw when a tractor coming from the opposition direction rammed it. Sombir died on the spot while three others including driver of the vehicle were injured.

One shot at

One person was shot at on National Highway No. 10 last night. According to information, Om Prakash of Mundaka village in Delhi, was travelling along with a relative in his car when another car intercepted them. Om Prakash complained that one Dharampal of the same village shot at him and ran towards the town. The police registered a case in this connection.

Eight hurt in accident

New Delhi: Eight persons were injured when an RTV in which they were travelling overturned on GT Karnal Road near Siraspur village in North West district this morning. They were going to Alipur. When the vehicle reached near Siraspur village, it turned turtle. The injured were admitted to Babu Jagjeevan Ram Hospital where they were stated to be out of danger, police said.

Man gets life term for murder

New Delhi: A man who killed his pregnant paramour and her mother has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a city court, finding him guilty of the crime committed 11 years ago. Sentencing accused Harbir Singh to life imprisonment, Additional Sessions Judge J.R. Aryan also slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on him.

The case was registered on the basis of a statement by one Mohar Singh, who was a guard at a farmhouse in Mehrauli, South Delhi.

He alleged that on the fateful day in October 1991, Singh and his three accomplices arrived at the farmhouse, where the victims Rama and her mother Sunehari-were employed as labourers.

The accused then took the two women to another farmhouse nearby and killed them, he said. TNS



One killed as bike hits electric pole
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 16
One person was killed and another injured when the motorcycle in which they were travelling lost balance and hit an electric pole near Railway Museum in Chanakyapuri on Friday night.

The victim Sudhir Kumar (45), resident of Dilshad Garden who was riding the motorcycle succumbed to head injuries while his friend Santnu Kumar (24), resident of Inderpuri sustained injuries and was later discharged after first-aid.

The police said that both were heading towards Chanakyapuri from Moti Bagh when the incident occurred.

Four architects awarded: Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) has awarded four young architects on the occasion of Young Architects Festival 2003.

The first prize in Interior Design has been awarded to Rahul Gore of Mumbai and the commendation has been conferred to Dhananjaya Shinde of Nasik.

In the category of office interiors, the award has been given to Snehal Shah of Surat. The award for Commercial Interior has been announced for Sanjay Puri of Mumbai.

According to the president of the IIA, Mr Balbir Verma, the IIA-KAFF Young Architects Award has been a unique attempt by IIA to promote creativity, innovation and functional architecture among young architects.



Girl’s body recovered
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 16
The Ganaur Police have recovered a body of an unidentified girl (20) lying near a culvert of Chirashmi village on the G.T. Road about 15 km from here last evening.
According to a report, the police suspected that she had allegedly been raped and later strangulated by the culprits. The police have sent the body for a post-mortem. She was wearing a saree.

The police have registered the case and further investigation were on. The body remains unidentified.

Found unconscious: An unidentified youth was found unconscious at the railway station here last evening. The police suspected it to be a case of loot and started investigation.

It is stated that someone had offered him drug-laced biscuits in the train.

Candidates summoned: The Chief Electoral Officer of Haryana has summoned all five candidates who contested the elections from ward No 7 to the Kharkhauda Municipal Committee of this district on January 19 in connection with the alleged missing of 23 ballot papers during the counting of votes.

According to a report, The action followed the complaints of the candidates alleging the missing of the ballot papers and other irregularities.

Guru Ravidas Jayanti: A procession was taken out in connection with Guru Ravidas birthday here today which passed through the main bazaars of the city. Several ‘jhankis’ depicting the life of the guru were the main attraction.

Family attacked: Four members of a family were injured when they were allegedly attacked with lathis, swords and other weapons by a group of persons in Vikas Nagar area here last evening.

According to a report, the injured persons were identified as Mr Dayanand and his three brothers Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr Jagdish and Mr Balwan Singh. All the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment. They are stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered the case against eight persons including two women and launched a hunt to apprehend them. A longstanding enmity is stated to be the cause of the assault.

One of the culprits is stated to have molested a girl about eight months ago and the parents of the girl had lodged an FIR with the police at that time.

Betting racket busted: New Delhi: With the arrest of four persons, the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a betting racket in Pitampura in North-West Delhi during the World Cup cricket match between India and Australia on February 15.

Acting on an information, the police apprehended Pramod Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, Rajesh Talwar and Ramesh Talwar from Ghalib apartments in Pitampura area where they were allegedly organising betting over the India-Australia match.

This is the fifth such racket smashed since the World Cup matches began on February 9. TNS



Dangerous liaison: Two killed by gang leader
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, February 16
The kingpin of a gang of thieves, Radhakirshan told Kotwali police here that he had killed two members of his gang for carrying illicit relations with his wife.
Giving details of the incidents to the police, Radhakrishan said that after his first wife had died during a delivery, he married a Bengali woman and started living at Kalaunda village in Gautam Budh Nagar. He has four kids from his first wife. He has a child from his second wife also.

A year ago, he had met Santosh Kumar, a youth from Lucknow at Ghaziabad Railway Station. They soon became friends. Santosh, who often visited his house, developed liaison with his second wife.

Once he saw them in a compromising position. Subsequently, he decided to eliminate Santosh who was invited to a party by Radhakrishan’s friends: Amrish Pande, Jai Bhagwan, Harun and Imran. They took Santosh in a tempo to Lal Quan. Santosh was hit with lathis on his head near a factory at bypass by Radhakrishan and his four companions and was killed. The incident happened in December. The miscreants locked the body in a vacant room and fled from there. A fortnight earlier also, Radhakrishan had pushed a companion in front of a running train on Delhi-Ghaziabad rail line. The four criminals told the police that Bishamber, alias Titu, of Vijay Nagar had been run over by the train.

Radhakrishan’s companions told the police that Titu was also killed because he had developed illicit relations with Radhakrishan’s wife. Titu’s body was identified two days after the murder. Radhakrishan, who used to keep Jai Bhagwan of Bulandshahar and Harun of Hapur in his house, had trained both of them for crime. They were basically rickshaw-pullers.

A number of people from Sewa Nagar, Daulat Pura had thronged the Kitwali police station to identify their stolen goods.

Nine named in dowry death case

Noida: A dowry death case involving the killing of a newly-wed girl has been registered in Javer police station. Nine persons have been named in the case.

The husband of the deceased, Inam Masoor Shikha, her mother-in-law, Akila, brother-in-law, Aakil, Fiaz, Irshad, Yakub and sister-in-law Sahil have all been named for conspiracy to kill the young housewife.

The police have not made any arrest so far. Since the cause of death could not be determined in a post-mortem, her viscera has now been sent to a lab in Agra.

According to the Javer Police, Aziz of Regspuri in Aligarh had married his daughter Akala to Inam of Naglan Jahnu.

After the marriage, demands for Rs 50,000 and a motorcycle were made which Akala’s parents could not fulfil. Her in-laws then killed Akala on January 28. When her parents came to know of it, they filed a report.



‘VAT to bring about uniformity in tax structure’
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, February 16
Business leaders believe that the state government should withdraw the different level of taxes on products following the implementation of the VAT (Value Added Tax). While addressing a workshop on VAT, organised by the Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) here recently, Mr Nihal Kothari, vice-president of Hindustan Lever Ltd., said the basic objective of the central government in introducing VAT is to bring about uniformity in the tax structure throughout the country, so that the consumer buys goods at almost the same price throughout the country. He was hopeful that Haryana would scrap other taxes, such as Local Area Development Tax (LADT), in due course of time.

The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) had requested the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to withdraw LADT and other taxes after April 1, 2003, when VAT would be introduced in the state, said Mr P. K. Jain, president of PHDCCI.

Participating in the discussion, Mr Jain said the revenue neutral rate should take care of inter-state transactions and hence, no entry tax should be levied. All branch transfers should be eligible for full input tax credit. If the revenue neutral rates were not fixed scientifically, the consequences would be disastrous. The revenue neutral rate should not be more than 10 per cent, said Mr Jain. He said the regime of multiple tax rates should be brought to an end. One of the major problems with the existing system is the plethora of taxes on the same transaction.

All state taxes-sales tax, turnover tax, works contract tax, entry tax, local area development tax, etc., should be covered under the VAT regime.

He lamented that the India was divided into 28 different markets through tax barriers in the form of central sales tax and non-refundable state levies and sales tax.

Today, most of the countries in the WTO have a comprehensive system of VAT. All the 15 states of the European Union have a VAT system. Even our neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh (in 1991), China (in 1994), Nepal (in 1997), Pakistan (in 1990) and Sri Lanka (in 1995) have adopted the VAT system. Lack of transparency, multiplicity of taxes and its cascading effects often make Indian products non-competitive, even when the actual cost of production might be lower, said Mr Jain.

A study shows that 123 countries have introduced VAT at an average rate of 14.4 per cent. He felt that existing incentives/exemptions already committed to industry should be safeguarded under the deferment/remission scheme over the unused period/long period.

The business leaders also felt that the central government should give a “definite road map” and time frame for reduction of the Central Sales Tax (CST).

Some states want the central sales tax to be brought to an end in one stroke, as CST and VAT are not compatible. Explaining the VAT, Prof Mahesh C. Purohit of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, said that the VAT system aimed to introduce simple procedure, less time-consuming, less taxes, uniformity of taxes and less incentives to tax evaders. Mr Arun Jain, president of GCCI, said that the VAT system would not only make the tax structure transparent but would save valuable time of businessmen.



User-friendly digital camera: It’s time 
to say cheese!

Casio has launched new, slim and sleek QV-R3 and QV-R4 digital cameras. These cameras are quite user-friendly. The compact and quick cameras are equipped with a unique ‘best shot feature’. The best shot feature enables the user to simply select a scene and shoot without any hassle of adjusting the camera set-ups. This means perfect shots with minimal operation and wasted shots. The cameras are capable of recording 33 best shot scenes.

Classy pens for smooth writing: Top Star Gel, a pen with the new concept of ‘Oil Gel Ink’ assures perfect writing with ease and comfort to the fingers. The new innovative pen is zero smudging unique ink, which ensures sharp and smooth writing. Marketed by Emami, these classy pens in delightful pastel shades look attractive.

Bathroom delights to suit your style: Hindware has launched Verona, an exquisitely designed collection that provides a stylish solution to your bathroom. The collection is yet another masterpiece from Hindware, the modern one-piece closet offers a water-efficient dual flush system while the heart-shaped washbasin incorporates a remarkably large washbowl area with aesthetic designing.

Optical mouse in two models: LG has announced its optical mouse for the Indian market. This latest offering by LG has been branded as ‘LG Opti Mouse’ and is the newest addition to the LG’s wide range of products in the computer peripherals segment. The LG Opti Mouse is available in two models – L112 and L212.

La crème de la crème of cosmetics: Lifespring, the one-stop shop of beauty and health products, has come up with many cosmetic items. It has launched Jackelin, an international range of stylish premium colour cosmetics at its leading outlets in Delhi. Lifespring stores yet again assert the belief of Lifespring that the Indian consumer is ready to experience the latest and the best of international market.

Chic shirts for cool dudes: Raymond apparel limited, Park Avenue has launched a sub-brand Park Avenue Platinum, a premium quality range of garments that are both formal and elegantly stylish in design for men. The collection will initially consist only of shirts, and will subsequently bring out trousers, jackets and suits.

Bon appetit! Ovens for yummy fare: Singer has re-launched its international range of Microware ovens. These ovens with world-class features and technology, which meets consumer needs, will dramatically reduce cooking time while producing bright savoury results. Pre-programmed to nine automatic cooking menu, Singer Micro Wave Oven is an ideal and smart product for the families looking to spare some time for other activities and busy homeowners who are “on-the-job”, yet craving for quality meals, cooked quickly.

Good riddance to facial hair: Sleek, the pioneers in hair removal products and manufacturers of ‘Sleek’ cold wax and hot wax, has introduced a Special Wax Pack for removal of superfluous facial hair. It’s an all-natural product, made from vegetable waxes and tree gums. It not only roots out female facial hair growth but also acts as a deep cleansing wax pack.

‘Magical’ drying of clothes: Whirlpool has introduced ‘Magic Dry’, a 100 per cent dryer in the Indian market. Magic dry offers a drying solution to the discerning consumers looking for hassle-free drying of their clothes in a short time. It does away with the physical strain of putting out clothes to dry on a clothesline and the mental strain of hoping that the clothes will dry in time.

Time to land on your feet: CAT footwear has launched new spring summer range of ‘Caterpillar’ shoes in India. The footwear’s range includes Honor, Renown, Freeway, Jab and Langely. With Spring-Summer 2003 range, CAT is also planning to introduce six more styles soon. Presently, CAT footwear is being manufactured worldwide in its factories in the US, Europe and South East Asia.

Instrument to Check gold purity: Gold Check is a unique instrument designed and developed to determine the purity of gold in various precious alloys and jewellery in a few seconds. The unit works on fast, non-destructive, non-contact and accurate X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technique and approved by various authorities for assaying gold and other precious metals.

Special fabric for the wedding season: VHM Industries Limited, the makers of VHM international suitings has introduced specialised fabrics for trousers, suits and safaris. For the marriage season, VHM has launched exclusive suit length fabric blended with Merino Australian Wool and Superfine Polyster fiber. This ‘Relax Wear’ fabric is available in specialised reusable box packing.

Flushing system to ensure hygiene: Parryware, a leading sanitary brand has launched a stylish and innovative ‘Integrated Touch-Free Electronic Flushing System (EFS) for Indian bathrooms. With the introduction of hands free and assured flushing system, it is designed to ensure hygiene, conserves water by using an optimum quantity of water for flushing and also to avoid wastage of water due to open and leaking taps.

Bikes for the Gen-Xers: Safari Bikes has launched its new range of bicycles targeted at all age groups for the first time in the country. Safari Bikes said that the new range has been launched keeping pace with the fast changing trends and quality making them more durable and attractive. The range includes Invader, Spider and Ridge in MTB for the new generation. Prestige and Racer are for the youth and Hi-Bird for the girls. The other range, including Shakti and American Boy, is for roadsters and children.

Breakthrough in wireless connectivity: D-link makes another breakthrough in wireless connectivity–D-link airplus enhanced 2.4GHz Wireless Router.

The new D-link airplus is capable of data transfer of up to 22Mbps and with twice the data rate and capacity, it delivers media rich content such as digital images, videos and MP3 files much faster than standard networks.

Pure salt for your health: The Clarity Salts has launched Saindhav salts. The company claims that the new arrival is the purest form of salts with no impurities. A truly vegetarian, it contains 74 trace minerals imparting it several properties that make it good for health.

Saindhav is used in more than 200 Ayurvedic preparations and recommended for many common ailments.

For peaches and cream complexion: No Marks, the Ayurvedic cream promises flawless, blemish-free and beautiful skin. No Marks contains herbal micronutrients and anti-oxidant, which effectively fade away blemishes and marks within six weeks to endow you with flawless and beautiful skin. Be it pimples, pimple marks, dark circles, hyper pigmentation, burn marks or blemishes, No Marks works naturally to fade them.

Ergonomically designed keyboard: Logitech, has launched a desktop solution combination of a Logitech Office Internet Keyboard and Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse which offers incredible value for the price. The keyboard comes with easy to use one-touch keys which speed up access to the Internet, multimedia and microsoft office applications. Ergonomically designed, the keyboard has a palmrest for extra comfort.

Fab shoe range: Metro Shoes has introduced a fab range of footwear and accessories for your wedding ceremony. Get a ‘wicked’ collection for your cocktails to boot.


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