Thursday, February 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Waterless, powerless for 24 hours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Squall and rain that has continued to lash the city since Monday night has totally thrown life out of gear. The city remained without electricity and water supplies in most areas for over 24 hours. The administration ordered the closure of schools today.

Fallen trees, uprooted electric poles and stranded traffic could be seen throughout the city and its surrounding areas. Around two feet of water pooled in some low-lying areas of the city, virtually choking the sewerage. Telephones too in many parts of the city went dead.

Power supply to many areas including Model Town, Kichlu Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Model Town Extension, Pakhowal Road, Civil Lines, Deep Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, Bharat Nagar Chowk etc was snapped for more than 24 hours. The disruption in electricity was caused when trees fell on a Punjab State Electricity Board station here.

PSEB officials said the men were at work and power supply would be restored soon. However, the restoration of power in some areas could take more time because of load shifting.

Residents complained regularly at PSEB complaint stations regarding erratic power supply. Mr Bachitar Singh, a Sarabha Nagar resident, said that there was no power supply in the area for the past 24 hours. “One can depend on generators in case there is no power but when water supply is affected, it is very difficult to continue with the work”, he said.

Ms Suman Raj, a resident of the Rani Jhansi road said that she could not send her children to school as there was no light and water in the house. “Though we had stored water last evening, but it wasn’t enough”, she said. In the morning, a number of residents carrying buckets could be seen on roads.

Mr Sandeep Singh, a resident of Deep Nagar said since it was the examination time for students, they could not study as there was no electricity supply. “My child is in tenth, she could not study throughout the night. But we cannot blame anyone as it was a strong hailstorm”, he said. In many areas, power supply was getting disrupted on account of branches snapping electricity wires.

Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, was closed today because of bad weather.

Mr J.N. Sachdeva, Chief Engineer, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune assured that by the evening, the department will be able to restore power supply in more than 95 per cent affected areas. “Only the Tajpur Road will be left as more than 52 poles got damaged because of the bad weather”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department experts have predicted that this cloudy weather would remain in the region for next 24 hours because of western disturbances.



Focus on your score, not theirs, teachers tell pupils
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, February 19
Several matches of the cricket World Cup are coinciding with the final exams of students in the city. This has compelled the principals and teachers of many schools here to frequently ask the students to pay more attention to their studies and devote less time to the live telecast of cricket matches.

Since these are crucial days in which the students need to prepare for their exams, the principals said they were visiting the board classes, telling their students to work hard as the efforts made in these days would help them build their career. They said they knew that the students had been eagerly waiting for the World Cup, but added that it was important for them to strike a balance between their exams and their favourite sport.

Most of the principals and teachers are convincing the students by telling them that board examinations were of much more importance to them as compared to the World Cup. Some have suggested that they could restrict themselves by watching the TV for just two minutes after a gap of an hour to keep track of the score. Still others have asked them to watch the highlights only.

Many teachers blame the TV channels for broadcasting various entertainment programmes on the World Cup, which, they believe, attract many students.

Mr R.S. Patial, Principal of DAV Public School, said he had been visiting the board classes for the past 10 days. ‘‘Even today, I have told the students that their whole life depended on their performance in the examination and in every interview they would be asked about their marks obtained in the board exams,” he said.

Ms Paramjit Kaur, Principal, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, said she, too, had told the students appearing in the board exams to resist watching the World Cup and pay more attention to their studies for this would affect their career.

Ms Simmi Gupta, Principal, Gupta Model High School, said she also believed that the World Cup was affecting the studies of the students. She said she was astonished this morning when she heard some Middle students discussing today’s match instead of their social studies exam in which they were going to appear.



Bookies, fans keep fingers crossed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Hundreds and thousands of cricket fans across the city are keeping their fingers crossed over the possible outcome of the match between India and Zimbabwe as the match started on an exciting note.

Scintillating performance by Sehwag and Tendulkar in the opening overs generated much enthusiasm in the beginning. However, it proved to be too shortlived as after the departure of Sehwag Tendulkar also played a contained innings. Even the punters who would not take much time in placing the bets were reluctant to choose their options. The game opened at 63 paise per rupee for India, while Rs 2.1 were being offered for each one rupee for a Zimbabwe win.

After the blazing start by the Indian opening pair of Sehwag and Tendulkar, the Indians chances appeared to be bright and the rates crashed to as low as 13 paise per rupee for an Indian win. The high point was when India were 90 for no loss in 15 overs crossing the average of six runs per over.

However, after the departure of Dinesh Mongia and Tendulkar the bright prospects of the Indian team appeared to diminish. Again the rates for India went to 65 paise per one rupee implying the poor prospects of the team. Some good stroke play by Mohd Kaif, enabled India to cross the 250-run mark. India ended up at 255 for 7 providing some respectability to the Indians and a marginal hope of victory.

Uncertainty about the performance of the Indian team and the massive crackdown and the vigil maintained by the police had forced the bookies also to restrain their operations. Most of the bookies in Ludhiana reportedly fled and were accepting bets while staying out on cell phones.

After the registration of some cases in different parts of the state, a number of bookies, rather most of them, shifted their operations out of the state. Most of them are claimed to be operating from Delhi using the roaming facility of their mobile phones. Intense pressure from the police is learnt to have led to delay in the delivery of payments by the bookies to the winners. Even the bookies are also not able to collect the money on time. 



Alone she fights official apathy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
While the state government claims to have given specific instructions to the officers of the different departments that special attention has to be given to the complaints and needs of senior citizens, an elderly woman, who owns prime property near Bharat Nagar Chowk, has been having a tough time for the past four years in her quest for justice.

For her, the change in the government has not made any difference as she alleges to have received shoddy treatment at the hands of the local police department, civil administration officials and the Municipal Corporation all this while.

Pritam Kaur, a spinster and daughter of a late Army officer, alleges that the police and the civil administration have not taken any action on her complaint that she was being harassed by some shopkeepers who want to grab her property worth crores.

She claims to have made endless rounds of the local Municipal Corporation office to get a blocked sewer cleared and for the removal of garbage heaps from near her house. But neither the MC nor the police have taken action against anyone for urinating outside the different doors of her house, she claims.

The district police has recently registered a case against some persons on the charge of urinating on a road but in this specific case two senior officers of the district ‘tossed’ away her complaint without taking any action.

The district police is also sitting over an inquiry marked to it by the state crime branch. The inquiry was marked a couple of years ago on a complaint levelled by Pritam Kaur that some tantrik had connived with her relatives to kill her mother. No follow up action was taken by the police in the case. Two senior police officers allegedly showed her the door instead of giving a patient hearing to her.

The documents produced by her state that she was not married and was living in the old house with her ailing uncle. Some shopkeepers near her house besides some relatives were allegedly eyeing her property and harassing her. They had allegedly disconnected the telephone wires of the house as well as the power supply wires.

They have also blocked the sewer of the house because of which a pond of stinking water has collected outside the main gate of her house and some persons urinate on the doors of her house. Pritam Kaur alleges that as she was unmarried and had no immediate family and owned property worth crores, she was being harassed by these persons who wanted her to leave the place or sell it at a throw away price. In fresh representations to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, DGP, Punjab, M.S. Bhullar, Minister for Local Bodies and heads of local police and civil administration departments, she has demanded immediate action against the persons harassing her.



Uncle Sam! Spare Iraq
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 19
-To protest against the war designs of the US administration against Iraq, a rally was held at Mini Secretariat here today. A large number of schoolchildren and concerned citizens participated in the rally. The protesters were carrying banners, placards and peace flags demanding from the USA due respect to the UNO.

Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) said now when the inspectors have emphasised that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq, it was not justified to have aggressive postures against Iraq. First of all the USA and other nuclear weapon states (NWS)should dismantle and destroy all the WMDs. They have got more than 30,000 nuclear warheads, besides the chemical, biological, laser weapons and long range missiles.

The doctors were of the view that there was no point in raising the terrorist bogey by the USA as it had propped up terrorism everywhere and was now supporting the dictatorial regimes in the world. Pamphlets that were distributed in thousands at the rally informed that if war was imposed on Iraq it would lead to death of about four lakh people in case of a conventional war and up to 40 lakh in case of a nuclear war. The lives of 1.2 crore Iraqi children were under threat. They would fall prey to disease and starvation. Environment not only in Iraq but also in the entire Gulf would be adversely affected. Due to oil crises prices of everything will increase and economy world over would be shattered. Developing countries would have to bear the maximum brunt. Lives of Indians living in Gulf countries would be put to risk. Arms race would increase and so would terrorism.

The doctors said that it was now clear to the world that US administration’s only interest was to control oil of the region. Iraqi deaths in the 1990-91 Gulf war range between 1.42 lakh to 2.06 lakh people, including military and civilians. The contemplated war, would be much more deadly.



Spurious ayurvedic drugs flood market
Vimal Sumbly & Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, February 19
Unauthorised and spurious ayurvedic drugs continue to flood the market in absence of a qualified licensing authority in the state. A number of popular ayurvedic brands, particularly those used for aphrodisiac purposes, are learnt to be sold without prior approval. Even the present licensing authority, according to the latest notification of the Government of India, is not qualified. None of the manufacturers of these brands follows the prescribed formalities mandatory for the manufacture of these drugs.

Interestingly, the person involved in issuing of the licences, who is only of the rank of a Deputy Director, is reportedly facing criminal charges in a court and is reportedly on bail which is being renewed from time to time. According to a latest notification of the Union Ministry of Health, issued on February 3, the licensing authority should necessarily be having at least a BAMS degree with a minimum of five years experience in the field of ayurvedic drug manufacturing.

After the latest notification, it is learnt, certain manufacturers have started procuring the licence in the back date. Similar practice was adopted in 2000 when the then government had authorised the district ayurvedic officers to grant licences to the manufacturers. Since it had no legal or technical sanction, the order was rescinded within a week of its issue. But several manufacturers had got their licences issued in the back date at that time also.

Ironically there has been no regular and full time director of the Ayurveda for so many years in Punjab. Even the current Director is holding it as the additional charge as he is basically the director of the ESI and is from the allopathic field. Some leading ayurvedic experts have been time and again pleading with the government for streamlining the functioning of the department. However, nothing has been done so far.

A leading manufacturer of ayurvedic drugs, Dr Pradeep Nagrath, pointed out: “Punjab is considered to be the origin of ayurveda and the situation is such that the state never had a regular and full time Director, ayurveda”. He observed that Punjab could make phenomenal progress in ayurveda, but unfortunately it was getting a step-motherly treatment in its home state only.

Dr Nagrath said it could earn crores of rupees from the manufacturing of ayurvedic drugs. However, they need to be credible. He pointed out that it takes a lot in establishing credibility. He has been manufacturing scores of ayurvedic drugs which are popular in domestic and international markets. He said, during his tours to some countries with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he had found keen interest among the entrepreneurs there about ayurveda. But this can be capitalised only if the system is rationalised in an orderly manner.



Cong, BJP stooping low: Surjeet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Dismayed at the “personalised and distasteful” tenor of canvassing by both the Congress and the BJP in the Himachal Pradesh elections, CPM general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet today said “it was unimaginable that the parties would stoop as low to indulge in character assassination. Why are they bent upon cashing on the alleged escapades of the persons concerned when real issues like lack of development, job avenues, infrastructure and improving the living standard of the people stalk the electorate?,” he questioned.

Taking a dig at the lack of developmental activity in Punjab, he said the Congress government has been “terribly busy in other activities” and hence, have found no time to redress pressing problems.

Commenting on the nature of his visit to Punjab, he said that he had been touring the state for mobilising the people for the 60th Kul Hind Kisan Sabha Convention to be held at Jalandhar from March 6 to 9. The sabha was formed in 1936. The convention was being held in Punjab after a gap of 60 years. The first convention in Punjab was held in 1943 at Bhakna Kalan village under the presidentship of Gadderite Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna, he said.

As many as 700 delegates from the country besides France, Cuba, North Korea, China, Vietnam were expected. The president of the global body, trade union for Agricultural, Industrial and Forest Workers, would also participate, he said.

He also added that the kisan sabha had formed four commissions to look into the state of affairs in the field of education, agricultural indebtness, farm produce pricing besides social welfare. We would form our policies accordingly after the reports were tabled at the Jalandhar convention, he added.

Comrade Surjeet said they were working to forge a third front of political parties. This was the need of the hour keeping in view the danger posed to secularism in the country by the BJP and its affiliates. It was ironical that the party, which prides itself on winning the Gujarat elections on a communal plank and wants to repeat the experiment elsewhere was labelling others as pseudo-secularists, he said.

Both the Congress and the BJP were aligned to imperialists and the only way to counter them was by forging an alliance of left and secular parties. Refusing to comment on the secular credentials of the Congress he said the BJP had gone a step further and tried to shred the secular fabric of the country which bords ill for India, he warned.

While he was non- committal on dissidence in the state CPM unit over allegations of his toeing the Congress line, Comrade Surjeet reiterated that he did not form the policies of the party. We simply implement the policies decided after due consultations at all levels. Those who were now levelling allegations too have endorsed them, he pointed out.

Later, he addressed a rally at Humbran. Others who spoke on the occasion, included Prof Balwant Singh, Kisan Sabha chief Rashpal Singh, Ludhiana district secretary Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon and city unit secretary Jatinder Pal Singh.



Dawar sheltering accused: Lohara
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), has accused Congress MLA Surinder Dawar of sheltering some businessmen allegedly involved in a fraud of over a crore of rupees with Mr Lohara and more than 60 other businessmen of the city.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Mr Lohara also accused Dawar of using his influence to block the arrest of the accused besides exerting pressure on him and other victims to work out a compromise with the accused.

Showing documents, including an FIR and some court orders, Mr Lohara said the main accused were businessmen Balwinder Moudgil, his family members and two political leaders—Harbans Lal Luthra, alias Phenta, and Ashwani Sharma. On the complaint of the alleged victims, the district police had registered case of forgery and cheating against the accused.

The main charges were that the accused had entered into an agreement with Mr Lohara and 65 other persons but then forged signatures to dupe them of over Rs 1crore. The accused allegedly even forged the signatures of three dead persons.

Mr Lohara said even though the FIR was registered against the accused on January 16 but not a single accused had been arrested. He alleged that Dawar was interfering in the case.

Mr Surinder Dawar, however, has denied the charges. He claimed that he did not know Mr Lohara and had never met him. He said it was strange that on one hand a case was registered against the accused and the court had also rejected the bail of some of them, yet on the other he was being accused of using his influence.

The main accused Balwinder Moudgil has also counter alleged that he was being framed in a false case. He said he had not played any fraud and had complete documentary evidence in his favour.



Effigies of two ministers burnt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Activists of the youth wing of the SAD today burnt effigies of the two Punjab ministers who were allegedly involved in immoral activities in Gujarat.
Hundreds of protesters, including women, gathered in front of the Civil Secretariat and raised slogans against the two. They later set afire the effigies and reiterated that the decadent culture as portrayed by the ministers was alien to Punjab and had sent a wrong signal to masses across the country.

Addressing the agitators, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, president of the unit alleged that the ministers had thrown all norms to the winds and had indulged in immoral activities during campaigning for the Congress. They had not only betrayed the faith of their voters but had also painted a poor picture of Punjabis in general, he added.

Condemning the Chief Minister he said such acts had lowered his prestige. He should own moral responsibility for such shameful lapses on the part of his Cabinet colleagues and certain IAS officers and resign his post, he demanded.

He warned the government that in case no action was taken against accused in all such incidents, the SAD would be forced to launch an agitation. Mr Dhillon also appealed to all people to join hands with them so that this culture does not take root.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Mr A.S. Makkar, Mr J.S. Saluja, Mr H.S. Latti, Mr B.S. Tir, Mr S.S. Jaura, Baba Ajit Singh and others.



Nagar council poll: 2 file papers
Tribune News Service

Doraha, February 19
Two nominations have been filed till date for the Payal Nagar Council election to be held on March 2.
From Ward No 6, Mr Shankar Das, son of Mr Mangal Das has filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate backed by the SAD(B). Mr Pritam Singh son of Mr Kapoor Singh, has filed nomination papers as an Independent candidate backed by the SAD(B) for Ward No 9. Out of a total of 11 wards of the Payal Nagar Council, just two nominations for two wards have been filed.

The last date for the filing of the nomination papers is February 20. A meeting in this concern of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal ) was held at a Gurdwara here at Payal, according to Mr Jagjivan Pal Singh Gill, an Akali activist . The names of the candidates for the SAD(B) have been finalised in today’s meeting, the list of which shall be released tomorrow.



Bumpy ride for Model Town residents
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 19
The recarpeting of the road between Charkhamba and Lal Kothi was undertaken by a contractor several months ago. However, after earthwork and laying gravel the work was abandoned. As a result, the ride on the road has become bumpy. Mr Ravi Gupta, a resident, said the MC had failed to give a satisfactory reply as to why the work had been left midway.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the MC had cancelled the work allotted to the contractor concerned for his failure to adhere to the scheduled completion time and in addition 10 per cent penalty was imposed on him. The MC officials further told that the hot mix plant of the civic body would start its operations in March after a routine seasonal break, and the work on carpeting of the road would be taken up on priority basis.



Fernandes’ promises hollow

The demand for one rank one pension (OROP) by ex-servicemen dates back to 1982. Political leaders and almost all major political parties have been promising this to the ex-servicemen for years. Mr R. Venkataraman, the then President of India, also included this in his address to joint session of Parliament in 1989. Defence Minister George Fernandes made an announcement at Anandpur Sahib in April, 1999 that the long-pending demand of OROP of ex-servicemen has been accepted by the Central Government and its implementation was ‘‘now a matter of only a few days.’’

Almost three years have passed since this announcement but nothing has happened. Due to early forced retirement in order to keep the Army young, as many as 94 per cent of personnel upto the rank of Naik/Subedar retire with 17 to 20 years of service and they get 33 per cent of their emolument as pension instead of 50 per cent of maximum of rank because of condition of 33 years of service to qualify for full pension.

Another very serious anomaly is in the case of officers having running pay scales. The pension is assessed on the minimum of rank even though they have rendered full service to entitle them to the maximum pension of the rank. This is a raw deal for ex-servicemen and is totally unjust. It is ridiculous, irrelevant and illogical to compare the terms and conditions of defence services with those of civilian government employees.

A large number of Naik/JCOs also have approached the DDPO in this regard but the department has not received any order for its implementation so far.

As far as it is concerned to the officers nothing has been decided by the government so far. This is totally unjustice towards officers (Commissioned officer Ex-servicemen ).

In Himachal Pradesh BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana, while addressing a gathering at Hamirpur said the government was going to make the payment of one rank one pension and the government was also considering provision of medical facilities for ex-servicemen . But all this seems to be amere vote-getting stunt. No one has actually helped the ex-servicemen pensioners or their family members. Wherever these persons go they are given step-motherly treatment and their cases remain pending for years in the courts and offices .

Capt. P.L Malhotra

Set a precedent

In an inspiring anecdote Dr Iqbal Singh Ahuja through his article ‘‘A will and a way’’ attributes the success of the children to mothers. Since this respectable and the worthy doctor runs a famous nursing home in Ludhiana wherein young mothers daily deliver dozens of new babies, I request him to show some material philanthropy to all those new mothers who give birth to female infants in his nursing home by charging only 25 to 50 per cent of fees. This will go a long way in setting a precedent of welcoming the arrival of a girl child. This can prove to be a turning point to curb the tendency of female foeticide and help save the lives of many a would be mother.


A picture of neglect

The local bus stand is in a pathetic condition. It is full of potholes and the bus bays are full of dirt and filth. The road at places is non-existent. Although the deplorable condition of the bus stand has been reported often but no action has been taken so far to improve it.

Heaps of filth and other waste material is a common site. The lavatory and urinals also emit a repulsive smell.

Till the actual relaying/resurfacing is done, it is important that the potholes and craters are at least filled temporarily. The filth and other waste material should be removed daily without any break. The officials entrusted with the job of maintaining proper sanitation should keep a check on vendors, rehriwalas, owners of kiosks, and ensure that they throw waste material in containers/dustbins. The cleaning of lavatory, etc be done round the clock by using disinfectants. The public also needs to be more careful and responsible towards keeping the bus stand neat and clean.

I am sure that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation which has been doing cleaning, and sprinkling of water particularly when a VVIP visits the city or as a routine in certain few places, particularly in summer, in the town should be able to extend this facility to the bus stand. This is the least that is required to keep the bus stand free of dust and in a good condition. Some landscaping, as also planting of trees and shrubs, including some ornamental trees etc. should also be undertaken, which would check pollution and beautify the bus stand. The same can be started right now and would be a step towards creating healthy environment, in this congested area.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh

Tribute to Kalpana

The whole world and India in general but the people of Karnal in particular are in a pensive mood, full of tears after hearing about the death of seven scientists, including Indian born Kalpana Chawla in a space shuttle mishap recently. On behalf of the New Millennium Club, Mr Tarsem Singla, president of the club, expressed shock over her sudden demise. ‘‘All Indians were waiting eagerly for her when death snatched her suddenly from us’’,he said.

She was really a guiding and inspiring spirit for the young aspirants, especially for those who have made up their minds to follow in her footsteps.

However, real tribute to this great soul would be, if all youngsters vow to make their dreams come true and to follow in her footsteps to make our country proud.

Kuldip Singh Kreer

Bumpy ride

The ride on the PWD road from Central Jail to Tajpur village is rib breaking. The road has deep potholes. As one negotiates these potholes one is likely to hit traffic from the opposite side. The road is used by residents of over 30-40 villages. If ministers don't take this bumpy ride we don't mind. But they must send their personnel to repair the road. In return, we the people of the area promise to vote for them again. Till then wish us accident- free life.

Bharpur Singh, Sohan Singh, Md. Athar, Kamleshwar Jha, of Bhamaini village

Travel allowance

Scores of Punjab Government pensioners, drawing pension from the banks have complained that the travel allowance which was due in January this year, has not been disbursed to them by the banks. It is all due to confusion among the bank authorities that the Punjab Government has withdrawn the benefit of travel allowance. But the banks have received no such instructions from the state government.

When contacted, Mr B M Mittal, Treasury Officer, Ludhiana, stated and gave in writing that there were no instructions from the state government regarding stopping the payment of travel allowance to Punjab government pensioners if it is due. The pensioners’ association urges the bank authorities to disburse the travel allowance to the pensioners.

Yash Paul Ghai

Reckless on road

The number of road accidents is increasing these days due to reckless and negligent driving. Hardly a day passes without any serious road accident. Today everyone is in a hurry and no one cares to drive slow. As boys in their teens ‘fly on’ motorcycles or scooters almost blindly. They jump or cross the red lights without any care.

The policemen on duty are either missing or do not care to check such youngsters. The Punjab Roadways and local buses too have become symbols of approaching death. The drivers are rash, negligent and generally found drunk while on duty. So a strict vigil by traffic police is needed immediately.

Rahul Trehan



CDs of blue films seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
The police has arrested a local resident on the charge of copying and selling CDs of blue films here today. As many as 7,254 CDs were seized from the accused. According to police sources, the arrest comes in the wake of directions by Mr H.S. Sidhu, SSP, to bust the racket of blue films in the city. Accordingly, Mr Gurpreet Singh, SP, Detective, deputed the CIA in charge, Inspector Mukhwinder Singh, to carry out investigations.

The team deputed for the purpose nabbed Pardeep Kumar, a resident of Bagh Wali Gali. He broke down during preliminary interrogation and confessed that he was copying and selling CDs of blue films. The police also seized the CDs from his possession.

A case under Section 292, 293 of the IPC has been registered against him at the Division Number 3 police station.

12 HELD FOR BETTING: The police arrested 12 persons on the charge of betting and recovered Rs 34,500 from their possession on Wednesday.

Those arrested near the Samrala chowk include Ajay Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Kewal Parkash, Parveen Kumar, Rajeev Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, Satvir Singh, Sachin Kumar, Vipin Kumar, Surinder Kumar and Chander Mohan.



Industrialists resent VAT, Exim form
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
There is considerable panic among industrialists about the provisions of high penalty and punishment in the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act. Under the Section 43 to 53 of the Punjab VAT Act, there is a provision of two years’ imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 50,000 in case of any default.

According to industrial sources the fine can be increased up to 200 per cent under Section 54 to 64 of the Act in case the assessee is found to have committed some deliberate mistakes. The permission will have to be obtained from sales tax commissioner for maintaining computerised accounts and issuing the computerised bills.

The industrial circles are sore over several other provisions arguing that this gives unbridled power to the sales tax officials. The sales tax officials would be authorised to check the cash under Section 39 of the Act. A surety bond of Rs 50,000 will have to be submitted to get the VAT registration certificate.

Reacting to the issue, the president of the Fasteners Manufacturers Association of India , Mr Narinder Bhamra, said the industry would not allow it to be implemented in its present form. He warned that the entire trade and industry was united against the VAT and a mass agitation would be launched against the government in case it did not take the industry into confidence.

Mr Bhamra suggested that a joint meeting of the representatives of various trade and industrial organisations should be convened by the government to discuss the issue thoroughly. He pointed out that it was necessary that the VAT was implemented after taking the concerns of the industry into consideration. Otherwise, he said, government should not expect more revenue just by threatening the industry with imprisonment and heavy penalty.

He said such provisions would only lead to additional harassment to the industrialists and also hamper the growth of the industry. 


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