Tuesday, July 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Govt decision scuttles DMCH fee hike move
K.S. Chawla and Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 28
The decision to hike fee taken by Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here has received a serious setback both in terms of admissions and reaction from the Punjab Government. The state government has disallowed the arbitrary fee hike announced by this premier medical institution of the state. The institution that has produced medical luminaries, has failed to attract less than a dozen students for the MBBS course.

Even as the DMC tried to take advantage of a recent Supreme Court judgement allowing private colleges to determine their own fee structure, the college management has suffered a serious setback with the Punjab Government outrightly rejecting the tuition fee fixed at Rs 4 lakh annually by this institution. Though, the college Principal, Dr S.C. Ahuja, has denied such reports, it is learnt that there has been a drastic fall in the number of students seeking admission to the college in the current academic session.

The Punjab Government, has directed the DMCH and Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences, Amritsar, to charge Rs 1.5 lakh per student per year. The government has fixed, through a notification, the fee of private dental colleges in the state at Rs 1 lakh per student annually. Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, has not raised the tuition fee and has retained the Rs 70,000 per annum. The Punjab Government has fixed the fee for Ayurveda and Homoeopathy colleges at Rs 50,000 annually.

A meeting was held in Chandigarh last week in which a committee constituted by the state government had discussed the issue of fee revision. Dr S.C Ahuja is a part of this committee. On July 25, the government had issued a notification stating the new fee structure. The notification also mentions the reservation criteria for different categories. The Punjab Government has abolished the NRI quota of the medical and dental colleges and allowed 15 per cent seats to the managements of these colleges.

The management of the DMC, however, maintains that it has so far not received any communication from the state government. This is despite the fact that the DMC Principal was present in the meeting in which the decision was taken to regulate the fee structure. The DMC has pleaded its case before the Supreme Court and a decision is expected soon.

The management of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital had earlier fixed the tuition fee for general category students at Rs 4 lakh per year while the Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences had fixed the same at Rs 1,26,500 per student with the addition of certain funds. The managements of these institutes had fixed the tuition fee and reserved the seats for various categories following the judgement of the Supreme Court delivered on October 31, 2002 by an 11-judge Constitution Bench headed the then Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal. The judgement of the Apex Court had allowed the private medical institutes to fix their fee structure subject to that it should not be profit making.

Mr Santosh Singh, Minister for Medical Education and Research, told that the state government had abolished the NRI quota of seats of the private medical colleges as it amounted to taking capitation fee. The managements of DMCH and Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences had fixed the tuition fee for NRI quota seats at $ 75,000 per year per student. Mr Santosh Singh disclosed that the state government had allowed the managements to have 15 per cent quota of seats under the general category and they would charge at Rs 1.5 lakh as fee and not more. The rejection of the fee structure of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, has given a setback to the management which was hoping to make up the financial losses suffered by it due to the prolonged strike in the hospital last year.

Mr Amrit Nagpal, Secretary of the management of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, refused to comment on the new fee structure fixed by the state government and observed, “We have not received the official information from the state government so far. We will let you know of our reaction only after we have received the notification.”

Meanwhile, the counselling for admission to the MBBS course to all medical colleges, including private and government, has been continuing since yesterday at Baba Farid University of Health Sciences at Faridkot. There were protests from the students and parents against the management of the DMCH, Ludhiana for fixing the fee at Rs 4 lakh. Dr S.C. Ahuja, Principal, DMCH, who is also participating in the counselling, said today that 12 students were admitted to the DMCH yesterday. Counselling of the medical students would continue today and tomorrow also. This would be followed by the counselling for the dental, ayurveda and homoeopathy colleges of the state.



Burglars steal goods worth 5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Unidentified burglars struck at the house of an Industrialist in Urban Estate last night and decamped with cash and valuables worth more than Rs 5 lakh. The burglars seemingly stayed in the house for an hour but five persons, including two children, who were present in the house did not hear anything.

It is being suspected that the burglars drugged the family. The family members were sleeping in the middle room of three room constructed in a row and the burglars were active in the corner rooms. However, the family members did not show any symptoms of being drugged in the morning.

The house belonged to Mr Darshan Singh. The shocked family however, had a first hand experience of the way in which the police functions. The officials of the Dugri police post and Model Town police station officials were ‘cool’ about the calls made by the family in the morning.

The PCR cops did come in 10 minutes (their reaction time is four minutes) and left soon saying the officials of the Dugri police post and Model Town police station would come. Officials from there came three hours after the call only when the family approached senior Congress leaders who rang up the police officials. The dog squad came even later and as expected could not trace a scent. The fingerprints expert came after the dog squad and the family had to keep the ransacked rooms untouched till late in the afternoon.

The burglars broke into the house some time after midnight. The belief that the grills put up in the windows secure the house from such strikes has taken a beating with this incident. The burglars broke the window pane and then unscrewed the grills to gain entry into the house. They relished eatables kept in the house and tried to take away a jar full of lemon pickles but left it outside the house.

According to the owner of the house. Mr Darshan Singh, who has a cycle-parts manufacturing unit in Dholewal Chowk here, he woke up at about 6:45 in the morning and was startled to see the open window and the unscrewed grill. ‘‘I went to the other rooms and found that the burglars had ransacked the two rooms.’’

Gold jewellery weighing about 80 tolas besides Rs 50,000 cash and five expensive watches and some clothes were found to be missing from the two rooms. Besides him, his wife, mother and two children were staying in the house. The family has not employed any servant but has a tenant, who was missing for the last one month.

The police is suspecting that some insider was involved in the crime. The fact that the burglars went straight to the two rooms where the valuables were kept lends credence to this theory.

The family contacted MLA Surinder Dabar and Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president DCC (Urban), who rang up senior officials and only then the police arrived. Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India of whom the victim is a member said he called up the political leaders and only then the police took some action.

The dog squad and the fingerprint experts’ team failed in tracing any clue from the scene of crime as they came very late. By that time many persons had entered the house and touched the doors and windows.

According to sources an identification parade was on at the Police Lines due to which the officials came late.



‘Punjab Mata’ seeks memorial to martyr
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Sarabha (Ludhiana), July 28
Owing to the non-release of a grant for the memorial of Ghadar fame martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha in his native village here, the preservation work has come to a standstill, putting a question mark on the state government’s policy of commemorating the contribution of freedom fighters during the Independence struggle.

To add insult to the injury the facilities provided to the cousin sister of the martyr, Bibi Jagdish Kaur, who was conferred with the ‘Punjab Mata’ title by the Parkash Singh Badal government, have been withdrawn. A telephone connection put up at her residence in the village has been withdrawn and an official car, which was sent to ferry her to a hospital in Ludhiana, is not being sent any more by the officials of the administration.

A centurion, Bibi Jagdish Kaur, who is suffering from uterine cancer, has sent SOS calls to the state government but to no avail. Agitated over the “behaviour” of the state government, the ‘Punjab Mata’ is going to sit on fast unto death outside the residence of the Chief Minister if the memorial is not completed before November 16, the martyrdom day of the martyr.

Stating that she had gone to the Deputy Commissioner’s office asking him to pay her phone bill, Bibi Jagdish Kaur said that she was told by his office staff that there was no record in the office where her phone bills were maintained. She said that then she threw the phone bill and never asked for the connection thereafter.

Further, the cousin of the martyr said that the former Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, had provided an official car to her for taking her to a hospital for periodical check ups. But this help was withdrawn from her. She alleged that just after the new government was sworn in the remaining grant to the memorial was never released. She said that she was shocked to see the behaviour of the Congress-led government.

Hard of hearing and very frail looking, she said that she could die any moment as cancer was spreading fast in her body and it was her last wish to see the memorial of her brother, who sacrificed his life for the nation.

The work of preservation was stopped last May. A library, war memorial, a museum and a hall have already been constructed while a granite minaret and a statue of the martyr is yet to be put up. These two things would require funds worth lakhs.

The work on the memorial was started by the Akali government in year 2000 after a lot of agitation by Bibi Jagdish Kaur. A grant of Rs 101 lakh was announced for the same and Rs 40 lakh were released in three installments. Later, not even a single penny was released.

The house, which was declared a protected monument by Archaeological Department of Punjab in 1998, stands abandoned in want of repairs. “I have been running from pillar to post to get the house of my brother, where he was born and brought up, converted into a memorial. I donated the house to the government and requested each and every Chief Minister to raise a memorial on it. The former CM had accepted my plea and declared it as a protected monument but the present government is not paying any heed to my requests,” said Jagdish Kaur angrily.

She further said that she was not asking anything for herself. “I only want that my brother who was not only related to me but the whole country be remembered and his house be converted into a memorial. I am already suffering from cancer and can pass away anytime. I think they will only listen to me after I am dead.”

An official of the PWD, Provincial Division, said that an amount of Rs 61 lakh was due with the government and the work would restart on the memorial only after the money is released.



Man kills wife
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Blinded in love of a paramour, a Jagraon resident has allegedly killed his wife in Jagraon and buried her body in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. A special team of the Jagraon police district would leave for the place tomorrow to exhume the body.

The murder allegedly took place nearly three weeks ago. The incident came to light today when Allah Dia, father of the allegedly murdered woman, Fatima, lodged a complaint with the police. Kaseem, husband of the deceased, has been booked for murder.

The SHO, Jagraon city police station, Dharam Pal told Ludhiana Tribune that the police had lodged a case on the complaint of the man and the body would be exhumed tomorrow to find out whether the woman was murdered or not.

According to the FIR, Fatima was married to Kaseem and lived in Jagraon. They had two sons aged three years and eight months, respectively. Kaseem did embroidery work for a living. He allegedly developed illicit relationship with a cousin.

Allah Dia alleged in the FIR that when his daughter objected to the illicit relationship, she was beaten up by her husband. He said that his daughter died under mysterious circumstances three weeks ago.

Her body was taken to their native village in Muzaffarnagar district. He learnt a couple of days ago only that there were some blue marks on the neck of the girl and suspected that she was strangled.



Excise officials raid transport company offices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
After a murderous assault on the employees of Excise and Taxation in which a police constable was crushed to death recently, allegedly by the workers of Patiala Carriers, a transport company, the two local offices of the company were raided by the department officials in a joint raid and incriminating documents were seized and some trucks were impounded here today.

The raids were conducted on the Transport Nagar and Gill Road offices of the company where documents of evasion of sales tax worth lakhs of rupees were seized by the officials. The sales tax sleuths visited the Gill Road office of the company in the morning and took into possession some documents. Later, another office in Transport Nagar was also raided.

No official was ready to divulge any details about the documents and the amount of sale tax evasion. They said it was too early to say anything about the same. The officials said the evasion was definitely being done by the company.

Meanwhile, the executive body of the Excise and Taxation Officers Association, Punjab, today condemned the murderous assault on the employees of Excise and Taxation Department who had gone to conduct a raid on the premises of Patiala Carriers, a transport company on July 26 near Sangrur.

In a meeting held under the chairmanship of Mr Sucha Singh Cheema, president of the association, action was sought against those responsible for assault on departmental checking team led by Mr Hardev Singh, Excise and Taxation Officer (Mobile Wing), by the transport company staff, in which Mr Amarjit Singh, Head Constable, was also crushed to death.

The association condemned the way and attitude of the transport company that had indulged in such crimes against department’s officers in the past also. The association urged upon the state government to take action against such tax evaders as it would restore the sagging morale of the department officials, who had to face such difficult situations while the discharging their duties to curb the menace of tax evasion.

The association also condoled the untimely death of Amarjit Singh, Head Constable, who lost his life in the incident.



Three students hurt in firing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
A row over the presidentship of a college union in Narangwal village took an ugly turn today when a group of students fired shots, in which three persons were injured.

The injured — Inderjit Singh, Harpreet Singh and Harvinder Singh — were admitted to the local civil hospital. Eyewitnesses said five rounds of shots were fired by students with a .12 bore rifle. Sources said two groups, one led by Surinder Singh and other by Soni and Babbu Gill were rivals for the presidentship of the union.

This afternoon they held a meeting to sort out the issue. However, the situation took an ugly turn. Shots were fired and three were injured. All the injured belonged to the group led by Surinder Singh. They were admitted to Dehlon hospital and later shifted to local Civil Hospital. The condition is stated to be out of danger. 



Dalits hold dharna against police inaction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
More than hundred residents of Vishwakarma Colony today staged a dharna for about four hours in front of the Tajpur police post today afternoon in protest against alleged police inaction regarding a case against a retired Sub-Inspector and his accomplices.

The police official Gurmel Singh along with Satnam Singh and others were booked on the complaint of a Dalit woman, Gian Kaur, of Vishwakarma Colony last week. They were charged with abusing the woman.

The police had arrested Satpal but no efforts had been made to arrest the former cop. Agitated, residents led by some local Dalit leaders today sat on a dharna outside the Tajpur police post and raised slogans against the police.

The police, however, denies the allegations of the SHO, Mr Randhir Singh, said the retired cop was on bail and the police had conducted raids to nab the other accused.

It also showed the bail orders of the accused cop also.

However, the complainant Gian Kaur threatened to launch an agitation if the accused were not arrested. She accused police officials of helping the accused in getting bail.

The case pertains to the alleged incident that took place on July 20. According to the FIR, the woman was a widow and lived with her sons in the colony. The former cop was her neighbour and allegedly used to harass the family. On that day, he allegedly abused the woman and her sons for letting rainwater collected on the roof of their house flow on the street. He also called her names. Tension prevailed in the area and heavy police force was deployed.



Polythene bags choking city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 28
Polythene bags are choking the city. Visit any locality, in the suburbs or in the walled city, mounds of polythene bags can be found . These polythene bags recycled a number of times, are non-biodegradable. The way people are using polythene bags for everything, day is not far off when all sewers will choke with plastic bags and the sullage from them will spill on the roads.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, former Deputy Commissioner, had said the administration would take some steps to stop one manufacturing of polythene and use of it.

In Mumbai, film stars and an NGO in a function asked people not to use polythene bags. The NGO got cloth bags stitched and distributed the samples to the shopkeepers. Similar steps should be taken in Ludhiana. Moreover, the local channels should keep highlighting the ill effects of throwing polythene bags on streets. Some big and famous stores have already started using bags made of recycled papers to save ecology.

Dr Arun Mitra of the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, an NGO, says, “We have been trying to tell people about the disadvantages of the use of polythene bags. The recycled polythene bags are very harmful. If vegetables are carried in these bags, they can contaminated. Moreover, these bags cause death of a lot of stray animals. People have the habit of throwing garbage packed in polythene bags on the roadside. Hungry stray animals swallow vegetable peels along with the bags and choke and die.”

Dr Mitra said unless the district administration and the public make a joint and concerted efforts , the menace will continue to grow. “Earlier,” he said “the people carried a ‘thaila’ while shopping. Now we would advise the people to carry a cloth shopping bag and the shopkeepers should also use paper bags or wrap things in newspapers. The administration on its part should ban the manufacture of polythene and those manufacturing it should be punished.”

Mr Jatinder Singh of Sambhav, an NGO that aims to make Ludhiana clean and green, by the year 2010, says, “We have planned to plant 1,500 trees by the year end. We have trained our volunteers to mark the places that need cleaning, specially those places that have heaps of polythene bags. Soon we will start a drive against the use of polythene bags. We all have to be involved as Ludhiana is our city and onus is on the residents to keep it clean. Our volunteers will hold seminars and corner meetings to educate the people of the harmful effects of polythene bags.”



Rs 5.6 crore realised as power theft penalty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has realised Rs 5.6 crore in the first quarter of the current financial year as penalty after detecting cases of power theft during the raids in various industrial and domestic units. During the raids it was found that there were more cases of power theft in domestic areas than in the industry.

Disclosing this here today, the Chief Engineer, PSEB (North), Mr J.N. Sachdeva, told The Tribune that 28,731, cases of power theft were detected during the search in the first quarter in Ludhiana only. The police colonies continue to be the main problem for the PSEB as power theft in these colonies is more predominant than in other areas.

Mr Sachdeva disclosed that the PSEB had extended the last date for voluntary disclosure of power load for tubewells from July 15 to August 15. He said during this scheme 6712 kv load was enhanced by the tubewell owners generating a revenue worth over Rs 3.81 crore.

The PSEB Chief Engineer maintained that the power supply had improved during this year and there were no frequent power cuts. He said even the industrial sector was getting sufficient power supply as the PSEB had ensured regular power supply to all segments.

He pointed out while earlier the power thefts were more frequent among the industry, now there were relatively less number of cases in the industrial sector while the number of power theft cases in the domestic segment had increased. Recently, the PSEB conducted a simultaneous raid in Ludhiana (East) area and found 100 cases of power theft.

He said that the sustained campaign by the PSEB against power theft had yielded good results as people were now aware that they would be running the risk of being caught in case they resort to “stealing” power. He stressed the need for the people to use electricity judiciously and cooperate with the PSEB for better and efficient services.



I-cards elude voters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Discrepancies in the making of voters’ ID cards, for which the residents were photographed yesterday, have come to light.
Mr Inderpal Singh Dhiman, a resident of local Harnam Pura area, said that he had got photographed for the ID card at R.S. Model School of the area yesterday but he was not sure whether he would be delivered a card or not.

He said that he had got himself photographed for the card two years ago also but he was yet to receive his card as the photographer had not written his name on the slate handed over to him during the photography session. He said that the same thing was repeated with him yesterday as the photographer had not written his name once again while the names of other persons were written.

He said that when he asked the photographer about the same, he said that he was not able to understand his name. Tired of talking to various officials he called up the Deputy Commissioner at his office. He said that the operator first said that he would be available after lunch and when he called up again he was said to have gone to Chandigarh.

Mr Dhiman further alleged that he was shocked to see the behaviour of many officials including an MLA, who said that they could not do anything about his problem. He said that he called up the office of State Election Commission at Chandigarh also but could not get any response.



Transport Nagar sans amenities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Transporters of Transport Nagar are sore over the alleged indifference of the authorities towards their long-pending problems. The transporters, who contribute considerable revenue to the government, said there was no infrastructural facilities in the area and even the roads remain unrepaired for years. Besides, there was no proper drainage and sewerage system in the area.

The Ludhiana Goods Transport Association led by its chairman, Mr Charan Singh Lohara, has sought the intervention of the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill. The association invited Mr Gill to visit the area so that he could assess the problems. Mr Gill had toured the area recently and had assured prompt action. 



Police-public meet
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 28
A police-public meeting was held at Aggarwal Dharamshala in Field Ganj today which was attended by prominent residents and police personnel posted in the area.
Mr Nishan Singh, Station Huse Officer, Division No. 2 police station, who presided over the meeting, was apprised of the people's problems.

Mr Nishan Singh reiterated the commitment of the Police Department to serve the people. He appealed to the people to extend cooperation to the police force in its fight against crime.



Man booked for peddling opium
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 28
On a tip-off that someone was peddling opium among truck drivers and labourers at the truck union office and FCI godowns here, the Sahnewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act against Ranjit Singh, a resident of Kamla Nagar.

Doctor booked: On the statement of Mr Surjit Singh of Sangowal village, the Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under Section 304-A, IPC, against Dr Balwant Singh of Hunjan Bone Joint Hospital, Ludhiana. The complainant had stated that his wife Ranjit Kaur (62) had been admitted to the hospital for an operation of hip joint but she died due to negligence.

Fraud alleged: The Model Town police last evening arrested Subhash Kumar, a Bihari migrant, and Satinder Kumar, another migrant, under Sections 420 and 34, IPC. The police said today that the accused were engaged in the business of making fake “phenyle” tablets from urea with the help of a machine.

Recovered: The police last night arrested Paramjit Singh, a resident of Meo Wal Kariana village, and recovered a fan from his possession which had allegedly been stolen. A case under Section 411, IPC, was registered against him.

Beaten up: The Jodhewal police, on the statement of Mr Vijay Kumar, of Vardhman Colony registered a case under Sections 323, 506, 341 and 34, IPC, yesterday against Ram Parshad, Raju and Monu. The complainant had alleged that they had intercepted him on the night of July 26 and beat him up. No arrest has been made so far.

Forgery alleged: The police has registered a case under Sections 380, 406 and 468, IPC, on the statement of Mr Sukhwant Singh Sandhu against Gurpreet Singh Kalra, Pushpreet Singh, Rajinder Kumar, Atam Parkash, Naveen Arora, Rajesh Bansal, Mangal Dass, Harpreet Singh and Preet Mohan Singh, alleging that the accused had prepared a forged partnership deed and had also stolen records belonging to his firm. No arrest has been made so far.

Cheated: The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Section 420, IPC,  on the statement of Mr Jagtar Singh, a resident of Jalapur village, against Raghbir Singh of Mangat village, Baldev Singh and Bhajan Kaur. The complainant alleged that he had given Rs 4 lakh to the accused who promised him a passage abroad but he neither sent him abroad nor returned the money. No arrest has been made so far.

Minor sold off by father: The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 366-A and 120-B, IPC, on the statement of Alka, a minor girl of Haibowal Kalan, against her father, and Bickey, a resident of Pavittar Nagar. She alleged that her father got her married to Bickey after taking Rs 5,000 from him. The accused had cheated her, she said. No arrest has been made so far.

Girl abducted: The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 363 and 366, IPC, on the statement of Mr Surinder Lal of Mohalla Maya Puri against Munish Kumar Malhotra, a resident of the same colony. The complainant alleged that the accused had abducted his daughter on July 25. No arrest has been made.

One killed: The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A, IPC, on the statement of Mr Darshan Singh of Mohalla Saidan, Nakodar, against the driver of a vehicle. The complainant had stated that the vehicle hit Channan Kaur who died on the spot.

Gunman booked: The Focal Point police has registered a case under Section 336, IPC, on the statement of constable Amarjit Singh, against Sarup Singh, a resident of Kassi Kalan village. The constable stated that the accused, who is attached as a private gunman with “tantrik” Satnam Singh “Changiara” at Dhandari Kalan, fired into the air on July 26 when he was on duty and patrolling the area. No arrest has been made so far.

Poppy husk seized: The Shimla Puri police arrested Madan Lal of Saroj Nagar on Saturday and seized 15 kg of poppy husk from his possession. The accused has been booked under Sections 15, 61 and 85, NDPS Act.

Excise cases: As many as five cases were registered under the Excise Act yesterday at various police stations. The police arrested Mohammad Ikhlaq, a Bihari migrant, and seized 10 bottles of country liquor from his possession. Munish Sood, of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar was arrested and 12 bottles of liquor were seized from his possession. Hari Singh of Patiala was also arrested and 12 bottles of country liquor were seized from him.

Judhvir Singh, Ajaib Singh, Parkash Singh and Jatinder Singh were also arrested under the Excise Act.

Knife seized: The Kotwali police yesterday arrested a Bihari migrant, Ranjit, and seized a “kamanidar” knife from his possession. He has booked under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.



‘Introduce VAT at national level’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
The Punjab government’s decision to introduce value added tax (VAT) in the state from April 2004 has caused resentment among the trading and business community. Various organisations representing traders and industry have already voiced their opposition to VAT.

The state cabinet in its meeting on July 16, decided that the VAT would be introduced in the state from April 2004. The government has been maintaining that VAT had been successfully implemented in over 120 countries across the world as it was very simple and productive.

On the other hand the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has been arguing against the introduction of VAT in the state on several grounds. The mandal general secretary, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal said, in different parts of the world, including China, after the imposition of VAT the governments abolished all other taxes, like central excise, CST, octroi, entry tax, purchase tax, luxury tax and additional sales tax. These countries had enforced only one tax in the shape of VAT.

He suggested the Punjab Government should introduce VAT on similar lines by abolishing other taxes. He argued that Punjab cannot introduce VAT in isolation. “As long as other states in the country do not introduce VAT its very purpose would be defeated in Punjab”, he said.

Mr Agarwal warned that Punjab’s unilateral decision to introduce VAT would create “unrest”. He suggested that instead of implementing the VAT at state level it should be introduced at the national level.


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