Thursday, September 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SAD may seek no-trust motion
Tribune News Service

Chhapar (Ludhiana), September 10
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its alliance partner the BJP may bring in no confidence motion against the Capt Amarinder Singh’s government in the state legislative Assembly as the alliance feels that there was growing disillusionment among Congress legislators against the Chief Minister.

Disclosing this during an informal interaction with reporters at the annual Chhapar Mela here today, the SAD supremo and former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said the final decision in this regard would be taken during the Legislative party meeting scheduled to be held within a couple of days.

Mr Badal hopes that the government led by Capt Amarinder Singh “will collapse under its own weight” as there was widespread disillusionment among Congress legislators. He claimed that legislators were sore with the Chief Minister since he was “inaccessible” to them. He maintained that the legislators and the party MPs had sounded a note of caution to the party high command, making it clear that they would not be able to win any seat as long as Capt Amarinder remained the Chief Minister.

The former Chief Minister said, “in politics nothing can be ruled out and anything can happen anytime”. He pointed out, “you never know...who could imagine that the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh will fall so soon”.

Mr Badal refused to reply to a question as to whether his party would support Congress dissidents in case they sought SAD’s support to topple the government and form a new one. Mr Badal, however, added let the dust settle down first and the situation get clear. He observed that it was not only a particular section of the legislators which was disillusioned with the Chief Minister, but all the legislators and even some ministers were feeling alienated.

The former Chief Minister alleged that the government was being run by a “select few” and the ministers and legislators were having no say in it. This, he continued, has resulted in the “chaos, anarchy and lawlessness” in the state.

Mr Badal also evaded a reply when asked whether he would seek the resignation of Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal as she was facing trial in a corruption case. Mr Badal alleged that it was Capt Amarinder Singh who had got her involved. “He (Capt Amarinder) did not spare even his senior colleague by involving her first in a corruption case and then at the behest of the party high command offered her legal aid”. He said, the case should be decided on the basis of merit only.

Mr Badal also demanded that the Punjab Government should bear all medical expenses of the injured hockey star Jugraj Singh. He offered that in case the government was not in a position to provide for the medical expenses of Jugraj Singh and send him abroad, the SAD would seek donations from public and send him abroad for advanced treatment. He pointed out, Jugraj had done country proud and it was difficult to produce stars like him. He said, it was the duty of the government to ensure that he was treated properly and adequately as his welfare was directly related to the future of the Indian hockey.


NDA behind Badal, says Shahnawaz
Tribune News Service

Chhapar (Ludhiana), September 10
The Union Textile Minister, Mr Shahnawaz Khan, said today that the National Democratic Alliance was firmly behind the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in his fight against the “excesses” of the Capt Amarinder Singh’s the government. Addressing the annual Chhapar Mela here today, Mr Khan declared that he was speaking here today, not as a minister, but only as a member of the NDA.

The minister said the NDA was all set to “teach a lesson to Capt Amarinder Singh” for his acts of omission and commission. He said the NDA was monitoring the situation in Punjab and added that Mr Badal was one of the most respected and senior leaders of the NDA and any attack on him would be deemed as an attack on the NDA.

Mr Khan, including the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, the Minister of State for Communications, Mr Ashok Pradhan, the Akali leaders, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Mr Sukhbir Badal and others rapped the Congress government for its “anti farmer attitude”.

Captain Kanwaljit spoke on the problems being faced by the farmers and alleged that immediately after the Congress government took over, all sections of the society were targeted and the farmers suffered the most.

He pointed out, while the Akali-BJP government was providing free power and water to the farmers, the Congress government had withdrawn this facility to them. Similarly, he observed, other sections of the society, including the traders and employees were also unhappy with the government.

Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal alleged that the government had only added to the miseries of the people.

He said even the Congress government had not spared the people and had imposed extra tax on petrol and its products. He pointed out that the cost of petrol was more in Punjab than in Haryana.

Mr Sukhbir Badal criticised the Chief Minister for his “inaccessibility”, and maintained that he preferred to stay more in “five star comforts” of Delhi than meeting and listening to the grievances of the people of Punjab. He claimed that during his one and a half years as Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh had not even visited a single assembly segment in the Patiala parliamentary constituency.

Buoyed by the presence of relatively more number of people than at other political conferences, particularly the Congress, the Akali leaders declared that the “Congress would soon be wiped out of the state”.

Mr Badal went to the extent of claiming that the Akali-BJP combine will win all 13 parliamentary seats in the elections scheduled to be held next year.

He claimed that all Congress MPs had brought it to the notice of the high command that at this stage they were miserably trailing in their respective segments thanks to the “non-performance” of the Capt Amarinder Singh’s government.

Barring the SGPC president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, almost all Akali leaders, including the former SGPC chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, former ministers, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra and senior leaders of the party were present at today’s conference.


Amarinder’s absence mars Cong show
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Chhapar (Ludhiana), September 10
Owing to the last-minute cancellation of the visit of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to the annual Chhapar Mela here today, the Congress show turned out to be a low-key affair. As the news spread that the Chief Minister had cancelled his visit due to health problems, people started leaving the venue. Repeated pleas by the organisers failed to motivate them to stay back.

The show was then left to be managed by the Transport Minister, Mr Tej Prakash Singh, the Urban Development Minister, Mr Raghunath Sahay Puri, and the Chairman of the high-powered panel on economic reforms, Mr Surinder Singla. Even the Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Mr Avtar Henry, only joined them at the dying moments of the conference. He, too could not help to retain the interest of the people.

However, that did not deter Mr Henry and others to launch a scathing attack on their main opponents, the Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr Henry said that both the Akali Dal as well as the BJP were communal parties and exploited the religious sentiments of people. He claimed that only Congress was secular and best suited to rule the state and the country.

He criticised the Akali Dal for trying to portray a wrong picture of the achievements of the Congress government. He claimed that after the Congress took over three procurements (of food grains) had successfully been organised. He said, the Congress government had completely wiped out corruption from the mandis (the grain markets). Mr Henry claimed that during the Akali-BJP rule the farmers had to grease the palms of people everywhere to get their grains lifted. But now that system had changed.

Mr Singla delved on the economic reforms ushered in by the Amarinder government in the state. He claimed that had it not been for the reforms, the state would have already turned bankrupt as the Akali-BJP government had emptied the state coffers. He reiterated the resolve of the government that the state was moving on the path of development once again and the results had already started coming.

Mr Tej Prakash Singh warned people against the divisive policies of the Akalis and the BJP. He said, these people were only trying to exploit the sentiments of people and had hardly done any developmental work. Mr Singh promised that each and everyone in the state would get the fruits of development and it would not go to select few as had been the practice during the Akali-BJP regime.

Prominent among those present today included the District Congress Committee president, Mr Harmohinder Singh, the MLA Samrala, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, senior party leaders, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Jassi Khangura, Mr K.K. Bawa, Mr Gurinder Singh Grewal, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran and others.


Medicine dealer found evading sales tax
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 10
The district Excise and Sale Tax authorities have detected the evasion of sale tax on the medicines worth lakhs of rupees by a medicine dealer of the city. The trader had evaded the tax on the medicines worth Rs 1.5 crore in the past two years. A penalty of Rs 30 lakh would be imposed on the dealer shortly.

The authorities started checking the records of a section of medicine dealers after a report was published in the The Tribune regarding a large-scale evasion of sale tax by concealing their purchases and subsequently sales by manipulations the C-form, which carries the details of all transactions made outside Punjab.

Mr M.S. Kundlas, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Bathinda, said the Excise and Taxation Officer, Mr Ramesh Malhotra made this detection in Ward No. 1 while other ETOs were on job to detect more such evasions in their respective wards.

Over the years, the town had developed into one of the biggest wholesale market of medicines. For the past few years, a section of wholesale medicine dealers had allegedly been evading sale tax by concealing their purchases from outside Punjab by entering wrong entries into the C-form, carrying the details of transactions done outside the state by them. These firms were submitted to the Sale Tax Department every year.

Some unscrupulous medicine dealers had been bringing the medicines from Delhi and places outside Punjab without invoices of same but they never entered such purchases in their stock books.

These dealers used to purchase the medicines from Delhi and other places outside Punjab by issuing C-form to the seller. In their stock register, they would enter that medicines were purchased at considerable less amount than its original worth and in the C-form issued by to the seller, they would enter details of genuine transaction and actual amount paid by them in connection with the purchase of medicines. As the C-form issued to the seller and the one submitted to the Sale Tax Department of the same transaction were rarely tallied transaction by the purchaser, it had become a tool for unscrupulous traders to evade the tax.

A section of medicine dealers pointed out that some unscrupulous traders had been dumping spurious medicines in Punjab markets and if the authorities managed to check the evasion of sale tax it would help in curbing the menace of sale of spurious medicines in the markets.


6 booked for duping widow
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 10
Shanta Kapur, a Kapurthala based widow, has alleged that a 250-yard Amritsar-based plot, to which she and her family has been laying claims on grounds of acquisition of family’s another plot by the Amritsar Improvement Trust since death of her husband in 1993, has been allotted to another Amritsar resident on the basis of “forged” documents and without the knowledge of her family.

The Kapurthala police has booked six persons for allegedly fabricating the documents, including a power of attorney in the name of Nirmal Krishan Kapur, late husband of Shanta Kapur, and for trying to “usurp” the plot of the widow.

Shanta Kapur and her son Rajneesh Kapur, in an application to the local police, had alleged that Nirmal Krishan Kapur, who died on July 7, 1993, had a share of one kanal of land in Amritsar, which was subsequently acquired by the Amritsar Improvement Trust. Being his legal heirs, they had been pursuing the case of allotment of another plot as per norms of the Improvement Trust authorities and had also written a letter to the Chief Minister in March 2002 for the same.

But to the surprise of the family, the plot was found to be allotted to Sukhraj Singh, a resident of Sangra village in Amritsar. Persistent enquiries by the family revealed that Sukhraj Singh had got a fake power of attorney prepared, reportedly executed by Nirmal Krishan Kumar in November 1992 at Kapurthala and signed in Hindi in presence of witnesses Piara Singh, Lambardar of Kadupur village and Karamjit Singh, a resident of Kapurthala. The power of attorney was allegedly scribed by Subhash, a Kapurthala-based deed writer. The complainants maintained that Nirmal Krishan Kapur had never signed any document in Hindi and after preparation of “forged” power of attorney, Sukhraj Singh, then entered into an agreement, which was attested by Avtaar Singh and Harinder Singh, to sell the acquired plot to Rajinder Singh, a resident of Attari village in Amritsar district.

Ms Shanta Kapur, said the accused had connived with each other and officials of the Amritsar Improvement Trust to secure the “forged” power of attorney and got the allotment of the plot of its basis, and without any knowledge of family.

When contacted, Mr L.K. Yadav, Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), said preliminary investigation by the Kapurthala police revealed that a fraud had been committed with the family of Shanta Kapur by the accused.

He said the six accused Sukhraj Singh, Piara Singh Lambardar, Kamaljit Singh, a resident of Kapurthala, Subhash Chander, a Kapurthala-based deed writer, Rajinder Singh, a resident of Attari village in Amritsar and Avtaar Singh, a resident of Basant Avenue, Amritsar, and present allottee of the plot No. A/163, Ajnala road Vikas Colony, Amritsar, have been booked under Sections 419, 420, 465, 464, 468, 472, 477-A and 120-B of the IPC.


Peon dresses as schoolboy to give portrait to Kalam
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Among those felicitating President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on his maiden visit to the city on September 4 was an 18-year-old temporary peon of the local Municipal Corporation, who was, surprisingly, dressed as a school student to present a portrait to the First Citizen.

The boy, an excellent painter specialising in pencil sketches, was given this rare chance in a clandestine manner by some district officials.

What was disturbing, however, was that none of the intelligence and security agencies could get a clue about the real identity of the boy. It was also astonishing that an artist and a class IV employee had to adopt such a measure to meet the President.

Ashok Kumar Goswami is, undoubtedly, a gifted artist. He has made over 250 portraits of famous people. His only desire was to present these free of cost to the persons concerned. He has been successful in presenting his sketches to Kapil Dev, Govinda, Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley, singer Harbhajan Mann, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Mukesh Khanna ‘‘Shaktimaan’’, among others.

Capt Amarinder Singh was quite impressed by his portrait and appointed him as a temporary peon in the Municipal Corporation here on November 1 last year on a monthly salary of Rs 1200.

He sought an appointment with the President and wrote him a letter, besides requesting some district officials, whose name he was not willing to disclose. An official, who wanted to help him, dressed him in the uniform of Sharp Model High School and the move was successful.

All that is past now. The boy is back to his chair outside the room of a senior official in the Municipal Corporation. Talking to The Tribune, the boy remembered the elated moment when Mr Kalam appreciated his work and promised Rs 20,000 as help within 15 days.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma expressed surprise when The Tribune sought his comments on the issue. He said he could faintly recollect that some school boy had presented a portrait to the President but wasn’t aware that the boy was not a student. He promised to probe the matter.

Frail in appearance and nervous in articulation, the artist is the eldest son of Khajan Giri Goswami, a ‘‘kanda’’ operator at the local Malwa milk plant.


Casting WTC scrap into new forms
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 10
Today, the foundry owners of this “steel” town of Punjab will join the people elsewhere in remembering and paying homage to those who died when Al Quaida terrorists crashed their planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center this day in New York in 2001.

This is the town which bases its economy and fortunes on the scrap it gets from all over the world. And from the rubble and debris of the WTC towers, a fraction of the scrap, estimated at about 20,000 tonnes, had reached this town, last year for recycling. In fact, heaps of scrap, twisted steel and heavy metal had been shipped to several countries, including this town, spread on either side of the Grand Trunk Road.

Bits of scrap and objects were picked up by the people from Ground Zero to take home as either souvenirs of fond memories of their dear ones who were lost for ever or simply as commemorative pieces. These thoughts had crossed the minds of several of the foundry owners here too. But then it was their job to melt the scrap and turn it into ingots for use in construction.

Mr Rattan Paul Bhatia, who is a leading businessman of the town was honest to say that those who had purchased scrap of WTC were haunted by the memories of that fateful day and had felt sorry. This is one place where the world industrial castoffs arrive, “We have had tonnes from the Gulf War, including live bombs”, only to be melted and changed into money”, he sighed. Wrecked ships and vehicles and household junk from all over the world form part of heaps of rusted scrap yards in this town.

After all, Gobindgarh is a place as much for scrap as truckers and posters that warn of AIDS, urging people to get themselves tested.

The WTC steel scrap, several people said, was heavy and thick, seldom used by them in their furnaces. As one moved around the foundries, amidst dirt and grime, one saw men labour in heat and inhale acrid fumes with barely any protective gear, not even gloves. As scrap was unloaded into the red-hot furnaces, sparks flew, as tough men close at hand cut metal into shape. The scrap, irrespective of the sources, means livelihood for them. And in heaps it was difficult to identify which scrap belonged where. As the WTC tragedy lives on, so does scrap in new forms, new places and not necessarily in sky-scrapers. And, it is business, as usual here.


Farmers threaten to intensify stir
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 10
Thousands of Punjab farmers today held a rally against the “anti-farmer” policies of the Punjab and union governments and non-fulfilment of promises made to Punjab farmers at Matka Chowk here. The rally was jointly organised by six farmers organisations — Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta), All India Kirti Kisan Sabha, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Punjab Kisan Sabha, Khetibari Kisan Vikas Front and Kirti Kisan Union.

By passing a resolution, the rally opposed the Electricity Bill 2003 and the move to privatise the Punjab State Electricity Board.

The farmers have threatened to intensify their agitation if their demands are not accepted. Later, they presented a memorandum to the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P Verma (retd.).

Addressing the rally Mr Pishora Singh Sidhupur, President, Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta), criticised the Punjab government for not fulfilling its poll promises and backtracking from the agreement it made with farmer organisations. The government came under attack for not withdrawing the 4.4 per cent sales tax on pesticides and insecticides, non-payment of bonus announced on paddy in 2001.

The State President of the All-India Kirti Kisan Sabha, Mr Prem Singh Bhangu, demanded that a debt of Rs 9,000 crore on farmers be waived off and the rate of interest on crop loan be reduced to 4 per cent.

‘‘The price of sugarcane should be fixed at Rs 130 per quintal and payment of ‘sugarcane dues’ amounting to Rs 150 crore should be immediately released”, demanded Mr Kulwant Singh Sandhu, General Secretary of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha.

The Vice-President of the Punjab Kisan Sabha, Mr Bhupinder Samber, termed the MSP of paddy (Rs 580) as “un-remunerative”.

Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, President, Kirti Kisan Union, called upon the farmers to oppose the ‘‘evil’’ design of WTO and foreign investment, which is posing a “danger” to economy and political sovereignty of the country.

Among others who addressed the Punjab farmers included Mr Ruldu Singh Mansa, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Surjit Singh Phool, Mr Nazar Singh Saidpur, Mr Satbir Singh, Mr Kulwant Singh, Mr Gurdarshan Singh Khattra, Mr Mani Singh Chak, Mr Lakhwinder Singh Buani, Mr Raghbir Singh Bainipal, Mr Pritam Singh, Mr Bogh Singh, Mr Hardev Singh Arshi, Mr Nirghai Singh Dhudhike, Mr Balkar Singh and Mr Hardev Singh.


Chohan terms Longowal traitor
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 10
Terming Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, a former President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, a traitor of the Sikh community, Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, a Khalistan idealogue and president of the Khalsa Raj Party, said here today that the Akali leader had joined hands with the Congress and backed out of the Dharam Yudh Morcha and the commitment made to the Sikh community. He described the functions on the death anniversary of Sant Longowal by the Congress and the SAD as mockery.

He declared that his party would contest the SGPC elections on the issue of Khalistan for which he had been in the forefront during the fight for the establishment of a Sikh sovereign state in the eighties. He said his fight would be against the present

Akali leadership, which had betrayed the aspirations of the Sikh masses. He said his party had filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the delay in holding SGPC elections, which were due in 2001 but had been postponed due to the vested interests.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Chohan accused the Akali leadership of not doing justice to the sacrifice of Shaheed Darshan Singh Pheruman, who died after 74 days of indefinite fast in 1969 on the issue of inclusion of Chandigarh and other Punjabi-speaking areas in Punjab.

He said the Khalsa Raj Party would organise a debate on the topic “Is Punjab today an autonomous or sovereign state”. He said all parties, including the congress, could participate in the debate, which would be held on September 19 in Tanda in Hoshiarpur.


Haryana Sikhs want separate gurdwara panel
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 10
The Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, which is fighting for the formation of a separate committee in Haryana for managing gurdwaras in the state, has appealed to the Haryana Government to pass a Bill to this effect in the present Assembly session.

Committee general secretary Didar Singh Kamboj, who had come here today to confer with Sikh leaders of Punjab on the issue and had also earlier met SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra, said after the Bill for the formation of a separate committee was passed by the Assembly, it could be sent for ratification to Parliament.

Mr Kamboj said a representation for the formation of the committee had already been sent to Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala. He said the representation had stated that the Sikhs of Haryana had got together at congregations recently and passed resolutions calling for disassociation from the SGPC and formation of a Haryana-based Committee to manage the gurdwaras.

Meanwhile, the committee formed by Haryana-based Sikhs has accused the SGPC of siphoning funds from the six major gurdwaras of the state which are under its control and spending them on institutions in Punjab. He said bogus and irrelevant budget sub-heads were being created to transfer savings from these gurdwaras to Amritsar so that they could be used on institutions in Punjab. Mr Kamboj said keeping this in mind the committee had decided to write to Mr Tohra not to transfer any amount from the gurdwaras in Haryana during the current financial year and in case any money had been transferred it should be returned to the gurdwaras concerned. The executive committee of the Haryana parbandhak committee has also resolved to ask the SGPC to return the funds with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum. It said money taken from the gurdwaras since 1925 should be returned as the SGPC was authorised to collect only “Daswandh” and “Dharmik fund” under the All-Indian Gurdwara Act which amounted to 10 per cent and 15 per cent of the total income of the gurdwaras.


SGPC to recruit Army deserters
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 10
The SGPC has decided to recruit only “dharmi faujis” (virtuous Armymen), who deserted the Army during Operation Bluestar and could not get any job. The SGPC has sought applications from these deserted Army men upto September 30 and they would be provided jobs as per their qualifications, said Jathedar Tohra, president SGPC, while talking to The Tribune at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib here today. He was here to preside over the meeting of the Educational Committee of the SGPC. More than 125 items on the agenda regarding the recruitment of staff and infrastructure in the SGPC-run schools and colleges were discussed and passed.

Jathedar Tohra said he along with Mr Badal met Mr L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister, and urged him to allow more than 5000 pilgrims to Pakistan and he had assured them to allow four jathas of 500 each. He said Mr Advani had also assured them to release the passport of Mr Amarinder Singh, SGPC member, which was impounded by the Central Government.


Panel set up on development of
Chandigarh’s periphery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Punjab Government today set up a high-level committee to prepare a road map for the development of the periphery of Chandigarh.

Sources said today that the committee had been set up under the chairmanship of Mr Jai Singh Gill, Chief Secretary. The other members would be Financial Commissioner (Development), Administrative Secretaries of Housing, PWD, Industry, Power, Forests Departments etc besides the Chief Administrator of PUDA. The committee has been asked to submit a report in three months.

The sources said the presentation regarding the periphery was to be made to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, this afternoon. It could not be made because the Chief Minister was busy in connection with a political function. However, when the Chief Minister came in the evening, he held a meeting with officers concerned and immediately ordered the setting up of the committee.

Officers favoured planned construction in the area and urged the development of recreational parks.

There has been political pressure on the government to do away with the Periphery Act. Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, has been lobbying in this connection and had written letters to the Chief Minister in this regard.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh has taken the plea that several major violations as well as changes had been made in the master plan of Chandigarh by the UT Administration in the past years but the Punjab Government had been wielding the stick against those violating the Chandigarh Periphery Act.


He had no suicidal tendency, says ex-MLA’s son
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 10
Though he was under stress for being “harassed” by some people, Dr Harbhajan Singh, 75, the former Adampur MLA, who has committed “suicide” at his Bhogpur residence by shooting himself with his revolver on Monday morning had never exhibited any tendency to take such an extreme step until last week. He was regularly in touch with his England-based son and three daughters.

Meanwhile, a large number of people from all walks of life attended the cremation of the Congress leader at his native Bhogpur township this evening.

“Only last week I had talked to him for about an hour over the phone. During our conversation he was seemingly depressed by harassment being meted out to him by some people of the area . Chronic maladies like heart, hernia, gastric and prostrate related problems were making his life miserable. But he did not reveal or give any indication that the intensity of his suffering was so much that he would take such an extreme step in the near future,” said Jaspal Singh Bhogal, the England-based son of the leader. He said he did not know anything beyond the details mentioned in the “suicide note” left behind by his father.

Manjinder Kaur, the Goraya-based daughter of Harbhajan Singh, said it is an irony of fate that her father had always opposed the act of suicide by any persons and usually remained in high spirits, even though he complained about the activities of the three accused, named by him in his “suicide note”. On the fateful Monday morning, he had to go along with the Adampur MLA, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Lalli, and my husband to Jalandhar for renewing the licence of his revolver, which had expired about two days ago. Mr Lalli kept waiting for him as there was something else in store for my father and the family,” said Manjinder Kaur. She said a relative was also creating trouble since my father had purchased 16 acres of land recently.

Meanwhile, the Bhogpur police failed to arrest the three accused — Prem Singh, Avtaar Singh and Kuldip Singh, on third day today. The authorities of Bhogpur police station maintained that though raids were conducted at different places, the accused could not be arrested till this evening.

Earlier, a large number of people, including Congress leaders such as Mr Tajinder Bittu, Chairman of the local Improvement Trust, Punjab minister, Mr Santokh Singh Chaudhary, Adampur MLA, Mr Kanwaljit Lalli, Mr Darshan Singh Chaudhary and Dr Lekh Raj, both veteran Congress leaders, attended the cremation of Dr Harbhajan Singh and paid floral tributes to him.


FCI staff stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Executive staff of the FCI from various parts of Punjab held a day-long dharna in front of the regional office of the FCI here today in support of their demands. They also held a rally later.

Among those who addressed the rally were Mr Meghraj and Mr G.P. Mishra, Regional Zonal Secretaries, respectively, of the FCI Executive staff Union, and Mr S.S. Chatha, President of the Class IV Union of the FCI.

These leaders said the FCI management had been victimising employees on flimsy grounds. Hundreds of employees had been charge-sheeted in the past few months without any concrete reasons. The union demanded that such charge-sheets should be withdrawn immediately.

The union urged the management to formulate uniform and scientific criteria to assess the losses of foodgrains in godowns and during transit. Most of the employees had been charge-sheeted because of a shortage of foodgrains in godowns.

Another major demand was to seek jobs for next of kin of the employees who had died in harness. About 600 such cases were pending with the management. The union also demanded the watch and ward staff for huge stocks of foodgrains lying at various places in the state. As many as 500 posts of the watch and ward staff were sanctioned by the management but these had not been filled yet. The Union also demanded an overtime allowance.


India to set up warehouse in Afghanistan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) will make a foray into Afghanistan and build a storage warehouse in Kandahar at a cost of Rs 5 crore to store dried fruit in that country.

The Chairman of the CWC, Mr K.C. Tyagi, told mediapersons at a press conference here today. The funds for the project in Afghanistan had been sanctioned by the Government of India, he said. A delegation would go to Afghanistan tomorrow in this regard.

He said the CWC would also set up “cylos” with a storage capacity of about three lakh metric tonnes in Punjab and Haryana.

An export corridor would be created from Nabha to a private port at Mundra in Gujarat for the movement of foodgrain from Punjab’s granaries.


Roadways depot project hangs fire
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, September 10
The completion of the Pathankot, Punjab Roadways Depot Project (PPRDP) has been hanging fire since the past few years.

The construction of the project started in 2000, with an estimated cost of Rs 4.40 crore. It was envisaged that about 10,000 passengers and others would visit daily to the new bus stand.

Even as the project had generated much hopes among the residents of the area that it would reduce the difficulties being faced by the daily passengers but the delay in its completion had belied their hopes.

The project was to be completed within 20 months but sources said that due to paucity of funds the project could not be completed within stipulated time.

After the completion of the first phase of construction about 80 per cent of work had been completed but later the project got stuck causing inconvenience to passengers. Due to the non-completion of the project the government too had suffered a loss of lakhs of rupees on account of the decreasing number of daily passengers, revealed sources.

The condition of the site of project had worsened due to the recent heavy rains. Recently BJP activists had launched a dharna demanding the completion of the projects but in vain.

Son Raj, a daily passenger who comes from Marara village, said that due to filthy water filled in the ground of the new project, it had become a permanent nuisance and had been converted into a “pond”.

Dev Raj, a resident of Kutner village, said that they preferred to catch the bus from the road, rather than enter the new ground due to unhealthy conditions there.

When contacted, Works Manager of the Punjab Roadways Depot was not available for comments.


Protests against WTO proposals
Tribune Reporters

Sangrur, September 10
A large number of activists of the district units of the Punjab Kisan Sabha, affiliated with the CPM, and the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, led by Mr Bant Singh Namol, district president of the sabha, and Mr Ram Singh Jawanda, district president of the union, today took out a protest march from the CPM office to the office of the Deputy Commissioner here.

The march was taken out in protest against the policies of the Word Trade Organisation (WTO) and to compel the Union Government to reject the “anti-farmer” proposals of the WTO at the ministerial meeting of the WTO, which began today at Cancun in Mexico. The protesters also raised slogans against the policies of the WTO, demanding the withdrawal of the “anti-farmer” proposals.

The protesters sat in dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner and held a rally there. They also submitted a memorandum to Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, regarding their demands, to be forwarded to the President of India.

HOSHIARPUR: On a call of the All-India Kisan Sabha, farmers and labourers staged a protest rally at Shaheed Udham Singh Park here in protest against the WTO policies. Later, they went to the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner in a procession and presented a charter of demands to the President of India through him.

JALANDHAR: Hundreds of farmers and landless labourers on Wednesday participated in a rally here in protest against India’s participation at the ministry-level talks of the WTO at Cancun in Mexico.

Addressing the rally at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here, the general secretary of the Punjab Kisan Sabha, Mr Lehmbar Singh, alleged that the Central Government was pursuing anti-farmer policies under the influence of the International Monetary Fund, which was highly deplorable.

They burnt an effigy of the WTO and raised anti-government slogans.


AIDS detection centre becomes functional
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 10
Voluntary counselling and treatment centre for the detection of immune deficiency virus and AIDS has become functional at the local Civil Hospital. This was disclosed by Dr Y.C. Markan, Civil Surgeon, Hoshiarpur, here today. He said all drug addicts, persons having high risk behaviour, those living with HIV spouse and children and suspected migrant labourers would be screened for HIV at Rs 10 whereas previously it was done in the laboratory at the cost of Rs 100.

Dr Markan also said, however, this facility would not be available in case of pre-operative, antenatal screening and for foreign travel and job recruitment.

He said family health awareness campaign was being launched in the district. As many as 176 family health awareness and 11 treatment camps would be organised during the campaign. A state level function for family health awareness campaign would be organised on September, 14, at Kartoli village (Hazipur) near Talwara, which would be inaugurated by Mr R.C. Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab. A medical check-up and treatment camp would be organised on the premises of Mahavir Spinning Mill, Hoshiarpur, on September 19.


Employees’ unions forge united front
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
After prolonged behind-the-scenes negotiations, various employees’ organisations have formed a united front under the banner of the Punjab Mulazam Sangharsh Committee to make the government concede their demands.

Even the employees organisations representing public sector undertakings (PSUs) have joined the front.

A spokesman of the front, Mr Ranbir Singh Dhillon, said the front had been set up since there were many long-standing common demands of the employees. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the employees’ federations, associations and unions.

Leaders of various organisations, including Mr Sukhdev Singh Bari, Mr Dattar Singh, Mr Mahan Singh Rori, Mr Charanjit Singh Walia and Mr Hari Singh Tohra said in a joint statement that protest rallies would be held on September 13 in protest against the “anti-employees” decisions of the state government.

During the first phase of the agitation, effigies of the government and the WTO would also be burnt. A state-level demonstration-cum-rally would be held in Chandigarh on September 22 to express indignation over the decision of the government to privatise the PSEB, education, health, boards and corporations. The protest would also mark opposition to the agenda of the World Trade Organisation. Employees of various government organisations were being thrown out because of the WTO agenda, they claimed.


Eye camp held for leprosy patients
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 10
As many as 40 leprosy patients were given spectacles free of cost and 16 were identified for eye operations during an eye camp organised at their colony here today. A team of doctors from S.D. Mahabir Dal Eye Hospital conducted the camp.

Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, a former minister, who organised the camp, said about 110 persons were examined and given medicines. He added that patients identified for operations would be operated upon free of cost in S.D. Mahabir Dal Eye Hospital shortly.


No prescription, no drugs
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 10
Mr Anurag Aggarwal, District Magistrate, today imposed a ban on the sale of 34 drugs in the district without the prescription of a “legally recognised” doctor.

Mr Aggarwal pointed out in the order issued by him today that it had been brought to his notice that some drugs were being used by drug addicts.

To check this menace and for public safety, it was necessary to prevent the sale of such medicines without valid prescription, he said, adding that he had also imposed a ban on the carrying and storage of these medicines.


Heritage festival in Amritsar
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 10
The district administration has announced a five-day heritage festival in the city starting from December 3.

The heritage festival was announced by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, in press release here today. It would include folk songs, folk dances, painting competitions, craft exhibition, kavi sammelan and a fashion show.



High Court
Pakistan kids

Chandigarh, September 10
The government of India has told the state of Punjab that cases may be withdrawn against Pakistani children who had strayed in the Indian territory. A communication to this effect was placed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the hearing of a habeas corpus petition seeking directions for the release of Pakistani children from Faridkot’s juvenile home.

Taking up the petition, a Division Bench, headed by the Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, on Wednesday disposed of the same as the matter was under active government consideration. The World Human Rights Protection Council, through Mr Ranjay Lakhanpal, had earlier submitted in their petition that eight Pakistani children were languishing in the juvenile home after they had inadvertently strayed in the India territory. The petitioner had added that the children were liable to sent back.

Sex scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday sought time to file reply to a petition filed by the Chairman of Punjab Human Rights Organisation, Justice Ajit Singh Bains, claiming that a “disturbing communication” by a witness indicated that the investigations in the Amritsar sex scam was not being conducted in a fair manner.

Taking up the case, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, headed by the Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, fixed October 14 as the next date of hearing in the case.


Bamra’s aides remanded

Kharar, September 10
A local court today remanded two close aides of Hardeep Singh Bamra, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in police custody for two days.

The Duty Magistrate, Mr Ranjan Kumar Khullar, ordered to produce Charanjit Singh and Gurinder Singh, both brothers, again in the court of the Illaqa Magistrate here on Friday.

Both were arrested by the Vigilance Bureau yesterday.

Accusing the brothers of being aware of the whereabouts of Bamra, who was declared proclaimed offender, the prosecution submitted that when Bamra was OSD to Mr Badal, both the accused had collected huge amounts as bribe from several persons for getting them employed.

Besides accusing them of accumulating properties beyond the known sources of their income, the prosecutors contended that the accused owned four cars.

They demanded police remand of both the accused in order to know the whereabouts of Bamra and identify the persons from whom the accused had collected bribes.

Terming the allegations as totally wrong and baseless defence counsels admitted that being neighbours, the accused had association with Bamra and they used to only meet him on Sundays at gurdwara.

Arguing that there was no specific complaint or allegation against the accused, they contended that the case in which they were arrested dates back to August 2002 and was already investigated thoroughly and now there was no justification in further investigation in the case.

Counsels also claimed that the accused had no information about the whereabouts of Bamra and they had nothing to do with any wrong doing, if any, on the part of Bamra. — PTI


Charges framed against wife in murder case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 10
Charges have been framed against Sukhwant Kaur, a resident of Moga, for allegedly committing the murder of her husband in connivance with four other persons.

The complainant, Dr Kartar Singh, had filed a complaint against Sukhwant Kaur, who is also a BAMS doctor, in a local court alleging that the local police did not take any action against the accused.

Dr Kartar Singh alleged that the accused Sukhwant Kaur had murdered her husband — Gurpartap Singh — in connivance with other four co-accused.

While passing the order the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, said “at this stage, the court is required to see whether a prima facie case is made out for framing charges against the accused or not.

Accordingly, it is held that a prima facie case is made out against accused Sukhwant Kaur for framing charges of murder. Let the accused Sukhwant Kaur be served a charge-sheet”.


Second court opened
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 10
Mr Mohinder Paul, District and Sessions Judge, Fatehgarh Sahib, has inaugurated the second court in the Judicial Complex, according to Mr Harbans Singh Toor, president, Bar Association, to the mediapersons here today.

Keeping in view the workload in the court of Mr S.S. Panesar, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Amloh, the local Bar Association at the time of inspection of the local court on April 29 this year, had urged Mr Justice Jasbir Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to open a second court. Mr Toor further said the second court would work during the second and fourth weeks of the month at Amloh, and first and third weeks of the month at Fatehgarh Sahib.


Paddy procurement arrangement reviewed
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 10
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Hussan Lal has recommended action against Mr Rakesh Ranjan, District Manager, Food Corporation of India and Mr Jagroop Singh Gill, Secretary, Market Committee Kotkapura for not attending a meeting of senior officers of the state government agencies called yesterday to discuss paddy procurement arrangements.

In a press note yesterday here the Deputy Commissioner said that as 54 purchase centres besides four Grain Markets at Faridkot, Kotkapura, Jaito and Sadiq had been set up to procure paddy.

He said 40 per cent of the produce would be procured by the FCI and the remaining 60 per cent by the state agencies. The produce procured by the state agencies will be stored by them with riceshellers. Charges for the labour and transportation of paddy will be as per last years. Procurement of the paddy is likely to start from October 1 in the district.


Process of allotting rice to mills completed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 10
The process of allotting rice for milling to the procurement agencies in the district has been completed, said Mr Bhupinder Singh, Deputy Director, Food and Civil Supplies, while talking to mediapersons here yesterday.

He said as per the guidelines of the Department of Food and Civil Supplies, no defaulter mill would be allotted paddy. He said the state government had issued guidelines to streamline the allotment of paddy process, so that the embezzlement being committed by the millers with the state government could be checked.


Special ‘girdawri’ ordered
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 10
Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, today ordered a special girdawri to assess the losses to standing crops in six villages of Moonak subdivision in the district.

Standing crops in nearly 5,500 acres have reportedly suffered losses in these six villages due to the entry of Ghaggar water in the fields following heavy flow of water in the river in the past some days.

Special girdawri has been ordered by the Deputy Commissioner for Mandvi, Makror Sahib, Chandu, Shahpur Therri, Surjan Bhaini and Andana villages. All these villages fall in Khanauri-Moonak belt which has a total of 26 flood-prone villages. Mr Sarvjit Singh said the flood water was still in the fields and was likely to recede in three to four days. After that the girdawri work would be started by revenue officials. It would be completed before the end of this month, he added.

The Deputy Commissioner has also issued directions to the Moonak SDM in this regard. He said the patwaris and kanungo would conduct “girdawri” while the Tehsildar and the SDM would inspect the work.

The Deputy Commis-sioner further said following the girdawri, compensation to the farmers would be given as per the norms fixed by the government.


Big units to surrender plots
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 10
Big industrial units who had been allotted land many years ago have been told to surrender vacant plots as they had failed to set up industrial units on them.

Show-cause notices have been issued by the Punjab Small Industry and Export Corporation (PSIEC) to a number of such units in the town.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and Kharar MLA, who was in the town yesterday in connection with a function organised by the Municipal Council for celebrating Vana Mahotsav, said factories like Godrej and Ranbaxy had got large chunks of land allotted but failed to set up industrial units there.

He said part of the land allotted to Godrej had almost turned into a jungle. He said even Mr Ravi Inder Singh, former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, had got a big piece of land allotted in the town but had failed to set up any industrial unit there.

He said the government was interested in allotting such plots to entrepreneurs who were really interested in setting up industry.

It is learnt that the 30-acre plot allotted to Mr Ravi Inder Singh has been resumed by the authorities concerned yesterday. Mr Ravi Inder Singh had planned to set up a tractor manufacturing unit there.

Sources say Godrej had been allotted 73 acres of land and Ranbaxy 123 acres.

According to rules the unit to whom the land had been allotted has to come up with a building within a year after taking possession of the land and production started within two years. However, when units fail to construct a building or start production, they keep paying extension fee which is allowed for a period of two years. If the unit owner fails to meet the legalities set by the authorities concerned, resumption proceedings start.

Sources say 12 plots were lying vacant in the Industrial Area Phase VII, 347 plots were lying vacant in Industrial Area Phase VIII and 12 plots were lying vacant in Industrial Area Phase IX.


SDMs authorised to check petrol stations
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib,  September 10
To ensure proper quantity and quality of petrol and diesel at petrol stations, respective SDMs have been authorised to check petrol stations in their areas. Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, addressing a monthly meeting of district officials here today, directed the Executive Officers of all Municipal Councils to monitor the anti-encroachment drive daily and report to his office about removal of encroachments.

He directed them to submit a detail report about the encroachment on government land in their respective councils and to file applications in courts to get stay orders vacated so that encroachments could be removed.


Junior engineer, patwari held for graft
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 10
The vigilance authorities here arrested a PWD Junior Engineer posted at Barnala, and a patwari of Bir Kalan (Tehsil Sunam) Patwar circle from two different places while accepting bribe, on Monday.

Mr Balkar Singh Sidhu, SP, Vigilance, Patiala, said yesterday, that Jaspal Singh JE PWD was caught while accepting Rs 5,000 at Harigarh village (on Sangrur-Barnala road) from Gurtej Singh of Harigarh village, Gurtej Singh had constructed a shop at Harigarh. The JE threatened him if he (Gurtej) did not bribe him, his shop would be demolished as the land belonged to the PWD. He said initially, the JE demanded Rs 15,000 from Gurtej Singh, but the deal was finalised for Rs 5,000.

The SP added that Bir Kalan, Gurpiar Singh, a Patwari of Patwar halqa was held while accepting Rs 500 from Gurdev Singh of Bir Kalan village to give him the copy of the land record.


50,000 tablets seized
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 10
Mr Amit Duggal, District Drug Inspector, today raided a medicine shop at Kalua Park Market here and seized about 50,000 intoxicating tablets and capsules.

The Drug Inspector seized the tablets and capsules, apprehending that these might be misused as the shop owner could not produce the bills of the same.

Giving this information, Mr Amit Duggal said he had also collected two samples of cough syrup from another shop. These samples would now be sent to the government analyst of Punjab in Chandigarh. After the receipt of the result of the samples, further proceedings would be initiated, he added.


Girl killed for dowry, says father
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 10
Geeta, in her early 20s and resident of the Sultanwind area, was allegedly strangled to death by her in-laws for dowry yesterday. A case was registered today after the complaint of the father of the girl, Mr Pritam Chand. The police has reportedly arrested the parent in-laws of the girl while other members of the family were at large. Mr Pritam Chand stated that his daughter was married to Sunil Kumar of the Sultanwind area in February this year. He alleged that after a few days of marriage, her in-laws starting beating her up for more dowry. He alleged that there were some scars indicating strangulation on her neck. However, the in-laws of the girl claimed that she had committed suicide.


Cop held for sexually exploiting colleague

Gurdaspur, September 10
A constable has been arrested for sexually exploiting a woman colleague for a long period after assuring her of marriage.

According to the police, the victim had complained to the district police chief that Davinderpal Singh, constable posted at Patiala, had sexually exploited her after promising to merry her but was now refusing to do so.

The victim’s complaint was found correct in an inquiry conducted by a DSP and subsequently a case has been registered under Sections 376 and 420. The accused has been arrested. — UNI


Two booked for rape
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 10
A woman of Thathi village under Lopoke police station in Majitha police district was allegedly raped by two persons of same village late last evening. Her husband who worked as a labourer in the local grain market was not at home.

The accused also injured a neighbourer when she tried to save the woman. The accused fled away after injuring her.

A case has been registered under sections 376, 323 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.


Bir Devinder to help end varsity deadlock
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 10
Punjab Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh is again set to intervene in the Punjabi University affairs after students approached him today in Chandigarh and complained that the university was not adhering to the terms of the agreement finalised by him which had resulted in lifting of the dharna by them on September 1.

Talking to TNS, the Deputy Speaker said he spoke to the Patiala Deputy Commissioner today and asked him to fix a meeting with the students and the university authorities within two days. He said once the meeting was fixed, he would try to solve the matter in an amicable manner as student leaders had already expressed regrets for the unpleasantness caused due to the heckling of Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai by them while he was coming out of the university gurdwara.

The student leaders, however, said they might start an agitation again in case the suspension of students was not revoked. Student leader Raminder Singh Patiala said despite steps taken by the government, the university authorities had failed to adhere to their side of the agreement. He said the student leaders could not even submit any representation to the university as their entry had been banned.

Punjabi University today decided to open a number of departments on September 12 under its plan to open all departments in a phased manner. Now only those departments will remain closed to which the core of the suspended student leaders belong. The departments are Journalism, Fine Arts, Theatre and Television, Physiotherapy and Physics (second year).

A spokesman for the university Dr Baldev Singh Sandhu, said the university had decided to open a number of departments, including Defence and Strategic Studies, Punjabi, Mathematics, Statistics, Education, Economics, English, History, Hindi, Pshychology, Political Science, Public Administration, Library and Information Science, Geography, Sociology, Linguistics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Human Biology and Law from September 12.

He said students of these departments would be allowed to reside in their respective hostels.


IGNOU tele-conference from Sept 13
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 10
Indira Gandhi National Open University will organise a tele-conference for as many as 1 lakh students on September 13 and 14. This information was given by Mr V.C. Pandey, Regional Director of IGNOU, today.

Mr Pandey said, “The tele-conference is going to be organised at five centres — Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana; Doaba College, Jalandhar; Panjab University, Chandigarh; Punjabi University, Patiala; and Regional Centre of IGNOU at Khanna. The Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU will address a total of one lakh students from 1000 centres”.

He said the students would be given information about new courses and new facilities being offered by the university.


Chamber for scrapping tax on scrap
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made a plea for exemption of scrap from tax collection at source (TCS) since it would adversely affect the iron and steel, hosiery, spinning and paper industries in the state.

The president of the chamber, Mr P.D. Sharma, said in a statement here today that the TCS on scrap had been made effective from September 8 with the coming into force of Taxation Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2003, though the government had reduced the rate of the TCS to 1 per cent from the earlier proposal of 10 per cent. The sellers of scrap would be required to collect tax from the buyers under Section 206-C of the Income Tax Act.

“The ordinance has diluted the provision related to the definition of the buyer from whom the sellers are to collect tax. The Finance Act had included, among buyers, even such cases where the buyer had not obtained goods through auctions and where the sales price of the goods to be sold by the buyer were fixed by the state legislation. Now the government has exempted the Central and state governments, public sector companies, clubs and Embassies from the definition of buyers for the purpose of the TCS.”

He maintained that the levy of the TCS on scrap was not justified as the industry and trade were highly dependent upon scarp of sorts. The volume of purchase, particularly in the iron and steel industry, was very high and even one per cent tax would amount to massive sums. According to Mr Sharma, the Apex Chamber had been struggling on the issue ever since the decision was announced by the government. Lending his support to the demand, the secretary, SSI, Mr S.K. Tuteja, had also pleaded the case strongly with the Revenue Secretary, Government of India.

Urging the government to review the decision of bringing scrap under the purview of the TCS, he further observed that the provisions of the TCS had not been adequately publicised and affected industry as well as the trade were ignorant about it. The government would do well to put off the effective date for the time being and give a second thought to the move, which was expected to have far-reaching ramifications on the manufacturing and trading activities.

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