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Gangster Lalla shot dead
Rival gang behind killing suspected
Tribune News Service

Lalla’s record

 Anil Sharma, alias Lalla Became notorious with his involvement in anti-social activities five years ago.

  Stole the car of a local DSP and dared the cop to catch him in 2002.

  SSP H.S. Sidhu approached by a local politician to get an arms licence for him. Was shown the door by the cop.

  Left Ludhiana after being booked for attempt to murder and running illegal transport business.

  Arrested in May, 2003, for extortion, kidnapping, violence, hawala racket, fake currency racket, car theft, attempt to murder etc.

  Accused a BJP leader of using him for criminal activities.

  Clashed with Rana group at District Courts complex in August, 2003.

  Came under the patronage of a local Congress MLA.

Ludhiana, February 9
Bitter rivalry between two gangs of alleged anti-social elements led to the broad daylight murder of Anil Sharma, alias Lalla, leader of Lalla gang, in the crowded main bazaar of Haibowal colony here this morning.

Lalla, who was once patronised by a senior BJP leader and had switched loyalties to a serving Congress MLA from the city few months ago, was allegedly shot dead at point-blank range by a rival, Raman Rana, and three of his unidentified accomplices around 10.15 am.

Both Lalla and Rana were residents of Prem Nagar in Haibowal. They were involved in anti-social activities and a number of cases were registered against them at different police stations of the state.

Sources said some gang leaders had recently effected a compromise between the two. Rana had lodged an FIR against Lalla last year accusing him of attempt to murder. After agreeing to reach a compromise, both were scheduled to record their statements to the effect at the District Courts today. However, in the morning Rana allegedly shot dead Lalla with a .12 bore gun.

Mr Sunil Sharma, brother of the deceased, who was a witness to the incident told Ludhiana Tribune that he was travelling with Lalla in their Ford Ikon car and the accused was following them in another vehicle. They were going to the District Courts complex to record their statements about the compromise.

“Rana rang up Lalla expressing his desire to travel with him in the latter’s car. However, when Lalla stopped the car, Rana shot him dead,” said Mr Sharma.

Lalla was taken to the DMC Hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. The assailant fled the scene. One bullet pierced his heart, while another entered his abdomen.

Senior police officials, including the SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, SP (City-I) Mr Harish Kumar and CIA staff, reached the scene to take stock of the situation. Panic gripped the market immediately after the incident and shopkeepers near the crime scene pulled down shutters of their shops.

No one other than Lalla’s brother has so far come forward as witness to the incident, despite the fact that the murder took place in a crowded market.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Narinderpal Singh said the incident was a clear-cut case of gang rivalry. He said the police was conducting raids to nab the accused.

Lalla’s wife and relatives were inconsolable, as they visited the hospital. However, there was ghostly silence at the house of Rana, who lived in the same colony.

The Ludhiana Tribune team witnessed a raid by the Haibowal police team, led by SHO Gurpreet Singh, on Rana’s house. However, no one was found there. The police later raided a number of other places.

Both the groups had a long history of clashes. Among their major clashes, one took place at the Civil Hospital some years ago and another at the District Courts complex in August, last year.


Three accused identified
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
The Haibowal police booked four persons for the murder of Anil Sharma, alias Lalla, this evening, even as ugly scenes took place at the Haibowal police station when relatives of the deceased accused a senior officer of protecting the main accused, Rana.

After probe, the police identified three of the four persons involved in the shooting. Apart from Rana, his accomplices Mohan, Kuljinder and another unidentified person have been booked under Section 302, IPC, and the Arms Act.


Gang wars cause of concern
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
With the murder of Anil Sharma alias Lalla allegedly because of rivalry between gangs for monopoly in the region, the disturbing issue of gang wars, a common mode of life in metropolis like Mumbai, has assumed threatening proportions in the city.

The most disturbing aspect was that despite the crackdown by the police, the gang members continue in their criminal activities because of active political patronage. They have been booked and arrested by the police several times, even left the city because of police pressure but thanks to the politician’s umbrella, they manage to weather all storms.

Though the gang war has caused the murder of a leader after four years in the city, intermittent clashes between different gangs have been taking place. It was in 2000 that a youth, Bau, of Chowni Mohallah here, was murdered by a rival gang when he objected to their activities. Since then the city has witnessed the flourishing of several gangs.

Rana and Lalla were rivals since their childhood days. They used to live in neighbourhood in Prem Nagar and used to clash with each other. While Lalla gained prominence early through political support, Rana was reportedly not involved in bigger rackets. He, however, was accused of indulging in goondaism and a number of cases of attempt to murder, rioting and beating up some persons were registered against him.

Rana had been close to a number of police officials and was said to be the main informer of several IPS level officers. Recently he had come close to the allegedly notorious Nirdosh Dhand group in the city.

Nirdosh Dhand, a former Youth Congress leader, is another name to reckon with in the crime world of the city. He is facing trial in over a dozen cases of varied nature. He was known to be ruthless with his rivals and successfully cornered many of them. He became a victim of inter-gang rivalry last year when some rivals stabbed him half a dozen times. They had almost left him for dead but Nirdosh survived.

A Congress leader is quite infamous for his alleged goondaism in old city especially the civil hospital here. After he gained power in politics one of his musclemen is controlling the area. He was recently arrested by the police for rioting in the area but political patronage was defending him.

Police sources disclosed that political interference was a matter of great concern in the region. They don’t deny that some cops too were under the influence of these gangsters as some of the criminals give exact information about some criminals wanted by the police.

The gang members were involved in illegal finance business, land grabbing, hafta collection and even supari killing. They acted as main musclemen of political leaders during elections and are expert in rigging and booth capturing.


Ramoowalia to contest city seat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Former Union Minister and chief of the Lok Bhalai Party Balwant Singh Ramoowalia will contest the parliamentary polls from Ludhiana.

A decision to this effect was taken by the working committee of the party here today. The party, which is contesting several seats, decided that there could not be any strong candidate than its president from the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency.

Announcing the decision, Mr Paramjit Singh Sidhwan, general secretary of the party, said the decision has been taken in view of Mr Ramoowalia’s cheqeured political life of nearly four decades, his wider acceptability to the masses, his vast administrative experience of industry, trade, business and agro-economy of Punjab, particularly in the hub industrial city of Ludhiana.

Mr Ramoowalia is an MA in economics, B.Ed. LL.B., and is a practicing advocate at Supreme Court and thrice Member of Parliament. He was deeply involved in active politics since 1963 at state and national levels and has held numerous high positions during his long public life.

He was the Union Cabinet Minister (1996-99), Member and Vice-Chairman of National Minorities Commission (95-96), member of various consultative and standing committees of Parliament (1985-1999), and an awardee of Secular Punjabi of the globe.

Widely travelled in India and abroad, he is a true son of the soil and has been vigorously championing the cause of all Punjabis within and outside the country to promote inter-communal harmony and the Punbaiat.

Mr Ramoowalia has to his credit many notable public achievements, including, inter alia, (1) resolving problems of kisans, dalits, backwards, industry and trade, transporters, students, unemployed youths, ex-servicemen teachers, RMPs, labourers etc. (b) upgrading Rajasansi (Amritsar) airport to international level; (c) stopping harassment and loot of Punjab NRIs/PIO international passengers at Delhi and Amritsar airports; (d) mitigating difficulties of truckers, transporters, taxis, canters, tempers etc; (e) releasing from alien jails of Punjabi youths followed by penal action against fraudulent travel agents; (f) regularising thousands of persons of Indian origin in Italy by getting them Indian passports; (g) waiving off the loans of 1984-anti-sikh riot victims up to Rs 50,000; (h) recruitment of hundreds of Sikh youths in Delhi police after 1984; and (i) providing relief to hundreds of married girls deserted by their NRI/PIO husbands, etc.

Nomination of party candidates on other parliamentary constituencies would be announced later.

Present on the occasion were Mr Bhola Singh Virk, Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, Sant Jagjit Singh Lopon, Amrik Singh Verpal, Dr Jagjit Kaur Sangha and Goverdhan Dass Aggarwal, all senior office-bearers of the party.


Park panels told to clear MC bills
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 9
The Federation of Park Management Committees (PMC) has asked all PMCs to submit their pending bills to the Municipal Corporation for payment after carrying out the physical verification of the development work carried out in the parks entrusted to them. The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the PMCs held here yesterday.

Mr Pawan Sood, general secretary of the federation, said the committees should submit the bills so that the MC could make the payment without delay. The decision has come in the light of the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) issued in December 2003. It has ordered that the government should have no objection to the payment of maintenance charges to the PMCs as per the contract agreement entered into between the PMCs and the MC.

The commission has observed that since the corporation had invited the Mohalla Welfare Societies to carry out maintenance of parks at the rate of 50 paise per square metre per month and the rate was later revised to Re 1 square metre per month, the decision of the MC in withholding payment on the revised rate was at variance with the general policy guidelines of the government.

To encourage public involvement in civic infrastructure, including maintenance of parks, the MC had in 1999 promoted the setting up of PMCs. It had signed formal agreements for paying them maintenance charges at the rate of Re 1 per square metre per month. However, the payment to PMCs at the revised rate was stopped in 2000 on the intervention of the government on the ground that the payment of more than 50 paise per square metre was not admissible.

In May 2003, the federation of the PMCs had moved the PSHRC, demanding that the pending payment of PMCs should be made as per the previous agreement between the MC and the PMCs.


PSEB cashier suspended on fraud charge
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has suspended a cashier posted at Pakhowal following a detection of fraud perpetrated by him. The suspect allegedly pocketed thousands of rupees deposited by farmers of the village against bills.

Mr Surinder Singh, Sub-Divisional Officer, PSEB, Pakhowal, while talking to the Tribune said today that Rajiv Kumar Khurana had been suspended and the case sent to the police.

Khurana had allegedly pocketed the bill money of many farmers for the billing period, starting from June to August. He had accepted the bill money and not deposited these in PSEB’s account. The fraud came to light only when he met with an accident and proceeded on leave.

While he was on leave the above said farmers received bills carrying the balance of the last months. The farmers complained to the authorities but did not have any proof of the payment as a receipt was not issued to them.

They were asked by the authorities to deposit the bill amount, which led to protests. A team of the PSEB then visited the affected farmers and snapped their power supply. This led to further protests. Some of them even restored the supply themselves. This made the authorities order an inquiry into the case.

Mr Teja Singh, a farmer, said he had paid Rs 1,040 against his bill but the same amount was added to his next bill. “I went to the board office immediately to find out that there were many others like me who had come there to get their bills checked.”

Mr Darshan Singh, another farmer, said he had paid a bill for Rs 2,252 in September but in the next month’s bill it was shown as balance. Similar was the case of Mr Mohinder Singh of the same village.

The farmers met the Executive Engineer at Lalton office in this regard. They demanded that they should be issued a receipt against the bills.


2 acquitted of murder charge
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 9
Mr Baldev Singh, Sessions Judge, has acquitted Amrik Singh of New Shimlapuri of the charge of murdering his brother Avtar Singh, in 2002, as the prosecution failed to prove the allegations levelled against him. The co-accused, Manjit Singh, a relative of the deceased, was also acquitted.

An FIR was registered against the two at Shimlapuri police station on October 25, 2002 under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC, following the statement of Kulbir Singh, brother of deceased.

The complainant had alleged that there was a dispute over money between his brothers, Avtar Singh and Amrik Singh. Avtar Singh went to the house of the accused at Shimlapuri to settle the dispute. But the accused killed his own brother in an inebriated stage. Prosecution witnesses turned hostile, which paved the way for the acquittal of the accused.


Civil Surgeon’s office raided
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau today raided the Civil Surgeon’s office here and arrested an employee in this regard. The raid took place in the afternoon when senior officials of the district Health Department were participating in a function at a village to inaugurate the ‘Vande Mataram’ Yojana for pregnant women.

Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, Vigilance, confirmed the raids but said they were verifying documents.


Development works initiated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 9
The Punjab Government was relentlessly pursuing its agenda of development both in urban and rural areas in the state and necessary funds were being provided for major infrastructure development projects. In fulfilment of the plans, civic bodies had been directed to step up pace of development and bring about qualitative improvement in civic services.

This was stated by Congress legislator Surinder Dawar while laying the foundation stone of development works in Field Ganj locality in Ward No. 51 here yesterday. The work on sinking a new tubewell in Mittar Sabha Janj Ghar in the area and reconstruction of filth depot was formally commenced on the occasion. The works would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 10 lakh.

Speaking on the occasion, area councillor Sanjeev Talwar announced that projects for installation of sodium vapour lights in Field Ganj and pavement of drains in Kucha Nos. 8 to 16 would also be started soon. While the problem of scarcity of drinking water would be solved to a great extent in surrounding areas with the commissioning of the new tubewell in the janj ghar, the water supply would get a further boost when another tubewell was installed in the Ram Nagar area. The work on providing streetlights in Ram Nagar, Mohar Singh Nagar, Khud Mohalla, Hargobind Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar had already been completed.

Mr Talwar said the decision to convert the vacant site of old jail into a park had been welcomed by area residents.

Among others, Mr Rakesh Parashar, councillor, Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Krishan Lal Papneja, Mr Kewal Chhabra, Mr Pinki Arora, Mr Darshan Kalra, Mr Vikas Dua, Mr Ashwani Bhasin, Mr Vikki, Mr Ajaib Kapoor, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Bobby, Mr Chander Sabharwal, Mr Vijay Sharma Novelty, Mr Gursharan Singh Pappu and Mr Dharmatma Singh Patwari attended the function.


Fauji Beat
Compulsory military training favoured

CONGRATULATING the NCC cadets of Punjab and Chandigarh for winning the maximum number of medals at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, the Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), has emphasised the need for making military training mandatory for every citizen of the country. This training was essential to inculcate a sense of discipline and spirit of adventurism in them.

Today, we are almost on top in corruption in the world. The words honesty, sense of duty and self-discipline are scoffed at by our citizens. So much so that an honest man cannot exist in any organisation. Shamefully, the country is at its nadir in all spheres of life.

We have gone too far on the path of evil, the Governor said on February 1. The only way to bring the nation back from this is to make military training compulsory for the youth. In fact, this should be made a pre-requisite for joining any service. In a few years, this measure can extricate us from the stinking morass that is sucking us deeper and deeper into it.

The Territorial Army and the NCC are the two shining examples of disciplining the citizens, which in an emergency can provide the second line of defence for the country. The best way to impart military training to the youth is to make NCC training mandatory for all school and college students.

Robust Jats

The myth that only meat-eaters can be strong and sturdy, was proved wrong by the Jats several decades ago. Time was when there was hardly any meat-eater in a Jat battalion. Their favourite food is milk, curd and ghee. Yet, the robust Jats have held sway in wrestling, tug-of-war and long-distance races. Several of them have won gold medals in the National and Asian games. And some of them have made their mark in the Olympic games. In tug-of-war, the Jats have never lost. Some of their famous pulls are known to have lasted over an hour and a half.

The other sport events in which Jat battalions always win in their formations are basketball, volleyball and kabaddi (see picture).

Quota in Army

Like it has happened before every election, this time too, a former Governor, Mr Suraj Bhan, said at Ambala recently that the educated and physically fit Dalits should be given an opportunity to get enlisted in the Army. Mr Suraj Bhan should know that all Indians, who are fit in all respects, irrespective of their caste and creed, can be enlisted in the Army. But in the fighting forces, unlike in the civil services, no reservation can be done in the interest of the integrity of the country.

Incidentally, after the 1962 war, some people from Punjab represented to the then Defence Minister, Jagjivan Ram, that they should be give a chance to serve the country by joining the Army. Accordingly, war record of the class concerned was dug out from the historical section of the Ministry of Defence by the Army Headquarters. And it was discovered that one battalion from this particular group was raised before World War I, but during the war, the unit mutinied and killed all its officers. The battalion was, therefore, straightaway disbanded.

Despite this, due to the political pressure, one rifle company from this class was raised in a battalion, under raising, in 1963. But unfortunately the new experiment did not gather credibility. But for the old soldiers’ strong opposition to any reservation in the Army, this would have been done long ago.

In his foreword to the book, “Behind the Scene” — an analysis of Indian military operations 1947-1971 — by the late Maj-Gen Joginder Singh, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who is against any reservation in the Army, says: “If this imprudent proposed political decision is accepted by sychophant generals, I forecast doom and calamity”.


Industry worried over labour unrest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
The continuous strike at Avon Cycles by workers which ultimately led to the management deciding to go for a lockout has caused serious concerns among the industry.

The growing trade unionism at a time when the economy is being liberalised and labour laws were simplified, this action of the labour unions has come as a shock to everyone.

Sources at Avon Cycles revealed that some of the labourers were trying to go slow with their work. This was even after the agreement had been signed between the striking workers and the management in presence of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, the Labour Commissioner and senior leaders of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).

Both the parties had committed that they will go by the agreement in letter and spirit. After the agreement was signed, some of the workers tried to go slow again with their work.

They allegedly started disobeying senior officials, including supervisors and managers. So much so that the production had massively come down leaving little option with the management but to stop the work.

The industry is upset and disappointed that even the political leadership, which apparently is patronising the trade unions, does not come to their aid. A leading industrialist said: “They have nothing to offer us except their lip service.” He regretted that while politicians were swearing support to them (the industry), they were clandestinely backing the striking labourers probably for the reason that they constitute a strong vote bank.

Meanwhile, the president of the labour wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Sitambar Singh, appealed to the striking workers to resume their work and not to get misled by certain vested interests. In a statement issued here today he alleged that some vested interests in the name of trade unionism were misguiding the labourers for their “own vested interests”. He said it was the labourers who will suffer at the end.

He pointed out the continuous lockout in Avon Cycles has virtually forced most of the labourers to starvation.

He appealed the labourers to see reason and resume their working in the mutual interest. While the industry is losing from the strike, the labourers are also not getting anything out of it. Rather they are suffering losses only, which they cannot afford, he said.

A meeting was being held today at the office of the Assistant Commissioner here between the representatives of the management and the industry in the presence of the Labour Department officials. However, the meeting was still in progress till the filing of this report.


MC chief to visit Delhi today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 9
The Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, along with five of his counterparts from different parts of the country have been invited to make a presentation on e-governance in municipal bodies in New Delhi tomorrow. The meeting is being organised by the Union Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.

According to a communication received here from the Under Secretary in the ministry, the Government of India had identified a well-planned comprehensive e-governance programme in municipal bodies.

Besides Mr Sharma, Commissioners of MCs from Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Nashik (Maharasthra) and Bangalore (Karnataka) will participate in the meeting.

It is for the second time in the past one month that the MC Commissioner has been invited to a national-level strategic meetings in the Capital.

Focusing on the agenda of e-governance in the MC here, he told Ludhiana Tribune that birth and death certificates, water and sewerage bills, house tax receipts and salary accounts had already been computerised.

He said consultants had already been hired to connect all zonal offices with the headquarters for quick transfer of information. The consultants would also prepare a comprehensive road map and provide MIS data for total computerisation of all civic operations. The Finance and Contracts Committee of the MC had already provided the necessary funds for consultancy, purchase of hardware and software to implement e-governance.


Awareness camp for women
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 9
A five-day Awareness generation programme (AGP) for women was inaugurated by the Jagraon Citizens’ Welfare Council at Shaheed Rashpal Singh Nagar, Aligarh, Jagraon, under the patronage of its Chairman, Dr Ashok Sharma.

It was inaugurated by Mr Major Singh Sandhu, Deputy District Education Officer (Elementary), Ludhiana, and attended by 150 women and girls.

Principal Surinder Singh, Mr Nasib Singh, Dr Major Singh Buttar, Ms Gurpreet Kaur and Mr P.L. Khalifa, Director, Village and Khadi Industries, spoke on women rights.

Mr Major Singh Sandhu talked about employment schemes for women in the Education Department under the education for all (EFA) project.

Prof Baldev Singh, lecturer in English, District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), Jagraon (Ludhiana), conducted the stage.

Prof Baldev Singh and Dr Ashok Sharma honoured the chief guest and thanked all speakers and participants for their cooperation.


1 dead, 2 hurt in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 9
Mr Dharam Pal, a resident of Salempur village falling under the jurisdiction of Rahon police station in Nawanshahr district, died on the spot when a truck (HR-37B-2781) hit him and sped.

The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 279, 427 and 304-A of the IPC against the driver of the vehicle on the statement of Mr Harbilas, a relative of the victim.

Mother, son hurt

Mr Amarpreet Singh, a resident of Mohalla Anand Nagar at Threekay village under the jurisdiction of Sadar police station, and his mother, who were going on a scooter, were hit by a four-wheeler near Ayali Kalan village yesterday. Both were rushed to Raghunath Hospital. The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC.

Scooter recovered

The Salem Tabri police yesterday arrested Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Baurrahi Kalan village under the jurisdiction of Ahmedgarh police station and booked him under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC. The police said today that a Bajaj Chetak, which had been stolen, was recovered from the possession of the accused, who was intercepted with the vehicle at Karabara Chowk on Sunday.

Poppy husk seized

Division No. 7 yesterday arrested Har Bahadur hailing from UP and recovered 13.5 kg of poppy husk from his possession. He was booked under Sections 13, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. The police said today that the accused was intercepted outside Central Jail while transporting the contraband.

Fraud alleged

The Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajesh Aggarwal, a resident of Aggar Nagar, against Kamal Jain, a resident of Sundernagar. The complainant stated that he had given Rs 25 lakh to the accused on loan but the accused had failed to return the money.

Theft alleged

On the statement of Mr Hemant Ramekar, an accountant working in a computer firm operating from Premjit Road in Gurdev Nagar, the Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under Section 381 of the IPC against Beram Kumar, a resident of Kachnur village in Aligarh district of UP, now living in Guru Arjan Dev Nagar near the Jalandhar bypass in the city. The complainant had stated that the accused, who worked in the firm, had stolen computer boxes between January 17 and 29.


Abolish octroi, says Beopar Mandal
Bhushan Sood
Our Correspondent

Amloh, February 9
Revenue collection from sales tax in Haryana is Rs 4,200 crore whereas the income in Punjab has come down to Rs 2,000 crore in spite of the fact that cement is sold at the rate of Rs 150 per bag in Punjab and Rs 125 per bag in Haryana.

The Sale tax in Punjab on cement is 8 per cent whereas it is levied at the rate of 12 per cent in Haryana, the benefit of Rs 25 per bag does not go to consumers due to rampant corruption in various departments in the state. These were the views expressed at a meeting of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal at Gymkhana Club here yesterday.

The main agenda of the meeting was abolition of octroi, formation of district executive committees in the state and discussion on VAT system, which is to be introduced from April this year. State President Tulsidas Jaitwani, secretary-general S.S.P. Uppal, general secretary Om Prakash Jolly, Mr Chandan Singh Mathardu, convener, Fatehgarh Sahib, the chairman, Focal Point Industry, Mr Anil Suraj and the chairman, Steel Rolling Mill Association (SRMA) Mr Rattan Lal Bhatia, discussed the issues at length.

All members were unanimous on the abolition of octroi which had ruined trade and industry in the state and affected revenue collection.

The traders were ready to pay as much revenue collection through entry tax, equal to octroi collection. It was decided the matter would be discussed shortly with the Chief Minister. After discussion on Value Added Tax (VAT), it was suggested that it should be levied at the National level after withdrawing all it would help reduce corruption, which had been flourishing in the past. It was a pity that only 3 per cent people in the country paid income tax. So far as the deficit in the state income was concerned, the government should abolish unnecessary departments.

The following were nominated district conveners of the Beopar Mandal:

Amritsar - Ashok Kapoor; Bathinda – Mangat Rai; Faridkot – Narinder Mohan Palta;

Ferozepore – Ashok Arora; Gurdaspur – Om Prakash Poddar; Hoshiyarpur – Inder Jeet Saini; Jallandhar – Parvinder Behal; Kapoorthala – Kuldeep Sardana; Ludhiana – Jagjit Singh Khandula; Moga – Subhash Grover; Mansa – Gora Lal; Muktsar – Rakesh Girdhar; Nawanshahr – V.P. Bedi; Patiala – Bal Krishan Singla; Ropar – Shanti Saroop Kaushal and Sangrur – Dharam Pal Verma.

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