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Shopkeepers defy orders on timings
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Shopkeepers and traders of the city today defied the modified orders of the state government to close the shops and other business outlets during afternoon hours by keeping their outlets open.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today appealed to public through all newspapers to keep the shops closed between 12noon and 2 pm and after 7 pm in view of the power crisis.

The timings were modified after a request by the traders and the public to keep the shops opened for a longer time in the evenings.

But even after their request was answered, the shopkeepers kept their shops opened in the afternoon.

While many preferred to keep their shops opened in defiance of the orders, others did so as they did not know anything about the fresh orders. Confusion prevailed among them about the new timings. Some of them were even seen talking to each other over the phones to know about the latest time limit.

All shops were opened in Chaura Bazar, Ghanta Ghar Chowk, Calibre Plaza, Ghumar Mandi, on the College Road, the Cemetery Road and all markets of the city between 12 noon and 2 pm. The shopkeepers expressed surprise about the new orders and said that they were not told that the shops would be kept closed in the afternoon.

Some of them were crying foul over the fact that the closing time in the evening was extended for only an hour while the shops were closed for two hours in the afternoon.

They said that it was difficult for them to reach their shops in the morning, leave in the afternoon and then come again in the evening.

They said that while their earnings were going down with the directive, they were not willing to spend more on petrol.

They demanded that in a city like Ludhiana, the shops should be closed at 10 pm and opened at 12 noon ‘‘It will be better for us as most of the customers start pouring in around 6 pm”, a shopkeeper said.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said that the Labour Department was supposed to challan the violators.

He said that as per the law the Labour Inspector were supposed to inspect the markets and enforce the orders of the state government on the closure timings. He said that the violators could be fined if caught red -handed. 

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Cong leader arrested on looting charges
Party begins damage control
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
In a major embarrassment to the ruling government in the state, a Congress leader from the Shimla Puri area of the city, Satwant, alias Satnam Singh, has been caught by the Ropar police on the charges of looting about Rs 67 lakh from various places in the state during the past two years.

With his arrest, the over two-year-old sensational robbery case of Rs 6 lakh in the LIC office, bus stand branch here, has been solved. The Ludhiana police sources said the accused would be brought on remand here soon. His co-accused Sukhwinder Singh, who is also from Shimla Puri, has also been arrested.

The state has been witnessing a spate of robbery and snatching incidents and the police was thinking all this while that some gangs of migrant tribes or labourers were behind these incidents. The involvement of a Congress leader, Satwant, alias Satnam Singh, who allegedly himself committed robberies has sent shock waves among the police and political circles here. He is an office -bearer in the PPCC and well connected with leaders in Ludhiana..

The accused was allegedly involved in some terrorist activities in the trouble-torn era of Punjab. He was allegedly running a fake drugs factory in Ludhiana. Senior Congress leaders, especially some holding key portfolios in the Congress government and the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), tried to use their position in saving the accused. However, they had to keep quiet in the face of strong evidence shown by the police.

Meanwhile, many leaders began the damage-control exercise in the evening as the police recovered his pictures with senior leaders from a raid at his factory. This is the second major embarrassment for the Congress within a month. Recently, two leaders from Jalalabad were caught with some sex workers at a hotel in the city.

Ropar SSP Surinder Pal Singh told Ludhiana Tribune over phone that Satwant was recognised by an employee of the petrol pump which he looted in Anandpur Sahib. The victim informed the police but it was very hard to believe. However, later police investigations established the truth.

The Congress leader has also been accused of forming a gang of criminals to commit robberies. The main cases involving him include the LIC robbery in Ludhiana, Rs 1.25 lakh snatching from petrol pump in Nawanshahr, Rs 4 lakh robbery at LIC office in Morinda, snatched Rs 4.70 lakhs from a Financier in Banga, snatched rs 3.50 lakhs from a commission agent in Nawanshahr and robbed Rs 2.50 lakh from PSEB employees in Goraya.

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Arrest warrant issued against Inspector Guddu
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 30
The Additional Sessions Judge-cum-presiding officer of Fast Track Court, Mr Sunil Arora, has ordered that non-bailable warrants should be issued against Inspector Shamsher Singh, Guddu, as he had failed to appear in the court despite seeking several adjournments through his counsel. The court has also issued orders to attach his salary.

A case under Sections 457, 380, 342 and 120-B of the IPC was registered against several persons in 1995 following the complaint of Pritpal Kaur at Division No 6 police station. The complainant had alleged that the persons, in connivance with the inspector, had forcibly entered the factory of her husband, Maninder Singh, when he was away and had taken away the machinery and other articles.

On January 12, 2004 the court had summoned Rajiv Sharma and Guddu, following an application from prosecution under Section 319 of Cr.P.C. while Rajiv Sharma appeared before the court, Guddu failed to turn up. He was served bailable warrants with instructions to appear in the court on July 3 but his counsel appeared in court and filed application seeking exemption of accused, with the undertaking to produce him in the court on the next date.

Granting exemption for that date, the case was fixed for July 17. But the accused did not appear in the court even on that date. The next date of hearing in the case is August 7.

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Anti-Smoking Act flouted with impunity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Three months after the Anti-Smoking Act came into being, it has remained on paper only so far as its implementation is concerned in the city. Owing to the non-notification of the new Act by the Punjab Government till date, the Act is being violated with impunity.

While people continue to smoke at public places like bus stand, railway station, cinemas, markets and various offices, government officials express their inability to take any action against the violators, stating that unless the state government notifies the Act, they cannot check the menace.

In the absence of the enforcement of the Act, kiosks selling cigarettes, pan masala, gutka and other tobacco products continue to do business in the proximity of schools and other educational institutes. Not many have put up boards of “Non-Smoking Area” or “No sale of cigarettes for minors here”, made mandatory under the Act.

While some of them have bothered to put up the board, they continue to sell the products to minors. In some cases, children run such shops and continue selling the products to children. It has become a common site to see minors buying the stuff from kiosks.

Under the new Act, smoking is banned in public places but one can see people making rings of smoke on roads, railway station, bus stand, parks and markets. The law requires that no shop or kiosk selling cigarettes, gutka or any other drugs should be allowed to operate within a distance of 100 m from school, colleges etc. But a survey of the city by Ludhiana Tribune reveals that there is not a single educational institution which does not have any such seller in the vicinity. At places where there was no permanent shop or kiosk, there were mobile sellers.

Blatant violation was witnessed near schools and colleges in Miller Gunj, Shapur road, Jawahar Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Hambran Road, Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi and Rajguru Nagar. Many kiosks, which existed near the Ramgarhia College of Education, Millergunj, continue to function from the same place. A school in Jawahar Nagar, another on the Naulakha road have a kiosk each near the buildings.

The school authorities have yet to take up the issue with the district administration. These educational institutional were the main targets of the new Act as several studies showed that children had their first experience of such harmful indulgence at these places only.

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It rains, at last
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 30
Residents of the city heaved a sigh of relief as it rained heavily in the afternoon for more than an hour, flooding streets in low-lying areas.
The downpour came at around 1.45 pm. It caught most of the commuters unawares.

Call it a co-incidence but residents of Dholewal Chowk, mostly women, had consigned a rag doll to flames only a couple of hours before the showers to appease the raingods, which is a medieval practice.

The rag doll was taken to Dholewal Chowk on a bier amid the chanting of “Rabba rabba minh varsa”.

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Supporters lobby for Tej Parkash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Supporters of former Transport Minister, Mr Tej Parkash, who lost his ministerial berth during the downsizing process following a constitutional amendment, are lobbying hard for him to regain Cabinet berth. His supporters are said to have built up pressure on the high command so that he is reinducted into the Cabinet, before the death anniversary of his father Beant Singh on August 31.

Party sources revealed here today that ever since Mr Tej Parkash was axed from the ministry, he along with his son and mother, besides several loyalists continued to camp in New Delhi. They are learnt to have brought to the notice of the party high command, including the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, the sacrifice of Beant Singh.

Sources close to the Beant Singh’s family claimed that although the downsizing of the ministry had the nod from the high command, the local unit of the party had not mentioned anything about late Beant Singh. A close source of the family told Ludhiana Tribune that even the AICC had overlooked the issue. But when it was brought to the notice of senior leaders, including Ms Gandhi, that late Beant Singh’s son had also been axed, she reportedly assured the family that the error would be rectified.

Mr Tej Parkash’s supporters claimed that the high command was only told about the loss of the party in the Payal assembly segment, represented by him (Mr Tej Parkash) during the parliamentary elections. Although it was one of the factors counted during the pruning process, still Mr Beant Singh’s family needed to be respected and honoured for the sacrifice he laid for the country, the family aide said.

The family sources claimed that Mr Tej Parkash might have already been reinducted into the Cabinet had the SYL controversy not come up. Since the state and the Central leadership remained preoccupied with the SYL issue, Mr Tej Parkash’s reinduction was kept on hold.

However, there are apprehensions that the induction of Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, daughter of the former Chief Minister, may pose some problems. Because it is not practically possible for the party to induct two ministers from a single family. And in case Mr Tej Parkash is reinducted at the cost of his sister, it might spark off a fresh feud within the family. The things have not smoothly settled down for the family, as Mr Tej Parkash and his mother are not too happy with Ms Gurkanwal Kaur as they feel that she robbed her brother off his ministry.

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Ghanta Ghar presents ugly look
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, July 30
The chaos created around the Ghanta Ghar by roadside encroachers is increasing with each passing day, thanks to the municipal corporation, which has no clear-cut plans to preserve the heritage of the city.

About five years ago, the civic body had chalked out an ambitious plan to beautify the periphery around this historical monument. A tentative map, showing a mini fountain, was also drawn up. But sadly, the plan has gone into cold storage due to the intervention of the encroachment mafia, which did not find the proposal suitable to its designs.

Whatever little space was available around Ghanta Ghar has been encroached upon by vendors selling purses, newspapers, chappals, fruit and so on.

The vacant lot behind the Verka Milk Bar has been gobbled up by barbers and rehris selling fast food to idlers and lottery addicts, who throng the nearby lottery market from dawn to dusk. In addition, the place has also become a favourite haunt of those self-employed women and children who collect discarded lottery tickets in the hope of finding a prize-winning ticket among the rubble. Many a lottery addict just throws away tickets on hearing the result of the single-digit lottery without bothering to wait for the detailed result, which might enable them to have a prize after all.

The place is also being used to dump refuse and wastage by fruit-sellers lining the Katchery Road side of the Ghanta Ghar. Under the peepal tree behind the tower, a tea shop has come up to cater to the needs of the auto-drivers who park their vehicles at the adjoining auto stand. Those who do not find a parking space at the stand park their autos haphazardly anywhere they find a space, creating a mess of sorts. Until a few months ago, the place was virtually converted into a slushy slum by a hotel in the lottery market, which was dumping its refuse in the vacant lot. Dishes were being washed in the open. But even if the hotel has ceased to function, the condition has not improved much as far as hygiene is concerned. Now, in place of the hotel, a couple of tea vendors, who have occupied space in the vacant lot, are doing the same.

On top of all this, the place within the grilled boundary around the Ghanta Ghar is seldom broomed, with the result that garbage and filth are accumulating all over the place, giving an ugly look to the place. Auto-drivers are even using the place as a urinal.

The foundation stone of the tower was laid in 1904 and it was dedicated to the public in 1906, which means that the monument is going to complete 100 years of existence. The question is, would the Municipal Corporation wake up in time or just allow the monument to be vandalised further? Over to Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner of the civic body.

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Police drive against drug peddlers
Our Correspondent

Dehlon, July 30
Mr Parag Jain, DIG Ludhiana, while addressing a public meeting here yesterday said Ludhiana police had launched a drive against drug peddlers. Elaborating on the recently launched drive Mr Jain said during the enforcement stage the police would track down the major players in the illegal narcotic trade irrespective of their alliance to any political party. “During second and third phases the police would undertake rehabilitation of the addicts and educate the adolescents in this regard.

Regarding the open sale of drugs at chemist shops and drug stores Mr Jain said, “Police will succeed in checking the unauthorised sale of some medicines, being used as drugs and narcotics, at these country only when the proposed to transfer the rights of drug inspection is finalised.”

He said teams of CIA staff would be authorised to interrogate nomadic tribal miscreants, in custody of any District of Punjab and surrounding states. Inter-state and inter-district coordination committees would be formed for the purpose to nab miscreants.

Mr Jain said police Lok Adalat would also be held to solve issues and disputes of non-serious nature. “To save public from undue harassment, these cases would be solved with the intervention of social leaders and elected representatives of the people. The Lok Adalats would start functioning from next month, he added.

Besides Lok Adalats, public meetings, would also be organised frequently by various police officers. An SHO would meet public every week, DSP every fortnight and SSP and SPs would meet people of their area once a month.

Leaders of various political parties had earlier alleged that the police of the area was hand and glove with drug peddlers who were selling poppy in most of the villages of the area. Names of Jurahan, Rachhin and Narangwal villages were mentioned by them.

Mr Jain also set a massive stock of narcotics, at Kaind village on fire. As much as 73 quintal of poppy husk seized in 110 cases was burnt, 12 kg of opium was sent to Ghaziabad for preparing medicines.

Mr Jatinder Singh Khaira, DSP Mullanpur, Mr Gurmukh Singh Cheema DSP(D) Jagraon, and Mr Harjit Singh Brar DSP Raikot, Mr Maan Singh Garcha, SAD leader, Mr Bhagsingh Dardi, Congress leader, Baldev Latala, a CPM(Punjab) leader and Mr Manmohan Singh, another Congress leader also spoke on the occasion.

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Beant Singh’s family heading for a showdown with CM?
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 30
If the mood of quite a few close supporters of slain Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh and their no-holds-barred verbal attack against the Congress Government in Punjab, particularly the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is any indication, the family members of Mr Beant Singh appear to be all set for a showdown with the party leadership.

The dropping of Mr Tej Parkash Singh, son of Beant Singh and a party legislator from Payal assembly segment in this district, from the Council of Ministers has upset Beant Singh’s supporters. As many as 24 Congress activists from the constituency, comprising office bearers of the District Congress Committee (Rural), Block Congress Committee, Doraha, functionaries of local bodies, zila parishad and block samitis today announced that the people of Payal area would observe the ninth death anniversary of Beant Singh on their own at the memorial site in Sector 42 Chandigarh, on August 31. They said the state government would not be allowed to play any role on the occasion.

Even though Mr Tej Parkash Singh and Ms Jaswant Kaur, widow of the former Chief Minister, were not present on the occasion, the party functionaries, including Mr Gurmeet Singh, political secretary of Beant Singh, left no doubt about the fact that the entire show was being organised with the tacit approval and “blessings” of the family.

Speaking to mediapersons Mr Amrik Singh Raoni, senior vice-president of District Congress Committee (Rural) and a member of Zila Parishad, said the Congress government had fulfilled none of the promises made by the Chief Minister on the last death anniversary of the leader. The state level function was organised in Kotli, native village of Beant Singh last year. He said the government had shown utter disregard to the unparalleled sacrifice made by Beant Singh by failing to erect a suitable memorial for the doyen of Punjab Congress at the proposed site in Chandigarh. “We shall not only observe the death anniversary of Beant Singh on our own by making it a function of the masses but would also take up the construction of the memorial at Chandigarh by raising the required funds from the public as the government has failed to fulfil its commitment.”

Without mincing words Mr Raoni as well as Mr Gurmeet Singh maintained that there was widespread resentment among party workers, in particular among those who had worked closely with Beant Singh, over the manner in which Mr Tej Parkash was shown the door by Capt Amarinder Singh while undertaking the downsizing of the Council of Ministers.

“It was only due to the relentless fight against terrorism carried on by Beant Singh, that the Congress had come to power in Punjab. Rather than showing their gratitude to the leader the Congress leaders as well as the Chief Minister are indulging in a mean game of humiliating and berating the family members of former Chief Minister”, they said.

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Plea to improve lot of hosiery workers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 30
The Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) has emphasised the need for an effective solution to the persistent sufferings of thousands of hosiery workers in the industrial hub of the state.

Addressing a rally of hosiery workers, organised jointly here today by the trade unions, including the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the Hind Mazdoor Sangh (HMS), the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the functionaries of the CEC, with its head office at Delhi, focused on the problems of hosiery workers like non-payment of minimum wages, denial of social security cover-provident fund, ESI, loss of work and a weekly off.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Sangeeta and Mr Ravi Kishore of the CEC said that the rally was a part of the nationwide movement launched for the welfare of industrial workers with the slogan of ‘play safe’. They further called upon the trade unions to join hands with the CEC and other organisations to create a conducive atmosphere in which the ongoing exploitation of the hosiery workers at the hands of private employers could be put to an end.

Prominent among other speakers at the rally were Dr Subhash Sharma and Mr Swarn Singh (INTUC), Mr R.D. Nagpal and Mr Pathak (HMS), Mr Kewal Krishan (AITUC) and Mr Jagjit Kumar (CITU).

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When couples turn colleagues
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, July 30
With more and more women joining different professions the cases of husband-wife teams working in the same organisation are also on the rise. While some organisations do not allow husband and wife to work together, others do not mind the duo working together.

A survey conducted by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that most couples had no problems in working together and in some professions it was in fact more beneficial. Ms Rani (name changed), who works in a newspaper along with her husband, said it was helpful for a couple to be working in the same organisation, ‘‘Since there is a great deal of competition in this kind of job and stress is too much it helps to have my husband working with me as he understands my problems. So if I don’t feel like doing household chores, he understands. Had my husband been working somewhere else then it would have been difficult for him to understand my work pressures and problems. The disadvantage is that as we work together we don’t have time to make friends or socialise.’’

Her husband, Mr Jugraj Singh says, ‘‘It is advantageous in more than one way. Since we are familiar with our profession's difficulties, we can understand and help each other solve them by mutual co-operation’’. Talking of disadvantage he says, ‘‘we sometimes feel that working together for long periods makes the adventure go out of out of life.’’

‘‘Working together is a boon than a bane. There are number of advantages as we share our experiences and expertise of each other and also the credibility of one person to another. It helps us to grow both in our personal and professional lives. It helps us in business as one partner takes care of one area while the other partner is free to handle other area. The disadvantage is that difference of opinion over certain professional matters can cause some friction in personal lives at times’’, said Sheela who runs a music shop with her husband Mohit.

Dr A.Kala, a city-based psychiatrist, said there were a lot of advantages of a couple working together. ‘‘There is great feeling of togetherness and one can ask the spouse if there is any problem. Since we are together, we finish our work and do not take office work home. This way we have time for our personal life and are not discussing our office problems at home.’’

His wife, Dr Ravinder Kala, a counseller, agrees about the benefits of working together. But she also pointed out certain disadvantages like the couples taking each other for granted and at times dumping responsibility on the other spouse. At times emotional burden of home problems is carried to the office and it affects the work. Similarly office problems makes the couple lose quality time .’’

So it is a delicate balance that has to be maintained by the couples to make working together fun and equally beneficial for the organisation also.

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Dhillon seeks steps against water contamination
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
President of the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal and member Parliament, Mr Sharanjit Dhillon today demanded measures to curb the menace of water contamination.
He said, officials must be held responsible to ensure that the residents were not made to drink contaminated water.

Mr Dhillon concluded a tour of affected areas and also inquired about the health of patients undergoing treatment at various hospitals.

The SAD leader criticised the government move asking traders and shopkeepers to close their business establishments before 6 p.m. Mr Dhillon observed that this order would hit the already suffering trade and industry in the state.

In a statement issued here today, he said it was an authoritarian order. He pointed out it was the responsibility of the government to provide basic amenities to its subjects. While on the one hand, the government had failed in its duty, on the other it was issuing thoughtless orders, which would benefit none.

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Rotary Club centenary function
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 30
The Rotary International is celebrating its 100th year. Mr Harpreet Singh Kharbanda, president of the Rotary Club, Ludhiana Central, said at the board meeting that ‘celebrate Rotary’ was the theme for 2004-05.

Secretary of the club Pardeep Bansal informed the meeting that in 100 years the Rotary Club had grown from four members in one country to 1.2 million in 168 countries. Project Chairman Arun Bhalla said the award-cum-installation function would be held on July 31.

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2 hurt in hit-and-run case
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 30
A case has been registered at the Sahnewal police station against the driver of a Zen car, who allegedly injured the driver and pillion-rider of a Kinetic Honda scooter at Raian village on Wednesday.

According to the complainant, Manjit Singh, a resident of 85-C, Moti Nagar, Ludhiana, he and his companion Jaspal Singh were coming on the Kinetic Honda (PB10-W5432) when a speeding car (PB23C-1234), coming from the Ludhiana side, hit their scooter, resulting in serious injuries to Manjit Singh. The pillion rider Jaspal Singh sustained minor injuries.

The two were taken to Christian Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana, where their condition was reported to be stable. The driver of the car, however, managed to escape from the accident spot. A case was registered but no arrests have been made so far.

1 hurt: A man of Bhairomunna village was reportedly beaten up by some persons on account of a land dispute on Wednesday evening.

Binder Singh, son of Kartar Singh of Bhairomunna village, has complained to the Sahnewal police that Ranjit Singh, son of Hardev Singh, who was involved in a land dispute with them, allegedly stopped him at a place. He not only spoke abusive language and threatened him, but also beat him.

He was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Sahnewal. A case was registered on his complaint under Sections 341, 324 and 34 of the IPC against Ranjit Singh, who is reported to be absconding.

JAGRAON
Four booked:
A case has been registered by Sidhwanbet police against Tarlochan Singh, Jasbir Singh, Jinder Singh, Amandip Singh of Galib Kalan on the statement of Harinderjit Singh of the same village. The complainant had alleged that the four persons had entered his house and had assaulted him. The case has been registered under Section 452, 323, 506 and 34, IPC.

Granthi kidnapped: Satwant Singh, Kulwant Singh, Madha Singh, Malkiat Singh and Balwant Singh of Nanak Nagri Agwar Khawaja Baju, Jagraon, have been booked under Sections 295A, 364, 323, 506, 148 and 149, IPC by the local police on the complaint of Lachhman Singh of the same area. the complainant had alleged that his son Harjit Singh who is working as granthi in the gurdwara of the same vicinity had been kidnapped by the suspects due to dispute between the old and new committee of the gurdwara. The suspects belong to the old committee whereas the complainant belongs to new committee.

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Steel-starved industry in for another shock
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
The steel-starved industry in the country, particularly in Ludhiana is in for another shock with the Central Government planning to impose “anti-dumping duty” on the import of steel. In case the Central Government goes ahead with it, as it has indicated, it may prove to be the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back and force a large number of steel-starved industrial units in the state to shut down.

Voicing concern over the situation, the president of the Apex Chamber of Industry, Ludhiana, Mr P.D.Sharma, said, “India is the lowest cost producer of the steel and the heavy anti dumping duty is a big protective wall for steel producers who are already taking a heavy toll on the steel consumers by unjustified, unreasonable and arbitrary hike in steel prices”.

It is learnt that the Central Government has decided to impose the anti-dumping duty on the import of steel from some countries, including the erstwhile Russian states and China. It is believed that the import of steel from China will be subjected to an anti-dumping duty of $133 per metric tonne, while the import of steel from CIS countries will carry an anti-dumping duty of $90 per metric tonne.

The industry is already sour over the exclusion of the rerolling scrap from the list of concessional import duty. The industry has been seeking the abolition of custom duty on the import of scrap, which can fill a major gap between demand and supply and help check the steel prices.

Earlier the government had restored the incentive on the export of steel much to the chagrin of the steel consumers. Now it has imposed the anti- dumping duty on imports thus complicating the matter for steel consuming industry in the country.

Another cause of worry for the industry is the imposition of 40 per cent custom duty on the import of defective steel. The steel consuming industry in the small sector has been maintaining that it should be allowed to import “defective” steel as it can serve their purpose to a great degree. The defect is not in the quality but in shape, which can be used in engineering parts.

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Beopar Mandal flays power cut
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 30
Mr Tulsidas Jaitwani, president of the Punjab Beopar Mandal, criticised the state government and PSEB authorities today for failing to fulfil power requirements of the trade and industry in the state.

In a statement here Mr Jaitwani said the latest instructions to close the commercial establishments at 6 p.m. had badly hit the traders besides causing great inconvenience to the people.

Mr Jaitwani said because of severe heat during morning time shoppers normally went out for shopping after 6 p.m. The new timings were also causing big drain of the state revenue, he added.

He also expressed concern over the crippling of the state industry due to long power cuts and steep hike in steel prices.

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