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Parkash Utsav celebrated with fervour
Langars, nagar kirtans, path mark the occasion
Our Correspondent

Mr Ranjodh Singh, president of the Ramgarhia Educational Council, displays a calendar that contains details of ‘baani’ of six Gurus at Ramgarhia Girls College in Ludhiana on Wednesday
Mr Ranjodh Singh, president of the Ramgarhia Educational Council, displays a calendar that contains details of ‘baani’ of six Gurus at Ramgarhia Girls College in Ludhiana on Wednesday and (Below) devotees pay obeisance to an old handwritten Guru Granth Sahib on Parkash Utsav in the college. — Tribune photos

Devotees pay obeisance to an old handwritten Guru Granth Sahib on Parkash Utsav in the college

Ludhiana, September 1
Nagar kirtans, langar and Paths marked the festivities in connection with 400th Parkash Utsav celebrations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in city today.
Apart from round the clock langar at several city gurdwaras, the city today witnessed a series of roadside langars organised to mark the 400th Parkash Utsav of the holy Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Shopkeepers around Ghanta Ghar held a roadside langar causing a traffic jam on the Katchery Road around 2 pm. A couple of langars were also organised on roadside between Jagraon Bridge and Clock Tower. The langar , which was held in the afternoon by shopkeepers of the AC market opposite the Bhadaur House, proved to be a big draw of crowd with almost every passer-by partook the holy langar.

Roadside langars , organised by shopkeepers unions and other religious institutions, were held at several other places on the periphery of city as well.

To mark the 400 years of the Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the day was celebrated at Ramgarhia Educational Complex. The day started with the Bhog ceremony of Sri Akhand Path organised at Ramgarhia Gurdwara by Mr Ranjodh Singh, president of the Ramgarhia Educational Council.

After this, a handwritten Bir of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was carried from the gurdwara to Baba Gurmukh Singh Hall of Ramgarhia Girls College. In the hall, students of the various educational institutions run by the Ramgarhia Educational Council and Manjit Singh Ji (Mumbaiwale) recited shabad-kirtan.

Dr Jodh Singh from Punjabi University, Patiala, addressed the gathering.

Later on, he interacted with the students of MA (Punjabi) and BA (Hons ) Punjabi and talked about the importance of Gurbani. Principal Harmit Kaur and Mr Ranjodh Singh also addressed the gathering faith and devotion.

The departments of English, Hindi and Punjabi of the college organised essay-writing, poem-writing and short story-writing competitions. The Department of Fine Arts of the college also organised inter-college competitions of poster-making, collage-making, calligraphy and clay modeling.

AMLOH: To celebrate the 400th year of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib, a nagar kirtan was organised by the local Gurdwara Committee from Gurdwara Singh Sabha, which passed through the main bazars of the town. The bazars were decorated with flags and people were reciting shabads.

Mr Ravinder Singh Khalsa, member, SGPC, spoke on the occasion. A nagar kirtan was also organised at Bhadson village near here and at Laut village. Sweets and fruits were distributed at the occasion. Nagar kirtan was also organised at Mandi Gobindgarh.



Two booked for violating District Magistrate’s orders
Verification of tenants, servants
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Finally cracking the whip on the violators of the verification orders of tenants and servants of the District Magistrate, the district police has registered a case against two persons who did not supply information to the police about their tenants or servants.

SSP Narinderpal Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that the police was determined to make the verification drive a success and would take all possible action to achieve the target. He said the violators were being identified on the basis of surprise checking by the police or on secret information.

The Division No. 1 police has registered a case under Section 188 of the IPC against Sushil Kumar, resident of New Lajpat Nagar. The police said today that the accused had failed to furnish to the local police the required information about the migrants employed at his dhaba and had thus failed to obey the orders of the District Magistrate.

Ranjit Kumar, resident of New Model Town, was arrested by the Civil Lines police and booked under Section 188 of the IPC. The police said the accused had failed to furnish details of addresses of his tenants to the police in accordance with the orders of the District Magistrate.

The SSP has once again appealed to the city residents to come forward and supply the information to the police. He said the requisite forms were available at police stations, police posts or the single window system unit of the city police. He said the migrant labourers were responsible for the majority of crime incidents in the city and the residents would only be helping themselves by making the drive a success.

He also appealed to the public to try and verify the addresses furnished by their servants by sending a money order for some portion of his salary there.



MC in a quandary over illegal colonies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
With the deadline given to the state government for regularisation of all unauthorised colonies in the mega city by the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, at the general House meeting of the municipal corporation here on July 26 having expired, the Congress- led civic body is in a quandary over the sensitive matter.

Intervening on the point raised by the group leader of the BJP, Mr Parveen Bansal, at the meeting, the Mayor had given a solemn assurance on the floor that if the state government did not come out with the promised comprehensive policy for this purpose by the end of August, the MC would go ahead at its own to regularise more than 200 colonies, mostly on the periphery of the city so that an estimated five lakh population in these areas could be extended basic civic amenities. A resolution in this regard was also adopted unanimously at the House meeting at that time.

It was reliably learnt that the Congress leadership in the MC was pulled up by the government and in particular by the Local Bodies Minister, Punjab Choudhry Jagjit Singh for bowing to the pressure mounted by the BJP-led Opposition and showing undue haste in serving an ultimatum of sorts on this issue. During last week, Choudhry Jagjit Singh, who was in the city, indicated that the policy for regularisation of unauthorised colonies was being given the final touches, but he, however, did not spell out any time frame for this task.

In the wake of several instances of break out of gastroenteritis and other diseases, apparently due to consumption of contaminated water drawn through hand pumps or in some cases supplied by the MC in many parts of the city, the crucial matter of regularisation of these colonies had assumed greater importance. Moreover, most of the affected areas being ‘undeclared’, as the unauthorised colonies are known in technical parlance, the MC had no statutory responsibility to make available civic services, including supply of potable water, in these colonies.

It is not only the regularisation of colonies that the ruling party had not been able to carry through as promised, the Mayor, much to the resentment and heartburning among the councillors, both from the ruling party and the Opposition, had failed to keep the commitments of holding monthly meetings of the general House regularly, convene periodic meetings of the councillors concerned at the sub-zone level, furnish details of men and machinery available for sanitation, sewerage, horticulture and other civic services at the ward level and solve the situation arising from virtual stoppage of work of elevated road through a sub-committee of all party councillors.



Top Cong leaders back Beant’s family
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Aggrieved family of the late Mr Beant Singh could not have expected more in terms of support it got yesterday during his ninth death anniversary programme organised at Payal. Leader, right from the AICC general secretary, Ms Mohsina Kidwai, downwards including the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and former MP, Mr Jagmeet Brar expressed their support to the family, which has been lobbying strongly for a ministerial berth for Mr Tej Paraksh.

Mr Tej Parkash was removed from the ministry apparently for the reason that the Congress candidate trailed from his Assembly segment during the last parliamentary elections. But had that been the sole criterion, there would have been several other ministers, including the Chief Minister’s loyalists, who should have been shown the exit.

All leaders present at the function yesterday expressed their support for Mr Tej Parkash. Ms Bhattal went to the extent warning that if the martyrs families were not respected and honoured it would spell doom for the party. Even the issue of the completion of the Beant Singh’s samadhi also came up in speeches of the leaders.

It was learnt that Ms Mohsina Kidwai, who went to the ancestral house of Mr Beant Singh at Kotli personally assured the family, particularly Ms Jaswant Kaur and Mr Tej Parkash on behalf of the Congress president that their case for ministerial berth was being seriously considered. It was also learnt that during the process of downsizing the ministry Mr Tej Parkash was not presented as the son of Mr Beant Singh, to whom Congress believes, it owed a lot.

It was only after the assurance of Ms Kidwai that the family relented and softened its posture towards the government. Otherwise, the family had reportedly been planning a stringent approach at the rally. None of the family members or loyalists did not raised the issue and they let the traditional CM bashers like Ms Bhattal and Mr Brar to do all the bashing.



President Kalam interacts with schoolchildren
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 1
For the Radha Vatica Senior Secondary School here August 31, was a red letter day because on that day, President of India Abdul Kalam invited them for interaction. Raja Sansi Airport was the venue for this meeting.

Principal of the school Mr D.R. Jalota said here today that on August 30 be received call from SDM Khanna and DCs of Ludhiana and Amritsar that the President of India had invited Principal, two of his family members, two teachers and five students of the school to meet him at Raja Sansi Airport at 2.15 PM. On August 31, 10 members of the school remained with the President at 20 minutes. Principal Jalota after introducing himself to the President introduced all team members include Nidhi Ghale, Ivan Khatri, Simrat Kaur, Navneet Narang and Shivani Sharma, all students. Nirmal Sofat Chairman of the school, teachers Mrs Roop Sharma, Anjna Joshi and Usha Jalota wife of the Principal.

After introduction the President invited questions from the students. The first question was from Navneet Narang wanting to know that why the big farmers do not pay income tax but get all the benefits from other tax payers. Suggesting it a good question the President said that he would discuss with others. Then there was a question on the advantage of nuclear fusion over nuclear fission but the problem was how to control extremely high temperature. President told student Ivan Khatri that a lot of research was going to control such a high temperature. Another student Nidhi Ghale asked about the need of counselling to guide the students on carrier selection.

The President asked the Principal of the school about the subjects being taught in the school.

Principal told that it all was possible due to letter written to the President in which he informed the President that how the school staff, Management and students were celebrating the election of Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister and feeling happiness as two top posts of the nation had been occupied by the two most intelligent persons. In reply of that letter the President said that he will meet the school staff, management and students when he will visit Punjab and that is who the invitation came.



Undertrial prisoner escapes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
An undertrial prisoner facing charges of kidnapping and raping a city girl gave the police a slip at civil hospital today early morning where he was admitted few days ago.

Harvinder Singh was booked and arrested by Haibowal police in April this year on the charges of kidnapping an raping a minor girl. He was lodged in central jail here and was admitted in civil hospital here after he complained of some ailment.

At about 4 a.m. today, he ran away from the hospital. A head constable on guard duty was found napping. The city police has ordered an inquiry into the incident.



CPM activists hold rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Hundreds of CPM workers held a rally against the US hegemony at the Chattar Singh Park following a call by the central committee of party here today.
Prof. Balwant Singh, state secretary, CPM, criticised the war mongering of the USA in an attempt to suppress genuine mass movements and democratic rights in Iraq, Cuba, North Korea and Latin America. The USA was exploiting its bipolar status by toppling legitimate governments to further its own hidden agenda.

Comrade Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, district secretary, said the war machinations of USA and its allies were against aspirations of peace-loving people of the world. Comrade Jatinder Pal Singh and Comrade Roop Basant, president of the DYFI, Punjab, also assailed the role of America in crushing the Iraqi people.

Comrade Shiv Rattan, Jagdish Chand, Hari Singh, Jagdish Chaoudhary, Ranjit Singh Aliwal and Khushi Mohammad also spoke on this occasion.

The participants resolved to fight the self-style international policeman’s role being played by the USA and expressed solidarity with the struggling masses in Iraq, Cuba, North Korea and Latin America.

Earlier, the processionists raised anti-imperialist slogans and displaying anti-war placards while passing through various parts of the city from Bharat Nagar Chowk.



Plea to drain out rainwater
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Although for the past week there has been no rain in Ludhiana, rainwater is still accumulated at the Humbrah road in front of the dairy complex.
Residents say that the water had started getting accumulated soon after the first rain of the season.

The water is posing a threat of an epidemic as it has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Slum-dwellers along the road have started using it for dumping the waste. Even waste water is added to it.

The residents maintained that they had approached the municipal officials for draining it out. Even the local councillor had been approached but nothing came of it. Incidentally, there is a workshop of the municipal corporation near the site.

The water poses more risk as most dairies are located there. Dairy owners also claimed that they had been telling the MC officials to get it cleared, but nobody seems to be listening to their problem.

They said, the corporation had not even sprayed to check the breeding of mosquitoes.

They have appealed to the corporation to ensure that the water was drained out at the earliest and arrangements were made to ensure that the water did not accumulate there again.



Divers denied promised jobs
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Eight years after retrieving three bodies of well diggers, who were buried alive following a cave-in and promised a job by the Municipal Corporation , the government has failed to keep its words.

Satyen Sahani, a migrant from Bihar the diver of the Gotakhor-Mallah community, whose heroic act to recover the bodies brought accolades from the administration. The labourer has documentary proof of saving the life of several labourers while putting his own in danger. Yet the job as promised continues to elude him.

He had urged Deputy Commissioners many time but to no avail. Everytime he went to the DC, he was directed to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, who remarked on his application that there was no vacancy in the corporation.

Sahani said in May, 1996, three well diggers had died after a well which they were digging had caved in.

Officials of the district administration and the Municipal Corporation soon reached the site but could not retrieve the bodies. Someone told them about the divers, who were called immediately.

According to them, the Municipal officials led by an XEN, who is now promoted as Superintending Engineer, promised a cash prize and a government job to all if the three bodies were retrieved.

The labourers demanded some additional equipment but the request was turned down. Some officials of the administration got angry and told them to stop the work. The administration began the work on its own but it failed miserably.

In the process, seven days passed which and the residents of the city staged two demonstrations against the administration. After the demonstration, the services of the divers were again sought. This time, according to the labourers, the administration did as demanded and soon all bodies were retrieved.

The labourers were not given the promised job and since then they had been knocking at the doors of the MC officials, District Administration and even political leaders for their award.

After many efforts the labourers finally managed to get an award of Rs 1,000 each, besides being honoured at Independence Day in 1997 but they were not given the promised jobs. He was given a temporary job in the corporation but was soon shown the door.



At the Crossroads
Poet who talks of relationships sans warmth

In sixties Punjabi poetry, particularly ghazal, drifted away from the Urdu terminology, besides discarding the oft-repeated ideas. Mohinderdeep Grewal composed his first poem in 1963 while as a B.Sc. student in L.R.M. College, (now DAV) Jagraon. He got second prize for the poem at an inter-college poetry recitation competition at Government College, Muktsar. There he met Randhir Singh Chand, a student of the host college, who got the first prize in this competition. The friendship lasted for many years till untimely death of Dr Chand. Mohinderdeep gained from the association as Chand was well-versed in prosody.

However, from Principal Takhat Singh Mohinderdeep gained confidence for composing Punjabi poetry. At the start he gained recognition as a poet of ghazals, although he had been equally interested in composing poems. He waited for a long time for the publication of his first collection of ghazals. His books, Lahu Bolda Hai (1978), Safar di Rutt (1987) and Dil di Parwaz (2002) reached readers after big intervals. These collections of ghazals and poems have secured a place for him in the hall of modern Punjabi poetry.

Mohinderdeep was born in 1942 at Jhok Balochan Di (now in Pakistan) and migrated to Salimpur (Jagraon) after partition. He received his early education first at the village school and then at Government High School, Jagraon from where he passed his matriculation examination in 1958. Thereafter he received B.Sc. and B.T. degrees before starting teaching career. During his service, he did postgraduation in English and Punjabi.

He has always been in search of new poetic images to express himself accurately. It is the turn of phrase that is the hallmark of his poetic expression. He chooses his diction like a classicist but gives vent to his feelings like a romantic.

Nature has always been his source of inspiration as in it he finds reflected human nature. Having been cut off from nature, man has been reduced to a robot. Fear and insecurity plague human mind, as a result of which the man of today always finds himself at the receiving end. His relationship with the fellow-beings has been reduced to mere formality. There is no warmth in human relations, nor is there the spirit of abiding love for close relations. Life has turned out to be a long period of banishment from the valley of joy and delight.

Still the poet has retained his optimistic outlook in the face of the calamities. His Marxist outlook has stood him in good stead while dealing with the problems of life -

Akhaan nun poonjh, utth ke manzil di kar talash

Hanjhuan de vichon dekhenga kinni ku der takk

(Get up and wipe your tears

it’s the time for moving to the destination.

How long would you view things

through the corners of your tearful eyes?)

and then in a poem he says -

Kiho jahe ne rishte

ke jadon milde haan

na gham hunda hai na khushi

buss halaat anusar chehra badal lainde haan

(Of what type are these relations

we are neither happy nor sad

on meeting each other?

Indeed we change our faces

to suit the occasion.)

Now Mohinderdeep is contemplating an odyssey along with his wife, to the foreign lands where his three children live. The real purpose is a search for human togetherness that can make life worth living.

Je chahunde ho, mehkaan bann ke khind jana

Aao aapan phull bann jaaiye baghaan de

(If you want to move about

like the fragrance

Let’s take the form of flowers in a garden.)

— N.S. Tasneem



The Jain muni who lived on water for a year
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Jain Acharya Sehajmuni in Ludhiana on Wednesday
Jain Acharya Sehajmuni in Ludhiana on Wednesday. — Photo by Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 1
Jain Acharya Sehajmuni today underlined the need for peace and brotherhood for the smooth progress of civilisation. The Sehajmuni, who shot into prominence for fasting for a year between May 1, 1997 and April 30, 1998, is currently here to observe “chaturmass”. He used to drink only water during the fasting period.

Born at Lehra Kallan village, near Lehragagga, he re-enunciated life at the age of 20. During this period he studied philosophy and religion. After becoming a muni, he has never boarded a vehicle and has always travelled on foot without wearing shoes.

Jain munis observe “chaturmass” for four months starting from July as small vegetation grows during this period. The munis avoid walking on this vegetation which they believes has life. They stay indoors during these four months.

The Sehajmuni said nothing was difficult in the world and everything was possible. He said although initially he found it difficult to survive on water alone, over a period it became a routine. He said the Jain munis had always been observing a simple and spartan life. He said it was a matter of resolve which helped a person achieve his targets.

He said he maintained his routine of prayers, meditation and study. However, he did not sleep much during this period. The Sehajmuni sleeps for only three hours. He sleeps at 10 pm and wakes up at 1 am. After ablutions, he sits for meditation and then delivers the daily sermons.

The Sehajmuni said all religions preached peace and brotherhood. He said all religious leaders had a duty to preach peace. He said the Jain religion had retained the tradition of renunciation and sacrifice. 



Gang of car thieves busted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
An inter-state gang of car thieves was busted and some stolen cars were recovered from the possession of the gang, according to Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP.
The SSP said in a press release here this afternoon that on special instructions to prevent incidents of theft and check unsocial elements, a team was formed under the leadership of Inspector Jaswinder Singh which also comprised Mr Navreet Singh, in charge, Special Staff, CIA Headquarters and SHO Jangjit Singh.

The arrested have been identified as Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Phase-I at Dugri, Lovely Naagi, a resident of Khajuri Khas at Delhi and Varinder Khushhal Dass alias Bhola, who lives in street number 4 of Wazirabad near Brandi Gaon at Delhi, who is also said to be the leader of the gang. Among the cars recovered from their possession are a Scorpio, one Santro, two Maruti cars and a Zen car. The SSP added that the accused had stolen these cars from Delhi and the city itself. Further interrogation of the accused was on and more revelations were likely in the near future, added Mr Narinderpal Singh.



Jail inmate booked for suicide bid
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
A jail inmate, who allegedly tried to commit suicide by banging his head against the iron grill of the local ‘bakshikhana’ in the new courts complex here yesterday, was booked under Sections 309, 323 and 506 of the IPC at the Civil Lines police station on a statement of Mr Ravinder Pal Singh, ASI.

The ASI had stated that Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Akhara village near Jagraon , was lodged in Central Jail. He had accompanied Gurdeep Singh and another jail inmate Gopal Singh to the courts on Tuesday afternoon where he locked both of them in the ‘bakshikhana’. But Gurdeep Singh started beating Gopal Singh within the bakshikhana and also threatened him. The accused also tried to commit suicide by banging his head against the iron grill in the window of the ‘bakshikhana’, added the complainant.

House burgled: On a statement of Mr Baldev Singh, who lives in New Deep Singh Nagar, the Division number 8 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC against unknown burglars who broke open the lock of his house on Sunday night and decamped with Rs 14,500 and about 80 gm of gold jewellery. No arrest has been made so far.

Fraud alleged: The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 468, 470, 467 and 471 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Didar Singh, who lives in Maya Puri on Tibba Road, against Jaswant Singh, who lives in New Rajguru Nagar.

The complainant had stated that he had purchased a plot from the suspect at Kuliewal village and had made full payment for it. However, the suspect neither got the plot transferred in his name , nor returned his money, added the complainant.

Copyright violation: The Shimla Puri police yesterday arrested Kirpal Singh and his son Surinder Singh, who live in New Janta Nagar on Gill Road and registered a case against them under Section 63 of the Copyright Act.

The complainant, Mr Rajinder Singh, who lives in Phase-7 at Dugri and works as a marketing manager with an auto parts manufacturer at Dhandari Kalan, had stated that the suspects were using his company’s trademark on nuts and bolts and selling these in the market.

The police said today that two bags of nuts and bolts marked with the pirated trademark were seized from the possession of the suspects at the time of the arrest.

Man beaten up: On a statement of Mr Naresh Kumar, who lives in New Shastri Nagar, the Division number 3 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC against Raj Kumar, who lives near Balmiki Mandir, Mangal Singh and Kishan Singh, who live in the Khwaja Kothi area.

The complainant had stated that the suspects had beaten him up at Khwaja Kothi Chowk on Saturday night due to a minor dispute.No arrest has been made so far.

3 bookies held: The Division number 2 police yesterday arrested Parduman Arora and Ashok, residents of Harcharan Nagar, and booked them under the Gambling Act. The police said today that the suspects were indulging in booking ‘satta’ and ‘darra’ bets at a public place in the area and a sum of Rs 12,600 was seized from their possession.

Harpreet Singh, a resident of Dhokan Mohalla near Baba Thaan Singh Chowk, was also picked up on the charge of booking ‘satta’ and ‘darra’ bets in the area and booked under the Gambling Act at the Division number 2 police station. A sum of Rs 13,500 was seized from his possession along with some incriminating slips, the police said.

Knife seized: The Division number 3 police yesterday arrested Raj Kumar, who lives near Balmiki Mandir in the area, recovered a ‘kamanidar’ knife from his possession and registered a case under the Arms Act against him.

Liquor seized: The Jodhewal police yesterday arrested Sarabjit Singh, who lives in Street No 5 of Partap Nagar, seized eight bottles of whisky from his possession and booked him under the Excise Act. The police said today that the suspect was nabbed in Kirpal Nagar in the afternoon.



Answersheets stolen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 31
The police, on a statement by Ms Parveen Kaur, Principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Jagraon, has registered a case under Sections 457, 380, IPC, against unknown persons. According to the complainant 28 bundles of answersheets, kept for conducting examination of matric, have been stolen. No arrests have been made.

Car stolen: A Maruti (PB 10 AK 9111) has been stolen by some unknown person. The Dakha police has registered a case.Radhey Sham Maheshwari of Ludhiana in complaint said he had parked his car in the compound of Baba Haveli restaurant near Mullanpur but when came out he found the car stolen.



Woman, daughter die after taking tea laced with poison
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 1
Sarbjit Kaur and her mother Paramjit Kaur died after taking tea instantly whereas Jagdip Kaur, daughter of Paramjit Kaur, is struggling with life and admitted to a hospital in Ludhiana.

The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 302, 307 of the IPC against some unknown person at the statement of Harpreet Singh husband of Sarbjit Kaur, according to a press statement issued by Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Jagraon. According to Harpreet Singh, someone has put poison in their tea.

Liquor seized: Sukhdev Singh, Head Constable of Jagraon police station, arrested Jasdeep Singh alias Bara and seized from him 21 bottles of countrymade liquor which he was carrying on his cycle. The police has registered a case under Sections 61, 1, 14 of the Excise Act and also impounded his cycle.



Industry welcomes foreign trade policy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Welcoming the new foreign trade policy announced by Commerce Minister Kamal Nath industrialists here said it would not only provide impetus to exports, it would also help industry emerge more competitive.

Mr Vinod K. Thapar, President, Knitwear Club, said, “industrialists here were fearing that the incentive in the form of DEPB would be withdrawn. The government has left it untouched, which is a very highly positive step.”

Knitwear industry also welcomed the withdrawal of fabric tax on exports, which, they said, would raise margins, thereby, making the industry more competitive.

The Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association said various measures like freeing the exporters from the requirements of bank guarantee are welcome steps. EOUs will not be covered under the purview of service tax, which is another welcome measure, the association said.

The association also hailed the recent announcement by the government to set up a National Commission to examine the problems being faced by units in unorganised and informal sector.

President of the association Gurpargat Singh Kahlon said in a press release that it was the first time the Central government had shown concern towards the woes of small scale industrial sector. It is a step taken in the right direction and would help the small scale sector emerge competitive, he said.

Mr Kahlon emphasised on the need to conduct a study on the SSIs so as to find out the impediments to its growth. This, however, he said, would be possible only if there was a single platform on national level where key concerns of the SSIs could be addressed.

He also suggested that representatives from small scale units from various states be included in the commission and said that the commission must be granted a legal status.

The association also welcomed the Prime Minister’s views regarding access to affordable credit, marketing support and modern technology for the small scale sector.



Chamber wants steel export subsidies withdrawn
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 31
The Patiala Chamber, at its executive meeting, has welcomed the reduction in customs duty on imported steel scrap and rolling material. The policy of free import of raw material for the steel industry will bring down prices, said Mr Dinesh Gupta, president of the chamber, in a press note here today.

He said the Central Government had left the DEPB benefit/subsidies on exports, given to steel exporting units, untouched. “Why are we selling our steel products 22 per cent cheaper in the international market vis-a-vis our local market. Exporting at lower rates at the cost of the domestic market is what fuels price hike and inflation rates in India,” he maintained.

He said the June 2004, notification, restoring the DEPB benefits on steel exports with retrospective effect from March, 2004, needed an immediate review. “The chamber is not against exports, but subsidised exports at the cost of the domestic market which has made the steel trade a ‘satta bazar’ needs a review”, he added the meeting appealed to the Central Government to immediate withdraw the DEPB benefits on steel exports. This one step would not only remove the discrepancy of 22 per cent difference in rates, but also bring down the current rising price index and steel prices. 



INTUC seeks ESI cover for pvt sector workers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
INTUC, Punjab, and the labour and employment cell of the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee, have sought a comprehensive ESI coverage for industrial workers in the private sector, particularly in the hosiery industry.

These bodies have called upon private employers to come forward and extend cooperation for the implementation of the Employees State Insurance Scheme under the ESI Act so as to provide social security to the workers, free medical treatment in ESI hospitals and outdoor medical facility in ESI dispensaries.

In a joint statement here today, INTUC Chairman Balwant Rai Kapoor and its General Secretary, Mr Shiv Kumar Gupta, stated that the ESI scheme was applicable to those industrial units where electric power was used and 10 or more workers were employed, whether on fixed wages or on a contractual basis. Employees drawing monthly wages up to Rs 6,500 were covered under the scheme in which 1.75 per cent of wages were contributed by the workers while 4.75 per cent wages came from the employers.

Making an appeal to the private sector employers not to put obstacles in the implementation of the scheme, they said against a small contribution of 6.5 per cent of the wages, the workers were not only entitled to comprehensive free medical cover, but also pension was payable to the surviving family member in case of death of the wage earner.

In addition, full medical cover was provided to family members and dependents of the contributing worker, besides other facilities like sickness benefits and cash benefits in case of chronic diseases.

The union leaders said even the employers stood to benefit from the scheme which had provisions for the payment of disability benefits in case of injury while working, and family pension to widows or the next of kin till they attained the age of 18 years, maternity benefits to women workers up to 26 weeks and even funeral expenses.


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