L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PSEB employees ‘gherao’ steel factory
Bhushan Sood

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 2
Several hundred employees under the banner of the Joint action Committee (JAC) of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) organized a gherao of Modern Steels Limited here today. They also staged a dharna in front of the gate of the mill. Employees were holding banners proclaiming slogans against the privatisation of the board. They told the experts from America to “go back” who were holding a meeting with engineers inside the mill.

Mr Karamchand Khanna, state chief organiser of the Joint Action Committee, its circle chief of Junior Engineer Association Davender Singh, Circle President Technical Services Union Prithi Pal Singh and Employees Federation Chief Gurpal Singh Mander addressed the employees. They declared to intensify the stir and hold a dharna at the circle level at Khanna on March 9. The Indian National Coordination Committee of Engineers and employees has already given a programme to hold circle level dharnas all over the country.

Talking to the mediapersons, leaders of different unions pointed out that the PSEB, which had been suffering loss of Rs 18,000 crore per annum, had brought Rs 262 crore as profit, which can be raised further with the joint efforts of engineers and employees. The board employees working on live lines have provided 100 per cent electrification in 1976 in the state. The engineers of the boards from 1965 to 1978 have succeeded to control the losses of the power and its generation has been raised from 100 mega watt to 5700 mega watt. The per capita power consumption in the state is 882 per unit, which is higher than other states of the country and has been made available at lowest cost.

The leaders flayed the policy of privatisation of public sector institutions “under the garb of improvement of services”. “The government has no right to hand over the PSEB property worth Rs 35000 crore which included hydro projects and thermal plants to Private hands. The experiment had already failed in Delhi, Orissa, Rajasthan and other states”, they maintained.

It was the third meeting of foreign experts after meetings of Ludhiana and Amritsar with the engineers of the Khanna circle which included sub-divisions of Khanna, Amloh, Bhadson, Mandi Gobindgarh and Tohra.

When contacted Mr. Jaipal Superintending Engineer (SE) asserted that I Sic and Bill griffon from the USA had not come to address the engineers, and the employees’ leaders have been informed about the postponement of the meeting. But employees were not convinced and remained adamant to hold a Dharna.



PFA serves notice on state government
Leopard killing incident
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
The killing of a leopard in a school in Phillaur continues to haunt the Phillaur police as well as the state wildlife department with the People for Animals (PFA) serving a notice on the state government demanding action against the officials found guilty.

Terming the killing as a “negligent, irresponsible and cowardly act” by Wildlife department, Chief Wildlife Warden, District Forest Officer, Jalandhar and a DSP of Phillaur, the PFA has demanded that the officials should be booked for violating the Wildlife Protection, Act otherwise it would be forced to take the case to the High Court.

A leopard had strayed into a school building in Phillaur on January 24 this year. It was spotted by the children and the police was called and ultimately the animal was shot dead.

In the notice the PFA has stated that there were several opportunities for the three officials to save the life of the leopard, but instead of acting in a responsible manner, they terrorised the animal who ran for shelter thus creating panic in the school and ultimately without any order from the competent authority, the police shot the animal.

No tranquiliser was used by them in violation of the provisions of the Act. The PFA claimed that the animal was not a man-eater, as it didn’t attack the children or any one else, further, it was locked in a room of the school but later on, the door of the said room was opened which again showed the negligence on the part of the persons concerned.

It has called upon the state government to look into the matter and to order an inquiry in the entire episode and take action under the Wildlife Protection Act by registering a case against the “guilty” officers within 60 days of the receipt of this notice, failing which they would be forced to approach the High Court.



Congress celebrates while Akalis allege rigging
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
It was a festive time in the Congress camp as the news of the landslide victory of the party candidate in Ajnala byelections came in. At the same time, the mood in Akali-BJP camp was sombre. As the result was out, the Congress workers started celebrating the victory beating drums and distributing sweets. Some Akali and BJP leaders alleged that the ruling party had "rigged the elections" and manipulated the result.

Senior Congress leaders, including the Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer, senior vice presidents of the Pradesh Youth Congress Pawan Dewan and Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Jogpal Singh Khangura, Mr Krishen Kumar Bawa and others in separate systems hailed the Congress victory, describing it as the clear and categoric endorsement of the policies of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Mr Dawer pointed out that the Akali leaders like Mr Parkash Singh Badal and others were terming the Ajnala byelection as the referendum for the Capt Government. "Now the Akalis and the BJP must concede defeat", he said, while adding that the people of Ajnala have reposed unfailing faith in the government.

Mr Khangura, a senior leader from Kila Raipur, observed that it was high time for Mr Badal to quit politics. He observed the way Mr Badal levelled allegations against the government and issued threats only proved that he was feeling too desperate and defeated. He claimed that Mr Badal had lost the confidence of the people even in the rural areas.

Mr Dewan said with the thumping win in Ajnala, the Chief Minister has established himself as a mass leader. He pointed out Capt Amarinder had become quite popular with the masses, particularly in the rural areas after the repealing of the Water Treaties which saved the farmers of the state from being robbed off their water.

Mr Tikka said that the Akalis were feeling threatened as their existence was at stake. He pointed out if the Congress could win in Ajnala, considered to be an Akali bastion, it can always win in other parts of the state. The Akalis, he said, have been left issueless.

Reacting to the result, senior BJP leader and former MP Lala Lajpat Rai observed that this could not be termed as a verdict in favour of the government. He alleged that the way the state machinery was misused in Ajnala to favour the ruling party had made it too clear as who was going to win. 



Trade bodies criticise govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 2
Activists of various trade organisation today criticised the UPA government for its alleged failure to check the rise in prices of essential commodities, in a demonstration held at Chattar Singh Park.

They alleged that with the government policies on privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation, a large number of industrial units have been closed.

Addressing the demonstration, Mr Tarsem Singh Jodhan, former MLA and vice-president of CITU said the government had failed to fulfil the promises made during the elections. Due to the wrong policies of the government, unemployment and illiteracy was increasing. He stressed the need to implement the act formulated in 1996 for the welfare of the labourers.

Mr Mohinder Singh, president and Mr Baldev Singh Latala, secretary of Jamhouri Kissan Sabha favoured the waiving off the loans of farmers, ensuring proper electricity supply and fixing the right price for agriculture produce.



College teachers go on mass leave today
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 2
College teachers all over Punjab and Chandigarh will proceed on mass casual leave and hold a protest rally tomorrow at Bathinda, the constituency of the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla.

Prof Kuldip Singh, executive committee member, and Prof Parminder Singh, area secretary, Punjab University, Chandigarh, said 5,000 teachers working in more than 160 non-government colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh would proceed on mass casual leave and hold a rally at Bathinda.

The rally would be held in protest against the governments failure to ensure regular and timely disbursement of salary and its inability to have a meaningful dialogue on the issue of Johl Committee recommendations.



Class X, XII board exams commence
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, March 2
The PSEB board examinations of Classes X and XII commenced in the city today. The Class X students appeared for English paper in the morning and students of Class XII appeared for different papers in the afternoon. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

A visit to examination centres at the local Arya Senior Secondary School and Multipurpose School revealed that the main gates had been closed and due to the imposition of Section 144 there were not many people present around the examination centres.

The Class XII students (Arts) took history examination whereas their counterparts in science group took physics examination and commerce group students appeared for Theory and Practice of Management paper in the afternoon shift.

All arrangements for examinations had been completed yesterday. The Board Examination Controller, Ms Sukhwinder Kaur Sariya, said 4,48,000 candidates are appearing for the examinations. Out of these 3,62,039 candidates are regular candidates whereas 8,8,415 candidates are appearing as private candidates. In addition to it 22,754 students from Open School are also taking the board examination being conducted by PSEB , Mohali.”

About 2,960 examination centres have been set up out of which 1,463 are for Class X examination and are working in single shift while 1,291 will serve as centres for both Class X and XII exams.



Cable subscribers taken for a ride
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
Hundreds of cable subscribers having the connection of Win Cable have been taken for a ride with the services being suspended for the past two days. The subscribers alleged that they had been trying to contact the operator but were unable to trace him.

Mr Gurinder Singh a resident of the Model Town area said, “The cable operator has not been providing any service while he takes the monthly charges in advance”.

Mr Arvind Kumar, another resident of Dugri, also criticised the cable operator saying that the services were suspended at a crucial time when the votes were being counted for the Ajnala by-election. He urged the district administration to intervene and prevent the operator from holding the subscribers to ransom. The residents, he said, have decided to approach the consumer court as this is a typical case of the failure on part of the service provider to provide services to the customers.

Mr Amanpal Singh, Managing Director, Win Cable, which is the main service provider, said they had suspended the services as the concerned agent had not deposited the subscription for the last two months. He pointed out that the particular agent had been taking the subscriptions in advance while not depositing it with the service provider. Hence, the service was suspended.



Pak industrialists optimistic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
Traders and industrialists of India and Pakistan are feeling optimistic about the growing cooperation between the two countries. During a regional conference on oilseed production held in Lahore, it was felt that if the two countries cooperated with each other it would be in the best economic interests of the two countries.

A.R. Sharma, Vice-President of the Solvent Extractors Association of India, who led an 18-member delegation to the conference, said the participants stressed the need for increased economic cooperation while keeping in view the rapid change in global economic environment.

Mr Sharma said it was observed in the conference that the cooperation between the two neighbours was not a choice but a necessity as there was potential for increasing the bilateral trade between India and Pakistan from the current $500 million.

He said the governments in the two countries needed to address the basic concerns of each other by identifying goods presently being imported from far-off countries. He pointed out that if these are mutually sourced by the two countries from each other these would be cost-effective. He said the existing road and rail links could be utilised for better trade while pointing out there were seven such road and rail links between the two countries.

Mr Sharma said the participants at the conference evinced keen interest on the vegetable oil produced in India and the progress made in this sector, particularly in the field of processing of the rice bran oil for human consumption. Several participants expressed the desire to set up such units in Pakistan. 



Members allege bungling of funds in Satluj Club
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, March 2
All does not seem to be well with the local Satluj Club. If allegations levelled against some of the previous office-bearers of the club were to be believed, then misappropriation of funds to the tune of several lakhs had taken place in the club in the last few years with the supervisory officials allegedly looking the other way till recently.

At the general body meeting of the club, which is basically an officers’ club and has the Deputy Commissioner as the ex-officio president, quite a few members alleged that club funds amounting to nearly Rs 40 lakh had been squandered away by some office-bearers.

Some of the senior members of the club alleged that in 2001, when Sonu Nigam had come to perform on the New Year Eve, there was misappropriation of funds to the tune of lakhs of rupees.

These members said they had raised the issue in the previous general body meeting and GA to the Deputy Commissioner was made the inquiry officer but nothing had been done in this regard so far.

One of the members, on the condition of anonymity, alleged that the then office-bearers had taken no receipts from the artists against the payments made. ‘‘The general secretary and treasurer are supposed to be the custodians of funds. If there are any irregularities then they should be held responsible. In the absence of these two, some of the payments were made by the joint secretary. The money belongs to the members and if there is any misappropriation of funds, we have the right to ask about it’’, he said.

In response to the members’ demand, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, has constituted a three-member committee to look into the matter. According to sources, the committee found certain irregularities in the amount spent at that particular function. The part-findings of the inquiry have been submitted to the president of the club. The club office-bearers, allegedly involved in the misappropriation of funds, were asked to present their point of view to the committee. And, they have already clarified their stand in writing. The final report of the committee is, however, still awaited.

The members said action must be taken against those found guilty.



Budget disappoints MCPI
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, general secretary of the Marxist Communist Party of India and Mr Kuldip Singh, state secretary, in a joint statement described the central Budget presented in the parliament as “anti-people and pro-capitalist and pro-foreign capital budget which has been prepared at the dictates WTO, the IMF and the World Bank in which there is no major relief to the working people and industrial workers”.

The Budget, they said, was devoid of any schemes to reduce unemployment or provide unemployment allowance to the unemployed. The Budget would further push up the petrol prices, which would affect over all price-index, thus hard hitting the poorer and middle class. The levy of 0.1 per cent withdrawal of more than Rs 10,000 transaction would encroach upon the pockets of middle class and would not affect, circulation of black money as claimed by Finance Minister. While concessions and duty cutts have been given to industrialists, traders and foreign investors, there is absence of similar proposals for agriculture and farming community. There is no ray of hope from this dream Budget. Similarly high rates of growth are estimated and projected but never realised, rather actually at the end of the year slow down and sluggish are the result of the implementation of pro-capitalistic and pro-imperialistic policies, both the readers said.

Mr Lyallpuri and Mr Kuldip Singh condemned the police using water-cannons at Akali-leaders led by Mr P.S. Badal going to present memorandum to Governor against the election irregularities at Ajnala.

Both leaders expressed their concern over the notices issued by the Social Welfare Department for refund of money from the old-age pensioners in the villages. This has been done on the basis of party factionalism and political consideration in villages government should stop this recovery forthwith.



PAU flower show concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
The two-day flower show that showcased a wide variety of flowers concluded at Punjab Agricultural University here today. Dr Amrik Singh Sandhu, Director, Directorate of Extension Education, was the chief guest at the closing ceremony.

Various institutions as well as individuals participated in the flower show that has now become an annual affair at PAU. Children also took part in contests organised under various categories.

The show also received entries from Patiala and Ropar districts. Apart from a wide range of saplings, cut flowers, flower arrangements, potted flowers, and flower ornaments were also put on display. The flower ornament category had bracelets, earrings, and a waist belt, made of colourful flowers.

The show that evoked an overwhelming response had special visitors in KG students of a city school. Mr G.S. Sidhu, Assistant Professor, Floriculture and Landscaping Department, said this time they received good quality of gerbera flowers for the show.

He said the show holds a great significance for the Directorate of Extension Education, as it caters to common people.

A wide range of flowers and other plants were also put on sale by private firms at different stalls. These stalls had everything relating to floriculture and landscaping. People flocked these stalls for buying gardening tools like sprinklers and lawn mowers and also fertilisers, manure, artificial and dry flowers. A stall of paintings was also put up for the first time at the show.

At the closing ceremony, Dr Sandhu gave away prizes to 90 first prize winners and 134 second prize winners. The winners were presented certificates and trophies.



Gurmeet Bhari cremated

Khamano, March 2
Former political secretary, Gurmeet Singh Bhari was cremated at his native Bhari village near here. He was a close confidant of the former Chief Minister, late Beant Singh, and at present he was MD of Co-operative Bank, Fatehgarh Sahib.

Wife of late Beant Singh, Mrs Jaswant Kaur, Minister of Prisons, Malkit Singh Birmi, former MP, Shamsher Singh Dullo, Chief Parliament Secretary, Dr Harbans Lal, Parliamentary Secretary, Surinder Dabur, DC, Fatehgarh Sahib, S.K. Ahluwalia, DC, Nawanshahar, Mr Grewal, DC, Hoshiarpur, Parliamentary Secretary, Harbans Kaur Dullo, MLA Malkit Singh Dakha, vice-president of state Congress, Avtar Singh Brar, Mayor Ludhiana, Nahar Singh Gill, SGPC member Didar Singh Bhatti and other leaders, besides thousands of people attended the funeral procession. Gurmeet Singh is survived by his wife and three daughters. All shops situated at Bhari village remained closed as a mark of respect to the departed soul. OC



Banda Bahadur function on June 9
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 2
The All-India Bairagi Mahan Mandal has decided to observe the martyrdom day of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in Delhi on June 9. More than 1000 members of Bairagi community would take part in the function. The annual ‘Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Award’ would be presented to a distinguished personality at this occasion.

This was stated by Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the mandal here today after a meeting of the central committee of the body was held at Gurgaon in Haryana. He said the meeting had also resolved to take up the issue of raising a suitable memorial of Baba Banda Bahadur at Tarpolia Ground in Delhi where the saint warrior was tortured to death.

Mr R.K. Sharma from Delhi presided over the meeting, which was attended by functionaries of Bairagi mandal from several states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttaranchal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. 



Sitar maestro speaks up for animals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
Living legend and sitar maestro, Ravi Shankar has numerous music awards, including three Grammies, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan. He is also a nominee for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. But his latest honour is not for music but for his efforts to help animals. The Maestro, a member of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India, since the group began five years ago, was today named a patron of PETA India. He is the first to receive this honour, a pess note issued by the PETA said here today.

Ravi Shankar’s work for animals includes breaking a “ban” on appearing in advertisements to appear in a PETA print ad with daughter Anoushka. He will also do a TV public service announcement (PSA), to urge the Indian Government to improve laws to protect animals. In the TV announcement, Maestro Shankar exclaims: “Let’s bring harmony in animals’ lives”. He speaks about the need for the government to increase the penalty for inflicting cruelty to animals, which is currently only Rs 50, even for the most heinous crimes.

Maestro Ravi Shankar also sent a written appeal to almost two lakh people for elephants. “They are poisoned in Kerala, captured and beaten in Karnataka and run down by trains in Uttar Pradesh, as forests are torn down. Most zoos keep elephants constantly in chains and deny them freedom even to walk or bathe, Circuses and roadside shows force them to perform silly tricks. Fearing being beaten with an iron rod or hook they perform”, he wrote.

Ravi Shankar has also spoken out in support of PETA’s Supreme Court case against cruel treatment of animals during transport and slaughter throughout the country. As a result of this case, the Supreme Court pulled up the Animal Welfare Board of India for failing to conduct regular inspections of abattoirs as they are supposed to. “Animal cruelty is completely out of tune”, said Ravi Shankar on hearing this news. “I will, of course, continue to speak out for the poor lion in the circus cage, the cows suffering in illegal transport and all those other animals who are abused and exploited daily, who cannot speak for themselves.”



Women apprised of their legal rights
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 2
A seminar was conducted by the District Legal Services Authority, Ludhiana, at Guru Harkrishan Public School, Dugri Road, here, today. The one-day seminar was part of a programme of the authority’s National Plan of Action to “empower the disadvantaged group of the society with legal aid and legal literacy training”. The national legal aid week for women began simultaneously today at all the state headquarters and would continue till March 8.

The women were apprised about their rights under the present legal frame work. They were informed that women irrespective of caste, creed or financial status can avail the facility of free legal aid from the Legal Services Authority. If they desired they can avail services of a lawyer free of cost.

Ms Hardial Kaur, Principal, Guru Harkrishan Public School, Ms Pappu Abinash Singh and Mr Arvind Markan, Assistant District Attorney-Legal Services Authority, addressed the participants at the seminar.



Park panels to hold demonstration
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
Sick of knocking at various doors for getting payments for managing parks in the city, the Park Management Committees, (PMCs) have now decided to hold a massive demonstration against the Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) for his alleged “delaying tactics” in making the payments.

Announcing this here today, Mr Pawan Sood, general secretary of the Federation of Park Management Committees, said the PMC members would sit in a dharna outside the residence of MC Commissioner. The schedule of the demonstration would be decided at a meeting to be held shortly.

The PMCs and the LMC authorities are at loggerheads over the issue of payments for managing the parks. In January this year, the MC had announced to clear their dues and on the final day, the PMCs had refused to accept the payments claiming that they were being paid only 25 per cent of the total dues.

The Federation of PMCs said they were being paid a meagre amount by levying some cuts and the MC was not following the directions of the Local Bodies Department in toto. Later they had staged a dharna outside the Commissioner’s residence.

On January 11, the Joint Commissioner, Dr Jaswant Singh, had called a meeting of the PMCs to look into the matter. The PMCs claimed that he had recommended that they should be given full payment and sent the file to the Commissioner for final action.



Five cops awarded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
The city police today presented a cash award and appreciation letters to five cops who had shown bravery by following a gang of robbers fleeing after snatching cash and valuables from an employee of a contractor last evening.

SP-D Gurpreet Singh told a press conference that the city SSP Narinderpal Singh has given appreciation letters to Meharban Chowki in charge SI Jangjit Singh and four PCR cops. Surjit Singh, Harjinder Kumar, Mohinder Kumar and Nirmal Singh for nabbing five members of a gang of robbers last evening.

The SP said all cops have also been given a cash award of Rs 150 each.



Donation for tsunami victims
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 2
The Rotary Club, Ludhiana, under the presidentship of Mr K.K. Chadha presented a demand draft of Rs 1,33,000 to the Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma towards Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for tsunami victims.

The president, Rotarians, Mr Harbans Singh, Major S.S.Khosla and Mr Kanti Kumar Behal were also present on the occasion. Mr Chadha said in the eventuality of any calamity, the Rotary Club always came forward to help the victims, irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion by donating in cash and kind.

Mr Deepender Ranger donated Rs 25,000, Mr B.D.Sharma donated Rs 11,000, Mr J.K.Sethi, Mr D.K.Oswal and Mr R.L.Gupta donated Rs 10,000 each while Mr K.K.Chadha, Mr Ashok Oswal, Mr Vijay Munjal and Mr I.S.Grewal donated Rs 5100 each. The total number of donors was 47.



Government has ‘betrayed’ farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
Leaders of five kisan organisations met here yesterday under the chairmanship of Mr Pishora Singh Sidhupur. Kisan leaders expressed satisfaction over the participation of farmers in the rally for kisan demands on February 17 in front of PSEB office at Patiala and thanked the farmers for the same. Kisan leaders accused the Punjab government particularly Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for turning his back on the demands and betraying the cause of the peasantry in the state.

Farmer leaders felt that central Budget presented in Parliament gave no relief to the farming community, nor any consistence policy has been framed for agriculture sector. Rather the Budget gives scope for dillution of minimum support price policy which will be big setback to the farmers. On the whole, the central Budget is anti-farmer and anti-people.

Releasing the proceedings to the press, the meeting has decided to hold a rally in front of office of the Commissioner on March 9 at Faridkot for compensation for damaged crops of five districts of Malwa region, i.e. Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar, Moga and Faridkot. Kisan leaders appealed to the farmers of these districts to participate in this rally.



Two held for stealing valuables
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
The police today nabbed two alleged thieves who specialised in stealing cash and other valuables from city hospitals, besides snatching chains and handbags from women on deserted roads. The accused who were hooked on to various drugs even stole blank prescription slips from prominent hospitals to fill it themselves and buy certain medicines used as intoxicants.

Addressing a press conference at Division No 8 police station here, police officials claimed that the two drug-addicts-cum –thieves, Kuldip Singh and Darbara Singh, had been arrested on the charges of being involved in 10 separate cases of theft and snatching.

The police claimed that the accused targeted sleeping patients and their relatives in hospitals. They had allegedly stolen two mobile phones from a former school principal in Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, another two mobile phones and prescription slips from the CMC and DMC hospitals, snatched a purse from a girl travelling in a rickshaw near Lions Club, snatched a mobile phone from a nurse in Kitchlu Nagar, snatched a handbag from a woman in Sarabha Nagar and near Bharat Vidya Mandir and also stole valuables from another girl in Kitchlu Nagar.



Money, mobile phone snatched
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 2
Five miscreants allegedly snatched money and a mobile phone from a contractor at gun point at Bhookhari village, yesterday evening.

Jaspal Singh of Tajpur Bet village of Jodhewal in Ludhiana complained to the police that five young men who were in a dark blue Maruti car (DAC-3064) attacked him and his co-worker Anil Kumar Pande and snatched an amount of Rs 7,800 and a mobile phone along with his license.

A case under Sections 392, 506 and 323 of the IPC has been registered. No arrests have been made so far.



Traders may be ‘exploited’ under VAT
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 2
The local unit of the Sewa Bharti organised a seminar on the Punjab VAT-2005 at the Jain Sathanak Gandhi Chowk here yesterday. The seminar was presided over by Mr Phool Chand Garg, senior taxation adviser and author of taxation books. Besides experts in the subject, a large number of traders, accountants, professionals and industrialists participated in the seminar.

During his keynote address, Mr Garg highlighted main provisions of VAT. While welcoming the replacement of the sales tax with the new tax, he apprehended exploitation of traders at the hands of officials, who may interpret various provisions of VAT against the interests of the traders.

“As most of the traders were not well versed with the various components of VAT, the officials might exploit them by interpreting the provisions in their own way,” argued the taxation adviser.

He called upon the traders and industrialists to learn various components of the law. He suggested that the government should hold talks with the representatives of various trade organisations before implementing the provisions of the law. Those exploiting the traders should be punished, demanded Mr Garg.

Mr Charan Dass Jain and Mr Dharam Pal Bansal president and secretary of the organisation, said the organisation would organise a series of workshops to educate the traders.



Yarn exhibition to showcase the latest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
An exhibition on “Wool 2006: yarn and accessories presentation,” an exhibition of yarn and accessories, will be organised by the Wool Club, along with The Woolmark Company, here on March 4 and 5.

The two-day exhibition aims to provide a platform to yarn and accessories manufacturers to showcase their latest product range to knitwear and shawl industry in the fast changing business environment, said Mr S.K.Chaudhary, Regional Director, Woolmark.

“The world business scenario has been witnessing tremendous changes.

In this changing scenario India would play a major role in sourcing, in as well as out, for textile products including wool and woollens.

It thus becomes important that our domestic manufacturers stay competitive by updating their information and knowledge base particularly on raw materials.”

Participants from various sectors like yarn and fabrics, dyes and chemicals, test houses and accessories would participate in the two-day exhibition.

Apart from Indian companies, a few companies from UK and China would also participate.

Oswal Woollen Mills, Sharman Woollen Mills, British Wool Marketing Board and Kohinoor Woollen Mills, are among others who would participate in the exhibition.



E-marine policy launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company has launched its e-marine solution targeting the textile industry.

According to the company, the e-marine software will highly benefit garment exporters of the city. “The software can issue marine certificates online as well as from a client’s location,” the company said.

A marine certificate is an important document that is to be attached with every shipment and is important for exporters to honour Letters of Credit (LCs).

Mr Kamlesh Goyal, CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said, “We feel that the abolition of multi-fibre agreement will provide a much-needed boost to the textile industry and garment exports.

The e-marine solution will reduce hardship for exporters and we will also be able to provide cost-efficient insurance solutions like export credit insurance to our clients in Ludhiana, based on the expertise developed with large textile groups in the country.”

The company has already extended e-marine facility to seven exporters in the city.

Mr Goyal said the company had worked with big textile exporters like Arvind Mills, Soma Textiles and JCT Spinning Mills.

He said the company, in its three years of commencing operations in the city, had extended its services to leading corporate groups. Apart from a bancassurance tie-up with Punjab and Sind Bank, the company added names like Oswal Cotton and Spinning Mills to its client list.

“The office, during 2004-05, expects to write a gross premium of Rs 9 crore from this city,” he said, adding that the company had also forged a liaison with the United Bank of India for bancassurance.

The company has generated a premium income of Rs 700 crore till January 2005 and expects to capture the second position among private players.



Tax proposal labelled unfair
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
Condemning the Finance Minister’s proposal to charge 0.01 per cent tax on cash withdrawal of Rs 10,000 or more from banks, the Public Cause, a forum for voicing public problems, said the proposal was highly unfair and irrational.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, director, Public Cause, said not only would it hit organisations it would severely affect individuals also.

Meanwhile, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry also condemned the Budget stating that the Finance Minister had done no justice to the small scale sector. President of the chamber, Mr P.D. Sharma, said in a press release that the engineering industry has been ignored.

He said withdrawal of concessional duty of 60 per cent had come as a shock to SSIs.


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