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Singla spares luxuries, moots cess on diesel
Chandigarh, March 22
Levying of cess on diesel — a major farm input — and petrol to raise Rs 100 crore for setting up the
Agri-Diversification, Infrastructure, Research and Development Fund is how Punjab proposes to achieve its second breakthrough in agriculture.

Akali Dal, BJP MLAs boycott Budget
Chandigarh, March 22
Protesting against presentation of the Punjab Budget in English by the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, Akali and BJP MLAs today staged a walkout from the Punjab Assembly and boycotted the entire Budget proceedings. It was, perhaps, the first time in many years that the Budget was boycotted by the main Opposition parties in the House.

Opposition MLAs come out of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha after boycotting the Budget presentation in Chandigarh Opposition MLAs come out of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha after boycotting the Budget presentation in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
— Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Liquor vends’ auction totals Rs 1266.09 cr
Ludhiana, March 22
The liquor vends in Ferozepore, Moga, Muktsar, Faridkot, Bathinda and Mansa districts were auctioned out for Rs 254.80 crore for the next year as against this year’s figure of Rs 250.94 crore.

Anandpur Sahib
Fatehgarh Sahib




Park Plaza case accused get bail, police drops main charges
Ludhiana, March 22
Angry parents and relatives of the newly-wed couple, who were allegedly assaulted on their honeymoon night at the local Park Plaza hotel a few days ago, staged a protest against the police at the district courts complex here today.

Travel agency vanishes with money, passports
Jalandhar, March 22
The dream of 39 poor youths of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Nawanshahr districts to make it to greener pastures in Dubai has crashlanded as a "fake" travel firm not only gobbled up their lakhs of rupees, but its officials also decamped with their passports and other travel documents after shutting the doors of the firm and handing them over dubious looking photocopies of 'visas' issued by the UAE authorities.

Work on Khalsa heritage project restarts
Anandpur Sahib, March 22
The construction work on the prestigious Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex began today with the arrival of Boston-based architect of the project Moshe Safdie accompanied by officials of the various agencies associated with the project.

Land dispute settled after 36 years
Gurdaspur March 22
Bachittar Singh and his cousin brother Rasal Singh, both residents of Ladpalvan village, could not stop the tears as they stood at the recently held Lok Adalat here. The tormenting litigation over the division of their family property had been going on since the past 36 years.

Head scab destroys durum wheat crop
Gurdaspur, March 22
The long wet spell this winter has badly affected the crop of durum (PDW-274) variety of wheat in the district. This variety of wheat crop sown by about 100 farmers in 350 acres in the Dera Baba Nanak and Kanuwan areas of the district under contract farming programme of Punjab Agro has been attacked by head scab disease.

Bhatti promoted
Chandigarh, March 22
Punjab’s Additional Director-General of Police D.R. Bhatti was today elevated as the Director-General of Police. The number of DGPs in the state, with his elevation, has increased to nine.


NGO to make Sangrur women self-reliant
Sangrur, March 22
A Delhi-based NGO, Bisnouli Sarvodaya Gramodyog Sewa Sanstha, has chosen Sangrur district to make its more than two lakh economically dependent women reliant by forming 5,000 self-help groups in the coming five years.

Tenders for sabzi mandi cancelled
Phagwara, March 22
In order to avoid controversy, all tenders were cancelled today by the Market Committee Phagwara, according to a press note issued by Mr Jaspreet Singh Bains, president of the committee.

Federation to observe Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom day
Bathinda, March 22
The district unit of the General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, has decided to observe the martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh by holding a public meeting here.

Urdu poet Sulekh Kanwal dead
Patiala, March 22
The Principal, Dr Sulekh Chander Kanwal, an Urdu poet and art promoter, died at his Ranjit Nagar residence, Bhadson road, here today. Dr Kanwal (75) has served as Principal of Kasturba Gandhi College, Rajpura, after retiring from Government College of Physical Education.

Kavi darbar organised
Fatehgarh Sahib, March 22
The District Cultural Society yesterday organised a kavi darbar in the auditorium of BZSF Senior Secondary School here. Mr Sham Singh, News Editor, Punjabi Tribune, was honoured by the society for getting “Shiromani Award” from the Language Department.


Court to monitor Sutlej Action Plan
Chandigarh, March 22
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today said it would monitor the implementation of the Sutlej Action Plan by the Punjab Government. The plan, finalised in 1998, pertains to cleaning of the Sutlej.

Know your rights, consumers told
Sangrur, March 22
The Sunam unit of the Punjab Consumer Welfare Society organised a function in connection with International Consumer Day at Sunam yesterday. Mr Husan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the function.


40 pc tractors idle, says IARI report
Rakhra (Patiala), March 22
Idle tractors, overuse of chemical fertilisers which are having no effect on the yield, non-productive expenditure on social ceremonies and youths running after jobs of peon is the state of affairs in the “idyllic” agriculture-dominated Punjab, according to a survey team of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute.


Notice to ghee factory
Kharar, March 22
The municipal council here has issued a notice to a ghee factory in Khanpur village for encroaching land of the council. The civic body has given seven days’ time to the factory to remove the encroachment on the land failing which the enforcement wing of the council would have to do the job.


Sarpanch, teacher booked for grant embezzlement
Bathinda, March 22
The district police has registered a case against the sarpanch of Mian village, near here, and a science teacher posted in the village school for alleged embezzlement of a grant given for the school building.

Two devotees killed in firing
Jalandhar, March 22
Two devotees were killed and three injured as a double-barrel gun of a local BSP leader went off accidentally while he was welcoming the devotees, who were on their way to Anandpur Sahib for Hola Mohalla celebrations, at his Avtaar Nagar residence in Chaugitti area, near here, this morning.

Woman dies under mysterious circumstances
Hoshiarpur, March 22
Rajwinder Kaur, wife of Gurpreet Singh, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at her house in Dhugga Kalan village. Her dead body was found hanging from a ceiling fan yesterday.

5 booked for kidnapping man
Phagwara, March 22
Mr Raman Rishi Verma and Mr Jitesh Verma, owners of Shiv Shakti Rice Sheller, near Sahni, Mr Amit Kumar, owner of Shiva Rice Mill, Rawalpindi village and two others were today booked under Sectons 365, 342, 506,323, 148, 149 on the charges of kidnapping, wrongful confinement, armed rioting, criminal intimidation, causing hurt in connection with the case of Kulbir Singh.

PO held after 10 years
Moga, March 22
The PO Wing has arrested the head of a robbers’ gang involved in a number of robberies in 1995 after 10 years. According to sources, the accused, Fariad, is a resident of Kot Ise Khan.

Three killed in bus-auto collision
Ludhiana, March 22
A child and two persons died and three persons, including two women, were seriously injured in an accident when a bus collided with an autorickshaw on Ferozepore Road near Milk Plant late this evening.


Urdu academy for Malerkotla
Chandigarh, March 22
The Punjab Government will launch on April 2 an information and communication technology programme in 1,299 schools of the state, Finance and Planning Minister Surinder Singla announced during his Budget speech in the Vidhan Sabha today.

No salary for seven months!
Hoshiarpur, March 22
Resentment prevails among the teaching and non-teaching staff of the local DAV College for not getting salaries for the past seven months.

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