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Traders not consulted on VAT: mandal chief
Total bandh in Bathinda
Bathinda, March 30
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal today urged the state government not to implement the value added tax (VAT) system for the collection of sale tax in Punjab as its draft was prepared by authorities concerned without consulting traders and industrialists.

Good response to bandh against VAT
Editorial: Uncalled for strike
Chandigarh page: Traders divided over course of action on VAT
Ludhiana page: Industry observes bandh against VAT
Traders carry an effigy of VAT on a donkey in Amritsar during the bandh on Wednesday. Himachal page: Complete bandh against VAT
Delhi page: Three-day bandh against VAT

Traders carry an effigy of VAT on a donkey in Amritsar during the bandh on Wednesday. 
— Tribune photo by Rajiv Sharma

CLP meeting postponed
Bir Devinder says Capt is his leader
Chandigarh, March 30
While a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party ( CLP), which was to be held tomorrow, has been postponed, a senior Congress MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today categorically made it clear that he was with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and not associated with party leader Jagmeet Singh Brar in any manner.

Amarinder: steps taken to curb kidnappings
Chandigarh, March 30
Sharing his concern with the Akali MLA, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, over the high number of cases of kidnaping in Punjab, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today told the state Assembly that several steps had been taken to check such crimes.

Fatehgarh Sahib



Ball in India’s court on Baglihar issue: Pak
Members of the Indus Water Commission from Pakistan, led by Mr Sayeed Jamati Ali Shah (second from left), at the Ranjit Sagar dam on Wednesday. Ranjit Sagar Dam (Gurdaspur), March 30
The ball is in India’s court on the issue of the Baglihar dam,” said Mr Sayeed Jamati Ali Shah, Commissioner of the Indus Water Commission from Pakistan, while talking to The Tribune here today.

Members of the Indus Water Commission from Pakistan, led by Mr Sayeed Jamati Ali Shah (second from left), at the Ranjit Sagar dam on Wednesday. — Photo byJangi

Premature retirement part of vendetta: Prof Verma
Patiala, March 30
A Punjabi University Professor, Dr H.R. Verma, who was given premature retirement by the authorities following charges of harassment levelled against him by a girl research scholar, alleged that the decision was taken ex-parte and no chance was given to him to defend himself.

Patient ‘raped’ by two hospital employees
Hoshiarpur, March 30
A young female patient, Daljit Kaur (name changed), daughter of Kehar Singh (name changed) of Lambra village, who was operated on for appendicitis four days ago at a private hospital at Lachowal, was allegedly raped by two employees of the hospital last night.


Police-industry interface sees real-time action
Dera Bassi (Patiala), March 30
A police-industry interface held here today to know about the problems being faced by the industry in the Dera Bassi and Lalru belt saw a real time action when an industry member told the police officials present on the spot that the local truck union members had waylaid a private truck while its owner was loading material at his factory.

Sarpanches directed to utilise grants in time
Fatehgarh Sahib, March 30
If any sarpanch failed to utilise the grant sanctioned under the MP-lad Central government-sponsored schemes for various development works, disciplinary action would be initiated, said Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP, today. 

Punjab to spend Rs 1400 cr on roads
Dera Bassi, March 30
The Punjab government will spend Rs 1400 crore on the four-laning and repair of different roads besides constructing some bridges on various rivers and seasonal rivulets in the state in the ensuing year.

US arms sale poses threat to Sikhs, says Mann
SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann addresses a press conference in Moga on Wednesday. Moga, March 30
The USA has spurred an arms race by giving a nod to the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan and offering the same to India. The SAD (Amritsar) chief, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, stated this while addressing a press conference here today.

SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann addresses a press conference in Moga on Wednesday. — Photo by Iqbal Singh

Wakf Board: Siddiqui seeks more time to reply
Chandigarh, March 30
Punjab’s former Director-General of Police (DGP) A.A. Siddiqui is involved in yet another controversy. He has not submitted his reply to a memorandum issued to him by the Centre in February regarding an appointment in the Wakf Board.

Roadways workers stop buses plying illegally
Members of the Punjab Roadways Action Committee lie before a private bus without any route permit in Amritsar on Wednesday. Amritsar, March 30
On the call given by the CTU, a joint action committee of the Punjab Roadways Motor Mazdoor Union today gheraoed the private buses allegedly owned by political leaders, which were plying without any route permits.

Members of the Punjab Roadways Action Committee lie before a private bus without any route permit in Amritsar on Wednesday. 
— Photo by Rajiv Sharma

PSEB official’s plea to Chief Secy
Sangrur, March 30
An officer of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has written to the Punjab Chief Secretary urging that he (Chief Secretary) should make efforts for getting the payments of the bills, pending towards certain officers, including those of the PCS cadre, cleared.

Record power generation at Ropar plant
Chandigarh, March 30
Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant, Ropar, has set a record by generating over 9023 million units( MUs) of power during the current financial year. Though the financial year will end tomorrow, the 1260 MW plant crossed the figure of 9000 MUs at 6 a.m. today, surpassing the earlier record of 8856 MUs set in 2001-02.

Coop bodies generate profit of Rs 3.5 cr
Fatehgarh Sahib, March 30
The cooperative institutions in the district have earned a net profit approximately to the tune of Rs 3.5 crore and this profit would be distributed among members as per 8 per cent dividend, said Dr S.K. Batish, Deputy Registrar Cooperative Society, addressing the annual general body meeting of Fatehgarh Sahib Central Cooperative Bank Ltd, at Sirhind today.

Kin of martyrs get relief
Patiala, March 30
Cheques worth Rs 2 lakh each were given to parents of 13 soldiers who lost their lives in various incidents while defending the nation since January 1999.

CBI probe sought into PF officer’s directive
Ropar, March 30
Three unions of the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP) have urged the Union Labour Ministry to entrust the enquiry pertaining to a directive of the Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner (APFC) to the thermal plant to release provident funds of Rs 1.55 crore to employees who worked on a contract basis between 1990-1994 to the CBI.

Govt’s attitude callous, say pensioners
Chandigarh, March 30
Accusing the state government authorities of adopting a callous attitude, Punjab’s Municipal Corporation Pensioners Association has claimed that orders regarding the payment of dearness and old-age allowance had not been implemented.

Olympian Bahadur Singh to be honoured
Chandigarh, March 30
Renowned poets will recite verses at a special kavi durbar to be held at Gurdwara Ramgarhia, Jalandhar, on April 3. Mr K.S.Bahra, a spokesman for the Ramgarhia Virasat(Jalandhar), organisers of the event, said while talking to The Tribune.


High Court orders re-auction of Punwire
Chandigarh, March 30
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today set aside sale of a portion of Mohali-based sick company Punwire to a Chandigarh-based group in December, 2004.


2 bank officials held for fraud
Kapurthala, March 30
The police has arrested five persons, including two bank officials of Cooperative Bank of Ibban village, for committing a fraud of Rs 30 lakh. While the main accused, Baljit Singh, secretary of the Cooperative Society, had moved out of the country even before the investigations could begin at least 12 other persons who reportedly have some involvement in the case are also at large. 

Man held for murdering wife
Batala, March 30
Pardeep Kumar, son of Des Raj, of the local Bhandari Mohalla, was arrested by the Batala Police yesterday on the charge of killing his wife. According to the chief of the police district, Dr Jatindra Kumar Jain, after committing the crime on March 25 he had absconded. 

3 arrested in murder case
Ropar, March 30
The city police claimed to have solved the case of blind murder of a 70 year-old lady, Surjit Kaur, with the arrest of three relatives of the deceased here today. Surjit Kaur was reportedly strangulated to death on March 21 and later her body was found in the fields in Morinda subdivision. A case of murder had been registered in the police station, Morinda.

Undertrial escapes from hospital
Moga, March 30
A jail inmate, who was arrested on the charge of rape nine months back, fled from the local Civil Hospital here today. According to sources, the accused, Joginder Singh, was a resident of Kadahewala village. He got admitted to the hospital feigning some problem in his back on March 21.

Labourer killed in accident
Patiala, March 30
A labourer was killed when a truck driver who went berserk overan him near the YPS chowk in the city late last night.

Rape accused arrested
Kharar, March 30
The police has arrested Balbir Singh, who is accused of raping his 15- year-old orphan niece at Malikpur Taparian village near here.


Seminar on Guru Nanak begins
Amritsar, March 30
By understanding the teachings of Guru Nanak we could greatly help improve human relationships. So we must endeavour to bring about improvement in human conduct.

NIT teaching faculty holds protest
Jalandhar, March 30
The teaching faculty of the Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT) held a protest demanding ouster of the sacked Director. Mr Pramod S. Mehta, who had been issued termination orders by the Ministry of Human Resource Development since March 23, had been coming to his office since then. 

“Jashan-2005” concludes at GND varsity
Amritsar, March 30
Rahul and Suchika of the Architecture Department were adjudged Mr Jashan and Miss Jashan at the Guru Nanak Dev University inter-departmental competition “Jashan-2005” that concluded here yesterday.

Inter-medical college festival from April 2
Patiala, March 30
To celebrate the achievements of their institution over the past 50 years, students of Government Medical College here, are all set to organise an all-India inter-medical/dental college festival, "Spectrum 2005", from April 2 to 4.

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