C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Car dealer’s son rescued from Sector 16 house
Two kidnappers held with weapons
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The police today claimed to have solved the kidnapping case of Nikhil Joshi, son of car dealer Deepak Joshi, with the recovery of the boy and the arrest of two of the alleged kidnappers. Some arms were also seized.

However, Aman Verma, who had allegedly masterminded the kidnapping and demanded Rs 2 crore as ransom, managed to flee to Singapore. Efforts were reportedly on to trace him.

The breakthrough was made by a special investigation team (SIT) that raided the annexe in house No 647 in Sector 16 to recover the boy. Two alleged kidnappers, Manoj Kumar, alias Matty (Mansa), and Honey Sharma of Dhanaula in Sangrur district, were arrested.

Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, Mr Vivek Gogia, SSP (Headquarters), and Mr Amitabh Dhillon, SP (Traffic), made these claims at a press conference here this evening.

A Maruti Esteem (DL-9-CA-3315), a Maruti Zen (HR-10-F-3396), three pistols, including a foreign-made pistol and 15 cartridges, a set of handcuffs, three dog chains, one mobile phone set with SIM card and two Motorola walkie-talkie sets were seized from the kidnappers.

The preliminary interrogation of the arrested persons indicated that Nikhil was kidnapped on November 18 around 1 pm after he left his house in a black Esteem (CH-03-K-5005). He was allegedly being followed by three persons, including Aman Verma, in another Esteem car (DL-9-CA-3315).

Nikhil’s car was intercepted near Metro-35 hotel. He was allegedly taken into kidnappers’ car at gunpoint and was blindfolded and handcuffed, the police officials claimed.

Thereafter, he was taken to a hideout in Mohali and reportedly assured that he would not be harmed if the ransom was paid to them.

Meanwhile, Aman left India by boarding an Indian Airlines flight for Singapore from the Delhi airport on the intervening night of November 18 and 19.

Once in Singapore, he started contacting Mr Deepak Joshi using an international SIM card. He demanded ransom from him.

Immediate liaison was established among the Central intelligence agencies, the Punjab Police and cellular service providers in Chandigarh, sources said.

The breakthrough in the investigation came from the first telephone call made by the kidnappers to Mr Deepak Joshi.

Using technical inputs, it was established that the call was made from the SIM card of Nikhil, but from a different mobile phone set. The SIM numbers used by the kidnappers were found out and a systematic operation involving various agencies was set in motion, the officials said.

The international SIM card used by Aman and local telephone numbers in contact with that particular SIM card gave further clues.

These inputs helped the SIT to zero in on a number of locations of the kidnappers. After developing this information, the Sector 16 location was stormed and Nikhil was rescued.

Efforts were on to locate Aman in Singapore and the matter was being taken up with appropriate agencies for alerting the Singapore airport authorities for not allowing the mastermind to leave the country.



Tata Consultancy to get 20 acres, Wipro 40
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
The Punjab Government has demarcated at least 20 acres for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and another 40 acres for Wipro in Industrial Area, Phase VIII- A and B, here. The two companies plan to set up their software development centres in Mohali soon.

Sources said another 5 acres were being considered to be given to the TCS following such a demand. However, Wipro’s demand for a total of 100 acres had been put down due to shortage of land in the area.

Teams from the two companies were here this week to identify the land and finalise the deal. A meeting of the two teams was also held with the Chief Secretary, Punjab.

With Quark and Dell firmly in place here, the TCS and Wipro will be next in the grand line up of IT companies in Mohali. Other than the TCS and Wipro, Infosys and Satyam had also asked for land in the area to set up their centres and it had been decided that the rest of the land available with the Department of Industries in Mohali would be divided between these two companies. The sources, however, pointed out that the government was facing an acute shortage of land for IT companies here.

TCS plans to invest Rs 25 crore in its Mohali project. The TCS park here will be modelled on offshore development centres being operated by the company and will cater to its domestic information technology (IT) work for Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. With over 500 workstations housed in a series of buildings, the TCS aims at employing 500 IT professionals and another 100 persons initially and expand to three times the number in the future.

The 75,000 sq ft built-up area of the TCS campus would be in place within 18 months of approval of their master plans and divided into productive, support services and recreation areas.

The Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation has allowed the use of 33 per cent of an industrial plot in Phase VIII -B, Mohali, for residential purposes along with a floor area ratio of 2. This means that in a plot measuring 1 kanal, the owner can construct up to 9,000 sq ft, 33 per cent of which can be used for residential purposes. The sources added that this had been done to encourage IT companies to set up base on smaller plots giving the entrepreneurs the option of having their house within the industrial unit. 



Mani Majra to be re-modelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
With a view to ensuring harmonious and balanced development of the city, the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd), yesterday announced the re-modelling of Mani Majra as an independent modern township by upgrading the existing infrastructural support facilities through innovative processes.

He said that the administration had conceptualized the plan for the planning of this township with special emphasis on civic amenities, education, health and recreation.

Addressing the gathering after laying the foundation stone of a Rs 2 crore project of the Shivalik Garden in Mani Majra town to be developed on an area of 19.2 acres, here yesterday General Rodrigues said Chandigarh was moving fast and emerging as a major destination for investment by the various multi-national companies (MNCs).

He said the garden must aim to promote artistic, cultural and recreational activities with state-of-art facilities. He said the garden should be eco-friendly, equipped with solar lighting systems to ensure its harmony with natural surroundings.

Mr P.S. Aujla, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), while welcoming the Administrator said this park would have an open air theatre, lake, water feature and musical fountain, food kiosks, playing area for children, and circulation loops for the morning and evening walks of the residents. He said the first phase of the garden would be thrown open to the public within the next six months.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP, Ms Anu Chatrath, Mayor, and councillors were present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, certain residents had alleged that they were displaced to make way for the garden. In a representation to the UT Administrator, the residents alleged that they had been asked by the authorities concerned to vacate houses to make way for the garden. In 1995-96, we had purchased small plots varying from 50 to 250 yards and got the sale deeds registered in our names, the residents claimed.

We are not against development but is it justified to uproot us for setting up a garden, the residents asked. The residents demanded alternative sites before they were uprooted.



Heavy rush, chaos mark CAT examination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Around 8000 students from the region took the Common Admission Test (CAT) across seven centers in the city today.
The CAT exam is for students aspiring to seek admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other MBA courses in the country.

There was a heavy rush and chaos at the centres as students came in not only from the city but also from the sates of Punjab, Himachal, J&K and Haryana. Like last year this year too there was a surprise element in the paper. For one, the number of questions was just 90 compared to 123 last year and 150 questions the year before. However, according to the students the level of difficulty was much greater this year. “All the three sections, Verbal, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation were quite tough and students had a difficult time in cracking the questions,” stated Amandeep Kaur from Sector 42.

This is the first time they have disclosed the exact negative marking scheme. The students this year, however, knew the negative marking. It was to the extent of minus - 1/3rd of the number of incorrect answers. The verbal section had 30 questions with just three comprehension passages (as compared to 5 earlier)

“I was expecting an easy Data Interpretation section but was foxed when I saw it. This time the questions were very tough, indeed,” says Reema Munjal who had prepared for the test and was banking on this section.

“I was counting on Verbal and I am happy that I scored well in it because of my extra reading habit. It could be easily done by people who have been doing extra reading,” stated Deepak Bansal, a student of B.Com.

According to Mr Hirdesh Madan, center head of Bull’s-eye, “On the whole though it was a tough paper it could have been attempted by a well prepared student.

It is expected that a score of 56+ would be sufficient to get a call from the IIM’s while a score of 45+ would be ideal to get through to other major Business Schools”. 



Owner of Hot Millions dies of cancer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Hundreds of people from all walks of life bade adieu to Col Anant Bir Singh at the Sector 25 crematorium here today.
The driving force behind the Hot Millions chain of fast food outlets, Colonel Singh died of liver cancer this morning after grappling with the disease for around two months.

Friends, colleagues from the Army, and employees gave a tearful adieu to Colonel Singh after his mortal remains were brought to the crematorium.

While UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), paid a visit to his house, former UT Administrator Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chibber (retd), Army officers, bureaucrats and other senior government officials took part in the cremation.



Death of city’s fast food pioneer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Col Anant Bir Singh will always be remembered as the man who introduced fast food to the city.
It was way back in 1979 when after seeking premature retirement, this Signals officer took over the “Yankee Doodle” ice cream parlour in Sector 17 and relaunched it as “Hot Millions” with the help of his wife Harinder Mohini.

There was no looking back for either his family or Chandigarhians, who quickly adopted and patronised pizzas, hotdogs and burgers as part of their lifestyle, breaking away from the Coffee House culture.

A gentleman to the core, Col Singh never let his success come in way to contribute his bit for improving the lot of the downtrodden.

A rotarian, Colonel Singh was associated with many social projects in the city. He was currently the president of the Rotary Club, Chandigarh.

After passing out of the Indian.......... Military Academy (IMA) in 1956, Colonel Singh got commissioned into the Corps of Signals.

He continued to serve the Army till 1979, including tenures as Instructor at the IMA and a stint at the Ministry of Defence.

After retirement, he got into the food industry and led it from the front. He was currently patron, Hotel and Restaurant Association, Chandigarh.

From a small eatery in Sector 17, Colonel Singh built “Hot Million” a brand name across Punjab and Haryana, opening 10 outlets in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar, etc. providing employment to over 500 persons.

During his visits to the US to his handicapped brother, Colonel Singh would pick up ideas and replicate them here.

“Hot Millions” in Sector 17 became an entertainment centre from a fast food joint after he took it over and renamed it “Hot Millions 2” from “Terminal One”.

Colonel Singh fought as a gallant soldier during the 1962 Chinese conflict and the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan conflicts.

Always outgoing and always willing to take up challenges, Colonel Singh, “AB” to his friends, was diagnosed with cancer of liver just two months back.

He died this morning, but the city will always remember him for his contribution in transforming the city restaurant industry.



Conference highlights works of Pierre Jeanneret
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The fond memories of Chandigarh got revived at a daylong international conference organised by the Embassy of Switzerland, New Delhi and the Saakaar Foundation of Chandigarh at the Panjab University campus today. The conference highlighting the “life and works of Pierre Jeanneret” was a homage and tribute to designer associate of Chandigarh-Pierre Jeanneret.

The conference was inaugurated by Dominique Dreyer, Ambassador of Switzerland to India, while Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, was the guest of honour.

Speaking at the inauguration Dr Dominique Dreyer spoke about the contribution of Pierre Jeanneret in the modern architecture of India and Switzerland and the ties between the two countries. Prof Pathak in his opening remarks delved upon the contribution of Pierre Jeanneret in designing the Panjab University campus.

The Ambassador also released two brochures, one on the life and works of Pierre Jeanneret and another on the works of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeannert. The students who stood first and second in a quiz contest on “Pierre Jeanneret” organized by Chandigarh College of Architecture were also honoured. 12 Indian architects who worked in close association with Pierre Jeanneret were also awarded on the occasion. They are late A.K. Prabhawalkar, late H.S. Chopra, late Piloo Mody, late U.E. Chowdhury, Jeet Malhotra, S.D. Sharma, Giani Rattan Singh, O.P. Garg, R.S. Lall, B.P. Mathur, Aditya Prakash, Jaqueline Jeanneret from Switzerland (niece of Pierre Jeanneret).

Pierre Jeanneret is a Swiss-born French architect and cousin of Le Corbusier. He worked on the Chandigarh Capitol Project for 15 years and then became the Chief Architect of Punjab. The conference organised today is part of a three-day “Swiss utsav”. According to Surinder Bagha of Saakaar Foundation, “Pierre Jeanneret left the city about 40 years ago, and along with him his memories too have faded away. The aim is to apprise the younger generations about his contributions to Indian architecture.”

Eminent architects from Switzerland and India delivered their lectures on various subjects and themes related to Pierre Jeanneret. Dr Gilles Barbey, Professor, University of Geneva and EPFL, Switzerland, gave a presentation about “Pierre Jeanneret’s architectural perspective and work in Europe (1923-1950).”

Prof Pierre Frey and Mr Manuel Blanco, architect-historian, spoke about his contributions to architecture before coming to the city. Prof Philipe Bonhote, Architect, Colleborateur Scientifique, EPFL, Switzerland, discussed the — “Transformation of Chandigarh.” He gave a detailed insight into the issues being faced by the city and some of the solutions to the problems.

In memory of Pierre Jeanneret, Jeet Malhotra, architect, planner announced a scholarship to the best student of Chandigarh College of Architecture. He also proposed the documentation of a book on the life and works of Pierre Jeanneret. Later in the day an exhibition “A dream realised — an overview of the ideas that became cities” was also inaugurated by the Ambassador. The exhibition showcases 54 panels of the life and works of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret in India. 



MC may extend sanitation contract
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 20
The Municipal Council has proposed to extend the contract for sanitation work by one month. The issue will be discussed at the last monthly meeting of the elected body scheduled to be held on November 21 in the newly-constructed building of the civic body.

There is a plan to introduce a new sanitation system in the town under which garbage will be lifted by the contractor from door-to-door and dumped directly at the main dumping site. Various garbage dumping points in the town will be eliminated under the new system.

The contractor will be paid by the civic body according to the quantity of garbage he lifts from the town.

The executive officer of the council has discussed the plan with the Director, Local Govern-ment, and the latter has given his consent for the adoption of the new system. As switching over to the new style will take some time, the council proposed to extend the work of sanitation for one month.

The contract will be extended on the terms and conditions that had been laid down in the earlier contract.



Major fire at beauty parlour
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
Goods worth lakhs were destroyed in a fire at a beauty parlour in a Sector 4 showroom here this morning. The fire was sparked off when an electric diya in the parlour burst and inflammable cosmetics in the parlour caught fire.

This fire also brought to light the inadequate fire services in the township. Though there are two fire engines, there was just one driver on duty, and thus only one fire engine was rushed to the spot. The driver then went back to the fire station and brought the other fire engine.

Ms Suman, owner of Tulip Beauty Parlour, said she was in a habit of keeping the electric diya on in front of a small temple in her parlour. She said most of the electrical goods, furniture and cosmetics were completely destroyed, adding that the loss was in lakhs.

As many as 33 of the sanctioned 47 posts of the Fire Department are lying vacant. The fire station in Panchkula had 18 staff members till a few months ago. However, the Urban Development Department transferred eight of these staff members to other urban estates, thus jeopardising the existing fire services. While four of the staff members joined the new place of posting, the remaining four are under transfer and have not been relieved as yet. As of now, there is just one Station Fire Officer, two leading firemen, nine firemen and two drivers.

The guidelines for fire safety specify that a leading fireman, four firemen and a driver have to be present in a single shift. However, the present staff in the Fire Department are barely sufficient for two shifts.

The state Finance Department had sanctioned 47 new posts for the Fire Department almost three years ago (including 26 posts of firemen; nine each of leading firemen and driver/operators; and one each of fire officer, assistant fire officer and peon). But these posts have not been filled, though the previous Indian National Lok Dal government had initiated the process.



Hundreds attend Lord Jagannath’s rath yatra
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 20
Hundreds of devotees of Lord Jagannath participated in the rath yatra organised by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) today. These devotees, including women and children, sang hymns in praise of Lord Jagannath as they passed through various parts of the township.

The yatra began from NAC, Mani Majra, around 2 pm. Devotees pulled the rath, which carried idols of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Devi Subhadra. The yatra began after the deities were offered 56 bhog. After the bhog offering ceremony, aarti was performed by citizens and dignitaries, who had joined in the yatra.

A number of sanyasis started sweeping the road before the rath with golden brooms while other devotees started pulling the chariot carrying the deities and Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of ISKCON. Local people, who had turned out in large numbers, also joined the devotees in pulling the chariot and in chanting and dancing before the rath.

While a large number of devotees were pulling the chariot, another group of devotees was busy in sankirtan and dancing to the tune of mridanga and kartal before the chariot. Many volunteers of ISKCON were seen liberally distributing small packets of prasadam to participants and onlookers.

To avoid any untoward incident, all precautions were taken and devotees moved in a rope enclosure. Devotees maintained adequate distance from the chariot. All along the route of the yatra, people had set up chabeels, where drinks were offered to the followers.

The yatra passed through Sectors 7, 8, 17, 16, 10 and 5, and concluded at Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Sector 9.



City not high on reading
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
City residents just spend 40 minutes on reading per day compared to 1 hour 55 minutes by Delhi-i-tes, 2 hours 5 minutes in Chennai, and 2 hours 15 minutes in Kolkata Mr Sushant Banerjee, manager, British Library, said while speaking on the role of library in learning and development on the concluding day of a three-day symposium on education and learning organised by EduCARE India and the Centre for Adult, Continuing Education & Extension (CACEE) of Panjab University, here on Friday.

Earlier, Prof R.C. Sobti, Chairman, Department of Biotechnology, Panjab University, in his keynote address emphasised on the need for teachers to adopt an attitude of openness and willingly learn and implement new techniques and innovations in classrooms. He said information technology must be deployed by curriculum makers and academicians.

Dr Ajaib Singh, member of the Punjab Public Service Commission, said a good teacher must learn and use new technology to integrate IT into education.

Mr Aseet Pal Malik of Intel Technologies showcased the classroom of tomorrow that would enable the teacher, students and parents to have e-campus which would boost interaction, and learning through audiovisual aids and video conferencing facilities.

Ms Navneet Arora, a lecturer, at the Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, pointed out that the teachers were not showing willingness to adapt new technologies and use them in the classroom.

Dr Yashvant Rana from Himachal Pradesh University, however, underlined the need for inculcating values and ethics among children.

Later, Ms Shaloo Jindal, Ms Seema Biji, both lecturers with Guru Nanak Dev College of Education, Ropar, and Dr Sukhwant Walia, Reader, Department of Education, Panjab University, made presentations on learning phobias in science, English and mathematics respectively. Dr A.R. Bhandari gave away certificates to participants. 



Khadi goes chic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18
After umpteen attempts to give khadi a new chic look, this year the focus has shifted to home decor and furnishing items like hand-woven ‘durries’, iron furniture and handmade paper items. A tie-up has been done with fashion designer Rohit Bal and NIFT, Mohali, to give khadi a fashionable look.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Karnail Singh, Director of Khadi and Village Industries, said as many as eight khadi shops in Punjab were being upgraded and given a facelift to display the entire range of khadi products. Talks are on with the Bombay Khadi Commission in this regard and special grants will be allocated for the same. The Sector 22 khadi shop has already been upgraded and has the latest range of products, including “durries” designed by NIFT.

A training centre will also be set up in Mohali for providing proper training to rural artisans and giving them financial assistance and marketing support.

The month-long zonal exhibition that is currently on at the Sector 34 grounds has 170-odd stalls having exhibits from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Karnataka, said Mr K.K Sharda, Secretary, Khadi Federation of Punjab.

The response has been encouraging with the organisers claiming a sale of more than Rs 25 lakh during the first five days. They are targeting sales worth Rs 2.5 crore by the time the exhibition ends.

Veer Zaara juttis, “tiledaar” slip-ons and desi ‘mohris’ are finding buyers among teenagers and college-going girls as they are affordable.

A theme pavilion ‘Khadi for good health’ has also been set up. Customers are being offered 25 per cent special rebate on khadi items.



LPG delivery boys get tips
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
A clinic to educate delivery boys-cum-mechanics for Indane LPG was conducted by the Indian Oil Corporation here today.
Delivery boys and mechanics of Chandigarh and adjoining areas as well as distributors and officers of IOC attended the clinic.

Stress was laid on the need for good behaviour and customer-handling skills among the delivery boys.

They were told to educate the customers about the adoption of safety measures while installing an LPG cylinder after checking its correct weight. The delivery boys were instructed to check the rubber tube periodically and remind the customers to close the knob of the regulator after completion of work on the hot plate.

Mr Rajeev Sharma, Deputy Manager (LPG), requested the customers to get the cylinders checked for quality and quantity before taking the delivery and taking the refill from their distributors only after booking. He insisted that they take the bill before the delivery.



Time management vital: Dadi Janki
Arvind Katyal

White colour dominated the mammoth gathering at the Sector 34 mela ground where thousands of people had come from different parts of the region to listen to a discourse. The occasion was the World Peace Festival organised by the local unit of the Prajapitya Brahmakumaris Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya. Prominent among those who spoke included Rajyogini Dadi Janki and Rajyogini Dadi Hridya Mohini, chief, Brahmakumaris’ institutions in India. Earlier, a cultural programme was also held.

Rajyogini Dadi Janki ji
Rajyogini Dadi Janki ji

Chandigarh, November 20
Managing one’s time is the essence of life; every penny spent is vital; energy should not be wasted. All these bits of wisdom came from Rajyogini Dadi Janki Ji, additional chief of Brahmakumaris who was here in the city for the World Peace Festival.

Dadi Janki, now around 90, had many good things to tell. She recalls her 1978 experience at Texas University, USA, where after a thorough research on her for more than seven hours by top scientists, she was adjudged as the one with the most stable mind. At that time, Janki said, she did not know much of English language, yet she was able to give convincing answers to the flurry of questions asked by the Americans.

Citing an example, she said they asked her to pronounce 100 minus seven, which is 93, then further minus seven, 86 and so on. She could do this with ease and perfection. Then they asked her a host of other questions. Finally, they bestowed on her this rare honour. Based in London for the past more than 27 years, Janki said the Westerners were now showing an interest in spirituality. This was because they were now able to understand what constituted grief.

She said Brahmakumaris’ ashrams were now spread over 90 countries with a network of around 7,000 branches. She disclosed that during the past three decades, she had travelled all over the globe, visiting a lot of countries many times.

She said Indians were blindly following Western culture while losing their ancient culture. She said even Muslim countries like the UAE had evinced interest in the path followed by Brahmakumaris. Though Pakistan had never invited her for any such discourse, she was more than willing to go there. Janki was accompanied by Rajyogini Dadi Hridaya Mohini, who is the Indian chief based in Mount Abu (Rajasthan).



Tatkal scheme gets more friendly

Chandigarh, November 20
For the convenience for passengers opting for railway booking under the Tatkal scheme, the Railways has announced that the scheme will be open to public three days before the departure of a specific train.

A spokesman of the Railways said the reservation facility is available for those passengers who plan their journey at a short notice. The reservation under this scheme will be made by passengers who pay full fare.

Moreover, instead of a full coach being made Tatkal coach, there will be a Tatkal quota in each train in 2A, 3A, AC chair car and sleeper classes. — TNS



Mobile phones, cash stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Thieves decamped with mobile phones and cash worth about Rs 15 lakh from a Sector 22-B shop last night.
The theft came to light when the owner of the shop, Mr Varinder, came to open the shop around 9.30 a.m. today. The iron shutters and wooden doors of the shops were found broken.

Mr Varinder reported to the police that about 170 new mobile sets, artificial jewellery and some cash were taken away by the thieves.

While new mobile phone sets stolen, mobile batteries and “dummy” mobile sets were left untouched indicating the role of an “insider”, police sources said.

The Sector 17 SHO, Mr Moti Ram, along with sniffer dogs visited the shop. Fingerprints were lifted by forensic experts. A case has been registered.



MIA organises seminar on credit rating scheme
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
The Mohali Industries Association organised a seminar on performance & credit rating scheme for small scale industries (SSI) in its MIA Bhawan here on Friday. The seminar was conducted by CRISIL Ltd., Mumbai. More than 50 members of MIA participated in the seminar.

The initiative for this was taken by Mr Balbir Singh, president, MIA, to create awareness among its members about the rating scheme.

Under this scheme, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) provides 75% subsidy to the SSI units, which undertake the rating exercise through CRISIL.

CRISIL made a presentation on the concept, merits and benefits of rating for SSIs and small and medium enterprises. Participants were informed about the two dimensional scale on which the SSIs are rated by CRISIL under the subsidy scheme.

MIA and CRISIL jointly worked out a special fee structure to motivate entrepreneurs to undertake the rating exercise CRISIL from its side offered group incentive to the members of MIA which makes the scheme very attractive for SSIs. The rating fee after the incentive offered by CRISIL worked out between Rs 7500 and Rs 13,000 depending on the turnover of the SSI. Participants found the rating fees quite affordable and evinced keen interest in the scheme.

CRISIL also signed an MOU with several banks, including SBI, to carry out the rating exercise of SSI costumers. Participants were also informed about the SME rating scheme of CRISIL under which medium enterprises are rated on a 8 point scale. The entrepreneurs owning medium-scale enterprises expressed their inclination to get rated on the SME scale of CRISIL.

Mr Balbir Singh president, MIA, stated that this session has created awareness about availability of credit rating scheme among SMEs and thanked the team from CRISIL Ltd. for holding it for the benefit of small and medium scale entrepreneurs.



UT stalls at Trade Fair wear a new look
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 20
The Chandigarh Administration this year has attempted to give a fresh look to stalls at the ongoing 25th India International Trade Fair- 2005 at Pragati Maidan here. It has done away with the small traders who used to bring their stuff generally for sale at the exhibition.

This category included sellers of ladies suits, footwear and other related items. Besides the expected stalls of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) and the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park, the venue has stalls of manufacturers of health devices and household accessory.

Confirming the attempt to give a fresh look to the venue, Mr P.S. Shergill, Director Industries, said, “small traders, a majority of whom were not the original manufacturers, brought their items like suits and footwear for sale. At the cost of Rs 1,000 per stall for a fortnight, the exhibition gave them a national forum for selling almost free. This time we have charged no fee at all, however, an attempt has been made to give place to only the genuine parties”.

The stall of CITCO is one of the most sought after stalls by the visitors. Mr T.R. Ramachandran, an onlooker, said, “the stall instead of sufficient material on promotion of tourism has it largely on the CITCO hotels. The photographs of the city are impressive and it will be more interesting incase the city concentrated to give a distinct identity to the feature of tourism.”

An official pointed out that “Chandigarh had recently given charge of Director of Tourism to a new officer and it has been decided that the two will be developed separately. It is felt that instead of showing Chandigarh as merely a gateway to other states, chiefly Himachal Pradesh, efforts should be made to market its own beauty.

Investors have been invited for investment at the IT Park pointing out the world-class infrastructure at the venue. The 124-acres of world class infrastructure will have a 250 acres of a technology habitat. It houses giants in the IT industry including INFOSYS, IBM Daksh, OuterBay, Amadeus and FCS computers, besides a number of others.

The Chandigarh pavilion has 11 entrepreneurs from industrial units of the city. The UT stalls feature a medicinal unit, a health machinery centre and a bathroom gadgets unit, besides others. Mr Shergill said the UT would be organising two industrial tours for the entrepreneurs of the city for exposing them to the modern production technology and marketing techniques. One tour would get industrialists to the trade fair and industry in Noida while another trip of industrialists in January 2006 would expose them to industry in the East and North East, Mr Shergill added.



SBT branch opens in UT

Chandigarh, November 20
State Bank of Travancore (SBT), a Kerala-based bank yesterday first branch in this part of the region at Chandigarh. This is the 675 th branch of the bank and 31st branch of Mumbai region.

Mr Om Bhatt, Managing-Director of the bank, after opening the branch said the major focus of the bank would be to bring all major corporates into our books and increase the coverage of agricultural and SBI lendings. “Emphasis would also be laid on marketing the core banking products to bring in maximum deposits, including NRI deposits by providing satisfactory services,’’ he added.

The new branch, he said would cater to the requirements of the small-scale industry, agriculture and small businesses.

The new branch has no ATM facility but if need arises, it would be provided for in the next three months, said Branch Manager, Naveen Thapyal. — TNS


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