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SAD rally spurs govt into action on VAT refunds
Chandigarh, February 8
Shaken by the sharp criticism of the imposition of the value added tax (VAT) regime in Punjab at a rally of traders, businessmen and industrialists organised by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Bathinda last Sunday, the state Excise and Taxation Department has become active in processing VAT refunds.

Punjab, Haryana CMs may meet PM on MSP
Chandigarh, February 8
The Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana are expected to meet the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on February 13 to urge him to enhance the minimum support price of wheat to ensure adequate and smooth procurement in both states for the national pool. The Prime Minister has called a meeting of the Chief Ministers of all states on February 13 in Delhi to tell them to expedite power reforms.

Calcutta spits fire against Vedanti
Sarna issue fuels outburst
Amritsar, February 8
Member of the Political Affairs Committee of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and veteran SGPC member Manjit Singh Calcutta is the first senior Akali leader to fire a salvo against Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, by describing him as a “puppet” in the hands of his political masters. In a four-page communication to the Jathedar , Mr Calcutta alleged that Vedanti was playing a partisan role at the behest of some “powerful political leaders” which had made him the “most pliable, weak and helpless” Jathedar the Sikh history has ever witnessed.

Fatehgarh Sahib


Frost-hit potato growers to be compensated
Bathinda, February 8
Potato crop in the state has suffered losses between 60 per cent and 70 per cent and potato growers will be compensated following a girdawari, stated Transport Minister Mahinder Singh Kaypee, who is also the chairman of a panel formed to assess the damage to potato and vegetable crops due to frost in the state, here today.
Frost-hit farmers show their damaged potato crop to Transport Minister Mahinder Singh Kaypee near Rampuraphul on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Kulbir Beera
Frost-hit farmers show their damaged potato crop to Transport Minister Mahinder Singh Kaypee near Rampuraphul on Wednesday

SAD plans religious procession to Pak
Chandigarh, February 8
After the much-hyped procession carrying the golden palki to Nankana Sahib, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee also plan to take the “religious route” to Pakistan.


Let’s quit, Singla tells Kanwaljit
Chandigarh, February 8
The battle of wit between the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, and former Finance Minister Kanwaljit Singh, entered an interesting phase today. Mr Singla has invited Capt Kanwaljit Singh to visit the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly with him and resign as MLA from their respective constituencies and contest the elections afresh.

Paswan calls for reservation in private sector
Jalandhar, February 8
Favouring reservation in the private sector, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, the Union Minister and chief of the Lok Jan Shakti Party, today said reservation in the private sector would bring more jobs to the countless jobless youths belonging to the SC, ST, OBCs and other categories.

Mann concerned at jathedar’s attitude
Fatehgarh Sahib, February 8
Simranjit Singh Mann, president SAD(A), expressed concern over the attitude of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti towards Panthic jathebandis. Talking to The Tribune here today, he said Panthic organisations at their meeting at his residence Kila Harnam Dass had unanimously urged the jathedar to withdraw his edict against the Sarna brothers, but nothing had been done.


No documentary proof of Salem-Monica marriage
Hoshiarpur, February 8
The CBI has not laid its hands on any documentary evidence that suggested that Abu Salem and Monica Bedi had entered into matrimony before their extradition to India.

55 jhuggis demolished
Pathankot, February 8

Improvement Trust officials here demolished more than 55 jhuggis near Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk here on Wednesday. The jhuggi dwellers, however, protested saying the demolition was illegal and the administration should have provided them with alternative units before ousting them from the place. They also raised anti-government slogans.
Jhuggis being demolished by the Improvement Trust in Pathankot on Wednesday. — Photo by Ravi Bhushan Puri
Jhuggis being demolished by the Improvement Trust in Pathankot on Wednesday

Sarpanch, BDPOs hold dharna
Sangrur, February 8
Sarpanches, panches, panchayat secretaries, Gram Sevaks, and Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPOs) of this district under the banner of “the Pendu Vikas Ate Panchayat Vibhag Sanghrash Committee, Sangrur” today held a dharna in the district administrative complex (DC office) here against Vigilance Department’s alleged interference in the functioning of Panchayati Raj institutions.

Withdraw Bill to ban lotteries, says Singla
Chandigarh, February 8
The Punjab Government has urged the Union Government to withdraw the Bill from Parliament with regard to the banning of lotteries. The Bill was introduced in Parliament in 1999, however, in the absence of consensus among parties, it was handed over to the Standing Committee of Parliament headed by Mr Pranab Mukherjee which had recommended to evolve consensus at the national level on the issue.

Rs 25 lakh given for development projects
Fatehgarh Sahib, February 8
The Congress government has strengthened the Panchayati Raj institutions by giving them vast powers, bringing various government departments under them as well as implemented the 73rd amendment of the Constitution so that development officials and representatives of the gram panchayats do not indulge in dharnas, rallies and halt development projects to get their demands accepted.

Rs 19.43 crore for development works
Bathinda, February 8
Urban Development Minister Raghunath Sahai Puri,while chairing the District Planning Board meeting, here today sanctioned Rs 19.43 crore for the district under the Punjab Nirman Programme, of which Rs 13.65 crore was meant for the rural areas, while the rest would go to the urban areas.

Punjab to buy 1,000 medical vans for villages
Chandigarh, February 8
The Punjab Government is working on a proposal to revamp the health services in the state. The government plans to buy 1,000 vans to provide health services at the doorstep in the rural areas. Sources said the government had approached NABARD to raise a loan to buy the vehicles.

CPM activists court arrest
Hoshiarpur, February 8
In response to the call of “Jail Bharo Andolan” by the state unit, hundreds of CPM workers, including women, from the district, led by Prof Balwant Singh, Raghunath Singh, Darshan Singh Mattoo and Gurmesh Singh, courted arrest in front of the Mini Secretariat here this afternoon in support of 13 points charter of demands.

Pak journalists for ‘closer Punjabs’
Patiala, February 8
A one-day seminar on “Closeness between two Punjabs” was held at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Punjabi University, Patiala, today.

Irate villagers block highway
Phillaur, February 8
Tension prevailed in Goraya in Phillaur subdivison after hundreds of residents of nearby Dhaleta village, led by Punjab Bahujan Samaj Party general secretary M.P. Singh Goraya, blocked road traffic on national highway late this evening.

Institute’s plea to Takht Jathedar
Chandigarh, February 8
The Institute of Sikh Studies has requested the Jathedar of Akal Takht to convene a meeting of representatives of major Sikh institutions and eminent Sikhs to discuss problems and find ways to uphold the authority of Akal Takht.


High Court
Selection process set aside

Chandigarh, February 8
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside the process of selection of the new Director of Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. Disposing of the petition filed by Mr B.K. Kanungo, Professor in the Department of Chemistry, the Division Bench comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Saron also quashed the advertisement issued by the authorities regarding the selection process. The Bench ordered that the respondents may start fresh selection process in accordance with law.

Life term for killing 17 children
Jalandhar, February 8
Serial baby killer Darbara Singh, who had created sensation in the country by ruthlessly killing 17 children in Jalandhar and its surrounding areas, was sentenced to life imprisonment by Fast-Track Court Judge I.S. Bajwa here today.

10-year jail for raping minor
Sangrur, February 8
A Fast Track Court here yesterday awarded 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment (RI) with a fine of Rs 3,000 and five years’ RI with a fine of Rs 3,000 to Leela Singh (60) of Dhindsa village of this district. Both sentences will run concurrently.


Pull up socks, DC tells officials
Fatehgarh Sahib, February 8
The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jaspreet Talwar, while presiding over the monthly meeting of district officials here today warned them to desist from wrongdoings. She also warned the CDPOs not to send the false Actual Pay Reports (APR) regarding the disbursement of pensions to the beneficiaries. She said if any false APR was found it would lead to their suspension.


Woman stabbed by brother-in-law on court premises
Patiala, February 8
Ms Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Sunam town, was stabbed by her brother-in-law Gurnam Singh Nama and his associates in the premises of district court complex here while she was coming out of a court room after appearing in a divorce suit filed by her against her husband Mohinder Singh.

Three killed in mishaps
Malerkotla , February 8
Three persons were killed in two different accidents in Malerkotla. Two persons were crushed by a car yesterday night while one person was killed by a truck today. The police has registered cases in this regard.

Minor raped, one held
Phagwara, February 8
A schoolgirl was allegedly abducted and then raped by two youths while she was on her way to school in Bilga village today, the police here said. According to the police reports the victim was taken to a deserted house in the village by the youths and raped.


Posts of teacher to be advertised in 10 days: Singla
Sangrur, February 8
Mr Surinder Singla, Punjab Finance Minister, today disclosed that 12,000 posts of teacher, including 10,000 posts of elementary teachers, 1400 posts of doctor, besides posts of patwari, would be advertised in 10 days.

Eco-Fest concludes
Amritsar, February 8
Two-day Eco-Fest (‘FREEDOM 2006’) organised by PSE Economics Association of Punjab School of Economics of Guru Nanak Dev University and sponsored by BSNL and BCES Admissions Abroad concluded here today after a prize distribution function.


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