C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


30 minutes of vandalism at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
In a blatant act of hooliganism, at least 100 armed youths smashed at least 10 cars parked outside a boys’ hostel on the Panjab University campus here this afternoon.

The vandalism continued for about 30 minutes. A PCR vehicle parked within meters of the spot remained stationed there during that period with police officials watching helplessly, waiting for the additional force to arrive.

However, the police later claimed to have arrested, the leader of the group, Bikramjit Singh, alias Bikra, a student of the Department of Correspondence Studies, on the spot.

The attack seemed to be a preplanned show of strength among two groups of students from outside the university. Lives were saved as members of the other group soon realised that they were outnumbered made a scoot for safety.

According to sources, the armed youths, allegedly belonging to the group of Bikra, reached the Student Centre around 2 pm. While some of them came in cars, most others were on motor cycles. Meanwhile, another group of around 40 students gathered outside the boys hostel number 4.

“Members of the armed group parked their vehicles and started walking towards the hostel. Challenged the members of the other group, they run towards them. Two policemen reached there on a motor cycle, but did not do anything to control the situation,” said a student who was at the Students Centre at that time.

Another student, who was witnessing all this from the boys’ hostel side, said members of the smaller group seemed to have got scared when the other group armed with sluggers, willows and sharp-edged weapons come running towards them. They scurried away from the spot.

Members of the armed group later vent their ire on the cars parked on the roadside. At least 10 cars were smashed.

Later, members of that group moved towards the Student Centre raising victory slogans. They drove away in their vehicles thereafter.

An armed police party reached the spot and all three gates of the campus were sealed. All vehicles leaving the campus were checked. The police also launched a search operation in the boys’ hostel. The hostel warden was called and every room was checked to see if any member of the two groups was present there.

Hundreds of students gathered at the spot after the incident. Over 100-m stretch of the road opposite the hostel was strewn with broken pieces of windowpanes of the smashed cars.

Students said while six of the seven smashed cars belonged to hostellers, one seemed to belong to someone from the group that had gathered at the hostel. At least three other cars, which had been smashed, were driven away by the owners.

Initially, it was thought that there was some problem among members of two opposing student parties — the Panjab University Student Union and the Student Organisation of Panjab University — but sources later said the two groups were from outside the university and belonged to a city-based boys’ college.

Sources said students of the college were divided into two groups. One of these groups was led by Bikramjit. Members of the two groups reportedly had a fight on the gheri route yesterday on the issue of parking of their cars and a “showdown” was planned for today at the university.

Though no one was reportedly injured in the incident, the way the two warring parties assembled on the campus, despite a heavy police presence on the university campus on account of the ongoing Jhankar festival, laid bare the vulnerability of the campus residents.

The SHO of the Sector 11 police station, Inspector Sukhpal Singh Rana, said a case of rioting and criminal intimidation had been registered.

“The police has arrested Bikramjit Singh of Mani Majra and teams have been dispatched to various places to trace the rest of the accused,” he added.



CBSE plus 2 examinees take first test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Amidst the tension-filled atmosphere and last-minute memorising, thousands of students in the city today took the CBSE Class XII English examination.

While the extra 15 minutes provided much relief to the students, a simple question paper too was a reason to smile.

As per the CBSE guidelines, the students entered the examination centre at 10.00 am and were given 15 minutes extra to read the paper before the exam started at 10.30 am.

Heavy rush was also witnessed in front of the schools, which were made the examination centres, as many parents preferred to wait for three hours till the paper got over.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Rajpal Sharma, a parent, said that though this was the second time his daughter was taking the board exams yet the nervousness and fears did exist.

He added that he had accompanied his daughter to provide moral support and many other parents had done a similar thing.

Gagan, a Class XII student of GMSSS, Sector 16, said after attempting the paper she was relieved and the paper had also set the pace to do well in the other exams.

Many students were seen revising their lessons in the cars which were parked in front of the schools.

Also many of them paid a visit to the local temples and gurdwaras before taking the exam.

However, CBSE telecounselor Madhu Bahl, suggested that though the English paper was simple but students who had not attempted the paper well might cover it up in the next exam.

She added that the students should not compare last-year papers at this juncture and should only focus on the coming exam.

Meanwhile, the students studying in the ICSE Board-affiliated schools in the city also took the English exam of Class X, the first exam to be taken by the board.

The Class X CBSE exams begin from today.



Sector 15 chemist robbed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 1
Two unidentified motorcyclists robbed a Sector 15 chemist of cash and some documents after assaulting him with an iron rod, late last night. The victim was admitted to the PGI with serious injuries and was not fit to give statement, said his family.

Mr Sudershan Kumar Chaudary, owner of Chaudary Medicos in Sector 15 and a foreign currency changer, was waylaid by the unidentified assailants near his Sector 15 resident on last night at around 10:30 pm. He was about to reach his residence from the shop, which is less than 50 meters away from his residence, when one of the assailants hit him with some heavy iron rod at the back of his head. Stunned by the attack Mr Chaudary could not even raise an alarm. One of the robbers snatched Mr Chaudary’s handbag and took out money from his pockets and also thrashed him before leaving the spot. During this the other accomplice was waiting on his motorcycle. The assailants then fled the spot.

As the robbery took place near his house the victim’s wife, along with some neighbours, rushed him to the PGI in unconscious condition, from where he was discharged this morning.

The exact loss could not be ascertained as yet as Mr Chaudary was unable to speak.

About two months ago, too, some unidentified assailants had made a bid to rob Mr Chaudary. As there was no loss reported then, Mr Chaudary refused to lodge a complaint with the police.

A case of robbery under Section 392 of the IPC has been registered this time.



Jewellery worth Rs 1.76 lakh recovered
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 1
The Panchkula police is claimed to have recovered gold jewellery worth Rs 1, 76,000 from the possession of Ms Kiran Sethi and her son Mannan Sethi. The recovered items are their share in booty in two dacoities committed at the shops of two jewellers in the city in 1999. The accused had been absconding since 1999 and had surrendered in the court on February 20 after they were declared proclaimed offenders. They were sent for police remand which ends tomorrow.

The police, while producing the accused before mediapersons here today, said in 1999, in two different incidents of armed dacoity at Rinku Jewellers, Sector 9 and Mitu Jewellers, Sector 4, dacoits had attacked and looted gold ornaments worth several lakhs at gun-point. The owner of Mitu Jewellers was also shot at.

Later, some persons, allegedly involved in the case, had been arrested. Notorious criminal Prem Pandit was also among them. The arrested persons had admitted that the dacoities were masterminded by Kiran Sethi and Manan Sethi. Meanwhile, a team of the Punjab Police is likely to move the court on Thursday to seek the production warrants of Kiran and Manan.



Hotel booking a click away
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
In the latest addition to new facilities for tourists in the city, the Department of Tourism, Chandigarh Administration, has created a databank of more than 50 places where guests can make online bookings for their stay before their arrival in the city.

The list includes 32 hotels, nine guest houses and 14 budget accommodations.

The Department of Tourism has placed the entire updated data on the accommodation available on the site http\\chandigarh.gov.in\tourism making it possible for room booking at the click of the mouse.

Besides the accommodations being provided by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), the list has also included private hotels.

"Tourism is not promoting just government hotels, tourism includes covering all the accommodation available and also all private restaurants," a senior official said.

The hotels available for online booking include Hotel Mountview, Hotel Shivalik View, Hotel Park View and Taj.

Amar, Alankar, Aroma, Chandigarh, Classic, Divyadeep, GK International, Heritage, Himani, Gravity, Jullundur, Captain's Retreat and KC Residency are some of the other hotels going online.

The guest houses on the list include the UT Guest House, Panchayat Bhavan, Punjab Bhavan, Circuit House, Kisan Bhavan, Haryana Niwas, Himachal Bhavan and Jammu and Kashmir Guest House.

The accommodations available on the list of 'budget accommodation' include Aggarwal, Chanan Ram, Gulati, Gujjar, Jai, Kukhrain, Ramgarhia and Satsang Bhavans, Indira Holiday Home, YMCA and YWCA hostel and Subwati, Sood and Saini dharamshalas.

Mr Vivek Atray, the Director of Tourism, said: "The interested party can book their room according to their budgets. The lists also have the rate list attached for the customer interest.

"The site also has telephone numbers. The enquiry about the current charges can also be made on the email."

Mr Atray said the website also had details of the places to visit and places to dine out.

The Department is also open to suggestions from the public and the visitors for improvement in the existing facilities.



Nayagaon residents thank Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
A group of residents of Nayagaon visited the Chief Minister’s residence this morning to thank him for a note he had issued regarding the formation of a notified area committee (NAC).

The office note signed by the Chief Minister dated February 27 and marked to the Local Government minister and the Principal Secretary Local bodies, stated that initially, an NAC be constituted, including only those areas which are outside the ambit of the Punjab Land Preservation Act. For the rest of the areas, “We could constitute a committee under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Rupnagar, to look into the status of all such left out areas and make suitable recommendations,” the office note read.

Sources added that while this move, if implemented, may give relief to some of the residents of the area, majority of the people living in the proposed Nayagaon NAC would get no immediate relief.

Sources in the Forest Department said out of the three villages Karoran (Choti and Baddi), Nadha and Kansal, while Kansal was entirely out of the ambit of the PLPA, there were large tracts in other villages which were covered under the Act.

“Which also means that only Kansal and some parts of rest of the villages would be made an NAC and not the rest of the area would not,” said a source.

Highly placed sources in the Department of Local Bodies also confirmed that the office note had been taken on record and noted. “However it might not be legally possible to divide the area proposed originally under Section 4 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, in 2001,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the villagers celebrated outside the Chief Minister’s office.



Mohali rejoices in moment of glory
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 1
It was a historical day for the residents of the town here today when the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, announced in the Vidhan Sabha that Mohali was being made the 18th district of Punjab and it would become functional from April 13.

Welcoming the decision, residents of Sector 65 organised a path of Sukhmani Sahib in the market area after which an ardas was performed followed by distribution of 60 kg ‘ladoos’.

A gate was put up at the chowk of Sector 65 which was fully decorated to celebrate the occasion. Youths of the area danced to the tune of a drum beat followed by a display of fireworks.

Mr Amrik Singh, a former municipal councillor, said that Mr Sohan Singh Mann, president, Residents Welfare Association, Mr Amar Singh Randhawa, President of Engineers Association, PUDA, and other residents played a major role in the function that was organised to celebrate the occasion.

He said the residents of the town were highly obliged to the Punjab Chief Minister for accepting the demand of the residents.

He said the decision was welcomed by office-bearers of various residents welfare associations. Mr Amrik Singh also thanked the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, for making efforts in this regard.

Welcoming the decision, Mr Baldev Singh Jhajj, secretary of the city committee of the CPI, said the CPI and other parties had been demanding since long that Mohali be given the status of a district.

He said that residents would not need to go to Ropar for administrative and judicial works and development works would also be done at a faster pace.



Agricultural land to fetch more
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Agricultural land in UT villages will now fetch better rates for the land owners.

The ball has been set rolling by the Chandigarh Administration with the constitution of a special task force by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to purchase land from villagers at negotiable rates.

The rates would be double the money paid as compensation by the office of the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO), said a senior officer in the Administration.

The task force, comprising of the Chairman and CEO of the CHB, and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, would negotiate the land rates with the villagers.

It is learnt that the task force would concentrate on acquiring land for constructing 23,000 units under the 'Slum Rehabilitation Scheme'.

The land has to be acquired in Dhanas and Khuda Lahora villages. Sources said the land acquisition rates (including the enhancements) offered by the LAO in the past went up to Rs 30 lakh for an acre. The task force was offering around Rs 50 lakh per acre.

"Since the Periphery Act was applicable in UT, the market rate of the land in UT was much less than being offered by private colonisers in the neighbouring areas of Punjab.

The officer said now there would be three agencies eyeing the land in UT villages.

Apart from the LAO, the CHB and theMunicipal Corporation was interested in buying the prime land. The land falls in Badheri, Baheana, Bair Majra, Burail, Dadu Majra, Baria, Dhanas, Hallo Majra, Kaimbala in UT villages.



Conversion of Suraj into multiplex hits roadblock
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 1
The conversion of Suraj Theatre into a multiplex has hit a roadblock with the revoking of the general power of attorney (GPA) by the previous owner of the cinema. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has also ordered status quo on its alienation and change of name to Suraj City.

Mr B.D. Vij, previous owner of the sprawling property in Sector 1 here, reportedly revoked the GPA in the last week of January. Following this, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has now declined to issue a no objection certificate (NOC) to the present management of Suraj Theatre for transfer of property in their name.

The directors of the cinema have also given an undertaking in the high court that no alienation or change of name of the property would take place. The undertaking came following a petition filed against them by another estranged director of the cinema.

The present management of the cinema had tied-up with a Delhi-based promoter to launch a multiplex and shopping arcade at the site.

Sources in HUDA confirmed that the sale deed registration of the property was in the name of the previous owner, Mr Vij, although the management had been with the present directors of the cinema.

In October last, the cinema management had applied for a no objection certificate (NOC) for the transfer of the property. Officials said the GPA of the previous owner was received by HUDA for procuring an NOC. HUDA decided to verify the GPA, before issuing the NOC. However, when Mr Vij was asked to appear before HUDA officials, he revoked the GPA.

Interestingly, as the ownership dispute continues, the file related to Suraj Cinema has gone missing from the Estate Office. Sources say the file has been missing ever since there has been an ownership dispute over the property.

HUDA officials have got a DDR registered in this regard.



Priest plays villain for lovebirds
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 1
A couple from Ludhiana that arrived in the city today from Ludhiana to marry was refused by a gurdwara priest in Sector 43. The people at gurdwara called the police, suspecting a foul play. The police then took the couple away. Their ordeal ended only after the police released the couple after a through questioning.

Sources in the Sector 36 police station said a 24-year-old boy, working as a typist in district courts in Ludhiana, came here this morning intending to marry his beloved, a 24-year-old local student. The couple, along with their advocate friends, came to the Sector 43 Gurdwara and asked the priest to solemnise their marriage. The priest reportedly asked the couple that they should bring their parents along with them.

On being told by the couple that their parents were against their marriage, the priest refused to perform the ceremony. When the couple and their advocate friends insisted on marriage the priest called the police, suspecting a foul play.

The police took the couple, along with their friends, for questioning. The police also contacted the Dehlon police station in Ludhiana to enquire whether they had got any case of kidnapping of the girl in their police station. When the SHO of the Dehlon police station confirmed that no such case was registered in his police station, the local police released the couple as no offence was made out against them for both the boy and girl were major, said the SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Ishwar Singh Mann.



Notice to Administrator for violating SC directive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Civil Judge, Mr Atul Marrya, today issued notices to the UT Administrator, UT Home Secretary, IG, Chandigarh Police, DPI, Colleges and DPI, Schools, for their failure to follow the Supreme Court guidelines on setting up committees at work places for the prevention of sexual harassment.

The defendants have been issued notices for April 18. Moving the application before the Civil Judge, Mr Arvind Thakur, a human rights lawyer, stated that in the past it had been observed that several incidents of sexual harassment at work places had come to light.

Highlighting the incident of harassment of a woman ASI , the complainant claimed in the suit that no such committees had been constituted in schools and colleges. The guidelines of the apex court in the Vishakha and others vs State of Rajasthan.


Local courts today acquitted four persons in two separate cases of kidnapping and rape. In both the cases, the prosecution failed to prove the charges.

Dinesh, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, who was charged with the rape of daughter of Ram Bhardwaj was today acquitted for lack of evidence. The case had been registered at Sector 39 Police Station in 1999.

In another case, Som Pal, Shiv Raj, Shanti Devi, and Banarsi were acquitted as the victim failed to appear in the court. 



Nod to allotment of sites at tech park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
The Chandigarh Administration has approved the allotment of four built- to-suit sites at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park as per the draw of lots which took place today in the Estate Office in the presence of representatives of all eligible companies.

The companies which were allotted the land included the RT Outsourcing from New Delhi and Netsmartz from USA in Category I, Net Solutions and Karin Infotech Limited in Category II of the CISP rules.

All four companies are leading IT companies in their respective fields. The advertisements seeking applications for the four built-to-suit sites were placed in the month of January 2006 against which 55 companies had given application.

Out of these 57 companies, 23 were found to be eligible companies and draw of lots took place among these companies separately for both categories.

While category I had six companies in fray, the remaining 17 were in Category II.

As many as nine companies have been already allotted land after the last two draw of lots. 



Kazakh envoy meets Governor, Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh March 1
The Ambassador of Republic of Kazakhstan to India, Mr. Kairat E. Umarov, today called on the Punjab Governor and the Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Gen. (retd.) S.F. Rodrigues.

General Rodrigues told the visiting dignitary that there was ample scope for cooperation and collaboration in the field of information technology, agriculture, transportation, education, medical, business management, low cost technologies and other core areas of social and economic progress between Kazakhstan and India, especially in North.

General Rodrigues said that there were other exciting new possibilities of partnership in agriculture, organic farming and food processing and business management education. He suggested to the visiting Ambassador to arrange to send delegations in different areas to take the benefit of the advanced programmes and knowledge based activities in India.

The visiting Ambassador, while expressing gratitude for the offer of partnership, said that India and Kazakhstan were linked by history and culture by shared values. He said that Kazakhs had a vision of a long-term partnership in different core areas for expanding their economy.

Earlier in the day, Mr Kairat also visited the Municipal Corporation. The ambassador met Mr Surinder Singh, Mayor and Mr PS Aujla, commissioner, MCC.

The Mayor gave him a brief introduction of the working of MCC, including the water works, sanitation system, setting up of garbage processing plant and other functions of the corporation. Mr Umarov explained the working of their local bodies to the Mayor.



Dharna by vet staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Members of the Diploma Veterinary Association, Haryana, today staged a protest dharna at Matka Chowk, Sector-17, here. The members were demanding the implementation of their long-pending demands. The department, however, has taken serious view of the protest.

In a statement issued by the Department of Animal Husbandry declared the protest march and their demands unjustified. It stated that keeping in view the ''bird flu'', they should not have left the headquarters and those who have left the headquarters will be dealt with seriously

The activists demanded the implementation of the Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984. Prem Singh Chahal, president of the VLDA, stated that being diploma holders, they were not permitted to act as vets. They demanded that they should be given the rights as stipulated under the Act.

They also demanded a change in the admission criteria to the diploma in the veterinary course. They also demanded to be called as junior veterinary officer. Their demands also included an increase of the number of block-level extension officers from 120 to 220.



Oustees hold protest

Chandigarh, March 1
Members of a welfare society of original inhabitants of 50 UT villages burnt a copy of the application form of the self-financing scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in Sector 17 here today. They were protesting against the indifference of the Administration in rehabilitating the oustees.

They said around 5,000 families, uprooted in 1966 had not been rehabilitated. Mr H.S. Billing, general secretary of the body, said while the administration was rehabilitating slum dwellers, no consideration was being made for the rehabilitation of the villagers. He said the oustees of only 22 villages had been rehabilitated so far. The villagers threatened to go on fast if their demand was not met. TNS



Devotional music album released
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 1
Employing his vast expertise of music direction in over 100 projects, including all Jaspal Bhatti productions, H.M. Singh has composed music for an audio album ' Jai Jayanti Mata'.

The album was released today by Mr Arun Grover, Managing Director, Amartex Industries, at the Amartex outlet here today.

Mr Grover complimented the singers and music director H.M. Singh for embellishing the devotional collection with rich quality of soulful bhajans.

Recital of 'mantras' by classical vocalist Sudama Ram is an added feature of the album.

Sudamaji, Shruti, Shivani, Jaspreet, Pammi Dhillon, Sonu, Suniljeet Kamal and H.M. Singh had lent their voices in the album.



Makkar to visit Press Club today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
SGPC president Jathedar Avtar Singh Makkar will address a “Meet-the-Press” programme at the Chandigarh Press Club tomorrow at 12.30 pm. All regular and candidate members of the club will attend the programme.



One held for selling stolen car
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 1
The Special Crime Investigation Cell of the Chandigarh Police has arrested a Panchkula resident on the charges duping a city resident to the tune of Rs 2.35 lakh by selling him a stolen car. The accused, in connivance with other persons, forged documents of the stolen vehicle and got it registered in Panchkula.

Mohammed Akram of Sector 11, Panchkula, has been booked on the charges of forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy under the various provisions of the IPC on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr Sunil Ahuja of Sector 26 Grain market.

The police said the car (HR-03-F-4662) was stolen from Delhi in October 2004. Later the accused took the car to Uttar Pradesh and got it registered in some other person’s name by forging documents there. Later he got the car registered in Panchkula. Thereafter he sold the vehicle to the complainant in January this year.

Rape accused held

A father of four children has been arrested on the charges of kidnapping and raping a neighbour on the pretext of marrying her.

Mani Majra police sources said the case had been registered against Nishar Ahmed (28) on a complaint by the father of the 21-year-old victim. It was alleged that the accused had kidnapped and seduced the unmarried daughter of the complainant on the pretext of marrying her.

Monk held with ganja

The local police arrested a monk, Jai Pal, from an Indira Colony-based temple on the charges of carrying 2.8 kg of ganja on Tuesday night. A case under Section 15 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act has been registered.

Liquor seized

The police arrested on Tuesday Maha Dev, a Colony Number 5 resident, from Jail Road on charges of carrying 16 nips of country-made liquor. A case under Excise Act has been registered against him.



Credit for agro sector stressed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 1
Banks have a major role to play as the country pegs its hope on growth. As the country strides towards becoming a global leader, the banks can play a major role by funding and becoming partners in the success story.

These views were expressed by bureaucrats, bankers from Punjab and Haryana and officials of Nabard, during a state-level bankers’ committee meetings of Haryana and Punjab, held here today. The meetings were convened by Punjab National Bank. It was also proposed that the bankers could play a greater role in fuelling agricultural growth, thus more credit be extended to the sector so as do away with the agrarian crisis in the country.

At the Haryana committee meeting, Ms Meenakshi Anand Chaudhary, Chief Secretary, Haryana, was the chief guest. She appreciated the contribution of banks towards overall growth of agriculture and industry in the state. She stressed the need for availability of easy credit to small and medium enterprises for gainful employment of the state’s youth. The focus industries should be agro-based industries, bio-technology, horticulture, floriculture and diversified agro based activities, she added.

Mr S C Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of PNB, said that 47 new branches of commercial banks and regional rural banks had been opened in Haryana during the review period, thus raising the total number of branches from 1,625 to 1,672. The total deposits of the banks in the state increased from Rs 31,578 crore in December 2004 to Rs 40,063 crore in December 2005. Similarly, advances also increased by Rs 6,455 crore from Rs 18,090 crore to Rs 24,545 crore during the review period, thereby showing a growth of 35.7 per cent.

Priority sector advances of the state increased by Rs 3,449 crore or 29 per cent from Rs 11,900 crore to Rs 15,349 crore during the review period. In agriculture sector, the advances increased from Rs 5,616 crore.

Out of the total outstanding under agriculture advance of Rs 7,363 crore, direct agriculture advances outstanding were to the tune of Rs 5,594 crore and indirect agriculture advances were Rs 1,769 crore. Advances under weaker sector registered a significant growth of Rs.490 crore or 27 per cent from Rs 1,817 crore to Rs 2,307 crore during the review period.

Advances to small scale industries in Haryana had a significant growth of 27.3 per cent or Rs 743 crore during the review period i.e. from Rs 2,723 crore as at December 2004 to Rs 3,466 crore as at December 2005 as compared to the growth of 13.5 per cent registered during corresponding period of last year.

At the committee meeting of Punjab, the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, said that the banks should make the maximum use of the booming economy of Punjab.

The BPO and KPO industry was coming to the state, and would employ 20,000 personnel. They would require housing. The banks could focus on extending credit in this direction.

While reviewing the performance of banks in Punjab, Mr SC Gupta said that four new branches of commercial banks had opened in the state during the review period, thus raising the network to 2447 as on December, 2005. Mr Gupta said that deposits increased from Rs 63,608 crore to Rs 70,294 crore. The credit increased by Rs 8,159 crore from Rs 32,485 crore to Rs 40,644 crore during this period.


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