C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

Exam near; PU students await notes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
With less than a week for the undergraduate and postgraduate annual exams to begin, students of various correspondence courses of Panjab University are still hunting for their lessons (reading material).

Due to an unprecedented delay in the printing and dispatch of lessons by the university, students are being forced to line up at the dispatch counter of the Department of Correspondence Studies here to collect these personally. In many cases, however, these lessons are still under print and students are being asked to manage the exams without any lessons to study from.

A parent who did not want to be named complained that her daughter was to appear in BCom I examination on April 4, but the lessons from which she is supposed to prepare were still under print. Similar stories were related by students who had come to collect the reading material for other subjects. “There is no reading material for BCom, MCom, MSc and some other undergraduate and postgraduate courses,” said Mr Pramod Kumar, who had come to the department in this connection. He added that they had contacted a faculty member of a department to give them names of books from which notes could be photostat.

Many students have been called to the department tomorrow to give them lessons which had been printed.

A faculty member of the department on condition of anonymity said the university delayed choosing the printer which was to undertake the task. And even when the choice had been made, certain changes in the rates of security for the chosen printer led to further delay.

“The university charges Rs 500 extra for these lessons to be posted. But we have been camping here for these lessons for three days to get the lessons,” said a parent.

The head of the department, Dr Jagmohan Chopra, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

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Two impersonators arrested
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 24
A person posing as the personal security officer-cum-driver of the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was nabbed by the Chandigarh police as he was driving a Gypsy bearing a plate which read “CBI Director”. He used to fleece gullible young couples sitting in parks and used to steal things from vehicles parked in markets or at secluded places.

The police got suspicious that a CBI Director would never move around in a Gypsy. And even if he had assumed an identity to probe a case, the plate reading “CBI Director” would not be fixed on the Gypsy. Moreover, the Director of the CBI would be allocated a car.

Giving details about the incident, the UT Deputy Superintendent of Police (South) said the police got information that a man was moving in a stolen Gypsy near the MCM College, Sector 36, here. A police party noticed a Gypsy (DL-60-7558) parked near the main gate of the college. On seeing the police party, the driver tried to flee, but was intercepted.

During questioning, the driver could not give a satisfactory reply or show documents to prove his claim. Later, he identified himself as Inderjit Singh of Lalru village in Patiala district. He also confessed to have stolen the Gypsy from near the Sukhna Lake and affixed the forged plate and the sticker.

A case of cheating and impersonation under various provisions of the IPC has been registered against him at the Sector 36 police station.

The search of his vehicle led to recovery of a black leather bag containing instruments used in breaking locks of vehicles. Another set of number plate (HR-03-D-8474) was also recovered from the vehicle.

In yet another incident the Chandigarh Police today managed to nab a Sector 21 resident impersonating as an Assistant Superintendent of Police. He was minting money from unsuspecting people at a naka that he had set up near the Sukhna Lake.

Sources in the police said Rajnish Kumar of Sector 21 procured a police uniform and set up a picket near the Sukhna Lake. He landed in the police net when Aman Garg, a student of Punjab Engineering College, brought up the matter with the police.

Aman told the police that he was stopped by the Rajnish at a naka near the lake and demanded money from him to let him go. He reportedly gave the money and narrated the episode to his friend. the latter smelt something wrong in the episode as he had never heard of “ASP” rank in the Chandigarh Police. They reported the matter to the police.

A police party reached the spot and found the “ASP” checking documents of gullible people and demanding money from them. The police arrested him and registered a case of impersonation and forgery against him. 

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NIPER budget goes up three times
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 24
The Government of India has tripled the budget allocation for the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research(NIPER), Mohali. Announcing this here today, Ms Satwant Reddy, Secretary, department of Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers, said in order to enhance human resources development and research in pharmaceutical sciences, the Centre was thinking of establishing additional NIPER centres in the country. So far NIPER is only in Mohali and was set up under an act.

The potential locations for NIPER centres were Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Goa. She said the budget of the institute for 2006-2007 had been increased from Rs 6 crore last year to Rs 18 crore.

The Centre had also sanctioned Rs 1crore to shift the high tension wire which crosses over NIPER from there. Because of the wire, the institute was not able to use 20 acres of its land. The PSEB was charging Rs 3 crore for shifting the wire. She said the Punjab government would be requested to waive the rest of the amount.

Prof P. Rama Rao, Director, NIPER, said a clearance regarding the setting up of the Centre for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology was expected to reach by March 31. He added that the institute was involved in new drug delivery programmes in tuberculosis, malaria, leishmania and diabetes. NIPER had produced 322 masters and 48 doctoral students in different departments of the institute. 

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Ex-drug addicts join hands against abuse 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, March 24
It is a unique “prayaas” (effort) for the drug addicts by former drug addicts. Dedicated bands of former drug addicts have joined hands to start a drug rehabilitation centre at Kalgidhar Enclave here.

In fact, it is the rehabilitation and counselling centre for the drug addicts, by the drug addicts and of the drug addicts. Being run under the aegis of the People for Drug Free Society, the centre has ambitious plans to rehabilitate drug addicts.

It all started in December last year when eight former drug addicts, all members of the Narcotics Anonymous (NA), a worldwide fellowship of recovering drug addicts, joined together to pass on the message of the fellowship to persons still fighting a losing battle with drug abuse, a problem which has assumed alarming proportions in this part of the country.

“Our main objective is to give the message to the drug addicts that their disease can be cured. God has given us a second life and we want to dedicate this “bonus life” to the welfare of the drug addicts,” says Palwinder Singh, president of the society.

Palwinder, who had virtually fought a losing battle with the drugs for almost 18 years since 1984, said it was the God’s grace he got the message of the NA. That was in 2002 and since then he had been leading a “sober and purposeful life”.

The drug abuse is a three-fold mental, physical and spiritual disease. Until tackled at the three levels, the chances of recovery are remote. It is this three-fold approach, spread over a period of 144 days, that is practised at the centre to help the hardcore addicts lead normal life, informed another member.

The solution is not quitting the “killer” drugs but to remain away from them for the rest of life for any relapse could be fatal. For this purpose, rigorous counselling, involving former counsellors from the PGI, followed by physical treatment are the essential parts of the programme.

The ultimate objective is to bring the addicts to the meetings of the NA held in different parts of the city so that they can remain sober for the rest of their lives by following the “one-day-at-a-time programme”, Palwinder added.

The member informed that any drug addict or his family member could get in touch with the Prayaas Helpline at 98720-29333 and 98158-25415.

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Much more to UP than Taj: Hameed
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Mr Hameed was in the city to inaugurate the India Travel Mart being organised by the Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends. A large number of state tourism departments from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Chandigarh and countries like Malaysia and Dubai are participating in the Travel Mart. Companies like Star Cruise and Club Mahindra, besides heritage hotels and resorts have put up their stalls.

Chandigarh, March 24.
Uttar Pradesh is out to hardsell its history to the tourists — be it the Sanauli excavations (dating back to Copper Age), the ethos of the oldest surviving city, Varanasi, or the Lakshyagreha and Hastinapur (of Mahabharata age).

The Uttar Pradesh tourism department also plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first Indian Mutiny by organising tableau processions in the circuit where the historical events related to 'The Rising' took place.

Kawkab Hameed
Kawkab Hameed

The government is also going to approach the Supreme Court, requesting that the rules for viewing the Taj Mahal on moon-lit nights, be relaxed. It will appeal to the government for allowing online booking for viewing the Taj on a moon-lit night and for allowing night viewing from a closer distance (than specified by the apex court).

Announcing the state government's plans for attracting tourists, the state Tourism Minister, Mr Kawkab Hameed, said that a tableau procession will begin from Meerut on May 10 — the 150th anniversary of the 1857 Mutiny — and pass through Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Batur and Jhansi.

"There is much more to UP, than the Taj Mahal. Though the monument is the biggest attraction for the people visiting the state, we propose to develop our other historical cities and sites to attract tourists," he said.

The Tourism Minister said that a Mahabharata circuit will be developed. The state government has sent a proposal for the same to the Government of India. "The tunnel used by the Pandavas to escape from the Lakhshyagreha at Barnawa, will be developed as a tourist attraction. The site, where Hastinapur once stood, will also be developed as a tourist attraction. We have proposed that a light and sound show on the Mahabharata — the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas — be developed and exhibited to tourists. The idea is not just to attract foreigners but also apprise the younger generations of our history and heritage," he said.

Mr Hameed said that the two ghats at Varanasi — Vara ghat and Nasi ghat — will be beautified. On board the cruise, the tourists would be apprised of the history of the city.

Dr Gulshan Sharma of Institute of Tourism and Future Management Trends (ITFT) said that there was need to have a joint tourism policy of states in the Northern region to attract tourists. A conclave of tourism ministers could be held to work out a joint strategy of organising Northern India Tourism and Cultural festivals, he said.

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Ministry opposes excise duty cut on pharmaceutical items
Tribune News Service

Mrs Reddy said that NIPER was all set to welcome Prince Charles. He will be accompanied by Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker during the visit to NIPER on March 28 for an hour in the afternoon. The Prince, a guest of the Government of Punjab, would be visiting NIPER's medicinal plants garden.

Mohali, March 24
The Finance Ministry of the Government of India has opposed the reduction of excise duty on all pharmaceutical products from 16 per cent to 8 per cent as proposed by the Department of Petrochemical and Pharmaceuticals.

Stating this, the Secretary of the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Mrs Satwant Reddy, however, pointed out that talks are on with the finance ministry officials to convince them.

Mrs Reddy was talking to mediapersons during a press conference at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) here today. The reduction of excise duty is incidentally a part of the policy initiatives promised by the UPA government as part of their minimum common programme.

Listing the new policy initiatives taken by her department, Mrs Reddy said as promised by the Minister for Chemical and Fertilizers, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, all medicines would be available at the Maximum Retail Price inclusive of all taxes.

She further announced that the Ministry had decided to set up mega chemical industrial estates across the country in the private public partnership mode with private investments which could be either domestic or foreign.

"However these estates can be developed only with a large petrochemical complex as the anchor industry," she said adding that the task force on petroleum chemical and petrochemical investment regions constituted by the Prime Minister had suggested three such regions to be set up at Vishakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh, Dahej Gujarat and Haldia West Bengal.

"Other than the establishment of these regions in order to attract private investment into these fields, we have also planned to help promote the domestic polymer as downstream for petro-chemical by-products. The current per capita consumption of plastic in India is 4 kg while our target is to increase it to at least 12 kg. So instead of saying 'no to plastics' we are saying 'know your plastic'," she said.

Mrs Reddy also stated that the department had decided to revive sick public sector units, including Hindustan Antibiotics Limited (HAL), Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals (BPCL) and Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited.

"PSUs in drug production are needed for strategic reasons. These would be pressed into service in case of national calamities and diseases and also if certain drugs are not being manufactured by the private companies for lack of profits.

Also in order to keep these PSUs afloat the government would procure the drugs it supplies under various schemes from these units," she said.

Admitting that a substantial number of small scale pharmaceutical industries had closed down in Punjab and set up base in the hill states due to the exemption packages being offered by them, Mrs Reddy said she was apprised of the problem and had assured the industry to take up the issue.

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Commerce killing sacred disciplines: Pandit Debu
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The path of tradition is a rutted one. And there are few travellers who can handle the foot sores. Pt Debu Chaudhuri is one among them. He not only handles his sores well but cherishes them for their power to tell the tale of his commitment to a cause.

From the keeper of Tansen's Senia tradition, sacrifice might well be expected. But Pt Chaudhuri's charm lies in the sheer grace of his endeavours. In the 60 years that he has nurtured sitar, he has never compromised on its character nor has he allowed his son Prateek to do so.

The result has been impressive. Together the son-father and the "guru-shishya" duo have earned the envious reputation of not playing to the gallery. They have, instead, stuck to their promise of playing the 17 fretted sitars notwithstanding the temptations of playing easier versions.

But these vows have sure been kept at a loss. As Pt Chaudhuri, here for the Bhaskar Rao Sammelan being organized by Pracheen Kala Kendra, admits: "It has not been easy to walk the line. I have failed to be a promoter and have taken a long time to reach where I am. There has been enough dilution of the classical tradition and the way listeners treat it. I am pained to see how sacred disciplines are being killed at the altar of commerce. I have never allowed my son to fall out of line."

But Prateek, a lecturer in music at Delhi University, has managed to experiment within the parameters of tradition. He has just founded a grand orchestra titled "Soul of India". Comprising 60 musicians, the group strives to offer a mélange of classical flavours. It features all forms of music - from Sufi and Rajasthani maand to jazz, rock and Indian classical. The group held its first performance in Delhi. And it managed a raving response.

Prateek says, "The spirit of classical music remains well guarded. All we do is present its varied hues. Not even in our dreams can we tamper with the elements of classical music which is supreme in every sense of the word. In one classical raga, I can reflect 10 different moods. Which other musical tradition of the world can offer such diversity?

For Pt Chaudhuri, the deviation from norm is acceptable so far as it respects the philosophy behind music. But he also feels walking such a path is like walking the edge. "

Pained by the corruption which music has been exposed to, he says, "The onus of redeeming tradition lies on the society. Listeners must be initiated into music so that they can see through the mirage which songs like "Aashiq banaya…" create." We have been doing our bit by working with SPIC MACAY."

Pt Chaudhuri has recently also started UMAC for the promotion of sitar across India. Named after his guru Ustad Mushtaq Ali Khan, the institution located in Delhi offers scholarships to deserving students. Besides this, he is busy documenting eight self composed ragas that reflect the true spirit behind the 17-fret sitar tradition.

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Bheora: police team to leave for Delhi today
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 24
The Chandigarh Police will send a team to Delhi tomorrow for bringing Paramjit Singh Bheora, one of the prime accused in the assassination of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh, to Chandigarh.

Sources in the operation cell of the Police Department said a team, headed by the in charge of the cell, Inspector Vijay Kumar, would leave for Delhi early tomorrow morning. A Delhi court had remanded Paramjit in the custody of the Delhi police till March 25.

Paramjit was arrested by the Delhi police on Monday along with his two aides Jasbir Singh and Bhupinder Singh from north-west Delhi. Paramjit, Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara and Devi Singh had tunnelled their way out of the Model Jail in Burail village here in January, 2004.

A police officer said the team did not need permission of court to bring Bheora to the city as he had been declared a proclaimed offender by a court here. 

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Embrarer on display at air show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
The IAF's latest acquisition, the Brazilian Embrarer VIP transport aircraft, would be among the aircraft being displayed at the air show being organised at 12 Wing here tomorrow.

Besides the static display of combat and transport aircraft as well as helicopters, a fly-past by several formations would be the star attraction of the show. About 25 aircraft would be flying low for the audience.

Jaguars, MiG-23s and MiG-21s would feature among the fighters, while the Mi-17 utility helicopter and Mi-35 helicopter gunships would among the helicopters showcasing their flying performance.

The giant Mi-26, the world's largest and the heaviest helicopter, would also take to the skies. Among transports, the "Small Boy" formation comprising An-32 and Dornier aircraft would be participating in the fly-past.

The static display, which commences at 10 a.m. and the fly-past, scheduled for 4 p.m., are open to the general public.

The static display would include MiG-29, Jaguar, MiG-21, Mi-26, Mi-17, Chetak, Il-76, An-32, OSA-AK and Pichora missiles.

The Air Warriors Drill Team would also present their skill-at-arms on the occasion, which would be wrapped up by free-fall jump by the IAF's Akash Ganga sky diving team.

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Experts discuss management systems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
A regional-level review meeting of representatives of various management system certification licencees of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) was held here yesterday. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Director-General, Mr Chandra Shekhar, and was presided over by Mr Sunil Duggal, vice-president, Gujarat Ambuja Cement Ltd.

In his keynote address, Mr Chandra Shekhar spoke of how the BIS was preparing to launch public service delivery management systems as per IS 15700. This standard had been developed to involve citizens concerned in the formulation of policy and quality and reliability of services provided by the various departments of the government.

He added that BIS would be carrying out certification schemes on food safety management system as per IS/ISO/22000 and information security management system as per IS/ISO/IEC 27000.

Mr Sunil Duggal gave an overview of his organisation and the benefits accrued from the implementation of quality systems certification.

In the technical session, Dr R.K. Singh, Director, BIS, New Delhi, spoke of the management system activity of BIS. Various presentations regarding the benefits from implementation of the quality system certification in their organisations were given by Mr Avinash Mathur, former executive president, IDS, Info Tech Ltd., Chandigarh, Mr A.K. Rastogi, General Manager, Gujarat Ambuja, and Mr Ashok Thapar, additional SE, BBMB.

Around 100 representatives of the various industries of the region participated. 

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Traders meet IT Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) held a meeting with the Commissioner of Income Tax-II, Mr Girish Sharma, here today regarding the new provisions for scrutinising income tax returns.

The Commissioner explained that the criteria to select the cases for scrutiny would be household withdrawals of individuals where the expenditure did not match the living style of the person. There was a provision for the assessees to revise their previous returns which had not been processed. The cut-off date for such returns was March 31.

However, the delegation demanded that the new provision should be implemented from the current financial year, the returns of which were yet to be filed. There was an apprehension in the trade and business circles that under the guise of this circular issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), genuine assessees would be harassed. 

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Empowerment of professionals discussed

Chandigarh, March 24
The Chandigarh-Panchkula chapter of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India today organised a regional conference on empowerment of professionals in the changing economic environment. Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan inaugurated the conference.

Mr Rakesh Bhalla, secretary, said the economy was in a transitional phase. As the country was developing there was a lot of scope for the industry and professionals.

Mr K. S. Tanwar, Chairman of the chapter, highlighted that professionals would have to change themselves according to the need of the day. — TNS

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YC burns effigies of BJP leaders
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 24
Members of the Youth Congress (YC) today burnt effigies of BJP leaders in protest against the allegations against Mrs Sonia Gandhi due to which she had to resign.

Effigies of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Mr L.K. Advani were burnt at the traffic light chowk in Phase VII. The protesters also raised slogans against the BJP.

Mr Kamaldeep Singh, president of the Ropar unit of the Youth Congress. said Mrs Gandhi had resigned as she was not interested in power and the BJP leaders were levelling baseless allegations against her.

Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said she had given an example of sacrifice.

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UN award for Amir Chand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Brahma Kumar Amir Chand has been honoured with the International Award UN 2006 jointly by the International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), the USA, the Commonwealth Association for the Education and Training of Adults (CAETA), the UK, and Global Open University, Milan. He was conferred the international award for excellence in peace and spirituality.

Brahma Kumar Amir Chand is at present the director of the northern zone of Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishva Vidyalaya at its zonal headquarters in Chandigarh.

The award was presented to him at the India International Centre, New Delhi, recently.

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Youth arrested for stealing purse from bank
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 24
The local police arrested a youth, who stole a purse from a local bank about 23 days ago, when he visited the bank unmindful of the fact that his image was captured by the cameras installed in the bank. In another incident, The Chandigarh Police booked a Sector 23 resident on the allegations of duping a man of Rs 4.50 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad. In another incident, the police arrested an Amritsar resident on the charges of stealing a purse from a bank.

Giving details, sources in the Operation Cell of the Chandigarh Police said 22-year-old Sabtaz Singh, a resident of Sarai Anant village in Amritsar district, was nabbed by the employees of ICICI Bank in Sector 9 when he visited the bank on Thursday. Sabtaz had allegedly stolen a purse belonging to Ms Vibha Sharma of Sector 23-A on February 28. He was caught in action by the close circuit cameras installed in the bank. Sabtaz, an unemployed youth, had come to a travel agent in the vicinity of the bank on that day. He went to the bank and finding an opportunity decamped with the purse.

The bank had kept his image and gave the same to the police. When he came yesterday the bank employees handed him over to the police after identifying him. The police recovered the stolen property from his possession. He was produced before a local court today, which remanded him to one day of police custody.

Booked axThe local police booked a Sector 23 resident on the allegations of duping a man to the tune of Rs 4.50 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad. Mr Munish Kumar of Sector 47-C reported to the police alleging that Sunil Kumar of Sector 23 had taken the money from him to send him abroad in 2004. Mr Munish Kumar told the police that after taking the money the accused started dilly-dallying and did not return his money when he demanded the same back. A case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal code has been registered in this regard. 

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Man injures sister’s husband
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 24
In a shocking incident a brother attacked and injured his sister’s husband, who had married her against the wishes of her family, in Sector 30 here last night. The victim was admitted to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where his condition was stated to be stable.

Giving details of the incident, the police said Jag Jaspreet Singh attacked Nachatar Singh with a sword at around 8 p.m. when the latter was sitting in a park in Sector 30 near his residence. In the attack Nachatar sustained multiple head injuries, besides suffering cuts on limbs. Hearing his cries people gathered on the spot and a policeman on duty was called, who nabbed the assailant.

Sources said Jag Jaspreet was not happy with the marriage.

The police was informed about the incident and they arrested Jag Jaspreet Singh and a case of attempt to murder was registered against him in this connection. He was produced before a local court today which remanded him in judicial custody. 

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Man jumps before train, dies
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 24
A 22-year-old resident of Indira Colony allegedly ended his life by jumping before a passenger train this afternoon.
The police said the victim's family ruled out any foul play behind the incident and said the victim was undergoing depression.

Sources in the Government Railway police said Bobby of Indira Colony jumped before a passenger train at around 12 noon. The body will be handed over to the victim's family after a post-mortem examination, tomorrow. 

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Revamp small-scale industry: chamber
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, March 24
Inadequate power generation, interrupted supply to industrial units, avoidable line losses, shifting of about 45,000 small-scale units from the state after 1997 and related issues came up for discussion at a state-level meeting of the Haryana Chamber of Commerce held here on Wednesday.

State president of the chamber S.P. Gupta urged the state government to revamp the small-scale industry.

He disclosed that of the 1,25,000 registered units in 1996-97, many units had been shifted to other states, which was an issue of concern. Besides, deficient power supply, unprecedented power cuts and higher tariff were the other areas which required to be reviewed. He said the local area development tax and the existing 2 per cent CST must be withdrawn.

Referring to avoidable electricity line losses of 32 per cent in Haryana, former chamber president C.B. Goel lamented that honest consumers were forced to bear the brunt of lapses on the part of the government.

Lauding the decision of waiving arrears of power consumption worth Rs 1,600 crore by the agriculture sector, Mr Vishnu Goyal urged the government to bear the financial burden rather than realising it from honest consumers. He was referring to the hike of three paisa per unit effective from March 2006 imposed without seeking the statutory approval of the Haryana Electricity Regulatory commission.

Local chamber chairman Satish Gupta and Parveen Aggarwal also participated in the deliberations.

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Biz Clips

Chandigarh
Cheap ACs:
Voltas today announced the launch of its window air-conditioners in the range of Rs 9,990 (0.8 tons) to Rs 14,500 (1.5 ton). Mr K.J. Jawa, senior vice-president, Unitary Products Business Group, Voltas Limited, said these had been launched for the rural market, where the penetration of ACs was less than 1 per cent.

Meanwhile, Electrolux, too, announced the launch of its window AC for Rs 10,000 and split AC for upto Rs 22,500. Announcing the launch of these ACs here today, Mr Vikas Muker, product head, Electrolux, said the company was also eyeing new segments for growth, and there was a huge potential for growth in semi-urban areas. “Punjab is a major market for us in refrigerators and ACs, and we plan to open 450 outlets in the state,” he added. —TNS

Elected: Mr J. K. Mehta has been elected Chairman and Mr Arvind Kapur Vice-Chairman of the CII Haryana State Council.—TNS

Notes changed: The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue bank notes of Rs 20 denominations with inset letter "E" in both numbering panels in Mahatma Gandhi series bearing the signature of the RBI Governor. The design of the notes is similar to the bank notes issued earlier in the same series.—TNS 

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Punjab and Sind Bank gears up for tax collection
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Punjab and Sind Bank, which has branches in all states, has made special arrangements for direct-tax collections.
A spokesperson for the bank said here today that all its branches in Delhi and Mumbai were authorised to collect the tax. Besides, the tax could be deposited at a majority of its branches in Amritsar, Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Bhopal. In all 209 branches of the bank were authorised to collect the tax, he said. The bank has set up special counters for the purpose and it would provide challan forms free of cost. 

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