L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Watchman found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
A 60-year-old watchman working in a factory in Kailash Nagar was found murdered by his colleagues in the morning today.

The victim has been identified as Resham Lal, a Nepalese. His throat was slit and he was stabbed in his chest with a sharp-edged weapon last night and his body was spotted by some other workers who reached the factory in the morning.

Police sources said the murder was probably due to some personal enmity as his throat was badly slit. It was not only to kill him but to take revenge.

They said two ferocious dogs were also present inside the factory when the murder took place. Surprisingly none of the dogs barked and did not even bite anyone. The police reached the conclusion that the murder was the handiwork of some insider, who was identified by the dogs also.

Talking to mediapersons, the owner of the factory said he had not seen any visitors for Resham Lal ever and he could not suspect anybody as he did not hear him fighting with anyone.

He added that he used to stay in the factory at night and was doing it for the past few many years.

A case of murder has been registered against unidentified persons. A police team reached the spot in the morning and a dog squad was also pressed into service. The victim, survived by his widow and five children, was working with the factory for the past 15 years. 

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Rain brings respite from heat
Tribune News Service

The darkened sky prior to the rain which lashed Ludhiana on Tuesday
The darkened sky prior to the rain which lashed Ludhiana on Tuesday Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, June 27
Providing much needed respite from the blistering heat, rain in the city today eased pressure on electricityand water.

Residents heaved a sigh of relief as rain was required the most due to the heat wave prevailing in the region for the last number of days. The weather remained pleasant throughout the day. The mercury had crossed 44° mark forcing people to look for shelter due to the unbearable temperature.

The people of the city were seen enjoying in the rain. Drivers moving on the city roads were seen having fun in the rain by parking their cars aside. Young children had come out on streets of their colonies to enjoy the showers. Commuters were seen moving on the roads with umbrellas and rain coats.

For the past several days there was no relief from the hot and humid weather prevailing all over the state. The power cuts and erratic water supply had made the lives of people all the more miserable in some areas.

The residents had to switch over to their ACs as the air coolers were rendered ineffective by the humid weather. Moving out in the sun also proved very costly for some who suffered sun-stroke.

The rain has brought cheers to farmers also in the district as they are busy transplanting the paddy. It has become easier for them to transplant it in the pleasant weather instead of the hot sun.

Experts of PAU said that the rain was good for the crop and it would lower the pressure on electricity and water.

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Passengers have harrowing time as Shatabdi arrives late
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Thousands of passengers on board the morning Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express (2014) had a harrowing time today when the train reached its destination two hours and 40 minutes late than its scheduled time at New Delhi.

Heavy downpour at New Delhi and poor drainage system at various railway stations worsened the matters as the train had to wait outside Sabzi Mandi and New Delhi railway stations all these hours leaving the passengers in jitters.

Some of the passengers missed their flights and trains due to the late arrival of the train which leaves Ludhiana at 7.05 am and reached New Delhi at 11 am. Many were complaining that they had to appear in interviews and some had to attend important business meetings.

Passengers, including this correspondent, were stranded for around one hour at Sabzi Mandi outer and for around one-and-half-hour at New Delhi outer. Rumour mills worked overtime as news reaching out to the passengers said that the track was disrupted due to some terrorist activity as the train crew members did not make use of the public address system.

It was only after arriving at New Delhi station that the passengers came to know that the railway tracks were inundated and the station managers could not allow the train to enter the station.

Children, too, had a tough time as the wait was turned longer for them. Since they had boarded the train at 7 am and those from Amritsar even before, they had to wait for their arrival on empty stomachs only. There was no arrangement for lunch as only breakfast is served in the morning Shatabadi.

Many persons alighted from the train outside the Sabzi Mandi station only and walked along the track to reach their destinations in time not minding risking their lives.

‘‘It was a really tough time for us. What worsened the situation was that the passengers were not told about the cause of the delay and they were imagining that something was really wrong. To cap it all were the rumours that shook us all. They could have at least used the public address system to make us comfortable,’’ said Mr P.S. Chadhoke, a Ludhiana based businessman who missed his important meeting at Delhi due to the delay.

He added that there was no arrangement for drinking water also as the bottles were finished by the afternoon. ‘‘We could have been supplied with some edibles if there was a problem that caused the delay. We pay huge rail fare to travel in Shatabadi. If the system remains the same for every train, what is the fun?’’ he asked angrily.

Even the Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi was two hours late and the passengers narrated similar tales of woe.

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Customs Dept detects fraudulent drawback of Rs 30 lakh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
With the electronic data interchange (EDI) in place and strict enforcement measures being taken, the Customs Department has been able to check evasion of duty, reject fraudulent claims of drawback and make significant progress in revenue recovery.

This was stated by Mr Rajeev Kapoor, Joint Commissioner, Customs, while addressing a news conference here today.

Giving more details, he said the exports section of the Container Freight Station (CONCOR) had recently detected a case involving around Rs 30 lakh, wherein an exporter of hand tools had availed of drawback in a fraudulent manner.

The modus operandi adopted was that the exporter, who was also registered with the Central Excise Department, was taking benefit of CENVAT credit of the duty paid on the inputs used in the manufacture of the final products, and simultaneously getting drawback on the finished product manufactured out of the said inputs and exported out of India. This double benefit was inadmissible as per law.

According to Mr Kapoor, the investigations into the matter were in progress and till now, an amount of Rs 22 lakhs had been recovered from the party. Besides, further claims for drawback amounting to Rs 7 lakh had been rejected on different grounds by the department.

He said the revenue collection was also showing an upward trend, and with the increase in imports, the realisation had exceeded the pro-rata targets for the current financial year.

“During the first two months in the current year, the customs formation in the city realised a revenue of Rs 64.49 crore, as compared to Rs 48.40 crore last year for the same period, thus showing an increase of Rs 16.09 crores,” he added.

Focusing on various steps initiated for the benefit of importers and exporters, he said in a bid to bring the CFS (CONCOR) on a par with other two stations, namely CFS (PSWC) and CFS (OWPL), it was also brought under the EDI system with effect from April. After initial teething problems, the system was now fully operational, he added.

The facility would tremendously help in ensuring speedier clearance of import and export cargo from CONCOR and at the same time help check frauds. Efforts were being made to upgrade the system to take care of increased traffic from local dry ports.

As a trade facilitation measure, he added, the Central Board of Excise and Customs had initiated the setting up of “help centers” in all customs and excise formations. These centres would help the small importers and exporters by giving required information.

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NRI alleges land grab by brother
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
An NRI today alleged that his elder brother had grabbed his house worth crores and despite his repeated complaints to the police, nobody had came to his rescue.

Mr Balwinder Singh alleged though a case had been registered, no action had been taken against anybody till date. He had been fighting a lone battle for the past six months, he added.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Balwinder Singh, settled in England for the past 30 years, said he owned a plot measuring 1,200 sq yrd in Bhagwan Nagar, near Dholewal chowk, which was originally purchased by his another brother but was later bought by him.

“Earlier, my elder brother, Jaspal Singh, also an NRI, had purchased the plot in 1974 and he had given its power of attorney to my father, Joginder Singh.

Later, in 1986, I purchased that plot with the consent of my elder brother.

After that I handed over the plot to my parents to take care of the same and I also allowed my brother, Avtar Singh, and his family to live there,” he added.

He said later he also took his parents to England and he kept coming to Ludhiana from time to time.

He said he had allowed his brother Avtar Singh and his family to construct a portion to live in. He said that in two rooms his household goods were lying.

“When I came back home in February this year, I saw that Avtar Singh and his family had broken the locks of the room in which my household goods were lying and they had taken away my goods.

My elder brother Jaspal Singh had also come to help Avtar Singh as both had connived against me,” he said.

He said initially the police had registered a case against Avtar Singh, his wife Gurdev Kaur, their son Lakhbir Singh, Jaspal Singh and his wife Ramesh Kaur, but after that the police did not take any action against them.

After registration of the case, Jaspal Singh and his wife Ramesh Kaur fled to England,” he added.

He said when Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh came to the city in the first week of June, he brought the matter to his notice. The CM asked the SSP to get the matter investigated. “Despite that, the police is trying to cancel the FIR against Avtar Singh and others,” he alleged.

Denying the allegations, Avtar Singh’s son Lakhbir Singh said in fact his uncle, Balwinder Singh, had got false sale deeds executed in his favour. “This is neither our plot and nor my uncle’s. The matter is in the court. My uncle is being provoked by some other relatives who are enjoying the infighting in the family. My father has become mentally upset due to the problems created by them,” said Lakhbir Singh.

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COMMUNITY

Giani Zail Singh’s daughter rubbishes V.P. Singh’s claims
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Reacting to the startling disclosures made by a former Prime Minister, Mr V.P. Singh about late President Giani Zail Singh’s offer to him for PM’s post after dismissing the then PM Rajiv Gandhi, in former’s recently published book ‘Manjil Se Zyada Safar’ (Travel Beyond Destination), the former President’s daughter today said that the claims did not have an iota of truth.

Giani Zail Singh’s daughter, Dr Manjit Kaur who is working as a Senior Medical Officer at Civil Hospital in Ludhiana, today said that the statement was ‘‘a bundle of lies’’ as she was the official hostess of Rashtarpati Bhawan when Rajiv Gandhi was the PM and the development of this sort never took place.

Stating that it was unethical to make such disclosures when neither her father nor Rajiv Gandhi were alive, Dr Manjit Kaur said that she was very close to her father who used to discuss all his problems, including official ones, with her and ‘‘Gianiji’’ had never intended to dismiss Rajiv Gandhi.

Admitting that there were some differences of opinion between Gianiji and Rajiv Gandhi at one point of time but he was the one who had held Rajiv’s hands and administered him the oath of the Prime Minister.

‘‘Gianiji used to take his family members in confidence on every issue. I know that he held Indira and Rajiv Gandhi in high regard and there was no question of removing him constitutionally. If Mr V.P. Singh was offered the post, he should have grabbed it. He is trying to hog limelight by fanning this controversy, ’’ she said.

She added that history stood as a testimony to this fact that after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, some Congress leaders had visited the Rashtarpati Bhawan in favour of Mr Pranab Mukherjee as the Prime Minister. ‘‘But my father had himself made Rajiv Gandhi swear in as the PM at that time, ’’ she said.

The recent book of Mr V.P. Singh is in the midst of a controversy in which he says that late President had offered him feelers that he was ready to make him the Prime Minister.

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Generating employment for women
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
From a measly Rs 6,000 to more than Rs 325 crore- the growth in turnover of Shri Mahila Grih Udyog Lijjat Papad, that began in 1959, and is known as an all woman co-operative organisation, is an example many would like to follow.

And it is not the turnover growth alone that is astounding. The fact that this organsiation is run by women only, the number of whom is 42,000 in the country, including 700 odd women in Ludhiana and that there are no employees, all members is another factor, that makes one wonder about the success of this organisation.

“I have been associated for 16-17 years with Lijjat Papad and by working merely for 2-3 hours in a day, I manage to earn over Rs 3,000 every month,” Manjit, a resident of Ludhiana. She was part of the hundreds of those who had gathered today to celebrate the anniversary of th founder of the organsiation today.

“The best thing about the organisation is that I can work from home and as much as I like to. Besides, I do not have to worry about aspects like marketing, procuring raw material etc. I can concentrate freely on my work. It has helped me a lot and I would like to remain associated with it forever,” she said.

And while Manjit’s income is a significant contribution to her total household income, there are many who are sole bread winners of their families. From migrant labourers to those belonging to this city, from old to young, they all felt part of the family.

As Babli, who studies in plus one, said: “I want to continue with it even after I complete my studies.”

Ms Aruna Sharma, co-ordinator, said: “The organsiation has established a solid network today and our products are known for their quality”.

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Jagannath Yatra in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
A huge, colourful Jagannath Yatra started from Jaganathpuram, Sunder Nagar this morning at 9am. Oriya people and other Lord Krishna devotees participated in this yatra that went around the city.

Members of Oriya community built a temple in a plot measuring 125 yards around 40 years ago.

At present the Jagannath temple stands majestically in a land measuring 400 yards. Besides the idols of Bhagwan Jagannath, the temple has idols of Balbhadar and Subhadra too. s

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Rotarians win top honours
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
The Rotary Club, Ludhiana, won all three top honours in Rotary International District 3070 comprising Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in the awards and citation function for 2005-2006 held at Amritsar yesterday.

The club was declared the best club of the district, while its president, Dr A.S. Bindra, and the secretary, Rtn S.P. Karkara, were declared the best club president of the district and the best club secretary of the district, respectively.

The awards were given by the chief guest, Padam Bhushan awardee Brij Mohan Lal Munjal, and the district governor, Rtn S.P.Sethi.

Besides these top honours, the club also won many other awards like the Rotary International Presidential Citation for Excellence in Rotary Service and an award for holding district leadership training seminar.

A number of individual awards were also given. These included an award to Rtn Harbhajan Singh for becoming a major donor to the Rotary Foundation with total donation of more than $10,000, an award for leadership to Rtn Sanjiv Sethi. Others who received awards included Rtn Sarabjit Singh, Rtn B.D. Sharma, Rtn Kanti K. Behal, Maj S.S.Khosla, Rtn Balbir Singh, Dr Prabhjot Kaur, Rtn S.S.Chopra, Rtn Darshan Singh, Rtn K.K.Dhir, Rtn R.L. Gupta, Rtn Harbhajan Singh, Rtn A.S. Pandher, Rtn S.P. Puri and Rtn D.S. Ranger.

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Pak resident honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
Mr Sana Ula Ghuman, a resident of Pakistan, was honoured at Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Alamgir, here yesterday because of his untiring efforts to get a historical gurdwara lying closed since 1947, opened to devotees. Mr Ghuman is on a trip to Ludhiana and Chandigarh these days.

Addressing the gathering at Alamgir, Jathedar Gurmel Singh Sangowal, member, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, said they were all thankful to Mr Ghuman for his sincere efforts. He said, “We are also thankful to those poor families living in the gurdwara for many years, who have at last vacated it. We are even ready to pay to settle these families”.

Mr Ghuman was told about the importance of the historical gurdwara by former Minister Harnek Singh Gharuan, while the latter was on a visit to Pakistan. Mr Sana Ula Ghuman spoke about it to leaders and politicians in Pakistan and demanded it to be opened to the general public. Amongst others present on the occasion were Mr Kulwant Singh, Baba Harbans Singh, Mr Nirmal Singh, Mr Zora Singh Lohara, Mr Gulzar Singh Raniya and Mr Jaswant Singh Sehgal.

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Electoral rolls on display
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
The Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, said here today that the new electoral rolls with qualifying age as on January 11, 2006 have been prepared and have been displayed at the offices of District Electoral Officer, Election Registration Officers concerned, Post Offices, Municipal Councils and Patwarkhanas for the information of general public.

He said that in case, the name of any eligible voter was still missing from the lists, he could submit his claim in Form No. 6 and in case of printing of wrong entry, then the claim can be submitted in Form No. 7, to get the entry deleted and for the correction in the in the voter list, the claim can be submitted in Form No. 8. He said that these claims could be submitted till July 3 in the offices of Election Registrar Officers concerned or in the office of any Officer/ official designated by the Officer concerned including Patwari in rural areas and offices of Municipal Councils in urban areas.

Mr Gupta said that to complete the preparation of new Electoral rolls of all Vidhan Sabha constituencies in the district, a special Control Room for this purpose has been set up in Room Number 119 at first floor in Mini Secretariat for the convenience of public, where a separate phone 0161-2431430 has been installed, so that the people can get any kind of information regarding the revision of electoral rolls.

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Move to build community centre

Ludhiana, June 27
An emergency meeting of the executive committee of the Rishi Nagar, F-Block, Welfare Association was held here yesterday under the chairmanship of Mr S.K. Thamman.

It was unanimously resolved to utilise and convert the Primary School Block F (Pocket A) area of 1.34 acres into a community centre with the consent of the residents of F-Block, Rishi Nagar.

The members decided that there should be proper demarcation and bifurcation of proper passage from F-Block Rishi Nagar to adjoining Ferozepore road as there was no approach road available to the residents of Rishi Nagar and adjoining colonies to Ferozepore road, Ludhiana. The school going children also experienced difficulty in crossing over to Ferozepore road in the absence of a approach road.

The members further added that transfer of Rishi Nagar (256 acre scheme) from the jurisdiction of the Improvement Trust to the Municipal Corporation was overdue. Rishi Nagar came into existence in 1978 and retention period of 20 years had already expired in 1998.

The members said that broadening, cleaning of sewerage blocks and repair of roads and development of parks was also due, which needed immediate attention. OC

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Decision to abolish water, sewer charges welcomed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Parliamentary Secretary, Surinder Dawar today welcomed the decision of the Punjab Cabinet to abolish water and sewerage charges from residential houses upto 5 marlas in municipal towns stating that this would benefit the poor people living in urban areas by Rs 195 crore.

Besides, he welcomed the decision of the Punjab Government to abolish the octroi from the state fulfilling another important promise made in the manifesto during the elections.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Dawar highly appreciated the wise decision of Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, not to impose any alternative tax in place of the octroi and to compensate the municipal corprations/ municipal councils from the revenue collections.

He asserted that the excellent management of finances and proper implementation of VAT had enhanced the collection of revenue amounting to Rs 5500 crore through VAT against the target of Rs 4600 crore. He said with the increase of Rs 900 crore in the taxes through VAT against the fixed target, the government was in position to bear the expected loss of Rs 645 crore due to abolition of octroi in the state. He asserted that al most all the promises made with the people in the manifesto have been fulfilled one by one with the gradual improvement in the economic condition of the state.

He also welcomed the decision taken by the Council of Ministers taken for the import of 6000 quintals of pulses with a view to bringing down the prices of pulses in the state. He said that the government was very serious about checking rising prices of essential commodities and import the pulses would benefit more than 5 lakh families in the state, as the rates were expected to come down from 25 per cent to 40 per cent with the import of pulses.

Mr Dawar said during the last four and half years, the Congress government had implemented a number of programmes for the welfare of the weaker sections and to ensure the fast development of the state. He said development had been put in top gear and fast development was taking place in each and every part of the state.

He claimed that funds amounting to more than Rs 5000 crore were being spent during the current financial year on the development projects under different schemes. He informed that. during the Budget for the year 2006-07, the Punjab Government had allocated funds amounting to Rs. 1154 crore , which are 28.85 per cent of the state plan outlay of Rs 4000 crore to implement the welfare schemes framed for these sections of the society, against the funds amounting to Rs. 934 crore (26.32%) during the year 2004-05.

He said Capt. Amarinder Singh’s government had created a special corpus fund of Rs 450 crore to ensure regular and timely disbursal of pensioners/ financial assistance to 11 lakh old aged, widows, orphans and handicapped beneficiaries. The PS said that Rs 60 crore had been released to provide toilets in the houses of SC families in rural areas. He also claimed that the Government had also decided to provide free education to the girls belonging to SC families and enhanced the amount of shagun from Rs 5100 to Rs 15000 on the marriages of daughters of SCs. He appealed to the people to themselves compare the performance of capt Amarinder Singh’s government with any other previous government of other parties and not to be mislead by the false and baseless propaganda being made by SAD-BJP leaders.

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Two die as motorcycle, bus collide
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 27
An accident between a motorcycle and a bus claimed two lives yesterday.

Paramjit Singh of Libra village and Malkit Singh of Bahomajra were heading from Bahomajra to Kauri on a motorbike. The vehicle collided with a bus while it approached the GT Road. Whilst one person died on the spot, the other died while being taken to hospital. The post-mortem was conducted at Civil Hospital.

The police has been informed.

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CRIME

Gas agency staff robbed; police clueless
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 27
The Sudhar Police is clueless about motorcycle-borne robbers who had robbed employees of a gas agency yesterday, at pistol point at Heran village drain near here. Meanwhile, more than 10 owners of motorcycles, bearing temporary number as told by the victims, were called to the police station to join investigations.

The Sudhar Police had at least 11 persons who had purchased motorcycles from Jyoti Motors, Jodhewal Agency, Ludhiana, and whose vehicles bore temporary number (PB 10 TC 3347) as the victims had informed the police that robbers came on motorcycle bearing a similar number.

Kulwant Singh, an employee of a Jagraon-based Gas Agency being run by Bobby, along with his associates, had reported to the Sudhar Police that three unidentified miscreants, with their faces masked, had waylaid them yesterday and snatched Rs 10,000 from them on pistol point.

The employees were stopped near Heran Drain when they were returning after distributing cylinders in the area. “The three miscreants forced us to stop by parking their motorcycle before our tractor. I could do nothing except part with the money when one of them aimed a pistol on me,” Kulwant told the police. Brij Mohan, another employee told the police that PB 10 TC 3347 was written on front side of the bike while the rear number plate had been mudded deliberately. The miscreants had returned towards Talwandi village.

Mr Vijay Sharma SP (D) Jagraon on the basis of information received from the victims and passersby directed the Sudhar police to verify antecedents of purchasers of motorcycles that had been issued temporary number.

However, Mr Sharma said that police was still clueless about the miscreants.

Interestingly the police was yet to question the victims about the jurisdiction of their agency. The agency is owned by close associates of Bhag Singh Mahla, a SAD MLA. It was not ruled out that miscreants could have enacted on the instance of some business rival so as to drive them away from the area. 

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1.5 kg opium seized; 3 booked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 27
The police has booked three persons under the NDPC Act after seizure of 1.5 kg of opium from their possession

According to information the police was on a routine check-up duty, when a suspicious person was noticed near bus stand near Nasrali village.

When he was frisked 500 grams of opium packed in a plastic cover was seized. Accused Barjesh Yadav of Rewari district was taken in custody.

In another case, one kg of opium was found in a car coming from Rasulra village. The vehicle has been impounded.

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BUSINESS

Small-scale industry blames govt for its decline
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Disappointed with the government’s attitude, particularly towards small-scale industrial (SSI) sector, industry representatives today stressed on the need for special care to this ‘dying’ sector at a at seminar on ‘Small scale industries and socio economic needs’ here.

“It seems that the government does not need the SSI sector. If special emphasis is not given towards supporting this sector, it would die a natural death for which the government would be responsible,” said Mr Joginder Kumar, president, Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India.

Representatives of various industry associations apprised of the sector’s problems to Secretary, Department of Industries, Government of India, Mr Anupam Dasgupta today.

Mr V.P. Chopra, president, Federation of Association of Small Industries of India (FASII), said that even as 83 per cent of industrial employment, more than 40 per cent of the country’s total exports and total industrial output came from the small scale industrial sector, issues like taxes and infrastructure were bothering this sector which is currently passing through a tough phase of global competition.

“The competitiveness of small and tiny units depends a lot on easy access to credit, marketing avenues, infrastructure, availability of intelligence on exports and technology. However, they get in to fear grips due to changing policies of the government. The government has the social responsibility to eliminate such fears in national interest.”

Mr S.C. Aggarwal, Principal Secretary, industries and Commerce, said: “We are of the view that all manufacturing related activities should fall out of the ambit of service tax. The Chief Minister would certainly take up this matter with the Finance Minister.”

Mr H.P. Kumar, chairman, NSIC was among others present on the occasion.

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PNB branch office building inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Punjab National Bank (PNB) has implemented core banking solutions in over 2,400 branches across 543 cities, thereby enabling its customers to operate accounts all over India at these branches.

This was stated by Mr I.D. Singh, General Manager, PNB, Punjab (South) zone, while inaugurating the new premises of branch office in Sahnewal today.

He said the branch was also connected under the CBS. The bank had started Internet banking for its retail and corporate clients. He said the bank was focussing on retail lending and its retail advances grew by 52.9 per cent to touch Rs 17,714 crore at the end of March this year, in comparison to Rs 11,589 crore last year. Retail loans constitute 23.1 per cent of the bank’s gross advances.

The bank had started service of Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) in over 1,690 branches for inter-bank funds transfer facility. Structured financial system has been implemented in 1,218 branches for intra-bank funds transfer.

Mr Anil Sama, Senior Regional Manager, Ludhiana, and Mr S.K. Bansal, Assistant General Manager, Chandigarh road, Ludhiana branch, was also present.

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