L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Date for submitting VAT returns unlikely to be extended
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Even as the industry continues to raise hue and cry over difficulty in procuring forms “C” from other states, the Department of Excise and Taxation seems to be in no mood to extend the last date for submitting annual return for the Value Added Tax (VAT).

Official sources told Ludhiana Tribune that “there is no intimation so far to extend the date and in case any dealer has a problem in procuring form ‘C’, they can intimate the same to the department.”

The last date fixed for submitting annual statement for VAT is November 20. The industry has been demanding that the date be extended to March, 2007, on account of “shortage of these forms.”

Industrialists say they are facing difficulties in procuring forms “H” and “C” from their clients located outside Punjab. “It takes a lot of time, at least a year, to procure these forms, which is why we have been asking the government to extend the last date to file returns,” say industrialists.

However, despite repeated requests, an absence of response has been a cause of worry for industrialists, who fear penal action in case they failed to adhere to the last date.

With the government appearing to be in no mood to extend the date, industrialists will have to gear up and find a way out themselves.

“There is no shortage of forms in Punjab. In case of other states too, there would be individual cases, which have not been brought to our notice so far, which is why the date is unlikely to be extended,” said an official from the department.

“We would continue raising the issue with the government. However, it is better that dealers submit lists to the department in cases where they have not been able to get form ‘C’,” said Mr P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He added that there were a couple of other issues like delay in refunds and harsh provisions under the VAT Act which were causing undue harassment to the industry.

“We would continue taking those issues up with the government but for the time being, it is in the interest of traders to submit lists to the department.”


‘Gandhigiri’ at PUDA office
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
In a repeat of ‘Gandhigiri’ in Bollywood blockbuster ‘ Lage Raho Munna Bhai’ style, some farmers, led by Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti office-bearers, today organised a protest on the premises of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority’s office by presenting bouquets to the officials so that they shunned their lackadaisical approach towards their work and allotted plots to farmers in lieu of the land acquired from them 32 years ago.

Mr Rajeev Tandon and Mr Parminder Singh Bajwa, both office-bearers of the samiti, went to the office of the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, Mr S.R. Kaler, and presented flowers to him inspiring him and his staff to redress the grievances of people.

The farmers said their farming land in Jamalpur had been acquired by PUDA 32 years ago and they had been fighting all these years to get plots in lieu of the acquisition but to no avail.

Bureaucratic wranglings were coming in the way of these farmers.

Mr A.S. Chhatwal, Chief Administrator of PUDA, had in a Sangat Darshan organised two years ago announced that the plots would be given to them. Later the required paper work was completed within a short span of time and everything was in final stages, but the then ACA, PUDA, following an anonymous complaint stayed the allotment of plots.

‘‘Since then we have been moving from pillar to post. But nobody listens to our complaints., ’’ said Mr Bajwa.

‘‘Whenever we go to them they say that an inquiry is going on. But does an inquiry take two years to get completed? ’’ he added.

The activists demanded from the state government that a serious action should be taken against the officials of PUDA for harassing the farmers for the past so many years.



SAD rally leads to traffic chaos
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 1
Vehicular traffic on Ahmedgarh-Ludhiana link road via Jodhan remained interrupted for a major part of the day today as hundreds of vehicles carrying activists of SAD from the Kilaraipur constituency to the much-talked about City Centre plied between various villages in the constituency and the city.

The problem was compounded due to the alleged lack of coordination among the officials of various segments, who were responsible for controlling traffic in their respective areas.

Occupants of private cars, buses plying on various routes and drivers of commercial vehicles, had to wait for hours to reach their destination as the link road was blocked with tractor trailers, tempos, trucks and buses carrying thousands of SAD workers from about 80 villages in Ludhiana district.

Though the Administration knew in advance that a large number of vehicles, scheduled to carry workers of the party, would be plying on the link road today, adequate arrangements were not made to avoid traffic jams. Though local residents managed to reach their destination by using alternative routes through other villages, less familiar drivers preferred to wait on the main road for hours.

Situation was the worst between Jodhan village and the site of demonstration as vehicles from all direction had gathered near a point at Lalton village.

The sufferers included commuters, students and teachers who reached their homes unusually late.

Organisers of the rally, however, claimed that the congestion was caused due to inadequate arrangements. “Though, our vehicles moved in a single lane for most of the distance, inconvenience was caused to the passersby due to inadequate deployment of traffic personnel at crucial points,” argued Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, MLA, and leader of the rally.



MLA mobilises massive support for SAD
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 1
The SAD held a rally against the Ludhiana City Centre scam today. Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, a senior SAD leader and legislator from the Kilaraipur constituency, mobilised thousands of workers for the rally.

Hundreds of party workers, from all sections of society, accompanied their leader to the rally. Thousands of SAD workers from around 80 villages in the constituency marched towards Ludhiana in tractor-trailers, tempos, trucks and buses to protest against government’s reluctance to get a probe initiated into the scam by an independent agency. Mr Garcha aspires to contest in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Garcha claimed that residents of the area in general, and SAD workers in particular, were determined to respond to the call of the party for protests against the scam. Terming the scam as one of the biggest in the state, Mr Garcha alleged that Capt Amarinder Singh had been trying to please his ministers and supporters with money generated through such multi-crore projects. “But people of the state will not allow anybody to misuse public funds”, he said.

Referring to propaganda made by his political opponents about his candidature, Mr Garcha asserted that he would continue serving the people of the constituency till party supremo Parkash Singh Badal did not ask him to withdraw.

“Voters and supporters of my constituency know that my opponents have been making false propaganda out of frustration. Moreover, we are disciplined warriors of our party and will obey the orders of party supremo who wants us to serve the people of Kilaraipur.”

Mr Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra and Mr Harpreet Singh Garcha (members SGPC), Dr Jarnail Singh Narangwal, Mr Rajinder Singh Nanagal and Mr Mann Singh Garcha were prominent among others who led various jathas to Ludhiana as part of the protest. 



No complaint under Domestic Violence Act in city yet
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
All seems to be hunky dory on domestic front in the city as almost a week after the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 came into force, the local police has not received any complaint for invoking the new law and it has not applied the law on its own in the pending complaints of marital disputes.

The police has also decided not to set up any special cell for taking up the cases under the new Act. The already existing Marital Disputes Cell, which has been taking up complaints of abuse against women and children besides dowry cases, has been told to entertain complaints under the Domestic Violence Act also.

Even though this cell is always flooded with complaints made by women alleging dowry harassment and torture at the hands of their husband or in-laws, no one has approached with a fresh complaint under the new Act. Normally, many habitual complainants also use any new Act to submit fresh complaints in cases filed earlier by the police on the grounds of being false or motivated.

SSP A.S. Rai told Ludhiana Tribune that so far no complaint or petition had been put up before the police by any person seeking action against the oppressing party. He said there was no need to put up special officers or cell for that as the Marital Disputes (MD) cell was fully equipped for the job.

The SSP said the police would take due care that the Domestic Violence Act was not misused. He said the MD cell would deliberate deeply the complaints before recommending registration of cases under the new Act.

Sources said the MD cell would not have to work extra as ‘‘generally all complaints by women put up before us contain allegations of beating and abuse at home. Earlier, the police had only Section 498-A of the IPC to follow. The Act generally dealt with any kind of cruelty against women at home. Now, we have to follow the Act which defines in detail the kind of violence a victim can allege.’’ an official said

SSP Rai said the police would like the media to educate the masses about the new Act and how they can help the police in its proper implementation.



PFC official held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau has arrested a Deputy Manager of the Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC) on the charge of taking bribe from a local industrialist for helping him to clear his debt.

SP, Vigilance, Gurpreet Singh, in a press statement issued here this evening, said the accused was caught red-handed accepting Rs 10,000 as bribe from the complainant Jarnail Singh.



Congress pins hopes on rally
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 1
Mr Lal Singh, Development, Food and Civil Supply and Jails Minister, Punjab, has asserted that the Congress rally to be held in Ludhiana on November 14 would be a historic one with record gathering and it would decide the trend of the voters for the coming Vidhan Sabha elections.

Mr Lal Singh was addressing a gathering as part of the ongoing mass contact programme of the Congress at Mullanpur, about 20 km from here, today.

The minister claimed that the response to the constituency-level meetings under the Jan Sampark Programme was quite overwhelming and the Congress workers were full of enthusiasm to mobilise the public for the rally and “Punjab yatra” to be undertaken by the Chief Minister and the PPCC president. In the coming elections, the people of the state would definitely vote for the excellent performance of the Congress government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, as the government had put the state on the fast track of development and prosperity, he added

Under the Jan Sampark Programme (October 31 to November 6), each and every part of the state was being covered by ministers and MLAs by organising meetings to mobilise the people for the Ludhiana rally. After the Jan Smparak meetings, Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo would jointly undertake the “Punjab yatra” from Nangal to Talwandi Sabo on Guru Gobind Singh Marg from November 8 to 12 to meet the people and educate them about the achievements of the government in their villages. He said “Punjab vikas yatra” would enter in Ludhiana district on November 9 at Powat village and passing through Guru Gobind Singh Marg would halt at Raikot.

The minister alleged that Mr Badal had been exploiting the voters in the name of religion (Panth), where as, in reality, he had himself brought a bad name to the religious institutions by misusing the funds and machinery of the SGPC for his political motives. He claimed Capt Amarinder Singh had taken a number of decisions to enhance the honour of the Sikhs and celebrate the centenaries of important religious occasions at the government level.

Mr Lal Singh, while addressing a meeting of workers at Raikot, declared that the subdivision of Raikot would be kept in Ludhiana district as demanded by the people. He asked the workers to make foolproof arrangements for an excellent welcome of “Punjab yatra” in the Raikot constituency.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA and general secretary of the PPCC, and Mr Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, vice-president, PPCC, assured the minister that maximum numbers of people would be mobilised for the rally and a rousing reception would be accorded to the yatra in their respective constituencies.

Among others who addressed the gathering were Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, MLA, Mr Bhalinder Singh, president of the DCC (R), Mr Manjit Singh Bharowal, Mr Major Singh Bhaini, Mr Bhajjan Singh, president of the BCC, Mr Telu Ram, president of the MC, Mr Lalit Jain, a member of the PPCC, Mr Parminder Singh, president, BCC, Raikot, Mr Ramesh Kumar, president, BCC, Sudhar, Mr Avjinder Singh, chairman of the Raikot MC, Mr Saudagar Singh Jatpura, Chairman of the Block Samiti, Hathur.



CPM, CPI, LBP to jointly contest 40 seats
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
The two Left parties — Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India (CPI) — along with the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) will contest 40 Assembly segments seats in Punjab.

Disclosing this here today, the state CPM general secretary, Prof Balwant Singh, said the party was also looking for other alliance partners from among the splinter Akali groups, except the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).

Prof Balwant Singh said the joint front would maintain equal distance from the Congress as well as the SAD-BJP alliance.

He said the front would try to ensure that the communal SAD-BJP alliance did not come to power in the state.

However, the CPM leader was equally critical of the Congress government, which he alleged, had failed the expectations of the people.

He alleged that the government had betrayed the employees, the workers and the farmers.



At The Crossroads
The compulsions of a creative writer

Mere wishful thinking cannot help a person to be a creative writer. There is something ingrained in the psychic texture that compels a person to take the pen in his hand. It is not a happy situation for most of the teenagers who find themselves in the throes of creative writing. Initially, there may be some satisfaction in composing a poem or writing a story. The appreciation that follows further enhances the sense of achievement. But before long the creative writer finds himself caught in a snare from which it is difficult to escape. He may beat his wings against ‘the bars of the prison house,’ but to no avail.

Later, it becomes his compulsion to go on treading this path, unmindful of the consequences. The path may carry him to the highway or it may branch off into the bylanes or even bring him face to face to a dead wall. The future of a creative writer is unpredictable, mostly the end result is not to his entire satisfaction. Indeed he soars high on the wings of his imagination and tries to convert illusions into reality. What follows in the form of a book is a task well planned, but not necessarily well accomplished. Still in his heart of hearts he considers himself more equal than others.

Mirza Ghalib found himself among such poets of his age in Delhi as were jealous of him. He craved for a position in the royal court, but it was denied to him. So long as Ustad Zauq was the mentor of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, he could not aspire for royal patronage. The time came when he was elevated to the position earlier held by Ustad Zauq. Only then he found himself at peace with himself and the world. So the second compulsion of a creative writer is to be honoured with awards. Even Rabindranath Tagore found himself amidst a crowd of second-raters in Calcutta who denigrated him on one pretext or another. The Nobel Prize, bestowed on him in 1913, saved him from further malicious comments by this motley crowd of nincompoops.

Now Kiran Desai has been pleasantly surprised at receiving the Booker Prize for her novel, ‘‘The Inheritance of Loss’’. The same had been the case of Arundhati Rai whose novel, ‘‘God of Small Things,’’ won this prestigious award not long ago. It can be said only the lucky few can get such honours as the process of selection entails bypassing a good many writers. Indeed the lucky few. Still Kiran’s mother Anita Desai is as much lucky, although she had missed this prize three times. So the others, who have been left out, are not unlucky at all, as they are lucky enough to have authored books which gave them aesthetic pleasure. The experience of joy at the creation of a work of art is a reward in itself.

The third compulsion that a creative writer faces is that of getting recognition. He wants others to appreciate his literary achievements, not as a matter of form but on the basis of genuine feelings.

The contemporaries, however, take all this show of achievement with a pinch of salt. They may grudgingly nod their heads at the function that is held to honour the recipient of a coveted award. But deep down in their minds they have some disturbed feelings. All this, however, is quite natural not only due to human psychology, but also due to the uncertainty of the worth of a work of literature.

The creative writer, despite these compulsions, is not bogged down by all this. He has an inner urge to convey his ideas and feelings to his readers. On his part, he is not aware of the significance of his own contribution. He knows that he has not as yet come up to his own expectations.

He surmises that the next work may hold some promise, but he does not rely on it. Even before its publication, he interweaves another web of his speculations. At long last, he feels like Robert Browning :‘‘The best is yet to be’’.

— N.S. Tasneem



Tribune Impact
Trust launches cleanliness drive in SBS Nagar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
The sanitation wing of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) today launched a massive cleanliness drive in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar here. However, residents themselves disposed off the carcasses of dogs lying in a park yesterday.

The plight of residents was highlighted in these columns today. The residents had complained that carcasses of dogs had been putrefying in a public park for the past many days and the park was being used as a garbage dump.

Led by a Junior Engineer, employees of the LIT cleaned the park.

‘‘The employees not only sanitised the park but also cleaned the roads. It seemed that it was a Divali day for the residents of SBS Nagar. Our repeated complaints for the past many months had fallen on deaf ears. But, suddenly all our grievances were redressed today,’’ said Mr Arvind Sharma, a resident of the area, while thanking Ludhiana Tribune.



Saraswati school team for state contest
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 1
The bhangra team of Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School, after winning commendable positions at the district and regional level under the guidance of coach Aneesh Bhanot, has now been selected for the state-level competitions to be held from November 14 to 16.

Aneesh Bhanot said the team of Saraswati school was the first in the surrounding area to participate at the district, regional and finally at the state level competitions being conducted by the Punjab School Education Board.

He said the team had to face a tough competition at both district and regional level.

These competitions were organised at Satyawati Oswal School, Ludhiana. At the district level, the team competed with 15 teams and at the regional level, the team faced competition from 12 teams.



Cong jan sampark conference today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Harnam Das Johar has said a jan sampark conference in the Ludhiana West constituency will be held at Midha Chowk, Model Town, near Jawahar Nagar, tomorrow at 4 pm.

Mr Lal Singh, Rural Development, Food and Civil Supply and Jails Minister, will preside over the conference. Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, MLA and general secretary, PPCC, and other senior leaders of the Congress will also address the conference.



Govt yet to fulfil promises made to BSNL: trade union
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 1
The Union Government had failed to fulfill the commitment made to the public sector Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) at the time of its conversion into a corporation and issues like the reimbursement of licence fee, ADO, USO fund were hanging fire for a long time.

Stating this, the all-India general secretary of the BSNL Employees Union (BSNLEU), Mr VAN Namboodiri, said the funds promised to the BSNL were either being held back by the government or had been curtailed and this had created avoidable roadblocks in the way of the PSU achieving the desired progress.

He was addressing a seminar on ‘‘Survival of BSNL and the Role of Trade Union’’, organised by the Punjab circle of BSNLEU at Nehru Sidhant Kendra here today.

He said the responsibility of strengthening the BSNL and expanding the services in an efficient manner rested upon the management and workers. He pointed out that commitment, dedication and initiative were required to survive and advance. The trade unions could make a lot of difference in these spheres, Mr Namboodiri added.

Lauding the initiative of the unions towards strengthening the BSNL, Mr Rajendra Singh, Chief General Manager Telecom (Punjab circle), focussed on the ways and means of taking the PSU to greater heights. He said BSNL was expanding fast, providing a lot of improvement in service quality and technology. ‘‘Our subscriber base, revenue and profits are increasing. Unlike private operators, we have a social commitment to cater to urban, rural and remote areas of the country.’’

In his welcome address, Mr R.L Moudgil, circle president, BSNLEU, expressed happiness over the way in which the trade unions and management had come on a single platform to save and strengthen BSNL.

Mr Balbir Singh, circle secretary, BSNLEU, said just about 35 out of 140 PSUs were in the red. The inquiry reports had revealed that ministries or departments concerned were responsible for the poor performance of these units. He claimed that the loss-making PSUs could also be revived like the BSNL, which had posted a net profit of Rs 8,940 crore on a turnover of Rs 40,177 crore in the last fiscal.

The CITU state president, Mr Balwant Singh, while inaugurating the seminar, congratulated the BSNL unions for coming together to save the largest public sector undertaking from disinvestment.



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