P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


CM promises better education for poor
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Guru-Ki-Dhab (Faridkot) September 17
While Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal claimed that he would change the face of the state within four years, his son and MP from Faridkot Sukhbir Badal said he would reach out to people to redress their problems.

Both Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal were here today to attend the annual conference organised by the party to in connection with Jor Mela being held here in memory of Guru Gobind Singh.

Sukhbir said he had personal relations with people of the Faridkot area and it was his duty to serve them in a better way so that he could repay what they had given to him by electing him member of Parliament twice.

Sukhbir, who inaugurated a 66-kv grid sub station at Jaitu to streamline the power supply network in the area, said farmers would be given enough power and water for agriculture so that they could improve their economy by producing more from their fields.

The Chief Minister while addressing the well-attended function said education, which empowered people and resulted in a social transformation, was the single largest determinant of the economic growth and development of any state.

He said the SAD-BJP government had drawn up a comprehensive action plan to revamp the educational system in the state. Ironically the previous Congress governments had never ever seriously addressed the issue of imparting quality education to the students and this had brought the education system in the rural sector at the verge of collapse.

Acting in a responsive manner, his government had planned to set up a chain of adrash schools in every Assembly segment to impart quality education to intelligent students of poor families free of cost. In addition, three existing schools would be upgraded and equipped with latest infrastructure, which would include expansion of building, facility of laboratories and other related equipment, to make them better places of learning.

He blamed the wrong policies of the previous Congress government for the financial mess in the state and said the SAD-BJP government was trying to improve the situation through its innovative policies and programmes.

He said with the concerted efforts of his government the World Bank had sanctioned new schemes like provision of safe drinking water, cleaning of ponds and revamping of sewerage in the state, which could only be implemented with the participation of people by contributing a token share of the total cost of the project.

Earlier, he paid obeisance at gurdwara Sri Guru ki Dhab and received a siropa from the head granthi.

Addressing mediapersons the Chief Minister said the Ram-Setu issue had changed the present political scenario in the country as the central government had hurt the religious sentiments of the people of India by filing a wrong affidavit in the apex court.


SGPC not to send jatha to Pak
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 17
Peeved at the dilly-dallying tactics of the Pakistan government in granting visas, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has finally decided not to send a jatha of 500 pilgrims to mark death anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, which was proposed to cross over to Pakistan this week.

It is for the first time that there was a proposal to send a jatha to Pakistan on the death anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. With this, the relations between the SGPC and Pakistan Evecuee Property Trust Board (PEPTB) have again strained. Earlier, the SGPC had stopped sending jathas to Pakistan in protest against the formation of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) in April 1999 during the presidentship of Bibi Jagir Kaur.

However, it started sending jathas to Pakistan when Jagdev Singh Talwandi became the SGPC chief.

However, sources said the SGPC would continue to send routine jathas to Pakistan to mark Gurpurb of Guru Nanak and on Baisakhi , martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev and death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

SGPC secretary Dilmegh Singh said it was unfortunate that the Pakistan government had backed out of its promise of allowing a jatha of 500 pilgrims even as the PSGPC chief Bishan Singh and PEPTB had written to the SGPC to send pilgrims to mark the death anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev for the first time.

He said the pilgrims had already deposited passports with the SGPC with the hope that they would be able to pay their obeisance in Sikh shrines of Pakistan. He urged the pilgrims to get back their passports from the SGPC office on any working day.


Rebuilding Heritage
Rs 60 cr for Gobindgarh, Ahluwalia Forts
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 17
The Central government has earmarked Rs 50 crore for the preservation and restoration of Gobindgarh Fort, built in 1760, and Rs 10 crore for conservation of the 250-year-old Ahluwalia Fort, near the Golden Temple.

While the work on the Ahluwalia Fort would be carried out by INTACH, the conservation of the Gobindgarh Fort would be the responsibility of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The amount had been allocated for the Ahluwalia Fort following the visit of Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission.

According to A.S. Miglani, director, Cultural Affairs, the department has already released Rs 25 lakh to the executive engineer, PWD, as initial amount for strengthening of the boundary wall and surrounding road. He said it was being done from the security point of view as per the condition of the Army to hand over the fort to the civil authorities. The rest of the amount would be released in a phased manner, said Miglani.

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage has already prepared detailed drawings of the two gates of the Ahluwalia Fort. The story about the crumbling fort was first highlighted in the columns of The Tribune.

Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia played a pivotal role in repelling foreign invasions during the 18th century. He was acclaimed as a supreme leader of the Khalsa Panth and awarded the title of “padshah” (king) or “Sultan-ul-Qaum” (emperor of the Sikh community) after the conquest of Lahore by Sikhs in November, 1761, and the death of Nawab Kapur Singh Faizullapuria.

The indifference shown by the SGPC towards Sardar Ahluwalia can be gauged from the fact that the Ahluwalia Fort, a few yards away from Harmandar Sahib, auctioned in the beginning of the 20th century by the British Government, is hardly visited by any official or senior Sikh leader. The site of the fort has emerged as a big shopping hub even as no one has bothered to preserve this heritage building.

However, one of the gates, well and certain parts of the building are intact. These could be preserved if the state government pays proper attention to it. According to historians, the fort was intact till 1850. Sardar Ahluwalia used to stay there. However, during the British regime, Marwaris purchased it in an auction. 


No need for POTA, says Badal
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 17
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said today that there was no need to make laws like POTA to deal with terrorism as the existing laws were sufficient. Badal said this when he was asked to comment on the statement given by former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani that to fight terrorism laws like POTA should be made.

Badal was here today to lay the foundation stone of lawyer’s chambers at the District Court complex. After laying the foundation stone, he gave first instalment of Rs 25 lakh to the District Bar Association for the construction of about 480 chambers in the first phase.

Talking to mediapersons, Badal said the state government had initiated the process of carrying out reforms in the police administration to make it more responsible and accountable. The Chief Minister added that whatever K.P.S. Gill, former DGP, Punjab Police, had said in connection with the arrest of Virk was not relevant and should not be considered worth commenting on.

To a question he said the response of union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was positive when he met him in connection with the hike in the MSP of foodgrains.

Jatinder Rai Khattar, president, Harraj Singh, secretary, Bar Association, Bathinda, Sukhdeep Singh Bhinder, deputy advocate-general, Punjab, Paramjit Kaur Gulshan, MP, along with senior advocates, police and civil officials were present on 
the occasion.

Chiranji Lal Garg, former Akali minister, who is also a senior member of the Bar, was, however, denied the opportunity to speak on 
the occasion. 


Work on 28 canals to start by year-end: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Thiraj (Moga), September 17
Sukhbir Badal, acting president, SAD, announced that the work for the construction of 28 canals would begin by year-end.

He was at this village, nearly 40 km from Moga, to lay the foundation stone of a 66 kv substation to be constructed at the cost of Rs 2.75 crore. It would provide electricity to 10 villages. About new power projects in the state, he said that 1800 mW thermal plant would be established at Talwandi Sabo while 1000 mW projects would be set up at Rajpura and Abohar.

The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) with Rs 2,000-crore grant from the state government would set up and upgrade nearly 301 new substations. He added that the state government would provide Rs 312 crore for transformation and distribution of power in the border areas.

Following a question on MSP for wheat and paddy, he said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal recently met concerned Central ministers and intimated them about their stand.

Subsequently, he went to Jhandiana village where he was scheduled to inaugurate the laying of a village link road and to distribute prizes among winners of a three-day rural sports festival.


Wetlands for tourist spots to be identified
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 17
The state’s Tourism Department has initiated a survey to identify wetlands for developing these into tourist destinations.

Punjab minister for tourism and prisons Hira Singh Gabria said today that the government, to promote tourism, had decided to utilise natural resources available in the state.

The department was also contemplating making small lakes along major rivers of the state for tourism promotion.

The minister clarified no tourist complex would be allowed to be sold. Instead the government would lease out these complexes to private players to generate revenue. 


‘Amritsar waste mgt plant on BOT system’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 17
Amritsar will be the first city in Punjab to have its own state-of-the-art integrated solid waste management technology plant to be set up at a cost of Rs 70 crore to make the city clean by January 1.

Stating this here today, Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP, said the plant would be set up on the built, operate and transfer (BOT) system within a month. He said he, along with municipal corporation mayor Shwet Malik and commissioner Hussan Lal, will visit Hyderabad in the next few days to inspect the working of solid waste management technology there.

Sidhu said after studying the project the MC would float the tender for installing the technology to get rid of the 550 metric tonnes of garbage produced daily in the city. The entire garbage would be processed to get manure, fuel, construction material and diesel and the responsibility would be fixed on the tendering company to make the city clean by December-end.

The project would also make the city self-reliant in energy by producing 6 MW of electricity which would be passed on to the Amritsar grid, he said. He said about 1,000 persons would be employed in the project.


Bassi-Delhi bus service resumed
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 17
The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has resumed the bus service on the Bassi-Delhi road following instructions issued by Punjab transport minister Master Mohan Lal.

The bus service on the said route was called off a few years back following which local residents were facing a lot of hardships while commuting to Delhi. The state transport minister had asked the PRTC to resume the service in view of the long-pending demand of the localities of the Bassi-Pathana.

The bus was flagged off by local leaders of the BJP in the presence of some of the senior officials of the PRTC. Poeple expressed gratitude to Master Mohan Lal for having asked the PRTC to restart the bus service.


SAD (A) takes action for scuffle in gurdwara
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has initiated action against party workers who reportedly had a scuffle in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib in one of the gurdwaras in Canada.

In a statement here today, the party said it was unfortunate that some of the party workers, including Lakhwinder Singh, Barinder Singh and Manjit Singh, attacked a person in the gurdwara of Calgary in Canada.

Party president Sirmranjit Singh Mann said it was against the Sikh traditions to thrash someone in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib.

He said the party had dismissed all three workers. 


Sarpanch commits suicide
SAD man booked
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Lehra Dhurkot (Bathinda), September 17
Malkit Singh, sarpanch of Lehra Dhurkot village of this district and a Congressman, committed suicide late last night.

Though the police registered a case against Chand Singh, former sarpanch of the SAD and maternal uncle of former Akali minister Sikander Singh Malooka, on the basis of a suicidal note, a large number of Congressmen, including a section of its MLAs and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, leader of Opposition, blocked traffic on the main road at Rampura Phul town, demanding registration of a criminal case against Malooka also.

They said the police should have registered the case on the basis of statement made by Babu Singh, father-in-law of the deceased, as he had pointed out that Malooka was behind the whole episode connected with the harassment of Malkit.

Sukhdev Singh Chahal, SP (D), said the suicide note was given to the police by Babu Singh, father-in-law of the deceased.

In the note Malkit had alleged that ever since he became sarpanch of the village he was being harassed by Chand Singh, former sarpanch and for this reason he was committing suicide.

Binder Singh, brother of deceased, alleged that about two days ago a head constable of the Punjab Police came to Malkit’s house and forced him to sign a document. He added that the head constable also threatened Malkit that if would not sign then he would be put behind bars.

The Congress men were continuing with their traffic jam till the filing of this report.


Dalit Andolan chief released from jail
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 17
National president of the Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan (DDVA) Jai Singh Phillaur was released from the district jail here this evening. He was in the jail along with 84 activists of the DDVA, who were arrested along with him on September 9 by the police from Ghorrenav village (near Lehragaga) under Sections 107 and 151 of the Cr.P.C. and 188 of the IPC.

According to information all 85 arrested were today discharged under Sections 107 and 151 of the Cr. P.C. Except Jai Singh Phillaur, remaining 84 were still in the jail under Section 188 of the IPC.

He alleged that despite directions of the Supreme Court about 60 of them were toady taken to Moonak from Sangrur jail in handcuffs to produce them before the SDM.


Basmati development board mooted
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, September 17
To boost cultivation of traditional basmati rice, the mainstay of this border belt, stake holders have urged the government to set up basmati development board to bring more areas under its cultivation.

Managing director of the Punjab Agro-Industries Corporation A.S. Chhatwal said the government would seriously ponder over the suggestion and plan a board which would include basmati exporters, progressive farmers, agriculture scientists and experts from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to give thrust to this produce of Punjab.

Presiding over a meeting of basmati rice growers, exporters, representatives from the Department of Agriculture and scientists from PAU here on Saturday, Chhatwal said the government was contemplating increasing acreage under basmati rice cultivation and would help check depleting subsoil water. He said the Agro Corporation would plan a diversification drive to encourage farmers to grow basmati rice instead of the water-guzzling paddy like parmal and IR varieties of rice.

Vice-president of the All-India Rice Exporters Association K.R.S. Sobti said the Basmati Development Fund (BDF) had allocated Rs 12.50 lakh for a major diversification drive in the basmati belt of Punjab. He said the Punjab Rice Exporters Association (PREA) which had been monitoring the entire pilot project had provided quality basmati rice seed at 50 per cent subsidy to encourage the farmers to adopt basmati rice as major crop, especially in the Ravi basin area comprising Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts of the state.

Sobti added that field training camps were organised in the three border districts where farmers were provided technical help to through literature and demonstration on use of quality seed and standardised procedures for proper yield.

He said due to the joint efforts of the Department of Agriculture and the Exporters Association, the area under basmati cultivation had gone up from 35,000 hectares to 50,000 hectares in the current season and hoped it to increase in subsequent years. To him the present price level of basmati was highly remunerative and the farmers would get excellent returns this season, he hoped.

Deputy commissioner K.S. Pannu favoured upgradation of technology to help decrease the cost of inputs to benefit the farm sector through better and latest technology. He said the farmers must make use of the agricultural experts and scientists to increase yield to get better returns.

The executive director of PREA said there was a growing demand for Punjab’s basmati rice in the domestic and international market and the Punjab government must undertake major marketing strategy to sell the Punjab brand in the international market.


Merger of SBP, associate banks opposed
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Employees of the State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and five other associate banks have strongly opposed their merger with the State Bank of India (SBI).

Other associate banks that are to be merged with the SBI include the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur,the State Bank of Hyderabad, the State Bank of Travancore, the State Bank of Mysore and the State Bank of Indore. Already the State Bank of Saurashtra has been merged with the SBI.

The state Sector Bank Employees' Association, which has raised the banner of protest and decided to oppose the merger by all means, is of the view that these banks are icons of regional identity in their respective areas and hence with their merger, they will lose their identity.

N.K. Gaur, general secretary of the association that represents thousands of bank employees across the country, told The Tribune here yesterday that in case the move was not dropped, employees would start an agitation.

He said the SBP was the only bank that had its headquarters in Patiala and was a symbol of Punjab's identity. Once it was merged with the SBI, its headquarters would also be shifted to some other big city like Mumbai. "We will not allow this to happen," he said.

He said the plea taken by the Board of Directors was that it wanted to make the SBI a mega bank to enable it to compete with other big banks like ICICI. Gaur said when the SBI had failed to compete with big banks and lost the top slot to ICICI as a bank, now the Board of Directors had come out with a proposal to merge six associate banks with it.

All these associate banks now work under the supervision of the SBI, but these have independent identities, area of operation and balance sheets. This time the SBP's profit was to the tune of Rs 363 crore, he explained.

Gaur said the common man would be hard hit if these associate banks were merged with the SBI. If merger took place, it would not cater to the needs of small clients. It would focus on advancing big volume loans to corporate houses and multinational companies, ignoring small clients.

He said 30 per cent of the money lying with the banks was in savings bank accounts.

Telling an inside story of banks, Gaur said certain state sector banks got deposits in bulk worth Rs 120 lakh crore from big industrial houses and offered them interest up to 13 per cent. However, advances to those houses were made at lesser rate of interest. Because of this profit of some of these banks had gone down.


Sugar mill workers threaten agitation

Tarn Taran, September 17
Workers of co-operative sugar mills of the state have decided to go on agitation against the state government for not re-starting the closed sugar mills as per the commitment given to employees during the election period.

The resolution in this regard was passed today in a meeting of the Co-Operative Sugar Mills Workers Joint Action Committee held here.

Subash Chander Agnihotri, president of the organisation, told newsmen that the employees of the union would hold a gate rally on September 19 at Sheron , 8 km from here. Closed for the past six years, the government had failed in its promise to re-start the mills, alleged the employees.

The employees in a resolution passed in the meeting resolved that as the employees had not been paid their monthly salary for the past more than nine months, they had been forced to go on agitation. The organisation condemned the behaviour of the MLAs and the MP of the area for not making efforts to redress their grievances. — TNS


7 injured in minor scuffle

Kharar, September 17
Seven people were injured in a minor scuffle in Bangla Basti, Mundi Kharar area, last night. The two groups entered into a clash over a minor issue that landed one of them at the PGIMER, Chandigarh, with serious injuries. The Kharar police registered a cross case against both parties.

According to police reports, Shanty, a resident of Bangla Basti, was relieving himself in the open when Arjun and his friends objected to it. Following this, both groups entered into a scuffle. A case under Section 323 of the IPC was registered against both the parties. — TNS


PSEB employees register protest
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 17
Hundreds of employees congregated in front of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) head office under the banner of Punjab State Committee, All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), here today.

Various leaders, including president of AITUC’s Punjab State Committee Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal addressed the gathering and heard the grievances of the employees. Among the prominent demands put forward by the union leaders was equalisation of the salary of workers working on contracts at various thermal plants in the state with those of regular employees of the board.

Dhaliwal, while addressing the gathering, urged the board management to revoke the services of the employees whose services had been dispensed with by the management. He added that the PSEB should stop the alleged victimisation of employees working at Tarn Taran, Sangrur and Patiala and asked the management to withdraw the police cases registered against several employees.

He said outsourcing should be stopped as it would lead to unemployment and added that the increase in the tariff rates of electricity should also be checked. He added that the ban on recruitment of fresh employees should be immediately lifted. 


Lord Vishvakarma remembered
From Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, September 17
The Jai Baba Vishvakarma Sabha celebrated the birth anniversary of Lord Vishvakarma at Aggarwal Dharmshala, here, today. Minister for jails and tourism Hira Singh Gabria was the chief guest, while former minister Randhir Singh Cheema presided over the function. President of the sabha Malkiat Singh Matharu highlighted the activities of the sabha and importance of Lord Vishvakarma’s teachings. He urged the minister to give suitable grant to construct Vishvakarma Bhavan here.

Addressing the function, Hira Singh Gabria called upon people to follow the teachings and path shown by great gurus as that would be a true tribute to them. He said Vishvakarma was the God of construction, who taught that one should work hard and earn living by working with mind and body.

He announced that the Punjab Government would develop Fatehgarh Sahib district by clubbing it with the Chandigarh Periphery Development Scheme of the Centre. 


Insurance co. fined Rs 1 lakh 
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 17
The local District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited, Chandigarh, to pay Rs 1 lakh to Nazar Singh, a resident of Bhattiwal Kalan village and nominee and nephew of Mohinder Singh who died after suffering an electric shock.

President of the forum M.D. Sharma, in his order has directed the company to pay Rs 2,000 as compensation on account of mental tension and harassment and Rs 1,000 as litigation expenses to Nazar Singh.

According to the case, Nazar Singh claims himself to be the nominee and nephew of Mohinder Singh, who opened an account with Sangrur Central Co-operative Bank Limited’s Bhattiwal Kalan branch after depositing Rs 1,100 as premium to get himself insured through ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited for Rs 1 lakh. This scheme was for all customers who opened an account with the bank branch by depositing the premium. The bank branch sent the premium of Mohinder Singh to ICICI Lombard.

However, Mohinder Singh died accidentally on June 27, 2005 when he tried to start the electric motor in his fields. His post-mortem was not performed due to illiteracy, but a DDR was recorded at Bhawanigarh police station on July 5, 2005. ICICI Lombard deputed a surveyor who recorded the statements of respectable persons of the village. 


Thandal Case
Two witnesses depose

Rupnagar, September 17
Two witnesses deposed before the court of special judge G.S. Saran in a corruption case against SAD minister Sohan Singh Thandal, presently Mahalpur MLA.

In a statement before the court, Mukesh Kumar, posted at the DC office, Mansa said in 2003 he was posted at Garhshankar when Thandal bought a car. He processed the registration of the vehicle and today produced affidavits and other documents pertaining to the CM in the court.

The second witness posted as sub-post master Baldev Singh in Ajnoha area of Hoshiarpur said before the court that in 2003, Thandal invested in Kisan Vikas Patra in the name of his family. — TNS


CBI told to return documents to petitioner 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17 
The High Court today gave directions to the CBI to hand over documents of petitioner Jagjit Singh regarding the allotment of house in SAS Nagar to PUDA. The petitioner said he was booked in a case of bank dacoity and TADA in 1987, which also involved his brother Baba Dalip Singh. The probe was conducted by the CBI and the petitioner was discharged. 

In the meantime, he purchased a house in SAS Nagar under regular sale deed with his personal income. He said he was arrested by the CBI and to secure his presence, the petitioner seized a file regarding his allotment from the office. The petitioner later appeared before the trial court in Ludhiana and was also sent to Nabha Jail. He was discharged in January 1999 but his documents have not been released yet. The court has issued notice of motion for January 9. 

Temple demarcation 

A petition was filed in the High Court seeking directions for the notified area committee, Zirakpur, Kalgidhar Real Estate and Housing Development Limited and others to demarcate the plot left for the construction of a temple as per the site plan which the petitioner said was submitted to the NAC. The petitioner said despite a representation to the authorities about the demarcation, no field staff had been deployed by the authorities. The court has issued notice of motion to the respondents. 


Paddy procurement from Oct 1
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 17
Though paddy has started arriving in some of the grain markets in Ferozepur, Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts, its procurement by government agencies will begin on October 1. At present, paddy, which is fetching a price above Rs 700 per quintal, is being purchased by private traders.

However, sources said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had urged the Union Government to advance the date to September 21 for the procurement of paddy by the government agencies. As the Union Government has fixed October 1 as date for procurement, farmers will be entitled to the minimum support price (MSP) and bonus, if any announced by the Union Government, on paddy.

The Centre has fixed Rs 675 per quintal as MSP for fine quality of paddy this year. However, it is expected that the government will announce Rs 25 per quintal as bonus on it. Badal has urged the Union Government for raising the MSP to Rs 836 per quintal and various groups of the Bharti Kisan Union have sought MSP above Rs 1,100 per quintal. Last year, paddy's MSP was Rs 610 per quintal and Rs 40 per quintal was given as bonus over and above the MPS by the Union Government.

The state government is expecting the arrival of 135 lakh tonnes of paddy this year in the market and out of this 110 lakh tonnes will be procured by the government agencies and remaining by private traders. Last year 125.78 tonnes of paddy had arrived in the market and of it 105.63 tonnes were procured by the government agencies.

Payment to farmers will be made through commission agents.

Tejinder Kaur, principal secretary, food and supplies department, said all arrangements for the procurement of paddy had been made. She said 1,500 grain markets had been set up for the procurement. Share for the procurement of paddy by the FCI had been pegged at 10 per cent.


Mittal to visit Bathinda refinery

Chandigarh, September 17
The Punjab Government has pinned all its hopes on a visit of steel baron Lakshmi Mittal who is expected to visit the Bathinda oil refinery in the first week of next month. Earlier, Mittal was scheduled to visit Bathinda on September 26. But now his visit has been postponed by a few days.

Besides, visiting the Bathinda refinery in which he has invested Rs 3,600 crore, Mittal will also visit the native village of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Mittal holds 49 per cent share in the refinery. He is an equal partner in this project with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). Mittal wanted to expand the oil refinery to make it one of the biggest in the country. — TNS


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |