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VAT on BSF canteen items to go: Badal
Ravinder Sud

Hoshiarpur, August 25
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal this evening took the salute from second batch of 154 trainee women cops (GD) and 147 male constables at the passing-out parade at Subsidiary Training Centre of the Border Security Force at Kharkan village, 12 km from here.

Badal rued the decreasing number of Punjabi youths in officer ranks of the Indian Army. There was a time when 50 per cent officers in the Army were from Punjab, he said. To reverse the trend, the state government would set up an education-cum-Army training centre at Mohali. After getting education from this centre, the youth could join the Army, Badal said.

Accepting the demand of the Inspector-General, Badal said VAT would not be charged on items in BSF canteen. He also agreed to provide complete equipment of gymnasium at the STC Centre of the BSF at Kharkan.

He was impressed to witness the parade of women cops, who after completing 36 weeks of training, participated in the parade today.

Lauding the BSF for protecting Indian borders and maintaining peace in the country, Badal said the BSF was the pride of the country and known for discipline and dedication.

In a humorous vein the Chief Minister asked Inspector-General, Punjab Frontier, BSF, Himmat Singh to provide physical training to the MLAs so that they could serve people more effectively. Later, Badal told reporters that MPs and MLAs of Punjab would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow in New Delhi to urge him to declare Punjab drought-hit and give suitable relief to farmers.

Referring to the break-up between the BJP and the INLD in Haryana, he said the SAD unit of Haryana would decide on its role in the elections of the state at the appropriate time.

Himmat Singh said newly pass-out women cops would be deployed on border posts for searching and frisking women going beyond fenced gates. Their services, if required, would also be used for internal security duty and counter insurgency performed by the BSF. The deployment of women cops on international border would add a new dimension to border management and role of the BSF.



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