L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


IT collection goes up in city
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Global meltdown surely did not have any effect on the income of the industry in Ludhiana, considering the record revenue generated in the form of income tax during the current fiscal year despite getting lesser number of returns than last year.

The city has shown an increase of 12.9 per cent in income tax collection compared to the previous year. An increase of only 6.7 per cent in tax collection was seen in the entire country.

This despite the fact that more than 5 lakh persons filed their returns in the city compared to more than 7 lakh last financial year.

The Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, GS Randhawa, today said that during this financial year, the department was allotted a budget collection target of Rs 1491.07 crore and the revenue generated would be more than the target.

“The achievement on this account up to January 31 stands at Rs 1178.00 crore, showing a growth of 12.9 per cent over last year’s collection up to January 31 of Rs 1039 crore,” he said.

The budget target collection during 2008-09 was fixed at Rs 1,380 crore and Rs 1,465 crore were collected. “We are sure that the budget target collection figure would be exceeded this year as well,” he said.

During the financial year 2008-09, the returns received were 709748 up to March 31, 2009. During the financial year 2009-10, the returns received up to January 31, 2010 stood at 525464.

However, the IT Commissioner expressed concern over the lower number of returns received so far and said stringent action was being taken against non-filers and stop-filers through the issuance of notices. Subsequent action would be taken as per the Income Tax Act against the defaulters.

“The due date for the payment of the last instalment of advance tax is March 15 and tax payers should pay up in time to avoid the levy of interest,” he added.

Rs 4.1 cr surrendered during surveys
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Undisclosed income worth Rs 4.1 crore was surrendered during income tax surveys. The department carried out surveys at four firms in the city dealing with cycle parts and forging units.

Big Ben Exports at Dhandari Kalan surrendered Rs 1.75 crore while Prominent Forging Group surrendered Rs 1.35 crore. Surveys were also conducted at their premises at Kanganwal Chowk and Partap Chowk.

Mitra Engineering Group at Industrial Area-B surrendered Rs 65 lakh while Rs 35 lakh was surrendered by Dhara International.


Vehicle thieves held, kingpin on the run
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
With the arrest of six persons, the CIA-II police has claim to have busted a gang of vehicle thieves and impounded 15 cars and SUVs worth nearly Rs 1 crore here today. 

The accused have been identified as Surmukh Singh, alias Tota, and Paramjit Singh, alias Bagga, from Moga, Manjinder Singh of Jammu Colony, Parminder Kumar of SBS Nagar, and
Amandeep Singh and Gurpreet Singh, both from Himmat Nagar.

They were nabbed from various parts of the city here today.

However, the kingpin of the gang, Rajdeep Singh, is absconding.

The SP-D, Harinderjit Singh, said the gang was operating for the past few years and were behind a series of theft incidents recently. They were nabbed following a tip- off.

The thieves were hi-tech and managed to develop keys containing the sensor system, used in hi-end vehicles. These vehicles could not be opened with a duplicate key.

Parminder and Amandeep Singh had reportedly mastered the technique of preparing duplicate keys with sensors fitted into it.

The accused told the police that they could open any vehicle. They would “lift” vehicles from busy markets and the parking of marriages palaces.

Two of them would keep a watch while the other two would steal the vehicle.

The rest of the gang members used to give a cover by escorting the stolen vehicles.

The police has recovered two Toyota Innova, four Mahindra Scorpio, six cars, a tractor and a motorcycle from the possession of the accused.

The police said the accused used to sell the vehicles in other states by preparing fake documents.



They learn their lessons amid stench
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Students of BPC Jain Model School for Girls at Adda Phallan near the Dal bazaar are forced to learn their lessons amidst stench. In the absence of a public urinal in the area, shopkeepers and factory workers are using a razed building, which falls close to the school, as a urinal.

Not only this open urinal is causing a lot of embarrassment to girl students and teachers, but the place has also become a garbage dump.

Foul smell continues to emit from the building throughout the day thereby it difficult for the students to study.

A student said, “We feel relived during holidays. Smell is still bearable. It is embarrassing to see people urinating right in front of you.”

A few residents of the area have also lodged a complaint against the use of land as the urinal. Subhash Chadha, president of the locality, alleged that the shopkeepers had refused to budge despite repeated request of the residents.

“Though we have tried stop the shopkeepers from doing so on numerous occasions, the matter has failed to reach any logical conclusion. People desist from doing so for a few days, but again start using the place as before,” Subash Chadha added.

The shopkeepers, while blaming the Municipal Corporation for the mess, allege that the corporation has not provided any public urinal in this area, so they are left with choice other than using the building as the urinal.

Meanwhile, the students have urged the people to stop using the place as urinal.



Painter gets 10-yr RI for rape
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
A painter, Balwinder Singh of Killa Mohalla, Nawanshahr, has been convicted of kidnapping and raping a minor. He has been sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years.

Pronouncing the verdict, the court of Additional Sessions Judge Kishore Kumar held that the prosecution had proved the charges levelled against the accused beyond any shadow of doubt.

A fine of Rs 2,500 was also imposed on the accused. However, the court acquitted the co-accused, Balram Singh, father of the convict, who was facing charges of being involved in the conspiracy.

The court held that the version of the victim was doubtful.

A case under Sections 363, 366, 376, 342 and 120-B of the IPC was registered on August 21, 2006, against the accused at the Koom Kalan police station on the complaint of Kuldeep Singh of Baure village.

The complainant had stated that his daughter had gone to attend a satsang, but returned only after three days. She then said she was lured and taken to Ludhiana by the accused. They told her that she would be married to Balwinder.

They then went to Nawanshahr and took an accommodation on rent. She claimed that she was raped at night against her wishes. The accused had pleaded innocence, but finding evidence against him, the court found him guilty.



Dearth of plants at PAU nursery
Anshu Seth/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Despite fortifying plantation drive at the PAU, the nursery under the estate office of the university has failed to meet the demands of residents even regarding bougainvillea.

The PAU is equipped scientifically and intellectually to deal with queries and demands of people pertaining to plantation.

However, contrary to the claims of the staff at the nursery who claim to have almost 50 verities of ornamental trees and plants like bottle brush, amaltas, jacaranda, silver oak and ashoka, some keen planters from the city had to return empty handed from the nursery as saplings of bougainvillea, hamelia, gulmohar and rose were not available.

Ranjit Kaur, a resident of a village on the periphery of Ludhiana, said: “I had called up the PAU nursery for white bougainvillea, but the staff said it was unavailable.”

A morning walker, pointing towards fewer ornamental plants and trees at the PAU, stated that a large number of plants had died, but had not been replaced.

“Date palms would give the PAU a facelift, but it is necessary to emphasise the collection of seeds and saplings in the nursery that caters to people from across the state,” he said.

Citing “improper care” as the reason behind the withering away of ornamental plants, a senior professor, requesting anonymity, stated that ornamental plants had not been watered regularly. “The ornamental plants/trees are not deep rooted and the receding water table has caused the damage,” he added.

Dr RK Dubey, nursery in charge, said the university was doing its best to meet the demands of the people despite having limited funds. “Sowing and transplanting is a regular process and many a time, certain varieties of plants, flowers and trees are out of stock. But these are available after a few weeks. We take orders from people and try to procure the plants from outside,” he added.



No water for days, already
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Summer is yet to set in, but city areas have already started reporting shortage of potable water. Residents of Deep Nagar, near the Civil Lines, said they were not getting water for the past three days as the pump supplying to the area was out of order.

They said the weather was turning warm and the need for water had increased.

“We have to fetch water in buckets from other colonies. This has been happening for the past three days. Complaints to the MC have yielded nothing. Whenever we approach them we are told that the pump had developed a snag. What can we do in such circumstances?” asked Sudhir Mudgal, a resident.

He added that he had made rounds of the MC office and complained to the area councillor, Raju Thapar, also. “I was told that the snag would be rectified, but it has not been done till date. It has become very difficult for us,” he said.

The residents said every now and then the tubewell needed repairs and they had to wait for days together for the work to begin.

They said if the water supply was not restored, they would be forced to stage a dharna.

Last week, residents of Shivaji Nagar and Narinder Nagar, which fall under Ward Number 18, too, had complained of water shortage for the past five days. They had also complained that their tubewell was out of order.



Mohinder shines in management fest
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 9
RIMT-Maharaja Aggrasen Engineering College, Mandi Gobindgarh, organised a management fest, Synergy’10. The event was inaugurated by RIMT Group chairman Dr Hukam Chand Bansal, RIMT-MAEC principal Dr Pritpal Singh and RIMT-IET, department of business administration, HOD, Dr Bimal Anjum.

Dr Pritpal Singh motivated the students to organise more of such events in future as well. Dr Bimal Anjum also shared his views on the current trend of inflation and its effect on the economy.

Students of RIMT-IET and RIMT-MAEC participated in various events like ad mad show, business quiz, logo design, slogan writing and extempore. The students participated with full zeal and enthusiasm. The audience, too, supported and cheered for the participants.

RESULTS: ad mad show - 1st Gaurav Jain, Parminder, Mohinder and Somil (RIMT-MAEC), 2nd Mandeep Singh, Harpreet Singh, Puneet and Mandeep Kaur (MAEC) and 3rd Venus, Sukhpreet, Manpreet and Gurmeet Singh (MAEC); business quiz — 1st Tanu Sharma and Gaurav Jain (MAEC), 2nd Padam and Manpreet (RIMT-IET) and 3rd Chandan Garg and Mohinder (MAEC); logo design — 1st Harpreet Singh (MAEC), 2nd Simranjit Singh (MAEC) and 3rd Navjot Kaur (IET); slogan writing - 1st Rasmeet Kaur (IET), 2nd Sarika (MAEC) and 3rd Mandeep Kaur (MAEC); extempore - 1st Mohinder Singh (MAEC), 2nd Nishant Saini (MAEC) and 3rd Mandeep Singh (MAEC).



MC blind to encroachments at Urban Estate
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Ignoring the building bylaws by residents of Urban Estate Dugri, who have encroached 10-20 feet land along roads outside their houses, the MC is busy erecting boulder boundaries without demolishing these encroachments.

The Municipal Corporation, instead of removing the encroachments, has erected boundaries in front of the houses in Urban Estate
The Municipal Corporation, instead of removing the encroachments, has erected boundaries in front of the houses in Urban Estate. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

In order to restrict public and vehicle movement from vacant plots, officials have erected boundaries on either side, but have failed to remove the encroachments outside the houses in the area.

The officials have not done anything about the gardens maintained by influential residents on the encroached land and have also given residents a free hand to make concrete parking for their vehicles.

The stretch of the wide road demarcating Urban Estate Phase I and Phase II has been reduced to half as 15-20 ft of the road has been covered.

A majority of residents have set up gardens on government land and put iron grills around the lawns.

A senior citizen, pointing towards the ongoing commercial activities in residential colonies, stated: “Earlier, the practice was restricted to clinics, boutiques and small grocery corners in residences, but now people have taken the liberty by opening up dance centres, gymnasiums and beauty clinics at home.”

The residents are subjected to traffic congestion and hooliganism due to the commercial centres in the area.

The management of the Durga Mata Mandir, along with some residents, showed a sense of responsibility and volunteered to pull down the encroached structures.



Meeting of knitwear club
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Executive committee of the Knitwear Club called a meeting for discussing various issues bothering the industry. Vinod K Thapar, president of the club, expressed his concern on the tax levied on the electricity produced by generators and setting up meters thereon.

“Industry is already facing acute power shortage. Intermittent and irregular power cuts adversely affect the production resulting in a huge loss to the industry. The government has added insult to the injury by imposing tax on electricity produced by generators and setting up meters there needs to be checked by government officials,” he added.

The members expressed resentment and vowed to resist this draconian step. For this purpose support from other associations shall be sought.

Adding further, Narinder K Miglani, general secretary, added that the levying of anti-dumping duty on acrylic fiber has lead to the increases in the prices of yarn. The members pleaded to take up the matter forcefully with the government for withdrawing 1.50 per cent increase in VAT.



Payal Fort: Admin gets 16 properties vacated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 9
At least 16 properties belonging to a historical fort at Payal, which has since been handed over to the Archeological Survey of India, were got vacated from alleged illegal encroachers by the administration today.

The vacated property included 27 commercial establishments and residential abodes and their extensions.

The action was accomplished in compliance of the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. However, authorities at the government school being run in the premises of the fort have assured to vacate it soon after the board exams.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that a team of officials lead by SDM Payal Dr Neeru Katyal had got at least 16 defined properties from encroachers today.

Though the administration had stated demolition drive on Monday, a few encroachers supported by some political outfits had opposed the move. They had virtually lain prostrate in the encroached portions of their shops and house to frustrate the movement. They, however, agreed to remove their belongings from the encroached property later on.

According to Dr Neeru Katyal, the move to get the property vacated had been initiated in compliance of orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The civil authorities during successive governments had been trying to get the property vacated for the past few decades. But every time the encroachers used to take political protection and evade the action.

“Now when we have been directed by the court that all properties of the fort should be got vacated we had no alternative to serve notices to the illegal occupants. Though there was some resistance from a few encroachers, we persuaded them to vacate the properties to avoid legal consequences,” said Katyal adding the administration would help in rehabilitation of those whose residential abodes had been affected.



MCI gets strict; formulates new ethics
No gifts, foreign junkets for doctors
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, March 9
The Medical Council of India has formulated stringent code of ethics for the practising doctors prohibiting them from accepting gifts and free foreign trips. The latest code of ethics is an amendment over the one approved by the government in 2002.

Enquiries made by The Tribune have revealed that 10-year-ago an Indo - American girl student while studying in the USA found the practice of giving gifts and free foreign trips prevalent in the country. She raised her voice against these unethical practices and the same became a worldwide movement.

In India, the practice of offering free gifts and free trips to doctors for the promotion of certain medicines by the pharmaceutical companies has been rampant. Even a few city doctors had the privilege of visiting Bali Island, South Africa, Greece and Dubai at the expense of these companies.

The council has taken serious note of these unethical practices and has approved the new code of ethics for the doctors, said Dr BS Aulakh, Head, Urology and Transplant, DMCH, and executive member of the MCI to The Tribune today.

According to the new code of ethics, no medical practitioners shall accept any gift from any pharmaceutical or allied healthcare industry and their sales people or representatives. Further no medical practitioner shall accept any travel facility inside or outside the country, including the rail, air, ship, cruise tickets and paid vacations from any pharmaceutical companies for self or their family members for vacation or for attending conferences, seminars, workshops, CME programmes as a delegate. The MCI has further prohibited the acceptance of any hospitality individually like hotel accommodation for self and family members. It has taken a serious note of accepting cash or monetary grants from pharmaceuticals and has directed that funding for medical research and study can be only received through approved institutions by modalities laid down by law / guidelines adopted by such institutions in a transparent manner. It shall always be fully disclosed.

The MCI has further made it obligatory that the medical practitioners shall not comprise the professional autonomy and freedom of the medical institutions.

The senior doctors have welcomed the new code of ethics. Dr LS Chawla, founder Vice - Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, said this was a welcome step and genuine research should be welcome and it should be authorised by a proper authority. He emphasised that the unethical practices should be stopped with strong hands.

Dr Gurinder Singh Grewal, member, Punjab Medical Council, while welcoming the MCI decision said the spirit of the code was yet to be achieved. Pharmaceutical companies were still offering gifts and organising CMEs. But unfortunately nobody was coming forward to complain. 



Vet varsity teachers protest re-employment of professor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The teachers of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University are up in arms against the decision of university administration to re-employ a retired professor of the department of animal breeding and genetics on contract basis as professor of the department with additional charge of university librarian. The teachers staged a dharna on the campus that went on for two hours.

The post of university librarian was an administrative post involving finances with drawing and disbursing powers. The decision of the university was very much against the norms of appointment of employees on contract basis issued by the Government of Punjab and terms and conditions formulated by GADVASU itself.

A professor of Animal Breeding in the department of animal genetics and breeding at GADVASU, retired on February 28, and was re-employed after three days on March 4 on the same post on contract basis at a fixed salary of Rs 55,000 per month for one year.

Taking strong exception to this development, the executive committee of the GADVASU Teachers Association held an emergency meeting on March 5 and submitted a representation to the vice-chancellor and had also sent the same to the Governor of Punjab and chancellor of GADVASU and Chief Minister of Punjab, mentioning various irregularities committed in the contractual appointment of the ex-professor.

Dr HS Sandhu and Dr SS Randhawa, president and secretary of GADVASU Teachers Association, alleged that as per the GADVASU Act and statutes any person appointed on contract or ad hoc basis could not hold any administrative post and no financial powers could be delegated to him.

The post of librarian was a technical job requiring MLib or IT qualifications, but in the present case these were ignored. As per the university record, there was no scarcity of professors in the department of animal breeding and genetics for which the contract appointment has been made. The teachers referred to earlier arbitrary appointments adding that in 2008, the director of extension education was re-employed for two years on similar conditions citing lack of competent persons in GADVASU.



Excise dept accused of harassing architects’ firm
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
After central excise officials raided the office of Habitat Architects, representatives of the latter criticised the department action alleging the firm was being “deliberately harassed” after they refused to design the houses of two officials.

In a statement issued here, Ranjodh Singh and Zafar Chaudhary, representatives of Habitat Architects, claimed their firm was considered the highest taxpayer among architects in the state. “Despite this the excise department deliberately harassed us”, they added.

“Due to some officials who wanted to settle personal scores, false information was circulated that the excise department had confiscated computers at the Habitat Architects office. However, no such computers were confiscated”, Ranjodh asserted.

Accusing department officials of putting pressure on the architects, he alleged," It appears certain department officials are trying to arm-twist the firms into designing their personal residences. We are already designing the home of a top department official in South City."

The architects’ representatives were particularly miffed at the excise department's action of conducting a search at the architects’ homes.

"Surprisingly, the excise officials conducted a search at the architects’ houses when the latter were not present there. Their family members were asked irrelevant questions that had nothing to do with collecting taxes. One of the department officials even misbehaved with employees of the architects”, they alleged.



Workshop on software development
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 9
Doraha Institute of Management and Technology organised one-day workshop on ‘Essentials of software development’ in collaboration with Newbridge Technologies Ltd for the students of BCA 4th and 6th semester recently.

Coordinator, DIMT, Supreet Kaur welcomed the resource persons. Sukhpal Singh, chairman Doraha Group of Institutes, quoted that such functions should be organised to enrich the knowledge of students so that they could survive in the age of computers.

Dr RK Lekhi, director, DIMT, said the main aim of the workshop was to give the students a deep knowledge about software development using Visual Basic as front end and MS Access as backend.

The morning session of the workshop comprised of Visual Basic.

During the session students took keen interest in the lecture and also put many queries on the subject. The afternoon session comprised of networking. In the end Prof VJ Rai thanked the resource persons.



Oriental bank set to acquire small banks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
Having achieved a business mix of Rs 1,97, 234 crore by the beginning of this month and a vast network of 1,500 branches across the length and breadth of the country, the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) has set its eyes on acquisition of smaller banks.

Giving this indication at a news conference here today, Chairman and MD of the bank TY Prabhu said the bank was no longer small that could be merged with any other bank. "We are in the big league, and it will be our bank that will acquire smaller banks, if at all to further strengthen its base," he asserted without elaborating further.

Prabhu was in the city to inaugurate the new premises of the Pakhowal branch in the district and attended a mega credit camp at Jagraon.

Claiming that the bank had recorded a growth of 22.48 per cent in total business which had gone up to Rs 1,97,234 crore from Rs 1,61,021 crore in March last year, the deposits stood at Rs 1,16,636 crore (up 23.42 per cent), gross advances were higher by 21.16 per cent at Rs 80,597 crores while net profit for three quarters ending December 2009 were Rs 817.64 crores with an increase of 15.23 per cent.

On performance of the bank in the state, Prabhu stated that Punjab being an agricultural state and industrial hub of medium and small industries, the thrust was on lending to these sectors. The bank, with a network of 54 branches, two extension counters and six regional offices in the Ludhiana region, had a business mix of over Rs 4,400 crores comprising deposits of more than Rs 2,660 crores and advances of over Rs 1,740 crores out of which priority sector advances stood at around Rs 880 crores.

He said in the course of its expansions plans, the bank had already recruited 1,290 employees and it proposed to have 1,600 more staff members during the current year. "The bank has leveraged its IT capability of 100 per cent computerisation on core banking solution platform offering an array of the IT-based products like mobile and Internet banking, electronic remittance facilities, online education loan, e-shoppe, e-taxes, online trading of shares, SMS alerts, debit cards, cashmate cards for students and third party mutual funds."

The major thrust in the coming year, he added, would be on the advances to SME, housing, retail lending and agriculture. "We intend to further expand our operations in the life insurance sector through the joint venture of Canara Bank, HSBC, Oriental Bank of Commerce, and Life Insurance Corporation which has already completed one-and-a-half year of operation."



Pending Demands
Ministerial employees threaten to intensify stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
A state-level convention of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union today served an ultimatum to the state government to implement all demands of the government employees, which were conceded by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in a meeting on October 21 last year without any further delay, failing which the union would be left with no other choice but to intensify the agitation.

Addressing the rally, functionaries of the union, including state president Darshan Singh Bajaj, chairman Sukhwinder Singh and general secretary Raman Kumar Sharma, slammed the delaying tactics of the government over demands such as scrapping typing test for clerks and its replacement with computer test, exemption of supervisory staff up to B grade from departmental promotion committee, doing away with requirement of no objection certificate from vigilance department at retirement for all employees except the DDOs and decentralisation of powers for reimbursement of medical bills.

The speakers at the convention further called upon the government to revise pay scales of clerical staff to bring parity with BEd teachers as well as those of junior assistant, junior and senior scale stenographers, superintendents grade II, personal assistants and administrative officers.

They also demanded creation of new posts in the wake of additional workload of the RTI and the CPF schemes, grant of special allowance of Rs 500 for court and treasury duties, Rs 300 for cash handling and implementation of all other demands which had been accepted in principle.

The union leaders made it clear to the government that any further delay in convening a meeting for bilateral discussion and implementation of the pending demands would be treated as denial of justice, and the body will act accordingly to chalk out its further course of action.



MC auctions old vehicles, scrap after decade
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
After more than a decade, the Municipal Corporation has auctioned its old vehicles and scrap, through which a whopping Rs 30 lakhs has been generated. The “abandoned”, non-functional vehicles were lying at the corporation’s workshop at the Hambran road for the past several years.

A few days ago, authorities had given an advertisement in various sections of media, inviting people for this open, on-the-spot auction. Good number of bidders turned up to bid for these vehicles.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Kamalpreet Brar while giving the details told not just revenue worth Rs 30 lakh was generated through the auction but the corporation was able to clear unwanted scraps. She said the auction of tyres, other old belongings of the corporation were held three years ago but the vehicles were being auctioned after a gap of 10 years. She said, “Last auction of vehicles was held in the year 2000. We will try to hold such auctions in routine so that maximum revenue was generated.”

These non-functional vehicles included four JCB machines, four fire-brigade vans, tippers, Swaraj Mazda, Tata 407 besides four Ambassador cars. “People have shown keen interest in the vehicles and the corporation was able to get good amount. But for the auction of four Ambassador cars, there was no bidder. Authorities have been able to generate about Rs 5 lakh by auctioning the scrap which was lying pending for years.

It is positive that the corporation has started thinking of generating its own resources, which will be used for the development of the city. First, this collected money will be deposited in the corporation’s fund”, said Parveen Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor, present on the occasion.



Tax on captive power generation
Sukhbir Badal promises rollback
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Although Sukhbir Singh Badal has assured Harish Rai Dhanda that the ministry for power has wrongly issued the notification levying 5 per cent tax on the captive power generation and the same will be reverted to but nothing has been issued in written so far. The entire industry is anxiously waiting for its formal announcement.

The All-Industries and Trade Forum met Harish Rai Dhanda, parliamentary secretary, and took up the issue of levying tax on the power generated by the generator sets in Punjab.

On March 7, a delegation of the All-Industries and Trade Forum had met Harish Rai Dhanda and explained them that how the bureaucracy reverted the ministry’s decision.

In the original report of the Sukhbir-Kalia resource mobilisation committee it was suggested to impose a levy of 5 per cent on captive power generated in Punjab (other then the power generated by the generators)

But, when the notification was issued it stated “the levy will be imposed on the captive power generated in Punjab (other then the power generated by generators for the domestic use)”.

“The words “for domestic use” have put the entire industry in quandary as it will spell its doom and the notification will prove costly if 5 per cent tax is levied on the captive power generation. Due to power shortage in the state, it is not possible to levy such a tax,” said Jindal.

Bhamra said Dhanda had explained the entire case to Sukhbir Singh Badal, who has promised to immediately rollback the notification.



Contractors seek revision of labour rates
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
The labour contractors working in grain markets of the state for loading and unloading of food grain today organised a rally at the mini secretariat here to demand revision of labour rates by state agencies entrusted with the task of procurement as the these had remained unchanged for the past 12 years whereas the cost of living had gone up manifold during this period.

Addressing the rally, Sarwan Kumar, president, Labour Thekedar Union, Punjab, lamented that the ‘mandi’ proforma, which governed the labour rates in food grain markets, was last revised by the state government in April 1998. In contrast, the Punjab Mandi Board has been revising the labour rates at the commencement of each procurement season, allowing 5 to 6 per cent hike to enable the labour cope with higher cost of living.

The labour contractors urged the government to revise the schedule of labour rates and bring parity with the wages being paid to labour engaged by the Food Corporation of India, which was much higher than the state government’s rates.

They further demanded that the onus of payment of service tax should be on the procurement agency and not on the labour contractors, make matching contribution of employees provident fund mandatory for the purchasing agencies, on the spot approval of tenders for labour, speedy refund of unsuccessful bidders for labour contracts and put an end to huge increase in the security deposit.

The contractors further wanted that the security deposit should be made transferable to the new procurement agency in case the change in the agency at a particular purchase centre or ‘mandi’.



Psychotropic drugs seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 9
Two persons were arrested yesterday and a huge amount of psychotropic drugs from their possession. Cops intercepted Kartar Singh of Kaunke Kalan and Sanjiv Kumar of the Agwar Dalla area from the Gurusar Kaunke road. The accused, who were riding bicycles, tried to flee but were nabbed.

During search they recovered 13 bottles of cough syrup, 3,500 tablets of Momotil, 168 capsules of Spasmo Proxivon, 80 tablets of Carysoma, 190 Fridex capsules, 140 Provon Spas Capsules, and 144 capsules of Proxivon besides 65 grams of white powder of drugs from their possession.

Both accused were not carrying any proof of purchase of these medicines. A case has been registered against the accused.



Murder Case
Gurvinder surrenders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Gurvinder Singh, prime accused in the Prabhdeep murder case, surrendered himself to the court today. He was absconding since February 8, after he shot his daughter's alleged paramour Prabhdeep.

The victim had reportedly gone to meet his beloved in her house in Dugri Phase - II, where his father spotted Prabhdeep.

According to the victim's father KP Singh, Gurvinder and his accomplices first shot at and then thrashed him.

Victim went into comma following which he succumbed to his injuries on February 20.



Power board JE held in graft case
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 9
The vigilance team of Ludhiana today nabbed a junior engineer of the PSEB, Jagraon office, red handed taking bribe from a villager of Kaunke Kalan village. The villager, Bikar Singh, had complained to the vigilance department, Ludhiana, that JE Jeet Ram Bhatia was demanding Rs 60,000 from him to change his electricity meter which was damaged accidentally.

He had stated in his complaint that the JE was threatening to implicate him in power theft case if he did not pay him the money.

The vigilance team asked Bikar to negotiate the amount with the JE. After negotiations the deal was settled for Rs 40,000.

The JE asked him to pay an amount of Rs 5,000 to his assistant Amritpal Sharma first and the remaining amount of Rs 35,000 to him.

As per the plan of the vigilance team, Bikar Singh went to the office of the JE today to pay him the demanded money. When Bikar paid him Rs 20,000, the vigilance team raided his office and arrested him red handed. The amount was also recovered from his possession.

The vigilance department registered a case against the accused, JE Jeet Ram Bhatia, under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act at the vigilance police station, Ludhiana.



Jewellery worth lakhs stolen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Thieves decamped with gold and cash worth lakhs of rupees from a house in Dyal Nagar at Ghumar Mandi. According to complainant Arun Kumar, who returned home this morning said the thieves entered his house late last night, broke the almirah and stole 22 tola of jewellery worth over Rs 4 lakh.

A case has been registered.



Annual Athletics Meet
Harjit wins 800m race
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 9
The third annual athletics meet of the Doraha Institute of Management and Technology was organised here today. DSP Payal Anil Kumar Joshi inaugurated the meet by hoisting a flag.

Dr RK Lekhi, director, appreciated the efforts made by the sports cell of the institute. He also felicitated the sportsmen who took part in tournaments organised by the PTU and brought laurels to the college. He appreciated the efforts made by Sukhvir Singh, in charge, Sports, to encourage the students to take active part in indoor as well as outdoor activities.

Various indoor activities like carom, table tennis and chess were organised on the occasion. Similarly events like 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m,matka and sack races, needle thread, three-legged race, musical chair, javelin throw, shot put, discuss throw, long jump and tug-of-war were organised. The students of BBA, BCA and MBA participated with great zeal and enthusiasm.

Dr HS Gurm, former vice-chancellor, Punjab Technical University, and Amrit Kaur Gurm, director, DCE, Doraha, distributed prizes among winners of various track and field events. At the close, Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Doraha Group of Institute, took the salute from the march past and declared the athletics meet closed by lowering the flag.

Satluj House bagged the best house trophy and best march past went to Beas House. The award for best athlete (Boys) was bagged by Pargat Singh Garcha of BCA final year from Satluj House and best athlete (Girls) was bagged by Navdeep Kaur of BCA final year from Beas House.

Results: 800m (Boys): Harjit Singh (Beas House)-1, Pargat Singh (Satluj House)-2 and Baljit Singh (Beas House)-3. Javelin (Boys): Rajan (Satluj House)-1, Pargat Singh (Satluj House)-2 and Santosh (Satluj House)-3. Javelin (Girls): Kirandeep Kaur (Satluj House)-1, Jaspreet Kaur (Beas House) and Ramandeep Kaur (Ravi House) -3. Shot put (Girls): Navdeep Kaur (Beas House)-1,Renu Rani (Ravi House)-2 and Avtar Kaur (Beas House) -3. 1500m (Boys): Harjit Singh (Beas House)-1, Pargat Singh (Satluj House)-2 and Jagvir Singh (Satluj House) -3. Discuss throw (Girls): Pakinder Kaur (Beas House)-1, Navdeep Kaur (Ravi House)-2 and Harmeet Kaur (Beas House) -3. Lemon spoon (Girls): Amanjit Kaur (Satluj House)-1, Gagandeep Kaur (Beas House)-2 and Avtar Kaur (Beas House)-3.

Long Jump (Boys): Pargat Singh (Satluj House)-1, Gurcharan Singh (Ravi House)-2 and Sukhjit Singh (Beas House)-3. Sack race (Girls): Harmeet Kaur (Beas House)-1, Kirandeep Kaur (Satluj House)-2 and Simarjit Kaur (Ravi House)-3. 200m (Boys):Suresh Kumar (Ravi House)-1,Pargat Singh (Satluj House)-2 and Harjit Singh (Beas House)-3. 200m (Girls): Harpreet Kaur (Ravi House)-1, Navjot Kaur (Satluj House)-2 and Kirandeep Kaur (Satluj House)-3. Needle thread (Girls): Harpreet Kaur (Ravi House)-1,Navjot Kaur (Satluj House)-2 and Kirandeep Kaur (Satluj House)-3. 100m (Boys): Suresh Kumar (Ravi House)-1,Harjit Singh (Beas House) -2 and Pargat Singh (Satluj House)-3. 100m (Girls): Navdeep Kaur (Beas House)-1, Hardeep Kaur (Satluj House) -2 and Harpreet Kaur (Beas House)-3. Long jump (Girls): Renu Rani (Ravi House)-1,Jaspreet Kaur (Beas House) -2 and Avtar Kaur (Beas House) -3. 3 Leg Race (Girls): Hardeep Kaur/ Sheenam (Satluj House)-1,Harpreet Kaur/ Pawandeep Kaur (Ravi House)-2 and Navdeep Kaur/ Himani (Beas House) -3. 400m (Boys): Pargat Singh (Satluj House)-1,Harjit Singh (Beas House)-2 and Suresh Kumar (Ravi House)-3. Matka Race (Girls): Kirandeep Kaur (Satluj House)-1, Renu Rani (Ravi House)-2 and Navdeep Kaur (Beas House)-3. Shot put (Boys): Chamkaur Singh (Satluj House)-1, Gurcharan Singh (Ravi House)-2 and Nitish Sood (Ravi House) -3.

4 X 100 relay (Girls): Ravi House-1, Satluj House-2 and Beas House -3. 4 X 100 relay (Boys): Satluj House -1, Ravi House-2 and Beas House-3. In the tug-of-war, computer science (Boys/ Girls) defeated management students. In musical chair Sapanpreet Kaur of MBA-2nd won the match.



JCT take on Salgaocar SC, Goa today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 9
JCT, FC of Phagwara will take on Salgaocar SC of Goa in the 15th round match in the second leg of the ongoing I-League Football Championship match to be played at Guru Nanak Stadium here tomorrow.

JCT FC, the premier football outfit of North India, had been struggling in the first round matches due to injuries to its main players. In 14 matches played in the first leg, JCT won four, lost five and managed to secure just 17 points to occupy ninth spot in points table while the visitors are placed at 12th spot with 14 points from as many encounters.

Players of both teams had a strenuous work out at Guru Nanak Stadium today. The match will start at 3.30 pm on Wednesday.



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