Monthly Archives: JANUARY 2019


ISSUE OF GRADUAL FCI WITHDRAWAL
Punjab to withdraw state procurement agencies from procurement related operations
22.01.19 - Team PT
Punjab to withdraw state procurement agencies from procurement related operations



Expressing concern over the Food Corporation of India’s gradual withdrawal from procurement of foodgrains in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has decided to raise the issue with the Centre and seek increase in the central agency’s procurement share.

The Chief Minister said this while chairing a high-level meeting to review the procurement arrangements for the forthcoming Rabi Season.

Captain Amarinder Singh said he would ask the Union Food Minister to increase the share of FCI in state procurement, which he pointed out had declined from 30.69% to a mere 12% in the last 20 years. He also highlighted that in the last ten years, FCI had been pulling back at the last minute from procuring even the quota decided at the start of the season.

FCI, being the primary Central agency mandated to ensure foodstocks for the nation, should remain actively involved in the food procurement process, Captain Amarinder Singh said, adding that the gradual decline in FCI’s share adversely impacts the financial position of the whole procurement process, thereby burdening the state of Punjab. The last-minute refusal by FCI to not procure its earlier decided share always puts additional burden on the state’s finances, the Chief Minister added.

Captain Amarinder Singh also gave in-principle approval to withdraw four state procurement agencies – MARKFED, PUNSUP, PSWC and Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC) -from procurement related operations in a phased manner, beginning with PAIC. The move is aimed at enabling these state procurement agencies to solely focus on their original mandate of promoting agro based products and cooperative movements.

Further, with a view to seeking early redressal of long pending food procurement issues with the GoI, Captain Amarinder Singh said he would be writing to the Union Finance Minister and the Union Food Minister, seeking a joint meeting.

Underscoring the fact that despite the state being forced to take over the colossal Rs. 31,000 Crores CCL Gap as term loan, the structural issues between the state and the Centre remain unresolved, Captain Amarinder Singh stated that he would request the Modi Government to resolve all pending issues for once and all at the earliest.

Lauding the state Food Department for ensuring four back-to-back seamless procurement operations since the  the present Government took over, Captain Amarinder Singh asked the Food Secretary to impress upon GoI to hasten the process of grainstock movement to create more space for the storage of wheat during the ensuing RMS 2019-20.  

Emphasizing the need to make elaborate arrangements for forthcoming Rabi Season, he also directed the Food Supplies Minister to gear up their entire staff for timely, smooth and hassle free procurement to win over the confidence of the farmers.

Expressing concern over the financial loss suffered by the state on account of spoilage, the Chief Minister also asked the department to undertake effective steps for scientific storage of foodgrains.  

The state expects to procure 130 LMT of wheat during the RMS 2019-20, out of which state procurement agencies will procure 104 LMTs wheat, Secretary Food and Supplies apprised the meeting.  




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URGES CENTRE TO FINALISE ROAD ALIGNMENT PROJECTS
Amarinder seeks passport waiver for pilgrims to cross Kartarpur Corridor
16.01.19 - TEAM PT
Amarinder seeks passport waiver for pilgrims to cross Kartarpur Corridor



PUNJAB CHIEF MINISTER Captain Amarinder Singh has sought waiver of passport condition for pilgrims to cross the Kartarpur Corridor to enable "khulle darshan deedar” of Sri Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara on the 550th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Sri Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.

Captain Amarinder Singh has also asked the Modi Government to quickly finalize the alignment of the road access and attendant government infrastructure to be built around the Corridor so that the process of acquisition may be commenced without any further delay to ensure early operatlionalisation of the historic Corridor.

He has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, requesting that the condition of mandatory passport for devotees seeking to cross the Corridor be waived off to facilitate the pilgrimage to the historic Gurdwara located in Pakistani territory.

In his letter to Rajnath Singh, the Chief Minister has requested the Modi Government to put in place a simple procedure which would facilitate "Khulle darshan deedar” of Sri Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, in keeping with the traditional Sikh Ardas (prayer).
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The Government of India should also create adequate infrastructure at the border crossing to handle the large number of pilgrims who would want to use the Corridor for darshan of Kartarpur Sahib.
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Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said Captain Amarinder has, in his letter, suggested to the Central Government that any other valid government document such as the Aadhar card, may be used in place of Passport for identification to enable maximum pilgrims to visit the sacred Gurdwara Sahib.

The Government of India should also create adequate infrastructure at the border crossing to handle the large number of pilgrims who would want to use the Corridor for darshan of Kartarpur Sahib. The land proposed to be acquired should factor in both present and future requirements, the Chief Minister added. 
         
Noting that the Ministry of Home Affairs must be currently engaged in working out the operational modalities of the Kartarpur Corridor to be opened as part of 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji in 2019, Captain Amarinder also suggested that the system to be applied should also provide for both, day-to-day prayers and "Akhand and Sehaj Paths" which the devotees may like to undertake at Sri Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.
         
The Chief Minister has urged the Home Minister to favourably consider these requests in the interests of the pilgrims.




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TU-TU MAIN-MAIN ON KARTARPUR CORRIDOR
Harsimrat should avoid putting her foot in her mouth again-n-again: Amarinder
11.01.19 - Team PT
Harsimrat should avoid putting her foot in her mouth again-n-again: Amarinder



Ridiculing Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s allegations on the Kartarpur Corridor issue, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday made it clear that the ball was totally in the Centre’s court now, with the state government having already sent a reminder to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the matter 11 days ago.

Harsimrat had once again put her foot in her mouth without doing her homework on the issue of extreme religious importance to the Sikh community, which she was trying to mislead with her false statements, said the Chief Minister. 

Lashing out at the union minister, Captain said Harsimrat was brazenly playing with the religious sentiments of the people to further promote the vested interests of the Badals, who were desperately grabbing at straws to make a comeback in Punjab’s political arena.

The fact of the matter was that a meeting was held on December 12, 2018 under the Chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home Affairs and Justice, Punjab, said the Chief Minister. At the meeting, representatives of the Ministry of Defence, Border Security Force (BSF), National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Bureau of Immigration and other stakeholders presented their views, based on which four different alignment options were proposed for the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, he further revealed.
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"In a bid to gain one-upmanship, Harsimrat, along with the rest of the Badal clan, was trying to create confusion in the minds of the people with their blatant falsehoods."
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Of the available options, one was mutually agreed upon as the most appropriate, the Chief Minister disclosed, adding that the concerned departments were asked to submit their space requirements. Since it was a bilateral issue with wider ramifications, the follow-up meeting was proposed to be held under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, said Amarinder.

The Chief Minister made it categorically clear that any move to acquire the land can be initiated only and only after due approval from the Union Government, coupled with the flow of funds to acquire the required stretch of land. 

He said that a reminder had also been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI, on January 1, 2019, asking them to the further course of action for initiating and completing the project at the earliest. His government, and he personally, were very keen to ensure the completion of the project in time for the 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji in November this year, said Captain, lamenting the games that the Akali leaders, including Harsimrat, were playing over such a sensitive issue.

In a bid to gain one-upmanship, Harsimrat, along with the rest of the Badal clan, was trying to create confusion in the minds of the people with their blatant falsehoods, said the Chief Minister. 

The wall of deceit that the Akali leadership was trying to build between the government and the people would not stand even for a day, he said, adding that the people of Punjab were ready to show the Badals the exit, once again, in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The Chief Minister asserted that his government would continue to pursue and pressurize the central government to take the vital project to its logical conclusion by initiating the development work at the earliest. The state government would go all out, he said, to support the Centre to ensure the timely completion of the Kartarpur Corridor project, which successive Congress governments at the Centre and in the state had fought hard, through the years, to realise.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

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Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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Captain appeals all parties to not hold political conferences at Maghi
04.01.19 - Team PT
Captain appeals all parties to not hold political conferences at Maghi



Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday appealed to all political parties not to hold any political conference during the Maghi at Sri Muktsar Sahib, in view of the sanctity of the occasion.

He announced that neither the Congress party nor the State Government would organise any public function during the sacred event.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said Captain Amarinder Singh felt the occasion should not be marred by any political overtones but should be observed with utmost reverence.

The solemn occasion observed every year in memory of the 40 Muktas (liberated ones) who laid down their lives in the battle of Khidrana, now known as Sri Muktsar Sahib, should never be exploited for pursuing narrow, vested and political interests, said the Chief Minister.

The auspicious occasion of Maghi in Sri Muktsar Sahib was being held since time immemorial as a mark of respect to eulogize the supreme sacrifice of 40 Muktas, who valiantly fought against the Mughals. However, the people of Punjab felt that over the past few years such pious occasions were being circumvented by the political parties to pursue their agenda and score brownie points, said the Chief Minister.

Congress leaders at Maghi Mela in 2016
 
Amarinder also appealed to the people, especially the political leaders, to offer their tributes to these brave Sikhs as humble devotees and pay obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum of Gurdwara ‘Sri Tuti-Gandi Sahib’ at Sri Muktsar Sahib instead of holding political conferences/rallies.

Notably, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh did not hold any state level function at Maghi last year also, in line with its conscientious decision in this regard. Likewise, the State Government and Congress Party did not organize any state level function/conference on the martyrdom day of younger Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Baba Fateh Singh Ji and mother Mata Gujri Ji of Tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Fatehgarh Sahib during Shaheedi Jor-Mel this year too. 

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has directed the Deputy Commissioner and SSP Sri Muktsar Sahib to take all necessary steps to ensure that law and order is maintained during Maghi to be observed on 14th January 2019 to enable the millions of devotees, who are expected to converge here not only from the country but from across the globe, to offer their prayers in a hassle-free manner.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

Three Women of 1984  

FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

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1984 ANTI SIKH VIOLENCE – 34 YEARS OF KADDU FARMING     

WINDS OF CHANGE — What should be Amarinder Singh’s gameplan?      

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Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

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Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

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PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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