Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2016


Capt Amarinder ridicules Kejriwal’s claims for knowing Punjab in 3 days
29.02.16 - PT Team
Capt Amarinder ridicules Kejriwal’s claims for knowing Punjab in 3 days



Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh today ridiculed the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s claims that he knew Punjab more than him (Capt Amarinder) and others after visiting the state for three days.
 
"This only speaks of the delusional arrogance of a man, borne out of sheer ignorance, who has started believing that he has got to know Punjab better than others merely after three days visit”, the PCC president said, while talking to reporters here today.
 
"This is rather an insult to all those who belong to this soil and have given their blood and sweat to this land since the time when Kejriwal was not even born and may not have even heard about Punjab”, he said.
 
Capt Amarinder said, Kejriwal was welcome to visit Punjab as many times as he wanted and say whatever he wanted to say, but he must clarify his stand on the issue Punjab had with his native state Haryana. "Let Mr Kejriwal spell out his stand on Punjab waters” he said, adding, these were sensitive and emotive issues which he cannot avoid.
 
Meanwhile, he strongly condemned the attack on Kejriwal’s car in Ludhiana saying the matter needs to be probed. "Whosoever has done it must be identified and punished as such things are unacceptable in a democracy and more so in Punjab, as Punjabis have always welcomed and respected their guests”, he said.
 
Replying to a question on the Bargadi issue, the PCC president said, he will not allow the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to get away with it. "Badal’s countdown has started as ten months is not a long time”, he said, adding, "I will ensure that he is made accountable for first ordering the desecration of Guru Granth Sahab and then the firing on the innocent people”.
 
He said, the very fact that Badal had not ordered any inquiry into the incident proves beyond any doubt as who was behind all that. "But I will ensure that he does not get away and will have to pay for it”, he asserted.
 
Meanwhile, Kuldeep Singh Nathupur, an SGPC member joined the party today alongwith hundreds of his supporters.




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'My Car Attacked With Sticks And Stones In Punjab' : Arvind Kejriwal
29.02.16 - PT Team
'My Car Attacked With Sticks And Stones In Punjab' : Arvind Kejriwal



Arvind Kejriwal tweeted today that his car had been attacked with sticks and stones in Punjab's Ludhiana, where he is campaigning for his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
 
He blamed the state's ruling Akali Dal.
 
"My car attacked with sticks and stones in Ludhiana. Front glass pane broken. Badals n congress nervous? They can't break my spirits," Mr Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, tweeted.
 
His party claimed that he had a narrow escape.
 
Condemning the attack senior party leader Sanjay Singh alleged that it was a conspiracy hatched by Akalis to "kill” Kejriwal and demanded high-level probe by sitting judge of High Court in the attack.
 
"It was a well-planned conspiracy hatched by Akalis to eliminate Kejriwal, who has emerged as ‘mahsiya’ for the people of Punjab”, Sanjay Singh accompanied with senior AAP leaders Durgesh Pathank, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Himmat Singh Shergill and Youth leader of party Harjot Bains.
 
 "Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal is responsible for the attack as it was all planned at the behest of him”, Sanjay alleged.
 
He claimed that presence of Harkinder Singh, younger brother of Ludhiana MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali apart from Youth Akali leaders Amandeep Singh Aulakh and Prabhdeep Singh Mangat, is enough indication for the conspiracy by Akalis to ‘kill’ Kejriwal.
 
Kejriwal during his five-day tour exposed Akalis for all their sins in Punjab be it poor plight of farmers and industrialists apart from menace of drug abuse, which ‘irked’ Sukhbir Badal, who allegedly hatched this conspiracy, Sanjay added.
 
Police was also hand-in-glove in the conspiracy as Cops deployed for security deliberately guided the convoy to an unscheduled route in the pretext of ‘safety’, where more than 100 Akali goons were already in wait for attack, He alleged.
 
 "They were all trained goondas and were entertained with liquor and food at a nearby resort before attack”, he claimed. 
 
"We will not bow down with such attacks, as this is what was done by BJP in Varanasi and as a result it had to taste a humiliating defeat in Delhi.  Now it is turn of Punjab and Akalis will be rooted out in 2017”, Sanjay vowed.
 
Mr Kejriwal is on a five-day visit to Punjab, which goes to polls later this year.
 
On Friday, he faced black flags and protests by reported Akali Dal and BJP workers during a public meeting at Chandigarh.
 
Mr Kejriwal hit out at political rivals and said he would "go to the villages and homes of people" instead of making manifestos in air-conditioned rooms.
 
AAP is looking to make a big splash in Punjab after it won four Parliament seats in 2014.
 
Meanwhile, Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi, Parliament Member from Patiala and Punjab Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal condemned the incident of stone throwing on the car of Arvind Kejriwal.
 
In a statement, the Deputy CM, who also holds the Home portfolio, said he had directed the Ludhiana police to register a case against the stone-pelters and take action in the case immediately.
 
Mr Badal also directed the State DGP to inquire as to whether there was any lapse on the part of the security apparatus provided to the AAP leader during his five day extensive tour of Punjab. He also asked the DGP to take appropriate steps to ward off occurrence of any such incident in the future.
 
Assuring the AAP leader that the Punjab government was committed to providing adequate security to Mr Kejriwal during his visits to Punjab, the Deputy CM also requested the AAP party not to make political capital out of an unfortunate incident.
 
The Deputy CM said as far as the SAD was concerned, the party had always stood for the right of protest and would never use undemocratic means to stifle protest. " In fact we have been at the receiving end of oppression as we have always used the power of democratic protest for the betterment of the people of the State and the country", he added.





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Minority status be accorded at National level only : Cheema
26.02.16 - PT Team
Minority status be accorded at National level only : Cheema



Speaking during the maiden regional conference of North India states organised by National Commission for Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI) at Hotel Mount View, Chandigarh, Punjab Education Minister Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema ardently advocated that minority status must be accorded only at national level and advised that it shall not be given at State level. He said that constitutionally this status shall be provided at National level only.
 
Cheema said that considering State as base for giving the status, it would be dangerous if minority status is granted at State level. Likewise, Sikh population in Punjab, Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir, Christians in Southern States will be in Majority. He said that, the matter has reached Hon’ble Supreme Court and the commission should strongly defend this as an obligation to protect minority rights.  The minister said that, commission shall raise a bold voice to protect the minority rights and work for strength of Republic. He mentioned that, if various status are granted at State level, if may confine it later to District or Block levels, which would be more dangerous. This way, Muslims will be in majority in Malerkotla and Christians in Majha area of Punjab.
 
On this occasion, Cheema appealed the commission that, like Maulana Azad Schemes for Minorities, it shall come forward for benefit of Sikligar and Vanjare Sikhs. He said that, this community is rearward at economic, social and educational level, so arrangements shall be made for raising their living standards. The Minister stated that commission has formed an Urdu Promotion Council, which is a very good effort and on the same pattern a Punjabi Promotion Council shall be made for Punjabis residing in out of Punjab and in other countries. On this occasion, the first local conference organised by the commission the organisers appraised this mentioned this as great initiative.
 
The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor of Punjab and Haryana.




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Budget Session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha from March 8
25.02.16 - PT Team
Budget Session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha  from March 8



Cabinet’s nod to ‘Affordable Housing Policy 2015’
All vacant posts of Doctors and Teachers to be filled
Green Signal for re-use plan of Town Hall Amritsar for constructing 1947 partition museum
Uniform Policy for creation of steel silos approved
Punjab Minor Minerals rules 2013 to be amended
Nod to Uday Scheme
Satellite centre of PGIMER at Ferozepur
Property Tax date extended upto March 31, 2016
The Punjab Cabinet today approved the summoning of twelfth session of 14th Punjab Vidhan Sabha from March 8 for passing the annual budget for 2016-17.
 
A decision to this effect was taken by the Cabinet in its meeting chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister  Parkash Singh Badal here at his office, this morning. Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the budget session would commence on March 8 afternoon at 2 pm with Governor’s address. The session would be adjourned sine die on March 22.
 
In order to provide affordable housing facility to Lower Middle Income group, the Punjab Cabinet today approved ‘Affordable Housing Policy 2015” under which incentives in the form of reduced Change of Land Use (CLU), External Development Charges (EDC) and License Fee would be given to promoters undertaking construction of affordable houses for economically backward strata of society. Maximum area under the affordable housing scheme would not exceed 10% of total gross area and minimum area proposed was five acre contiguous and compact chunk of land. All such projects would be necessarily required to be completed within five years from date of issue of license to avail these benefits.  It would be mandatory on the part of promoter to provide the facility of one built up community hall not less than 3000 square feet for every five acre of land, besides one nursery school cum crèche of not less than 3000 square feet in the prescribed area of the scheme. Super area of the flats would range from 750 square feet to 900 square feet.  
 
With a view to reconnect the future generation with the partition of India, the Cabinet also gave green signal to the proposal of Punjab Heritage Tourist Promotion Board regarding the re-use plan of Town Hall, Amritsar for constructing 1947 partition museum, city museum, cottage emporium of other states, Coffee shop, Light and sound show/ Laser show/ virtual reality and others activities on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode. The Town Hall building would become vacant after Municipal Office was shifted to new building.
 
In order to streamline the flow of funds for ‘Mukh Mantri Trath Yatra Scheme’ initiated for providing free pilgrimage to the people desirous of visiting holy places like Nanded Sahib, Ajmer Sharif, Varanasi, Mata Vaishno Devi and others, the Cabinet today gave nod for providing funds worth Rs 46.50 crore in the excess budget plan for year 2015-16.
 
The Cabinet also gave approval to accept the recommendations of Cabinet Sub Committee to form a uniform policy for creation of steel silos for storage of food grains in the state. As per the recommendations of the sub-committee, the Food and Civil Supplies department would make all the decisions regarding construction of Silos, PUNGRAIN would be the nodal agency and the government land available with the Food and Civil Supplies department would be utilised for the construction of Silos. If needed, land available with other departments like Cooperation, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj and Punjab Mandi Board would also be taken on lease by PUNGRAIN with mutual consent, for this purpose.
 
In a bid to further check illegal mining in the state, the Cabinet also gave approval to amend Punjab Minor Mineral Rules 2013 for constituting District Mineral Foundation and State Mineral Foundation. Now it would be the responsibility of land owner to inform the District Mining officer of any illegal Mining taking place from his land.  The Cabinet also decided to impose a tax on export of Minor Minerals from the state @Rs 4000 per a trolley, Rs 7000 per truck and Rs 10000 per large truck carrying Minor Minerals outside the state. This has been decided to bring down the rates of Minor Minerals within the state. CCTV cameras would be installed at all exit points. 
 
To ensure far more improvement in its operational and financial efficiency in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, the Cabinet also gave green signal to implement Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY) scheme, which has been notified by the Government of India (GoI) for financial turnaround of power distribution Companies (DISCOMS).    
 
The Cabinet also gave nod for Amending Punjab Jails Department State Service (Class-III Executive), Rules 1963 thereby increasing the minimum qualification for post of Warden from 8th to 10+2 and fixing their age limit from 18 to 25 to ensure that only deserving and qualified candidates with proper physique and fitness were selected for these posts.  
 
To overcome the situation arising out of pendency of court cases in the state, the Cabinet also gave approval for creating separate session division along with supporting staff each in SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Tarn Taran districts.
 
The Cabinet also accorded its concurrence to the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) for raising funds to the tune of Rs 92.25 crore as state share for constructing 17 Railway Over Bridges (ROBs)/ Railway Under Bridges (RUBs) to prevent any unsafe conditions and detention of the road users along with the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor alignment by making it free of Level crossings. The loan would be reimbursed/ repaid in instalments over a period of ten years along with interest thereof, including three years moratorium on repayments.  
 
In a bid to impart quality health services to the people, the Cabinet also gave green signal for filling 200 posts of Medical Officers (MBBS) out of vacant 316 posts of Medical Officers (Specialists). These 200 posts would be adjusted against the posts of MBBS doctors who would be retiring in future or posts falling vacant due to any other reason.
 
In another significant decision, the Cabinet also gave approval to fill all the posts of Doctors and Teachers lying vacant in the government hospitals and schools. This decision has been taken to bring complete efficiency in the functioning of Health and Educational institutions in order to provide the best Healthcare and education facilities to the people especially in rural areas of the state.  
In order to enhance the efficiency of routine administrative work in the Punjab Civil Secretariat, the Cabinet also gave go ahead for filling 120 vacant posts of Senior Assistants in Punjab Civil Secretariat through Direct Recruitment through a competitive test that would be conducted by the Thapar University, Patiala. 
 
Likewise, in order to provide specialised staff for Special New Born Care Units being run by the state government to provide special care to infants, the Cabinet also decided to fill 61 posts of Staff Nurses group C, with candidates having special training certificate or fellowship in Neonatology through Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, Faridkot by written examination.
 
In a move aimed at smooth and effective functioning of the offices of Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners in the larger public interest, the Cabinet also gave go ahead to fill vacant posts of 460 clerks and 25 posts of steno typists in these offices. 
 
In order to ensure effective functioning of State Commission for Women, the Cabinet also approved amending of Punjab State Women Commission Act, 2001 and amendment Act 2014 to raise the strength of non official members of the Commission from existing five to 10.
 
The Cabinet also okayed to hire the services of an agency for conducting impact assessment study of the various schemes and programs of the state government. The agency would conduct an assessment study from April to December 2016 by randomly reaching out to 4.5 lakh people personally and contacting 15 lakh people. The data thus collected would provide direction to state government for bringing the gaps in programs/ schemes implementation besides helping to frame new schemes and policies for overall development of the state.
 
The Cabinet also gave nod to hire 100 video vans for creating awareness amongst the people regarding the policies and schemes of the state government besides informing them about the rich historical and cultural legacy of the state. These video vans would be equipped with all the modern mass media gadgets like LED screens, sound systems, video players, wi-fi connectivity and public address system. These vans would cover the entire state from April to December 2016 to screen the video films depicting the various development projects, schemes undertaken by the state and information regarding rich cultural heritage of the state.
 
The Cabinet also gave approval to dispose seven surplus sites of Irrigation Department selected by PUDA under the OUVGL scheme. The amount thus raised by sale of these properties would be utilised for repair/ renovation of canals in the state.     
 
The Cabinet also gave green signal to sell 12.68 acres of land belonging to Sugarfed in Banur to Housefed, Punjab, which would be launching a housing scheme for welfare of the society. It has been decided that Rs 10 crore from the sale proceeds of this land would be utilised for expansion/ modernisation of Bhogpur Cooperative Sugar Mill, which was a long pending demand of the farmers of Doaba region. The modernisation of Bhogpur Sugar Mill would immensely benefit the farmers besides generating indirect employment potential.
 
The Cabinet also gave nod to framing of Punjab Cooperative (Group B) Service Rules 2016. Currently Punjab Cooperative Service (Class-II) Rules 1958, the Punjab Cooperative Department Services Ministerial (State Service Class-III) Rules 1966 and Punjab Cooperative Department (state services) class III rules 1978 were applicable in the department.
 
The Cabinet also gave nod for ‘The Punjab Forest (Group-A) Ministerial Services Rules, 2015.
 
The Cabinet also gave approval to enact new ‘Welfare department Group ‘A Ministerial and Group ‘A’ Non Ministerial Service Rules’ thereby repealing previous the ‘Punjab Schedule Castes and Backward Classes’ (Class II), Services Rules 1978, due to change in groups of employees following revision in pay scales. 
 
The Cabinet also gave nod for framing Punjab Dental Education (Group A) Service Rules, 2016 which governs the services of teaching faculty working at Government Dental Colleges Amritsar and Patiala. These rules would enable the recruitment of faculty for these colleges speciality wise. Likewise, with the increase in number of posts of Dental faculty more teachers would be available thereby helping in imparting quality education to students in under graduate and post graduate courses.
 
 
Likewise, the Cabinet also gave approval for framing Punjab Medical Education Service (Group A) Service Rules, 2016 which governs the services of teaching faculty working at Government Medical Colleges Amritsar and Patiala. With the framing of these rules recruitment and promotions of the medical faculty would be streamlines and better health services would be available to the general public.
In a bid to ensure relevant education to the children with special needs in an environment best suited to them, the Cabinet also approved to give fixed monthly salary at applicable scale/ grade pay w.e.f April 1, 2015 to 440 Inclusive Education Resource Teachers working in the state. 
 
In order to overcome the traffic congestion in Phagwara, the Cabinet also gave nod for transferring four kanals 11 marlas land of Revenue department to Local Government department and then to Municipal Corporation Phagwara for construction of multi-level parking.
 
The Cabinet also decided to constitute the ‘Punjab Bhaichara Taalmel Council’ to flourish Punjabi culture in India and abroad besides for exchange of cultural heritage. The board, which would consist of 10 members (both official and non official), would hold debates/ deliberations and interactive sessions of Punjabi theorists, thinkers and historians to promote multiple development of Punjabi language and Punjabi creations.
 
The Cabinet also approved allotment policy to allot sites for hospitals, multi speciality hospitals, medical colleges cum hospitals and medical research institute in the upcoming Medicity at New Chandigarh (Mullanpur).
 
The Cabinet also gave nod to the draft of Punjab Bovine Breeding Act 2016 to provide for better improvement of Bovine by regulating Bovine Breeding activities including use of bovine breeding bulls for production of Bovine semen, processing, storage, sale and distribution of Bovine semen and artificial insemination or any other breeding activity in Bovines.  
 
The Cabinet also approved to amend Punjab Dairy Development Board Act 2002 in order to have five representatives from amongst Milk producers instead of earlier three on Board of Directors (BoD). Likewise, two representatives from milk consumers’ associations would be nominated as members of BoD instead of earlier one member. This decision has been taken to broad base the board so that all the representatives related to various activities of Dairy development could put forth their views forcefully. Likewise, Vice Chancellors of GADVASU instead of the VC PAU besides a Director Dairy would also be the members of BoD.
 
In order to ensure holistic development of the villages across the state, the Cabinet also approved the policy of purchasing land required for economic and social development in the villages, where the land was not available, besides ensuring that no section of strata was left behind in this pace of development. The Rural Development and Panchayats would be the Nodal department for this scheme. The scheme would also aim at providing land for giving plots to the landless people and their construction/ repair from discretionary grants, for graveyards, cremation grounds, playfields and community centres where suitable Pancahyat land was not available for such purposes.  
 
The Cabinet also granted approval for extension of the outer date of One Time Settlement (OTS) policy for loan and equity-2015 in Punjab State Industries Development Corporation (PSIDC), Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC) and Punjab State Industries Export Corporation (PSIEC) for receiving applications up to 31 May, 2016.
 
The Cabinet also gave approval to establish Satellite Centre of PGIMER, Chandigarh at Ferozepur. The centre would provide the advanced treatment and health care facilities to the people in the region. This centre would be set up over an area of 21 acre two kanals land given free of cost by the state government.
 
The Cabinet also accorded approval to dispose of 1509 variety of Paddy, procured by the various procurement agencies in the state during Khariff season 2015-16 on the price based on all expenses inclusive of taxes through inviting tenders. If the Punjab state procurement agencies unable to fetch the amount equivalent to their cost, in such cases, the state government would compensate them for the difference of price. It may be recalled that the state government came to the rescue of Basmati growers when the prices fell down drastically in the market by purchasing it at MSP of Rs 1450 per quintal.
In a major relief to the urban residents, the Cabinet also gave approval to extend the date of depositing Property Tax for the year 2015-16 without penalty upto March 31, 2016 instead on December 31, 2015. Likewise, the
 
Cabinet also exempted The purchase centres, sub yards, principal yards, kisan sarais, office building and other properties of Market Committees and Mandi Board, which are owned and used by them, be exempted from property tax. The Cabinet also decided to make some provisions in the Punjab Municipal Act 1911 and Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976 for allotting land to open district offices for the registered political parties, which were available in Punjab Vidhan Sabha. 
 
In order to curtail the procedural delay in granting necessary approvals to the Mega Projects and put these projects on fast track, the Cabinet also approved the delegation of all powers of the Empowered Committee for the Mega projects to the screening committee headed by the state Chief Secretary.
 
With a view to devising a methodology for disposal of shops owned by Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils and Improvement Trusts in towns, the Cabinet constituted a sub-committee under the chairmanship of
Deputy Chief Minister for this purpose.  
 
The Punjab Cabinet also approved the allotment of two acre land to set up Kisan Vikas Chamber Punjab at SAS Nagar (Mohali) besides sanctioning a sum of Rs 20 crore as a grant for construction of building and creating corpus to meet its day-to-day needs so as to make this upcoming ‘Think Tank’ organisation of agriculture economically viable and self sustaining. Pertinently, to provide affirmative say to peasantry in the policies and programmes related to agricultural and allied activities, the state government has recently decided to establish farmers’ advisory body Punjab Kisan Vikas Chamber (PKVC) on the pattern of industrial organizations like Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), PHD Chamber of Commerce, Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).  

 




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Kairon thanks Prabhu for Ferozepur-Patti line
25.02.16 - PT Team
Kairon thanks Prabhu for Ferozepur-Patti line



Food Minister Punjab, Adseh Partap Singh Kairon who represents Patti Assembly constituency of district Tarantarn today expressed his gratitude to the Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu for sanctioning more than 45 crores for Tarantarn /Ferozepur districts.
 
Welcoming the announcements of the Railways Minister in the Rail Budget presented today, Kairon said that he was grateful to the Prabhu for allowing the construction of direct Railway line between Patti and Ferozepur in wake of intense activity on the border area. Kairon had also separately taken up this issue with the Union Defence Minister so that the Defence forces could be able to more effectively secure the Khemkaran Sector with the faster deployment of armed through this link.
 
An outlay of Rs 25 crore has also been sanctioned and got registered in the pink book also. He said that in his written communiqué to the Union Railways Minister he had urged that Punjab was known as a food bowl of the country and also for the development of agro based industries, a strong and improvised railway network was the need of an hour especially in this area of the state.
 
Kairon also said that it was a matter of Pride for Punjabis in general and people of his constituency in particular that an amount of Rs. 21.76 crore more has been sanctioned  by the union government for the shifting of the loading capacity from Patti Railway Station to Patti grain market because of too much of congestion on this particular route. This was announced to ease out the congestion on this route.




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