PUNJAB CM EXHORTS LAWYERS TO PLAY PRO-ACTIVE
CHANDIGARH APRIL 7, 2008
Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called upon
the lawyers to play a pro-active role in the delivery of justice
to the people as they were an integral pillar of the entire judicial
Presiding over a function organized by the Bar
Association of Punjab & Haryana High Court here at High Court
complex, Mr. Badal said that lawyers were the "officers of
the court" and have a great responsibility towards the success
of the judicial system. He also exhorted the legal fraternity
to discharge their duties with professional commitment, dedication
and sincerity in the larger public interest.
Mr. Badal appreciated Chief Justice of Punjab &
Haryana High Court Justice Mr. Vijendra Jain for his commitment
towards improving the delivery of justice in the state. He also
lauded his pioneering role in starting the first Mobile Court
in Punjab at Talwara besides his unique initiative for upgrading
the infrastructure in the judicial complexes in the state. He
also commended the Chief Justice who with the participation of
his fellow judges launched a special campaign for creating awareness
amongst the people of Punjab against the social malady of female
foeticide and drug addiction in the state in addition to his duties.
He assured the Chief Justice that the state government would provide
all financial assistance and cooperation for the construction
of judicial complexes and lawyers' chambers in the state. He reiterated
that it was an endeavour of the state government to provide congenial
atmosphere to the judiciary and lawyers to discharge their duties
Responding to the demands raised by the President
Punjab & Haryana High Court Bar Association Dr. Anmol Rattan
Sidhu, the Chief Minister presented a cheque of Rs.1 crore to
the Association as Punjab's share towards the corpus of Rs.5 crore
setup by the Bar Association for the welfare of lawyers.
Addressing on the occasion Chief Justice of Punjab
& Haryana High Court Justice Mr. Vijender Jain lauded the
Chief Minister for showing special concern for the welfare of
the Judiciary. He thanked Mr. Badal for making a budgetary provision
of Rs.35 crore for the construction of new judicial complexes
in the state during the current financial year.
In his address Advocate General, Punjab Mr. H.S.
Mattewal hoped that the interface between judiciary and state
government would prove to be an ideal platform and go a long way
to strengthen the bonds of judiciary, legislature and executive.
Dispensation of justice
Speaking on the occasion, President Punjab &
Haryana Bar Association Dr. Anmol Rattan Sidhu thanked Mr. Badal
and Chief Justice for initiating welfare measures for the lawyers
and assured of fulsome support and cooperation for upholding the
highest standards of judiciary in the quick dispensation of justice
especially to the poor and needy.
The function was attended by the Hon'ble Judges
of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, former Judges, members
of the Punjab & Haryana High Court Bar Association & bar
council and lawyers.
PUNJAB LAUNCHES THE SOLAR POWER REVOLUTION
IN THE COUNTRY BY ALLOCATING MW SCALE SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER
Chandigarh, April 7, 2008
Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) took a major leap forward
in its endeavour to put up Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) Power Projects
in MW scale in the state, when in response to the International
Competitive Bidding invited for setting up of SPV Power Projects
on Build, Own, Operate (BOO) basis, 4 companies were shortlisted
and a combined capacity of 17MW SPV Power Projects were allocated
to be setup on Build Own Operated basis at various locations in
the state of Punjab.
Informing this here today Science and Technology and Information
& Public Relations Minister Punjab Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia
said that Punjab was the first state in the country to allocate
the MW scale projects. He informed that earlier 20 bids were received
from a number of International / National companies for setting
up of a combined capacity of MW scale Solar Photovoltaic power
projects. Recalling the earlier period, when only KW scale SPV
Power Projects were the norm and PEDA started with setting up
of 50KW and 200KW SPV Power Projects, it has come a long way and
taken a major step forward in making MW scale projects in the
field of Solar Photovoltaic Power, a reality.
He further said that the state has a major potential in generating
power from Solar Energy as 330 days of clear sunshine with solar
insolation between 4-7 kwh / Sq. mtr. is available. The state
was the first in the country to provide a tariff for solar power
which starts from Rs. 7/- per Kwh. (base year 2006-07) and peaking
upto Rs. 8.93 per Kwh. (base year 2011-12) with annual escalation
of 5%. A tariff order providing this tariff was given by PSERC
on 13th December'07.
With a view to encourage the setting up of SPV Power Projects
on BOO basis Mr. Majithia said that the PEDA has invited bids
through tariff based competitive bidding route in the 1st Phase
for creating a total capacity of 100MW through solar photovoltaics.
Various renowned International / National companies, notable among
them were Reliance Industries Ltd., EPURON Renewable Energy Pvt.
Ltd., Germany, Moser Baer Photovoltaic Ltd., Power Quality and
Electrical Systems Inc. USA had submitted their bids. He further
informed that with such a good response, PEDA has been able to
get a combined projects capacity of 17MW and after completing
the bid evaluation process, allocation letters for setting up
of the projects in the state have been issued to four shortlisted
companies i.e. M/s. Moser Baer, M/s. PQES Inc., M/s. India Bulls
Electricity and M/s. Azure Power. These projects shall be completed
and commissioned within a period of 630 days i.e. before Dec.'2009
and power generated shall be fed into the PSEB grid. The for these
projects is in accordance with the NRSE Policy'06 and PSERC tariff
order with peaking rate for sale of power from these projects
being Rs. 8.93 / Kwh from the year 2011-12 onwards. The power
purchase agreements shall be signed for a period of 30 years.
These projects being environment friendly and pollution free
should be eligible for Carbon Credits under CDM and shall lead
the solar revolution in the country which would ultimately bring
down the cost of solar power generation, create enhanced capacities
and also build economies of scale in this sector.
Mr. Majithia, Informed that it was a major achievement for the
country, that state of Punjab and PEDA when a beginning has been
made to actually realise the solar energy for power generation
through setting up of MW scale projects. He further informed that
PEDA shall be shortly inviting expression of interest / offers
for setting up of a large scale solar thermal power project in
the state of Punjab very soon.
BADAL FOR RS.400 PER QUINTAL AS WHEAT
BONUS DEMANDS RS.400 CRORE
FOR WATER LOGGED AREAS
CHANDIGARH APRIL 7, 2008
The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today demanded
a bonus of Rs.400 per quintal on wheat procured by the Government
agencies. Mr.Badal also strongly pleaded for putting in place
a permanent mechanism for deciding lucrative prices of food grains
and other agriculture products.
Speaking at a meeting in which the Union Agriculture Minister
Mr. Sharad Pawar, Haryana Chief Minister Mr.Bhupinder Singh Hooda
and Ministers of Agriculture, Food & Civil Supplies from the
two agricultural leading states also took part. Mr. Badal suggested
that either the MSP should be linked with Consumer Price Index
or calculated on the basis of formula recommended by the noted
farm economist Dr.MS Swaminathan, under which the MSP should be
equal to the cost of production plus 50%.
Mr.Badal refuted the claim that farmers were being given more
lucrative Minimum Support Prices for their produce than they were
paid during the NDA regime at the Centre. "Farmers always
got MSP higher than the prevailing international prices of wheat
and paddy during the NDA period while the price offer to them
now was considerably lower than the union government was paying
for importing Wheat", he said, adding that this was the sole
reason why procurement had registered a fall over the past few
years despite MSP of wheat crossing Rs.1000 per quintal.
Mr.Badal also urged the GoI to announce the demanded bonus immediately
to encourage the farmers to bring their produce to mandis so that
the states could meet the desired target of procurement fixed
by the Centre. While procurement target for Punjab is fixed at
80 lakh MT, Haryanas' is slated to procure 40 lakh MT of the grain.
The Chief Minister also impressed upon Mr. Pawar to direct the
FCI to relax the prescribed specifications of wheat for procurement
due to untimely rains. Among the other major issues raised by
Mr.Badal was the sheet-lining of the Rajasthan and Sirhind canals
at a cost of Rs.400 crore in order to combat the menace of devastating
water-logging in the most fertile cotton belt of the country falling
in the Malwa region of the state that had engulfed approximately
325 villages roughly affecting an area of over 3 lakh acres. Mr.
Sharad Pawar responded positively to the proposal and said that
he would take up the matter with his cabinet colleagues in New
Delhi sympathetically. He also asked Mr. Pawar to include PUSA
1121 paddy in the category of Basmati to ensure remunerative price
of their produce.
The Chief Minister also rued the decision of GoI for giving meager
relief for crop damaged by natural calamities. He said that the
concept of relief should be replaced by total compensation. He
however said that the state government had already enhanced the
scale of compensation from Rs.2000 to Rs.5000 per acre. He said
that the paltry sum of Rs.1600 as relief paid by the Centre was
not commensurate with the magnitude of loss suffered by the farmers.
He requested the Union Government to include frost in the list
of natural calamities to enable the farmers to get compensation.
He said that recently the Punjabi farmers had suffered huge losses
due to damage caused by frost to vegetables and fruit.
Mr. Badal also asked the Union Government to formulate clear
cut import policies for the purchase of fertilizers, especially
the DAP. He emphasized the need to specify the panel of importers
for the smooth purchase of fertilizers through the Markfed. He
also urged Mr. Pawar to fix modalities to ensure the supply of
DAP at the block level to save the hapless farmers from undue
harassment. The Chief Minister demanded uninterrupted supply of
DAP as per state's requisite quota for the Kharif–2008.
Taking part in the deliberations, Haryana Chief Minister Mr.Bhupinder
Singh Hooda welcomed the suggestions put forth by Mr.Badal and
agreed that both Punjab and Haryana shared common agricultural
legacy and had similar problems which must be addressed at the
Mr. Pawar disclosed that Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh would
shortly convene a meeting of all the Chief Ministers to thoroughly
deliberate the issue of price rise and to seek their suggestions
to effectively combat the crisis afflicting the farm sector. Meanwhile,
a joint committee of officers from Punjab, Haryana as well as
the representatives of FCI would give recommendations for relaxation
of the norms for procurement of wheat in wake of the damage caused
due to untimely rains and hailstorm. He also assured the Chief
Minister that he would soon take up the issue with Prime Minister
for an early announcement of bonus to the farmers of Punjab &
Haryana besides recommending the case of adequate compensation
to those farmers who had suffered loss to their crops due to unseasonal
rains and hailstorm.
Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Agriculture
Minister Sucha Singh Langha, Food & Supplies Minister Adesh
Partap Singh Kairon, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Harcharan
Bains, Agriculture Minister Haryana HS Chatha, T.Nanda Kumar,
Secretary Food & Public Distribution GoI, Chairman & MD
FCI Alok Sinha, Joint Secretary Policy Ministry of Food &
Public distribution Siraz Hussain, Chief Secretary Punjab RI Singh,
Chief Secretary Haryana Dharamvir, Executive Director North FCI
JP Sharma, General Manager FCI Punjab Sarvjit Singh, GM FCI Haryana
Arun Kumar Gupta, Principal Secretary to CM Punjab DS Guru, Financial
Commissioner Taxation SS Brar, Principal Secretary Food &
Supplies RPS Pawar, Financial Commissioner Food Haryana LSM Salius,
Financial Commissioner Agriculture Haryana Raj Kumar, Financial
Commissioner Development Punjab RS Sandhu, Director Food &
Supplies Punjab SP Singh, Director Food & Supplies Haryana