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Punjab Govt., Press release
April 07, 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 system.

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 efficiently.

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.


Chandigarh, April 7, 2008
Naginder Singh

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.




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 top priority.

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 Anil Malik.



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