NORMS RECOMMENDED BY AMARINDER COME IN
THE WAY OF CALAMITY RELIEF
CHANDIGARH AUGUST 26, 2008
The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal said here today
that " a White Paper on the Black deeds of the Congress government
in Punjab" would show how the anti-Punjab and anti-farmer
norms recommended by the previous Chief Minster in 2005 had become
a hurdle in the way of the state spending even a portion of the
so-called Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) worth Rs.1687 crore supposedly
issued by the centre to Punjab. Amarinder had recommended a compensation
ranging from just Rs. 700 acre to only Rs. 2000 per acre as compensation
for total loss.
Surprisingly, Amarinder, through a State Government communication
to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, dated 25.8.2005, asked
for a meager compensation of Rs. 1000 per acre where the damage
to the crops was 50% to 75% and only Rs. 700 where the damage
was up to 50%. The SAD-BJP government gives Rs. 5000 per acre
as relief as against Centre's figure of Rs. 1400 and Amarinder's
recommendation of Rs. 2000 per acre.
Mr. Badal said that Amarinder's recommendations were totally
out of touch with the actual realities on the ground and showed
his utter ignorance about farmers and farming. "This year,
the farmers had to spend Rs.2000 per acre as labour cost for paddy
plantation alone. The amount of relief granted by the Centre (Rs.1400
per acre following a recommendation of just Rs. 2000 per acre
by the previous Congress Government was not enough even to meet
this cost. When you add up all input and capital costs incurred
by the farmer on the crop, the figure is close to Rs. 20,000.
That is why we have asked the centre to review the existing norms
and fix a minimum of Rs. 15,000 per acre as relief-cum-compensation,"
said the Chief Minister.
The issue of upward revision of norms was taken up with the centre
during Mr. Badal's meetings with the Union Ministers for Home
and Agriculture. He had also impressed upon the Central team that
visited Punjab for an on the spot survey that the state's case
needed to be considered separately from those of other states
as the quantum of damage caused to crops and property was entirely
different from the loss suffered on this account by the other
states during the recent floods.
Mr. Badal said that the a balance amount of Rs.1687 crore supposedly
available with the state government from the Calamity Relief Fund
was a notional figure as it formed a part of the Government of
India fund under the head "8121-General and other Reserve
Funds". Its utilization also had to comply with stringent
norms set by the center following recommendations of the Amarinder
regime. Mr. Badal said that during his meeting with the Union
Home Minister, Mr. Shivraj V Patil, he was shocked when he was
told that it was the Punjab government that had told the centre
to put a ceiling of Rs 1400 per acre for total crop damage. He
simply could not believe it and had to ask for record from the
Union Home Minister. It was then that it came to light that the
recommendations to this effect had indeed been made by the self-proclaimed
sympathizers of the farmers in Punjab.
"The said amount of the CRF is no more than a meaningless
book entry as the state cannot spend a penny beyond the limit
recommended by the Congress government headed by Amarinder Singh
to the center. The Congress regime specifically told the centre
that no farmer should be paid more than Rs 2000 per acre for the
total crop loss in floods or any other natural calamity. Similarly,
the then Chief Minister recommended a ceiling of just Rs 25,000
as relief-cum-compensation for total collapse of a house. The
centre in fact agreed to pay only Rs. 1400 per acre. These, and
similar other figures given by the state government during the
Congress rule were not only ridiculously inadequate but were positively
cruel to the beleaguered victims of the floods in Punjab now.
The state government is not permitted to give any relief beyond
these norms. True to style and to its known attitude towards the
poor in general and the Punjabis in particular, the Congress played
the real villain, depriving the hapless victims of natural calamities
such as floods of much needed government relief and compensation,"
said Mr. Badal.
The Chief Minister said that the SAD-BJP government in Punjab
had gone beyond the norms set by the Government of India and had
fixed Rs. 5000 per acre as relief cum compensation by adding Rs
3600 per acre from it sown kitty. No other state in the country
had done this for its people. Similarly, in case of damaged house
it should be raised to Rs.50,000 per family instead of Rs.25,000
per family, added Mr. Badal.
The Chief Minister further said that it did not lie in the mouth
of the Congress leaders to speak of calamity relief as they had
miserably failed to compensate the people during serious floods
between 2002-2007. He said that the Congress government gave just
Rs.81.31 crore as calamity relief during its five year long tenure
while the SAD-BJP government had already distributed in five years
(2002-03 to 2006-07) whereas our government had spent Rs.88.69
crore within just one-and-half-year.
He said during the current flood season, Rs.40 crore approximately
had been allotted to deputy commissioners for disbursement as
a relief till date. It may be recalled that a scheme for constitution
and administration of the Calamity Relief Fund and Investments
was introduced by the Government of India on the recommendation
of the 9th Finance Commission firstly for the year 1990-91 to
1994-95. Under the provision of the scheme 75% contribution was
made by Government of India and balance 25% by state government.
All the funds received for CRF are deposited under the calamity
relief fund under head "8121-General and other Reserve Funds".
COLOMBIAN ENVOY JUAN ALFREDO PINTO CALLS
ON PUNJAB CM
CHANDIGARH AUGUST 26, 2008
The visiting Colombian ambassador Juan Alfredo Pinto today called
on the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and evinced
keen interest to improve bi-lateral relations between Colombia
and Punjab for the promotion of trade, commerce and Industry.
Taking part in the deliberations, Mr. Pinto said that Colombia
had a proven track of technology in the field of waste management
to generate power. He said that Colombian government had already
set-up a joint venture with Tamil Nadu Government to generate
power from the solid waste at Chennai. This project was being
implemented by Neel Metal Fanalca headed by Mr. Vinay Maheshwari.
Mr. Pinto also showered interest to replicate the same project
in Punjab. He also put forth proposals to set-up industrial units
in collaboration with Colombian Government in the field of Agro
industry, IT and Textiles. He also emphasized the need for cultural
exchange between the artistes from the Punjab and Colombia. To
achieve this objective, a troupe of 16 performers would be visiting
Punjab in November to promote cultural ties.
The Chief Minister appreciated the spirit of the visiting ambassador
for the promotion of mutual trade and commercial activities. He
said Punjab was fast emerging as an investment destination and
had been ranked a front-runner state offering competitive advantages
in terms of sound agricultural base, strong institutional credit
system, Global Air linking, World-wide linkage of Punjab diaspora.
Mr. Badal pointed out that Punjab had at tremendous growth potential
in hosiery and textile, sports goods, infrastructure, super specialty
hospitals, leather goods, Bio-technology, retail and entertainment.
The representatives of PHD Chamber of commerce and CII (north)
also took part in the deliberations and apprised Mr. Pinto with
the new avenues of mutual interests for the promotion of trade
and industry. CII also solicited the participation of Colombia
in the Expo Agro-tech exhibition to be held at Chandigarh from
November 28 to December 1, 2008.
Mr. Pinto was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Soraya Caro, Mr.
Vinay Maheshwari and Genreal Manager Mr. Inder Bawa from Neel
Metal Fanalca (Colombia). The meeting was also attended by Local
Government Minister Mr. Manoranjan Kalia, Information & Public
Relations Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Chief Secretary
Punjab Mr. R.I Singh, Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce
S.S. Channy and Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister
Mr. A.K. Mahajan.
PUNJAB ANNOUNCES GENERAL ELECTIONS TO
FIVE MUNCIPALITIES ON 20TH SEPTEMBER, 2008
Chandigarh August 25, 2008
The Punjab Government today announced general elections to five
Municipalities including four Municipal Councils and One Nagar
panchayat On September 20th, 2008.
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Department of
Local Government Punjab said that in compliance with the orders
of the High Court and in exercise of powers vested by sub-section
(1) of Section 13-A of Punjab Municipal Act 1911, the general
elections to five urban local bodies namely Moga, Badhni Kalan
(Nagar Panchayat) in district Faridkot, Kharar (S.A.S Nagar),
Mukatsar, Sujaznpur (Gurdaspur) would be held on 20th September,
DC'S AUTHORIZED TO CHECK PUBLIC DEALING
OF MEDICAL INSTITUTES
Chandigarh, August 26, 2008
The Punjab government today issued an order authorizing Deputy
Commissioners-cum- District Magistrates of all the districts to
check in their revenue jurisdiction any government or private
Medical/Dental/Ayurvedic/Homeopathic or Para-Medical Institutes
of Medical Education Department for any complaint received by
them regarding deficiency in public dealing.
Secretary, Medical Education & Research Mr. Jagjit Puri
today said complaint should be attached with credible evidence.
He said this order was issued because complaints were being received
by DC's regarding deficiency in public dealing in OPD's of various
Medical Institutes but District Authorities were unable to inspect
the Institutes due to lack of authority. He said that this notification
has been issued so that every patient is provided proper medical
care in medical institutes of the State and DC's can take action
against any erring institute.
Mr. Puri appealed to public to bring to the notice of their
respective Deputy Commissioners if Medical representatives were
being entertained by Doctors of any medical institutes during
BADAL TO SOON TAKE UP THE CASE OF DECLARING
SULTANPUR LODHI AS A HERITAGE TOWN WITH PM
ORIGINAL ARCHITECTURE AND GRANDEUR OF SULTANPUR LODHI TO BE KEPT
CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 26, 2008
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today announced
that he would soon take up the case of declaring historic Sultanpur
Lodhi as a heritage town with Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan
A decision to this effect was taken by Mr. Badal while presiding
over a meeting of Sultandpur Lodhi Development Board here today.
Taking part in the deliberations, Mr. Badal also asked the Local
Government Department to prepare a comprehensive proposal so that
it could be taken up with the Ministry of Urban Development, Government
of India to include the overall development of Sultanpur Lodhi
under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM). He made
it clear that the original architect and grandeur of the historic
Sultanpur Lodhi town of great religious and cultural importance
with the legacy of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji would be preserved while
implementing various development projects in the city.
He said that all the development projects related to strengthening
of roads infrastructure, sewerage, water supply, preservation
of heritage buildings and monuments would be completed within
a stipulated time frame. He further said that all the approach
roads to Sultanpur Lodhi would be strengthened and widened.
Mr. Badal also directed the Transport Department to start new
direct bus service from Sultanpur Lodhi to Delhi, Talwandi Sabo,
Anandpur Sahib and Vaishno Devi to be a part of religious tourism
circuit in the state. He also said that a new bus stand and a
fire station would also be constructed in the town. Regarding
shifting of Police Station from old Qilla site to some other place
and Administration Complex which was presently at a low laying
area, Mr. Badal directed the Punjab Urban Development Authority
to examine the feasibility to shift both at some new location.
Relating to the restoration of Qilla and precints Mr. Badal
asked the renowned the Conservationist Bhai Baldeep Singh of the
Anad Foundation to workout a detailed plan to implement this development
project. Bhai Baldeep Singh had also been passed to carry out
the restoration and renovation work of the boundary wall and main
gates of the Qilla at the initial stage.
Prominent amongst those who in the meeting included Local Government
and Industry Minister Mr. Manoranjan Kalia, Finance and Planning
Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal, Education and Civil Aviation
Minister Dr. Upinderjit Kaur, Health and Family Welfare Minister
Ms. Laksmi Kanta Chawla, PWD (B & R) Minister Mr. Parminder
Singh Dhindsa, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Harcharan Bains,
Bhai Baldeep Singh of Anad Records Pvt. Ltd., besides the senior
functionaries from the departments of the state government.
PHOTO CONTEST ON THE THEME 'LIFE &
ENVIRONMENT TO BE ORGANIZED
Chandigarh, August 26
The Photo Division Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
would conduct its 21st National Photo Contest on the theme 'Life
and Environment to mark 2008 as the 'International Year of Planet
According to an official spokesman there would be two sections
of the Contest, one for black and white photos and the other for
colour photos. Participants may send a maximum number of four
photographs of sizes between 12x15" to 16 x 20" to the
Director, Photo Division, Soochna Bhavan, C.G.O Complex, Lodhi
Road, New Delhi-110003. The last date of submission of the entries
is 5th September 2008.
The spokesman added the division has raised the award money
this year with first prize of Rs. 25,000/-, second prize of Rs.
20,000/- and third prize of Rs. 15,000/-. The commendation award
will be accompanied by a plaque and citation. Details of the terms
and conditions are available in the website www.photodivision.gov.in
The spokesman said that observance of the year of planet Earth
will go a long way in not only in engaging peoples' imaginations
but also enhancing their knowledge about our Planet. It will also
enable them to use this knowledge to make the earth safer, healthier
and wealthier place for our children, grandchildren and their
grandchildren. The year will be witness to events organized in
observance of this year.