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August, 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".




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.



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, 2008.



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 public hours.



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 Singh.

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.


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 Earth'.

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

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.



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