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Punjab Govt
February 13, 2008




Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal today gave a clarion call to the farmers and industrialists of the state to converge at Ram Leela Ground, New Delhi in the proposed 'Insaaf Rally' organized by the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janta Party to wake up the Centre from deep slumber for the acceptance of the long pending genuine demands of the state's peasantry and the industry.

Addressing a mammoth public gathering here, Mr.Badal said that now it was the high time to alert Centre to shun its indifferent and apathetic attitude towards Punjab 's farming community and industry which has badly hit due to its step motherly treatment. Mr.Badal rued that government of India had recently announced a package of Rs.15000 crore for the beleaguered farmers of Maharashtra and asked why it could not be replicated in the case of Punjab ? He said that the mounting agriculture debt of Rs.26000 crore was the contribution of the Congress Government that grossly ignored the interest of farmers. 'Had Congress serious to the core the farming community of Punjab had not been pushed deep into the vicious circle of debt trap', said Mr.Badal. He said that agriculture was no more a profitable occupation due to the negligible returns on it due to none remunerative and stagnated minimum support price for which Centre had always adopted an approach of 'negativism'. Our Government had been demanding the linking of MSP with consumer price index since long but Centre always turned down our plea without any rhyme or reason. He said that our farmer after exhausting even all its natural resources in terms of ground water and soil texture had contributed significantly towards the national food pool but what he got in return except penury, humiliation and depression which forced him into end his life by committing suicides.

Mr.Badal also pleaded that the indifferent attitude of Centre had forced the domestic industry to shift its base from Punjab to the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and J&K which had lured our industry for better incentives and concessions being provided by GoI. "We had been demanding the same since long but centre always turned a deaf ear to our genuine requests on one pretext on another which has ultimately ruined our industry and resulted in its flight from here to the neighbouring states", said Mr.Badal. He said that the proposed Insaf Rally would mount pressure on the Centre to immediately announce an attractive package both for agriculture and industry to save our economy which was already at the brink of disaster.

Unfolding the plans for over all development and progress in the state, Mr. Badal said that Punjab would be transformed from a power deficit to power surplus state within next four years. He mentioned that three new thermal plants at Rajpura, Talwandi Saboo and Baluanna would be set up in the state to overcome the shortage of power supply in the state. He hoped that the day was not very far off when Punjab would be selling extra Power to the other states. He said that as on today our State was short of 30% of power and would soon augment the power supply in a phased manner. He said Once Punjab becomes self reliant in power consequently it would kick of industrialization at a quicker pace. Mr. Badal categorically said that industrialization was the only answer to get rid of state's stagnated economy because agriculture had already reached a point of Saturation.

Dwelling upon the aspect of quality education, Mr. Badal said that the rural education was being accorded the top priority on our agenda and to pursue this goal our government was committed to set up one Adarsh school in each block of the state to ensure quality education to the economically poor but intelligent students. Besides, the state government had also embarked upon an ambitious programme for the upgradation 3 existing schools in every constituency. The government would make its endeavour to upgrade the existing infrastructure in the schools. Skill upgradation centres were also being setup to impart technical and vocational training to our employed youth to enable them to be gainfully employed.

Mr.Badal also announced that the state Irrigation and Drainage Department had undertaken a massive programme at a cost of Rs.3250 crore for the de-silting and lining of the canals and water courses to enhance the intake capacity of water for irrigation purposes by atleast 25% especially at the tail ends in the Malwa region. He also asked the village panchayats to convince the people to contribute their respective shares of 10% and 5% for the World Bank's drinking water and sewerage schemes respectively. "State government alone could not implement these schemes on its own due to certain inbuilt terms and conditions where the monetary participation of the people is mandatory" said Mr. Badal. He mentioned that the quality of drinking water in the Malwa belt was relatively very poor and resulted in causing skin diseases and cancer.

In his address Member Parliament and President of the Shiromani Akali Dal Mr.Sukhbir Singh Badal also asked the farmers and industrialists to reach at New Delhi to participate in the 'Insaaf Rally' on 26th of this month. He asked them to reach Delhi in advance to avoid traffic congestion etc. He said that the expected turn out of more than 1 lakh farmers from all over Punjab would certainly bow down the Centre to accept their genuine demand in the larger public interest. He said that SAD-BJP government was a true votary of the common man and always committed for their welfare and prosperity besides safeguarding their rights. On the contrary Congress through its autocratic style of functioning was far away from the hearts of the people because it never bothered for the welfare of the people at the grass root levels whereas SAD-BJP government was sensitize to their basic problems and could feel their pulse. He said that within next four years Punjab would be self-reliant in the power sector as it was the core sector to boost industrialization in the state too.

Earlier , Mr. Badal inaugurated 66 K.V. sub grid sub station Maluka , laid the foundation stone of another 66 kv sub station and an Adarsh School at Dialpura Bhai ka , Rs 2 crore Sub -Tehsil building at Bhagta . Beside, he also laid the foundation stones for the widening and strengthening of link roads at Bhai Roopa and Maluka. Mr.Badal also inaugurated a SGPC School at Maluka.

Amongst those who spoke on the occasion included Gen. Secy. SAD Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhundar , Member Parliament Bibi Parmjit Kaur Gulshan Senior Akali leaders and former Ministers Mr. Sikander Singh Maluka and Jathedar Tota Singh. Beside, Advisor to Chief Minister Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema , Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Sital Singh and many SAD , BJP leaders were present on the occasion.


Chandigarh, February 13:

The Punjab Governor has summoned the Thirteenth Punjab Vidhan Sabha to meet for its Fourth Session of Friday, the 29th February, 2008 at 2.00 P.M. in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Hall, Vidhan Bhavan, Chandigarh.


Chandigarh, February 13: The Punjab Government today exempted the existing wood based industries from the condition of NOC from District Magistrates, benefiting 6000 wood based units in the State.

Disclosing this here today Mr. Tikshan Sud, Forest Minister said that Punjab government with lot of efforts has already obtained permission for licensing these 6000 wood based units from Central Empowered Committee (CEC)constituted by Supreme Court of India. He said that all such units were facing lot of problems in getting NOC from District Magistrates that was pre-requisite for issuing of licence under existing procedures.

The Punjab Forest Department therefore has decided to withdraw this condition in public interest with the concurrence of the CEC, finding this condition being vague, unspecific and impracticable, the Minister added. He said that all District Forest Officers have been directed to issue licences to existing Wood Based Units (approved by CEC) without insisting NOC from District Magistrates.

The Minister said that besides providing huge relief to these 6000 units, this decision would give a boost to employment generation in these units and also help the state in generation of extra revenue through taxes that had diminished due to closure of this industry.

The Forest Minister said that Punjab Government was committed to promote wood based industry in the state to help farmers in getting good return for their farm grown wood in their fields and advancement of crops diversification.



The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational Programme for irrigation of the Rabi crops through Canal water from 15 Feb. to 22 Feb., 2008 The channels of Sirhind Canal System would run on priority basis from Bist Doab Canal, Sidhwan Branch, Bhatinda Branch, Abohar Branch and Patiala feeder respectively.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesman of the Irrigation department said that direct distributaries of Bhakra Main Line, in Group 'A' being in the first preference would run to their indent. Balance water supplies would be utilised in Ghaggar link and its off taking channels i.e. Ghaggar Branch and Patiala Minor in Group 'B' respectively.

The spokesman further said that the Punjab channels off taking from Harika and Ferozepur Head Works & Branches i.e. all the direct distributaries of Sirhind Feeder in-group "A" being in the first preference would run to their indent. Balance water supplies would be utilised in Abohar Branch off taking from Sirhind Feeder and its distributaries/minors in-group "B".

The spokesman also said that the channels off taking from upper Bari Doab Canal i.e. Kasur Branch Lower with its distributaries being in first Preference would run to their indent. Balance Surplus water available would be utilised in Sabraon Branch, Lahore Branch and Main Branch Lower with its distributaries.


Badal reacts to Phagwara incident

Chandigarh February 13: Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today appealed to the people of Punjab not to allow miscreants and enemies of peace to disturb communal harmony in the state.

Referring to the unfortunate incident of desecration of the image of Sri Guru Ravi Dass ji at Phagwara yesterday, Mr Badal said that the great and holy spiritual ambassador was an icon of the greatest virtues and values to the entire mankind. The Chief Minister said that he has already directed the concerned authorities to go deep into the causes of incident. He said that the government will ensure that no one is allowed to take law into his own hands and hurt the religious sentiments of any community.

Mr Badal further said that the holy verses of Sri Guru Ravi Dass ji are enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and no one should lose sight of this fact while dealing with any issue involving the great spiritual icon.


Chandigarh, 12th February 2008

Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal launched the website of Directorate of Lotteries at a simple function held in Punjab Bhawan today. The Directorate of Lotteries, which is a part of Department of Finance, has prepared an interactive website with assistance from Punjab INFOTECH for disseminating information about the Directorate.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Manpreet Badal stated that State Lotteries played an important role in the development of the State and were contributing annual revenues of around Rs. 170 cr to the State exchequer. He was optimistic that the State would surpass its last year's collection of Rs. 168 cr this year and in the coming year the Government would aim to net a collection of Rs. 200 cr from State Lotteries. In order to facilitate the sale of lottery tickets to the general public, the State Government had introduced their through Post Offices and was now also experimenting by selling them through Suwidha Centres in the districts and sub-divisions, he added.

The Finance Minister also exhorted the Stockists and Agents to work towards increasing the sale of genuine lottery tickets in thee State and to assist the Government in curbing illegal gambling and satta, which adversely impacted upon Government revenues. He announced that the Directorate would offer special prizes as incentives to motivate the retailers of monthly and bumper lotteries in addition to the existing prizes under the schemes.

Giving details of the website, Principal Secretary, Finance DS Kalha stated that the special feature of the user-friendly website was that it was bilingual, in English and Punjabi, and allowed any person to check up results of weekly, monthly and bumper lottery draws. It also provided comprehensive details about the Government's schemes, circulars and notifications, lists of retailers, agents and stockists along with general information about the Directorate.

Later, Mr. Manpreet Badal and Mr. Raj Khurana, Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Finance & Planning) gave away prizes to winners of Maa Lakshmi Diwali Pooja Bumper 2007 and first prize winners of monthly draws for September, October and November 2007. Cheques were presented to Mohammad Shakeel of Malerkotla and Rajinder Singh of Faridkot winners of Rs. 1 cr each in the Diwali Bumper 2007 and to other winners. Among those present on the occasion included Director Lotteries Jaspreet Talwar, Director IT-cum-MD INFOTECH Rakesh Verma and officers of the Finance Department and Punjab INFOTECH.


Chandigarh February 12: -
Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the intellectuals and educationists to come forward to suggest the ways and means for the promotion of Punjab Language. Mr. Badal was addressing a book release function organized by Global Folkloar Institute at Punjab Bhawan here today.

While releasing the books titled "Computer Operating System: Concepts and Handling" and Lok Dhara Adhar Te Passar authored by Mr. Jaiteg Singh and Dr. Santripat Kaur, Mr. Badal emphasized that now the time had changed considerably because of globalization and English language was playing a significant role as a link language but this should not hamper the development and promotion of Punjab language. He however said that we were not against the English language at the same time it should not be promoted at the cost of Punjab language. He further said that the state government would soon formulate a strategy to bridge up the gaps between rural students and urban students by providing them a complete Punjabi translated version of various books related to Information Technology. He appreciated the efforts of both the authors for bringing out these books.

Amongst other who spoke on the occasion included Senior Akali Leader Mr. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Raj Khurana and Dr. Mohinder Singh Khaira, Dr. Jagdish Singh and Prof. Jagjit Singh. Besides, the function was attended by many scholars, academicians and students of various Universities of the state.

Chandigarh, February 12:

The Punjab Government in line with the Reserve Bank of India has proposed to float a state loan of Rs. 500 crore to raise part of the barrowings through auction system.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the government said that the consent of the Central Government has already been obtained to the floatation of this loan required under Article 293 (3) of the constitution of India. The stocks would be of 10 years tenure and the tenure of the stock would commence on February 18, 2008. The loan would be repaid at par on February 18, 2018, he added. The interest however, would be paid every half yearly on August 18 and February 18.



Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal today announced that the Government of India has agreed in principle to set up a Central University in the State to impart state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary education to the students to enable them to compete at the global level.

Presiding over a Centenary Celebrations of Khalsa Dewan here at Khalsa College for Women, Mr.Badal said that the persistent efforts of our Government had fructified by way of establishing this prestigious University that would go a long way in setting up a new benchmark in the pursuit of higher learning.

Outlining the significant of education in the socio-economic development of any state or nation, the Chief Minister said that the targets set by the Centre and state governments for a particular growth rate could not be achieved unless we make concerted efforts to promote education especially amongst the rural students. Mr.Badal said that our government has envisaged an ambitious programme to revamp the entire education system in the state by upgrading three Government Senior Secondary Schools in each constituency at a cost of Rs.50 lakh each besides opening a series of Adarsh Schools in each block of the state to provide quality education to the poor and meritorious students with rural background free of cost. Each such school would involve an expenditure of Rs.4 crore and would be set up in collaboration with the eminent industrial houses. The basic objective of the entire programme was to boost the prospects of the education especially in the rural area to provide better educational facilities to the students at par with their brethren in the urban areas.

Showing deep concern over the poor turn out of rural students at the University level, Mr.Badal said; 'it is nothing unusual rather a piquant situation when our poor students who could not get proper basic education at school level, how could they compete at the higher institutions of learning with the students who had studied in public and convent schools'. He said that this gulf between the privileged and unprivileged sections of society in terms of education must be bridged up at the earliest otherwise it could lead to an alarming situation of unrest in the society which could be beyond anyone's control later on.

Mr.Badal urged the Centre and the state governments for a conscientious thought process in this regard and asked them to play a pro-active role for the promotion of education that too had many societal implications, if grossly ignored by them.

The Chief Minister appreciated the remarkable efforts and milestones achieved by the Khalsa Dewan during its path of 100 years in the services of mankind by establishing premier institutions of education at Ludhiana. He also lauded the initiative of Khalsa Dewan for making outstanding contribution for promoting the cause of education for women and empowering them. He urged the management of the Khalsa Dewan to upgrade the existing college to a level of university since it was capable of doing so due to its vast experience and proven track of expertise in the field of education.

On the occasion, Mr.Badal honoured the ex-faculty members of the college who had put in almost more than three decades towards building the careers of numerous students. He also released a souvenir on the completion of 100 years of Khalsa Dewan (1907-2007) and announced a grant of Rs.20 lakh for the development of the college.

In his welcome address, treasurer of Khalsa Dewan Mr.Gurdish Singh Grewal outlined the brief history of Khalsa Dewan spanning over 100 years (1907-2007). He mentioned how the Khalsa Dewan with a humble beginning in 1907 with the establishment of two primary school for boys and girls emerged into a lofty empire of education running five premier educational institutions in Ludhiana.

Earlier, Principal of the college Varinder Kaur Thind gave a brief account of the academic activities and extra curricular achievements of the college.

Later, President of the Khalsha Dewan Pritpal Singh Grewal proposed a vote of thanks on the occasion. Vice President of Khalsa Dewan Dr.SS Grewal and Secretary Sudarshan Singh Deol honoured the Chief Minister with a momento.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, MLA Ludhiana Harish Bedi, former President SGPC Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Mayor Ludhiana Hakam Singh Giaspura and Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister KJS Cheema.

Punjab Cooperation Minister leads high level
delegation to New Zealand and Australia

Chandigarh, February 12 : Punjab Cooperation Minister Capt.
Kanwaljit Singh today left for New Zealand and Australia leading a
high level delegation to study the Cooperative Movement in these
countries. The delegation included Financial Commissioner Cooperation Ms. Kusumjit Sidhu, Registrar Cooperative Societies Sh. Vishwajeet Khanna and MD Punjab State Cooperative Agri. Dev. Bank Ltd,Chandigarh,Sh. Gurbir Singh.

The Minister is visiting these countries from 13th to 20th February at the invitation of the Department of Cooperation of the New Zealand and Australian governments.

To further the resolve of the Punjab Cooperative Department to become a main motivator in improving the financial condition of the farmers as well as cooperators and contribute towards resolving the
agricultural crisis in the state, the Minister and the delegation will study the dairy techniques in the world's largest dairy nations which can be replicated in Punjab by Milkfed as an effort to usher in the White Revolution in the state.

The Delegation will also study the role and participation of members in the management of cooperatives, how cooperatives are capitalized, the relations of cooperatives with the government, regulatory arrangements for the cooperatives, social responsibility and community development role of the Cooperatives. It will also examine how Cooperatives in India, particularly Punjab, can benefit from the model in these countries.



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