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June, 2008
  • Hike in fuel prices of petrol by Rs. 5 per liter, diesel by Rs. 3 per liter and LPG by Rs. 50 per cylinder


Chandigarh June 4, 2008

Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Patron Youth Akali Dal and Public Relations Minister today demanded the resignation of economist duo Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram for their stark failure to reign in spiraling inflation. He also demanded the resignation of Sonia Gandhi from Lok Sabha for her failure to check price rise.

Condemning the steep hike in the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG hitting the common man and farmers alike, Mr. Majithia said that it was unfortunate that this hike in petro price is aimed to benefit few handful multinational companies. He said that it was a matter of regret that whole issue of petro price hike campaign was organized by Union Government to favour few companies ignoring the hardship of crores of Indian citizens who were already reeling under the impact of record inflation. He also questioned the silence of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the critical issue of price hike.

Questioning the rationale of fixing the price of petro products in line with global price of crude, Mr. Majithia said that when the UPA government can not provide MSP of wheat and paddy at par with global rates, it has no right to charge diesel at global rates. He said that with the price hike of petrol and LPG, common citizens would be hit hardest whereas diesel price hike would have maximum impact on farmers and transporters who are already neck deep in debt.

Mr. Majithia further said that so called economist Prime Minister and Finance Minister have shattered the hopes of Indian citizens and they have ruined the economy of the country beyond repair.

Mr. Majithia recalled that NDA government of which Shiromani Akali Dal was a partner, was able to bring inflation below 2% as then Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee used to monitor prices on daily basis. On the other hand Dr. Manmohan Singh is busy in marking his presence at 10, Janpath seeking lifeline for his office daily.

Seeking early dissolution of Lok Sabha and imposition of Financial Emergency on an early date Mr. Majithia said that a government that can not protect the interests of the masses has no right to continue in office.


Chandigarh, June 4 : Senior B.J.P.Leader and Medical Education Minister Mr. Tikshan Sud today alleged that by steeply hiking the rate of Petrol, Diesel and L.P.G., U.P.A. Government has fulfilled the agenda of multinational companies like Reliance and Craine India mortgaging the Indian Economy in their hands.

In a statement issued here today Mr. Sud said that it was saddest day in the history of India that so called economist Prime Minister and Union Finance Minister have failed to protect the interest of common man and are following the road map set by World Bank and multinational companies. He said that common man was already reeling under the pressure of unprecedented price rise of all essential commodities with inflation touching the all time high figure but Dr. Manmohan Singh has dealt a another deathly blow to the common man by steeply hiking the rates of petro products.

Mr. Sud regretted that Union Government instead of bringing excise duty and Sales Tax on Petrol, Diesel and L.P.G. to zero level, to save the common man from price hike, was transferring total load to the common man.

Seeking the resignation of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Mr.P.Chidambram for failing reign in inflation, Mr. Sud said that time has come that U.P.A. Government should seek fresh mandate from the people of India.

Mr.Sud reminded that N.D.A. Government under the leadership of Mr.Atal Behari Vajpayee had brought inflation at 2% and cushioned the common man from any price rise. He said that people of India are now itching to bring back B.J.P. to power by electing Mr. Lal Krishan Advani as next Prime Minister of India.


Chandigarh June 4, 2008

Reacting sharply on hike in fuel prices Mr. Manornajan Kalia, Industry & Commerce Minister Punjab said that the UPA Government has failed to check the inflation.
He said that the spiraling prices and an economic slowdown were going hand in hand during the present regime of the United Progressive Alliance.
Squarely blaming the Centre Government for hike in fuel prices of petrol by Rs. 5 per liter, diesel by Rs. 3 per liter and LPG by Rs. 50 per cylinder would break the backbone of the consumer. Mr. Kalia said that with this hike the prices of petroleum products would also shoot up and put heavy burden on the house hold budget of the common man.
Mr. Kalia said the decision of Centre Government to hike the fuel prices was suicidal and highly unjustified.

State to hire branding agency



The Punjab Government and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) would jointly promote Punjab as a global destination for religio-heritage and farm tourism. The granary of India would be put on the international tourism map through preservation and renovation of heritage and historical sites of spiritual significance as well by preparing an awareness-cum-facilitation package for tourists from all across the world.

A decision to this effect was taken here today at a high level meeting the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal had with the UNWTO team leader Mr. Richard Batchelor who had been entrusted with the task of finalizing the master plan of state tourism.

The Chief Minister also agreed in principle to the proposal for engaging the a professional agency to create and promote a brand image for the state on the international tourist circuit. Senior Punjab Ministers, Mr. Monranjan Kalia and Mr. Hira Singh Gabria also attended the meeting.

The Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains later told newsmen that a 10-member UNWTO team went around the state, visiting potential sites of tourism, heritage and cultural interest. After a detailed statewide survey spread over several months, the team submitted a preliminary report to the Chief Minister based on their observations along with recommendations on the formation of an inclusive and long-term policy to show-case Punjab as a front runner as a premier tourist destination not only on the national but also on the international circuit. A final report of the UNWTO team was likely to be submitted by early September, 2008.

Mr. Batchelor briefed the Chief Minister on the latest concept of Farm Tourism which was fast catching up in countries like Romania, Bulgaria and Hungry where lacs of tourists from United Kingdom and Germany visit every year. This was one of the major sources of revenue and foreign exchange for farm tourist destinations.

Mr. Badal asked the UN team to prepare a blue print for the development of Wagha- Attari border as a major tourist spot in the sub-continent. "So much history, heritage, culture and economy is associated with this place that it can hardly fail to attract tourists from all over the world, especially those with an interest in the pre-independence history of the region. It is also close to the holy city of Amritsar where approximately 10000 tourists visit daily to pay obeisance at Sri Harimandir Sahib (Golden temple).

Mr. Badal also urged the UNWTO team to explore the potential of around Chandigarh as destinations for leisure and village tourism. "Punjab has a rich and glorious cultural heritage which could be packaged in a from the tourist angle through blending its cultural legacy into the modern concept of tourism", said Mr. Badal.

Mr. Batchelor informed the Chief Minister that Punjab Tourism was primarily based on business travel, the diaspora visiting friends and relatives and rediscovering their homeland, religious tourism and cultural heritage based tourism. All of these sectors have excellent growth potential. There are also many other potential niche sectors such as golf, activity tourism, medical tourism and eco-tourism which the state could profitably encourage and develop. The heritage towns like Patiala, Kapurthala, Bathinda, Sultanpur Lodhi, Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Kiratpur Sahib with magnificent architectural value, rich heritage and fascinating history had 'amazing' but unexploited tourism potential. "The living heritage of these places is epitomized in a full calendar of festivals and bhangra music, handicrafts and Punjabi cuisine, areas whose possibilities as tourist attraction are largely ignored at the moment," said Mr. Batchelor.

The team also underlined the need for new comprehensive tourism legislation aimed at providing organizational structure, registration of tourism enterprises, provision for consumer protection besides setting up of a tourism office with private sector involvement and a degree of administrative freedom to expand the role of the Punjab Heritage Tourism Promotion Board.

Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting the state Chief Secretary RI Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Principal Finance DS Kalha, Principal Secretary Tourism Geetika Kalha, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister KJS Cheema, Managing Director PIDB SS Sandhu, Director Tourism DP Reddy, National Project Coordinator UNWTO SK Sharma.

The other members of UNWTO team included Environmental Expert Jay Blakney, Weland Expert Dr.CL Trisal, Human Resource Expert SC Bagri, Economist/Investment expert Jim Fletcher, Urban Resort Planner Rod Hamilton, Orgnization & Legislation Expert Jim Hannery, Cultural & Heritage Tourims Expert Hilary Ducros, Human Resource Expert Walter Schuller and Transport & Infrastructure expert Sam Sapuey.


Chandigarh June 4, 2008

Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today categorically declared that there would be no change in the existing clauses on the election of Sarpanches from reserved seats. No one would be allowed to alter the provisions in this regard and wherever reservation has been made, only those from reserved categories would head Panchayats and other Panchayati Raj Institutions, said Mr. Badal in a strongly worded statement here.

Mr. Badal was reacting to reports in a section of the press which said that if the members of a particular Panchayat in the reserved category express their willingness to head these institutions, someone from the general category would be allowed to contest for the post of a Sarpanch. This is totally incorrect, baseless and misleading. The SAD-BJP is totally committed to safeguard the rights of the socially and economically backward classes and would not allow any compromise on their democratic rights said the Chief Minister.


Chandigarh: June 4:

Giving strict instruction to all the concerned officers of Agriculture Department Punjab here today Mr. Sucha Singh Langah, Agriculture Minister Punjab said that erring officers would be suspended immediately if the Paddy planted before June 15 was not tilled.

Keeping in view to check the further depletion of ground water it has become necessary to check the early plantation of Paddy in the state. The Minister said that Block Agriculture Officers would be suitably rewarded who tilled the early planted Paddy in their blocks.

Mr. Langah said that Block Agriculture officer would be held responsible if he fails to bring into the notice of Chief Agriculture officer regarding the advance plantation of Paddy in their respective blocks.



The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational irrigation Programme for the Kharif Season through Canal water from 6 June to 13 June 2008. The channels of Sirhind Canal System would run on priority basis from Bhatinda Branch, Bist Doab Canal, Sidhwan 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. Main Branch Lower with its distributaries being in first Preference would run to their indent. Balance Surplus water available would be utilised in Lahore Branch, Sabraon Branch, Kasur Branch Lower and with its distributaries.

FIX PADDY MSP AT RS.1500 P.Q., Sukhbir to PM

Chandigarh June 4, 2008

The Shiromani Akali Dal president Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to ˜personally intervene to get the Minimum Support Price for paddy at Rs.1500 per quintal.

In a letter to the Prime Minister today, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal said, This is the minimum the center could do to sustain paddy even at its present level of production and protect the poorest among our countrymen from the fall-out of the vagaries of an increasingly adverse global market. The international food scenario appears to be rather grim and the only way to save the country from the throes of a grave food crisis is to make farming a lucrative profession. In this, the administrative pricing structure for the two principle food grains, wheat and paddy, needs to be rationalized, said Mr. Badal is letter.

Mr. Badal said that the centers proposed decision to hike paddy price to just Rs.1000 p.q. was totally unrealistic and out of sync with international market realities and domestic needs. This marginal hike would be more than offset by the hike in the prices of the petroleum products announced by the Government of India today. If the Center does not adopt a more pragmatic pricing policy, the country could soon be forced to import food grain at almost the twice the price it is willing to pay its own farmers. From both social and economic angles, the centers proposed decision on paddy MSP is not only utterly insensitive to the problems being faced by a beleaguered peasantry in the country, especially in Punjab, but also reflects a poor economic vision, said the SAD chief, adding that it always made much better economic sense to encourage domestic production rather than pushing the farmers to the brink of another crisis and filling the kitty of other countries to fight a man made food crisis.

The SAD president further said that he would try to build a national consensus on farming by meeting Members of Parliament from other regional and national parties. He would also seek an appointment with the Prime Minister to apprise him of the shocking ground realities about the plight of farm sector in the country. There are far too many misleading beliefs and perceptions going around about the so-called prosperity among the farmers, said Mr. Sukhbir Singh. He said that the farmers of Punjab had saved the country from impending starvation by turning in stunning levels of production. They needed to be given an incentive for a similar show in paddy production. Such an approach would have been in the overall interest of the country and not just the farmers who, in any case, constitute more than sixty per cent of the population of the country. I request you to bring the Paddy MSP in tune with global market realities and link it with the spiraling costs of production, said Mr. Badal.




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