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June, 2008




The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today unveiled a major initiative for providing "Houses for All" and offered his Government's fulsome support to the corporate sector for a joint bid to provide every poor and needy persons in the state a roof over his head.

The Chief Minister was addressing an interactive gathering of major builders and real Estate Developers from all over the country here today organized by National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO). Mr. Badal called upon realtors to help the state government evolving a long term and sustainable strategy by which the principle goal of homes for the homeless for the poorest of the poor in the backward and rural areas could be met without comprising on the professional and the commercial viability of the project for the real Estate players.

Mr. Badal announced a series of unprecedented policy initiatives to kick start and all out war for the housing for the poor, especially in the rural areas.

Mr. Badal also announced the creation of a separate "State Shelter Fund" to be used exclusively for the construction of Economically Weaker Section houses by the Punjab Urban Planning & Development Authority (PUDA). All urban development authorities would contribute 50% of the license fee collection to the fund. Having an interaction with the stakeholders in coordination with NARDECO before freezing the policy on "Affordable Housing for All", Mr. Badal listed various path breaking measures taken in the housing and urban development.

The Chief Minister offered facilities for building houses for Economically Weaker Sections' (EWS) near the abadi on Panchayat and Government land. "The land can also be obtained by exchange or acquisition or purchase", he said, while announcing a host of concessions and exemptions on building EWS houses. He said that no stamp duty and registration fee would be charged on the purchase of land and transfer of EWS houses. Also, material used for construction of EWS houses would be exempted from VAT. These houses he said would be allotted to the beneficiaries identified by a competent authority. "In rural areas, the cost of construction should be limited to Rs.1.00 lac per unit, which would be single storied and beneficiaries wherever possible could be asked to contribute labour component in the construction of EWS houses, the Chief Minister said. The Chief Minister appreciated the initiative taken by Ambuja Cement Ltd. to develop a cluster of houses for poor in village Gaggar in Lambi block of Muktsar district. He appealed the other realtors and builders to follow the suit.

He said that at least 10% of the area in all master plans of the residential zone would be fixed in land use for LIG and EWS Houses. In such areas, 50% concession would be allowed in respect of commercial pockets. He said that in order to rationalize the use of urban land, the policy had been oriented towards vertical growth e.g. low rise high density and in very costly area high rise high density.

Setting the pace of housing for poor, Mr. Badal announced the constitution of a committee consisting Chief Administrator, PUDA; Director, Local Govt; Director, Rural Development and Panchayat and Chief General Manager, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) to identify chunks of land which could be used for constructing housing for the poor.

Indicating the ongoing pace of urban development in Punjab the 4th most urbanized state of India, Mr Badal pointed out that the State had the strongest middle class base. "Habit of spending, belief in quality of life and large NRI population implies Punjab's highest potential for real estate in India," said the Chief Minister.

Mr. Badal said that the Punjab Government was targeting world class infrastructure in urban areas. Referring to the major forthcoming projects, the Chief Minister said that roads in Mohali had been planned wider than Chandigarh with 12 lane flow. Mohali International Airport, Express Ways and Ring Roads were coming. The process of preparing statutory master plans had been set in motion by notifying local planning areas in Chandigarh periphery (Mohali, Kharar, Mullanpur, Dera Bassi, Banur and Zirakpur), Ludhiana (Draft notified) Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, Bathinda and 30 other towns. This process shall be completed within one year by foreign based consultants. State government has come out with a new policy for integrated mixed land use super mega industrial parks and golf courses by granting various concessions and major relief to industry, hotels, hospitals institutions and multimedia centres.

Mr. Badal said that these progressive policies had resulted in a massive response and approval of projects in an area measuring 8000 acres during the last one year as compared to 7000 acres cleared during the 12 years from 1995 to 2006. "The potential of these progressive policies can also be gauged from the recent auctions of land conducted in Punjab during the last one year that generated revenue to the tune of Rs. 1500 crore including Rs 465.00 crores from a single chunk at Mohali", concluded Mr Badal.

The Chief Minister accompanied by his Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains, Principal Secretary Mr. DS Guru, Secretary Housing & Urban Development Mr.Arun Goyal, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr.KJS Cheema and Principal Resident Commissioner Punjab Bhawan Ms. Anjuly Chib Duggal.

The gathering was attended almost all the major players in the field of housing, real estate and infrastructure building including Chairman Ambuja Cements Ltd. SK Neotia, Mr.Puneet Saran Senior Vice President-Corporate Relation Ambuja Cements Ltd, Parnab Saran Vice Chairman Ansal API, Vice Chairman Rajiv Singh DLF Ltd. Mr Pankaj Bajaj Managing Director Eldeco Infrastructure & Properties Ltd, Chief Executive Officer Emaar MGF Land Ltd, Mr Parminder Sehgal, Brig(Retd)RRSingh Director General NAREDCO, Mr..Rohtas Goel CMD Omaxe Ltd, Mr Sanjiv Jain Managing Director Parsvnath Developers Ltd, Mr Salil Kumar General Manager-Marketing Suncity Project Pvt Ltd, Mr Ravinder taneja Managing Director Taneja Developers & Infrastructure Ltd. Dr Ramesh Chandra Managing Director Unitech Limited.



Centre today agreed in principle to lend financial support to develop as many as 11 towns in the four border districts of Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur under the Border Area Development Project (BADP).

An assurance to this effect was given by the Union Home Minister Mr Shivraj Patil to the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal during a meeting who called on him at his residence here today.

Giving the details, Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains described the Union Home Minister's response as "extremely positive and forthcoming". Mr. Badal had raised the issue of development of these border towns, including Jalalabad, Guru Harsahai, Ferozepur, Khemkaran and Dera Baba Nanak which were situated within a radius of 10-12 Kms of the International Border. The Chief Minister sought Rs. 92.86 crore under Central Schemes for improving civil infrastructure, including water supply and sewerage system in these border towns. Besides, Rs.18 crore had been utilized under BADP norms exclusively for the rural areas.

The Chief Minister also sought compensation of Rs.9.25 crore for farmers whose lands fall beyond the border fence as they had been facing major handicaps in the interest of the defense of the country. The farmers will receive Rs.5000 per acre for a total affected area measuring 18500 acre.

Mr. Badal also raised the issue of the restoration of grant for modernization of the state police force from Rs.20 crore to Rs.64.20 crore. He also demanded one time grant of Rs.160 crore to share the burden of the cost of construction for Kapurthala and Faridkot prisons in addition to the share meant for state prison out of the modernization scheme besides releasing its share of Rs.11.16 crore whereas the state government had already released its share of Rs.3.72 for the year 2006-07.

Mr. Badal also impressed upon the Union Home Minister to immediately release a sum of Rs.140 crore required for capital expenditure for the proposed world class Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police University to be set up in the state apart from recurring expenditure of Rs.4.85 crore per annum.

Highlighting the problems being confronted by the residents of border areas across the border fence, Mr. Badal requested the Union Home Minister to instruct the BSF authorities to be courteous while on patrolling duty. He also asked Mr. Patil to depute female security guards on duty besides making use of scientific instruments for frisking. These measures would not only instill confidence amongst the border residents but also help them significantly in undertaking their daily chores without any sort of inconvenience.

Mr. Badal also impressed upon the Union Home Minister to immediately release the grant of Rs.89.02 crore for Sri Anandpur Sahib and Rs.69.07 crore for Talwandi Sabo for the Gur-ta-Gaddi celebrations as per the decision already taken in the National Committee on the commemoration of Gur-ta-Gaddi celebrations under his chairmanship.

The Chief Minister accompanied by his Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains, Principal Secretary Mr. DS Guru, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr.KJS Cheema and Principal Resident Commissioner Punjab Bhawan Ms. Anjuly Chib Duggal.

Unbearable escalation in the prices of the petroleum avoidable-
the Shiromani Akali Dal General Secretary Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra

CHANDIGARH, 11 JUNE: Terming the unbearable escalation in the prices of the petroleum products as "unnecessary & avoidable", the Shiromani Akali Dal General Secretary Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra has demanded a high level probe by a joint committee comprising Members of Parliament and economic experts in the manipulated figures which form the basis of the logic extended by the anti-people UPA government to justify the hike.

Talking to the media persons here today, Prof. Chandumajra stated that the figurer of Rs. 245000 crore as deficit of the oil companies, mentioned by the Prime Minister, on the basis of which the prices of Petroleum Products have been increased is in contradiction with their annual reports depicting the hefty profits. He pointed out that in reply to a question, the Union Government had itself presented the data showing profit to the Oil Companies in the Parliament in the recent past. He suggested that the experts should also analyze the reasons due to which the refining costs per liter in India are much higher as compared to the other countries; that too while we invite foreign investment stressing that the labour in India is comparatively much cheaper. It is obvious that the Oil Companies are manipulating the figures whenever and wherever it suits them.

The Akali leader mentioned that during 2006-07 the Union Government earned Rs. 93,000 crores on account of sales tax on Petroleum Products; and during 2007-08 this collection has increased to Rs. one hundred lac crore. It is pertinent to mention here that the total collection in the country from sale tax is 4 lacs crore during the preceding year. Prof Chandumajra said that it is believable that with the rising cost of the crude oil in the international market, the profit of the Oil Companies decreased but showing loss is implausible.

Prof. Chandumajra sharply criticized the Central Government for its total failure to control inflation and to protect the interests of the common man saying the abdication of this social responsibility was against all canons of justice. He said that the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has no moral right to remain in power. He said the UPA government which had itself effected the hike had no justification to impress upon the state governments to reduce VAT and other taxes on these products. This suggestion, if implemented, would render the State Governments helpless in meeting their unavoidable commitments in the field of education, health and even the payment of salary and pensions to the employees.

Prof Chandumajra ridiculed the tantrums and dramatics of the Congress leaders of Punjab who had rushed to present a memorandum to the Punjab Governor to gain cheap publicity. He advised them to proceed to Delhi instead, while urging their party leaders running the Government at the center to reduce the prices of Petroleum Products and save the common man.

Profits of Various Oil Companies in the Period of April 2007 to December 07

as presented in Rajya Sabha on 26 Feburary 2008

ONGC - Rs. 14755 crore

IOCL-7,377 crore

BPCL-1,522 crore

HPCL-750 crore

Gas Athourity of India -1879 crore

OIL - 10342 crore

Indian Oil Corporation has paid 55 percent dividend in the year of 2007-08

In India total taxes on Petrol is 52 percent in comparison of 18.6 percent in USA



Punjab will host the 14th National Youth Festival at Amritsar from January 12-16, 2009.

The decision to allot this momentous event to the state was taken at a meeting the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal had with Union Minister of State for Sports & Youth Affairs (Independent charge) Dr.Manohar Singh Gill here in his office this morning.

Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains told newsmen that this prestigious festival would be organized jointly by Government of India and the state government. Each government would spend Rs.2 crore for this festival which would showcase the diversity of Indian culture at its best.

Meanwhile, the Government of India today also agreed in principle to undertake a sports promotion programme in Punjab. The programme would be covered under the Panchayat Yuva Khel and Krirha Abhyaan (PYKKA) and would encompass all the 12229 villages of the state. Under this scheme each village would be provided a sum of Rs.1 lac for developing sports ground, Rs.50,000 for the purchase of sports equipment for 5 years and Rs.10,000 annually for organizing tournaments and sports competitions. He said 10% of all the villages would be taken under this scheme every year. Accordingly, 1229 villages would be covered under this project during the current fiscal year.

Dr. Gill said that Rs.2.5 crore were being sanctioned for the construction of Youth Hostel at Tarn Taran for which the state government had already identified a piece of land measuring 3 acres.

The Union Minister also agreed to the state government's proposal to re-activate the six Nehru Yuvak Kendras at Mohali, Barnala, Tarn Taran, Nawanshaher, Moga and Mansa. These have been lying in a state of neglect for past many years. The government proposes to re-energize youth activities in the state re-energize the dormant potential of its youth.

The Union Sports & Youth Affairs Minister accepted the state government's proposal to strengthening the rural sports infrastructure in the state, especially in the disadvantaged Malwa belt. A sports hostel for girl trainees at the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Training Centre and a world class swimming pool would be constructed at village Badal.

Dr. Gill also assured the Chief Minister that his Ministry would soon take up the issue of the reimbursement of Rs.5 crore spent by the Punjab Government on first Indo-Pak Games – 2004. Similarly, the existing sports infrastructure for the promotion of hockey and football in the state would be upgraded in order to revive the pristine glory of these games in which Punjab once dominated at the national level.

The Chief Minister accompanied by his Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains, Principal Secretary to Sports & Youth Affairs Mr. RPS Pawar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. DS Guru and Principal Resident Commissioner Punjab Bhawan Ms. Anjuly Chib Duggal.




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