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June, 2008




Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today assured the 12 member team from Apeejay School, Jalandhar to sponsor their visit for the participation in the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) to be held at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas (USA) from July 25-28, 2008.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Punjab Government said that the team members along with their parents and teachers called on Mr. Badal at his residence this evening. The team had emerged as the winner of the Asian Region Space Settlement Competition (ARSSDC) held at Gurgaon from 9th to 13th January, 2008. Mr. Badal appreciated the students and the management of the school for achieving this great achievement which has not only done proud to Punjab but also to the entire country.

In an interactive session with the Chief Minister, the team President Mohit Thukral apprised him of the concept of their project. He said that the team of Apeejay Space Architects was the only team from India that was invited to compete in the ISSDC and would compete against 15 other teams which were selected from all over the world through preliminary competitions.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Local Government Minister Manoranjan Kalia, Advisor to Chief Minister Dr.Daljeet Singh Cheema, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Parveen Kumar, District Shiromani Akali Dal President Charanjit Singh Channi and the Principal Ms. Ranjan Sud.




Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal on special invitation by Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court Hon'ble Mr. Justice Vijender Jain here today laid the foundation stone of the new campus of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL) at Patiala-Bhadson road.

Addressing an impressive function on this occasion Mr. Badal said that RGNUL, which would be fully equipped with modern infrastructure to provide the best Law education of international standards, would prove to be an asset for the state in bringing revolution in the studies of Law. Emphasizing the need to introduce the Law study as a compulsory subject for all students at School and College levels, Mr. Badal said that this arrangement would certainly bring more social awareness amongst our young generation and make them Law-obeying good citizens.

Mr. Badal said that the law students after completing their studies from this state-of-the-art University could play a vital role in getting justice and protection of one's fundamental rights because access to justice was the Constitutional obligation. Congratulating the students and the administration of the University, Mr. Badal urged the students to strive towards excellence and wished them success for their life. He aggravated the students to contribute constructively towards national development and indeed not to forget their ethics and principles.

On the social front, Mr. Badal appreciated Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court Mr. Justice Vijender Jain for his innovative social reform approach that had created a congenial atmosphere for the judiciary and lawyers to work tremendously against the social malady of female foeticide and drug addiction in the state in addition to their duties.

Addressing on the occasion Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Vijender Jain congratulated the people of Punjab in general and Patiala in particular for having state-of-the-art Law University. Appreciating the role of the RGNUL for providing students with holistic academic and professional environment conducive to groom prospective professionals in the field of law, he hoped that one day this University would become number one Law University in the country. He further said that Law Colleges and Law Universities could play a vital role for bringing much needed social reforms in our society.

Praising the ideal concept of Mr. Badal to establish Adersh Schools in the state Mr. Jain said that with this, quality education would be ensured in the rural sector. He also appreciated the Chief Minister for showing special concern for the welfare of the Judiciary by releasing requisite grant for the construction of various judicial complexes and lawyers' chambers in the state. He said Judiciary was fully committed to ensure speedy and inexpensive access to justice for the common man in the country.

On the special request of Mr. Badal Mr. Jain who is also the Chancellor of RGNUL has agreed allot 10% reservation for the students of Punjab in RGNUL.

Professor Mool Chand Sharma, Vice Chairman, University Grant Commission who was the Guest of Honour on this occasion said that Law, Society and Development are very much interlinked. He insisted the legal fraternity in general and Law students in particular to discharge their duties with professional commitment, dedication and sincerity in the larger public interest by adopting a upbeat role to wards the society.

Earlier, Prof. Gurjeet Singh, Vice Chancellor, RGNUL welcomed all the dignitaries and gave a brief introduction of RGNUL established with main objective to serve the society through reforms in legal services by way of preparing professionally competent lawyers, dedicated researchers, efficient administrators and conscientious judicial officers. The new campus of the University is being designed by the renowned Architects Messrs Kothari Associates, New Delhi.

Prof. G.I.S. Sandhu, Registrar RGNUL presented the vote of thanks on this occasion and Prof. Gurjeet Singh, Vice Chancellor presented mementos to the dignitaries.

Prominent amongst those who attended the function included Mr. Justice K.S. Grewal, Mr. Justice M.M. Kumar, Advocate General, Punjab Mr. H.S. Mattewal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. D.S. Guru, Senior SAD leaders Mr. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra, Mr. Surjit Singh Kohli, Mr. Harmel Singh Tohra, and Mayor of Patiala Corporation Mr. Ajitpal Singh Kohli besides the judges, advocates and the top brass of the civil and police administration.



The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational irrigation Programme for the Kharif Season through Canal water from 14 June to 21 June, 2008. The channels of Sirhind Canal System would run on priority basis from Patiala feeder, Abohar Branch, Sidhwan Branch, Bhatinda Branch and Bist Doab Canal respectively.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the irrigation department said that direct distributaries of Ghaggar link and its off taking channels i.e. Ghaggar Branch and Patiala Minor in Group 'B' being in the Ist preference will run to their indent. Balance water supplies available will be utilised in direct distributaries of Bhakra main line of Group 'A'.

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

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

Punjab Cabinet Slashes 50% VAT on Diesel, Petrol and LPG

Chandigarh, june 12, 2008

In a significant move to reduce the prices of the petro-products including the LPG in the State, the Punjab Cabinet which met here today under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today approved the reduction in the levy of VAT by 50% on the recently enhanced prices by the Centre.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Punjab Government said that these decisions would give a relief of Rs.75 crore per annum to the people of Punjab. With this decision diesel in Punjab would be available at the cheapest price than any other State in the country including Haryana.

This decision would also give relief on the prices of petrol which had now been reduced by 65 paisa per liter. There would be 50% reduction on the levy of VAT also on the incremental prices of LPG.

The spokesman further said that the matter would be referred to the State Election Commission and the Notification in this regard would be issued only after seeking approval from the Commission.


Chandigarh June 12, 2008

: Member of Parliament and Shiromani Akali Dal President Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal today came down heavily against the Union government for its whimsical decision to raise the paddy minimum support price to just Rs.850 as against Rs.1000 recommended by Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). Mr. Badal would seek an appointment with the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to put forward a case for raising MSP to Rs.1400 per quintal for Common variety Rs.1500 for Grade 'A' variety. He said that even this would be hardly enough to absorb the shock of the unprecedented price rise, inflationary pressure and the demand and supply scenario in the county.
In a statement here, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal further said that the hike announced by the government of India in the prices of petroleum product, apart from the escalation in the prices of farms inputs, have already broken the back of the peasantry. The need of the hour was to come up with some incentives for the farming sector in the interest of ensuring food security for the nation. The farmers were looking forward to the government announcing an MSP conformity with market realities, keeping in view the need for preventing a dependents on foreign countries for our food requirements.
Mr. Badal said that the Union Finance Minister's statement about the states demanding a lower MSP is misleading and incorrect. "No paddy producing state has demanded a price lower than Rs.1000", said Mr.



The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today described the Centre's Ad-hoc decision on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy for the current season as "unprecedented, illogical and completely divorced from the economic realities being faced by the farmers at the ground level in the country. It is the UPA government's cruelest parting gift to the beleaguered peasantry and the surest proof that the policy makers in the present regime work from air-conditioned rooms and have no clue about the problems of our countrymen", said Mr. Badal in a statement here this evening. The Chief Minister said that the Union Government was rubbing salt in the wounds of the farmers by with holding a significant raise in the paddy MSP even after the rate of inflation in the country was beginning to cross 9 percent. He called upon the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh immediately correct this distortion by announcing an additional hike of Rs.250 to Rs.350 per quintal.

Mr. Badal was reacting to the statement of the Union Finance Minister Mr. P.Chidambaram in which the latter (Mr. Chidambaram) had rejected the recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). The CACP had recommended the raising of the paddy MSP to Rs.1000 per quintal for the Common variety and Rs.1050 for Grade 'A' variety. Mr. Chidambaram instead announced the Union Government's decision to fix the MSP at Rs. 850 and Rs.875 per quintal for the two varieties respectively.

Mr. Badal said that there has been a steep hike in the prices of essential commodities in the country. This included the prices of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs. He said that the case for a substantial raise in the paddy MSP had become extremely strong, justified and beyond dispute after the Government of India recently announced a back–breaking hike in the prices of petrol and diesel.

The Chief Minister further said that there was no justification for resorting to ad-hocism when the paddy sowing operations had already begun.

Mr. Badal said that there was no substance in Mr. Chidambaram's argument that there was a wide divergence of views among different states on the subject. On the contrary, said the Punjab Chief Minister, a vast majority of paddy producing states had demanded an MSP well above Rs.1000 per quintal for the common variety and substantially higher than that for the Grade 'A' variety. He said that only state's like Himachal Pradesh which did not figure among the major contributors to the national food kitty may have suggested a lower MSP.

Mr. Badal reiterated his party's demand for linking MSP of agricultural products to the overall price index or implement Dr. MS Swaminathan's formula for giving the farmers 50% profit plus the actual cost of production.


Chandigarh, June 12: Senior BJP leader and Punjab's Medical Education Minister Mr. Tikshan Sud today ridiculed Congress Party for demanding trail of Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for treason, for questioning Union fiscal policy of uneven distribution of tax share to the states.

In a statement issued here today Mr. Sud said that if asking rightful share of revenue for the State, a Chief Minister of a State can attract the charge of treason, then every development oriented and visionary leader of this country, is guilty of this charge. Mr. Sud said that Mr. Modi had only pointed towards biased policy of Union Government regarding distribution of revenue to the states out of tax collected from that particular state and had demanded review of outdated formula. He had pointed out that Gujarat was providing Rs. 40,000 Crores in taxes to the Union Government where as the Centre was giving back only 2 ½ percent of it back to Gujarat.

Mr. Sud said that all progressive state governments including Punjab had been complaining to Union Government regarding faulty taxation policies and had been demanding review of formula discriminating against the progressive States on the basis of their low population. He said that Punjab had been pleading that review of this formula was necessary to maintain a balance between Unitary and Federal System of our democracy. He said that Mr. Badal had time and time again asked for review of formula of sharing taxes between Union and the States.

Calling upon Congress party to tender apology for invoking the charge of treason against a Nationalist leader like Mr. Modi, BJP leader wondered that it was surprising that the same Congress Party was working to grant mercy to famous terrorist Afzal Guru who attacked Parliament and killed scores of policemen




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