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Punjab Govt
March 17, 2008


Forceful Implementation of Bonded Labour system (Abolition) Act, 1976
and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 ensured in Punjab

Chandigarh, March 17:

Dr. L. Mishra, Secretary to Govt. of India (Retd.) and Special Rapporteur National Human Rights Commission during his two-day visit to Punjab today reviewed the performance of the implementation of Child Labour and Labour Laws in the state with special focus on child labour and bonded labour.

While addressing the officers of various departments of Punjab Government including health and family welfare, Social security, education, public relations, rural development and the department of Labour and Employment, Dr. Mishra explained at length about the Bonded Labour system (Abolition) Act, 1976 and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and emphasized on the need to implement these two Acts as per the guidelines laid down by the Govt. of India to check the menace of Child and bonded labour in both letter and spirit.

Assuring Dr. Mishra, the Principal Secretary to the department of Labour said that as per the guidelines issued by the Government of India with regard to child and bonded labour along with strict compliance have already been given to all the district administrative heads of the state. A survey, as per the directions of Govt. of India, was got conducted in five districts of the state namely Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala. Jalandhar and Bhatinda by two different agencies and found 3 cases of bonded labour in Jalandhar and 2 in Hoshiarpur. A high powered state screening committee on bonded labour to review measures to prevent bondage and to implement the provisions of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976 has also been constituted, said Mr. P.Ram.

Referring to the Socio-Economic problem of Child labour in the state, the Principal Secretary said that to educate the child labour and also to mainstream themin the state, projects were being run by the NGOs at Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana under National Child Labour Projects (NCLP) sponsored by Government of India. The filed staff of the labour departments,said Mr. Ram, have also been directed to do the needful for eradication of the problem of child and bonded labour and send their reports to the head office regularly.



The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today urged the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to personally intervene with the Government of Pakistan at this stage to review its decision on death warrants against the Indian National Mr. Sarabjit Singh. He asked the Prime Minister to directly urge General Parvez Musharraf and "to seize this historic opportunity to uphold the virtues of mercy, as preached by all religions, including Islam. "

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr.Badal said that the issuances of death warrants had sent shock waves in Punjab and throughout the country. He said that charges against Mr. Sarabjit Singh could not be proved "beyond reasonable doubt" as the key witness in the case had turned hostile and had even alleged that" pressure" was being put on him to depose against the accused.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister's Media Advisor, Mr. Harcharan Bains said that effortsw were on to seek a personal audience with the Prime Minister as early as possible to discuss the issue in the light of the urgency suddenly thrown by the issuance of death warrants against Sarabjit. Mr. Bains said that the Ms. Daljit Kaur, sister of Sarabjit, had requested for the issuance of early passports to the family to enable them to travel to Pakistan quickly. " The Chief Minister is in touch with the Government of India to ensure every possible help to the beleaguered family," said Mr. Bains, who spoke to Ms. Daljit Kaur twice over the phone today.

The Chief Minister further stated that an important segments of the intelligentsia and people of the sub-continent at large had also advocated a lenient approach in the case. He reminded the Prime Minister that the Punjab Government and he (Mr. Badal) personally had repeatedly pleaded with the Government of India to pursue the matter vigorously with its counterpart in Pakistan to secure clemency for Mr. Sarabjit Singh. The Punjab Vidhan Sabha had also twice unanimously urged the Union Government to this effect.

"Now that death warrants have been issued against the Indian National in a case which is prima facie a case of 'mistaken identity', the situation has taken a more serious turn. But we believe that it is still not too late for the President of Pakistan to show human dignity, grace and magnanimity in the larger interest of peace and human brotherhood among people of different countries in the world in general and those of the sub-continent in particular, said the Chief Minister," wrote Mr. Badal to the Prime Minister.

Mr.Badal requested the Prime Minister to personally intervene at this stage and directly urge the President of Pakistan to seize this opportunity to uphold the virtues of mercy, as preached by all religions, including Islam.

The Punjab Vidhan Sabha appeal to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
to "act fast and direct" to save the life of Sarabjit Singh,


Chandigarh March 17

The Punjab Vidhan Sabha today unanimously adopted a resolution moved by Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal , re-iterating its appeal to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to "act fast and direct" to save the life of Sarabjit Singh, the Indian national facing death warrants in Pakistan.

The Appeal, the second by the house in less than a week, came in the wake of reports that the authorities in Pakistan had issued death warrants against Sarabjit Singh. The House had earlier also sought the PM's intervention in the matter.

Today resolution's said that the case against Mr. Sarabjit Singh deserved a lenient view as it prima facie appeared to be a case of mistaken identity.

Resolution also referred to the possible fall out of the execution of warrants on the atmosphere on the sub-continent and i9ndeed the whole world, especially at the people to people level. "The situation had become grim with the issuance of the death warrants and necessitated immediate diplomatic efforts at all levels. The news had caused pain and anxiety among the people of the sub-continent.'

"The House once again appeals to the Hon'ble Prime Minister to take up the issue with the Pakistan President General Parvez Musharraf as a case of extreme priority," said the Resolution moved by the Chief Minister.

Rotational Programme for irrigation for the Rabi Season through Canal water
from 18 March to 25 March, 2008


The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational Programme for irrigation for the Rabi Season through Canal water from 18 March to 25 March, 2008. The channels of Sirhind Canal System would run on priority basis from Sidhwan Branch, Bhatinda Branch, Bist Doab Canal, 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.


Chandigarh March 17:

A three member delegation led by High Commissioner Singapore Calvin Eu called on Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal this evening at his residence and put forth proposals to make investments in infrastructure, power and housing.

While interacting with Mr. Badal, the visiting Singapore High Commissioner informed that Singapore based company- Jurong international had already conceptualized various mega housing and shopping mall projects in Punjab besides preparing master plans for Mohali, Ludhiana and Amritsar. He also evinced keen interest to participate in the thermal power projects through PPP mode to be set up by the State Government. He assured the Chief Minister that Singapore government would also explore ways and means to collaborate with the Punjab Government to make investments in the roads and bridges. He also extended an invitation to Mr. Badal to lead a delegation to Singapore to study the development in different facets of Singapore economy.

Mr. Calvin informed Mr. Badal that Senior Minister Singapore Mr. Goh Chuk Tong would lead a delegation of members of Parliament and Ministers of state from Singapore soon to further explore the possibilities of mutual cooperation on technology sharing and making investments in collaboration with the state government in the Industrial and infrastructural sector. He was accompanied by First Secretary (Political) Mr. Timothy Chin, and First Secretary (Commercial) Mike Ng.

The Chief Minister assured Mr. Calvin that the Punjab Government would extend all possible assistance to the Singapore government for setting up of new joint venture of mutual interest.

Prominent amongst others who are present on the occasion included Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Harcharan Bains, Chief Secretary Punjab Mr. R.I. Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. D.S. Guru and Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce Mr. A.K. Talwar and Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister A.K. Mahajan.


Chandigarh, March 17:

British High Commissioner Sir Richard Stagg today called on President SAD and Member Parliament Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal at his residence. Sir Stagg accompanied by Councilor Commercial Ms. Jane Owen, and Advisor UK Trade & Investment Ms. Tanisha Thiara.

During interaction with the visiting British High Commissioner, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal urged him to extend support and cooperation to the Punjab Government for the development of quality education. Sir Richard Stagg assured Mr. Badal that he would explore possibilities to tie up with the Punjab based educational institutions especially in the technical education with the British Collages and Universities.

Mr. Badal informed that the delegation of the British High Commission shown keen interest in the development of Punjab and hoped that with the initiatives of British High Commission development of quality education would certainly get a boost.



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