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Punjab Govt
March 29, 2008



Chandigarh, March 29, 2008

Mr. Harcharan Bains, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab today asked Director Information & Public Relations Punjab to put up a report within a week after studying the language polices of Tamilnadu , Karnataka, Kerala, Maharastra and Gujarat.
Presiding over a high level meeting to chalk out plan to effectively implement the unanimous resolution in Vidhan Sabha regarding implementation of Punjabi in the State, Mr Bains underlined the need to the take steps at three levels to translate into reality the visionary step taken by our Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal. Firstly, making required amendments in it would make Punjab State Language Act more effective. Secondly, to take steps to ensure working in Punjabi in all Government offices. Thirdly, to take punitive action against errant officials, from top to bottom, violating these guidelines.

Mr. Bains said that major challenge before the Government was to effectively implement the teaching of Punjabi as first medium language in all schools from Class I to Class X. A committee has been constituted to study Karnataka and Kerala models. He said that no one was denying the fact that the Punjabi language has not got the due recognition in Punjab. Mr. Bains said that keeping in view the global competition, role of English language in Medical, Business, IT education fields cannot be negated.

Mr. Bains said that the state Government was contemplating to setup effective vigilance machinery at district level to check the implementation of language act. He said that Right to Information Act would ensure punishment to every errant official.

Meanwhile various political, religious bodies have welcomed the move of Mr. Parkash Singh Badal to give due recognition to Punjabi language.

Mr. Badal today called Prime Minister for "smooth and prompt supply of DAP for the fertilizer

Chandigarh March 29, 2008

The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr.Parkash Singh Badal today called on Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh and sought his intervention for securing "smooth and prompt supply of DAP for the fertilizer- starved farmers of Punjab.

Mr.Badal also demanded that Punjab be included in the central scheme for setting up at least one Industrial Manufacturing Region (IMR) in the state. The Chief Minister said that Mandi Gobind Garh (Iron and Steel) Batala (Agricultural implements) Ludhiana (Hosiery) and Jalandhar (sports goods) should be considered for inclusion in the Government of India's plan for setting up of IMRs.

Mr.Badal also demanded that the proposed freight corridor from Sonpur (West Bengal) to Ludhiana be extended to Amritsar in view of the expected boost in international trade activity through the Attari- Wagha Border.

Similarly, said Mr. Badal, the Industrial Corridor from Mumbai to New Delhi should be extended up to Ludhiana.

Giving the details of the meeting, Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains told newspersons here that Mr. Badal also expressed his Government's strong opposition to the reported proposal of Government of India to include Ravi-Beas Link in the list of National Projects. River water being a state subject, the Government of India should not force any such projects on any State. The river water issue has strong economic, political and emotional implications and the Centre would do well not to proceed with any project that had the potential of starting a fresh controversy, Mr. Badal told the Prime Minister.

The Chief Minister also asked Dr.Singh to take up the issue of a direct, Visa Free access to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan with the Government in that country. He pointed out that the Pak authorities had reportedly agreed in principle to provide a visa-free corridor for the purpose from the Attari-Wagha Border.

The Prime Minister assured Mr. Badal of timely necessary steps on the issue, said Mr. Bains.

Raising the farmers' issues, the Chief Minister regretted that as against the demand of 1.5 lac Metric Tones (MT) the order for which had been placed by the Markfed, Punjab, the State had received only 10,000 MT although Markfed had already released an advance payment for 40,000 MT. This situation could seriously affect paddy production in the ensuing season. The Prime Minister assured Mr. Badal of effective steps for timely supply of fertilizers, including DAP, to Punjab farmers, according to the Media Advisor.

The Chief Minister also demanded that the Centre should take up the projects for Sheet-lining of Sirhind and Rajasthan canals in Punjab. The projects would cost Rs 650 crore as per the report submitted by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) to the Ministry of Water Resources. This, said Mr. Badal, should be treated as a "one time central package "for fighting the menace of water-logging and water-pollution in 332 villages, covering 2 lac (two lac) acres of agriculture land in Punjab. The spring level of water in the affected areas had risen to just three feet from the 25-30feet in the 1960s. The seepage was not only ravaging vast and fertile areas but also causing alarming water-pollution and giving rise to serious spread of cancer among the affected population. The water lining of the Rajasthan canal would cost Rs 425 crore while another Rs 225 crore would be needed for similar project for the Sirhind Canal.

The Chief Minister also raised the issue of Shahpur Kandi Canal and demanded that the Centre should fund the power component of the project as per the policy in force. While the irrigation component of the project would cost of Rs 285 crore, the power component is expected to cost Rs 1730 crore.

Mr. Badal also sought the Prime Minister's "personal and direct`` intervention to expedite the setting up of helipad at the Holy city of Hemkunt Sahib. In addition, the historic and holy destination should have a direct and wide-road linkage with Punjab. Although the matter related to the concerned state Governments, the Centre should extend all fiscal and procedural assistance in the matter, said Mr. Badal.

Mr. Badal asked NDA, a package of industrial concession his state

Chandigarh March 29, 2008,

The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today asked the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents to include Punjab- specific issues, including a package of industrial concession to the state, in its programme for the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll.

Participating in a National meet of the Chief Ministers of the States ruled by NDA constitutes, Mr. Badal said that while Punjab did not oppose any concessions given to any state, it wanted parity in such packages has extended to Himachal Pradesh, Uttranchal Pardesh and Jammu and Kashmir."Punjab Industry desperately needs a package along those lines. Also, the people of the State deserve special consideration as they had to bear the brunt of an active international border" said Mr Badal.

Mr Harcharan Bains, Media Advisor to the Chief Minister, told newspersons after the meeting that Mr. Badal also raised the issue of the preservation, promotion and growth of the Punjabi language in states which had sizeable Punjabi population. The Punjabi language has a natural claim to being treated as the second most important language in many of the Northern States and steps needed to be taken to accord it the status which is its due. Also, the role of Punjabi language in spreading the message of Freedom Struggle through every nook and corner of the world needs to be better understood and appreciated," said Mr Badal.

Thanking the former Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee for his personal role in the 300th Birth Anniversary of the Khalsa in 1999, Mr Badal said that similar zeal must be shown in observing other land marks in Sikh and national history. He requested the Uttranchal Pradesh Chief Minister Major Gen. (Retd) B.C.Khanduri to "personally" monitor the progress on providing a modern and wide road linkage between Punjab and Hemkunt Sahib. Mr.Badal had already approached the Government of India for securing a regular helipad near the Holy shrine of Hemkunt Sahib.

Emphasising the need for greater cooperation and coordination among the Chief Ministers from the NDA Ruled-States, Mr. Badal said that political and economic net-working had become necessary for development and peace.

The Chief Minister submitted a set of proposals for NDA's success in the forthcoming Lok Sabha Poll, said Mr.Bains.

Government Committed to strengthen Cooperative Movement :
Capt. Kanwaljit Singh Conference of Cooperative Ministers

Chandigarh, March 29 : SAD-BJP combine government of Punjab is fully committed to strengthen Cooperative Movement in the state for upliftment of farming community and it has taken several initiatives which have started showing positive results. This was disclosed by Punjab Cooperation Minister Capt. Kanwaljit Singh.

While addressing a conference of Cooperation Ministers of NDA ruled state in New Delhi, he said that farming community in the state was facing a serious crisis and in order to bail out the farmers from the current mess, Cooperation Department has taken several initiatives. He disclosed that maximum ceiling for raising of crop loans by the farmers from the cooperative credit institutions had been removed in order to provide sufficient credit to the farmers. He said that a special limit of Rs. 2000/- per acre per crop for purchase of diesel to cope with the power scarcity had been made available to the farmers in the state. He said besides this a special one time settlement scheme was implemented under which 35223 farmers had already availed a relief of 7883.99 lacs.

Capt. Kanwaljit Singh informed that at village level revolutionary changes were been made in the working of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Socieities (PACS). He said that there are 50 lacs members of 3500 PACS in the state for whom a special scheme for marketing of consumer goods on the pattern of CSD had been made available. He said that under the scheme member would get the goods at their doorsteps that too at much cheaper rates than market. He also disclosed that high powered committee constituted by the government for improving the working of PACS had submitted its report and an action plan would be implemented soon based on the recommendations of the above committee.

He said for Housefed had launched special schemes for providing houses in rural areas. He said that it had launched a special scheme for economically weakers section under which houses with a cost of Rs. 3.50 lacs to Rs. 6.50 lacs would be provided to the poor. He said that this scheme was being implemented at all the district headquarters and it had already been launched at Banur in Patiala District.

The Minister disclosed that Cooperative Department had launched special drive for empowerment of women both economically and socially. He told that separate societies were being set up for them which would imbibe leadership qualities among them. Mai Bhago Istri Shakti Scheme had been launched under which women were provided training for various ventures and were provided loans at much cheaper rates.

Capt. Kanwaljit Singh said that in order to help farmers increase their income Milkfed had launched a commercial dairy project which had yielded good results and till date more than 250 such dairies had been established. He said that loans were also provided to the marginal and small farmers for purchasing cows.

He said that department had taken up special scheme for encouring production of vegetables and fruits by the farmers. He said that Markfed was establishing a processing plant at Ludhiand with a cost of Rs. 20 crore which would help in gradation of Vegetables and fruits after which they would be exported. He said that Markfed was also providing fertilizers to the farmers at cheaper rates.

Mr. Badal requested Home Minister for immediate action on Kartar Marg issue

Chandigarh March 28 – The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called on the Union Home Minister Mr. Shivraj Patil and sought a Comprehensive Development Package for border areas in Punjab.

The Chief Minster also asked Mr. Patil to facilitate early interaction between the Governments of India and Pakistan on the proposed free corridor from Indo-border to the historic and holy town of Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The corridor would allow devotes from India to visit the holy place connected with the life of Guru Nanak Devji without the mandatory visa. The Pak authorities had reportedly given their consent in principle to the proposal.

Disclosing this, Mr. Harcharan Bains, Media Advisor to Chief Minister, Mr. Bains described the Union Home Minister's response as "extremely positive and helpful" and said that Mr. Badal raised the issue of development of 11 border towns, including a cantonment, in tune with modern town planning. He sought funds under central schemes for improving water supply and sewerage system in these areas and said that the state had not got its due share in the on going schemes. Mr. Badal also told the Union Home Minister that the Border Roads Development Authority needed to pay greater attention to the plight of infrastructure in the Punjab along the belt neighboring Pakistan. The plight of roads and even pontoon bridges was 'pathetic'.

The Chief Minister also sought compensation of Rs. 5000 (five thousand) per acre per annum 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.

Mr. Badal also raised the issue of modernization of the police force and said that the state should not be penalized for the failure of the previous regime headed by Captain Amarinder Singh to issue utilization certificates on the central funds meant for the purpose. He said that the present government in Punjab had been prompt in certifying the usage of all central assistance. As a result of the failure of the previous government, central funds for the purpose had been slashed by nearly 300 per cent. He Chief Minister also emphasized the need for recruiting more female security staff for border areas in central security forces.

Mr. Badal asked Mr. Patil's to use his good offices to ensure early clearances for the proposed highway to link the holy City of Hemkunt Sahib with Punjab.


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