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November, 2008




The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today urged the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mr. Praful Patel to direct the concerned quarters to quickly take remedial measures in order to not only retain but improve the passenger traffic at Amritsar.

In a letter addressed Mr. Patel, the Chief Minister also asked him to use his good offices to direct all the airlines flying to Amritsar to maintain their normal schedule of services. Mr. Badal further said that it was a matter of great concern for Punjab relating to the decision taken by certain airlines to curtail their flights from Rajasansi International Airport. Already, flights from Rajasansi airport have been reduced from 89 international and domestic flights per week in November 2007 to 61 presently out of which 31 were international and 30 were domestic flights.

"One reason highlighted by the airlines with which my government has had discussion is the excessive landing charges charged at Rajasansi Airport by the Airports Authority of India, which has been categorized as a domestic airport in spite of the fact that there are more international flights as compared to domestic flights from this airport", said Mr. Badal.

The Chief Minister pleaded that since Rajasansi International Airport was an international airport, it was illogical that domestic airport rates, which were much higher, should be charged at this airport. "One simple solution is to charge domestic rates from domestic flights and international rates, being lower from international flights in order to encourage airlines to fly to this destination", said Mr. Badal. He also highlighted the lack of proper facilities for passengers at Rajasansi International Airport and the delay in renovation and modernization work already undertaken by the Airports Authority of India. However, the progress was very slow and causing grave inconvenience to passengers and forcing them to divert to Delhi, which was further causing a drop in passenger traffic at this international airport, compounding the problems for airlines.


CHANDIGARH, November 7: In a significant decision, the Housing and Urban Development Department today notified its policy for the economically weaker sections in the real estate projects in the State.

Giving details, a spokesperson of the Department stated that that under the mega/super mega housing projects in the State, 5% area has been reserved for housing for financially weaker sections. The Government has brought out a comprehensive notification elucidating the eligibility criteria for allotment of one room/two room tenements. Under the new policy,it has been mandated that the applicant must be an Indian citizen and resident of Punjab for the last ten years. The applicant either in his/her name or in the name of his/her spouse or in the name of his/her dependent members/relatives must not own any pucca house or residential plot in the tricity of Chandigarh or anywhere else in the State of Punjab. Cut-off income limit has been kept at Rs.10,000 per month for one room tenement and Rs.15,000 for two room set, said the spokesperson.

In the mega/super-mega projects, the one and two room tenements shall be constructed in the ratio of 50:50 in the area reserved for the purpose. The covered area of the single room tenement shall be.300-400 sq. ft. and for a two room tenement, approximately 450-600 sq. ft. The policy provides for the allotment of one scooter parking per dwelling unit. 15% of the total site area is to be reserved as open parking and for organized parks respectively, he added.

The cost of these tenements would be determined by the concerned local development authority in consultation with the promoters. The policy encourages use of latest low cost technique so that the housing needs of the poor can be met at affordable rates. The Department has also laid down the allotment procedure for eligible persons through publication of notices in atleast two vernacular and English newspapers. The allotment shall be made to the eligible applicants under a computerized draw under the supervision of the competent authority. The policy also lays down certain safeguards to prevent duplication of claims and applications as well as to prevent unauthorised transfer of the allotted tenement by successful allottee.

The Punjab Chief Minister S.Parkash Singh Badal who is also the Housing and Urban Development Minister stated the Government was committed towards the welfare of the poor sections of the society living in both rural and urban areas and stated that this policy would go a long way in fulfilling the housing needs of the economically weaker sections in the urban and peri-urban areas. Due care has been taken while drafting the policy to ensure that affordable housing is provided to the poor and marginalized sections of the society, keeping in view Government's strong commitment for their welfare, said the Chief Minister.



In a significant development, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Government of India had given a 'No Objection Certificate' for setting up a flying training institute at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda district.

Disclosing this here today Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the Punjab government had received in principle approval from the MoD, GoI through a communiqué saying that the Air Headquarters had no objection from aviation security angle for setting up of flying training institute at village Bahman Jassa Singh near Talwandi Sabo. The Ministry of Defence had also stipulated that all local flights would be restricted with in the local flying area of 5 Nautical Miles radius centered round the Airport Reference Point (ARP) at the proposed location and vertically from ground level to 2500' Above the Ground Level.

The communiqué also referred that all flying training operations at the proposed institute would be subject to prior clearance from Chief Operations Officer, Air Force Stations Sirsa and Bathinda. The NOC was subject to the final approval from other regulatory agencies like Director General Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India.

It may be recalled here that the strenuous efforts of Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal had resulted in the clearance from MoD, GoI for setting up of Mohali International Airport, Flying Training Academy at Faridkot and Civil Air Terminal at Bathinda Air Force Station, added Mr. Bains.




The Punjab Council of Ministers urged the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Union Civil Aviation Minister, Mr.Prafull Patel and Union Commerce Minister, Mr.Kamal Nath to take immediate steps to ensure that ongoing international as well as domestic flights to Raja Sansi Airport, Amritsar were not discontinued and expansion work of Amritsar Airport be completed at the earliest.

Disclosing this here today Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the resolution was moved by the Information & Public Relations Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia which was unanimously adopted by the Council of Ministers in a meeting held here late last evening under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal. The resolution urged the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to immediately lower the landing charges and make it lower than Delhi Airport so that Delhi Airport could be decongested besides helping the NRI population of Punjab.

It may be recalled that Mr. Majithia had earlier led a deputation of MLAs and Members of Parliament from Majha to impress upon Mr. Badal to personally take up this issue immediately with the GoI.

The resolution requested the Union Government that it should take all the steps to restore the international character of Raja Sansi Airport Amritsar as stoppage of international flights at Amritsar would hit lakhs of religious pilgrims coming to Sri Darbar Sahib and Mata Vaishno Devi at Jammu.

The council of Minister through this resolution also urged the Union government as stoppage of international flights to Amritsar would adversely affect the trade, industry and overall economy of Amritsar causing lot of distress in economic scenario of Punjab economy.

The resolution also urged Mr. Kamal Nath, Union Commerce Minister to direct his Ministry to issue requisite notifications so that duty drawback claims for cargo booked from Raja Sansi Airport were cleared within 7 days as being done in Delhi Airport. It said that presently duty drawback claims from Amritsar Airport were cleared in 3-4 months and businessmen were not opting this airport as they don't want to block their money for a longer period.

The resolution said that basic purpose of starting international flights from Amritsar was to decongest Delhi Airport as 29% international air traffic at Delhi was from Punjab.

The resolution further highlighted that presently Union Civil Aviation Ministry was charging Rs.1.54 lac landing charges per flight in Amritsar from Singapore Airlines as compared to Rs.75,000 as charges by Delhi Airport. Similarly Jet Airways was shelling Rs.94,000 as compared to Rs.69,000 paid by them in Delhi. The resolution also pointed out that nearly double the landing charges in Amritsar are making flights from this airport unviable for the airlines.

The council of Ministers through this resolution also wanted to bring to the notice of Union Civil Aviation Ministry Rs.140 crores expansion work of Raja Sansi Airport was to be completed by 31st October, 2008 but till date not even 40% work had been completed causing inconvenience to passengers coming to airport. This was also resulted in drop of traffic in Amrtisar Airport. The Council requested the Ministry to get the work of airport completed at an early date.

The council of Minister through this resolution wanted to bring to the notice to Union Civil Aviation Ministry that arrangement of Raja Sansi Airport were very poor as all trolleys were broken and coolie Mafia was ruling the roost, added Mr. Bains.


Chandigarh, November 7:

In order to bring 'Blue Revolution' in the state, Fisheries department of Punjab has established 7523 Fishery Units in Punjab, out of which 2698 Units have been established in Private lands and 4825 villages ponds have been brought under fish culture.

Disclosing this here today Mr. Gulzar Singh Ranike, Animal Husbandry, fisheries and Dairy Development Minister Punjab said that the State has achieved 6094 Kg per hectare fish production which was highest in the country. He said under the able guidance and dynamic efforts of Punjab Chief Minister S. Parkash Singh Badal, more than 10,000 hectare of area will be brought under fish culture in the state. With this 50000 people will get direct and indirect employment in fish farming.

Mr. Ranike further said that eleven model fish ponds have been established in different districts of the state in which intensive fish culture on scientific line is being done. A target to produce 8-10 tonne fish per hectare has been set-up. The farmers will be motivated to adopt fish culture.


Chandigarh, November 7

Six government agencies and millers procured over 125,48,006 tonnes of paddy on Thursday .

An official spokesman today said that PUNGRAIN procured 34,58,562 tonnes of paddy (29.8%) whereas MARKFED procured 26,65,312 tonnes of paddy (23.0%). PUNSUP procured 26,08,800 tonnes of paddy (22.5%) whereas Punjab State Warehousing Corporation procured 14,44,397 tonnes of paddy (12.5%) besides 12,13,731 tonnes of paddy (10.5%) procured by Punjab Agro. The Central Government Agency FCI procured only 2,00,025 tonnes of paddy (1.7%). The Millers procured 9,57,179 tonnes of paddy (7.6 %) by Thursday.

The mandis in Amritsar Division recorded 26,03,070 tonnes of paddy with Jalandhar recording maximum paddy by Tuesday to the tune of 7,08,133 tonnes. The mandis of Ferozepur division maintained their lead by recording 45,53,502 tonnes of paddy with maximum of 11,99,113 tonnes of paddy being recorded by Ferozepur district. Meanwhile procurement in the mandis Patiala division recorded 53,91,434 procurement of paddy with Patiala district recording maximum paddy to the tune of 15,54,347 tonnes.

Six government agencies have paid over Rs. 9302.60 crores for paddy procured by agencies current Kharif Marketing Season. The spokesman said that farmers of the State are being made payment of paddy procured by the government agencies within 48 hours of lifting of paddy from the procurement centres.

The Punjab Food Supply had setup 1622 procurement centres throughout the state to ensure smooth procurement of paddy.

Sainik Welfare Department Punjab

Chandigarh November 7

In order to streamline the functioning of the Sainik Welfare Department Punjab and to redress the grievances of the Ex-servicemen, widows and the Punjab Government has designated the district sainik welfare officers as the nodal officers for this purpose. Disclosing this here today Brig.I.S..Rakhal, Director Sainik Welfare department Punjab said that although most of their grievances were being addressed during the ongoing Sangat Darshan Programmes but still district sainik welfare officers would remain available for providing any kind of assistance to the Ex-servicemen, their families and widows .

He reiterated that the department was committed to look after the welfare of approximately 7 lakh Defence Services personnel, serving and retired and their families. Among them 1,915 were soldiers decorated for gallantry, 979 War Windows and 2,643 War Jagir beneficiaries. There were 8,330 veterans of World War I & II drawing old age pension. As many as 136 soldiers/dependents drawing Monthly Maintenance Grant. In the rehabilitation and resettlement scheme, 8,000 individuals had been trained and most of them placed in suitable government jobs. Every year approximately Rs. 40 lakh were being spent from Punjab Amalgamated Fund for the welfare activities of Ex-Defence personnel, widows of ex-defence personnel. Stipends and financial assistance were given to blind persons, medical aid to those suffering from chronic diseases and serving machines to widows and orphan daughters. Construction of Sainik Rest House at Fatehgarh Sahib was presently underway. Prestigious institutions, such as the Punjab Sainik Bhawan and Defence Service Officers' Institute at Chandigarh and War Museum at Ludhiana have already been completed.


Chandigarh, November 7: Punjab Government has given approval to refund the fees of Agreement Deed to those applicants who applied for L.I.G. flats under Indra Puram Scheme of Town Improvement Trust Jalandhar.

Disclosing this here today an spokesman of Local Government department Punjab said that the agreement deed fees would be refunded after deducting 10% of total amount of the fees.



Appreciating the achievements of the state of Karnatka in the field of IT sector, Mr. Manoranjan Kalia, Industries and Commerce Minister Punjab said in his inaugural address in the three day ICT flagship event held in Banglore today, and said that it has become a role model to be emulated by other states. Mr. Kalia said that Punjab Government was offering a slew of incentives to woo the IT investors.

Mr. Kalia said that Punjab had led the Green Revolution when the country needed food security and that it would rise to the occasion again to contribute to the IT sector's growth in the country. In his speech, the Minister shared details on various initiatives being taken by the Government of Punjab to create a conducive business ecosystem for investors. He mentioned that the State is pursuing a holistic strategy which encompasses interventions related to infrastructure, human resources, policy and investor relations. He highlighted unique initiatives such as the 380 acre Knowledge City at Mohali, the new IIT at Ropar and the Industrial Facilitation Act. He also invited industry to visit the two proposed project sites - the 100 acre site at Kapurthala for ITeS projects and the 280 acre site at Ropar for high end software development projects.

A high level delegation headed by Mr. Kalia and Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Dr S.S. Channy; Punjab Infotech Chairman, Mr. H S Grewal and Managing Director, Punjab Infotech, Mr. RakeshVerma. Travelled to the Infosys campus in the afternoon and engaged in one-to-one discussions with Mr HR Binod, Senior Vice-President and head of Infosys India Business Unit; and Mr. Chandraketu Jha, Head, Infosys's Commercial Unit. Both of them are also on the Infosys's Board of Directors


Daily Punjab press release