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In a bid to revamp the college education system in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today gave in principle approval to the higher education department for initiating procedure to revive 873 vacant posts of college lecturers in order to fill these posts on the priority.
Presiding over a high level meeting of the Vice Chancellors and Principals of the Government Colleges, the Chief Minister asked the Principal Secretary Higher Education to complete the process for the recruitment of college cadre lecturers in a time bound frame. Mr. Badal was apprised by the Principal Secretary Higher Education that out of 1873 sanctioned posts of college lecturers, 873 were lying vacant due to huge retirement in the recent past. The Chief Minister also constituted different committees comprising Vice Chancellors of Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, Punjabi University Patiala and Panjab University Chandigarh, Principal Secretary Higher Education and the concerned principals of the colleges affiliated to these universities to chalk out the modalities to upgrade the infrastructure in the colleges and undertake recruitment process of college lecturers in a fair and transparent manner.
The Chief Minister also asked the Vice Chancellors of the universities to prepare an action plan in consultation with the Principals of the affiliated colleges to effectively run skill development courses besides soft skill courses especially in the spoken English and communication skills to train our students to enable them to be gainfully employed. Mr. Badal reiterated that it was the endeavor of the SAD-BJP government that none should be left illiterate and uneducated in the state because the growth and development in terms of physical infrastructure was meaning less until we improve our human resource development through imparting quality education to our youth at all levels of schools, colleges and universities.

It was informed in the meeting by the Vice Chancellors of Guru Nanak Dev University and Punjab Technical University that they had been running these courses successfully to impart vocational training to our youth.
Emphasizing the need to run 10+2 courses in the engineering colleges, Mr. Badal asked the VC PTU to ensure that all the engineering colleges in the state should start these classes from the next academic session to strengthen the intake base of quality students seeking admission in various graduate and post-graduate courses in engineering. He also reviewed the present status of the upcoming Institute of Textile Technology & Research at Ludhiana and Institute of Food Processing Technology & Research at Bhadur in Barnala district.

The Chief Minister was also apprised about the progress of construction work in the 15 new university colleges in the state by the Chief Engineer PWD (B&R) M. AK Singla and he assured that all these colleges would be handed over positively by May 30, 2011 to the higher education department.
Mr. Badal also asked the vice chancellors to consult the local industry for starting 'add on courses' in the colleges affiliated to their respective universities to enable the students to get employment in the nearby industry. The Chief Minister underlined the need to motivate the students to bring a paradigm shift in their mind set to opt for professional courses rather than traditional bachelor degrees courses like BA.
Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Chief Parliamentary Secretary Education Mrs. Mohinder Kaur Josh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. DS Guru, Principal Secretary Higher Education Mr. MS Sandhu, Secretary Housing Mr. SS Sandhu, Special Secretary Higher Education Mr. GK Singh, Vice Chancellor Punjab Baba Farid University of Health Sciences Mr. SS Shergill, Vice Chancellor GNDU Dr. AS Brar, Vice Chancellor PAU Dr. Manjit Singh, Vice Chancellor PTU Mr. Rajnish Arora and Registrar Central University Bathinda Mr. Rattan Lal. Principal Govt. Ranbir College Sangrur Ms. Kumkum Kohli, Principal Govt. College Amritsar Mrs. Gurcharan Kaur Bedi and Principal Govt. Mohindera College Ms. Sudeep Bhangu.





Chandigarh, January 5: Expressing satisfaction over progress of computerization of land records in all the districts, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister today directed Deputy Commissioners to intensify surprise checking of government offices/schools/dispensaries/hospitals and ration depot to ensure punctuality of government staff besides effective delivery of services to the citizens. Presiding over the meeting of Deputy Commissioners here today Mr. Badal said that each DC and his associate officers have to conduct minimum 100 surprise checking per month and ensure that government officials /officers discharge their duties as per stipulated norms.

He asked them to conduct raids in Ration depots/LPG agencies /Urea dealers to check black marketing of LPG, Urea and leakage of ration commodities including wheat and pulses marked for Atta-Dal scheme. They were also asked to check the misuse of domestic LPG for commercial/auto use besides duplicate LPG connections. Director Food Supply was asked to supply software to each district to check multiple LPG connection in each family. He said that Deputy Commissioner was Nodal officer of the district and asked the Chief Secretary Mr. S.C. Agrawal to empower Deputy Commissioner to take disciplinary action against erring/absent employees, to convey the seriousness of the government. He took exception to departments adopting dilly-dallying approach of various departments taking action against employees found absent during surprise raids. Various Deputy Commissioners gave data of surprise raids conducted by them during last month and employees found absent during the raids. It was also decided to introduce roaster system for employees having two or three charges so that he could not feign presence in other centre at the time of raid. Mr. Badal asked Chief Secretary to work out an Appraisal Performa in association with MGSIPA with in 15 days so that performance of Deputy Commissioners could be graded for the calendar year 2010. He said that perception of corruption in that district, implementation of governance reforms, NAREGA and innovative ideas of Deputy Commissioners should get due weightage in this Performa.

Expressing satisfaction over progress of computerization of land records Mr. Badal said that 31st March, 2011 was the sacrosanct date till which Punjab has to complete this mission that could not be achieved during last 63 years. He said that computerization of land records besides amendments in the Revenue acts to reduce the level of appeals in the cases of partition was the biggest service that SAD-BJP government has done to free farming community from the clutches of Revenue agencies. It was informed in the meeting that till date 75 Fard Kendras out of 154 have been fully computerized and trial runs on in Chamkaur Sahib, Malout, Doda, Lakhewali, Ghanaur, Shahkot, Kahnuwan, Kapurthala, Sadiq, Kotkapura, Goindwal Sahib and Khemkaran. It was informed that various districts have done data entry of 82899 mutations and 3.1 lac pending mutations would be completed by March, 2011. In the case of entry of Khewats against the monthly target of 1,71,000 khewats all districts have exceeded the target by entering 2,15,474 Khewats and remaining 6 lac would be entered by 31st March, 2011. Mrs. Romila Dubey, Financial Commissioner Revenue informed that construction of buildings of 57 Tehsils/Sub-Tehsils have been completed and remaining 70 buildings would be completed by March, 2011. She informed that construction of District Administrative Complexes at Tarantaran, Barnala and SAS Nagar would start next month. She said that state of Art Tehsils were being set up in 6 corporation towns to provide Five Star facilities to the citizens. Expressing dissatisfaction over lax implementation of waiver of affidavits and attestation Mr. Badal said that Deputy Commissioners would have to take personal interest for implementation of these decisions in their true spirit. He said that number of affidavits and attestations in most of the districts have not dropped more than 20% showing that message has not gone to the public properly. He asked Chief Secretary to advertise in Media regarding compulsory affidavits and waiver of attestation by gazetted officers to educate the Public. Each DC was to collect authentic data from all Oath Commissioners/Notary/Suvidha Kendras to determine number of affidavits being issued every month. They were also asked to display prominently at Suvidha Kendras regarding mandatory affidavits and abolished affidavits. Similarly, introduction of self attestation in lieu of attestations by gazetted officers/Oath Commissioners be prominently displayed in each District Office. Agreeing to the genuine demand of Deputy Commissioners Mr. Badal asked Chief Secretary to allocate logistic fund for each district according to the functional requirement of each district besides discretionary fund and emergency fund to meet various emergent situations. It was also decided to create a post of law officer in each district to facilitate legal task of district.

Asking Deputy Commissioners to solve the grievances of public on priority, the Deputy Chief Minister expressed surprise over disinterest of public representatives in attending advisory committees of different departments. He asked the Deputy Commissioners to weed out disinterested representatives and include those who want to work for improving that department. He asked Chief Secretary to ensure that SSPs should attend district law and order committee meeting convened by DCs. It was decided in the meeting to expedite the opening of accounts of old age pension beneficiaries to streamline the pension disbursal. Reviewing the NAREGA scheme Mr. Badal asked Deputy Commissioners to upload utilization reports and submit the budget for next financial year by 31st January, 2011 positively. Besides all Deputy Commissioners, Divisional Commissioners, Administrative Secretaries, Financial Commissioners, Heads of the Department participated in the meeting.

Punjab Government appeals to co-operate census staff for
2nd phase of census-2011


Punjab Government has appealed to all the people of the state to take part actively in the 2nd phase of census-2011 i.e. population enumeration which would be conducted w.e.f. February 9 to February 28, 2011.
Stating this here today, a spokesman of the State Government said that each citizen of the state should honestly provide the relevant data to the census officials as it would help the government to chalk out its various future programmes and policies for the welfare of the state as well as the country.


Chandigarh, 5th Jan:
Punjab’s Health & Family Welfare Minister, Prof Laxmi Kanta Chawla here yesterday reiterated her commitment to fight for the cause of girl children in the state. Prof Chawla told PC-PNDT Act was strictly being enforced in the state and during the period of April to December 2010, a total of 3462 Ultrasound Centers across the state were inspected out of which notices were issued to 144 centers under section 20 of the PNDT act. The licenses of 96 centers were suspended whereas licenses of 5 centers were cancelled following different violations of the provisions of the act. She stated that from April to November last year 324 ultrasound centers of district Jalandhar were inspected, followed with 241 centers of Ludhiana, 193 in Patiala, 182 in Amritsar, 179 in Bathinda, 152 in Hoshiarpur, 129 in Kapurthala, 125 in Gurdaspur, 120 in Ferozepur, 105 in Sangrur, 102 in Moga, 99 in Sri Mukatsar, 89 in SAS Nagar, 71 in Faridkot, 61 in Fatehgarh Sahib, 55 in Mansa, 47 in Ropar, 44 in SBS Nagar, 41 in Barnala and 32 in Tarn Taran.

While revealing further details in this regard, Prof Chawla stated that during the above period 20 Ultrasound Centers of Jalandhar district were issued notices under section 20 of PC-PNDT Act; licenses of 12 centers were suspended and 1 center cancelled. In Ludhiana 18 notices were issued and 13 suspensions were carried. In Patiala 12 centers were issued notices under section 20. Similarly, notices followed with further appropriate action was also pursued in other districts also.
Prof Chawla added that in order to create awareness and to sensitize people regarding the worth of girl child, 83 panchayats of Punjab which have attained a sex-ratio of 1000 girls per boys or above have been rewarded with Rs 1.5 Lakh each during state level ceremonies.More such panchayats shall be honoured on 25th January, she said.

The Minister was here to address a conference of Civil Surgeons and Programme Officers of the state, wherein progress under all key programmes of health & Family welfare department were reviewed. Satish Chandra, Principal Secretary; Raji P. Srivastava, MD-PHSC; B Purushartha, MD, National Rural Health Mission; Dr J.P.Singh, Director Health Services; Dr Ashok Nayyar, Director Family Welfare were also present.


Chandigarh, January 4- Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh has expressed grief over the sad demise of Managing Director of Amar Ujala Publication, Mr. Atul Maheshwari yesterday.Mr. Maheshwari, 55, passed away at Gurgaon, where he was under treatment at a private hospital. He is survived by his wife Mrs Sneh Lata, one son and one daughter. While recalling the contribution made by Mr. Atul Maheshwari in the field of journalism, Mr. Badal conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the members of bereaved family and prayed that the departed soul might rest in peace.


Chandigarh, January 04

Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Punjab today asked agriculture and co-operative departments to work in tandem to ensure availability of urea to the farmers within three days.
In a meeting in which besides Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. D.S. Guru, Financial Commissioner Development Mr. N.S. Kang, Principal Secretary Co-operation Mr. Suresh Kumar and other senior officers participated, the Deputy Chief Minister said that we should immediately solve the distribution problem of Urea at the society level and take strict measures to check black marketing of Urea. The Director Agriculture was asked to conduct raids to check black marketing and cancel the licenses of erring dealers forthwith. It was informed in the meeting that Union government has been requested to expedite the dispatch of urea to Punjab as demand from the farmers especially in the border belt has spurted up due to winter rains. The situation of arrival and distribution of urea was being monitored on daily basis and situation would be normalized within two days.

Directing Agricultural department to tone up its extension network in the villages, Mr. Badal said that Director agriculture would ensure that only seeds approved by Agriculture and Food Supply department were used by the farmers and department would ensure supply of approved seeds to the farmers in the sufficient quantity. He said that a multimedia advertising campaign be launched to educate the farmers regarding approved varieties of seeds. He said that since in March farmers of cotton belt are likely to go in a big way for cotton plantation in expectation of high price of cotton, agricultural department should make advance arrangement for procurement of quality seeds from the approved companies for atleast 10 Lac acres. He said that this year it was expected that cotton would be planted on 15 Lac acres against 12.5 Lac acre planted last year. He said that a check should be introduced on farmers purchasing low quality cotton seed from Gujrat.

Ordering raids on dealers selling spurious seeds, insecticides and pesticides besides black-marketing urea, Mr. Badal said that Agricultural department would have to tone up its machinery and action should be taken against officials found lax in their duty

· Also to serve adjoining villages not having regular bus services

Chandigarh, January 04: All the Six corporation towns including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Bathinda, Patiala and SAS Nagar would have Maxi Cab service to supplement the local transport system besides to provide door step services to the residents. These towns would also run Maxi Cab service to adjoining and isolated villages devoid of regular bus service.

Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Punjab today instructed Secretary Transport to operationalize these services within two months as people living in isolated villages were facing lot of problems for commuting and they had to depend upon variable means of transport to reach city. State Transport Commissioner was asked to identify the routes within 15 days and float the services within 30 days. Meanwhile, to supplement the local bus service and to provide door step service to the city residents Maxi-cab service would be also introduced within the Corporation Towns to provide safe and comfortable mean of transport to the citizens.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that after monitoring the success of this service, this service would also be replicated in bigger towns and cities within one year.

Prominent amongst those present in the meeting included Mr. Viswajeet Khanna, Special Principal Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. S.S.Sandhu, Secretary Urban Development, Mr. S.K. Sandhu, Secretary, Transport, Mr. R. Venkatratnam, State Transport Commissioner and Mr. Mandeep Singh, Director, Transport



· Offered total support from Punjab government in clearing all hurdlesChandigarh, January 4: Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Punjab today asked National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure scheduled completion of all on going National Highways Projects and offered total supports from various wings of the state government including district Administrations in overcoming hurdles coming in their way.

Reviewing the progress of National Highways Projects in a meeting with regional Chief of NHAI Mr. Dev Raj and representatives various infrastructure companies involved in these projects, the Deputy Chief Minister regretted that most of the projects were running behind schedule causing lot of inconvenience to the commuters besides resulting in traffic jam especially at diversion roads stretches. He said that Punjab government was offering total support to the NHAI and any laxity by constructing agencies could not be tolerated.

Expressing concern over slow pace of construction of over-bridges and flyovers, Mr. Badal pointed out that delay in construction works at those spots where NHAI has been given clear access was not be understandable. He asked Secretary, PWD to Weekly review the progress of these National arteries and ensures that construction agencies stick to the timeline.
The Deputy Chief Minister also issued instructions to the Deputy Commissioners to provide total support to the NHAI and announce awards for the acquired land within 24 hours without failure. He said that he would also review the obstacles if any in tomorrow's Deputy Commissioners' meeting. The NHAI was also asked to expedite work on Jalandhar- Pathankot highway as it has already been given its clearance besides early initiation of work on Khamano and Samrala byepasses. The Chief Secretary was asked to coordinate with Union Defence Secretary for defence land coming in the way of construction of fly-overs in Jalandhar areas.

Prominent amongst those present in the meeting included Mr. Viswajeet Khanna, Special Principal Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. S.S.Sandhu, Secretary Urban Development, Mr. S.K. Sandhu, Secretary, PWD(B&R) and representatives of various construction agencies.



· Demands dismissal of Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj for ordering de-freezing of Quattrochi accounts as then Union law Minister

Chandigarh, January 4:
Shiromani Akali Dal Spokesperson and Punjab Education Minister Mr. Sewa Singh Sekhwan today demanded criminal prosecution of UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi for ensuring safe exit and clean chit from CBI to Ottavio Quattrochi, an Italian businessman & a close friend of the Gandhi family as an income tax tribunal bench has now ruled that Rs. 41 crore was paid as bribe to him and Win Chadha in infamous Rs. 1500 crore Bofors deal.

In a statement issued here today, Mr. Sekhwan said that in yesterday's judgment of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal it has been ruled that both Win Chadha and other entities through which money was transferred as commission to Quattrocchi were liable to pay tax in India and this ruling has fully exposed that the CBI's stand on Quattrocchi's role in the deal was in direct contrast to the tribunal's findings. He said that CBI which was now virtually working as a 'Congress Bureau of Investigation' couldn't cope with the pressure of UPA Chairperson.

Recalling the chronology of events, Mr. Sekhwan pointed out in 2003, the same CBI asked for Quattrocchi's accounts to be frozen and in 2006, submitted that it had no objection to the "unfreezing" of two London accounts in Quattrocchi's name - the CBI had originally asked for these accounts to be frozen on the ground that they were linked to the kickbacks in the Bofors case. Besides this, the CBI first named Quattrocchi in its chargesheet in 1999. But in 2009, the agency said it wanted to drop criminal proceedings against Quattrocchi because it does not have enough evidence against him after nearly 10 years' long investigation and trial, he added.

The senior SAD leader also demanded immediate dismissal of Karnataka Governor Mr H.R. Bhardwaj, who as Union Law Minister ordered the de-freezing of two accounts of Quattrocchi.
Mr. Sekhwan said that UPA Chairperson owes an explanation to the nation regarding her conduct on this issue of utmost importance to the country and the President of India should herself take cognizance of this whole issue and immediately order criminal prosecution of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and then Union Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj, for the entire fraud perpetuated on the country.


Chandigarh, January 04:
The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational Programme of irrigation for the Rabi Season through Canal water from 06-01-2011 to 13-01-2011. As per the programme channels of Sirhind Canal System would run on the priority basis from Bist Doab, Sidhwan Branch, Bathinda Branch, Patiala feeder and Abohar Branch 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 channels of first preference will run to their indent and balance water supplies available will be utilized in Ghaggar Branch and its off taking channels i.e Ghaggar Branch and Patiala Minor in Group 'B' respectively.

The spokesman further said that all the direct distributaries of Sirhind Feeder in group 'A' being in the First preference will run to their indent and balance water supplies available 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. Main Branch Lower Lower with its distributaries being in the channels of first Preference would run to their indent and balance water available would be supplied to the in Lahore Branch, Sabraon Branch, Kasur Branch with their distributaries respectively.


The Punjab Government today approved the Master Plans for the planned development of Khanna and Goindwal Sahib.

A decision to this effect has been taken in the 21st meeting of Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Board under the Chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal here at his residence this morning.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Punjab government said that GMADA and Local Government department would coordinate and working together to sort out difficulties coming in the way of speedy implementation of the Master Plan for Zirakpur.

Meanwhile presiding over series of other review meetings of PUDA, GLADA, Jalandhar, Bathinda and Patiala Development Authorities, Mr. Badal in a significant decision approved to setup a Regulatory Wing of PUDA to check unauthorized and illegal constructions falling in the jurisdiction of all the six authorities in their respective areas. It was also approved that the officers of various departments would be taken on deputation to this wing from time to time with full responsibility to ensure 100% compliance of all the bylaws in the areas under these authorities.
The Chief Minister also approved to create the posts of four Landscape Architects, six Cityscapes Experts and six Traffic Experts for these authorities for beautification and proper landscaping of the areas.
While reviewing the ongoing works of cleaning of canals and drains Mr. Badal asked both the Chief Engineers of Irrigation department to undertake this project in such a manner to ensure uninterrupted irrigation water at the tail ends. Mr. Badal also asked his principal Secretary Mr. DS Guru to regularly monitor the progress of cleaning of canals and drains to ensure its timely completion according to the stipulated time frame. He made it clear that no paucity of funds would come in the way of speedy execution of these projects.

Prominent amongst those who were present in these meetings included Local Government and Industry Minister Mr. Manoranjan Kalia, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Mr. Ranjit Singh Brahampura, Finance & Planning Minister Dr. Upinderjit Kaur, PWD Minister Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Housing and Urban Development Mr. Sarwan Singh Philaur, Media Advisor to the Chief Minister Mr. Harcharn Bains, Chief Secretary Mr. S.C. Agrawal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. D.S. Guru, Financial Commissioner Rural Development and Panchayat Mr. Jagpal Singh Sandhu, Principal Secretary Industries Mr. S.S. Channy, Secretary Housing & Urban Development and M.D. PIDB Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Mr. Gaggandip Singh Brar, Secretary Local Government Mr. S.S. Rajput, Chief Administrator GMADA Mr. Vivek Partap Singh, Chief Administrator PUDA Mr. Sarabjit Singh, Chief Administrator GLADA Mr. A.K. Sinha, Chief Engineer Canals Mr. AS Dullat, Chief Engineer Drainage Mr. Vinod Chaudhary and Chief Town Planner Mr. Kuldip Singh Dhaliwal


The Punjab Cabinet today approved a comprehensive policy to give monetary compensation to the victims or their dependents who have suffered loss or injury as a result of crime, where perpetrator goes unpunished.
A decision to this effect was taken here at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal this afternoon.

Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Punjab government said that the Cabinet under the 'Victim Compensation Policy' formulated by the state government on the directions of Punjab & Haryana High Court in a civil writ petition of 6319 of 2008 in Court on its own Motion Vs. Union of India approved Rs.1 lac as maximum compensation for the loss of life. Rs.40,000 in case of loss of any limb or part of body resulting 40% or above handicap, Rs.30,000 as compensation for rape and Rs.20,000 for loss of injury causing severe mental agony to women and child victims in case like human trafficking. Based on the data of such offences available on record an amount of Rs.7 crore was proposed to be provided in the financial year 2011-12. Likewise, Rs.4 crore would be provided for the remaining part of the current financial year 2010-11.

The Cabinet also approved to impose the entry tax @1% on pulses and 5% on RCC and SW pipes besides giving exemption on crude palm oil from entry tax.

The Cabinet also gave approval to amend section 39 of Punjab VAT after inserting sub-section (1-A) after sub section (1) to issue 75% of the refunds on the basis of monthly returns and against the indemnity bond. The facility of indemnity bond would be extended to genuine manufacturers and traders upto a particular limit of Rs.1 crore.

Keeping in view the historic and religious importance of holy towns of Chamkaur Sahib, Baba Bakala and Machiwara, the Cabinet approved to rename these as Sri Chamkaur Sahib, Baba Bakala Sahib and Machiwara Sahib respectively.

The Cabinet also gave nod for notifying the 'Punjab Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Counseling and Rehabilitation Centres' Rules, 2010 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 for regulating the Drug De-addiction Centres in the state.

The Cabinet also gave in principle approval to transfer the village Talwandi Butian and Punia from Sub-Tehsil Lohian in Jalandhar district to Sub-Division/Tehsil Shahkot of district Jalandhar based on the proposal of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Jalandhar and Director Land Records Punjab.
To ensure hassle free and timely disbursement of the pension to the beneficiaries under various schemes, the Cabinet also approved to effect suitable amendments in Old Age Pension and other Financial Assistance Schemes in the state.

The Cabinet also approved to amend the Prison Act, 1994 to prohibit the use of mobile phone in the jails of the state.
The Cabinet also approved to extend the term of appointment of retired PCS (Executive Branch) Officers against the existing vacancies or till the regular appointment of PCS (EB) officers from amongst the candidates selected as per recommendation of Punjab Public Service Commission which ever was early and for making appointment on contract basis, as per the terms and conditions already issued, of officers retired or likely tor retire during the prevalence of the present scheme and found suitable by the committee.
The Cabinet also approved to amend the policy with regard to give land on lease to the societies concerned with care of sick and abandoned animals.

The Cabinet also gave approval for funds to be utilized for upgradation and maintenance of infrastructure in terms of civil works and purchase of new equipments. These funds would be spent in the colleges and other institutions under the department of higher education, technical education, sports and medical education including universities under these departments and under the police, education and health & family welfare department.

The Cabinet also approved the handing over of the newly constructed Bus Stand at Majitha by the Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) to the Punjab State Bus Stand Management Company (PUNBUS).




Chandigarh January 03: The minimum width of National Highways passing through Punjab has been increased from the National norm of 7 meters to 10 meters,keeping in view the increased vehicular traffic in the state.

The Union Surface Transport Ministry has agreed to the proposal of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, who recently met Union Minister Mr. Kamal Nath with a detailed proposal in this regard. Reviewing the progress of ongoing road projects in the state, the Deputy Chief Minister informed that the government has set apart Rs. 171 crores to execute expansion of all National Highways and it would be completed by June, 2011. Mr. Badal said that similar exercise was also being taken for state highways based on the report of traffic police regarding density of traffic.

Congratulating the PWD department for working in complete sync with Union Railway and getting completed 29 ROBs /RUBs in the state within last three years, Mr. Badal said that he was eagerly awaiting the completion of 10 more ROBs including Giddarbaha, Ludhiana-Ferozepur link, Morinda, Fatehgarh Sahib, Bathinda, Budhlada, Barnala, Samrala-Chawa Road and Beas and 5 of above would be completed by June, 2011. He said that work on 22 more ROBs /RUBs have been put on full throttle and most of them would be completed in this calendar year.

It was informed in the meeting that four laning of Amritsar-Tarntaran, Kotkapura -Faridkot, Goniana-Bathinda, Makhu- Zira-Talwandi Chowk and strengthening and widening of Dabwali-Malout-Abohar-Fazilka Road would be completed within six months at the cost of Rs. 170 crores. Under CRF Plan Bathinda- Ghuda, Ghuda- Lambi, Rampura-Maur-Talwandi Sabo, Phagwara-Hoshiarpur, Amritsar-Mehta Road, Amritsar-Ajnala-Dera Baba Nanak, Garhshankar-Anandpur Sahib roads would be strengthened and widened at the cost of Rs. 185 crores. Under NABARD programme Rs. 495 crores would be spent on strengthening rural roads and bridges.

The meeting also approved construction of three new four lane roads including Ropar-Chamkaur Sahib-Doraha, Morinda-Kurali-Siswan and Batala-Mehta-Rayya roads and put a timeline of one year for their completion.

The meeting was attended by Mr. S.S.Maluka, Chairman District Planning Committee Bathinda, Mr. Viswajeet Khanna, Principal Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. S.K.Sandhu, Secretary PWD(B&R), Mr. R.P.Singh, Engineer in Chief and Mr. Nirbjit Singh Dhanoa, OSD/ Deputy Chief Minister.


Chandigarh, January 3:
HS Grewal

Dr. Upinderjit Kaur, Finance Minister Punjab today supported the plea of North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) to have a re-look at the so called ‘blacklist’ (kali suchi) of NRI Punjabis debarred from entering the country. Besides, she called upon the NRIs to contribute immensely for providing education and health care facilities in the state especially to the less privileged sections of the society.
She demanded this during an interaction with a delegation of NAPA who has come to met her here today. The Finance Minister said that time has come that Union government should review the blacklist because after the restoration of peace in the state, these citizens should be given opportunity to return home and become partner in the progress of state.Speaking about problems being faced by NRIs, the Finance Minister said that Punjab government would soon constitute a board for NRIs which would provide expeditious relief to the NRIs in their various disputes especially in the matter of property, marital and immigration.She informed that East Punjab Rent Act had already been amended empowering NRIs to get their property on rent vacated from the tenants. Moreover, every district in Punjab was having separate revenue court for the NRIs. "NRI police stations have also been setup in 6 districts having predominant NRI population. One court for NRI population had also been opened in Jalandhar", she said.Dr Upinderjit Kaur asked all prospective investors and entrepreneurs based overseas to make huge investments in Punjab which was being emerged as the most preferred investment destination in the world especially in the wake of recently announced new investor friendly industrial policy. He assured of full support and cooperation to the interested investors to facilitate them of fast track single window clearances for setting up their ventures in a time bound manner.

She made a passionate appeal to all the Indian origin Punjabis settled abroad to contribute immensely for providing education and health care facilities in the Punjab especially to the less privileged sections of the society.

She further added that the Punjab government had already ordered comprehensive census of NRIs in Punjab so that schemes for their welfare could be initiated in well coordinated manner. Describing the NRIs an important link for the over all development of their respective native places, the Finance Minister said that the state government was fully committed to provide backup support to the various development initiatives being undertaken by the NRIs.The Finance Minister informed that Punjab had already constituted a high powered committee headed by the Director General of Police to review the cases of NRIs who had been declared proclaimed offenders (POs) or absconders. Besides, the State Government had also set up an NRI Facilitation Centre at Punjab Bhawan, New Delhi for facilitating and coordinating the matters relating to NRIs, she added.

The Minister asked the NRI delegation to play a pro-active role to bridge the communication gap between the state government and the Punjabis settled across the globe. The delegation of NAPA led by its President Mr. Satnam Singh Chahal commended Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Dr. Upinderjit Kaur for taking landmark decisions for the welfare of the NRIs.

The USA-based North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) has urged the Punjab government to take up the issues of NRIs with central government including Indian missions and embassies abroad to remove grievances of Indians in foreign countries. Mr Chahal said that the delegation had already apprised Union Minister of State for External Affairs Mrs Preneet Kaur and Union Minister for NRI Affairs Mr. Valiyar Ravi about problems being faced by NRIs in getting Indian visas and in issuance of visas to them by the Indian missions abroad, particularly, in the USA.

Mr Chahal informed the Minister that NRIs in the USA and elsewhere were largely subjected to humiliation at the hands of the Indian embassies staff. He alleged that the family members of those who got US citizenship on the basis of political asylum are being discriminated by refusal of visa. "Those born and brought up in US are also being denied visa for obvious reasons,” the association members said.

The association alleged that more than one lakh PIOs were deprived of the opportunity to visit India. Mr Chahal said the PIOs denied visa were not on the blacklist. The delegation comprising NAPA Chairman Mr Dalwinder Singh Dhoot and Vice-President Mr Santokh Singh Judge demanded that the all the genuine cases be taken up sympathetically to grant visas and scrap the black list.





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