Monthly Archives: NOVEMBER 2017
DAYAL SINGH COLLEGE CONTROVERSY
Why Harsimrat Badal is silent on the move to change the name?
23.11.17 - Bir Devinder Singh
I appreciate the initiative of Mr. Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Manjit Singh GK leaders of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to logically and forcefully oppose the move of the Management of Dayal Singh Evening College, Delhi to change its original name to a new name, as Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya. It’s more than a week now since this controversy erupted, but the silence of Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister on a very significant issue is baffling.
I wonder, why Harsimrat, who is otherwise quite vocal on various issues, has not come forward boldly so far to stall the baleful move of the Management of Dayal Singh College, to change its original name. The entire leadership of the DSGMC, the SGPC and other Sikh organizations are up in arms against the menacing move of the parochial mindset to demolish the name of the founder of the collage Sirdar Dayal Singh Majithia, a legendary philanthropist and educationist of ‘exalted eminence’, who made monumental contribution to promote the cause of education and quality learning.
It’s strikingly remarkable that the similar move in Pakistan was opposed and successfully stalled by eminent scholars, writers, teachers and the students, when the government of Pakistan tried to do away with the name of Sirdar Dayal Sing Majithia from the college and the library Dayal Singh Majithia established at Lahore in Pakistan.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal should not be seen wanting in this case, she should rather lead a delegation of Punjab MPs, MLAs, DSGMC and SGPC members and discuss the matter with Parkash Javedkar the Minister for HRD to seek his effective intervention in the matter. The Ministry of HRD could immediately send an advisory to the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University not to accept the proposal of the management Committee of Dayal Singh Evening College Delhi to Change its name in deference to the sentiments of the entire Sikh Community, a significant minority of the country.
Author is a Former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
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CENTRE RENEGED FROM ITS RESPONSIBILITY
Punjab CM to take up pending GST payements issues with PM Modi and FM Jaitley
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has said he will soon take up with the Centre the issue of the pending GST payments, whose delay was causing severe financial problems for the state.
During a discussion in today’s cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister said he will soon write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in this regard and seek immediate release of not just the Rs 1464 crore pending GST compensation but also the state’s share from the IGST collected by the Centre.
Amarinder shared the concern of Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal on the delay in payment of salaries to government employees and the state’s inability to meet critical expenses in the absence of timely payments on account of GST and Inter-state GST (IGST).
The cabinet was informed that the state had yet to receive Rs 524 crore against GST for the period July-August 2017 and Rs. 960 crore for September-October. Further, it was pointed out that the entire IGST amount was being collected by the central government under the new tax regime and, till October, a total of Rs. 98000 crore had accumulated on this count.
Captain agreed that since states are equal stakeholders in GST, the Centre should share a part of this sum with states on account basis, over and above what is due to the states as compensation. Even earlier, the floating ITC in VAT system used to live in state treasury, while ITC in central taxes used to be with the Centre, he noted.
Amarinder said with the Centre holding back on these payments, the already cash-crunched state government, reeling under huge debts inherited from the previous SAD-BJP regime, was facing acute financial problems. The central government could not wriggle out of its responsibility to the states, he said, and added that better management and implementation was needed of the GST system in the interest of the states and the nation.
How can the state governments function if the centre reneges from its responsibility and sits on their money, the Chief Minister said, adding that he would pursue the matter with the central government till it releases the pending payments to the state.
TO FURTHER BOOST HIS COUNTRY'S TRADITIONALLY CLOSE TIES WITH PUNJAB
Afghan envoy meets Amarinder, proposes revival of Kabul-Amritsar air link
Chandigarh: Afghanistan’s ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali has proposed revival of the Amritsar-Kabul air corridor and a pilot project for 1500 tonnes of cargo trade to further boost his country’s traditionally close ties with Punjab.
The ambassador met Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here on Wednesday to discuss the huge potential for promoting business and trade between Afghanistan and Punjab. The Chief Minister said the two share historical relations and presented to the envoy a book 'Baba Ala Singh' by Kirpal Singh, founder of Patiala state. The book traces the Afghan connection with Punjab, which Amarinder showed keenness to strengthen further through trade and other avenues.
The Indian and Afghan association goes back centuries and we need to strengthen it further to complement each other’s progress, said the Chief Minister, pointing out that both Punjab and Afghanistan had a similar economy, focused on Agriculture.
The ambassador suggested opening a trade corridor through a cargo trade pilot project with pharmaceutical goods, engineering products, woolens, dairy items, fresh and dry fruits, meat, processed food and milk powder. He also suggested that Punjab should import meat products from Afghanistan.
Amarinder expressed interest in the proposal and directed his officials to hold further discussions with Afghanistan and work out the modalities for the pilot project, which would contribute to Punjab’s efforts to promote industry in the state.
The Afghan envoy, who has already visited Amritsar and plans to go to Sirhind tomorrow, also saw huge potential for education for his country’s youth in Punjab. There were at present around 16000 Afghan students in India, he said, adding that he found university education in Punjab to be good.
The meeting was attended, among others, by Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary Tejveer Singh and Advisor Horticulture Himmat Singh.
ALL MEMBERS SHOULD FOLLOW THE BASIC ETIQUETTES
Don’t criticise for sake of criticism, CM exhorts opposition
Chandigarh: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said while his government welcomed healthy criticism, the opposition should refrain from criticism for the sake of criticism, and all members should follow the basic etiquettes and courtesies of the legislative procedures in the House.
Addressing the Punjab Vidhan Sabha legislators at the start of the two-day Special Orientation Programme, organised by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi State Institute for Public Administration, the Chief Minister appealed to the members of the opposition to play a constructive and positive role in the larger public interest. Constructive opposition of the government’s policies and programmes would help achieve better results in implementing its pro-people initiatives efficaciously.
All members should follow etiquettes and legislative procedures, traditions and conventions laid down for discussion in the House, he said, calling upon the MLAs to treat the august house with the respect it deserves.
Stressing the government’s approach of working in collaboration with all stakeholders in the interest of the state’s welfare, Amarinder expressed the hope that the Opposition would also make full use of the opportunity, along with the ruling party members.
Pointing out that the sessions, to be addressed by several specialists and experts, would be of special benefit to first timers to acquaint them with the rules and conduct of business in the House, the Chief Minister said it would also help educate them about the proper legislative procedures and the correct manner of raising issues relating to their constituency in the House.
The discussions will be useful in imbuing discipline in the members and teach them how to make optimum use of time in the interest of the people, he said, adding that these will also help MLAs become aware of their rights during the question hour, zero hour besides routine Legislative Business.
He called for a collective value-based ethical approach by members while raising public concerns of their respective assembly constituencies, and Punjab as a whole. He stressed the need for the members to imbibe the legislative skills, basic etiquettes and courtesies of the legislative procedures, traditions and conventions of the House while taking up crucial issues in public interest.
He exhorted the members to participate actively in the programme and ask a lot of questions to get better clarity on all issues governing legislative business. The Chief Minister also urged the Speaker, being the custodian of the House, to chalk out the session agenda in consultation with the members so that the legislative business could be transacted more meaningfully, in the larger interest of the people.
Recalling his experience as Member of Parliament, the he said late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used to hold regular orientation programmes for MPs, and remembered participating in one such session in Surajkund. He said he gained immensely from the experience.
Earlier, formally welcoming the Chief Minister, the leader of the House, and all members, Speaker Rana K P Singh said the initiative, mooted by Captain Amarinder, was aimed at transference of knowledge on legislative traditions and practices to the new members. The programme, he said, would help equip the members to fulfill their roles and responsibilities in the interest of the people – the real custodians of Parliamentary democracy.
Amid the changing parliamentary scenario, such programmes are critical to the development of the House not only as a forum for debate but also as an agent of change, said Singh. He underlined the importance of the ruling and opposition members working in tandem to ensure that the Speaker is able to discharge his duties efficiently and the House runs smoothly.
Exhorting the members to take full advantage of the programme, the Speaker said it would go a long way in creating a congenial atmosphere for healthy discussion and debate in the House.
Welcoming the initiative, Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira said it would strengthen the legislature, considered to be the strongest pillar of democracy. It would be particularly helpful for first-time legislators, he added. Khaira stressed the need to hold sufficient number of sittings of the House to allow members to raise the issues concerning their respective constituencies.
Addressing the members, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra said such programmes were vital to nurturing the spirit of parliamentary democracy. Recalling that in the last session of the Assembly, a first-time MLA had crossed the floor of the House in a wrong manner, he said it was imperative to provide them with the necessary training in the etiquettes and procedures of the House.
Mohindra urged the members to go through the Vidhan Sabha handbook carefully and also called upon them to take matters related to the various Vidhan Sabha Committees seriously. He also underlined the need for the civil and police administration to give due respect to the MLAs, who were even higher in protocol than the chief secretary.
'TIME TO PASS ON THE BATON'
Amarinder welcomes move to elevate Rahul Gandhi as Congress President
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has welcomed the proposed elevation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president, describing it as a step in the right direction to revive the party’s fortunes ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Talking to mediapersons here, the CM said the party elections announced today and Rahul’s elevation were long overdue. It was time to pass on the baton of the party affairs into the able hands of Rahul, who was mature and competent enough to lead the Congress into the next Parliamentary elections.
Responding to a question, Captain Amarinder said he was completely in favour of promoting youth, in whose hands lay the future of the party and the country. Pointing out that the Congress in Punjab had fielded the maximum number of youth in the last Assembly polls, Amarinder said it was in national interest to infuse young blood into the polity.
Captain Amarinder pointed out that he had always been in favour of Rahul taking over the party’s reins in order to inject the much-needed dynamism into it. Rahul had all the qualifications needed to provide strong and visionary leadership to the Congress, he added.
To a question on the Padmavati controversy, he said nobody had the right to distort history. He had himself studied history and even been to Chittoor, adding that cinematic license did not give anyone the right to twist historical facts. Those feeling hurt by distortion of facts had the right to protest, he said, adding that protests were a justified recourse in a democratic system.
On the farm debt waiver issue, the Chief Minister said the process was in full swing and he had directed the DCs to submit lists of eligible farmers from their respective districts. The waiver process would be rolled out soon, he added.
Reiterating his government’s commitment to farm loan waiver as per the notification issued last month, the CM said around 10.25 lakh debt-ridden farmers would get benefit of Rs 9500 crore under the scheme.
Under the notification, farmers owing money to cooperative, public sector and private banks, till March 31, 2017, will be benefitted. Farmers paying installments to banks will also benefit under the scheme. The state government has announced waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers who own up to five acres in the state, and Rs 2 lakh relief for other marginal farmers irrespective of their loan amount.