Monthly Archives: NOVEMBER 2017


COMMISSION WILL SEEK TO ADDRESS GRIEVANCES OF FARMERS
Govt to move bill to set up commission for empowerment of farmers
27.11.17 - TEAM PT
Govt to move bill to set up commission for empowerment of farmers



Chandigarh: The Punjab government has decided to move a Bill in the current session of the state Assembly today to set up a five-member commission for framing a policy to empower and grant legal rights to farmers, an official release said.
 
The 'Punjab State Farmers and Farm Workers Commission- 2017' Bill will be introduced in Vidhan Sabha session beginning today, it was decided at a meeting of the state Cabinet here, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ahead of the session.

The Commission, to be headed by a nominated Chairperson who will hold the rank of a Cabinet Minister, will also be tasked with planning agriculture policies at district and block level.

The commission would have powers to frame agriculture policies and other related matters referred to by the state government. The government will have powers for making reference to the Commission on the subjects as may be decided and also for framing the rules for the Commission.

The commission will have corpus fund of Rs. 25 crore initially and Rs. 5 crore for next five years as grant to be given by the state government. The commission would be required to submit its report, which will be tabled in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, an official spokesperson disclosed.

Besides a nominated Chairperson and a Member Secretary, the Commission will have Vice Chancellors of Punjab Agriculture University Ludhiana & Guru Angad Dev University of Veterinary Sciences, Ludhiana and Additional Chief Secretary Development/Financial Commissioner Development as ex-officio members. The Commission will have its headquarter at Chandigarh.

The Chairperson of the commission shall be a person appointed by the state government, who is a practicing/progressive farmer with at least a graduate degree, or an eminent agriculture scientist, and has sufficient exposure regarding current domestic and international agricultural scenario. He/she will have the status of Cabinet Minister of the state government and his salary and perks, besides other terms and conditions, will be regulated accordingly. The Member-Secretary of the commission will be in the rank of Secretary to Government and his salary and allowances and other conditions of appointment will be fixed by the government.

The commission will also have an advisory council consisting of more than 15 members, out of which seven will be progressive farmers and one each from the food processors, agri-machinery manufacturers and agri-entrepreneurs, academics and agriculture scientists etc. The members of the advisory council shall be nominated by the commission and hold the position for three years. The Commission will have as many as advisory councils as required, to be nominated by it. These will provide the commission subject specific inputs for advising the government in policy and programmes and other related matters.

Giving details of the commission’s agenda, the spokesperson said it will be mandated to provide for rights and welfare of those dependent on agriculture. The government will consult the commission on matters relating to welfare of those dependent on agriculture and matters referred to by the commission to the government.

The commission will also consider demands and grievances of those dependent on agriculture and various farmers' Associations and Unions and will meet their representatives from time to time and make suitable policy recommendations to the government.

The commission will be tasked to frame an agricultural policy which contributes to increase farmers' income while providing for ecological and economic sustainability and agriculture productivity. The commission will also collect data, information, analyze, inquire, consult, review, monitor, survey, undertaken studies and suggest measures for: improving the status of agriculture and allied sectors, rural infrastructure, agriculture extension and education, quality and delivery of agricultural goods/inputs and services by all entities including both government and private, besides promoting the off-farm job creation in rural areas.

It will also collect and analyze data, and recommend measures, relating to market interventions, mechanization and adoption of new technologies for agricultural production, value addition, post harvest  handling and processing of the produce, domestic and international markets to assess the competition, future trends, local demand, export potential, import substitution and promotion of cooperatives for delivery of goods/inputs and services, with an aim to increase the efficiency and the economic sustainability of rural economy.




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ANNOUNCES CONSTITUTE COLLEGE STATUS FOR GOVT AYURVEDIC COLLEGE PATIALA
Brahm Mohindra blames previous govt. for miserable plight of Ayurvedic system
25.11.17 - TEAM PT
Brahm Mohindra blames previous govt. for miserable plight of Ayurvedic system



Patiala: "The ancient ayurvedic system of treatment of ours has been reduced to a miserable plight owing to gross neglect by the previous regime. This is amply proved from the fact that the previous government didn’t care to send any proposal for availing the grants bestowed by the Union Government for strengthening the ayurvedic system in the states.” This was disclosed here today by the Health, Medical Education and Research Minister, Punjab, Brahm Mohindra at the Government Ayurvedic College while addressing the college students and eminent personalities.
 
The minister had arrived as Chief Guest at the Ayurvedic Mela (Ayurvedic Parv) being held at the Government Ayurvedic College Patiala from 25th-27th November by the All India Ayurvedic Congress, New Delhi in collaboration with the Ayush Ministry Government of India and the Punjab Government.

The Minister said that the present government in the state is fully geared up for and committed to making good the loss suffered by Punjab during past 10 years in ayurvedic education as well as research. On the occasion, the minister announced for Government Ayurvedic College Patiala the status of constituent college of Guru Ravidass Ayurvedic University, Hoshiarpur so as to improve its lot. He also announced to depute a nodal officer in respect of ayurveda at the Chandigarh based head office of the Director Medical Education and Research.

Divulging further, Mohindra said that he would take up the issue of transferring Ayurvedic University Hoshiarpur at Patiala at appropriate governmental levels. The Health Minister on the occasion added that out of the Rs. 10 crore given every year for the university till date only Rs. 3 crore have been received. He demanded from Union Government Advisor the immediate release of balance amount to the tune of Rs. 7 crore. The minister also brought to the notice of the advisor that the Union Government has a mechanism of Rs. 2 lakh per dispensary per year for the purpose of medicines in 507 ayurvedic and unani dispensaries of Punjab but the State receives a meager Rs. 70000.  He put forward emphatically the demand of Rs. 2.10 crore for repair of Government Ayurvedic College, library, laboratory, hostels, Rs. 90 lakh for furnitures, Rs. 4.50 crore for the maintenance and repair of 45 ayurvedic dispensaries throughout Punjab and Rs. 10 crore for the oldest Government Ayurvedic Pharmacy at Patiala as well as the development of store without delay from the Union Ayush Ministry. He also assured to fulfill shortly the staff crunch at the ayurvedic hospitals and the dispensaries.

On the occasion, the Advisor from the Union Ayush Ministry Dr. Manoj Nesri in his address said that since long time the Punjab Government or its concerned department has not sent any proposal for availing the grants sent by the ayush ministry for the development of ayurvedic system. He assured the Health Minister that any such proposal by the Punjab Government would be approved without delay.
Others who addressed on the occasion included MLA (Moga) Dr. Harjot Kanwal Singh, MLA (Samana) Rajinder Singh, MLA (Tarntaran) Dr. Dharamvir Agnihotri, President All India Ayurvedic Congress Padma Bhushan Devindra Triguna, Secretary Medical Education and Research Vikas Pratap, SSP Fazilka Dr. Ketan Pathak, Director Ayurvedic Punjab Dr. Rakesh Sharma, Senior Vice President of Nikhil Bhardvarshiya Vidyapeeth New Delhi Vaid Jagdish Singh, Secretary All India Ayurvedic Congress New Delhi Vaid Anil Bhardwaj and Dr. Sanjeev Goyal. The occasion was graced by the presence of Principal Government Ayurvedic College Dr. Ashwani Sharma, prominent personalities of ayurvedic field from all over the country and students as well as teachers of the college.
 
The minister also visited the exhibitions put up by the various companies and the institutions in the college premises.




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AMARINDER FLAYS OPPOSITION
Those opposing Johal's arrest are working against Punjab's interests: Amarinder
24.11.17 - TEAM PT
Those opposing Johal's arrest are working against Punjab's interests: Amarinder



Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday flayed the Opposition for raising doubts over the arrest of British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal in the targeted killing cases, accusing them of acting against Punjab’s interest by echoing the baseless statements of some foreign elements.

Reacting to statements by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on the issue, he termed their comments as unfortunate and not in the interest of Punjab and its people. By deciding to side with those who were conspiring to malign the Punjab police and government, these parties had exposed their total lack of interest in the welfare of the state, said the Chief Minister, in a statement issued here.

Describing all those opposing Jagtar’s arrest and seeking his release as working against the interests of India, particularly Punjab, Captain Amarinder said by making unfounded allegations against the Punjab government and police, such elements were trying to disturb the state’s peace and harmony. There was a well-planned conspiracy at work in this whole affair, he said, challenging such people to prove their allegations of human rights violation of the accused.

From being allowed to talk to his family to having consular access, and from his medical examinations to his timely production in court, the due process of law had been followed at every step from the moment of Jagtar’s arrest, according to Amarinder.

The Chief Minister said his government was more concerned about maintaining Punjab’s peace and stability rather than worrying about perceived embarrassment at the hands of foreign forces which had no stake in India’s security or development.

He pointed out that his government had already made public all the facts, as well as the mountain of evidence indicating Jagtar’s complicity in the cases. Jagtar alias Jaggi was arrested by the police on grave charges in major cases, based on strong evidence against him. And he was arrested only after his role in the conspiracy to kill RSS/Shiv Sena leaders/workers was confirmed on the basis of specific inputs about his linkages/involvement in these crimes.

Reiterating that the law will take its own course in the matter, Amarinder said the police had been following the due process of law in the matter all through, and would continue to do so. His government did not believe in incriminating innocent people in false cases, but would not, at any cost, allow anyone to destabilize Punjab by indulging in terrorist or criminal activities.

The whole issue was being sought to be politicized by certain pro-Khalistani elements and it was unfortunate that Punjab’s own leaders were adding their voice to these elements, the Chief Minister lamented. Radical elements based in Britain and some other countries had launched a false and slanderous orchestrated media campaign against the Punjab government/Punjab Police, he said.

In fact, Punjab Police officers have been receiving death threats targeted at them and their family members from such elements over phone, WhatsApp and various social media platforms.

He pointed out that none of the foreign governments that were reportedly decrying Jagtar’s arrest and alleging his torture had approached either his government or the Indian government on the issue. They had no face to do so, as all their allegations were totally baseless, with not an iota of proof to support them.

India had never interfered in other countries’ policing and legal matters, even if an Indian citizen were involved, and expected the same respect and diplomatic propriety to be followed by other nations, said Captain Amarinder.




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CALLS FOR MUTUAL RESPECT BETWEEN POLICE AND ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES
Amarinder instructs police to be vigilant against social media radicalisation
24.11.17 - TEAM PT
Amarinder instructs police to be vigilant against social media radicalisation



Chandigarh: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has directed the Punjab Police to be vigilant against radicalization campaigns being carried out on various social media platforms such as Facebook, and also called for greater vigilance along the Indo-Pak Border as the infiltration activity moves southwards once the Passes close due to inclement winter weather in the region.

Chairing a high-level meeting to review the crime and law & order situation in the state, the Chief Minister said prevention of terrorist crime was his government’s top priority agenda and ordered all SSPs and CPs to lead from the front in combating such threats to Punjab’s peace and stability.

He ordered all-out efforts on the part of the police to trace previous undetected cases in a time-bound manner, especially the Maur bomb blast in Bathinda (31st January), murder of Chand Kaur (Bhaini Sahib) and attack on Dhadrianwale in Ludhiana.

Even as he asked the police officials to tighten their belts in dealing with militancy and crime in the state, the Chief Minister issued a strong warning to them against any failure to give respect and due courtesy to MLAs & other elected functionaries. He said he had received complaints from various districts in this regard and would not allow the position of the elected representatives to be undermined in any manner.

At the same time, Amarinder also called for maintaining the respect for police uniform and authority, while underlining the need for open interaction between field level police officers and the senior government officers at the headquarters.

Emphasising his government’s zero-tolerance approach to handling cases of sacrilege, the Chief Minister said any attempt to disturb the state’s communal harmony would be strictly dealt with. Deputy Commissioners and CPs/SSPs would be held responsible for any incidents of sacrilege in their respective areas, he said, directing them to have CCTV cameras installed immediately through community participation and engagement, and to ensure custody management of sacred religious books where no CCTV cameras are installed.

He also sent out a strong signal to the police against indulging in any act of corruption, and reiterated that his government was committed to providing clean and transparent governance to the people of the state.

Captain also instructed the police officials to tighten the noose around drug smugglers and traders, especially the big fish. Police Commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police, Sub-Divisional Police Officers (DSP Sub-Division) and SHOs would be held directly accountable for supply & sale of drugs in their jurisdiction, he said.

He stressed that all CPs and SSPs must lead from the front and carry out raids under their personal supervision against terrorist/militant elements and drug smugglers/traders. Pointing out that there had been complaints of corruption against field officers of various ranks, including DSP and SHOs, even in handling of drug cases in the past, which is non-pardonable. Swift and severe punishment would follow if any such case comes to notice in the future, he warned.

Taking cognizance of the criminal activities taking place in prisons, the Chief Minister ordered tightening of control over jails through technology etc. to stop communication and prevent such activities. He also called for revision of jail manuals and jail rules.

He instructed the officials to take firm action against gangsters and stern steps to control petty street crime, such as snatchings etc, in order to instill a sense of safety and confidence among the citizens of Punjab.

In line with his government’s focus on eliminating the VIP culture and promoting police welfare, he for ending the practice of route-lining etc. during VIP security duties and asked the officials to limit the working hours of cops and operationalise a system for giving one-weekly off. It was important to keep the morale of the police force high at all times, he said.

Captain Amarinder Singh ordered the process of building of well-equipped District Administrative Complexes in different districts to be expedited and also instructed the Home Department to build a statewide Arms Database and also for Arms Dealers, in order to monitor the supply and inventory of Arms & ammunition.

The Chief Minister also issued orders for transfer of lands to Police Department for Police Lines in different districts, especially in Pathankot, Batala, and Moga.

He instructed the officials to take firm action against gangsters and stern steps to control petty street crime, such as snatchings etc, in order to instill a sense of safety and confidence among the citizens of Punjab.

Making it clear that CPs and SSPs would be held accountable for performance regarding each priority area, he said road safety and prevention of fatal and serious injury road accidents as another priority area of his government.

The meeting was attended, among others, by DGP Suresh Arora, DGP Intelligence Dinkar Gupta, DGP Law & Order HS Dhillon, besides SSPs and CPs of all the districts.




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TO SHIFT TO MULTI-YEAR LIQUOR POLICY
Amarinder asks excise dept to explore govt. intervention in liquor trade
23.11.17 - TEAM PT
Amarinder asks excise dept to explore govt. intervention in liquor trade



Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed the Excise Department to explore the possibility of setting up a wholesale liquor corporation for the distribution of liquor, as a step towards ending monopolistic practices in the trade and earning revenue for the state exchequer.

The decision was taken at the first meeting of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Finance, set up to regularly review the cash-strapped state’s fiscal situation. The sub-committee is headed by the Chief Minister and has Brahm Mohindra, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Research and Medical Education, Parliamentary Affairs, and Manpreet Badal, Minister for Finance, as members. The sub-committee has been tasked with finding ways of curtailing expenditure and mobilizing resources.

Chairing the maiden meeting today, Amarinder asked the Excise Department to check on the feasibility of government intervention in the liquor trade, which is currently completely controlled by private players in the state. He asked the Department to work out the modalities for developing a corporation for wholesale distribution of liquor.

The Department earlier made a presentation to the sub-committee explaining the existing value chain in the liquor trade and also highlighting the model followed by other states, including Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Rajasthan, according to the spokesperson.

A move to shift to a multi-year liquor policy from the prevailing one-year policy was also discussed by the sub-committee, which instructed the Excise Department to submit a detailed proposal.

CM also sought a proposal on restructuring of the Excise and Taxation departments to ensure more focused administration of commercial taxes and excise with infusion of greater technology and specialization.

He said it was important for various departments to come out with innovative ways to generate revenue for the state, which has inherited a debt burden of Rs 2,08,000 crore from the previous SAD-BJP government. The Excise Department has been asked to take steps to significantly raise its revenue generation targets over the next three years.

With a fiscal deficit of Rs 34,000 crore and revenue deficit of Rs 13,000 crore, the Congress government in the state is battling a major challenge as it strives to combat the fiscal crisis.

Prominent amongst those present in the meeting included Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral, Chairman of the Punjab Governance Reforms and Ethics Commission K R Lakhanpal, Advisor Financial Resources V K Garg, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Excise and Taxation M P Singh, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tewari and Excise and Taxation Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh.




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