Monthly Archives: MARCH 2016


Treasury offices to remain functional on March 23 and 25
22.03.16 - pt team
Treasury offices to remain functional on March 23 and 25



The Punjab government has directed all the treasury offices in Punjab to remain functional on March 23 and March 25.
 
According to an official spokesman of the government instructions have been given to all the district treasury officers across the state to ensure that the offices remain open on March 23 and 25.




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Parkash Singh Badal's stand on SYL for political mileage
22.03.16 - By Jaideep Sarin and Parminder Singh Bariana*
Parkash Singh Badal's stand on SYL for political mileage



Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal may be trying to project himself as the saviour of Punjab on the row over water sharing with neighbouring Haryana and the construction of the SYL canal, but the latest move by his government is in stark contradiction to the stand taken nearly four decades ago.

A report by Jaideep Sarin and Parminder Singh Bariana in HansIndia says that Badal and the government he heads may now be trying to go overboard to give an impression that they are willing to make any "sacrifice" to prevent giving water from Punjab's rivers to neighbouring states, but the reality is that Badal's earlier government, in 1978, had issued the notification for the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.

Sources in the government told IANS that Badal, whose personal and family relations with then Haryana chief minister Devi Lal were well known, was heading the government which accepted the first cheque of money from the Haryana government in 1978.

He (Badal) did so to keep the towering Haryana leader in good humour despite having opposed in 1976 then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who okayed the award of more water to Haryana (3.5 MAF each to Haryana and Punjab).

The Badal government, on February 20, 1978, had issued two notifications (113/5/SYL and 121/5/SYL) under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act. On July 4, 1978, through letter number 7/78-IW(I)-78/23617, the Punjab government had raised a demand of Rs.3 crore from Haryana to acquire land for the SYL canal construction, the sources pointed out.

The Badal government, on March 31, 1979, accepted the first instalment of Rs.1 crore from Haryana to acquire land.

Badal, in his latest move, sent a cheque of Rs.390 crore, received from Haryana nearly four decades back to build the SYL canal, to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Khattar refused to accept the cheque and said the move by Badal "exposed the thoughtlessness and complete disregard of all canons of financial propriety in sending it in the first instance".

This move will have "serious implications on the lives of millions of Haryanvis" and "merely discloses a certain decision of your Council of Ministers and your consequent act of enclosing the cheque", Khattar said in an angry retort to Badal's letter.

The Haryana government, which is opposing all moves by the Badal government to invoke legislative process to prevent sharing of water through the SYL canal, had even stated that the "Punjab government should proactively stop the completely unlawful acts of filling up of the SYL Canal in Punjab territory".

Badal, who faces the next assembly polls in about 11 months, is now hell-bent on using the legislative route, even at the cost of defying the Supreme Court, to prevent the revival of the SYL canal and sharing water with Haryana.

He not only moved a resolution last week to de-notify the acquisition of the land acquired for the SYL construction nearly four decades ago but also moved another one to circumvent the SC order this week on status quo being maintained on the SYL issue.

Haryana's main opposition party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), led by Devi Lal's son Om Prapash Chautala and other family members, has announced its decision to snap ties with the Akali Dal, which were there for the past several decades, after the latest move by the Badal government and the Akali Dal on the SYL issue.

The Devi Lal government, in late 1970s, had allotted prime land to the Badal family in Gurgaon where the Badals run a high-end five-star resort and hotel.

Defending the then Badal government for the 1978 notification, Akali Dal leader Virsa Singh Valtoha told IANS: "Chief Minister Badal had no idea about the notification. The officers did this at their own level."

The Congress party, which is trying to "expose" Badal's contradictory stand on the SYL issue, has alleged that Badal and the Akali Dal were only trying to fool people on the SYL issue.

"Badal was in power when the notification was issued. For the past many years, Badal is trying to fool people. He enacted the drama of meeting the Governor (Kaptan Singh Solanki) to seek assent for the recent Bill (on de-notifying the SYL Canal land) when the copy of the bill passed by the state assembly had not even reached the governor," Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh pointed out.

The SYL Canal, which was to link two major rivers (Sutlej and Yamuna) in Punjab and Haryana, was planned and major portions of it were completed in the 1990s at a cost of over Rs.750 crore.

It is entangled in a political and legal quagmire with the Punjab and Haryana states unwilling to give up their respective stand on the controversial canal issue and sharing of river waters.
 
(Courtesy : thehansindia.com)





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Punjab hikes the amount for recipients of Gallantry awards
21.03.16 - pt team
Punjab hikes the amount for recipients of Gallantry awards



In recognition to the gallantry services rendered by brave sons of the soil, the Punjab Cabinet approved to enhance the lump sum amount being paid to the recipients of Gallantry/Posthumous Awardees.
 
Now Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra recipients will get lump sum amount of Rs. 2 crore in place of existing Rs. 30 lacs while MahaVir Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees will get  a lump sum amount of Rs. 1 crore which earlier was Rs. 20 lacs only. Likewise the amount for Vir Chakra and Saurya Chakra has been enhanced to Rs. 50 lacs from existing Rs. 15 lacs.
 
Sena/Nau Sena/Vayu Sena Medal (One for Gallantry Awardee) will get now Rs. 14 lacs in place of Rs. 7 lacs and lump-sum amount for Mention-in-Despatch (G) has been is enhanced to Rs. 10 lacs from existing  5 lacs. 
 
These enhanced rates of gallantry awards would entail a financial liability of Rs. 2.92 crore per annum.
 
It may be recalled that Punjab is the ‘Sword Arm’ of the country and its brave soldiers has made enormous contribution in the defence forces of the nation. The Punjabi soldiers have won great laurels in various battles thrust upon our country. The Government of India has bestowed several Gallantry Awards on our valiant soldiers for their heroic deeds or on those, who lost their lives during any operation. 




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Punjab cabinet gives nod to bill 'The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness 2016'
21.03.16 - pt team
Punjab cabinet gives nod to bill 'The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness 2016'



In a significant decision, the Punjab Cabinet today approved the Bill on "The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness 2016". The proposed legislation provides for a framework for expeditious determination and settlement of non-institutional agricultural debt. The Bill would be tabled in the ongoing session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha for consideration. 
 
A decision to this effect was taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal at Punjab Bhawan this afternoon.
 
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the Bill envisages the establishment of District Level Agricultural Debt Settlement Forums and a State Level Agricultural Debt Settlement Tribunal to alleviate difficulties of farmers in getting their non-institutional debts reconciled and settled. The District Level Forums would be headed by a retired/serving District or Additional District Session Judge and will comprise of two more members- one representative of farming community and another representative of money lenders. The State level Tribunal would be headed by a retired Judge of the High Court and will have two more members. Both the Forum and Tribunal will have a term of three years. The Bill also enables the government to prescribe a maximum rate of interest which can be charged by the creditors on non-institutional loans provided by them. The Forum will decide the dispute within three months. Jurisdiction of Civil Courts has been barred. All pending disputes in the Civil Courts will be transferred to these Forums from the date the Act is notified. Each creditor will issue an authenticated passbook to the debtor. The proceedings before the Forum and the Tribunal will be judicial proceedings. 
 
According to the provisions of the proposed Bill, any debtor or creditor of agricultural loan can file a petition before the District Level Forum for settlement of their debt and if aggrieved with the order of the Forum, can file an appeal before the State Level Tribunal. The Forum can determine and settle the agriculture loans upto Rs.15 lac. The Bill will cover agriculturists and agriculture labourers as well. 

The Cabinet also gave approval to fill the posts including Group A (Non Teaching), Nursing Faculty posts (Group A and Group B), Group B and Group C through a committee headed by the Vice Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Science, Faridkot. Likewise, the posts of Medical/Dental Teaching Faculty would be filled by the committee under the Chairmanship of Advisor to the Punjab Government on Health and Medical Education Dr. KK Talwar. The Group D posts would be filled by the Head of the concerned institutions. This step would remove the deficiencies raised by the Medical Council of India/Dental Council of India and Indian Nursing Council with regard to shortage of faculty and staff in these institutions. 
 
It may be recalled that the state government had already sanctioned 34 posts of teaching faculty in the Government Medical Colleges, Patiala and Amritsar to provide the best treatment and diagnostic services to the patients inflicted with cancer in their advanced cancer centres. 
 
The Cabinet also gave approval to grant extension in the contract of Health Pharmacist and Sweepers working as service providers @ Rs.7000 and Rs.3000 per month respectively in 1186 subsidiary health centres under Zila Parishads w.e.f. April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 in the public interest as a stop gap arrangement upto March 31, 2017 or till the regular recruitment, whichever is earlier.




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Rahul Gandhi biggest enemy of Punjab: Sukhbir Singh Badal
20.03.16 - pt team
Rahul Gandhi biggest enemy of Punjab: Sukhbir Singh Badal



'Rahul Gandhi, who is out to defame Punjab by branding its youth as drug addicts, is the biggest enemy of the state and he has given proof of his being anti-Punjab and anti-Sikh through such ideology’ this was stated today by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal.  He further said that if congress scion really believes about presence of drugs in Punjab then he would do very well to conduct dope tests on youth congress leaders and if anybody among them tests positive then it will be construed as the presence of drugs in Punjab.
 
Interacting with mediapersons at information center after paying obeisance at Darbar Sahib along with his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal, he disclosed that Punjab has touched heights of prosperity during SAD-BJP regime besides getting numerous awards on national level but still congress and leaders of other opposition parties are maligning fair name of Punjab by spreading white lies which is in very bad taste. He further questioned that how can a community like Punjabis known for its bravery and feeding whole nation be branded as drug addict?
 
Attacking congress, Badal divulged that the truth has come out with the registration of a case against PPCC chief Captain Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh that captain family has accounts in foreign banks besides assets. Reiterating his standing on SYL canal issue, Deputy Chief Minister said that there never was a need for this canal nor would it allowed to be constructed even if sacrifices had to be made.
 
Commenting upon congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) making a beeline for the deras, S. Badal said that every party follows its own perception regarding elections. He said that the biggest plank of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and mine is development for which we are working very hard.




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