Monthly Archives: JULY 2017
Captain asks Jaitely for GST exemption on goods purchased for making Langar, Prasad
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has sought GST exemption from Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Langar (community kitchen) and the Prasad distributed at various religious institutions.
Amarinder has written to Jaitley on this issue following an appeal by the Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) and other individuals and organisations to waive off GST on these materials.
Captain Amarinder reminded the Union Finance Minister that Gurudwaras were exempted from the payment of VAT on goods brought by them for serving food in free kitchens (Langar). However, under the new GST regime, tax is payable on the purchase of these goods. The Chief Minister said that GST is also payable on sale of Prasad, thus impacting all religious institutions including Temples, Gurudwaras, Mosques and the Churches.
Captain said that the levy of GST on goods purchased by religious institutions was not fair as these institutions did not have any source of income and were run and managed with finances raised through donations.
He urged the Union Finance Minister to reconsider the matter and exempt all religious institutions from payment of GST, not only on sale and purchase of Prasad but also on goods purchased by them for serving Langar in free kitchens run by them.
The CM said the demand for GST exemption by the managements of religious institutions was fair and should be acceded to by the Government of India.
SAD-BJP reject biased commissions says Judges act as congress workers
The Shiromani Akali Dal and Bhartya Party Legislature Party today rejected the setting up of Justice Ranjit Singh Commission to probe incidents of sacrilege and Justice Mehtab Singh Commission to probe the alleged false cases against Congress workers during the SAD-BJP regime. The two parties said that the two Commissions were "custom-designed Congress exercises with pre-mediated verdicts to suit the party and defame the SAD and the BJP.”
"What kind of justice and fairness can be expected from these Commissions? Even before these commissions have started their work, the Chief Minister has announced their findings on their behalf, adjudging the Akali-BJP guilty of all the allegations brought against them. And isn’t it an insult of judiciary that these two judges have not even objected to the Chief Minister becoming their spokesman", said a resolution passed by the Akali BJP legislators at their joint meeting today.
A resolution passed by the joint meeting of the SAD-BJP Legislators described the two judges as "well known congress functionaries who, even as judges, had openly expressed their bias and hatred against the Akali and BJP leaders and workers. "Even our advocates had to repeatedly express their loss of faith in these judges as they could not be trusted to give fair and impartial judgements because of the allegiance to the Congress party. Justice Mehtab Singh is directly related to Congress legislator Harpartap Singh Ajnala who is his brother in law ( wife’s brother)."
These judges are the evening buddies of the Chief Minister and if they had respect for their profession they would have refused to accept the assignment. But these Commissions are in fact the Congress government’s method of repaying these judges for the support they have given to him and the Congress. They were active participants from the Congress camp in the last Vidhan Sabha elections and the House of one of these judges in Moga was the Congress campaign headquarters.” the SAD-BJP Legislator parties resolution said.
On the issue of the alleged false cases against Congress workers, the two parties said during the previous government, the Congress had first come up with a figure of one lakh false cases against them but later reduced the number to 30,000. When the then Chief Minister challenged them to give details, the Congress came up with only 30 cases. Even on these 30 cases, the SAD-BJP government had placed all the facts before the House and not a single false case could be found. Then, the Congress leaders had to keep quiet and had raised no objections to the government’s version.
"The setting up of a commission on the same issue now is clearly a political after-thought dictated by political compulsions of the Chief Minister. Both these Commissions are politically motivated and biased, with pre-manufactured findings. The party therefore out rightly rejects both these brazen attempts to divert people’s attention from mounting disgust and disillusionment against the total failure of the state government on all fronts,” the resolution added.
No one is safe in Punjab: Sukhbir Badal
SAD President Sukhbir Badal today came down heavily on Captain Amarinder Singh's government for the deteriorating situation of law and order in state. While Condemning the murder of a Pastor in Ludhiana last night Badal said that now days no one is safe in Punjab as the State is witnessing a complete break down in law and order under the Congress rule.
In a statement here, the former deputy chief minister, while expressing his condolences to the family of the deceased Pastor Sultan Masih as well as the Christian community, said it was unfortunate that the State had descended into jungle raj under Congress rule. "The Congress government is paying a heavy price for not acting against its own workers who started political killings immediately after the party came into power. The State witnessed sensational killings with one Akali worker being murdered in Gurdaspur after being threatened on the loudspeaker. In another case two members of an Akali family were killed in Ferozepur after being threatened on Facebook. Even Dalits who had voted for the SAD were not spared with many being thrashed and one being even sensationally stripped. All this created an impression that anything goes and anti-social elements took advantage of this and started a spate of robberies and dacoities. Even gang warfare has intensified in Punjab recently", he added.
Sukhbir said what was even more dangerous was the systematic manner in which anti-national elements had started attacks against various communities besides resorting to sacrilege of religious Granths to provoke hatred and spoil the completely peaceful atmosphere created under the stewardship of Parkash Singh Badal's leadership during the last ten years of SAD-BJP tenure. He said the killing of the Pastor, who headed The Temple of God Church in Salem Tabri in Ludhiana, was another example of the manner in which attempts were being made to create communal Tension in the State".
Asking the government to wake up from its slumber and enforce the rule of law, Badal said if this was not done quickly there was danger of Punjab slipping into the dark days of turmoil again. He asked the government to first take action against political 'goondas' of the Congress and then move down the line and rein in anti-social elements besides working full time to foil efforts made by anti-national elements to foment trouble in Punjab.
Brahm Mohindra announces Rs. 5 crore for modernisation of food safety dept.
The Punjab Government today announced to provide Rs. 5 crore for the modernization of the Food Safety Department and initiated the first ever mobile testing lab facility to check the adulterated food products across the state.
Disclosing this here today on the occasion of capability building programme organized by the health department, Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra said that adulteration of food is a cause of concern for it is directly connected with the health and life of citizens. He said that by ensuring the supply of nutritious and unadulterated food products, many deadly diseases like Cancer, Hepatitis, Gastric disorders can be curbed.
The Health Minister said that in a bid to provide relevant and practical insights into food safety standards, management system, modern techniques and related legal provisions under Food Safety Standards and Regulations Act 2006 & 2011, the Punjab government has decided to organize capability building programme-cum-special training for the assistant food commissioners, food safety officers and designated officers of the health department. He said that the previous government had never imparted any such training to the officers of food safety department. ‘After attending this training programme, the officers would be able to attain uniform pattern of Food Safety & Standards Act across the State’, added health minister.
Mohindra further said that the state government is all set to recruit 20 food safety officers for the smooth functioning of food safety branch. He said that the drive against adulteration has already been intensified in the State and zero tolerance would be maintained against adulteration of food articles. He ordered the concerned officers that all complaints regarding food adulteration should be addressed on priority basis within stipulated period of time.
The Minister also said that in the last 10 years, quality of food had gone downward at large scale. He said that 1458 samples of food items were found unsafe and adulterated in the state during 2016. He said that licensing & Registration fee had never been used by the previous government and now, the congress government has decided to use public money for the benefit of public.
On the occasion, Anjali Bhawara, Principal Secretary, Health instructed the officers to ensure sensitization of public through Information, Education & Communication activities and registering their complaints against adulteration over on-line portal of department. She asked the officials to ensure good health of people of Punjab by strict enforcement of Food Safety & Standards Act with an iron hand.
In his address, Varun Roojam, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration said that food safety department should not confine its activities to raiding food shops only instead they should concentrate on bringing positive results by acting against miscreants who are playing with lives of people. ‘It is the duty of officers to ensure sampling of eatables consumed such as milk and dairy products etc. To check milk adulteration, health department would act tough against the perpetrators’, added Roojam.
SYL issue: Amarinder welcomes SC decision to give 2-month time for talks
Welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision to give two months’ time to resolve the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) issue, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday once again urged the central government to facilitate dialogue with Haryana for "early resolution” of the issue.
Saying that the problem can be solved only through negotiation, Amarinder said while "Punjab did not want to deprive anyone of water”, shortage of the essential commodity in Punjab prevented the state from sharing it.
"The state is taking steps to conserve depleting groundwater and has set up a department for groundwater management to assess availability of water and take steps for its conservation,” he said.
He appealed to the Centre to initiate talks at the earliest to find an amicable solution to the problem, given the prevailing water situation.
Noting that the central government had showed its keenness to find a solution to the issue, Amarinder said he was confident that the matter could be thrashed out by sitting across the table and taking into account all aspects of the problem. He also welcomed the Supreme Court’s directive to stop all agitations concerning the SYL, saying neither Punjab nor Haryana could afford to spiral into violence.