PUNJAB CM ORDERS SOCIAL PRE AUDIT OF STUBBLE MANAGEMENT SCHEME FOR KHARIF SEASON 2020

FARM EQUIPMENT/ MACHINERY TO BE GIVEN TO FARMERS/SOCIETIES ETC ONLY AFTER COMPLETION OF SOCIAL PRE AUDIT

Chandigarh, August 9:Rejecting allegations of favouritism being shown to certain manufacturers, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Sunday ordered a first-of-its-kind social pre-audit of the Crop Residue Management (CRM) scheme for supplying farm equipment/machinery on subsidy to farmers.

The social pre-audit by the Agriculture Department will nail the lies being propagated by certain vested political interests, said the Chief Minister, adding that there not a single farmer had questioned the quality of the machines/equipment being supplied under the scheme, aimed at ensuring scientific disposal of paddy straw during Kharif Season-2020.

The Chief Minister said the pre audit will seek to make the scheme more efficacious, broad-based and farmer-friendly with the ultimate goal of making the state free of pollution triggered by stubble burning. Suggestions and objections, if any, will be invited from all stakeholders for this purpose.

The Union Government has been running the scheme for the past two years for distributing farm machinery among farmers and cooperative societies for effective in-situ management of the paddy straw. Under the scheme, farmers from Punjab have been given subsidy of nearly Rs. 460 Crore on 50,815 farm machines. The GoI has already listed around 180 manufacturers from Punjab to ensure supply of farm equipment/ machinery in this regard.

During the current year, the Government intends to give subsidy approximately to the tune of Rs. 300 crore on 23500 on such machines. Captain Amarinder Singh has directed ACS Development Anirudh Tiwari to provide these machines to farmers/societies only after the completion of the said audit.

The ACS said the social pre audit would be completed well before the distribution of farm machinery/equipment to the farmers and cooperative societies. Around 7000 individual farmers will be given the machines at 50% subsidy, while 5000 cooperative societies, panchayats and farmers' groups would be given the machines at 80% subsidized rate.

The state-of-the-art equipment/machines required for in-situ management of paddy include Super Straw Management System on Combine Harvesters, Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw Chopper/Shredder, Mulcher, RMB Plough, Zero Till Drill and Super Seeder to ensure zero burning of paddy residue in the open fields. To further improve the paddy management system, the Agriculture Department has also decided to provide to the farmers/societies etc mechanised equipment, needed for ex-situ management of paddy straw, such as balers and rakes, on subsidy, said the ACS.

Meanwhile, Secretary Agriculture KS Pannu has urged all the farmers, farmer organizations, political parties, machine manufacturers and NGOs to put forward their suggestions and objections in order to make the scheme better aligned to the interests of farmers. He also said that the suggestions or objections can be submitted till August 17, 2020 to the Director, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Punjab in writing, by post, via email at directoragriculturalpunjab@gmail.com or through whatsapp on 987600780 or 9478049498.

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ON CM’s DIRECTIVES, EXCISE DEPARTMENT SEIZES BIG HAUL OF 27600 LITRES OF ILLICIT CHEMICAL CONTAINING SPIRIT FROM DERA BASSI MOHALI

SECOND BIG RECOVERY WITHIN 15 DAYS

Chandigarh /Mohali, August 9:Cracking down further on the illicit liquor trading and smuggling in the state, the Excise Department got a major breakthrough on Sunday when it seized 27600 litres of chemicals containing spirit. It is so far the biggest haul of such nature by the department.

Divulging the details, a spokesperson of the Excise & Taxation department said that its special team from Mohali seized heavy quantity of 27600 litres of chemical containing spirit from 3 places. Mr. Bikram Brar DSP also joined the raiding team. It was stored in 136 drums of 200 litres capacity each. The seizure was made from village Devinagar, Tehsil Derabassi in Mohali District. During the raid conducted at the premises of the M/s Allychem Chemicals godown, E-68/69 Focal point Dera Bassi, 82 drums of 200 litre each has been recovered. On raids conducted at M/s Om Solvi Trading who was running its operations from D-11 Focal point, Dera Bassi, 49 drums of 200 litres each have been recovered. Similarly, on a raid on M/s Pure Solutions F-28, Focal Point Dera Bassi, 7 drums of 200 litres each have been recovered.

The spokesperson further revealed that 4 persons have been arrested in the case including owners of the firms.

The link for these firms have been traced from the earlier raid carried out by the department on July 23 almost a week before the unfortunate tragedy when 5300 litres of chemicals and spirit was recovered from the premises of M/s Binny Chemicals. It is reported that these firms used to supply the material to Binny Chemicals who would further sell it in the market.

During the interrogation, the accused revealed that they were reducing the waste of pharmaceutical companies. However, they couldn't clarify the products they were manufacturing as also their customers.

Investigations are in progress to examine the record and to trace further links of the accused in the case. Taking no chances, the Excise department has also called for the services of Chemical experts of the Forensic Science Laboratory.

It may be recalled that the Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has already given clear cut instructions to the Excise department not to show any leniency with the unscrupulous elements involved in the illicit liquor trade.

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School Education Department has all set for Education Survey

  • Singla insists on adopting scientific method for the survey
  • Serial meetings by the school secretary for prepration of the survey

Chandigarh, August 9-With a view to make the school education system more effective, the Education Department has finalized the preparations for conducting Punjab Achievement Survey (PAS) under the direction of Education Minister, Mr. Vijay Inder Singla. This will be the first initiative of its kind by any state in the country. The Education Minister emphasized on conducting the survey in a scientific manner.

As per the guidance given by Mr. Singla, in order to finalize the arrangements for this survey, the School Education Secretary, Mr. Krishan Kumar reviewed the arrangements by holding a series of meetings with all the concerned officers through the video conferencing and briefing them on all the criteria besides the issued guidelines for conducting this survey.

According to a spokesperson of the school education department, PAS not only will prepare the students and teachers for the 'National Achievement Survey' but it will also play an important role in strengthening the students learning as well as reasoning ability. The survey would be conducted in all government schools in the state and would be attended by students from primary to class XII. The survey will be based on National Achievement Survey criteria. It will evaluate students' learning outcomes. The survey will be based on elective subjects including English, Science, Mathematics and Social Studies. It will have Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs).

According to the spokesperson, the survey process will begin in the second fortnight of August and a large mock test program has been drawn up from September. A question bank is being set up with the basic concepts of various subjects, which will inculcate the students understanding.

According to the spokesperson that education eepartment has also started organizing webinars to sensitize the district education officers, deputy district education officers, block primary education officers, ‘Parho Punjab, Paraho Punjab’ Coordinators, district education Teams and social media coordinators for this servey.

According to the spokesperson, the parents have also been encouraged to participate in the survey for its successful conduct and the involvement of parents will help in creating awareness about the changing face of government schools.

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WHAT DELHI MODEL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?’ HEALTH MINISTER ASKS CHEEMA, CITING NATIONAL CAPITAL’S HIGH DEATH COUNT

EVEN HIGH COURT IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SO-CALLED DELHI MODEL, SAYS BALBIR SIDHU

POINTS TO VIRTUAL TAKE-OVER OF DELHI’S COVID FIGHT BY CENTRE TO PULL IT OUT OF AAP MESS

Chandigarh, August 9:Ridiculing the so-called Delhi model as nothing more than a desperate bid by the Arvind Kejriwal government to divert attention from its own failures, Punjab Health & Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Sunday said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was making a laughing stock of itself with its absurd claims on Covid management in the national capital.

The Minister termed Punjab Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema’s statement expressing “dissatisfaction” over the Captain Amarinder Singh government’s measures to tackle the pandemic as `ludicrous”, and said the AAP MLA was clearly oblivious to the fact that Punjab continues to fare much better than many other states in the fight against Covid, which in fact had totally exposed the inadequate Delhi healthcare infrastructure.

Sidhu pointed out that the effectiveness of Punjab’s battle against Covid was not on account of any help from the central government, unlike Delhi where the Centre had to step in and virtually take over the pandemic management to pull the city out of the total and unprecedented mess into which the AAP government had pushed it.

The less said about the AAP government’s Covid management in Delhi the better, said the Minister, pointing out that even now, the Delhi High Court was continuously questioning and, in fact, pulling up the Kejriwal government over its pandemic strategy. Just last week, the court had termed as `incomprehensible” the resistance shown by Delhi government on its monitoring the progress made in ramping up the testing, he recalled.

“What Delhi model is this, which even the High Court is not satisfied with?,” he asked, adding that Punjab remains far ahead of Delhi in terms of effectiveness in Covid management.

Given that the entire testing strategy of the Delhi government was under the court’s scanner, Cheema’s insistence on Punjab adopting the same strategy was not just laughable but a clear indication that the AAP was not interested in protecting the people of Punjab, said Sidhu. All they (AAP) have ever cared about was promoting their own interests, which the people of Punjab had seen through back in 2017 itself when they had shattered the party’s dreams of forming the government in the state, he added.

In sharp contrast to Delhi, where the Centre had to chip in to strengthen the medical infrastructure, Punjab was continuously augmenting its hospitals, Covid centres and bed capacity as well as other facilities/equipment, almost on a daily basis, said Sidhu. Also, unlike Delhi, where the case numbers were effectively being fudged by keeping RT-PCR testing low and focusing largely on the uncertain Rapid Antigen Tests (with their large fake negatives), the Punjab Government, under Captain Amarinder, was going in for regular increase for the `gold standard’ RT-PCR test, he added.

Asking Cheema to verify his facts before shooting through his mouth, the Minister further noted that the Kejriwal government’s mismanagement had caused Delhi to contribute 10% of the total deaths in the country. Punjab, on the other head, has accounted so far for 1% of the deaths, and those too mostly related to co-morbidity, he added. Sidhu said he did not think even a single Punjabi would want this kind of Delhi model being emulated in their state.

Reacting to Cheema’s allegation of misappropriate of funds by the government in Punjab, Sidhu challenged him to produce proof of his unsubstantiated claim. The truth of the matter was that despite no fiscal aid from the central government and no resources of its own, the state government was ensuring that fiscal constraints do not come in the way of saving the lives of Punjabis from the deadly Coronavirus, he added.

The fact was that AAP has no leg to stand on in Punjab, which was headed towards Assembly polls in just about 18 months, and was thus resorting to falsehoods and fabrications to mislead the people, said the Minister. Pointing to the restructuring of AAP’s Punjab unit, he further said the move showed how pathetic the party’s situation in the state currently is.

To Cheema’s remarks on a media report regarding two bodies lying on a hospital floor for 12 hours, Sidhu said the report had already been proven to be false and the newspaper had subsequently also published a clarification.

Expressing shock over Cheema’s endorsement of unfounded and unsubstantiated reports, the Minister said the AAP MLA was trying to create panic with his irresponsible statements in these grave times of anxiety. He asked the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly to come out of his fake comfort world of the social media and act with the responsibility befitting his position to support the state government’s efforts in the interest of Punjab, if he truly cared about the state and its people.

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BOILER OPERATION ENGINEERS EXAMINATION TO BE HELD IN OCTOBER

INDUSTRIES DEPT ALSO EXTENDS LAST DATE FOR AVAILING ONE TIME AMNESTY SCHEME FOR BOILER REGISTRATION TILL 31 AUGUST 2020

CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 9: With the aim of fulfilling technical manpower requirement of the Boilers functioning in the state and to tap the employment potential, Boiler Operation Engineers (BOE) examination would be held in October or November. The exam which was earlier to be held in August has been postponed due to present Covid situation, the spokesperson of the Industries Department disclosed here today.

The Boiler Operation Engineers Examination was last held in Punjab in the year 2010, the spokesperson said adding a vacuum was being felt in the total strength of Boiler Operation Engineers in the state.

Disclosing further, the spokesperson said to maintain a high level of examination, a Board of Examiners comprising of members having high academic and practical knowledge of modern boiler practices has been constituted by the State Govt. The examination will comprise of written examination and an oral examination. The written examination will be conducted by an Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

The application submission along with submission of documents and examination fee was made online and so far 430 students had applied online on Invest Punjab portal, the spokesperson added.

In another decision, the Industries Department has extended the date of one time amnesty scheme for such boiler users which are operating without following the provisions contained in the Boilers Act, 1923 and the Indian Boiler Regulations, 1950, to get their boilers regularized with the department till 31.08.2020 from earlier specified date of 31st July.

Under the Scheme for regularizing the boilers which are at present running without due approval of the state, the boiler owners would have to produce valid documents issued by the respective authorities and will have to pay nominal fee along with the loss to state govt. in terms of inspection fee, for the period of default.

The nominal fee for unregistered boilers will be Rs. 25,000/- and for boiler registered but not having renewed license, as on 31-12-2019, the nominal fee will be Rs. 10,000/-. To avail this benefit, the boiler users will apply to Director of Boilers, Punjab, for regularization of boilers online on Business First Portal on or before August 31.