‘I AM LOYAL TO MY STATE & MY PARTY, BUT YOU’RE LOYAL ONLY TO YOUR VESTED INTERESTS,’ SAYS CAPT AMARINDER TO HARSIMRAT

·LASHES OUT AT BADALS FOR PERSISTENT EFFORTS TO EXPLOIT RELIGION TO FURTHER THEIR POLITICAL INTERESTS

Chandigarh, January 10: Lashing out at SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal for questioning his loyalties, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said while he was loyal to both, his state and his party, the Badal clan, including the union minister, were devoted only to themselves.

For Harsimrat and the rest of the Badals, neither Punjab and its people nor the Sikh Panth of whom they claimed to be the guardians, were important, as they were only faithful to their own personal interests, said the Chief Minister, lambasting the Akali leadership for their repeated tirades of falsehood and deceit.

Taking Harsimrat head-on over her statement, which he trashed as a pack of lies, Captain Amarinder Singh said his loyalty to Punjab was unquestionable, and he remained equally loyal to the Congress, whose government he was heading in the state. “But your (Harsimrat’s) loyalty to your party has been questioned by your own party members, while that to Punjab has been rejected by none other than the people of Punjab, whose lives you destroyed mercilessly in the 10-years of SAD-BJP misrule,” he added.

Reacting strongly to Harsimrat’s allegations against him and his government, Captain Amarinder Singh said the union minister’s unfounded and baseless accusations were so obviously a bundle of lies aimed at garnering votes in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls that even a child could see through them.

Harsimrat, like the rest of the Badal clan, had mastered the art of deceit and treachery and continued to indulge in untruths and fabrications even after the total rejection of her party and its politics by the people of Punjab, said the Chief Minister, adding that this showed the desperation of the Akalis in the face of their imminent defeat in the parliamentary elections that were just a few weeks away.

“Little does she realise that the Akalis are only making a mockery of themselves with their frustrated attempts to mislead the people, who have full faith in the incumbent Congress government in the state,” said Captain Amarinder Singh, citing the series of electoral victories of his party in Punjab, beginning with the 2017 Assembly polls.

In her desperate bid to befool the people, Harsimrat had unwittingly endorsed his statement that the Centre had failed to release funds yet for the development of the Kartarpur Corridor, the Chief Minister pointed out. Since the Kartarpur Corridor was a central project, his government could acquire the necessary land for it only once the Union Government identifies the same, which it had failed so far to do, contrary to Harsmirat’s claims, said Captain Amarinder Singh.

Be it the Kartarpur Corridor or the Panth, the Badals had been playing with the religious sentiments of the people for years now, said Captain Amarinder Singh, adding that such policies would continue to backfire on them, as they had done in the Assembly elections and the subsequent by-elections and other polls in the state.

The SAD first family had always exploited religion for their politically motivated interests, as exposed by the Commission probing the sacrilege cases in the state, the Chief Minister said. Even the 1984 riots cases were blatant evidence of the Badals’ obsession with misusing religion to further their own interests, said Captain Amarinder Singh, reacting to SAD president Sukhbir Badal’s repeated baseless statement alleging the involvement of the Gandhis in the violence. Sukhbir himself was not even around at that time but chose to persistently drag the Gandhi family’s name into the matter even though there was not an iota of evidence against them, said Captain Amarinder Singh.

If the Badals were seriously concerned about protecting the interests of the Sikh community, they should speak about the BJP/RSS workers actually named in the FIR of the 1984 riots, instead of fictionalising the Gandhis’ role in the violence, asserted the Chief Minister. And instead of playing games over the Kartarpur issue, they should pressurise their ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruling at the Centre, to release the necessary funds for the corridor development without further delay, he added.

----------------------------------------------------------------

UNION GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO INCREASE CENTRAL SUBSIDY ON INLAND HAULAGE OF FRUITS & VEGETABLES: SUNDER SHAM ARORADemands increase in Merchandise Exports from India Scheme incentive from 5 to 10 percent of Freight On Board value of agricultural & horticultural exportsIndustries & Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora & Additional Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan attend CTDP meeting at New Delhi

CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI, JANUARY 10:The Industries and Commerce Minister, Punjab, Mr. Sunder Sham Arora has demanded from the Union Government to increase the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) incentive from 5 to 10 percent of the Freight On Board (FOB) value of agricultural and horticultural exports from the state besides increase in the central subsidy on inland haulage component of fruits and vegetables.

In his address today on the occasion of attending the 4th Meeting of Council for Trade Development & Promotion (CTDP) at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi, the minister said that the CTDP is an excellent forum for discussing the way forward for promotion of exports and establishment of export infrastructure with a view to increasing the exports from the country. He demanded from the Union Government that increase the MEIS incentive from 5 to 10 percent of the FOB value of agricultural and horticultural exports from the state, Central subsidy on inland haulage component of fruits and vegetables, imposing upon Bangladesh to review the high import duties levied on Kinnows exported to the country.

Mr. Arora also requested facilitation from the Union Commerce Ministry for starting Air Cargo liner operations from the Amritsar and Chandigarh International Airports and to levy import duties on cheap Pakistani cement imports which are hurting the local cement industry. He also emphatically put forward the demand for a special industrial package to Punjab to make up the loss the state suffered on account of terrorism and it being a border state.

The minister also highlighted the new Industrial & Business Development Policy-2017 of the State of Punjab under which various incentives such as exemption from Electricity Duty, Property Tax, CLU charges, EDC and Stamp Duty are given to industries. The Policy provides Power at affordable and fixed tariff for 5 years to the existing as well as new industries. Among other things, the minister made a mention of the State Government’s plans to set up a Warehousing Park in the Tepla-Rajpura belt.

The Minister also requested the Union Commerce Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu to intervene and use his good offices to expedite certain notification relating to commencement of EXIM operations by PLIL and conferring ICD status on the PSWC Dry Port facility at Dappar.

The Union Commerce Minister appreciated the suggestions and promised to accord all assistance to the State in its effort for export infrastructure development and export promotion.

It is worth noting that the CTDP meeting is chaired by Union Commerce Minister and it is held once in a year in the month of January with the Commerce & Industry Ministers and Secretaries of all states.

During the today’s meeting, the Additional Chief Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Punjab, Mrs. Vini Mahajan was also present.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE TO BE SET-UP TO IMPROVE BREED OF DESI COWS: BALBIR SINGH SIDHU

BRAZILIAN TECHNIQUE BE USED TO BRING ABOUT REFORMS IN ANIMAL HUSBANDRY SECTOR

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY MINISTER HAD BILATERAL TALK WITH THE HIGH LEVEL BRIZILIAN DELEGATION

Chandigarh, January 10: The State of Punjab would use the improved latest techniques of Brazil to further improve the breed of Desi Cows in the State. In this direction the state of the art centre of excellence would be set-up with the cost of about 35 crore in collaboration with Brazil. It was disclosed by Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister, Punjab after having a bilateral meeting with the high level delegation from Brazil.

The Minister said that the motive of this meeting was to bring about revolutionary advancement in the animal husbandry sector by using new techniques being adopted in Brazil. He said that the state government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister, Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh has been fighting hard to usher in the crop diversification by encouraging the farmers to opt for subsidiary occupation like animal husbandry and dairy farming. He said that the Union Government is establishing five centre of excellence in the country out of which one would be set-up in the Punjab.

Animal Husbandry Minister said that this Centre of Excellence would be catalyst in improving the breed of the indigenous cows besides facilitating the farmers for the I.V.F. (In Vitro Fertilization) of their livestock, production sexed sorted semen and imparting training to the resource-persons on the latest technology and techniques to further sensitize farmers by them.

Mr. Tarcisio da Cruz Mesquita, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister, Belem, State of Para, Brazil said that the centre of excellence Kalsi, Uttarakhand Central Agriculture University, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Motihari have been set-up with the technical help of experts from Brazil. He said that the Brazil had also inked MoU with the Indian Government for bilateral sharing of latest techniques in Animal Husbandry Sector. He disclosed that the Brazil had imported Indian breed Cows like Gir, Kankrage, Red Sindhi and Ongole and the breeds for further improved in Brazil and now Gir Cow is producing 86 liter milk per day, Kankrage 60 liter per day, Red Sindhi 50 liter milk while Ongole Cow is producing 41 liter per day which is substantially larger quantity of milk these cows are producing in India.

Director Buffalo Research and Development Embrapa Eastern Amazon Belem Brazil, Dr. Jose Ribamar Felipe Marqes said that the Brazil is leading country of the world in I.V.F. Technology and with this technique in Brazil the quantity of milk has been increased substantially. He said that they will use the semen straw of Nili Ravi and Murrah breeds in Brazil’s Research Centres.

The visiting delegation also extended invitation to Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu to visit Brazil and to inspect the modern dairy farms and research centres being set-up by the dairy farmers and Government.

Dr. Jose Otavio Lemos, animal scientist said that genomic chip developed by Brazil would be beneficial for the indigenous breed cows. He said that this technique is being used in 4 Indian Centre of Excellence.

Prominent amongst others who were present included Mr. Raj Kamal Choudhary, Secretary Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development, Mr. Inderjit Singh, Director, Animal Husbandry and Mr. Inderjit Singh, Director, Dairy Development and other senior officers of the department.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SADHU SINGH DHARAMSOT MEETS UNION SOCIAL JUSTICE MINISTER THAAWAR CHAND GEHLOT

  • Urged Union Minister for immediate release of Rs. 1286 Crore under Post Matric Scholarship Schemes
  • Sampla Should Not Play Politics on Such Sensitive Issue involving Educational Concerns of Large Number of Poor Students

Chandigarh/New Delhi, January 10:Punjab Minister for Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Mr. Sadhu Singh Dharamsot today urged Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mr. Thaawar Chand Gehlot for releasing of pending funds of Rs. 1286 crore under Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC students without any further delay as large number of students in Punjab were facing grave problems in getting admissions in educational institutes due to delay on part of central government in releasing its share under this scheme.

During meeting with Mr. Gehlot, Punjab Cabinet Minister revealed that center has already delayed in releasing its share of funds to the tune of Rs. 1286 Crore under Post Scholarship Scheme to Punjab. Out of these total pending funds Rs. 719 Crore were of financial year 2016-17 and Rs.567Crore were of financial year 2017-18 and due to delay in releasing these funds a large number of students belonging to the economically weaker sections were facing difficulties in getting admissions in educational institutes. `` I have urged Mr. Gehlot for releasing these funds as early as possible so that problems of the students can be solved on priority. We have already provided the Utility Certificates (UCs) of Rs. 327 Crore funds which were earlier released by the center to Punjab, added Mr. Dharamsot.

Interacting with media after the meeting Mr. Dharamsot said that Mr. Gehlot has assured that the pending funds would be released in the coming month of February.

Criticizing Union State Minister for Social Justice Mr. Vijay Sampla for latter's statements that the state government has not provided UCs against earlier used funds yet, Punjab Cabinet Minister said that as the state government has already provided the UCs against usage of Rs. 327 crore, Mr. Sampla should check facts with his own office before making such baseless statements. He said that Mr. Sampla should not play politics over such a sensitive issue keeping in mind the concern of a large number of SC students of the state.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

NABARD Chairman calls on Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa

Chandigarh, January 10:The Chairman of NABARD Mr. Harsh Bhanwala today on the eve of visit to Punjab called on the Cooperation Minister, S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and held comprehensive discussions regarding the credit policy of the Cooperation Department and the Punjab State Cooperative Bank and the Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank closely connected with it.

During the course of the meeting, the minister apprised Mr. Bhanwala about the decision of the Punjab Cabinet to merge district level cooperative banks with the Punjab State Cooperative Bank. On the occasion, the Managing Director of the Punjab State Cooperative Bank Mr. S.K. Batish presented a detailed report with regard to the merger process as well as the gains set to be accrued to the credit structure of the state. Expressing satisfaction over the report, Mr. Bhanwala said that whereas on one hand this initiative woulod lead to the strengthening of the credit structure on the other in the aftermath of the merger the bank would emerge as a leading player in the banking sector with top notch administration and the cutting edge technology.

The Chairman further apprised the Cooperation Minister about the parleys held with the RBI regarding certain issues of the bank namely the increasing of credit limit pertaining to housing sector and the trading of the priority sector lending certificates and expressed hope of early decision in this regard.

The Chairman also appreciated the new credit schemes such as Micro Finance, Solar Energy and e-Rickshaw outlined to bring diversified look to the credit system of the banks.

The minister directed the officials of the bank to aim for bringing more diversification in the credit mechanism of the bank.

Among others present in the meeting included Registrar, Cooperative Societies Mr. Vikas Garg, MD Markfed Mr. Varun Roojam, MD Milkfed Mr. Manjit Singh Brar and MD, Punjab State Agricultural Development Bank Mr. J.K. Jain.

-------------------------------------------------

SC Commission summons report from SSP Roopnagar on Dalit girl's plaint

Chandigarh, January 10-Taking strong exception of the allegations of dalit girl of sexual harassment against the professors, the Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission today summoned report from Senior Superintendent of Police, Roopnagar. In a letter issued to the police officer it has been directed that report should be submitted by January 16.

Commission Member Mr. Prabhadyal Rampur said that describing her tale in a complaint with the Commission, the girl told that a professor of private nursing college, Ludhiana and his wife and vice principal of private college in Gharuan have physical harassed her.

The girl, belonging to Rupnagar district, told that during her study in a nursing college, she was sexually abused by a Professor with the connivance of her wife on the pretext of a marriage. She has been kept in illegal custody till the baby was born.

Mr. Rampur said that the victim, whose child is now seven month old, has presented written complaint before the Chairperson of the Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission Mrs. Tejinder Kaur, IAS (Retd).