Chandigarh, September 25-Quipping on former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Monday said that those who used to boast too much about honesty are now running pillar to post for saving their skin.

In a statement issued here today, the Chief Minister said that there is a huge difference between speaking the truth and standing on it. He said that these leaders earlier used to say that they will wait for whatever action is taken against them. However, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that now afraid of punitive action these leaders are seeking legal protection by asserting that they might be arrested.

The Chief Minister said that these hypocrites have always befooled the people with their flowery language. However, he said that in the garb of public service they had looted the wealth of the state which is not tolerable. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that they will be made accountable for their sins and every penny plundered from the wealth of state will be recovered.

The Chief Minister said that rather than making tall claims about honesty and simplicity the former Minister must face action as per law of land. He said that said that entire Punjab is well aware of misdeeds of the former Minister adding that Manpreet Badal who had remained Finance Minister of state for fairly long period is hand in glove with the elements who ruined the state. Bhagwant Mann said that the coffers of state were empty for welfare of people during his stint but the brazen loot of public money was allowed.


Local Bodies minister visits STP, CETP sites; reiterates commitment of AAP govt to clean buddha nullah

The minister held meetings with officials and industrialists to expedite the projects to clean the Buddha Nullah

Chandigarh/Ludhiana, September 25:Reiterating the commitment of the Chief Minister (CM) Bhagwant Mann led state government to clean Buddha nullah, Local Bodies minister Balkar Singh reviewed the ongoing Rs 650 crore project to clean the nullah during his visit to the city on Monday.

The cabinet minister visited 225 mld sewer treatment plant (STP) Jamalpur, Intermediate pumping station in Sundar Nagar and Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) of Bahadurke Textile Industry during his visit to the city.

MLA Daljit Singh Bhola Grewal, MLA Madan Lal Bagga, MLA Ashok Prashar Pappi, MLA Gurpreet Bassi Gogi, Secretary Local bodies department Ajoy Sharma, Director Local Bodies department Uma Shankar Gupta, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) CEO Malwinder Singh Jaggi, MC Commissioner Sandeep Rishi, MC Additional Commissioner Paramdeep Singh, PPCB officials among others also accompanied the cabinet minister during the visits to different sites.

Cabinet Minister Balkar Singh also conducted a meeting with officials and industrialists during the visit to STP and CETP. The aim was to expedite the project to clean the buddha nullah and resolve the problems being faced by the industry, if any. The Cabinet Minister also appealed the dyeing industry to support the authorities in reducing the pollution levels in buddha nullah.

The cabinet minister stated that a committee would also be formed wherein industrialists would also be involved. If required, more CETPs would also be installed in the city. A meeting of the committee would also be held to deliberate upon the steps which need to be taken to clean the nullah in the coming time.

Cabinet Minister Balkar Singh stated that project to clean Buddha nullah is among the dream projects of CM Bhagwant Mann and every step is being taken to rejuvenate 'Buddha Dariya'.

The cabinet minister further stated that the state government is committed to clean the 'Buddha Dariya'. The authorities have also been directed to expedite the project and complete the same at the earliest. The ongoing project to clean the 'Buddha Dariya' is also being monitored at state level on a regular basis.



Says, 27000 crores paid as interest on loans taken by previous SAD-BJP and Congress led state governments

Mann government saves thousand crores by negotiating rate of interest on past debt

Registers 17 % growth in GST and 44% in Excise revenue

Chandigarh, September 25-Responding to the false propaganda by the opposition leaders about the debt raised by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab Government, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Monday gave details of every peny raised as debt by the current state government while mentioning that out of total debt, Rs 27 thousand crore were paid as interest for the debt taken by the previous SAD-BJP and Congress led state government. He also appealed the Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit to help the state government in getting dues of Rs 8145 crore from the Union Government.

Addressing a press conference at the Punjab Bhavan here, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema gave an account of Rs 48,530 crore in response to the debt of Rs 47,109 crore raised by Punjab during the last one and a half year. Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that the state government has raised debt of Rs 47109 crore during last one and half year which includes debt of Rs 32,448 crore raised during the fiscal year 2022-23 and Rs 14661 crore from April 1, 2023 to August 31, 2023. He said that out of this, Rs 27,106 crore were paid as interest on the debt raised by the previous Akali-BJP and Congress led state governments.

He said that apart from spending Rs 10,208 crore on capital expenditure, the state government bear debt of Rs 1148 crore of PUNSUP and Punjab State Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank to bail out these institutions, and paid Rs 2556 crore to PSPCL for pending power subsidy of previous governments. He said that apart from this, Rs 798 crores of Rural Development Fund, Rs 1008 crores of sugarcane farmers, Rs 1750 crores of centrally sponsored schemes were paid. He said that Rs 4000 crore were also invested in the sinking fund established by the Union government to get loans at affordable rates.

The Finance minister further said that a total of Rs 8145 crore is owed to the Centre, which includes Rs 5637 crore from Rural Development Fund, Rs 1857 crore from Special Capital Assistance and Rs 651 crore from National Health Mission (NHM). He said that apart from writing letters to the Union Government, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann paid visit to concerned Union Minister to seek state’s dues including Rural Development Fund (RDF) pending towards the Union Government. He appealed the Punjab Governor to help in getting dues from the Union Government.

Giving a strong reply to the opposition leaders who made false statements against the Punjab government of Aam Aadmi Party, Harpal Singh Cheema said that state has registered an increase of 17 percent in GST, 44 percent in excise revenue, 13 percent in taxes on vehicles, and 3 percent in revenue from stamp and registration. He said that the current Punjab government has also succeeded in reducing the interest rate on Rs 32,000 Crore Cash Credit Limit debt extended to Punjab by the Akali-BJP government, to 7.35 per cent after negotiating with the Union Government, which saved the state Rs 3,500 crore.

Answering the media queries on this occasion, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that during the North Zonal Council meeting to be held in Amritsar from Tuesday, the issues of the state will be raised strongly. He said that during the last meeting of the council, issues like BBMB and Panjab University were effectively raised. In response to a question about Haryana's efforts to get land from Chandigarh to construct a separate Vidhan Sabha, he said that Chandigarh belongs to Punjab and will remain Punjab's, Haryana can built its own separate Vidhan Sabha in Panchkula.

In response to a query about the Canada-India dispute, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that not just from Punjab students from all over India study in Canada and a number of Indian professionals were also working there. He said that the Prime Minister should resolve this issue at the earliest through talks with Prime Minister of Canada.

In response to a question about former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Harpal Singh Cheema said that the former always talked about values then why is he now running away from the law. He said that the former finance minister should leave his cowardly attitude and surrender himself over to the law because if he has not done anything wrong then why is he afraid.

In response to a queries about the statements made by current BJP president and former Congress president Sunil Jakhar and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu about the financial condition and debt of Punjab, Harpal Singh Cheema said that the state had the raised the highest debt during the regime of their. He said that the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann is not only paying off the outstanding debt, but also fulfilling the promises made to the people of the state from the very first day of coming into power. He said that till now 37 thousand youths have got regular government jobs, services of 13 thousand temporary teachers have been secured and their salaries have been raised three times, the allowance for Patwaris during training has been increased from 5000 rupees to 18000 rupees, the power bill has been reduced to zero and several major initiatives have been taken, including the establishment of Aam Aadmi clinics.





CHANDIGARH, September 25:Amidst the ongoing drive to make Punjab a crime-free state as per the directions of Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, Punjab Police on Monday conducted raids at suspected hideouts of associates of Gangsters and anti-national elements.

The simultaneous raids were conducted across the state on the directions of Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav.

As many as 264 residential and other premises linked with close associates of several gangsters were thoroughly checked during the operation carried out at all the 28 police districts in the state.

ADGP Law and Order Gurinder Singh Dhillon said that all the CPs/SSPs were directed to depute strong police parties led by an Inspector or Sub-Inspector to make this operation successful. Police teams were also asked to round up suspicious persons during the operation, he said.

He said that over 150 parties of Punjab Police, involving at least 500 Police Personnel, carried out raids at 264 hideouts linked with the gangsters and also checked 229 persons. The operation was planned after the questioning of several gang members arrested in the state, he added.

During the operation, the Police teams conducted thorough checking at the houses and other premises linked with these criminals and also collected the data from Electronic devices, which will be sent for forensic examination. Police teams have also detained two suspected persons for questioning.

Pertinently, such raids help in infusing fear among the anti-social elements, whilst instilling a sense of safety and security among the common people.



Cabinet Ministers Balkar Singh, Bram Shankar Jimpa, and Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal Congratulate Malhi

Will Make All-Out Efforts for Further Improvement in the City: Kashmir Singh Malhi

Chandigarh/Phagwara, September 25:Kashmir Singh Malhi took over as the new chairman of Improvement Trust, Phagwara, on Monday in the presence of Cabinet Ministers Balkar Singh, Bram Shanker Jimpa, and Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal. Singh also congratulated him on his new responsibility.

Malhi expressed his gratitude to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and AAP leadership for appointing him as Chairman. He stated that he would work with dedication and commitment to further improve the city. The newly appointed Chairman mentioned that all-out efforts would be made to ensure facilities for the general public. He emphasized that people's grievances would be addressed within a stipulated time frame and pledged to take strict action against corruption and inefficiency.

Meanwhile, Local Bodies Minister Balkar Singh said that the Chairman would make sincere efforts to provide basic amenities and infrastructure to the city's residents. He highlighted the historic decisions taken by the Punjab government led by CM Bhagwant Mann for the state's development and the welfare of its people. He also listed the achievements of the AAP government during its tenure, including providing 600 units of free electricity, establishing AAP clinics, creating nearly 40,000 government jobs for young people, and implementing reforms in the education sector. He noted that a special drive against the drug menace had already been initiated, which was yielding positive results.

The Local Government Minister also assured that concerted efforts would be made in the future to ensure further development in Phagwara. Prominent figures present on the occasion included Kapurthala Improvement Trust Chairman Gurpal Singh Indian, District Planning Committee Chairperson Lalita Saklani, AAP Leader Sajjan Singh Cheema, and others.





Chandigarh, September 25:Minister of Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Dr. Baljit Kaur, convened a review meeting with the head office officials and all district welfare officers to discuss various schemes administered by the department. She directed the officials to ensure that the benefits of these schemes reach the beneficiaries promptly.

In the meeting, the Cabinet Minister discussed into various issues in detail, including the Ashirwad Scheme, Post Matric Scholarship, Adarsh Gram Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Abhiday Yojana, Hostel scheme and the maintenance of Ambedkar Bhawan buildings.

Dr. Baljit Kaur emphasized that the Punjab government, led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, is committed to the welfare of every section of the state, with a special focus on the welfare of the Scheduled Castes. She also highlighted the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes, targeting 2.6 lakh students in the year 2023-24, for which Mission 2.6 is being implemented. She instructed the District Welfare Officers to conduct an awareness campaign to ensure that Scheduled Caste students benefit from this scheme.

The minister instructed district officials to submit proposals for various schemes to the head office within 15 days. Additionally, she urged department officials to effectively implement the department's schemes to benefit the general public.

During this event, Raj Bahadur Singh, Director-cum-Joint Secretary of the Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Department and Joint Director Sarbjinder Singh Randhawa were present at the meeting.


Asian Games; 7 players from Punjab won one gold and three bronze medals

Sports Minister Meet Hayer congratulates the players

Chandigarh, September 25:Seven players from Punjab won one gold and three bronze medals in Cricket, Rowing and Shooting in the ongoing Asian Games at Hangzhou today.

Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer congratulated the medal winning players and said that it is a matter of pride for Punjab that our players are bringing glory to the name of the country. Punjab players won one silver and one bronze medal in Rowing yesterday. Today, Punjab players won one gold and three bronze medals.

The Indian women's cricket team won the gold medal by defeating Sri Lanka in the final. Team Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Amanjot Kaur and Kanika Ahuja are from Punjab. Similarly, in the Men's Quadruple Sculls rowing event, the Indian team won the bronze medal in which two players Sukhmeet Singh and Satnam Singh belonged to Punjab. India also won a bronze medal in the Coxless Four in which Punjab's Jaswinder Singh also participated. Jaswinder Singh also won the silver medal yesterday. In shooting, the Indian team won the rapid fire pistol bronze medal, which included Punjab's Vijayveer Sidhu.


Led by CM, Punjab all set to host 31st meeting of the NZC tomorrow

Amritsar/ Chandigarh September 25-Punjab is all set to the host 31st meeting of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC) here on September 26 as the state government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann has made elaborate arrangements for it.

The meeting will be chaired by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah whereas as the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan likely to participate in it along with Administrator of Chandigarh and Lieutenant Governors of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Delhi. Brain storming sessions will be held on the various issues pertaining to these states during the meet. Meanwhile the state government led by the Chief Minister has already made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of meeting.

The Chief Minister had already held several rounds of meeting with the senior officers of the state government to review the arrangements. He had underscored the need for making this event a huge success by according warm welcome to the dignitaries. Bhagwant Singh Mann had directed the officers to showcase the rich cultural legacy of the state before the visiting dignitaries besides ensuring warm hospitality to them during their stay.

The state government will make elaborate arrangements for comfortable stay of the dignitaries participating in the meet. Apart from assuring their cozy stay in state, the guests will be given glimpse of rich Punjabi culture. The senior officers of the state government have already been assigned duty for organising the meeting smoothly. Similarly foolproof security arrangements have also been made ahead of the meeting.



Chandigarh, September 25:Under the dynamic leadership of CM Bhagwant Singh Mann, Punjab has achieved yet another major milestone under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) with more than 25% of the total villages achieving ODF Plus status. An ODF Plus village is one which has sustained its Open Defecation Free (ODF) status along with implementing either solid or liquid waste management systems.

Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Bram Shanker Jimpa informed that as on date, 3028 villages have declared themselves ODF Plus, which is a significant step towards achieving the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) phase II goals by 2024-25.

He said that the top performing districts in terms of percentage of ODF Plus villages are Mansa (60.85%), Barnala (56.56%), Bathinda (42.39%), Gurdaspur (36.64%), Malerkotla (31.67%) & SAS Nagar (32.14%). These districts have shown remarkable progress in achieving the ODF Plus status, and their efforts have been instrumental in reaching this milestone.

Of the 3028 ODF Plus villages, 2929 villages are ODF Plus aspiring villages with arrangements for either solid waste management or liquid waste management, 28 villages are ODF Plus rising villages and 71 villages are ODF Plus model villages. ODF Plus model village is one which is sustaining its ODF status and has arrangements for both Solid Waste Management and Liquid Waste Management, observes visual cleanliness, i.e., minimal litter, minimal stagnant wastewater, no plastic waste dump in public places and displays ODF Plus Information, Education & Communication (IEC) messages.

He further said that the achievement of 25% ODF Plus villages is a significant milestone for Punjab as it is going beyond just construction and use of toilets towards complete and absolute cleanliness i.e., from ODF to ODF Plus. The major components of the Phase-II of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) are sustaining open defecation free status (ODF-S), solid (bio-degradable) waste management, plastic waste management (PWM), liquid waste management (LWM), faecal sludge management (FSM), GOBAR dhan, information education and communication/behavior change.

Jimpa said that this milestone represents the culmination of hard work, dedication & unwavering commitment of district & state teams of department of Water Supply & Sanitation as well as department of Rural Development & Panchayats. Further, he congratulated the officials and employees of both the departments and told that it is a testament to what we can achieve when we work together with a common goal.




Chandigarh, 25 September:Punjab Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Monday said that the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Maan has provided modern technologies and required infrastructure to the State Intelligence and Preventive Unit (SIPU) and Excise Enforcement Units of the Excise and Taxation Department to tighten noose against tax evaders and people involved in the illegal liquor trade.

Flagging off 24 new Innova cars of the department at the Excise and Taxatiohn Bhavan, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that these vehicles would be great convenience for the field officers of the SIPU and Excise Enforcement Units during operations to nab tax evaders and those involved in illegal liquor trade. He said that these teams were being performing well and every required technique and equipment would be provided to further increase their efficiency. On this occasion, the Finance Minister handed over car keys to the drivers. He also cut the cake and offered its first bite to one of the drivers from the department.

Motivating the departmental officials and employees to further boost their performance, Finance Minister said that the clear intentions of the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab Government and the dedicated spirit of the team of the Excise and Taxation Department have yielded excellent results in the last one and half year. He said that he has been closely and regularly watching the performance of each and every official and employee of the department to not to let this graph of success fall due to change in their attitude or lack of any facility.

Reiterating the commitment of strengthening the state’s own revenue resources, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that every stone is being turned to resume the old glory of the state and making it a Rangla Punjab. He said that the mobile apps like ‘Mera Bill’ by the Taxation department and ‘Excise QR Label Citizen’ by the Excise department have been launched to involve the general public in this mission.

Prominent amongst others, Finance Commissioner Taxation Vikas Partap, Taxation Commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind and Excise Commissioner Varun Roojam were also present on this occasion.



Chandigarh, September 25: In a move aimed at recognizing and celebrating the important roles of Veterinarians in animal health, Punjab will hold a state-level technical workshop on “Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness in the Veterinary Profession” at SAS Nagar (Mohali) on Thursday.

An official spokesperson of the Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries said that Punjab Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Minister S. Gurmeet Singh Khudian will be the Chief Guest at the workshop, which is being organised by the Punjab State Veterinary Council.

Apart from this, distinguished experts from all over India will be sharing their knowledge during this event thus making it a highly anticipated gathering for the veterinary community. Principal Secretary Animal Husbandry Mr Vikas Pratap will preside over the function, while, Dr. Umesh Chandra Sharma, President of Veterinary Council of India will be Guest of Honour.

Over 500 veterinarians from various parts of the State are expected to participate in this workshop, he said while adding that this will be the first of its type of Workshop being held in the State by Punjab State Veterinary Council.

Notably, Punjab State Veterinary Council is a statutory body to register all the veterinarians of the State after which they can do practice in the veterinary field and to provide refresher training through workshop/seminars to its registered veterinary practitioners to upgrade their knowledge which in turn contributes for the betterment of the economy of Punjab.



Chandigarh September 25: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) during its ongoing campaign against corruption in the state on Monday nabbed an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Sukhdev Singh, posted at Women Cell Ludhiana, red handed while taking bribe of Rs 4,000.

Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the state VB said the above mentioned accused police personnel has been arrested on the complaint of Abhishekh Sharma, resident of New Shimlapuri , Ludhiana.

He further informed that the complainant has approached the VB Range Ludhiana and told that he is doing private job but facing a matrimonial dispute with his wife and a complaint in this regard is pending with ASI Sukhdev Singh.

The complainant further alleged that the said ASI had already taken Rs 7,000 in instalments from him and demanding Rs 50,000 more by threatening him to register case against his family members. He further alleged that a deal has been struck in which the said ASI has agreed to take total Rs 14,000 more bribe out of which he would take Rs 4,000 for himself and Rs 10,000 for incharge women cell Ludhiana.

The spokesperson informed that after preliminary investigation of this complaint the VB laid a trap and the accused police personnel has been arrested in the presence of two official witnesses while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 4,000 from the complainant.

In this regard case FIR 24 dated 25.9.23 under section 7 of prevention of corruption act has been registered at VB police station Ludhiana Range.

He further informed that accused would be produced in the competent court tomorrow and further investigation was under progress and role of incharge Women Cell would also be examined during the probe.


Vigilance registers case against former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Arrests three accused

Investigation shows Badal conspired to purchase two plots at low rates in model town Bathinda

Caused financial loss of about Rs 65 lakh to government

Chandigarh, September 25 :The Punjab Vigilance Bureau during its ongoing campaign against corruption in the state, has registered a criminal and corruption case against former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and four others. In this case the VB has arrested three accused namely Rajiv Kumar, resident of New Shakti Nagar, Bathinda, Amandeep Singh, resident of Lal Singh Basti, Bathinda and Vikas Arora, resident of Tagore Nagar, Bathinda were arrested.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the VB said the above said case was registered on a complaint filed by Saroop Chand Singla, former MLA Bathinda city, against Manpreet Singh Badal and others.

He informed that during the probe it was found that Manpreet Singh Badal during his tenure as Finance Minister from the year 2018 to 2021 used his political pressure and influenced to purchase two plots measuring 1560 square yards of land in Model Town phase-1 Bathinda near TV tower thereby caused a financial loss of lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer.

The spokesperson further informed that during the investigation of complaint number 11/2022, it was found that the former Finance Minister, using his influence, colluded with the officials/employees of BDA Bathinda has mislead the general public during the bidding of plots in the year 2021 and fake maps were uploaded to prevent participation of general public in the bidding process. Apart from this, the plot numbers 725-C (560 square yards) and 726 (1000 square yards) in the map were also shown as commercial instead of residential and the numbers of the plots were not shown in the map on the online e-auction portal. In addition to this, the digital signatures of Balwinder Kaur, Administrative Officer, BDA Bathinda were used for the auction of plots without her permission.

During the probe it was also came to light that the bids of the sole three bidders namely Rajive Kumar, Vikas Arora and Amandeep Singh were made by one person Advocate Sanjiv Kumar from the same IP address and from the same place. Apart from this, both the plots were purchased by the bidders in 2021 at a lower rate which was fixed during an auction in the year 2018 caused a financial loss of about Rs 65 lakh to the government. The former finance minister has purchased both plots through agreements from the bidders known to him before they got allotment letters from BDA Bathinda. It was also found that Manpreet Singh Badal has transferred 25 percent earnest money in advance to the successful allottees which shows his in connivance with the bidders.

He further informed that the VB has been hunting for the arrest of other accused and involvement of other accused would also be probed during the further investigation.


Punjab government to address mushroom growers' issues promptly for ensuring crop diversification, assures Chetan Singh Jauramajra

Presides over meeting of officials of various departments and mushroom growers

Efforts expedited for swift resolution of concerns, next meeting to involve labour, factories and Weighing & Measurement Departments

Chandigarh, September 25: Reiterating Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann led government's commitment for promoting crop diversification in the state, Horticulture Minister S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra today assured mushroom growers that their issues would be addressed soon.

Chairing a meeting of officials of departments of Horticulture, Industry & Commerce, PSPCL and mushroom growers, S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra emphasized the significant contribution of mushroom cultivators in the crop diversification in the state and It is a lucrative occupation as the consumption of this produce is high.

Mushroom growers apprised the Horticulture Minister that approximately 200 small and large units are producing mushrooms across the state. Apart from this, many farmers are engaged in mushroom cultivation in unorganized manner. They said, since they only producing mushrooms, the mushroom units should be incorporated in the agricultural occupation. During the summer season mushroom production becomes increasingly difficult and electricity supply costs rise, they added.

The Cabinet Minister instructed officials that the farmers are not engaging in any manufacturing activities in their units, but solely involved in farming mushrooms. Hence, there is a need to redefine this occupation. Similarly, the situation should also be made clear to the Department of Labour, Factories and Weighing and Measurement so that the mushroom growers do not face any problem. He assured the mushroom growers that concerted efforts will be made to address their concerns.

Cabinet Minister S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra also directed officials for swift resolution of mushroom growers' issues. Therefore, the next meeting will involve officials from the Labour, Factories and Weighing & Measurement Departments, instructed the Cabinet Minister.

Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Mr. Puneet Goyal, Director Industry & Commerce, Mrs. Shailender Kaur, Director Horticulture, Mr. Damanjeet Singh Toor, Deputy Chief PSPCL and Mrs. Amanpreet Kaur Horticulture Development Officer.