BADAL URGES CENTER TO INCLUDE PUNJAB UNDER
NFSM-RICE DURING KHARIF-2008
Chandigarh June 07
The Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal said here today
that the Centre's reported of refusal to exclude Punjab from an
agricultural package would not only dampen the morale of the farmers
from the State but would also negatively impact the farm market
Mr.Badal was commenting on the statement of the Union Finance
Minister Mr. P.Chidambram in which the letter ruled out any economic
package for the Punjab farmers despite their record performance
in wheat production this year.
Meanwhile the Chief Minister also pressed for the inclusion
of the State in National Food Security Mission (NFSM)-Rice during
the current Kharif session. He also demanded that the entire State
be covered under the National Mission for Wheat also Wheat so
as to improve ecological sustainability of agriculture in the
State in view of Punjab's immense contribution of over 40% of
Rice in the Central pool and the highest ever procurement of over
105 lac MT of wheat this year.
In a statement released here today, Mr.Badal lamented that Punjab
had been excluded from the Mission which was aimed at improving
the productivity of paddy in those districts which had less yield
than the State's overall average..
It may be pointed out that the Govt.of India had selected 133
districts of different State for implementing the National Mission
on Rice during the current Kharif session, but no district from
Punjab has been included in this programme.
Nine districts of the State, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Ropar,
Mohali, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Kapurthala
had recorded less yield of paddy than the State's average. Mr.Badal
said that the State had to over-exploit ground water resources
to sustain the present productivity level. Besides, System of
Rice-Intensification (SRI) had already been initiated in some
districts like Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, and Amritsar and the results
were quite encouraging, resulting in the saving of over 35% of
irrigation water and increase in its yield potential over the
traditional methods of plantation.
It may be recalled that the Mission was being implemented in
ten districts of the State for increasing the productivity and
production of wheat crop. The State has implemented this programme
with full vigor and spirit and that had resulted in tangible outcome
in the concerned districts. In view of the demand of farmers,
the same interventions have been made in the remaining 10 districts
of the State, although it had to be done from the State's own
resources, concluded Mr.Badal.
Centre trying to pass the buck on fuel fiasco to states
DON'T EXPECT STATES TO FUND CENTRE'S FISCAL
Chandigarh June 7 - Member of Parliament and Shiromani Akali Dal
President Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal today criticized the centre
for asking the states to bear the brunt of its disastrous economic
policies and said that the moves in this direction were "an
extreme example of the centre trying to pass the buck for its
gross failures on the economic front to the state governments."
In a statement released here this afternoon, the youthful Akali
supremo said, "The centre's homilies are especially irrelevant
and uncalled for in the case of Punjab where the government has
already initiated unprecedented schemes like free power to farmers
and Dalits and cheap atta-daal for the poor. It is in fact for
the centre to do something to match the example set by the Punjab
government in reducing the burden on the poor and the common man."
Mr. Badal pointed out that controlling prices was entirely in
the hands of the centre since it had control over the prices of
both the inputs and the produce. "But they have been unsuccessfully
trying to blame the states for the burgeoning pace of inflation.
If the UPA seriously believes that it can not manage the national
economy on its own, it should step aside and allow other parties
to set the country's fiscal house in order before the people force
this change," said Mr. Badal.
The SAD president further said that the government of India's
economic policies had always been biased against any fiscal freedom
to the states. Provinces were given hardly any space to make development
plans peculiar to their needs. While there was a premium on backwardness
and lethargy, states which performed better were penalized for
their performance by denying them funds for speeding up development
activity. Centre controls 70% of revenue resources and it now
expects us to fund its fiscal incompetence from the 30% left with
the states. " It is utterly unfair and unjustifiable for
the centre to first fatten its own kitty through steep hike in
fuel prices, pushing the common man to the brink of crisis, and
then to expect the state governments to cushion the oil shock
by sacrificing their meager resources meant for development and
the welfare of the poor and the common man."
The SAD chief was reacting to a reported communication from the
Union Petroleum Minister Mr. Murli Deora to the state governments
asking them to " moderate their sales tax structures and
to forego the incremental tax on increased prices."
He said that the fuel price-hike was in fact going to add to the
woes of the state governments which were already reeling under
unjust dispensation of distribution of resources between the Centre
and the states.
The Akali chief further said that the centre should have acted
in time to rationalize oil price structure by making necessary
adjustments in fiscal allocation, especially with regard to import
of crude oil.
Also, the centre needed to make a long term policy for energy
diversification through a gainful utilization of local resources,
especially on the non-conventional front. "Nothing of the
kind is being done. On the contrary, the centre merely expects
the states to bail it out of the mess created by its short-sighted
economic policies," concluded the Akali president.
NO DAP SHORTAGE IN PUNJAB: GOVT
Chandigarh June 7, 2008
– The Punjab government today clarified that there was
no shortage of DAP in the state and the government had made adequate
arrangements for the supply of the fertilizer to the Punjab farmers
during the ensuing paddy season.
"The Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal had camped
in New Delhi for three days last month to get an assurance on
the subject at the level of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
and the concerned ministries. As per the commitments made by the
Union Government, Punjab is very comfortably placed in the supply
of this critical input," the C.M.'s Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan
Bains told newsmen here today, categorically dispelling any possible
apprehensions about shortage of the fertilizer both for paddy
and cotton operations.
Giving details of the present status of the DAP availability
and future supplies, Mr. Bains said that said that the Chief Minister
had sought a supply of 77, 000 Metric Tons of DAP for the current
season and that the centre had promised a timely supply of the
same to the state. Of this, three rakes of 2500 MT each had already
arrived for Ludhiana, Mukatsar and Jalandhar while three others
of the same quantity were on the way from Mundra for the districts
of Nawanshehar, Bathinda and Batala. The total requirement for
the month of June is 30,000 MTs. The Government of India had already
directed the Ministry of Railways to ensure timely dispatch of
the total supply.
Mr. Bains said that the Union Railways Minister Mr. Lalu Prasad
Yadav had assured Mr. Badal during their meeting in New Delhi
last week that the movement of DAP to Punjab would be the first
priority of his ministry as it concerned the critical issue of
food security for the whole country. "If necessary, we would
not hesitate to reschedule trains to ensure that the fertilizer
supplies reached the Punjab farmers well ahead of time,"
Mr. Lalu Yadav had told Mr. Badal. All the major suppliers of
the DAP, namely IPL, IFFCO, GSFC and the Tatas had been assured
that there would be no bottlenecks in evacuating the fertilizer
from their plants to Punjab, Mr. Bains added.
ELECTION COMMISSION ANNOUNCES GENERAL
ALL REMAINING GRAM PANCHAYATS ON 22 JUNE
Chandigarh June 7, 2008
The State Election Commission, Punjab today announced to hold
the general elections of all such remaining Gram Panchayats on
Sunday 22nd June, 2008 where the polls were earlier postponed
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the State Election
Commission, Punjab said that the general elections to Gram Panchayats
in the State were held on 26.5.2008. The general elections to
some erstwhile Gram Panchayats, which have been split into two
or more new Gram Panchayats on or after 11.4.2008, were postponed
and election to various Gram Panchayats had also been countermanded
by the State Election Commission on representations from public
or by the District Electoral Officers-cum-Deputy Commissioners
or their representatives pursuant to the directions given by the
Hon'ble Punjab & Haryana High Court.
He further added that in pursuance of the provisions contained
in Section 35 of the Punjab State Election Commission Act, 1994
(Punjab Act No.19 of 1994), the State Election Commission has
appointed the following dates with respect to the election of
those Gram Panchayats where the polls were earlier postponed or
countermanded, with 9th June, 2008 as the first day of filing
(a) 12th June, 2008 (Thursday)
as the last date for making nominations;
(b) 13th June, 2008 (Friday)
as the date for the Scrutiny of nominations;
(c) 14th June, 2008 (Saturday)
as the last date for withdrawal of candidatures;
(d) 22nd June, 2008 (Sunday)
as the date on which a poll shall, if necessary be taken and;
(e) 24th June, 2008 (Tuesday)
as the date by which the election shall be completed.
Note: 14th June, 2008, is not a holiday under Section 25 of the
Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, as such the withdrawal of Nominations
will take place on that date.
In pursuance of the provisions of Section 57 of the Punjab State
Election Commission Act, 1994 (Punjab Act No.19 of 1994), the
Election Commission has fixed the poll hours from 8.00 AM to 4.00
PM during the polls on 22nd June, 2008 to conduct the general
elections of the members of Gram Panchayats in the state.
The State Election Commission has also directed to all the District
Magistrates in the State to declare ' Dry Day' on 22.6.2008 in
the respective areas of districts in pursuance of the general
elections in some of the Gram Panchayats which were to be held