Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today assured
the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal
India is taking up the
issue of Sarabjit Singh with the Government of Pakistan
"at the highest level
Chandigarh March 18
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today assured the Punjab Chief
Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal that Government of India is taking
up the issue of Sarabjit Singh with the Government of Pakistan
"at the highest level".
The Prime Minister's letter received here this morning comes
in response to the communication of Mr. Parkash Singh Badal yesterday.
In his letter the Prime Minister, Dr.Manmohan Singh sought to
assure Mr Badal that " That Government of India is making
all possible efforts to seek a reprieve for Sh Singh "
Earlier yesterday, the Chief Minister had urged Dr. Manmohan
Singh to intervene with the Pakistani President Gen. Parvez Musharraf
to exercise leniency and withdraw the death warrants issued against
the Indian National from Punjab, Mr. Sarabjit Singh.
Mr Badal has thanked the Prime Minister for his response.
Copies of the letters of the Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh
Badal (Dated March 17,2008) and the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan
Singh (Dated March 18,2008) attached.
As you must be well aware, death warrants have been issued in
Pakistan against the Indian National Sh. Sarabjt Singh. This has
sent shock waves in Punjab and throughout the country. Your good
self is also fully in the know of the details and the background
of the case which show that the charges against Sh. Sarbjit Singh
could not be proved "beyond reasonable doubt" as the
key witness in the case had turned hostile and had even alleged
that" pressure" was being put on him to depose against
the accused. An important segment of the intelligentsia and people
of the sub-continent at large have also advocated a lenient approach
in the case. You would please recall that the Punjab Government
and I personally have also repeatedly pleaded with the Govt of
India to peruse the matter vigorously with its counterpart in
Pakistan to secure clemency for Sh. Sarbjit Singh. The Punjab
Vidhan Sabha had also unanimously urged the Union Government to
Now that death warrants have been issued against the Indian
National in a case which is prima facie a case of ' mistaken identity',
the situation has taken a more serious turn. But we believe that
it is still not too late for the President of Pakistan to show
human dignity, grace and magnanimity in the larger interest of
peace and human brotherhood among people of different countries
in the world in general and those of the sub-continent in particular.
I request you to personally intervene at this stage and directly
urge the President of Pakistan to seize this opportunity to uphold
the virtues of mercy, as preached by all religions, including
With high regards
(PARKASH SINGH BADAL)
Dr. Manmohan Singh ji
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India
Allotment of liquor vends
for the year 2008-09 Completed
Chandigarh, March 18, 2008
The Excise and Taxation Department has allotted all the liquor
vends, numbering 6902, in the State of Punjab, in a free, fair
and transparent manner. The Department is expected to get a revenue
of Rs. 1728 crores through this allotment.
For the year 2008-09, the department had received 1974 applications
in all the districts. The department has earned Rs.38.25 crores
by way of application fee. The applicants were asked to deposit
5% of the license fee as security alongwith the application forms
were verified by the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioners
of the concerned districts. As per the official spokesman of the
department, no application without proper security has been accepted
by the department. Similarly, no application accompanied with
the 'cheque' has been accepted by the department.
The Deputy Commissioners of various districts have supervised
the draw of lots procedure as Observers from the Government side.
There was a tremendous response for the liquor vends in the rural
areas of the State. On an average, 20-30 applications were received
for each liquor vends in the rural area.
CEO GGSRP CALLS ON PUNJAB CM- Assures Badal
about Refinery's Commissioning by January 2011
CHANDIGARH MARCH 18, 2008
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Guru Gobind
Singh Refinery Project (GGSRP) - a joint venture between HPCL-Mittal
Energy Limited Mr. Prabh Das today called on Punjab Chief Minister
Mr.Parkash Singh Badal here this evening to apprise him about
the status of the Rs.18900 crore Refinery project and assured
that the plant would positively start functioning from January,
An assurance to this effect was given by Mr.Das to Chief Minister
during a high level meeting with the senior functionaries of the
state government. He said that the orders for the critical equipment
required for the project had already been placed with the world
renowned firms. He said that the implementation of the project
would be monitored by the top management from time to time to
ensure its completion within the stipulated time frame.
Mr.Das also informed Mr.Badal that the management of the project
had decided in principle to set up an industrial training centre
in the vicinity of the Refinery to impart skill training to the
local youth of the region to enable them to be finally employed
in this up-coming prestigious project. Mr.Das informed the Chief
Minister that the proposed training centre would primarily train
the youth according to the requirements of the Refinery and to
cater the needs of the downstream and ancillary units based on
the byproducts of the project. He hoped that this mega refinery
of 9MMTPA with a captive power generation plant of 152 MW would
provide tremendous employment potential for direct as well indirect
jobs. He said that all the modalities in respect of setting up
this training institute would be finalized within a fortnight.
Mr.Das also pointed out that the management of the project was
also contemplating to adopt one of the Industrial Training Institutes
(ITI) within the proximity of the refinery to run short as well
as long term courses on the same pattern.
Mr.Das also apprised the Chief Minister about the financial
tie up with the banks and informed that it was unprecedented that
a loan of Rs.11000 crore had been jointly approved and sanctioned
by 26 banks of the country. He said there would be a lot of scope
for the development of plastic and chemical industry with the
setting up this refinery in the region. He also mentioned that
about 60% of the entire production of petroleum products including
petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene of the refinery would be utilized
for consumption with in the state.
The Chief Minister introduced the concept of Adarsh school to
Mr.Das which had been focused to provide quality education free
of cost to the poor and intelligent students in the rural areas.
He also urged Mr.Das to join hands with Punjab government for
setting up such schools. He also informed Mr.Das about the initiative
taken by the Punjab government to provide highly professional
training to the state's youth in private security sector keeping
in view its enormous scope and asked him to utilize the services
of these trained security personnel in their project so that they
could be gainfully employed.
Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included
Chief Secretary RI Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister
DS Guru, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister KJS Cheema,
Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister AK Mahajan and
Chief Manager Coordination GGSRP Jaspal Singh Saini.
Need for reconciliation
between policy and practical: Capt. Kanwaljit Singh
Chandigarh, March 18, 2008
Punjab Cooperation Minister Capt. Kanwaljit Singh today emphasized
on the need to strengthen the institutions of democracy besides
adopting an approach of reconciliation between policy and practical
so that the federal system could work in true spirits in the country.
He described respect, regard and sufficient space for diverse
culture the key points for ensuring unity.
While presiding over a round table session on Diversity and
Unity: Indian Perspectives organized here by the Department of
Political Science, Panjab University, Capt. Singh pointed out
that India was an ideal subject for studying unity in diversity
as we have adopted federal system through our constitution but
in practically did not evolve federal system in true spirits.
As after independence there was a single party dominance at centre
for decades that subverted the very basics of our federal system
and gone all out to centralize things. Resultantly, we have been
facing many problems.
He said that the demands for greater autonomy raised in early
years have to be aligned the new reality of globalization, regionalization
of national politics and decline of one party dominance on the
national scenario. The issue of greater autonomy for the states
was nurtured in a political climate marred by over centralisation
of power and one party dominance since independence. The common
denominator of all these assertions had been anti-centre and anti-congress
in thrust. The political developments of the past two decades
of the 20th century have made coalition of national and regional
political parties at the centre and even in states, a necessity.
Capt. Singh also mentioned the accentuation of division between
the rich and poor as an other aspect of diversity i.e economic
diversity and described the naxal activities, a fallout of it.
Farmers' loan, Capt. Singh said, was reflective of it. Centre
was not making sincere efforts to resolve the issue but playing
gimmicks to get votes, he alleged.
He said that now entire north-east had been in turmoil. Jammu
& Kashmir was an example of what had gone wrong due to abdicating
the path to dialogue. Similarly, the Government of India used
Article 356 for four times to dismiss the popularly elected governments
in Punjab. Punjab has had its aspirations. Why it had to face
economic, cultural and political discriminations? Use of force
by centre paved a way for culture of violence in Punjab. Describing
the respect for cultural and linguistic diversity a need of the
hour, Capt. Singh said that similarly the diversification of economy
becomes imperative. Punjab has always stood for united India and
made sacrifices whenever the need occurs. Sikhs had been falsely
defamed in every nook and corner of the country by presenting
them as separatists. Fortunately, we were back to peace. However,
sufficient measures were required to redress the demands of Punjab
and there should be a definite move from centralized polity to
more accommodating and decentralized polity, he added.
Earlier Mr.Balveer Arora, Professor Jawahar Lal Nehru University
New Delhi. Mr. Bhupinder Brar, Professor Panjab university Chandigarh,
Mr.Rupak Chattopadhyay and Mr.Kailash K.K. also spoke on the occasion.