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Punjab Govt
March 18, 2008

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 this effect.

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 Islam.

With high regards

Yours sincerely,


Dr. Manmohan Singh ji

Hon'ble Prime Minister of India

New Delhi.

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


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, 2011.

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.




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