JALANDHAR MAY 28, 2008
The Punjab Government today signed an historic
Memorandum of Understanding in school education with the University
of Wolverhampton (U.K.). Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh
Badal presided over the function where the MoU was signed.
The MoU was signed by Secretary Education Punjab
Mr. KBS Sidhu and Ms. Caroline Gipps, Vice-Chancellor of Wolverhampton
University on behalf of the Punjab Government and the UK based
Separately, two more agreements were signed, one between Wolverhampton
Football Club and the JCT Football Academy, Hoshiarpur and another
between Wolverhampton Chamber of Commerce and Confederation of
Indian Industries (CII) to develop bilateral trade and Commerce
activities and strengthening trade links through new marketing
opportunities. The U K delegation comprised Mr. Terry Wood, Head
of International Trade for the UK and Mr. Steven Catchpole, Chief
Executive Wolverhampton Development Company.
Giving details, CM's Media Advisor, Mr. Harcharan Bains said that
the main aim of the MoU on education was to increase the interflow
of educational skills between Punjab and the UK through a teacher-training
programme. Under this arrangement, the government school teachers
in Punjab would be imparted special academic training by the UK
teachers for raising their teaching skills in general and in English
language in particular. In the first phase of this programme,
40 teachers of English from Punjab had been selected for training.
These teachers, in turn, would further impart training to other
teachers in the state, said Mr. Bains.
Taking part in the deliberations, Mr. Badal said
that the English language had emerged as the International language,
in academic as well as in business arenas. Without appropriate
skills to read, write and speak good English, students and youth
from Punjab may not be competitive on a global basis, irrespective
of their professional and technical knowledge, talent and training,
said Mr. Badal, adding that this however would not be done at
the expense of our mother tongue, Punjabi. "There is no contradiction
between being rooted in our local culture and language on the
one hand and improving our proficiency in a widely used international
languages like English on the other. In fact, the two are complementary,"
said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister further said that the state
had already implemented the teaching of English as a compulsory
subject right from Class 1 to 10th in all the Government Schools.
The private schools too had followed suit, "We have already
finalized the recruitment of 1000 trained teachers of English
for the first time. Earlier, English to the students was being
taught by Social Study teachers. The newly appointed teachers
would be in position before the Schools re-open after the summer
vacation in July," said the Chief Minister.
Mr. Badal urged both Mr. Mac Fadden and the Vice
Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton to strengthen this
project so that such training courses could be run at other regional
centers in Punjab. He said that approximately 30% of the Indian
students in the British Universities and Colleges hail from Punjab
and the conduct of such programmes would also provide the University
of Wolverhampton an opportunity to reach out to its prospective
students from Punjab, who might be exploring the possibilities
of higher studies abroad.
C.S TAKES VIDEO CONFERENCE TO REVIEW FLOOD
Chandigarh, May 28,2008
The Chief Secretary Punjab, Mr. R.I. Singh has asked the deputy
commissioners of the state to take adequate flood protection measures
during the ensuing south-west monsoons so that the loss incurred
by floods could be minimized due to the timely preventive steps
taken at the part of the administration.
While presiding over a video conference with the deputy commissioners
to review the status of flood protection measures to be taken
all over the state here today, Mr. Singh said that out of the
twenty districts of the state, six districts namely Ferozpur,
Gurdaspur, Patiala, Sangrur, Mansa and Ropar were prone to floods
for which we need to take necessary preparedness measures to mitigate
the impact of natural calamities.
Speaking on the occasion, he identified the list of priority
flood protection works like erection of bunds, studs, spurs and
strengthening of banks of river beds, canals and desilting of
river beds / drains etc. He said that the state government would
provide necessary funds as per the requirement of the district
administration at the earliest and on priority. He has asked the
deputy commissioners to immediately identify flood prone districts
and villages and take stock of the expected emergent situations
during monsoons. There should not be any shortage of rescue and
evacuation equipment, said Mr. Singh. District control rooms should
be activated and equipped properly to disseminate timely warning
and to supply necessary information to the high-ups, he added.
Mr. Singh has asked the Deputy Commissioners of Patiala, Barnala,
and Sangrur to take special care of the villages around ghaggar
which were flood prone and could cause considerable damage during
Mrs. Romila Dubey Financial Commissioner Revenue, Mr. Suresh
Kumar, Principal Secretary Irrigation and Power, Mr. Subodh Aggarwal,
Financial Commissioner Animal Husbandry, Mr. D.S Jaspal, Principal
Secretary Transport and Information & Public Relations, Mr.
P.S Aujla, Secretary, Water Supply and Sanitation, Mr. Tejvir
Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar and Mr. Dharamjit Singh Grewal,
Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, were present along with the Chief
Secretary in the conference while the deputy commissioners of
Barnala, Mansa, Faridkot, Ferozpur, Gurdaspur and Ropar were present
at the other end during the video conference.
EMPOWERED COMMITTEE ON MEGA PROJECTS MEETS
PROJECTS WORTH RS.11170 CRORE CLEARED
CHANDIGARH MAY 28, 2008
The Punjab Government's Empowered Committee on Mega Projects
today cleared 11 new projects worth Rs.11170 crore. These include
six projects in the industrial and five in the agro-industrial
While the projects in the industrial sector would have a capital
outlay of Rs.9920 crore, those in the agro sector would entail
an investment of Rs. 1250 crore. Some of the projects in the industrial
sector also cover housing and multiplexes projects.
Clearances to these projects come close on the heels of infrastructure
development projects worth Rs 20, 000 crore cleared by the state
government last week.
Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal presided over the
Chief Minister's Media Advisor Harcharan Bains said that the
Empowered Committee also decided to stipulate that, other things
being equal, preference would be given to Punjabi youth in matters
of employment in these projects. He said that most of these projects
have significant employment potential with economic multiplier
Mr. Bains said that in keeping with the government policy, the
Committee also decided to extend special incentives to investors.
Accordingly, 50% concession in the rates of External Development
Charges (EDC) and 75% in license fee would be admissible to Mega
Projects in category 'A'. However, 5% of the total amount payable
by the developer on account of EDC, CLU and other license fee
would be levied as Health & Social Security fund and recovered
in addition to
the EDC, CLU and License Fees. This amount, said Mr. Bains, would
deposited in separate corpus to be established by the state government
under health and social security schemes for the welfare of the
The rates of EDC, license fee and CLU charges would be as per
the different components in the industrial park and depending
upon the potential zone in which the park falls. Where a piece
of land falls in more than one potential category, the proportionate
rate of fiscal charges for each category would apply, he said.
The Committee also decided that the project land, where Change
of Land Use (CLU) had already been granted as part or whole of
a project would not be included in the future Super Mega Industrial
The projects approved included 6 Multiplexes-cum-Hotel projects
namely M/s Chakrita Real Estate Developers Private Ltd. (Rs.886.55
crore) in Ludhiana, M/s Hamir Real Estate Pvt. Ltd (Rs.200 crore)
in Mohali, M/s Ambreen Projects & Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.,
(Rs.303 crore) in Mohali, M/s Cargo Motors Pvt. Ltd., (Rs.30 crore)
in Jalandhar. Besides two Super Mega mixed use Integrated Industrial
Parks would be developed, one by M/s Emaar MGF Land Ltd at Mohali,
Ludhiana and Jalandhar over an area of 2750 acre with a capital
investment of Rs.5000 crore, another by M/s Chandigarh Infotech
would develop an IT park over an area of 1170 acre in Mohali district
with a capital investment of Rs.3500 crore.
The Empowered Committee also approved five Agro projects including
a Biomass based project of 147 MW to be set up by M/s Green Planet
Energy Pvt. Ltd. of Mumbai at a cost of Rs.955 crore.
This project would have power plants at 14 locations in the state
at Barnala (10 MW), Nihalsinghwala (6 MW), Jaito (13 MW), Faridkot
(9 MW), Bathinda (14 MW) Fatehgarh Sahib (11 MW), Amloh (6 MW),
Sultanpur Lodhi (9 MW), Garhshankar (10 MW), Nakodar (10 MW),
Phillaur (10 MW), Shahkot (10 MW), Ludhiana (15 MW) and Raikot
(14 MW). Besides this project, M/s Century Plyboard India Ltd.
of Kolkata would set up a plywood and Medium Density Fiber Board
(MDFB) in Hoshiarpur district with the capacity of 40000 Cu. Mtr.
and 90000 Cu Mtr. respectively at a cost of Rs.189 crore. The
other agro based projects included M/s Tara Feed Ltd. near Malerkotla
(Rs.35.90 crore), M/s Oasis Beverages Pvt. Ltd. in Ludhiana district
(Rs.28 crore) and M/s Kissan Fats Ltd.
in Ferozepur district (Rs.42.50 crore).
Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included
Local Govt. & Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia, Finance
Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria,
Medical & Research Education Minister Tikshan Sood, Transport
Minister Master Mohan Lal, PWD (B&R) Minister Parminder Singh
Dhindsa, Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langha, Education Minister
Dr.Upinder Jit Kaur, Chief Secretary RI Singh, Financial Commissioner
Revenue Romilla Dubey, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS
Guru, Principal Secretary Finance DS Kalha, Secretary Housing
& Urban Development Arun Goyal, Director Industries VK Janjua,
MD Punjab Agro Corporation SK Sandhu, Chairman PSEB YS Ratra and
Additional Principal Secretary AK Mahajan.
SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT ON FOREST LAND
TO ACCELERATE DEVELOPMENT IN KANDI AREA –TIKSHAN SUD
Chandigarh, 28 May, 2008
The Punjab Government today secured a major relief from the Supreme
Court of India as Court exempted scheduled developments works
being carried out by diversion of forest land from the payment
of Net Present Value (NPV).
Disclosing this here today Mr. Tikshan Sud, Forest Minister
said that Punjab along with other states was pleading the Apex
Court that the payment of Net Present Value be exempted for community
development works to be carried out by diversion of forest land.
The State government had forcefully pleaded that user agency that
is mostly government, should be exempted from the payment of NPV
as these works were carried out for the providing facilities to
the public at large.
The Minister informed that accepting the plea of the government
Supreme Court has exempted public works such as schools, hospitals,
children play grounds of non- commercial nature and the public
welfare projects such as community Centres in rural areas that
require forest land upto two hectares from the payment of NPV.
The Minister said that rural infrastructure and basic services
such as the construction of the overhead tanks, village roads,
the minor irrigation projects upto 10 hectares of storage area,
municipal water supply projects, drinking water supply pipelines,
housing for the rehabilitation of tribal, laying of the underground
optical fiber cables, laying on pipelines for the underground
transportation, district and rural roads, roads constructed by
Defence in border areas, construction of the transmission lines
have been also exempted from the payment of NPV. He said that
Supreme Court has also exempted activities necessary for the ecological
management, relocation of the villages from the sanctuaries and
national park, regularization of pre-1980 eligible encroachers
and shifting cultivation from the payment of NPV.
It may be added that user bodies that is mostly government is
required to pay Rs. 9.20 lac per hectare NPV along with compensatory
forest payment for diversion of forest land for any project and
with this judgment government would get a huge financial relief
in executing development projects in the Forest Area.
The Minister said that SAD-BJP Government was committed to usher
in era of prosperity and development in the Kandi Area and this
judgment of Supreme Court would accelerate development process