PADDY PROCUREMENT PICKS UP MOMENTUM IN WESTERN
Chandigarh October 1, 2008
Paddy procurement has picked up momentum in Western Punjab with
early arrival of paddy as 2.65 lac tones of paddy was procured in
Punjab by yesterday.
According to an official spokesman by Tuesday on PUNGRAIN procured
60267 tonnes of paddy (25.5%) whereas MARKFED procured 66946 tonnes
of paddy (28.3%) PUNSUP procured 47213 tonnes of paddy (20%) whereas
Punjab State Warehousing Corporation procured 34806 tonnes of paddy
(14.7%) besides 25410 tonnes of paddy (10.7%) procured by Punjab
Agro. The Central Government Agency FCI procured only 1912 tonnes
of paddy (0.8%). The Millers procured 29372 tonnes of paddy (11%)
on the 1st day.
The mandis in Amritsar division recorded 1,20,452 tonnes of paddy
with Tarn Taran recording maximum paddy on the 1st day to the tune
of 44,833 tonnes. The mandis of Ferozepur division recorded 1,37,916
tonnes of paddy with maximum of 55881 tonnes of paddy being recorded
by Ferozepur district.
The Punjab Food Supply had setup 1622 procurement centres throughout
the state to ensure smooth procurement of paddy.
The spokesman said that farmers of the state have been assured
payment of paddy procured by the government agencies within 48 hours
of lifting of paddy from the procurement centres.
Punjab to establish seven
mist chambers for producing quality seedlings
Chandigarh, October 1, 2008
The Punjab Forest Department would establish seven mist chambers
at Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Ropar, Moga, Phillaur and Bathinda
to promote production of quality seedlings using clonal technology.
Disclosing this here today Mr. Tikshan Sud, Forest Minister said
that in order to improve the tree planting stock in forests and
farmers' fields the Department was all set to produce over 10.00
lakh clonal seedlings of fast-growing and economically important
tree species such as Eucalyptus, Shisham and Drek. He said that
these seedlings would be supplied to the farmers for planting in
their fields at subsidized rates besides to be used for departmental
plantation to enhance productivity.
The Forest Minister said that the clonal technology had been adopted
by the Punjab Forest Department as it increases productivity of
seedlings fourfold as compared to traditional method. The productivity
of clonal plantations varies from 20 to 44 m³/ha/year
compared to 6-10m3/ha/year of seed raised seedling plantations.
He said that the growing of clonal trees would not only increase
the income of the farmers from land under the agro-forestry systems,
but would also help to diversify the land use. He said that agro
forestry was becoming quite attractive for the farmers who want
to switch away from the wheat/paddy cropping pattern as that it
was fast becoming unsustainable and unprofitable for them. He said
that increased paddy cultivation was also exhausting the nutrients
and water table of the state soil.
Mr. Sud said that Punjab Forest Department has evolved a new agro-forestry
model that allows a combination of crops along with trees and the
State Forest Department was striving to achieve a target of 15%
land area under tree cover and forests by the year 2017.
He said that with the increase in productivity through clonal plantations
Punjab would have surplus wood to attract mega wood-based industries
such as paper, pulp and plywood. The Forest Minister said that there
were already 61.2 million trees existing outside the forests and
the number is expected to increase to 100 million by 2010. Efforts
were also afoot to involve the farmers in the campaign for clonal
tree planting and the Department was expected to supply sufficient
number of clonal seedlings in coming years from forest nurseries
situated in different parts of the State, Mr. Sud added.
PUNJAB GOVERNMENT ISSUES NOTIFICATION TO
AS SHAHEED BHAGAT SINGH NAGAR
Chandigarh September 30, 2008
Punjab Government has issued a notification to rename the existing
district Nawanshahr as 'Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar' with immediate
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Punjab Government
said that the copy of the notification has also been forwarded to
the Deputy Commissioner of Nawanshahr to immediately effect the
change in the relevant revenue record.
ENGINEERS TO BE TAKEN INTO CONFIDENCE BEFORE
TAKING ANY DECISION ABOUT UNBUNDLING OF PSEB-- CM
Patiala, September 30, 2008
Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today declared that
the state government would not take any decision relating to unbundling
of PSEB without taking board Engineers' into consultation.
Addressing the General Body Meeting of PSEB Engineers' Association
here at Guru Teg Bahadur Hall in Punjabi University Patiala, Mr.
Badal clarified that state government had not yet made up its mind
for unbundling of State Electricity Board because the similar process
initiated in few other states like Orissa, Haryana, Rajasthan, Andhra
Pardesh, Uttar Pardesh and Karnataka had evoked mixed response,
as in some states it had proved to be successful and an utter failure
in the rest. He said the state government was not keen to implement
the process of unbundling rather it was far more interested in improving
its financial health. He said , ' PSEB is one of the most efficient
state electricity boards in the country with proven track record
of expertise coupled with efficient man power and excellent infrastructure
which could further improve its economic viability'.. He said the
state government would deliberate upon all the relevant aspects
of unbundling with the representatives of the Engineers' Association
at a special smaller meeting to be shortly convened at Chandigarh
to thrash out the issues viz unbundling, strengthening of transmission
and distribution (T & D) systems and augmentation of generation
The Chief Minister called upon the engineers of the board to chalk
out an action programme to prevent the theft of electricity with
a firm hand. He said if we were able to check this menace which
resulted in the loss of revenue worth crores could further help
in improving financial health of board. At the same time, the chief
minister asked the engineers to keep a strict vigil around the clock
to nab the defaulters and erring officials who in connivance with
these anti social elements were responsible for huge loses accumulated
by the board over past many years due to these malpractices. He
asked the engineers that their respect and prestige symbolizes the
respect and prestige of the government and reiterated that their
interest would be safe guarded at all costs. He impressed upon them
to perform their duties with utmost dedication, sincerity and professional
commitment in the larger public interest as the salary they get
was paid from the hard earned money of the public by way of taxes
paid by them.
Mr. Badal appreciated the Association's concern for strengthening
the power sector. He said, 'you and me both are equally concerned
for the augmentation of power generation because power alone is
the growth engine of economic development'. He said when our government
took reins in March 2007 we had a total power generation capacity
of 6250 MW which had now been stepped up to 6609 MW with the start
of Lehra Mohabbat Phase II thermal plant. He pointed out the state
government was committed to generate additional power capacity of
6980 MW with in next three years with the setting up of three new
thermal plants in Mansa, Rajpura and Goindwal Sahib besides these
additional power would also be generated from the bio-mass and due
to state's share from the Center Assisted Super Mega thermal plants.
He stressed on the need for long term planning specially in the
power sector since it was a crucial sector for an overall development
of the economy and its demand was ever increasing. He cited an example
of Japan 's economy where advanced planning for even 100 years was
done to execute government plans and schemes in a meticulous manner.
To improve the functioning of the board which had been badly hit
due to paucity of staff, Mr. Badal said that the state government
had given in-principal approval to the board to fill up 225 posts
each of Sub Divisional Engineers (SDEs) and Junior Engineers besides
125 Sub-Station Assistant (SSA) through a special recruitment drive.
He said all these posts would be filled strictly on the merit in
a transparent manner.
In his address President of PSEB Engineers' Association Mr. H.S.
Bedi categorically said that before deciding on corporatization
& restructuring of PSEB, Punjab Government must decide whether
it intends to run this organization on purely commercial lines or
as a service sector for the welfare of the public.
Speaking on the occasion Patron of the PSEB Engineers' Association
Mr. M.S. Bajwa mentioned that the Electricity Act 2003 was widely
misinterpreted that it was mandatory for the states to unbundle
their SEBs as per the Act. He clarified that as per section 131
of the Act SEBs could be converted into a company i.e. one company
which would be a distribution licensee and State Transmission Utility
(STU) owning generation assets, He pointed out Kerala government
had issued notification to convert Kerala SEB in to one company
and like wise, PSEB could also be notified.
In his address All India Power Engineers Federation Secretary General
Mr. Shailender Dubey said that the Punjab government should look
into all the pros and cons of unbundling because before taking up
this process. He said the government must bear one of the most important
factors in the mind that public utility service was the sole motto
of the SEBs being primarily the service providers and not the commercial
Earlier, the Chief Minister released a Souvenir and honored the
Retd. Chief Engineer Mr. Nirvair Singh and Executive engineer Mr.
S.S.. Josan for their out standing services towards the development
of board. Prominent amongst who were present on the occasion included
Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Harcharan Bains, Principal Secretary
Irrigation & Power Mr. Suresh Kumar, Chairman PSEB Mr. Y.S.
Ratra and Secretary PSEB Mr. Husan Lal President NRI wing SAD Mr.
Surjit Singh Rakhra, Deputy Commissioner Patiala Mr. Vikas Garg
besides the senior officer and members of the board.
Earliest, the Chief Minister met the representatives of the District
Bar Association at Court Complex and listened to their grievances.
He presented a cheque of Rs. 23 lacs to the President of the District
Bar Association Mr. K.P. Singh for the installation of elevator
in the premises of Advocate Chambers. Mr. Badal also assured the
members that he would soon take up the matter for the construction
of additional chambers for the advocates with the PUDA.
During his last leg of the Sangat Darshan Programme in Patiala
the Chief Minister also held Sangat Darshan in Ward No. 25,44,43,22,21,20,27
& 26 with this, he completed his entire Sangat Darshan Programme
PUNJAB GOVERNMENT TO CONTRIBUTE IN JOURNALISTS'
CHANDIGARH, Sept 30, 2008
The Chandigarh Press Club has become the first media club in the
country to provide medical insurance to its members through a special
agreement signed with New India Assurance Company. Punjab Finance
Minister Manpreet Singh Badal today announced that the Punjab Government
would contribute 50 percent of the premium required to provide a
comprehensive health insurance cover to the Journalist members and
Badal who was addressing a "Meet the Press" programme
at the club said, "I have an announcement to make, my government
wants to fulfil the assurance given in the manifesto of Shiromani
Akali Dal to contribute 50 percent premium of medical insurance
of Rs 1 lakh to all regular members of the Club". He said that
the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP government headed by Chief Minister,
S. Parkash Singh Badal was seized of the problems faced by the journalistic
community. The media, he said was the fourth pillar of Indian Democracy
and Punjab Government would do everything to help the media in discharge
of their duties According to the club President, Sarabjit Pandher,
"underscoring its social obligation, the Chandigarh Press Club
has negotiated a "tailor made" scheme with New India Assurance
to provide a health and accident insurance cover to its members".
The "floater" policy comes into force from October 1
and would provide a accident cum health cover of at least Rs one
lakh to each journalist, his or her spouses and up to three children.
The scheme is being extended to only those journalists, who opt
to be a part of the scheme. The Club has asked its regular Journalist
members to furnish details and provide necessary documents to the
club at the earliest.
The Finance Minister clarified that the Punjab Government would
provide its share in the premium for Rs one lakh per member of the
Chandigarh Press Club. However, the Club Management and the Insurance
Company clarified that members could seek more coverage by paying
the extra premium from their own resources. The insurance cover
comes into force from tonight.