Author(s): City Air NewsChandigarh, January 9, 2019: Education Minister, Punjab Mr.Om Prakash Soni handed over appointment letters to 67 dependents on compassionate grounds at his Camp Office, here today. While addressing the new recruits,...


Chandigarh, January 9, 2019: Education Minister, Punjab Mr.Om Prakash Soni handed over appointment letters to 67 dependents on compassionate grounds at his Camp Office, here today.
While addressing the new recruits, Education Minister exhorted them to make all possible efforts to fulfil their duty honestly and diligently and work towards strengthening the department.
He informed that after assuming office, he has handed over appointment letters to approximately 500 people on compassionate grounds and added that there are clear instructions to the department that if any employee dies during the service, his/her dependant should get suitable appointment within in a month of receiving the application as per qualification/eligibility.
Today, 67 dependants were handed over appointment letters including one for the post of Science Master, two as D.P.E., 22 clerks, one SLA , two Library Restorers and 39 class IV employees.
On the occasion, along with others Secretary School Education, Mr. Krishan Kumar and D.P. I (Secondary) Mr. Sukhjit Pal Singh, were present.

Chandigarh: “The Punjab Government at the time of taking over the reins of the state had vowed to provide clean and efficient governance to the populace with the commitment to serve and be answerable to them. The Transport Department must occupy the numero uno spot in terms of serving the people of Punjab and no effort would be spared to match upto the expectations of the common people.”This was disclosed by the Transport Minister, Punjab, Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary here today at the Punjab Bhawan while presiding over a meeting of the General Managers of the PRTC, Punjab Roadways and the Secretaries, Regional Transport Authority (RTAs).
Citing the tremendous potential of the Transport Department to act as the game changer for the state in terms of turning around the economy, the minister emphasized the adoption of the result oriented approach by every single individual connected with the department. Calling the revenue generation as the centre of prime focus, the minister said that the performance of the departmental officers would be judged on this vital parameter.
The minister also ordered the officers to come down heavily on those plying their buses illegally without proper documents and made it clear that this task be carried out diligently.
Coming to other aspects, Mrs. Chaudhary said that proper time table be chalked out and gave the deadline of February 10, 2019 for the task fixing February 11 as the date for a meeting to review the same. The minister also added that the action taken report about the steps initiated in this regard be sent after 15 days. Exhorting the officers to promulgate measures so as to ensure the computerization of the functioning of the department, the minister directed the tasks to be completed in a time bound manner.
Mrs. Chaudhary also directed the officers to go in for the zero tolerance attitude towards malpractices such as fake driving licences. The minister also directed that from now onwards, the old registration number plates would not be allotted without the prior approval of the State Transport Commissioner and further said that the days be fixed for RTAs holding charge of more than one district to be available in their offices in order to ensure that the public encounters no harassment to get their works done.
Earlier, the Principal Secretary, Transport, Mr. K. Siva Prasad briefed the officers about developing an effective mechanism to bring about a sea change in the working of the department so as to make it more transparent and people friendly.
Among others present on the occasion included the State Transport Commissioner Mr. Dilraj Singh, Director Transport Mr. Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, Additional Managing Director PRTC Mr. Amit Bambay, all Secretaries of RTA and General Manager of Punjab Roadways and PRTC.

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed the Chief Secretary to examine the NABARD proposal for funds to promote small agri businesses amongst the poor rural youth as well as farmers with small holdings, besides landless labourers.
The Chief Minister also asked the Chairman NABARD to allow Cooperative Banks to diversify, to enable it to widen its ambit of operations from advancement of Crop Loans to Term Loans to farmers and the rural populace. The NABARD chairman, leading a delegation of officials, had called on the Chief Minister for a meeting here. An official spokesperson disclosed after the meeting that the Chief Minister also suggested exploring the possibility of providing such loans to young entrepreneurs who intended to set up their ventures in urban areas in order to resolve the problem of unemployment.
The Chief Minister conceded a proposal of the NABARD chairman to strengthen the existing network of Farmer Produce Organisations (FPOs), saying it would help bail out the small and marginal farmers who were facing acute hardships on account of lack of proper marketing infrastructure for their produce. Captain Amarinder Singh also asked the Chief Secretary to head a committee, comprising Secretary Agriculture and a NABARD representative as member secretary, to develop a roadmap for Farmer Produce Organisations (FPO) promotion and to oversee its implementation.
Diversification of agriculture was the only way out through FPOs to assist the beleaguered farmers, as the traditional wheat-paddy cycle was no more economically sustainable due to squeezed margins of profit on the MSP, the Chief Minister stressed.
The Chief Minister, while agreeing to the NABARD proposal of merging the Punjab State Agriculture Development Bank and Punjab State Cooperative Bank into a single entity to have better synergy and coordination in lending operations, asked the Chief Secretary to explore the possibility of amalgamation of these two banks.
Captain Amarinder Singh also asked the Chief Secretary to present a detailed list of development programmes and schemes, with prior administrative approval from the concerned departments, at least six months in advance to NABARD for approval.
During the deliberations, NABARD Chairman Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala apprised the Chief Minister that there were a total of 91 FPOs operational across the state and 23 non-MSP crops could be promoted amongst the farmers as part of the state government’s ambitious programme of crop diversification.
Referring to the NABARD Micro Irrigation Fund, the Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to identify the most vulnerable sites in the Kandi Area and southern districts of state where projects under this scheme could be undertaken on priority. The Chairman NABARD apprised the Chief Minister that the NABARD was ready to start a pilot project of Rs. 7-8 Crore in the Kandi belt.
Dr. Bhanwala also informed the meeting about several other schemes, such as conservation of groundwater, value chain development, crop residue management and solarisation of mobile pump sets, for the betterment of the farmer community, besides ensuring higher growth rate of agriculture. He also assured Captain Amarinder Singh of all support and cooperation from NABARD in pursuing the government’s agro related and rural infrastructure projects.
The meeting was also attended by Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tewari, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, and Additional Principal Secretary to CM Girish Dyalan, besides Chief General Manager NABARD Punjab Region J.P.S Bindra and Assistant General Manager NABARD Kailash Pawha.

Chandigarh:Retired IRS Officer Ashok Kumar Sharma has been appointed as the member of Punjab State Food Commission. An order in this regard was issued by Principal Secretary of Food Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department Mr. K.A.P Sinha.
Disclosing this, a spokesperson of State Govt. Said that Sharma had earlier served in the income-tax-department, Central Excise & Customs and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) as well. Ashok Kumar Sharma said, “I am thankful to the state government for giving me this important responsibility. I will make sure that I justify my appointment and give may best for the government, department and the public.”

Chandigarh: Aiming to stamp out corruption from all public offices, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) adopted multi-pronged approach to corner the bribe seekers and generate awareness among the public during the year to make Punjab ahead in curbing the social malady. During last year, the VB has been able to nab 157 officials of different departments and 25 private persons while accepting bribes in 131 trap cases.
Disclosing this VB Chief Director-cum-ADGP, B.K. Uppal, said the Bureau had vowed to deal with corruption with an iron hand to end malpractices from all public offices, one of the promises made by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to the people of the state. 'Adopting a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of corruption, Bureau had nabbed 17 gazzeted officers (GOs) and 140 non-gazzetted officials (NGOs) since January 1 to December 30, 2018.
VB Chief revealed that during the year, apart from other departments, 49 personnel of Punjab Police, 35 of Revenue Department, 19 of Power, 12 of Panchayats and Rural Development, 6 of Health department, 4 of Local Bodies and 4 of Food & Civil Supply department were nabbed red handed while taking bribes in separate cases. He informed that DGP Punjab Suresh Arora had also asked the Bureau to take strict action against the corrupt police officers and officials.
Giving details about the performance of Bureau he added that VB had registered 22 criminal cases against 94 accused which include 22 GOs, 41 NGOs and 31 private persons. Apart from this, 77 Vigilance Enquires have also been registered to probe corruption complaints against 39 GOs, 49 NGOs and 39 private persons. Besides, disproportionate Assets cases were also registered against four NGOs, said Mr Uppal.
He further added that to implement the anti-corruption policy of Punjab Chief Minister, the Vigilance officers have made all efforts to ensure that no suspect should escape punishment in the special courts and ensured timely submission of evidence, arguments and proper 'pairvi' in the courts.
Uppal further informed that the Bureau had been able to complete 31 Vigilance Enquiries and secured 36 percent conviction rate in vigilance cases from special courts during the year. Various special courts have sentenced 58 accused in 35 cases under prevention of corruption act which includes 6 GOs, 38 NGOs and 14 private persons and awarded with imprisonments from one year to ten years. The courts have also imposed fines from Rs. 5,000 to 2 lakh in these cases which amounts to total sum of Rs. 1,56,98,000, he added.
Mr Uppal also informed that the state government had terminated the services of two GO and ten NGOs on the recommendations of VB after registration of corruption cases against them and imprisonments thereafter.
Giving details of prominent cases he informed that Gulshan Kumar Executive Engineer and Chief Engineer Parmjit Singh Ghuman of Irrigation department (Irrigation Scam), DDPO Gurinder Singh Sarao, Tehsildar Kuldeep Singh, BDPO Malvinder Singh, BDPO Jatinder Singh of Rural Development and Panchayat Department (Jheorheri Scam), Inspector Amandeep Singh, Senior Assistant Sukhpreet Singh and Guru ji alias Master ji of PUNSUP Department (Recruitment Scam) were arrested during last year.
To check malpractices in different departments, Uppal said the VB had made several surprise checks in the state during the year which mainly includes illegal plying of private buses, checking of ambulances, foodgrain markets during Rabi and Kharif seasons. Apart from this, seminars, rallies, radio talks, painting competitions were also organized in educational institutes, Panchayats, NGOs, offices to educate the public about corruption. During the Vigilance Awareness Week pamphlets were distributed and integrity pledge was also administered to all the officers and employees of the bureau," he added.
Vigilance Chief has asked the public as well as honest public servants to help the Bureau in its anti-corruption drive in the state and inform the Bureau on its toll free helpline 1800-1800-1000 or lodge online complaints on VB website if any public servant demands bribe. He assured that information and identity of the informers would be kept strictly confidential.

Chandigarh: Gurpreet Singh of Butala village in Amritsar district clinched the bumper prize of Rs 20 lakh in the Punjab State Deluxe Monthly Lottery.
Another proud winner was Asha Devi of Ludhiana who pocketed the first prize of Rs 3 lakh in the Punjab State Shubh Mangal Weekly Lottery.
The two lakhpatis have handed over their prize winning tickets to the Punjab State Lotteries department for encashment of their prizes.
An official spokesperson said that the draw for the Punjab State Deluxe Monthly Lottery was held on December 28, 2018 and for the Punjab State Shubh Mangal Weekly Lottery on December 25, 2018.
Expressing satisfaction over the transparent and smooth system of the lotteries draws adopted by Punjab State Lotteries department, the winners said that the most joyous thing is that Punjab is an only state in which the big prizes of all lotteries are surely given in common people.
The spokesman said the 'Punjab State New Year Lohri Bumper-2019' had already been floated in the market for which the draw will be held on January 16, 2019.
Considering the huge enthusiasm of the people, the Punjab State Lotteries Department is all set to launch the ‘Holi Bumper-2019’.

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Government has announced local holiday in Sri Muktsar Sahib District in connection with the Mela Maghi on January 14, 2019 (Monday).
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Punjab Government said that on January 14, 2019 (Monday) local holiday has been announced in Government Offices, Boards/Corporations and Educational Institutions of Sri Muktsar Sahib District.
The notification in this regard has been issued.

Inspections of School Canteens in View of Rampant Consumption of Junk Food - Pannu
Chandigarh: The Food Inspectors State wide have been directed to support the teams of Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in the inspection of school canteens, in view of rampant consumption of junk food, informed KS Pannu Commissioner Food Safety Punjab.
He said that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has expressed serious concern about consumption of junk food by the school children leading to health hazards. In view of this, the State Commission for Child Rights would undertake school canteens’ inspections and the staff of the Food Safety Commissionerate would assist the inspecting teams to ensure that no food high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS food) or junk food as it is generally referred to, is being served to the children in school canteens.
It has been observed that junk food leads to many health hazards and diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases in later life. These diseases and childhood obesity have been found to affect the cognitive and physical development of the children adversely, causing an irreparable loss to the society, said Pannu.
He informed that the NCPCR has taken cognizance of this matter under section 13(1)(f) and (k) of CPCR Act, 2005. Since this is a serious issue of concern with regards to health of school children consuming HFSS food, the Punjab Food Safety Commissionerate would wholeheartedly support the efforts to contain this malady.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019