PUNJAB SET STAGE FOR ITS OWN PUSHKAR

The eight National Livestock Expo and Championship-2016 to be organised on the auspicious occasion of Maghi Mela at Sri Mukatsar Sahib, Punjab from January 8 to 12 is all set to attract international tourists.

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One of its own kind fair in the country, this fair will be promoted on international tourist circuit on the pattern of Pushkar fair that originally started as a camel mandi and became an international tourist feature. The Punjab Government has already sanctioned over Rs. 2 crore for organising this livestock fair in an excellent manner.

With the objective of promoting and developing livestock, dairy, fisheries, horse breeds and equestrian sports the department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Punjab is going to organize this fair with the financial assistance of Rural Development Department Punjab and in collaboration with FICCI (The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

About 25 breed competitions of different categories of dog breeds will be conducted and in each category with dogs and bitches being adjudged together. Besides the Milking Competitions of quality breeds of buffalos and cows, contests highlighting the horses, buffaloes, cow sheep and goats, hens, Horse Dance and Decoration Competition, Camel Dance & Decoration Competition, Horse Flat Race and Rabia Chaal, Ferrier Competition and many more will be organized by the animal husbandry department.

The 8th edition of this national fair will focus to boost the magnificent and highly remunerative business by producing quality milk products and raising quality breed of animals. Punjab government will provide free accommodation to the participants, besides fulfilling food, fodder and other requirements of the animals and livestock. Free Langar would also be organized on the occasion.

The state has already geared up for the national fair as livestock contests have been organised in 6 districts of the state till date. The forthcoming state level competitions will be contested on November 28-29 at Kaputhala & Tarntarn, November 30-December 1 at Ludhiana & Ferozepur, December 2-3 at Barnala & Patiala, December 4-5 at SAS Nagar & Fazilka, December 9-10 at Sangrur & Bathinda, December 11-12 at Mansa, Moga & Amritsar and December 13-14 at Sri Muktsar Sahib & Faridkot.

The state government is making all out efforts to develop Livestock sector further to usher agriculture diversification in the state. 8th National Livestock Expo and Championship is the state government’s effort to provide the impetus to this important sector of state economy.

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VIRSAT-E-KHALSA : MOST POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATION

With around 6.2 million people visiting it within 4 years of its opening, the Virasat-e-Khalsa has emerged as most popular tourist destination of the state. Over 30,000 tourists are visiting this world class project on each weekend.

A visit to Virasat- E – Khalsa is a memorable experience. The place is well maintained, with modern and clean lavatories and beautiful galleries. The assistants at your disposal are equally pleasing and helpful. The mesmerizing architect and the glory of Virasat–E–Khalsa has also boosted the economy of Anandpur Sahib town.virasat e khalsa

It was a long journey through the history of the Punjab, before the internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, initiated the design process for the Virasat-e-Khalsa. He drew inspiration from the historic Golden Temple and the rich heritage of Anandpur Sahib — its hills, natural valleys and streams, the Anandgarh Fort and the glorious Gurdwara Keshgarh Sahib.

The site for the Complex was selected for its direct relationship to all these features. As per notification no. 12/252/97-5TC/2470 issued by the Govt. of Punjab, Anandpur Sahib Foundation came into force and under this organization, the project for setting up of Khalsa Heritage Complex now Virasat-e-Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib on 100 acres of land was taken up.

Virasat e Khalsa has two main complexes, which are joined with a connecting ceremonial bridge. The Western complex forms the gateway for the town. It houses functions that respond directly to the needs of the people — changing exhibit galleries; a two-level research and reference library centred around a great reading room open to vistas of water gardens, to house rare archival materials, books, journals as well as audio visual resources; and a 428-seat auditorium to host seminars and cultural events.

A 165-metre bridge from the Western complex provides pedestrian access to the Eastern complex, the Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum that comprises permanent exhibit galleries on 500 years of Sikh heritage along with museum facilities to rival any world-class museum. The roof geometry projected in the skyline reveals the plan of the individual floors. One cluster, with five flower-like petals evokes the lotus, projecting skywards. A second crescent-shaped cluster creates a symphony of shapes against the skyline, dominated by a vertical sword-like triangular spire that hovers above the roofline. Below, at the centre of the historic museum is a large multi-level exhibit space, shaped like a ship, rising dramatically from the water below. Its bow faces downstream towards the sacred buildings of the town, creating the allusion of dynamic movement.

The civil work of all the 27 Galleries of Virasat-e-Khalsa has since been completed in November 2011. Out of total 27 galleries, the exhibit work of 14 galleries, have been completed in Phase-1 and the same was dedicated to the nation by the Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Parkash Singh Badal on November 25, 2011. The work of the 2nd Phase for the remaining 13 galleries has already been started and will likely to be completed by June 30, 2016.

The place is a must to visit, a departure from the present times into the historical Punjab, from where you come out drenched in a feeling of pride.

 

PUNJAB’S SUNSHINE 1550 MW, A UNIQUE SUCCESS STORY

From the Developed nations to developing world, solar power is poised to tackle climate change and shake up the electricity industry. For decades the electricity industry has been coal based, but the plunging prices of solar panels, down by about two-thirds in the past six years, is set to change the power industry. The world over solar power is the new sunshine industry and Punjab has taken the early bud initiative to make the most of it.

solarPunjab’s sunshine revolution- in the beginning the idea was to do just something to encourage solar power – is now very different. The State, from being a beginner in solar industry, is now scripting a new success story on the solar energy front because now it has a definite road map and vision in mind. Green power generation he registered an increase of 172 times from 9 mw to 1550 mw in just three years, setting a new national benchmark.

No other state in the country has been able to achieve such a level of growth in such a short time. Punjab has recorded massive increase in investment from a meagre Rs. 70 crore to Rs. 12,000 crore and created employment avenues for 10,000 youth, that too in three years.

The key to this success story is the solar power policy of the state. Punjab is the only state to have inclusive solar policy to cover small farmers to multinational groups. Right from farmers having land holding of 4 acres to multinational companies including Adanis, Wellspun, Essel and Azure, all are equal partners in the solar revolution being ushered in by the tiny state.

The solar policy for farmers has been welcomed by the agricultural community having land holdings on the borders or in the unproductive areas of Malwa, marshy land of Mand and water logged areas of Malwa and Majha. Farmers owning such land holdings were suffering due to its non productivity, meagre contract value. Due to this they are happy to become partners in a scheme in which they are assured regular income for next 25 years with 5% annual increase besides assuring their majority partnership in the project. State has received such encouraging response to the farmer scheme that against the tendered capacity of 500MW they have got firm commitments of 629 MW.

Highlighting the incentives under the state policy, New and Renewable Energy Minister, Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia said this policy includes no registration fee stamp duty on purchase / lease of land, exemption from CLU pollution clearance, state entry tax, Vat and property tax besides having 25 years bankable PPA with PSPCL having A+ rating. He gives all credit to Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal to fir making the policy all inclusive, rural based and pro farmer. He said he would soon hold an interactive seminar with all such budding farmer investors to guide them to opt for right equipments and technology besides hand holding them through teething troubles of project management. He said he was happy that enterprising farmers of Punjab had opted for this novel way of diversification.

The credibility of the bidding process of Punjab Energy Developing Agency (PEDA) also speaks for itself. Since 2013 all four tenders of the department have got an overwhelming response. In the first tender bids for 269 mw and 25 projects of 188 mw were received and have already been commissioned with an investment of Rs. 1800 crore. Similarly for the second tender of 250 mw in December 2014 the State received bids for 389 mw out of which 24 projects of 228 mw are set to be commissioned by January 31, 2016 with an investment of Rs. 1700 crore. Third tender of 500 mw was floated in June 2015 for which the state received bids for 1650 mw and these projects with Rs. 3000 crore investment would be commissioned by January 31, 2017.

Punjab also gives due importance to rooftop and canal projects to capture maximum sunrays.   Rooftop Gross Metering tender for 100 mw received encouraging response and this project with Rs. 400 Crore investment would be operational by March 2016. Canal top solar gross metering, 5 mw project with Rs. 200 crore investments would be commissioned by March 2017. Farmer solar scheme gross metering tender got applications for 629 mw and these projects with Rs. 3000 crore investment would be operational by March’2017.

NRIs and foreign investors have also shown keen interest of NRIs in solar energy projects. NRIs have made Rs. 655 crore investment for 91 mw whereas foreign investors have invested Rs. 562 crore for 79 mw projects. Similarly investment of Rs. 687 crore was made in border districts area 97 mw solar power plants.

Don’t Let History Repeat Itself

punjabDuring the mid 20th century, as the seat of India’s Green Revolution – the switch to modern, mechanized, irrigated agriculture – Punjab emerged as country’s great economic success story. The Green Revolution, carried out almost exclusively by Punjabi farmers, has made Punjab India’s wealthiest state and at the same time its main granary.

There was little sign that this agricultural success was about to be undone unless the State get engulfed in strife. Anti Punjab forces had sown such fear and instability in the state that it not only threatened but halted and even reversed the economic progress that has made Punjab over the last two decades a model of third world development. Punjab suffered black era for more than two decades and it takes a decade for the state to come out of its impact.

Today, Punjab is once again on the track of development and has even made a mark for itself in the industrial sphere besides agriculture. Its agriculturally induced prosperity has made it an increasingly commercial and industrial state as well.

It is this second stage of development that is once again being threatened by the violence and the dark shadow of radicalism and separatism looms large over it again. It is this second stage of development including creation of highways connecting all major towns at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore besides creating adequate municipal facilities in all 165 towns and institution of governance reforms as well as Sewa Kendra which are at stake due to threats of violence.

Once again anti-Punjab forces are active and creating terror to choke off the flow of outside capital on which Punjabi industrial development partly depends.

The Punjab government however is committed to put a full stop on all such conspiracies. Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal in a message addressed to all Punjabis on Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR), has sought their whole hearted cooperation to maintain peace, amity, communal harmony and brotherhood besides further propelling the state on the path of growth, development and prosperity.

Our Chief Minister further reminded us that all Punjabis had faced a traumatic period for long time when our traditional atmosphere of harmony and brotherhood was exploited to the hilt. Several conspiracies were hatched in those times to divide the people living like brothers from centuries on sectarian lines. We made stupendous efforts to take Punjab to the new heights of glory. In fact, Punjab has become a leading state in the country in different sectors namely viz Agriculture, Power Generation, Health, Education and Infrastructure development.

The congenial atmosphere of the state and industrial friendly attitude has forced not only Indian but international business tycoons also to invest in the state. This was evident from the recently concluded Progressive Punjab Investment summit.

Under visionary leadership of the Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal Punjab government is committed to put Punjab on the higher orbit of development and prosperity. Let all Punjabis unanimously give a befitting reply to conspiracies hatched by anti-Punjab forces and ensure history does not repeat itself.

REGISTRATION FEE WAIVED OFF TO STRENGTHEN BLOOD TIES

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“My Grandfather was one of four brothers all of whom are now deceased. My dispute is with the sons of one of the brothers. Some agricultural land was jointly owned by my grandfather and his brothers, many years ago. We only realised recently when we proceeded to sell our share in this land that one of my grandfather’s brothers had registered the bulk of the family land in his own name in the mid 70s without the knowledge or consent of any other members. We had all agreed to sell the land and divide the proceeds four ways until my Uncles discovered that the majority of the land is in their name. They are now demanding a majority of the proceeds to which I am disagreeing. Is there anything that I can do to ensure that the proceeds are shared equally?” This is not a story but a reality.

People avoid legal transfer of properties between blood relations due to registration fee and stamp fee which leads to later day disputes in the family. To solve this issue the Punjab government has recently waived off total registration fee charged for transfer of property between spouses and blood relations in urban and rural areas with immediate effect thereby giving a big relief to thousands of such beneficiaries.

In a special gesture to encourage families to legally transfer property between blood relations and spouses including son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, grandson and granddaughter, the Punjab government has also decided to waive off social security fund, social infrastructure cess and stamp duty on such transfers. A notification to this effect was issued on November 5, 2015.

Punjab Revenue Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia describes this decision in line with the government’s desire to encourage people to go in for legal registration of property rather than adopting ultra virus measures which only increase intra family disputes. He gives whole credit to Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal for guiding the ministry to take this decision in people interest.

Mr. Majithia furher added, “I am happy that this zero fee transfer of property has been approved by special efforts of Chief Minister, who took care to follow up this issue at every level clearing all legal hurdles leading to its fructification.”

It may be added that Punjab Revenue Minister had been working from last three years to simplify the revenue acts, reduce legal disputes besides encouraging people to adopt legal rather that extra constitutional means to give closure to family transfers.

Strengthening infrastructure and inclusive progress of the people

For the progress and prosperity of the state, Punjab government has taken various initiatives to strengthen the infrastructure and provide inclusive growth to the people of the state. Punjab government has emphasised that in the coming months the state will witness inclusive development on a massive scale as the government has chalked out its agenda to develop the state socially and economically.

Punjab government’s ‘Progressive Punjab Investor Summit-2015’ which was held recently at ISB Mohali was a grand success, investors from across the globe had shown tremendous interest in making investments in the state which would result in strengthening the infrastructure as well as ensuring job avenues for 2.5 lakh youth. The state government has announced a slew of tax exemptions for the food processing sector and investments made in this sector would benefit the state’s farmers too. Setting up of IT hub in Mohali will provide great job opportunities to the youth of the state who move out in order to find suitable jobs. The state government has also tied up with various companies to setup skill training centres, the government is focused to train the youth and make them skilled, so that where ever they go they can easily find jobs. With such initiatives Punjab will soon become the most skilled state of the nation.

Punjab is the only state where every village, town and city is connected through a brilliant road network. The state is focused on broadening the road network from 4 to 6 lanes and will provide best connectivity to the citizens of the state in terms of road, air and rail.

Punjab government is inviting farmers to generate power from non-conventional energy resources; the state government is encouraging farmers to generate power from residue of crops besides devoting special attention to commissioning new biomass based plants. Solar plants are one of the major sources of production of clean and green electricity, farmers of the state and various companies has shown keen interest in setting up solar plants in the state which will benefit the progress of the state and its citizens to a great extent.

Punjab government would release funds constituency wise in the rural and urban areas to carry out developmental works like – roads, clean drinking water, lights, sewerage etc. The state government will soon advertise a total of 1 lakh jobs in keeping with its policy of providing employment to youth of the state.

Indeed Punjab is moving at a rapid rate by implementing every policy effectively and efficiently, focusing on the inclusive growth of the state and its citizens.

“Make in Punjab”

In order to promote and encourage industrialists and businessman of the state, Punjab government has stated that it will come up with a new policy under “Make in Punjab” to encourage the local industry thereby providing incentives for its growth. The state government is committed to attract the setting up of new industries on one hand and revive the existing units on the other. “The sole aim is to provide congenial atmosphere, liberal policies and online facilities to the entrepreneurs for overall progress of the Punjab as well as generating job opportunities for youth.”

Punjab government has empowered the industrialists’ associations to develop and maintain existing focal points. Under new policy, Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) would be set up in each industrial area by January 1st. The SPVs would collect the taxes from the industrial units and spend it on the development of industrial areas. This unique mechanism will certainly help in eliminating the various problems regarding provisioning of basic amenities and other facilities in focal points.

Punjab government has assented to the demands of businessmen and announced that under existing labour rules, payments to the industrial labour through cheques would be deferred by December 31 and alternative arrangements would be made in consultations with the labour department. In order to redress their genuine grievances, the government has asked the excise and industry departments to constitute an advisory committee of small scale manufacturers in order to get their valuable suggestions. Providing big relief to the industrialists the state government has announced that the excise department would now scrutinise assessment cases of tax payers pertaining to the last three years instead of five years and if any tax payer found at fault then scrutiny of five years taxes would be implemented. With a view to provide online facilities and solutions to the queries of the tax payers, the state government has asked the industrialists to upload their email ids on the departmental web portal. This will allow the government to deliver the information and respond to their issues effectively and efficiently.

Punjab government has also declared to provide VAT retention and power incentives even for expansion of existing units under new industrial policy. The State government has stated that it is formulating a new power policy in which existing units would also get cheaper power which is below Rs 5 per unit, keeping in view their present consumption. The state government has also advised the small scale entrepreneurs to pay lump-sum taxes by adopting “Rahat Scheme” that had already been implemented for the traders to end ‘Inspector Raj’ across the state. The main aim behind the new scheme is to simplify the procedure of trade and business in the state.