3:11 am : 28.Nov.2014
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National News

Mahatma Gandhi Statue NatNew Delhi, Nov 27, 2014 (Agency)

Ahead of the proposed installation of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the British parliament, a section of the Indian diaspora has expressed scepticism about the British government's motive behind the move and instead favoured redressal of their concerns as a real tribute to the Father of the Nation.


Created by sculptor Philip Jackson, based on Mahatma Gandhi's last visit to London in 1931, the statue is estimated to cost around one million pounds (about $1.5 million/Rs.9.7 crore) and is slated to be unveiled at the Parliament Square here in early 2015.


The memorial to Gandhi, who studied in London for many years before leading non-violent resistance to the British rule in India, is to be erected opposite the Houses of Parliament.


Praveen Maan, a software professional in London from Haryana, told IANS over phone that the Indian community is faced with far bigger issues than thinking about Gandhi's statue.


"Right-wing political parties like UKIP are misguiding people about immigrants and when such a party misguides people, immigrants have a cause for concern... Then there are issues of new rules regarding 'Citizenship Stripping' as well. We want the Indian leadership to take up real issues with the British government, keeping us in mind."


"At a time when we are having a tough time here, I don't think a statue would matter much to many Indians like me," he added.


Pankaj Sharma, a computer engineer living in Britain for 16 years, views the efforts to set up Gandhi's statue as nothing but sheer wastage of money. "It is a politically motivated move. Wastage of money to make his statue here. What's the need for all this? They could have appreciated some other freedom fighter's statue."


H.S. Rao, a professional writer in London, feels that with an election coming "may be this British government is trying to give a pro-Asian message" but he views Gandhi's statue would be a proud moment.


"They want to woo the Indian people. But according to the Indian community it's a proud moment that our freedom fighter's statue is being put. Initially, William Hague had made this announcement in India when he would be there that this statue will be put up. But now they have decided that the Indian diaspora will pay for it. The diaspora is capable of footing the bill."


However, according to Amit, a research scholar from Cambridge University, it is "a positive sign that the government of this country acknowledges and pays tribute to the Father of India. Also, it's a permanent monument to Britain's friendship with India." 


Needhi Vishwa Prakash, a housewife in London's Harrow town and originally from Delhi, said it doesn't seem okay when the British government hopes to pay respect but from the funds of Indians living here.


"The Gandhi statue appears to cash in the opportunities that may arise for British businessmen in future. Remembering Gandhi for Prime Minister Modi's closeness seems fishy. It seems pure business for British ministers and nothing else."


Talking to a private TV channel recently, NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul expressed his sadness at seeing that the British government could not find the money for the proposed Mahatma Gandhi statue. He also questioned the wisdom behind announcement of setting up of the statue with such a fanfare by Chancellor George Osborne and the then Secretary of State William Hague while visiting India in July.


Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948, four and a half months after India gained independence from Britain.

Sukhbir Singh Badal SukChandigarh/New Delhi, November 27, 2014 (Yes Punjab News)

In a bid to attract more investments and create employment opportunities, the Punjab government will focus on Agro and Food Processing, IT, Bio Sciences, Healthcare, Textiles, Electronic Hardware, Automobiles, Garments, sports goods and leather industry generating about 1.5 lakh direct and indirect job opportunities in next two years. Besides, this, government has gave its nod to setup private industrial parks in the state vis-a-vis developing e-commerce and banking hubs at SAS Nagar.


Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the chairman of Punjab Investment Advisory Council today held a brainstorming session here with ace industrialists to realise the dream of making Punjab a most favoured investment destination. Inviting the industrial giants to promote 'Make in Punjab', Mr. Badal emphasised that being agrarian state Punjab have immense potential to exploit in every sector and offered all support to set up ventures.


Flanked with Punjab Finance Minister Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Member Parliament Mr. Naresh Gujral, Punjab Chief Secretary Mr. Sarvesh Kaushal, Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero Group, Mr. Onkar Singh Kanwar, Apollo Group, Mr. Atul Punj of Punj Llyods, Mr. Rajinder Gupta of Trident Group, Mr. Kamal Oswal of Nahar Industries and galaxy of senior officers, Deputy CM asked Chief Secretary and CEO Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion Mr Anirudh Tiwari to submit a proposal for amendments in labour laws and other issues related to the industry by December 15. He also asked Mr. Tiwari to curtail the time limit for provisioning of all clearances and NOCs from 41 days to less than a month.


In detailed deliberations to encourage food processing industry in the state, Mr. Munjal suggested to setup a cluster of food parks and to promote organic farming as more than 20,000 acres of land were already under organic farming. Mr. Badal informed that food processing units would come on a total 550 acres of land at Fazilka, Ladhowal, Kapurthala very soon while Mohali, Gurdaspur and Nawan Shahr would also get food parks. He said Kapurthala would have one of the largest mega food park of north India at a cost of Rs. 800 crore being setup by ITC.


On the demand of M/s Field Fresh Food to change the definition of new units vis-a-vis expansion units for incentive purposes and exclusion of distilleries, brewing, bottling and canning plant from the negative list, Mr. Badal on the spot gave directions to authorities concerned to notify these changes within two weeks.


During deliberations seeking amendments in current norms, Mr. Kamal Oswal offered to setup world class private industrial park and informed that a group of top industrial houses were also eager to establish such parks in the state. Mr. Badal asked Chief Secretary to convene a meeting in this regard so that the necessary action could be initiated at the earliest.


Proposing to have a meet with leaders of e-commerce sector, Mr. Onkar Singh Kanwar said there should be e-commerce hub near Mohali. He suggested that small and medium industries of Punjab could provide the required products to e-commerce companies at affordable prices. Mr. Rajinder Gupta emphasised to bring banking hub in the satellite towns of Chandigarh to cater the commercial needs of industries pertaining to banking sector.


Assuring industrialists good results in this regard, Mr. Badal asked PBIP CEO to prepare a detailed report in this regard to establish both hubs at SAS Nagar after meeting with heads of e-commerce companies and bankers.


Deputy Chief Minister on the request of Mr. Oswal directed PBIP to take collections of cancer funds also from the investors in the office of Bureau instead of depositing it in the treasury or banks. 


Reviewing the status of projects being setup in the state, Mr. Badal said 125 projects worth Rs. 6000 crore have been processed while 10 proposals with an estimated investment of Rs. 2000 crore were under active processing. Clearances to 62 projects have been awarded, which would generate expected direct and indirect employment for 60000 persons.


Prominent amongst other present in the meeting included Mr. Suresh Kumar, Financial Commisioner Development, Mr. Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary Investment Promotion, Mrs. Kalpana Mittal Baruah, Principal Resident Commissioner, Mr.  Vishwajit Khanna Principal Secretary Labour, Mr. P.S. Aujla, Principal Secretary to Deputy CM, Mr. A.Venu Prasad, Secretary Housing, Mr. S.R. Ladhar, Secretary Food Processing, Mr. KAP Sinha, Secretary Science & Technology and Environment, Mr. K. Shiva Prasad, Resident Commissioner and Mr. D.K. Tiwari, Director Investment Promotion.

Punjab Map LMIChandigarh, November 27, 2014 (Yes Punjab News)

The Punjab Government today issued Notification authorising all Deputy Commissioners to grant temporary release, on furlough to the prisoners lodged in the jails located in their districts. This step has been taken to cut the Red Tape ushering in an era of Governance Reforms in the Jails department.


Disclosing this here today by Mr. Sohan Singh Thandal, Minister for Jails said that he had been receiving representation from the Prisoners and their families that the process of temporarily release was tedious, time consuming and complicated. They had been complaining that in case medical emergency and other unforeseen emergency in the immediate family of prisoners the long time taken in sanction of temporary release defeat the very purpose of seeking release.


The minister said that he consulted this issue with Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal who gave his nod to delegate this power to Deputy Commissioners of those districts where these jails were located to facilitate the early sanction.


He said that Deputy Commissioners have also been authorized to exercise the power of the State Government under sub section (4) of section 3 of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1962 (Punjab Act No. 11 of 1962). He said that now the Deputy Commissioners could exercise the powers of the State Government in respect of the grounds specified in clause (a),(b) and (c) of the sub section (1) of the aforesaid section.


Mr. Thandal said that Deputy Commissioner while exercising the powers of the State Government could grant temporary release, on furlough to any prisoner lodged in the jails of their district subject to the conditions laid down in the section 4 of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1962. He said that DCs could exercise these powers in accordance of the Act, Rules made their under and guidelines issued by the State Government from time to time and under the over-all supervision of the State Government and Additional Director General of Police cum Inspector General of Police (Jails).

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