Chandigarh, November 16:Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has said that relations between India and Pakistan cannot improve till the military there is tamed.

“Imran Khan or any other Khan cannot do much till they control their military, which has vested interests in continuing border tensions with India,” said the chief minister.

Captain Amarinder, who was speaking at a literary festival organized by a leading Media House here on Friday, said that, by and large people in Pakistan too want peace with India but their military feels otherwise. He said that during his last stint as the Chief Minister, relations between the two countries had “warmed up” to quite an extent and he had then even organized the hugely successful Punjab (India) to Punjab (Pak) games. He regretted that relations between the two countries soured again and he blamed Pakistan’s army for it.

Responding to a question, the chief minister said that though Pakistan’s ISI continues to foment trouble in Punjab, he does not foresee revival of terrorism in the state. “People here want peace and have seen what terrorism did to the state,” he said, adding that though, due to unemployment, frustrations do exist among the state’s youth, his government’s ambitious programme of ‘Ghar Ghar Naukri’ was showing results. He said about 4.5 lakhs youth had been given employment in the state in the past 18 months under this programme.

The chief minister said that his government had “by and large” controlled the drug menace, but admitted that the problem cannot just disappear. “Nowhere in the world drugs have disappeared but we are taking all steps to cut their supply chain and for the rehabilitations of the addicts,” he said.

Asserting that heroin was being smuggled into Punjab from all across the country, the chief minister said that recently the police had seized a consignment that had come from Mandavi in Gujarat, which clearly suggested that there was in place a systematic gameplan of destabilising the state. He, however, said that he would not allow this to happen and his government will continue its crackdown on drug dealers and traders.

Responding to a question, the chief minister said that it was absolutely incorrect to equate the blasphemy laws in Pakistan with his government’s decision to make sacrilege of religious books punishable with life imprisonment. “If anyone thinks that they can get away by indulging in sacrilege, by burning a Guru Granth Sahib, a Bible, a Quran or any other religious scripture, they should know that we would not allow it and they will have to pay the price for such misadventures,” he warned.

On the prospects of the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Chief Minister said that the party was on the path of recovery and will form the government at the centre. He said AICC president Rahul Gandhi will be the party’s choice for Prime Ministership and he was personally confident that the party chief would prove to be a successful prime minister. The Chief Minister also said that the Congress was poised to win four of the five states that are going to polls now.

Referring to his recent trip to Turkey, where he paid his respects to the martyred Commonwealth soldiers, including Indians, at the Gallipoli’s Helles and Turkish memorials, Captain Amarinder regretted that the exemplary valour and indomitable courage of the Indian soldiers in the great war remains largely unrecognised here. “Nearly 74,000 Indian soldiers attained martyrdom and 67,000 were wounded in the Great War but their supreme contribution has been largely forgotten,” said the Chief Minister.

In response to another question, the Chief Minister reiterated that Punjab was not responsible for Delhi’s pollution. “We have westerly winds most of the year and if stubble burning was responsible for Delhi’s pollution then Chandigarh’s air should have been as polluted,” he said.


Misbranded drugs seized in Jalandhar and Phagwara

4300 bottles dispatched to various medical stores in the State, 800 seized

Chandigarh, November 16:The Drug Control team in a surprise check at a medical shop in Dilkusha Market, Jalandhar seized 78 bottles of misbranded drug which is suspected to be spurious/counterfeit, informed KS Pannu, Commissioner Food and Drug Administration Punjab.

Giving details, Mr. Pannu said that on receiving a lead about spurious/counterfeit medicines in the market, a team consisting of Drug Control Officers of Jalandhar and Kapurthala was constituted for the inspection of Dilkusha Market, Jalandhar. The investigation revealed that a drug having a lookalike packing was available in a medical store. One of the packing’s bore the name of manufacturing firm as mandatory under the Act, while the other did not have the same. Another contravention observed was that one packing had the mention of drug as a ‘Schedule H Drug’ which is sold only on prescription of the doctor while the other didn’t.

Besides being a case of misbranded drug, it is suspected to be spurious/ counterfeit. Four samples have been taken and sent for further investigation and the stock (78x 100ml) has been seized from Jalandhar, informed Pannu. In continuation to previous investigation, medical stores in Phagwara were also checked and 12 bottles of the same misbranded Vriclor syrup were seized from a medical store in Nangal Majha.

Swinging into action, Commissionerate constituted a special team to immediately investigate about the supply of the drug at C&F( carrying and forwarding) level. Preliminary report reveals that about 4300 bottles have been dispatched to various medical stores in the State out of which 800 have been seized so far.

All the Drug Control Officers in the State have been asked to be vigilant about the same in their respective jurisdictions and weed out the mis-branded product sans mandatory ‘Schedule H Drug’ declaration, said he and added that Drug Control Wing is conducting regular inspections of the medical stores to ensure compliance of Drugs and Cosmetics Act as well to check the illegal stock of habit forming drugs.



Chandigarh, November 16:Fulfilling his government’s another poll promise to facilitate MILKFED to establish Mega Milk Processing Plants in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will lay the foundation stone of a Verka Mega Dairy at Bassi Pathana at a state-level function on November 17.

Disclosing this here today, Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that the foundation stone ceremony will mark the 65th Cooperative Week, underlined by the theme ‘Value addition and brand building through cooperatives'.

The new Verka Mega Dairy at Bassi Pathana has been planned over 25 acres, with a mega dairy for value addition of milk, to be established to process 11 Lakh Liters milk per day once fully operational, Randhawa added.

According to Cooperative Minister S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, “Milkfed has played a pivotal role in improving the economic conditions of farmers. In the true sense of a Cooperative, Milkfed is operating as an independent association of farmers, united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations."



CHANDIGARH, NOVEMBER 16:Chief justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court Mr. Krishna Murari, todayadministered oath of office to two new judges as additional judges of Punjab & Haryana high court. The judges to whom oath of office was administered were Mr. Lalit Batra and Mr. Arun Kumar Tyagi. Swearing-in-Ceremony was organized in the High Court Auditorium.

Among those present during the oath taking ceremony included all judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Registrar, Officers of the registry, Senior advocates and office-bearers of High Court Bar Association.


156.29 LMT Paddy Purchased

Payments worth Rs.24514.77crore made

Chandigarh, November 16:-The Government agencies and private millers have procured 156.29 lakh metric tonnes of paddy in Punjab till November 15.

Disclosing this here today, an official spokesman of the Government of Punjab informed that out of the total procurement from various procurement centres in the State, the Government agencies procured 155.32 LMT of paddy while 97541 MT has been procured by the millers. Besides, 147.01LMT paddy has been lifted and payment worth Rs.24514.77crore has made to the farmers /artiyas.

Giving the details, the spokesman said that PUNGRAIN has procured 5436308 metric tonnes, MARKFED 3569172 tonnes and PUNSUP procured 3233765 tonnes while Punjab State Warehousing Corporation and Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation procured 1454229 and 1609022 MT paddy respectively. The Centre government agency FCI has procured 229614 MT paddy.