Kanchan Vasdev

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Punjab coffers empty, Captain Amarinder Singh to meet Arun Jaitley today with bailout plan
Thu, Jul 20, 2017

The state, sources said, will handle the cooperative banks and societies that have lent about Rs 3600 crore to 6 lakh farmers. These banks fall under the purview of the state government.

Nine months after rejecting Prakash Singh Badal’s offer, war widows get same grant from Captain
Wed, Jul 19, 2017

The policy change will be applicable to dependents of martyred soldiers besides permanently disabled soldiers of 1962 Indo-China war, 1965 Indo-Pak war and widows of 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Presidential Polls: 116 MLAs vote in Punjab, Phoolka stays away
Tue, Jul 18, 2017

In another episode, former Punjab Finance Minister and Akali leader Parminder Singh Dhinda demanded a duplicate ballot paper stating that he had accidentally marked his vote against the name of the wrong candidate.

Farm loan waiver crisis: Agri-bank sends SOS to Punjab govt for Rs 150 crore
Sat, Jul 15, 2017

The Punjab government’s farm loan waiver and deletion of kurki clause has resulted in a first ever fiscal crisis for the Punjab State Co-operative Agricultural Development Bank Limited (PSCADB) that provides long-term loans to farmers.

Congress divided over CM Amarinder Singh’s ‘soft’ approach against SAD
Wed, Jul 12, 2017

Amarinder’s accusation, during a gurdwara function at Delhi, drew a sharp response from the Akali patriarch but was greeted with relief among Congressmen who have been uneasy about his perceived chumminess with the Badals.

Captain Amarinder Singh meets Sonia, Rahul, puts off Cabinet expansion
Sun, Jul 09, 2017

The Cabinet expansion was deferred as it was felt there were many contenders for the remaining eight berths. Those who would be left out may not work hard for the party in the upcoming elections, which may affect prospects of the Congress. The elections would be a litmus test for the Congress in state after coming to power in March.

Captain Amarinder to meet Rahul Gandhi today to discuss Punjab cabinet expansion
Sat, Jul 08, 2017

With rules allowing Punjab to have only 18 ministers in an Assembly of 117 members, eight ministers can be inducted.

Re-auction of sand mines: Punjab govt’s hope of making Rs 1,000 Cr takes a hit as bids go down
Thu, Jul 06, 2017

Sources in mining department told The Indian Express that the worst hit were Dupana and Rajapur mines in Ludhiana. While Rajapur recorded a highest bid of Rs 50 crore earlier, the bid recorded today stood at Rs 3.05 crore, 16 times less than earlier.

SC allows liquor sale near highways within city limits: Punjab will still wait for Governor nod
Thu, Jul 06, 2017

A state official said SC’s observation was a relief for the hotels, restaurants and clubs but it was not an order. “The observation was reported by the press. We cannot take that as an order unless we get it in a copy of the order.”

‘Cabinet expansion due, waiting for Rahul Gandhi’s return after a week’
Fri, Jun 30, 2017

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh speaks to Kanchan Vasdev on his government’s first 100 days in office

Power subsidy to industry and farm loan waiver to cost state govt Rs 1,500 crore each annually
Thu, Jun 29, 2017

The fund-crunched government, having a debt of Rs 2.08 lakh crore (including the guarantees), has already set aside a whopping Rs 10,000 crore towards power subsidy to farmers, which includes arrears of last fiscal not cleared by the previous govt

Punjab government keeps rural development fund out of audit’s purview
Wed, Jun 28, 2017

Not only Comptroller and Accountant General but the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had written a stinker to the former government soon after NDA government took over at the Centre that the government should bring the funds in the budget.

Punjab amends excise policy to circumvent SC liquor ban near highways
Sat, Jun 24, 2017

By way of amendment in the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, the definition of “liquor vend”, “club” and “hotel” has been changed besides differentiating between the “sale” and “supply” of liquor.

AAP MLA misbehaved with woman constable… I acted, says Speaker Rana Kanwar Pal Singh
Fri, Jun 23, 2017

Taking about manhandling of AAP MLAs, Speaker Rana Kanwar Pal Singh said, that the AAP MLAs started throwing paper missiles and one of them even tried to approach the speaker's bench ''menacingly''.

We lived through hell today, say AAP’s women MLAs
Fri, Jun 23, 2017

Sarabjit Kaur Manuke, who had recently undergone a surgery for a fracture on her arm, However, she was dragged and dumped outside the entrance of the Assembly hall.

Only one Congress MLA follows CM Amarinder Singh in giving up power subsidy
Thu, Jun 22, 2017

Besides Fatehgarh Sahib AAP MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra, AAP MLA from Begowal, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, had also made the announcement soon after Amarinder that he too would be paying his farm’s power bill.

Debate on budget: Opposition tears into Manpreet Singh Badal for ‘cheating the people of Punjab’
Thu, Jun 22, 2017

Criticising Amarinder’s claim that they would pay Rs 50,000 each to waive off every Dalit’s loan, AAP leader H S Phoolka said they set aside just Rs 17 crore.

Budget session curtain raiser: Punjab govt may appeal to big farmers to surrender power subsidy
Sat, Jun 10, 2017

“The CM will be appealing to all the members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly to surrender the subsidy. The Assembly has many big farmers, including former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal," said a government official.

Punjab: Government to set aside Rs 1,500-2,000 crore as first installment of debt waiver
Fri, Jun 09, 2017

The core group constituted to assess the farm debt has found that out of a total debt of Rs 74,000 crore on Punjab farmers, only Rs 9,000 crore was lent by cooperative banks, Rs 12,000 crore by nationalised banks and the rest by private banks .

Mining Punjab for sand: Demand 2 crore tonnes a year, business Rs 3,000 crore
Thu, Jun 01, 2017

What’s legal and what isn’t in a thriving business that is driven by construction in Punjab and has brought the interests of a minister under the scanner

Punjab tweaked auction rules before minister’s ex-cook got sand mine
Mon, May 29, 2017

Rana Gurjit has sought to distance himself from Bahadur saying that he left his employment in February this year.

Congress MLA from Zira opens front against govt
Wed, May 24, 2017

Zira is miffed at the posting of Sukhwinder Singh, principal of a government school in Mallanwala, as the District Education Officer, Ferozepore, after an education department reshuffle on Tuesday.

Punjab sand mines auction: Bidders shy away from depositing security in about 50 per cent of mines
Wed, May 24, 2017

Indications are that the government would be able to make only about Rs 400 crore in this auction and will have to re-auction the rest of the mines

In online auction, 31 sand mines get ‘unrealistic’ bids
Tue, May 23, 2017

A look into the bids recorded by the mining department during e-auction revealed that in at least seven mines, a tipper would cost more than Rs 5 lakh.

Punjab gets record bids in auction of sand mines
Sun, May 21, 2017

The government is anticipating that many unrealistic bidders may not actually turn up.

Gurdaspur LS by-poll may throw challenge to Captain Amarinder Singh
Sat, May 20, 2017

THE GURDASPUR Lok Sabha by-election, necessitated following the death of Bollywood actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, has posed a challenge to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to either please a loyalist or get a baiter on his side. While a long-time loyalist and Rural Development Minister Tripat Singh Bajwa’s son Ravi Bajwa, seeking the ticket for the […]

Punjab: ‘Lost’ files of IAS, PCS officers found during shifting of records
Sat, May 20, 2017

Surprisingly, the files had gone missing from the Department of Personnel housed in the Civil Secretariat, Sector 1, here.

‘Lost’ files found after ‘guilty’ official spends 16 months in jail
Fri, May 19, 2017

Sharma was booked for misplacing 35 files, of which six were located while the case was still in the district court.

Life after beacon: MLAs complain of long wait at toll booths, cops who don’t salute
Sun, May 14, 2017

A few MLAs, mostly first-timers, who resisted the removal of the red beacon, say the timing of the decision has been particularly harsh on them.

Gurdaspur LS bypoll: Bajwa, Captain Amarinder Singh hold closed-door meeting
Sat, May 13, 2017

The meeting holds significance ahead of by-election for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat which fell vacant after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna.

Punjab: Capt Amarinder Singh reiterates promise on deletion of kurki clause
Sat, May 13, 2017

The Chief Minister asserted that his government would not allow anything to come in the way of the implementation of its promise to waive farm loans and bring the kurki system to an end.

Punjab: PSERC chief resigns
Fri, May 12, 2017

Sources in the government said another retired IAS officer Kusumjit Kaur Sidhu, a close aide of the CM, is tipped to be the next chairperson of the regulator.

Punjab: Told to delete kurki clause, co-op department asks who will help recover farm loans
Fri, May 12, 2017

Finance, sources said, has written back saying that the cooperative department “should be self-sufficient and not look towards the finance department to come to their rescue”.

People have voted for change in style of governance, says Sunil Kumar Jakhar
Thu, May 11, 2017

Newly appointed Punjab Congress president Sunil Kumar Jakhar speaks to The Indian Express on the challenges he is set to face, promises made by his party, deliverance, his predecessor and Rahul Gandhi.

Sunil Kumar Jakhar takes over as state Congress chief, fires warning shots
Thu, May 11, 2017

Jakhar warned the police to shed “Akali thinking” and toe the party line otherwise “ungli tedhi karni humein bhi ati hai (we also know how to set the things straight.)”

Captain Amarinder Singh to clear proposal for monthly financial aid to acid attack victims
Tue, May 09, 2017

The decision will be tabled in the cabinet meeting scheduled on May 17 and would be notified thereafter. If cleared, the victims will get a financial assistance of Rs 8,000 per month.