Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Criminal action against wilful defaulters of banks loans demanded

Countrywide Strike against so-called banking reforms 
Ludhiana: 28th February 2017: (Punjab Screen Bureau)::
On the call given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), one million bank Workmen and Officers are observing country wide Strike TODAY agianst so called banking reforms by the Government. As per decision, United Forum of Bank Unions (Unit : Ludhiana) held a massive demonstration  in front of  Canara Bank, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana.  Com. Naresh Gaur, Convener, United Forum of Bank Unions, Com. D P Maur, General Secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions, Com B S Walia, President, PAU Employees Union, Com. Harvinder Singh, Sr.Vice President, PBEF Ludhiana and Com. Gurmeet Singh from AIBOA addressed the bank employees.  Com. Ashok Malhan, Com. Rajesh Verma, Vice Presidents, Pb. Bank Employees Federation and Com. Parveen Moudgil, Convener, Women Cell, Pb. Bank Employees Federation were also present. 
While addressing the bank employees, Com. Naresh Gaur said The Unions in the banking industry have been fighting for more than 2 decades against the reform measures of the Government as these are against the interests of general public and labour force in the country.  In the name of reform measures, every effort is being made by the successive Governments since 1991 to shift the control of public sector entities to the private and foreign investors. 

In order to create a conducive environment to the private and foreign investors further efforts are being made by the Government to amend the labour laws to suit their needs.  In the banking sector also, there are increasing instances of denial of trade union rights viz. right of representation in the Boards of the Banks, right to collective bargaining, violation of Settlements, questioning to right to strike etc.  Further, every effort is being made to outsource the permanent jobs, in the banking industry too, which is fraught with risks

Hence, UFBU is opposed to the retrograde anti-people banking/labour reforms, the moves of the Government infringing the hard-earned trade union rights and the hazardous practice of outsourcing of permanent jobs.

 The implementation of demonetization and the effects of the same are known to everyone.  The role and the performance of bank employees during the implementation period was appreciated by each and every one including the top management functionaries, Government, customers and the general public.  It is a pity that the day and night hard work and suffering of bank employees and officers are not given due recognition.  The eligible compensation to employees as per bipartite provisions for the extra hours of work performed by them is denied.  Officers were also made to work for long hours and on Sundays/holidays without compensation or with notional payment.

The cost of demonetization as well as the business loss during the demonetization period of nearly two months will have a cascading effect on the balance sheets of the banks, the brunt of which would ultimately fall on the bank employees and officers alone.  It is imperative that the demonetization cost needs to be reimbursed to the Banks by the Government.

Several issues pertaining to the bank employees and officers such as the appointment of workmen/officer employee directors in the boards of many banks, adequate recruitment in all cadres, removal of ceiling on Gratuity, exemption of Income-Tax on Superannuation benefits, improvements in pension/family pension schemes and issues relating to retirees are yet to be resolved.  Despite approval by Government, subsequent to decade long struggle of UFBU, the Compassionate Appointment Scheme is still not introduced in many banks.  Five-day banking is another long pending demand of bank employees and officers.  

The Government is very serious in continuing the retrograde reform measures ignoring the real menace in the banking industry i.e., alarmingly increasing bad loans.  Willful defaulters are also on the increase.  The whole country has so far witnessed that the method of evading repayment also is maximum done by the big and corporate borrowers.  The economy of the country is affected.  There is a need to fix accountability of those responsible for the bad loans.  Criminal action against willful defaulters of bank loans can only reduce such types of irregularities in the banking industry.

On the issues and demands of bank employees and officers including retirees, as mentioned above, it has been unanimously decided by the UFBU to observe One Day All India Bank Strike on the 28th February 2017.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience to the esteemed customers/general public on account of strike by bank employees and appeal for their moral support to our just cause.        

Sunday, February 5, 2017

How one ballot can make a difference

Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 2:20 PM
Students promoted the theme I Vote I Lead
Ludhiana:: 5 February 2017: (Punjab Screen Bureau)::
Around 50 students’ volunteers of Bajaj college assisted the district administration, Ludhiana in Punjab state election 2017 held yesterday.
Students promoted the I Vote I Lead theme highlighting the importance of voting to our democracy and how one ballot can make a difference in an election and help our society choose right leaders.
Students assisted the senior polling officers around different constituencies all day long. They actively ensured that the presiding officers are using the Mobile App developed by 01 Synergy used by Election Commission of India and also assisted in case of any technical issues

Students had a lifetime experience and were extremely thrilled all through the day.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

President Opens Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Annual "Udyanotsav"

04-February-2017 16:17 IST
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee opened the annual ‘Udyanotsav’ of the Rashtrapati Bhavan today (February 04, 2017)

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee opens the annual “Udyanotsav” of the Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on February 04, 2017.

The Mughal Gardens will remain open for general public from tomorrow to March 12, 2017 (except on Mondays which are maintenance days) between 0930 hrs to 1600 hrs. Members of the public will also be able to visit the Spiritual Garden, Herbal Garden, Bonsai Garden and Musical Garden. During this period, there will be no online booking for visiting the Gardens. 

Entry and exit for the general public will be from Gate No. 35 of the President’s Estate, close to where North Avenue meets Rashtrapati Bhavan. Visitors are requested not to bring any water bottles, briefcases, handbags/ladies purses, cameras, radios/transistors, boxes, umbrellas, eatables etc. Such articles, if any, will have to be deposited at the entry point. However, arrangements of drinking water, toilets, first aid / medical facility; rest rooms for senior citizens, women and children will be provided for public visiting the Gardens. 

The Mughal Gardens will be open exclusively on March 10, 2017 to special category of visitors viz farmers, differently abled persons, defence/para-military forces and Delhi Police personnel from 0930 hrs. to 1600 hrs. Entry and exit will be through Gate No. 35. 

The Tactile Garden will be open for visually impaired people on March 10, 2017 from 1100 hrs. to 1600 hrs. Entry and exit will be from Gate No. 12, situated on Church Road (next to the North Avenue). (PIB)

Zora Singh Commission Report Disclosure:

Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 4:53 AM
Sikh Council UK calls for action

The Sikh Council UK today called for comprehensive and urgent action by the next Punjab Government following the leak of the findings of the Justice Zora Singh Commission.

The Commission was established in October 2015 by the Punjab Government following the desecrations' of the holy Sikh scriptures the Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab and the subsequent killings of unarmed Sikhs who had gathered to protest against the desecrations'.
The principal findings and recommendations of the Commission were that: -
> The investigations by the Punjab Police into the incidents of the desecrations of Guru Granth Sahib at villages Burj Jawahar Singh Wala and Bargari were flawed and improper

> Punjab Police officers fired riffle bullets at Sikhs protesting the desecrations at Kotakpura Chowk injuring seven including Ajit Singh grievously

> The Punjab Police subsequently failed to provide CCTV footage to the Commission in relation to the events at Kotakpura Chowk giving inconsistent reasons why it was not available

> Punjab Police officers fired riffle bullets from point blank range of approximately a yard out at unarmed Sikhs who were sitting on the floor peacefully protesting at the desecrations at Behbal Kalan killing Gurjeet Singh and Krishan Bhagwan Singh and injuring six others some grievously

> The firing upon ‘defenceless protestors’ sitting on the floor at Behbal Kalan was ‘absolutely unwarranted’ and ‘beyond comprehension’ and not in self-defence as alleged by the Punjab Police; the Punjab Police officers interviewed provided inconsistent and false testimonies to the Commission in relation to the events at Behbal Kalan

> The Punjab Police failed to undertake any alternative crowd control measures in the courses of policing the protests at Behbal Kalan such as loud speaker warnings or use of water-cannons, tear-gas, latti charge, firing in the air, use of rubber bullets etc.

> The Commission recommended a criminal investigation is undertaken to identify the police officers responsible for the firings including reviewing the complicity of the SSP in charge Charanjit Singh Sharma and that charges are laid against the offenders before a court of law within 6 months

Sikh Council UK Chair of Indian Subcontinent Affairs Sub-committee Gurdial Singh Atwal said “It is shocking that the Commission report has laid dormant for the past year with the Akali-BJP Punjab Government despite the clear findings. We are calling for immediate action by the next Punjab Government to implement the recommendations of the Commission against the guilty officials and also calling for a high level and independent investigation to be undertaken as a matter of urgency into the deliberate desecrations of religious scriptures that have occurred in recent years within Punjab”.

He added “It has been alleged the inaction of the Punjab authorities to bring the culprits to justice has been motivated by political calculations in the lead up to upcoming state elections in Punjab by way of seeking to gain the favour of political block voting of certain anti-Sikh groups whose members have even been suspected of having involvement in the incidents of desecrations. These allegations have gained more traction in recent days in light of the decision of the Dera Sacha Sauda cult group to support the Akali-BJP alliance political parties in the impending election following the visit by a number of prospective candidates of Shiromani Akali Dal to the Dera Sacha Sauda to garner the votes of the followers of this group in flagrant breach of the 2007 Hukamnama (edict) of the Akal Takhat which mandated Sikhs to socially and politically boycott this group for its anti-Sikh activities. We are calling upon the Akal Takhat to summon those Sikh representatives of the Shiromani Akali Dal for defying the Hukamnama”.