09012019-btd-01.qxd 1/8/2019 10:41 PM Page 1 WEDNESDAY | 9 JANUARY 2019 | BATHINDA BATHINDA TRIBUNE Plan to install 10 gyms These ‘baggers’ are choosers A little secret The MCB has planned to install open gyms in 10 more parks in the city at a cost of ~20 lakh. P2 A diamond may not have lost its sparkle yet, but guess what’s contending its status as a woman’s best friend? P3 Since Bigg Boss 12 has ended, fans have already moved on to the edgy reality show, Khatron Ke Khiladi 9. P4 FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY | MAX 20°C MIN 4°C | YESTERDAY MAX 19°C MIN 2°C | SUNSET WEDNESDAY 5.47 PM SUNRISE THURSDAY 7.28 AM Trade unions begin two-day strike Hold march against the Union government’s ‘anti-worker’ policies, unilateral labour reforms Sukhmeet Bhasin Tribune News Service Bathinda, January 8 On the call given by various trade unions across the country, employees of different departments launched a twoday strike in the district. The protesters on Tuesday took out a march against the Union government’s alleged anti-worker policies and unilateral labour reforms. Various trade unions and Central State Governments’ Employees’ Federation jointly staged protest against the anti-farmer, employment and development polices of the Union government. Trade unions, including INTEK, ATM, ACTU, CITU and other Punjab trade unions participated in the protest. A large number of protesters gathered at Teachers Home, after which they took out a march, passing from Fauji Chowk, Bus Stand and blocked road near the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Later, they also blocked the road for sometime near the District Administrative Complex and affected the flow of traffic on the main GT Road. The police also faced problems in controlling the traffic. While addressing the protesters, union leader Sukhdev Singh alleged that the Union Government was suppressing their rights to make big corporate houses happy. He also claimed that the Union Government was bringing amendment in labour law to suppress the democratic rights of the trade unions, which labourers have got after launching a long agitation. Further, protesters alleged that the Union Government was deliberately weakening the Labour Department machinery, which implements labour law in a systematic manner. (Clockwise from above) Members of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation stage a protest; members of the Punjab Medical Representatives Association and Punjab Chandigarh Sales Representatives Union protest; and members of various unions under the banner of the Centre of Indian Trade Union, block a road in Bathinda on Tuesday. TRIBUNE PHOTOS: PAWAN SHARMA After the GST and demonetisation, many have become unemployed, which has led to drop in country’s economy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is largely responsible for this, they said. The protesters demanded that the cost of basic commodities should be reduced; jobs of temporary workers should be regularized; Rs 18,000 allowance should be given’ anti labour amend- ments should be taken back in labour law; Factory Act should be imposed on brickkiln owners; and Swaminathan Commission report should be implemented. LIC employees also staged a protest outside their office in the city. While addressing the protesters, Gopal Rana said as per the call from the unions, LIC employees were on a two-day strike. He said unions were irked over the wrong polices of the Union Government. He said for the past many years, no new recruitment had been done in the LIC. He alleged that even the state government also didn’t think about the public interest as Punjab’s farmer who feed the nation are in trouble and facing many issues. Rana said no work would take place in the LIC office for two days. On the call given by the All-India Bank Employees Association, All-India Insurance Employees Association, Bank Employees Federation of India and General Insurance Employees AllIndia Association also observed the strike. They gathered outside the branch of Union Bank of India on the GT Road, where they staged a protest and criticised economic policies of the government. Employees demanded strengthening of the public sectors and adequate recruitment of staff in banks. Medical representatives launch protest On the call of Federation of Medical Representatives, members of the Punjab Chandigarh Sales Representative Union, under the banner of PCMSRU, on Tuesday staged a protest at Gandhi Market on the first day of the two-day strike. The protest was held under the leadership of union president Amritpal Singh and secretary Dr Ganesh. They demanded that in times of such skyrocketing inflation, medicine should be brought out of GST and it should not even be imposed on medical devices. They also demanded that the CPI Act should be implemented, medical representatives should be given skilled worker status and time of working of MRs should be fixed. Electricity engineers protest unilateral amendment in law Tribune News Service Faridkot, January 8 Members of the Punjab State Electricity Board Engineers’ Association (PSEBEA) on Tuesday staged a protest at Faridkot to register their opposition to the unilateral amendment in the Electricity Act 2003. The engineers in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) alleged that the Central government was unilaterally resorting to amend the Electricity Act2003, thereby pushing the sector undertakings into further financial crisis and forcing the common people to face the burden of higher tariff together with snatching of powers from the state governments. In this amendment, there is a proposal for division of carriage and content which will put the power utilities in backward mode, said Harinder Singh Chahal, joint secretary of the PSEBEA. The members also condemned the proposed amendment regarding interference of the Central government in matter of the power tariff policy. They demanded from the state government to take up the issue with the Central government as electricity was a concurrent subject and the proposed amendments were against the basic nature of the federal structure of the country, said Rakesh Kumar, regional secretary, PSEBEA. The association has already sent a letter to the State Power Minister, apprising him of the stand of the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) against the proposed Electricity Amendment Bill-2018. The NCCOEEE has opposed the above bill in its present form and suggest- Electricity Act ■ Engineers in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) alleged that the Central government was unilaterally resorting to amend the Electricity Act-2003, thereby pushing the sector undertakings into further financial crisis and forcing the common people to face the burden of higher tariff together with snatching of powers from the state governments. ■ In this amendment, there is a proposal for division of carriage and content which will put the power utilities in backward mode, said Harinder Singh Chahal, joint secretary of the PSEBEA. . ed certain changes in the draft bill, which have not been considered by the Central government. The PSEB Engineers’ Association has held zonal level rallies to safeguard the interest of public sector undertakings, consumers and employees of power sector, said Chahal. “The engineers fully endorse the demands concerning the power sector, however, we also realise that the Punjab government should take a stand against unilateral and lopsided amendments to usurp the powers of the state by the Central Government,” he added. The members also opposed the implementation of the New Pension Scheme and demanded that the old pension scheme be implemented for all employees in the electricity board in the state. They demanded the anomaly of pay scales of assistant engineers in the state electricity board should be removed and single pay scale of Rs 18,030 be granted to all assistant engineers as the same has already been granted to all other categories of employees. Move to check ‘misuse’ of sick Kids brave chill, sit on floor in city govt schools Some don’t even have winter uniform as funds for the same not released yet leave by teachers stirs row collected data ❝Wewhich school about Sukhmeet Bhasin Balwant Garg Tribune News Service Faridkot, January 8 The move of the School Education Department on Tuesday to check the misuse of sick leave by teachers has stirred a controversy. To diminish ‘unwarranted’ absenteeism among government school teachers, who allegedly abuse the sick leave policy, the Director (Secondary) of the Education Department on Tuesday issued strict guidelines to stop the misuse of sick leave by teachers, especially at a time of examinations in schools. In a letter to all District Education Officers (DEOs), Sukhjitpal Singh, Director, Education Department, conveyed that a school head was allowed to grant only three days of medical leave to a sick teacher. “For a sick leave of more than three days, the teacher concerned has to get permission from the Director, Education Department, and that too with a medical certificate from the competent authority,” the Director said. Even at the time of granting three-day sick leave, the competent authority has the discretion to secure a second medical opinion from a senior medical officer or Civil Surgeon. Till March 31, a school head cannot grant half-pay leave to any teacher. Under special circumstances, only the Director can grant these leaves, read the new directions. Balkar Singh Valtoha, state president Government School Teachers Union, said the directions are breach of Punjab Civil Services Rules. “It is very difficult for us to understand how a sick teacher from a faraway corner of the state will rush to the Director’s office in Chandigarh and wait for approval in case of emergent illness or medical complication. It will promote corruption in the Director’s office,” said Valtoha. However, Sukhjitpal Singh said there was no violation of Service Rules. “These directions are in consonance with the Service Rules. It is being done to make sure teachers aren’t misusing their sick leave, especially at a time when it’s difficult to find substitute teachers in the examination days in schools,” he said. “Sick days are not personal days or vacation days and should not be used as such. No one is trying to deny employees their proper use of sick days”, said another senior functionary in the department. “In this peak study season in the schools when students need more attention of their teachers, we have received many complaints that teachers were getting leave on medical grounds, particularly the teachers who are on the verge of retirement,” said the director. “Many of these teachers want to avail of the balance of their leaves, not bothering about the students. So we want to ensure that teachers take leave only when they are actually sick,” he added. “Our expectation is that sick days will be used when teachers are actually ill. It’s not that if you are well but have a couple of half-pay leaves left, you go on sick leave”, said a senior functionary in the department. There is no need for compliance of these instructions in case of cancer, heart patient and in any accident, the director said. Tribune News Service Bathinda, January 8 Though the Education Department has changed the school timings in view of the cold weather, it has failed to make any arrangement for the students who have to attend classes sitting in the open. Students of government schools in the district have to brave the chilling weather, due to shortage of furniture and rooms. The problem becomes more glaring in the light of the fact that the state government insists that one of its top priorities is to provide free and quality education. A team of the Bathinda Tribune visited a government school in Janta Nagar and was surprised to see students sitting on the floor in the open. Moreover, some students have not even received winter uniforms till date, as the department has not released funds for the same. As a result, they are going to the school in summer clothes or worn out sweaters. A teacher in the school said “We had sent a letter to c m y b needs how many benches and soon, the required pieces of furniture will be provided. The problem of shortage of rooms will also be sorted out soon as we are making new buildings as well. PRANEET, Bathinda Deputy Commissioner ❞ Shortage of furniture ■ Students of government schools in the district have to brave the chilling weather, due to shortage of furniture and rooms. The problem becomes more glaring in the light of the fact that the state government insists that one of its top priorities is to provide free and quality education. Students of Janta Nagar government school sit on the floor in the open in cold weather in Bathinda. PHOTO: VIJAY KUMAR the office of the District Education Officer regarding the shortage of rooms in the school and have been ensured that rooms would be constructed soon”. Another government school teacher claimed “The winter break should have been extended for a few more days as some of the schools do not have proper buildings and students are forced to sit on the floor in the open”. Rakesh Narula, a retired teacher, said it was a sad state of affairs that the government was not serious about the health of students, as they have not got winter uniforms and there are no sitting arrangements for them. Bathinda Deputy Commissioner Praneet said “We collected data about which school needs how many benches and soon, the required furniture pieces will be provided. The problem of shortage of rooms will also be sorted out soon as we are making new buildings as well”. He said the state govern- . ment was upgrading all government schools in the city and one will be able to witness a sea change soon. It is learnt that Finance Minister Manpreet Badal had released grant and started the construction work of buildings of various schools in the city recently.
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).
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