New Delhi: The Centre will initiate work on the infrastructure development of Sultanpur Lodhi town as proposed by the Punjab government at the earliest, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday. The Chief Minister had called on Puri, the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, here to press for early approval for the Rs 321 crore infrastructure development projects proposed by the state government for Sultanpur Lodhi town. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah The town holds historical significance due to its association with Guru Nanak Dev, whose 550th Prakash Purb is being celebrated this year. Puri said he had already instructed the department to immediately vet the proposals and secure the necessary approvals to start work on priority, an official spokesperson told IANS after the meeting. To the Chief Minister’s request for inclusion of the three Municipal Corporation towns of Patiala, Bathinda and SAS Nagar in the Smart Cities Project being assisted by the Central government on a sharing basis, Puri assured to consider the same as and when the project is expanded to cover new cities. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey Colony The Union Minister said he was committed to helping Punjab in any way he could and would look into the demands of the state. He later told mediapersons that he would ensure maximum flights from Punjab to cater to the demand for global travel. The Chief Minister said, in response to media queries after the meeting, that the Union Minister had promised to look into the state’s demands related to urban development and aviation. Earlier, during the meeting, Amarinder Singh said Patiala, besides being an old heritage city, had also been declared a Counter-Magnet Town to the national capital region (NCR) by the NCR Planning Board. Strengthening infrastructure in all the Counter-Magnet Towns would also help in reducing migration to Delhi, he pointed out. The Chief Minister also urged Puri to approve early clearance for a NCR Planning Board loan for the Patiala Nadi Hydrology project, for which the state government would soon submit a formal proposal. Bathinda, he said, was a fast growing and principal town in southern Punjab while SAS Nagar (Mohali) was a satellite town of Chandigarh with the highest growth potential in Punjab. To strengthen the state’s global connectivity, the Chief Minister sought inclusion of Chandigarh under the Open Skies Policy for Asean countries, while asking for an urgent review of the current policy of bilateral spots to facilitate more international flights out of Chandigarh, especially to the Gulf countries and Turkey, thereby enabling greater connectivity with the rest of the world. The Chief Minister also asked the Union Minister to consider the proposal to name Adampur Airport as Jalandhar Airport for easy booking of flights by tourists and NRIs. On the occasion, Puri presented his book “Delusional Politics” to the Chief Minister.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Bernanke defends bond purchases to support the economy but said Fed can only do so much by News Staff Posted Jul 18, 2012 2:02 pm MDT WASHINGTON – Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers Wednesday that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to bolster growth have helped lift the U.S. economy out of the Great Recession. But he acknowledged that growth remains weak and the Fed can only do so much.“I don’t think it is the case that there has been no progress. The recovery has been slower than we like but clearly we have made progress,” Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee.Bernanke was on the Hill to deliver his twice-a-year report to Congress on the state of the economy. But he spent part of the hearing defending the Fed’s previous two rounds of large-scale bond purchases against Republican criticism.The economy has weakened since the start of the year, and Bernanke said the Fed is prepared to take further action if unemployment stays high. He didn’t specify what steps the Fed might take or whether any action was imminent.His comments were similar to those he made Tuesday to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.Many economists interpreted the remarks to mean the Fed will likely launch a third round of bond purchases, perhaps in the fall. That’s because few expect the unemployment rate, which was 8.2 per cent last month, to fall much further by then.The bond purchases seek to lower long-term interest rates and encourage more borrowing and spending.Bernanke noted that the economy, after growing at a 2.5 per cent annual rate in the second half of 2011, slowed to roughly 2 per cent from January through March. And it likely weakened further in the April-June period.Manufacturing has slowed. Consumers are spending less. And job growth has slumped to an average of 75,000 a month in the April-June quarter from 226,000 a month from January through March.But Republicans on the panel questioned the Fed’s use of large-scale asset purchases to lower long-term interest rates. They say the bond purchases have increased the risk of inflation without providing much help to the slumping economy.“We have anemic growth, probably half of what it should be by historic standards,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. Hensarling questioned what another round of bond purchases would do.Bernanke said the first effort in the middle of 2009 helped lift the economy out of the recession, which ended in June 2009.The second, launched in Nov. 2010, kept the economy from suffering a bout of deflation, he said. Deflation is a prolonged period of falling prices which the United States hasn’t seen since the Great Depression.“I think the previous efforts did have productive effects,” he said.