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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Monday that culprits of the Bargari sacrilege case and the subsequent incidents of police firing at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura in 2015 will not be spared.“The special investigation team is on its job of investigating Bargari and other incidents but under the law, I cannot interfere in its functioning. The SIT is fully cognisant of the sensitivity and urgency of the matter and would not delay its investigations,” said Capt. Amarinder here at a press conference.Asked if he was supporting the radicals to get control of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the Chief Minister said that he had never had any links with such groups. He said that he would support any moderate group of Sikhs to get control of the SGPC as he wanted “the Badals” (former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal) out of it. “They have ruined the gurdwaras,” he alleged.In response to another question, the Chief Minister said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence had been active in Punjab for long, possibly through Kashmiri students. However, he clarified that every student from Kashmir was not a militant and the police had so far not established any links of the recently arrested students with locals.On the issue of stubble burning, the Chief Minister said the situation could aggravate once harvesting is complete. “While my sympathies are with the farmers, the government is bound by law to take action against those indulging in burning of paddy straw,”’ he added.Capt. Amarinder said his government would wait till the end of the month before taking any decision on fuel prices, as international prices of oil were fluctuating.
Amid the ongoing controversy over the appointment of six Minister-rank advisers to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the Punjab government on Thursday decided to bring in an ordinance to exclude adviser (political and planning) from the ambit of the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952.The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting held at Dera Baba Nanak that was presided over by the Chief Minister.No disqualificationAn official statement said the ordinance will amend the law to add these posts to the list of posts that are not considered office of profit for the purpose of disqualification of MLAs. With the amendment, these MLAs will not be disqualified.The Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952, had been enacted in terms of Article 191 of the Constitution, to declare certain offices of profit as not disqualifying the holders of such office from being members of the State legislature.“Enacted in 1952, the Act has undergone minor amendments from time to time. However, such amendments have not taken into account the complexity of modern day governance. Further, these amendments to the said Act have not taken into account the reports and studies of various parliamentary committees which addressed the issue of office of profit. Therefore, the Cabinet felt the need to amend Section 2 of the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952,” said the statement.The Cabinet also authorised the Punjab Governor to approve and recommend the draft ordinance for promulgation, said the statement.Six advisersThe Punjab government had earlier this month appointed six Minister-rank advisers to the Chief Minister. Five Congress MLAs were given the status of Cabinet Ministers while the sixth was given the rank and status of a Minister of State.
Sony Pictures Television has completed its takeover of Wallander and Strike Back producer Left Bank Pictures.The Hollywood studio has acquired a majority stake in the British production company run by Andy Harries and Marigo Kehoe. It will distribute future Left Bank television series and will also have a first look distribution option of the firm’s feature films.BBC Worldwide, which acquired a 25% stake in the company in 2007, will continue to distribute its back catalogue, but has reduced its stake in the company.The deal is one of the most significant purchases since Andrea Wong became president of international production at the studio last year.“In the UK right now we have really strong unscripted companies in Silver River, Gogglebox and Victory, we have great strength in factual entertainment, light entertainment and gameshows. Left Bank is an opportunity to bring a really strong scripted company into the group and round out our portfolio,” said Wong.As well as Wallander and Strike Back, Left Bank produces series including Sky’s Mad Dogs and ITV’s DCI Banks as well as feature films including The Damned United and All In Good Time.
TV technology provider KIT Digital is set to file for bankruptcy, in a move to recapitalise the company put its core operating into newly formed group called Piksel.The firm said that as part of its reorganisation plan its three largest shareholders had agreed to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US – a move that allows firms to reorganise their business affairs and assets and is generally filed by corporations that need time to restructure their debts.Through the plan, KIT Digital said that it “expects to be in a position to pay all vendors, suppliers and other holders of valid pre-petition claims.” It said that the chapter 11 would only impact the “non-operating parent company Kit Digital” and that its subsidiaries, including Ioko 365, Polymedia, Kewego, Multicast and Megahertz will not be impacted. These will make up the new entity, Piksel.“We are pleased to announce this comprehensive solution that will provide KIT with relief from the financial, legal, and regulatory issues currently encumbering it,” said non-executive chairman of the KIT Digital board, William V. Russell.“The plan allows all shareholders the opportunity to participate in the future growth of the company and at the same time it will complete the company’s restructuring by strengthening the balance sheet and positioning it for profitable growth.”Interim chief executive officer Peter Heiland added: “By moving the core businesses forward together unburdened by the issues currently plaguing the corporate parent, our customers and products can once again become the sole focus of this exciting business.”KIT’s bankruptcy filing is expected to happen by April 24.