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UNDER CAPT AMARINDER, PUNJAB IS ON THRESHOLD OF GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT ECHO MINISTERS ON COMPLETION OF THREE YEARS OF FISCAL AND ECONOMIC CONSOLIDATION

CHANDIGARH
On the completion of three years of Captain Amarinder Singh led Government in office, Punjab is poised to usher in overall development and prosperity in every sphere be it economic resurgence, school education, infrastructure, technical education, skill development, cultural affairs etc.

Expressing satisfaction over the State Government’s performance in various fields, the Ministers including Manpreet Singh Badal, Brahm Mohindra, Charanjit Singh Channi and Vijay Inder Singla echoed that Punjab would soon emerge as a frontrunner state in the country with the sustained fiscal and economic consolidation in a holistic manner.

Showcasing economic revival in the state, the Finance Minister said that Punjab had revived its economy as the ill-conceived policies coupled with fiscal mismanagement by the previous SAD-BJP Government led the state to severe financial crisis. He decried previous Government for conversion of debt worth Rs 31,000 crore in to term loan thereby jeopardising the entire state finances.

The Finance Minister pointed out that Punjab had never been defaulted on double over draft during last two years. It was first time that there was no pendency of employees benefits including their GPF advance and retrial benefits till March 6, 2020. The total subsidy of PSPCL for the current fiscal would be cleared before March 31, adding that the carry forward amount of power subsidy of Rs. 5500 crore inherited from the previous Government, the Finance Department has brought this amount to Rs. 2500 crore, which will be made nil by next year.

The receipts of the Government have grown to 18 percent and expenditures are at three percent despite recession in the country. The Minister also pointed out that the State had set aside 20 times increased budgetary provisions for skill development in the recent budget besides making allocation of 11 percent of entire budget is for Education.

He also assured that the aspirations of the people of Punjab would be fulfilled as per our poll manifesto. The Minister hoped that every coming day would be better than the previous one in context to the economic development.

Outlining the various path-breaking initiatives like introduction of RERA, CLU and EDU charges waiver, besides regularisation of illegal colonies, Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra assured that under the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s visionary approach state would continue its endeavours to further improve the standard of living of both urban and rural masses.

Expressing his gratitude towards the Chief Minister for his visionary stewardship, Mohindra said Punjab has witnessed marked improvement in overall rural and urban landscape in the last three years only adding that in coming two years state would take off on still higher trajectory of overall growth and development.

Amended One time settlement policy is on the anvil for regularisation of around 22,000 illegal colonies which were allowed to mushroom during the previous regime, Mohindra said.

With Chief Minister’s instructions to ensure early resolution of this issue, the Minister said that he after taking over the department have revised the One Time Settlement Scheme making it more people friendly and would soon be releasing the scheme for public, added Mohindra.

With a view to give ownership rights and improved quality of amenities for slum dwellers, the Punjab Slum Dwellers Proprietary Act introduced by our government has achieved considerable success and in the next two years we would further improve the overall situation, Mohindra said further.

To regularise shops and residential areas, under the Punjab Management & Transfer of Urban Properties Act we would bring a One Time Settlement Scheme fixing collectorate rate in addition to a fixed percentage to make it people friendly and equip our ULBs with additional funds to make those self-sustaining.

Highlighting the major initiatives taken in the school education, the Education Minister Vijay Inder School said that Captain Amarinder led Government had given a strong thrust on improving school education thereby starting pre-primary classes in government schools besides conveying 5800 of 19000 schools into Smart Schools. He said that online teachers transfers policy, separate teaching cadres for border areas, introduction of English as medium of instructions besides developing e-content for bringing learning. He highly lauded the online transfer policy, which resulted in three fold increase in transfers as compare to manual transfers in a transparent and fair manner.

Briefing about the rationalisation policy, the Minister said that the services of 23,156 teachers of which 14,000 were regularised. He said that Government schools performed better than private in class X and XII exams last year.

On the infrastructure front, Singla, who is also holding the portfolio of Public Works Department, mentioned that 29,000 kms of Link Roads are being repaired at cost of Rs 3260 crore. All rink roads due for repair would be repaired by 2022 besides 1000 bridges and culverts would also be upgraded at a cost of Rs 200 crore by June 30, 2020.

He also stated that 39 Railway over Bridges (RoBs), Railway under Bridges (RuBs) and High Level Bridges (HLBs) would be constructed at a cost of Rs. 433 crore, for which the work has already been starred. He also said that the work for the prestigious project of Delhi-Katra expressway has already been initiated and Punjab is the major beneficiary of this project as alone 300 kms would pass through the state. Singla also mentioned that the efforts are afoot for the completion of pending rail links of Patti-Makhu and Qadian-Beas. Halwara, Ludhiana would be developed as new International Airport, which would give impetus to trade and industry in the state. He also announced that the work on the Shahpur Kandi Dam was in full swing and would be commissioned in 2022.

Also speaking on the occasion, the Technical Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Charanjit Singh Channi lauded the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for leading celebrations of the momentous 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji in a befitting manner.

Listing out achievements under the Ghar-Ghar Rozgar Scheme, Channi said despite abject financial mess in which Akalis had left the state in, Congress under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh state had attained financial revival and had facilitated jobs to around 12 Lakh youngesters.

Around 60,000 Government jobs had been provided to youth in addition to 7,61,000 youngsters facilitated through banks for their private ventures with another 4 Lakh given jobs through regular employment Melas organised across the state in the last three years.

The decision to reduce working age from 60 to 58 would further bolster the scenario to provide more government jobs, said Channi adding that for every vacancy in government sector we would be able to hire three candidates for each post, he added.

Amongst the other major decisions, he said enhancing the monthly pension from Rs. 500 to Rs. 750 besides increase in amount under Shagan Scheme from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 21,000 has considerably assisted the socio economic status of over 1.55 Lakh beneficiaries.

Highlighting the major initiatives taken in the school education, the Education Minister Vijay Inder School said that Captain Amarinder led Government had given a strong thrust on improving school education thereby starting pre-primary classes in government schools besides conveying 5800 of 19000 schools into Smart Schools. He said that online teachers transfers policy, separate teaching cadres for border areas, introduction of English as medium of instructions besides developing e-content for bringing learning. He highly lauded the online transfer policy, which resulted in three fold increase in transfers as compare to manual transfers in a transparent and fair manner.

Briefing about the rationalisation policy, the Minister said that the services of 23,156 teachers of which 14,000 were regularised. He said that Government schools performed better than private in class X and XII exams last year.

On the infrastructure, Singla, who is also holding the portfolio of Public Works, mentioned that 29,000 kms of Link Roads are being repaired at cost of Rs 3260 crore. All rink roads due for repair would be repaired by 2022 besides 1000 bridges and culverts would also be upgraded at a cost of Rs 200 crore by June 30, 2020. He also stated that 39 ROBs, RuBs and HLBs would be constructed at a cost of Rs. 433 crore, for which the work has already been starred. He also said that the work for the prestigious project of Delhi-Katra expressway has already been initiated and Punjab is the major beneficiary of this project as alone 300 kms would pass through the state. Singla also mentioned that the efforts are afoot for the completion of pending rail links of Patti-Makhu and Qadian-Beas. Halwara, Ludhiana would be developed as new International Airport, which would give impetus to trade and industry in the state. He also announced that the work on the Shahpur Kandi Dam was in full swing and would be commissioned in 2022.