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Will waive off more farm loans as fiscal situation improves, says Punjab CM

Lists out achievements
on each of the `nine nuktas’ of Congress in just 2 years of his Govt

DP Correspondent

Chandigarh: While
reassuring the farming community of hike in loan waiver once the fiscal
situation in the state improves, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh
on Saturday lambasted the Akalis for criticising his government’s farm debt
waiver scheme while failing to do anything for farmers themselves.

Punjab Govt 2 years

Addressing a press
conference to mark two years of his government, the Chief Minister said if
money is available, he would definitely give more to the farmers, who deserved
the same for the contribution they make to the prosperity of the nation.

Asserting that his
government had laid a strong foundation for development of Punjab in a just two
years since installation, Captain Amarinder said the Congress regime had
delivered on each of the `nine nuktas’ promised in the run-up to the Assembly
elections. Even the promise of smart phones to youth was being fulfilled, with
tenders already floated, he said,
adding the best of phones would be given to youth.

Punjab Govt 2 years

Listing out the
achievements of the Congress Government, Captain Amarinder exuded confidence
that state was on the right path and all set to leverage the renewed sense of
optimism and revival across various key sectors.

Describing the steps
taken to combat the problem of drugs, of which his government had successfully
broken the backbone, Captain Amarinder said his government, immediately after
assuming office, had constituted the Special Task Force (STF) which had done an
exceptional job. So far, 21985 cases had been registered under NDPS Act, the
Chief Minister said, adding that 26088 persons had also been arrested. More
than 552 kg heroin had been recovered besides other contraband substances, he
added.

Punjab Govt 2 years

Underlining the
success of Drug Abuse Prevention Officers’ (DAPO) Programme in creating a mass
anti-drug abuse movement, Captain Amarinder noted with satisfaction that more
than 5 lakh DAPO self-volunteers had already enrolled. Further, under the state
government’s ‘Buddy Programme’ more than 7.5 lakh buddy groups had been formed
to create awareness on the subject of drugs, he added. At present, 65000
addicts were being treated at the OOAT clinics with an OPD footfall of more
than 40 lakhs, he added.

Citing the success of
his government’s Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Yojana in providing employment to
youth, the Chief Minister revealed that more than 5.76 lakh youth had been
facilitated by his government in getting employment in Private / Govt. Sector
or Self-Employment till now, at an average of around 808 jobs per day.

Punjab Govt 2 years

Out target is to touch
1000 jobs per day, the Chief Minister said, adding that the State Government
was committed to ensuring that no youth remains jobless. Four Mega Job Fairs
and One International Job Fair held had witnessed huge success in ensuring
gainful employment to youth.

Underscoring his
government’s commitment to farmers’ welfare, the Chief Minister hailed the
success of the Farm Debt Relief Scheme, under which 5.83 lakh small and
marginal farmers had been provided debt relief of Rs. 4736 crore so far. As and
when the financial position improves further, the state government would extend
the benefit of this scheme especially to critical cases, said the Chief
Minister.

The fourth phase of
the scheme initiated on March 8 from Moga had also brought 2.85 Lakh landless
laboures under the ambit of the scheme, providing them relief to the tune of
Rs. 520 Crore, he added.

“We are doing our best
to provide assistance but unless the Central Government implements the
Swaminathan Commission Report in full, the woes of the farming community could
not be alleviated,” he said.

Punjab Govt 2 years

From employment to
industrial development, his government had made massive strides in powering the
state on the path to progress, said the Chief Minister, expressing happiness
that industry was now looking at Punjab as a favoured destination. The New
Industrial & Investment Policy 2017 and its operational guidelines had been
well-received by the state industry and even outside the State, Captain
Amarinder Singh said, noting with happiness that the launch of the Business
First Portal had further streamlined industry permissions and fastened project
implementation. To check cartelization and ensure free movement of goods
carriers at a fair transportation cost to the consumers, the  Government
had also abolished Truck Unions.

Listing out other
notable achievements, Captain Amarinder Singh said his government had fixed
Variable Electricity tariff for Industry, of both existing and new, at Rs.5 per
unit for five years. This had provided a major relief to the industry with an
annual power subsidy of Rs.1475 crore, he added.

Punjab Govt 2 years

The Chief Minister
pointed out that in addition to revival of all the 300 old units at Mandi
Gobindgarh, 30 new units were coming up. Another 36 units have applied for
expansion, the Chief Minister said, adding that power consumption in the state
had gone up by 13%, which was indicative of greater industrial activity across
Punjab.

Underlining the fact
that 299 MOUs for investment of Rs 51959 crore with an employment potential of
about 1 Lakh direct employment had already been inked by the state since March
2017, Captain Amarinder said that this demonstrates the renewed trust and
confidence of the investors in the state industry potential. More than 78% of
these MoUs have already hit the ground, the Chief Minister pointed out,
comparing the dismal record of mere 17% during the SAD regime.

Stressing on the
Congress party’s commitment to ensure equitable representation of women both in
Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies, the Chief Minister pointed out
that his government had taken the lead in reserving 50% seats for Women in
Urban Local Bodies and  Panchayat Raj Institutions. Elections to these
institutions have already been held and all of them are working to better the
lives of the people, he added.

Punjab Govt 2 years

The Chief Minister
reiterated his government’s commitment to the welfare of Scheduled Castes, OBCs
and Minorities, citing decisions like waiver of loans upto Rs. 50,000 granted
by SC Corporation and BC Corporation. “We have also enhanced the Social Security
Pension from Rs. 500 to Rs. 750 for 19.2 lakh beneficiaries with an annual
expenditure of Rs 1600 crore”  he said adding that this was in addition to
the increase in financial assistance under the Aashirwad Scheme from Rs.15000
to Rs.21000.

During the last two
years, the Government had increased the reservation for OBCs in educational
institutions from 12 to 15%  besides enhancing reservation for SCs in all
Government schemes from 15% to 30%. The gross annual income limit for the
creamy layer of the OBCs/BCs had been increased from Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh,
and the government had restored 14% reservation to SC employees in Group-A and
Group-B, and 20% in Group-C and Group-D, services for filling up the vacancies
by promotion through an amendment to the Act, the Chief Minister pointed out.
The government had also reserved 10% jobs for EWS belonging to General Category
in Government jobs, he added.

With an aim to provide
an effective and transparent interface with the government and people, 2970 Guardians
of Governance (GoGs) have been appointed in all the Districts to ensure that
the benefits reach the deserving in a non-partisan manner, said the Chief
Minister, making it clear that the government would continue to strengthen its
systems and augment revenue to launch more projects for the welfare of the
people of Punjab.

Will waive off more farm loans as fiscal situation improves, says Punjab CM first on Latest Punjab News, Breaking News Punjab, India News | .

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