Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2019


PULWAMA ATTACK
Centre should give befitting reply to Pak Army & ISI: Amarinder
15.02.19 - Team PT
Centre should give befitting reply to Pak Army & ISI: Amarinder



Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh called for a befitting response to the enemy and warned the Pakistan Army and ISI against indulging in any such games in Punjab, even as the Vidhan Sabha on Friday passed a unanimous resolution strongly condemning the barbaric attack by Jaish terrorists on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama.

The Chief Minister, while moving the resolution seeking an adjournment, said time to talk peace with Pakistan was over, and sought retaliation from the central government against the neighbouring country, which had been blatantly supporting terror in Jammu & Kashmir, as well as Punjab.

Everyday Indian soldiers were being killed by the enemy from across the border, said Captain Amarinder, adding that a major and two Jawans from 2nd Sikh had lost their lives to such attacks. Asserting that things were getting out of control now, he pointed out that Punjab had also suffered terror in the 80s and the 90s and fought it with a strong police force, which had grown manifold since then and was now fully geared to effectively counter any threat.

Captain Amarinder sent out a stern warning to Bajwa and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan against continuing with their policy of linking Kashmir and Punjab separators.  "We have a force of 81000 fully with motivated men and fully equipped, who have passed the test of fire,” said the Chief Minister, declaring that if Bajwa (Pak army chief) and ISI tried anything now in Punjab they would get a resounding response. This is not the 80s, he said, noting that the Punjab Police was much bigger and better equipped today, as evident in the fact that it had solved the Ludhiana rape case in just two days.

The Chief Minister accused Imran of playing a double game in his policy viz a viz India, promoting anti-Indian forces on the one hand and talking of starting a university in the name of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji besides serving the gurdwaras on the other. He had been made prime minister by ISI and was completely at their service, said Captain Amarinder.

Before seeking an adjournment motion, the Chief Minister said the hearts of all Indians go out to the families of the 41 CRPF men killed in the dastardly attack, the toll of which was still being counted. He prayed to the Akal Purukh to grant peace to the souls of the deceased victims.
 
The Chief Minister formally moved the resolution, which read, "The house strongly condemns the barbaric attack by Jaish terrorists on the convoy of the CRPF in Pulwama that left 41 brave personnel dead and many others injured. Most of these personnel were on their way back to join their duties to defend the borders of India after their holidays.  The sacrifice of these martyrs should not go waste and I urge the centre to ensure a befitting response to this attack on our country. The attack exposes the double standards of the Pakistan government, who on one hand is talking of peace and on the other actively supporting these terror outfits in J& K.  We are all with the families of these martyred soldiers in their hour of grief and extend our heartfelt condolences to them.”

The resolution was later passed unanimously and the House adjourned for the day.

Speaking in the House, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member Bikram Singh Majithia said the chief minister had spoken like a soldier and a true Indian. Such a big tragedy had never occurred earlier, he said, adding that the House’s request for condemnation of Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan should be placed on record. Dubbing Imran as an ISI puppet, he said the attack had exposed their double standards.

Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema sought Rs 1 crore compensation and jobs for the kin of the four deceased victims from Punjab, to which the Chief Minister later told media persons outside the House that it was a small issue and would be done.

Replying to a media question, the Chief Minister hoped the attack will not impact Kartarpur Corridor and reiterated his plea for visa-free `khule darshan’. Captain Amarinder said he was confident the corridor would be well protected, but said there was need for a change in attitude on the part of Pakistan if peace between the two countries was to be promoted.

Repeating that Islamabad was trying to link the terrorists of Punjab and J&K, the Chief Minister said there are reports of the neighbouring country trying to foment trouble in Punjab, where as many as 28 terror modules had been busted in recent months. The Referendum 2020 of SJF, which was clearly working at ISI’s behest, was also a sign of their continued attempts to disturb peace in Punjab, he said, but asserted they will not succeed.

Asked if the CRPF attack was an intelligence failure, the Chief Minister said that remained to be seen and investigations into the incident would ascertain the details.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

Three Women of 1984  

FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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Comment



Smart Village Campaign: CM orders immediate release of Rs 383 crore
14.02.19 - Team PT
Smart Village Campaign: CM orders immediate release of Rs 383 crore



Punjab government’s Smart Village Campaign (SVC) got a fillip on Thursday with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh directing the Finance Department to immediately release Rs. 383 crore for the same. 

Responding to a request from the Rural Development and Panchayats Department, the Chief Minister asked the department to ensure timely implementation of the scheme in all the 22 districts across the state to facilitate development and upgradation of the infrastructure and facilities in the rural areas.

It may be recalled that the Council of Ministers, headed by Captain Amarinder, had given the go-ahead to the Smart Village Campaign on January 29, thus paving the way for holistic development of the villages.

It is aimed at improving the conditions in the rural areas by converging and supplementing the ongoing Governmental Schemes for building infrastructure and providing basic amenities. Such convergence would be the key feature of the scheme, and funds from different sources like RDF, 14th Finance Commission, MGNREGA, SBM, NRDWP, etc shall be utilised for implementing the scheme. If there is any other scheme under which the proposed work can be undertaken, then the funds of that scheme would also be utilised.

In case any work can be done under MGNREGA, it would be mandatorily converged with this scheme. Where funds of any scheme like 14th Finance Commission, MGNREGA etc. are being utilised, compliance of guidelines of that Scheme would be ensured by the Deputy Commissioner and the Executive Agency.

The campaign is based on the premise that each village would move upwards by achieving various goals in different fields like infrastructure, health, education, environment etc. The works to be undertaken under SVC have been divided into two categories: essential and desirable. Under the scheme, the Deputy Commissioner shall get proposals from Block Development and Panchayats Officer as well as various sectoral departments on the required works.

Individual works up to Rs. 25 lakhs would be considered and approved by a committee comprising Deputy Commissioner and Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) as its Chairman and Member Secretary respectively. The other members of the committee are District Development and Panchayat Officer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Zila Parishad and Executive Engineer (Panchayati Raj).

In case of individual works costing more than Rs.25 lakhs, approval would be given by a state level committee comprising Joint Development Commissioner and Superintending Engineer (PRC) SAS Nagar as its Chairman and Member Secretary respectively. The other Members of the committee are Director Rural Development and Panchayats, Chief Engineer (Panchayati Raj) and Deputy Controller (F&A).

DCs would be competent to select and decide the Executive Agency, which may be the Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti, Zila Parishad or any sectoral administrative department of the State Government. DCs would release funds to the Executive Agency in two equal installments. The second installment would be released by Deputy Commissioner to the Executive Agency when Utilization Certificate of the first installment is submitted.

With regard to benchmarking of villages, all the villages would be graded/ranked on the basis of a survey, detailed guidelines for which would be subsequently notified by the Rural Development & Panchayats Department. Each district would benchmark all villages after a survey to assess the existing level of facilities of all villages within the district.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

Three Women of 1984  

FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





[home] [prev]  1 [2] 3 4  [next]6-10 of 16


Comment



Amarinder authorized by Assembly to raise SGPC poll delay with centre
14.02.19 - Team PT
Amarinder authorized by Assembly to raise SGPC poll delay with centre



Hours after he was authorized by the State Assembly to take up with the Centre the issue of delay in SGPC elections, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said people had the right to early polls to the supreme body controlling the Gurdwaras.

Talking informally with mediapersons outside the House, the Chief Minister termed the delay in the SGPC elections as wrong and unfair for the people of Punjab. It was the democratic right of every Punjabi to vote in SGPC elections which cannot be denied by Union Government, he earlier said in the House, while responding to the issue that was raised by AAP MLA HS Phoolka. 

Amid protests by SAD and BJP members, the House authorized Captain Amarinder to raise the issue with the central government. The Chief Minister assured the House that he would meet the Union Home Minister soon to press for early initiation of the SGPC elections which were pending since 2016.

Since the Gurdwara Act was a national legislation, it was the bounden duty of the central government to hold timely elections to the SGPC, he said, seeking the permission of the Speaker, on behalf of his government, to adopt the resolution moved by the AAP MLA.

Amidst protests by SAD and BJP MLAs, the Speaker put the resolution to vote, as a result of which the House authorised Captain Amarinder Singh to raise the issue with Union Government immediately. 

As the resolution was put to vote, the members of ruling party and AAP welcomed it with thumping of desks.

The Chief Minister later told mediapersons there was unanimity in the House on the issue as the elections were over due by three years. Only the Akalis and BJP were not in favour, he added.

To a question on the continuance of certain AAP members who had resigned, the Chief Minister said they continue to be members till their resignations are accepted. He had also resigned from Parliament in 1984 but continued to be a member for two months as his resignation had not been accepted, he recalled.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

Three Women of 1984  

FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





[home] [prev]  1 [2] 3 4  [next]6-10 of 16


Comment



13 IAS, 1 PCS transferred; Shivdular is DC Amritsar, Sangha goes to Mandi Board
12.02.19 - Team PT
13 IAS, 1 PCS transferred; Shivdular is DC Amritsar, Sangha goes to Mandi Board



The Punjab Government today issued Transfer/ Posting order of 13 IAS and 1 PCS with immediate effect.

Disclosing this here today an official spokesperson said that IAS Chander Gaind has been transferred as Deputy Commissioner Ferozpur, Dharam Pal as Chief Administrator, Punjab Urban Planning and development Authority, SAS Nagar and in addition Special Secretary, Housing and Urban Development.
 
Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal is posted as Director, Social Justice Empowerment and Minorities and in addition Executive Director Punjab State Schedule Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation, Mrs. Indu Malhotra DPI (colleges) and in addition Managing Director, Punjab Financial Corporation.
 
Mr. Gurlovleen Singh Sidhu is Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot while  Mohammad Tayyab transferred as Director General, School Educatioin and in addition Secretary, Punjab School Education Board, Mr.Manjit Singh Brar as Director, Industries and Commerce and in addition Managing Director, Punjab Alkalis and Chemicals Limited.
 
Davinder Pal Singh Kharbanda is posted as Deputy Commissioner, Kapurthala, Parshant Kumar Goyal as Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon as Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar and in addition CEO, Punjab State Civil Aviation Council, Mr. Rajeev Prashar as Special Secretary, Revenue and Rehabilitation and in addition Secretary, Punjab State Board for Technical Education and Industrial Training.
 
Kamaldeep Singh Sangha has been transferred as Secretary, Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board and in addition Secretary, Punjab State Rural Development Board and Tej Partap Singh Phulka has been posted as Deputy commissioner, Barnala
 
PCS Karnail Singh has been posted as Additional Secretary, Cooperation and in addition Additional Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer, Milkfed. Mr. Karnail Singh will also continue to work in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab in addition to his new assignment.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

Three Women of 1984  

FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





[home] [prev]  1 [2] 3 4  [next]6-10 of 16


Comment



Third Budget Session of the 15th Vidhan Sabha
All sacrilege & false cases of SAD regime will be taken to logical conclusion: Guv
12.02.19 - Team PT
All sacrilege & false cases of SAD regime will be taken to logical conclusion: Guv



Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore on Tuesday declared the state government’s commitment to pursue and take to their logical conclusion the investigations into the sacrilege cases and the false cases registered during the previous regime, while maintaining its policy of zero political vendetta or intolerance against anyone, irrespective of political affiliations or ideologies.

Kicking off the third Budget Session of the 15th Vidhan Sabha with a powerful narrative of the Captain Amarinder Singh led government’s achievements across the board, the Governor asserted that action against those who registered false cases during the previous regime was continuing as per the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and it shall be taken to its logical conclusion. The government believed in fair and equitable treatment to all and has ensured that no false cases, as done in the previous regime, were registered against anyone, he said.

Likewise, said Badnore, the government was committed to pursuing the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice Ranjit Singh, who probed the cases of sacrilege in the State in the year 2015-16, and these will be taken to their logical conclusion, allowing the law to take its full course. The government, he pointed out, had set up a SIT, as recommended by the House in its earlier session, and the same was expected to complete its task soon.

The Governor apprised the members of the various programmes launched by the government to mark the historic 550th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, while welcoming the historic laying of the foundation stone of a corridor to Sri Kartarpur Sahib (in Pakistan) on 26th November, 2018. The state government shall spare no effort to make this corridor operational by the coming Maha Gurpurab on 12th November 2019, he announced. Badnore also gave details of the programmes planned by his government to commemorate the Centenary of the tragic Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which falls on 13th April, 2019, and the celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Underscoring the progress of the programmes and policies of his government for the welfare of the common masses, the Governor said their success had been vindicated in the recent elections to Gram Panchayats, Block Samitis and Zila Parishads. These elections were peaceful, widely participative and keenly contested and had helped to strengthen the faith of Punjab’s people in democracy at grassroots in the State, he observed, congratulating the people and hoping that the newly elected members of Gram Panchayats, Block Samitis and Zila Parishads would discharge their responsibilities with utmost diligence and integrity.

In his concluding remarks, the Governor also placed on record his deep appreciation for all Members for maintaining the high traditions of democratic functioning in the country. While dissent was the proverbial touchstone of vibrant democratic functioning, it was imperative that this must be exercised with dignity and in a civil and non-personal manner, he stressed, expressing the confidence that the members would discuss and debate all issues of public concern and contribute towards evolving schemes and programmes that would take our State to greater heights of socio-economic development.

Earlier, listing maintenance of law & order and peace in the state as his government’s top priority, the Governor  said by streamlining the systems and re-orienting the policies and programmes, it was moving fast to meet the aspirations of the people of Punjab. Respecting the promises made to the people, the government had taken and shall continue to take all possible steps to fulfill its commitments despite severe financial constraints, he said, recalling that it had actually inherited an empty treasury with an overload of pending bills for payment. Though the multifarious challenges were causing the government to take longer than expected to remedy the situation, it nevertheless remained committed to find ways and means to mitigate the difficulties being faced by the common man (Aam Aadmi) in the State, he added.

Citing the tremendous success achieved by the government in neutralizing the groups of gangsters operating in the state, Badnore disclosed that 1414 gangsters/ members of various criminal groups had been arrested or neutralized, including 10 category-A gangsters. 19 terrorist modules had been busted, and 101 terrorists and 22 foreign handlers arrested, he said, adding that the culprits of the Nirankari Bhawan attack were also being brought to book to provide justice to the victims.
The Governor took particular note of the remarkable resilience and courage shown by the government, aided by the civil society, in handling the crisis triggered by the Dussehra train mishap in Amritsar.

The water crisis faced by the state found special mention in the Governor’s address and he expressed the desire that the central government takes a realistic view of the problem to prevent the state turning into a desert. Though the central authorities had declared Punjab as a water starved State, its water crisis and the fact that it does not have surplus waters is not fully appreciated, he lamented.  Citing the state government’s efforts to tackle the crisis, the informed the House that it had entered a MoU with Mekorot, the national water agency of Israel, for comprehensive planning for water management in Punjab. He also listed various schemes and projects being implemented by the state government for water conservation and regulation, in addition to the launch of Integrated Programme to address waterlogging in south-west districts of Punjab and the proposal to complete the residual works of Kandi Canal Stage-II project by the end of 2019-2020.

The state government, said the Governor, had also succeeded in resolving the vexatious and long-pending inter-state issues in construction of Shahpur Kandi Dam Project and signed an agreement with the Government of Jammu & Kashmir on 9th September 2018. He also spoke about the government’s proposal to set up a State Water Authority to ensure better regulation and conservation of water, fully protecting the rights of consumers namely the farmers, industries, commercial establishments and, of course, rural and urban households.
 
Hailing transparency in governance as another hallmark of the government, the Governor said it had ensured non-interference in the day-to-day working of the civil and police administration, and had also taken the fullest possible steps to set right the framework, i.e. the policies and programmes of each sector, to ensure governance through fair and proper systems. The Governor spoke in detail about the various policies and programmes initiated by his government to put the state’s administration back on the path of achieving defined goals and targets. These included the Business and Industrial Development Policy, Tourism Policy, Culture Policy, Policy for Housing and Urban Development, Transport Policy, Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana, Agriculture Debt Relief Scheme, and Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar.

Reiterating the government’s commitment to eliminate drugs from Punjab, the Governor listed out the various measures being taken to further its three-pronged strategy, i.e. EDP – Enforcement, De-addiction and Prevention, besides ensuring zero patronage to drug smugglers and peddlers. In fact, most, if not all, drug smugglers and peddlers have either left the State or they have been put behind the bars, he said, adding that the supply of drugs had been contained effectively with 25092 persons arrested in 21049 cases registered under NDPS Act. More than 556 kg of heroine had been recovered, he vowed.

Referring to the government’s efforts to revive the state’s economy, which had declined due to financial imprudence of the previous government, which had spent public money recklessly without caring for possible revenue receipts of the State, the Governor said the resource gap had been reduced to Rs. 4175 crore in 2017-18 and revenue receipts increased by 23% in December 2018. The state government had brought down State's fiscal deficit to GSDP of 2.65 percent in 2017-18 as against 12.34 percent in 2016-17. As a result of the State's liberal and rational Industrial and Business Development Policy, 2017 and consequent revival of industries, State's industrial power consumption has gone up by about 13 percent. The number of MSME units in the State has almost doubled from 10911 to 21081 during the last two years (till December 2018), Badnore disclosed.

The Governor gave details of the revival of the various industrial products that had become dormant and stopped production after 2007, and the many new projects that had been initiated in the improved investment climate since his government notified the new industrial policy and froze variable electricity tariff for the industry at Rs 5 per unit. The real estate sector, which had been in the doldrums, had also shown signs of revival, he added. During the last two years, the State Department of Investment Promotion has signed 298 MOUs with different investors, envisaging an investment of Rs. 51,339 crore. These projects once operational are expected to generate one-lakh jobs in the State, said the Governor. Various MoUs for establishment of start-up hubs, successful implementation of GST were other achievements listed by the Governor, who said the government would continue to pursue simplification of GST with the Government of India to make it more trade and business friendly.

On the progress of Mission Ghar Ghar Rozgaar and Karobaar, the Governor revealed that more than 5 lakh youth had been facilitated by his government for employment till December 2018. The Government has now reoriented its job programme to ensure that State's unemployed youth are skilled through the Punjab State Skill Development Mission and prepared for the jobs so as to ensure their speedier absorption in some gainful employment, he added.

Underscoring the government’s undeterred commitment to farmers’ welfare, the Governor 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. The remaining of the targeted 10.25 lakh small and marginal farmers will be provided their due benefit under the scheme shortly, he added. Badnore also spoke about the successful hassle-free procurement of wheat and paddy during the last two years, in which period the state government had paid Rs. 1,00,235 crore in four previous crops as against Rs. 77,984 crore paid to the farmers in the four corresponding crops during the years 2015-16 and 2016-17, which was 28.5% more than the amount paid during the last two years.

Badnore reiterated his government’s commitment to give free, quality uninterrupted power to the farmers. All 14-lakh tube-wells in the State continue to get free power at an expected annual subsidy of Rs.6250 crore, he said, adding that the government also continues to provide 200 free units of electricity to SC, BPL and BC households, and the condition of annual consumption of 3000 units had also been removed.

The Governor underlined his government’s efforts towards crop diversification and enhancement in income of farmers by increasing the area under cotton, maize oilseeds and pulses. However, the success of crop diversification is dependent upon assured procurement of these crops at Minimum Support Prices by the Central Government, he noted, expressing concern at the lack of response from the Centre on this count. To boost farmers’ income, the government was contemplating a comprehensive programme to assist the farmers in dairy development and other subsidiary occupations with assured marketing arrangements, he said, adding that the programme would be pursued with greater vigour in hitherto neglected Border and Kandi areas.

The crop residue management plans and programmes launched by his government were underlined by the Governor, who also spoke about the revamp of the PDS under the new regime. The government was also working on broad-based reforms in the marketing and credit cooperatives in the state, with strong focus on export of products by Apex Cooperatives.
Taking cognisance of the problems being faced in management and operations of Gaushalas set up during the last few years, he disclosed that a new scheme to make them self-sustaining would be launched shortly, along with immediate financial assistance towards their operational costs.

Focus on improvement in rural infrastructure, including repair and upgradation of the dilapidated village link roads, schemes to upgrade quality and infrastructure of education in schools, along with efforts to establish 15 degree colleges along with various specialised universities were also highlighted by the Governor. The state government, he said, was seriously concerned about woes of teachers and it shall take all possible measures to redress their grievances. In fact, not only the teachers, the grievances of all employees of the State are receiving full attention of my Government and these shall soon be addressed effectively as the Government does not want its dynamic work force to suffer any disadvantage or handicap in any manner, he said.

Taking note of the health concerns of State's population, the state government was striving to provide affordable healthcare to its citizens, said the Governor, referring to the establishment of wellness clinics and expansion of the health insurance cover for the people. He further spoke about the Mission Tandarust Punjab, launched by the government against sub-standard and adulterated milk, milk products and other food items.

The Governor gave a bird’s eye view to the members of the House of the various other schemes and initiatives of his government, including facilitating of Real Estate investment, greater thrust on e-governance for quick and effective delivery of civic services, new Directorate of Fire Services, initiation of Urban Environment Improvement Programme, Smart Cities, Smart Village campaign, streamlining of display of advertisements in urban areas, Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana (MGSVY), providing clean drinking water supply and sanitation to rural areas, with successful implementation of Swachh Bharat- Grameen Mission and achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for all villages of the State with the construction of 4.99 lakh toilets at a cost of Rs. 722 crore by individual beneficiaries during the last two years.

Successful implementation of various central government schemes and generation of 415 lakh man-days of rural employment under MNREGA, were also highlighted by the Governor, along with comprehensive programme to develop and maintain highways, establishment of Punjab Social Security Fund, enhanced grants under Aashirwad Scheme, implementation of Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS), state-wide roll-out of POSHAN Abhiyaan, restoration of reservation to SC employees in various groups for filling up vacancies by promotion.
 

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