CM showcases sector-wise achievements of state government in various fields
asserts that 18 months of Aam Aadmi government has overshadowed the 'so-called achievements' of previous governments-
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Wednesday said that the state government has taken several pro-people and development oriented decisions in its tenure of 18 months.
Addressing the gathering during ‘Main Punjab Boldaan Hann’ debate, the Chief Minister said that ever since assuming charge of office the state government have taken path breaking initiatives for the well being of every section of society adding that 18 months of Aam Aadmi government has overshadowed the ‘so called achievements’ of previous governments. He said that the state government has ushered a new era of unprecedented development and progress in Punjab. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that due to strenuous efforts of the state government Punjab today leads the country in every arena.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has taken several decisions with financial prudence due to which the state's own tax revenue has enhanced by 13.2% as compared to 8% during Akali regime in 2012-17 and 6.1% during Congress regime from 2017-22. Likewise, he said that VAT/ GST collection has also sought upward revision of 16.6%, state excise has increased by 37%, stamp and registration by 27.8% and tax on vehicles by 13.3%. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government has checked pilferages in the taxes besides checking corruption due to which income of state government has enhanced.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has Restored 1400 KMs of canals that were abandoned by the successive state governments from many years. He said that the incomplete canals are being constructed to the required length adding that the state government has restored 13,471 water channels (Khals) within a year out of over 15000 water channels were abandoned from 20 to 30 years. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that contrary to the earlier policy, now those water channels are being repaired, which were not repaired even after 25 years after the construction.
Likewise, the Chief Minister said that three times more work of repair of canals and water channels is being executed under MGNREGA in the year 2023-24 (Rs. 228 crore) in comparison to the year 2020-21 (Rs. 77 crore). He said that usage of Canal water has increased over 38% during this year as compared to last year adding that over 5000 cases have been disposed off in a year, which were pending for several years. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government has transformed over 40 non-perennial canals into perennial.
THE Chief Minister further said that Malwa Canal and Canals in Pathankot district are being constructed and Rivers/Rivulets/Drains/Minors are being notified for the first time, that will enable the government to identify the same and remove encroachments. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government has waived off 10% share being levied on farmers for repairing of water courses.
The Chief Minister said that the Kandi canal project, which was pending for 16 years, has been restored up to 90% and the canal was run at over 90% capacity for the first time. He said that a new Act for water resources is being enacted to replace over the 150-year-old Act, which will simplify the process, reduce litigation, improve public participation and enable implementation of projects expeditiously. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government has resolved the long pending issues to complete the project hanging for 20 years and construction of the dam will be completed by December 2023.
Talking about the financial situation of the state, the Chief Minister said that the state government has paid off debts of Institutions like PUNSUP, PMIDC/PFC, Land Mortgage Bank, Punjab Mandi Board, Punjab Sugarfed and others. He said the state government has waived off the domestic consumer bills worth Rs 1298 crores in FY 2022-23. Likewise, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government has paid the pending arrears of central share of Rs.1750 crores for centrally sponsored schemes.
The Chief Minister said that while the previous government had given 56,623 jobs to youth during their tenure of five years from April 1 2017 to March 17, 2022, his government has given jobs to 37,100 youth merely in 18 months. He said that on an average the state government has given jobs to 23,432 youth in one year, which is a record in itself. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that all the jobs have been given completely on the basis of merit by adopting a complete transparent process.
The Chief Minister further said that in a historic initiative the state government has changed the times of government offices to 7:30 am to 2 pm during summers. He said that it proved beneficial for the state government as Peak demand of power was reduced by 250 MW, thereby power demand was managed more appropriately adding that common people used to avail services from government offices by noon, and were free to do their routine work later in the day. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that with this step, the traffic became staggered and it became easier for the public to commute adding that several other states had desired to replicate the same model in their states.
The Chief Minister said that in a historic initiative the services of Ad hoc, contract, daily-wage, work-charged and temporary employees who have completed 10 years of service are being regularized . He said that earlier, these employees were on path of agitation and used to climb atop the water tanks and bear the brunt of water cannons but due to this initiative of government, so far services of 12,351 teachers have been regularized and their salaries have been increased by an average of two to three times. Bhagwant Singh Mann announced that services of about 9,000 more employees will be regularized by the end of this year.
The Chief Minister further said that the state government is committed to make Punjab a frontrunner state in industrial sectors. He said that due to concerted efforts of the state government investments worth Rs 57,796 crore has been firmed up in the state which will provide 2.98 lakh jobs to youth. Bhagwant Singh Mann quipped that while his government has roped in investment worth Rs 57,796 crore in merely 18 months, the Akali government during 2012-2017 had brought investment worth Rs 32,995 crore whereas during the Congress regime in 2017-2022 investment worth Rs 1,17, 048 crore was firmed up.
The Chief Minister said that it is a matter of great pride and satisfaction that Punjab tops North India in registration of 2.98 lakh MSMEs during the year 2022-2023. He said that Punjab is the first state of the country to start the initiative of colour coded stamp papers to facilitate the industrialists. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that now pre-approvals are being given by key departments through a single window system within the stipulated time frame.
The Chief Minister said that to seek the suggestions of the industrialists WhatsApp helpline launched in July 2023 in which more than 1600 suggestions were received. He said that as per feedback from industrialists necessary amendments were made in the government policy to facilitate them. Bhagwant Singh Mann personal interactions were held with 70 industrial associations and 1500 industrialists at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Mohali adding that Industrial Advisory Commission for 26 major industrial sectors has been constituted which is headed by cabinet-ranked persons.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab has become the first state in the country where no power cut is imposed in the domestic, commercial and industrial sector. Likewise, he said that uninterrupted supply upto 10 hours per day hhave been ensured to the farmers during paddy season. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that 90% consumers in the state are getting zero power bill due to pro-people decisions of the state government.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is clearing the outstanding power subsidy in the state which was Rs 2342 crore in Akali regime and Rs 9020 in Congress regime. He said that due to concerted efforts of the state government supply of coal has been resumed from Pachhwara Coal Mine which was stalled from March 2015. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that no imported coal was used during 2023 and Rs 600 crore rupees per year has been saved with the commissioning of Pachhwara coal mine.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has set up 664 Aam Aadmi Clinics in the state out of which 236 have been established in urban areas and 428 in rural areas adding that now Sehatmand Punjab Mission worth Rs 550 crore has been launched in state to give a facelift to health sector. He said that 80 types of medicines and 38 diagnostic tests are being provided free of charge to the patients in these clinics. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that over 65 lakh patients availed free healthcare services worth Rs 130 crore at these clinics and medicines worth Rs 350 crores have been provided free of charge adding that over 11 lakh diagnostic tests worth Rs 25 crore have been done free of cost.
The Chief Minister further said that during the first year of the School of Eminence, 8358 students have been enrolled and an amount of Rs 200 crores has been earmarked for developing school infrastructure and sports facilities, besides, providing free uniforms to students. He said that an exposure visit of School of Eminence students was organized to ensure that they see the launching of Chandrayaan-3, PSLV and Aditya L1 mission. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that special facilities are being provided by the Punjab government in all the government schools at a cost of Rs 488 crore.
The Chief Minister said that from April 2022, 9518 teachers were recruited in the School Education Department whereas the total number of teachers recruited during the last five years (2017-22) was only 19174. He said that under the Policy for Welfare of Adhoc, Contractual, Temporary Teachers (Nation Builders) and other Employees in School Education 2022, services of 12316 contract-based teachers were regularized. Bhagwant Singh Mann bemoaned that during the last five years (2017-22), the total number of regularised teachers/staff was only 8675.
The Chief Minister further said that to check the fatality rate due to road accidents in the state on one hand and to streamline the movement of traffic on the roads of the state on the other, the state government has launched Sadak Surakhya Force. He said that the first of its kind specialized force will act as a pivotal to save several precious lives that are lost in road accidents daily in Punjab adding that this force will be entrusted with the task of checking rash driving, streamlining vehicular movement on roads and others to check the road accidents. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that initially 144 vehicles equipped with ultra modern gadgets will be deployed after every 30 kilometres to man the roads adding that these vehicles will also have a complete medical kit for providing emergency treatment to any person in need.
The Chief Minister said that setting a benchmark, Punjab Police has caught 2149 big fish in its crusade against drugs and assets of drug smugglers worth Rs 74 crore have been forfeited so far. He further said that in 146 cases, the process regarding confiscation of properties of smugglers worth Rs 73 crore is in progress. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that a campaign named ‘HOPE INITIATIVE’ has been launched at Sri Amritsar to sensitise youth against drugs in which Over 40,000 students took a pledge against drugs at Sri Harmandir Sahib.
The Chief Minister said that during the previous governments, the Police recruitment was done once in 2011, 2016 and 2021, due to which the youth was disillusioned. However, he said that now recruitment will be done every year adding that 1800 constables and 300 sub-inspectors will be recruited every year. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this has come as a ray of hope among youth, who are now working hard to get this prestigious Police job.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has formulated the Anti Gangster Task Force (AGTF) for checking the menace of organized crime in Punjab. He said that due to strenuous efforts of the state government, Punjab is today the best performing state in terms of law and order. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the ex-gratia grant has been increased to Rs 1 crore in case of death on line of duty of a cop adding that apart from this, Rs 1 crore is paid by the HDFC bank.
The Chief Minister said that in order to keep the youth away from drugs and encourage them to participate in sports, the Punjab government launched "Khedan Watan Punjab Dia" in 2022. He said that for the first time, block, district, and state level competitions of all recognized sports were organised by the Punjab government and 3.50 lakh players participated in these games. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that in the second edition of these games 4.50 lakh players are vying for prize money worth Rs 7.50 crore.
The Chief Minister said that the Punjab government has laid major thrust on the promotion of games in the state. He said that for the first time the state government has given funds to the players for the preparation of games so that they excel in sporting events. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the result of this is that Punjabis have bagged 19 medals in the recently concluded Asian games, which is the highest tally of states in Asiad, since its inception.
The Chief Minister further said that the Punjab Government has increased the ex-gratia grant for the next of kin of martyred soldiers from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 1 crore, effective from March 16, 2022. He said that the state government took feedback and suggestions of farmers during the formulation of the agricultural policy. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that to boost basmati exports, 10 pesticides were banned and a special drive along with surprise raids were conducted at manufacturers/dealers of fertilizers, seeds and medicines to examine their qualities.
The Chief Minister said that the previous governments had discontinued the government Volvo buses to IGI Airport whereas his Government restarted the Volvo Bus Service to Delhi Airport on June 15, 2022 and currently as many as 19 buses are plying. He said that the state government has also discontinued the erroneously extended nearly 138 bus permits. Likewise, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that AC buses have been started from Chandigarh to district headquarters to and fro.