A district-level function to celebrate the Independence Day was held in the police lines where finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa unfurled the national flag. He took salute from the parade and paid tributes to the freedom fighters.
In his address, the finance minister said the government was making earnest efforts to make Punjab the number one state in the country in terms of all indicators of social and economic development. "The government is committed to reducing the revenue deficit though the process may take time as the state had high outstanding debt and received very low share of central taxes," he said, adding that the state had demanded at least 50% devolution of central taxes to the states.
Dhindsa said a sum of Rs 800 crore had been allocated for welfare of SCs, BCs and other deprived classes in the state budget this year. Rs 429.95 crore had been kept for the development of border and kandi districts, he added.
He said Punjab was the first state to link its treasury offices online for which it earned a national award. An allocation of Rs 7,500 crore had been made for the next three years to provide basic amenities to the people of the state, he added.
Dhindsa honoured judoka Navjot Chana, who recently won a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games, and his coach Surinder Singh Sodhi. He announced a grant of Rs 3 lakh for the welfare of specially abled children of Asha Kiran school, Jahan Khelan.