Member of parliament from Sangrur, Vijayinder Singla who is also member, consultative committee of the union ministry of finance, on Monday took up the issues of unemployment and drug addiction among youth of Punjab with union finance minister P Chidambaram during pre-budget meeting.
Briefing the finance minister, Singla said due to unemployment, youth in Punjab are resorting to drugs, which has become a serious problem in the state. "It is estimated that around 70% youth in the state are addicted to drugs and it has become an instant need to take preventive and immediate measures for their rehabilitation," Singla said.
He demanded that 100-bed de-addiction centres should be set up in each district of the state with the assistance of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, under the union ministry of health. Requesting the finance minister to give his support, Singla said, "The Centre should give adequate resources in terms of finance and health professionals this budget and fix a budget of Rs. 500 crore for de-addiction."
During the meeting, he also emphasised on skill development of youth and to start such programmes in Punjab.
"Such programmes are not uniform in their reach and impact across the country. The programmes should be developed in each district of every state with a lead mentor institute overseeing skill development," Singla said, while proposing that the Centre should declare this year as 'Skilling India Year'.
He also sought Rs. 10-crore grant for Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur, for excellence in various disciplines, including textile technology, besides demanding setting up of sports and fitness centres in the state.
Singla demanded custom duty exemption on all imported sports infrastructure equipment like treadmills, synthetic surfaces and other allied games equipment.