Will not rest till Punjab’s economy is back on track, says chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh
Mohali: With Punjab’s revenue dipping by half in the first quarter, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh vowed to bring the state’s economy back on the growth track and announced a slew of welfare measures, including the creation of six lakh jobs for youngsters in two years, while addressing the state-level Independence Day function in Mohali on Saturday.
“Despite the economic slowdown resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to 50% decline in revenue collection in the first quarter of this financial year, the state government has successfully initiated several steps to combat the crisis. A Rs 26,000-crore boost was given to the farming sector to ensure efficient wheat procurement,” Capt Amarinder Singh said after unfurling the Tricolour.
The event at Government College, Phase 6, Mohali, was a low-key affair with the function, attended by government officials and police personnel, limited to the unfurling of the flag and speech of the chief minister amid Covid-19 curbs. The speech was streamed live on social media.
VIRTUAL MEGA JOB MELA NEXT MONTH
He announced that 50,000 government jobs will be provided to youngsters next year and another 50,000 in 2022.
“A virtual mega job mela will be organised next month with the aim of the placement of 50,000 youngsters in the private sector,” Captain Amarinder Singh said, adding that the Punjab government has already helped 13.6 lakh youngsters get employment/self-employment under its flagship Ghar Ghar Rozgar scheme.
Reiterating his government’s commitment to providing incentives for the industry to attract more investment to the state, he said that investment worth Rs 63,000 crore had been realised on the ground with the potential of two lakh jobs.
DEBT RELIEF, NEW LAND LEASING LAW
The chief minister said that the state government will give debt relief of Rs 520 crore to landless farmers and workers. A sum of Rs 4,700 crore had been disbursed among 5.62 lakh farmers under the debt waiver scheme.
“Punjab will soon enact a new land leasing law to secure ownership of farmers and the rights of tenants on agriculture land,” he said.
With the launch of the smart ration card scheme soon, he said 1.41 crore beneficiaries will become eligible to get ration from fair price shops.
Capt Amarinder Singh announced the construction of 1,300 km of state and national highways with an investment of Rs 12,000 crore in two years. While 28,830 km of rural links roads have been repaired over three years at a cost of Rs 3,278 crore, the next two years will see repair of another 6,162 km of link roads with an investment of Rs 834 crore, he said, adding that patchwork of an additional 17,000 km of link roads will be undertaken for Rs 82 crore.
RESTORING SPORTING GLORY
Underlining the need to restore Punjab’s glory in sports, the chief minister announced the construction of 750 rural sports stadiums in two years. He declared a Rs 2,500-crore investment in Phase II of the smart village campaign (SVC), for which Phase I covering 19,132 rural works has been completed at a cost of Rs 835 crore. All rural households will have piped potable drinking water in two years with an expenditure of Rs 1,200 crore.
Citing the importance of online education, Captain Amarinder Singh said 1.74 lakh Class 12 students of government schools were being given smartphones this year.
WEAR MASKS, GET TESTED, PROTECT ELDERLY
Expressing confidence that Punjab would overcome the Covid pandemic, the chief minister urged people to take special care of the elderly, while ensuring strict adherence to wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings besides frequent washing of hands. He said early testing was the first step towards defeating Covid-19.