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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

Police zones scrapped in Punjab, IGs to head ranges

The move is being seen as an attempt to “rationalise” the police structure and give the charge of ranges to more experienced officers.

punjab Updated: Jun 30, 2017 23:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.(HT File Photo)

In a re-jig of the police administrative structure, the Punjab government on Friday decided to abolish all post four zones and post inspector general (IG)-rank officers as heads of seven ranges in the state.

Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh said the government has decided to pull out officers of the rank of deputy inspector general (DIG) from the field. “All seven ranges will now be headed by IG-rank officers,” he said in an interaction with reporters. The seven ranges – Patiala, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Border and Rupnagar – were headed by DIGs hitherto.

The move is being seen as an attempt to “rationalise” the police structure and give the charge of ranges to more experienced officers. Haryana and Rajasthan also have a similar administrative structure. The state was divided into four zones - Border, Patiala, Jalandhar and Bathinda - which are being abolished.

The chief minister also said he has asked for a report from the secretary, local government, on alleged tax evasion to the tune of Rs 684 crore by Fastway Transmission Private Limited.

“I sought the report after reading the minister’s statement on the issue. Whatever has to be recovered will be recovered,” he said.

The CM’s statement is important, as local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had raised the issue on the last day of the budget session of the state assembly. The minister said his department had issued notices to the company for the violations and it was for the chief minister to order registration of FIR and a vigilance probe against the company.

Asked to comment on the growing impression that his government is going slow on action against the Akalis, the CM said there was no point. “We are doing whatever is to be done. My priority is Punjab. We are focusing our energy on bringing the state back on track,” he said.

On cabinet expansion, he said that it was scheduled in the first week of July. “The Congress vice-president (Rahul Gandhi) is abroad and will be back in 5-6 days. I will meet him and discuss it,” he said. Asked if his government would appoint parliamentary secretaries, Capt Amarinder replied in the affirmative, saying he had got the matter legally examined. “We have taken opinion from constitutional experts. When the appointments were legally rejected, there were some different reasons,” he said.

As for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that is coming into effect July 1, the chief minister said the state will gain to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore from the new tax regime in the first year itself. He was also asked about his government being upbeat on the GST and the Congress boycotting its rollout in Parliament’s Central Hall. “The Congress is not against the GST, but the manner in which the event is being held,” he said.

First Published: Jun 30, 2017 23:07 IST

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