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SAD-BJP deal on sewa kendras to be probed

Announcing this, finance and governance reforms minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Tuesday said he will discuss the issue with chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and get an inquiry done into the contract within three months.

punjab Updated: Aug 28, 2018 21:05 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
SAD,BJP,sewa kendras
Finance and governance reforms minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Tuesday said he will discuss the issue with chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and get an inquiry done into the contract within three months.(HT File)

The Punjab government will inquire into the Rs 1,400-crore deal signed by the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) government with a private firm for running sewa kendras in the state.

Announcing this, finance and governance reforms minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Tuesday said he will discuss the issue with chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and get an inquiry done into the contract within three months. “We have saved more than Rs 900 crore of the state government by scrapping and renegotiating the contract,” he said during question hour.

Manpreet was responding to BJP MLA Som Prakash’s query whether the state government was making any provision to make the sewa kendras functional in cities and villages. “The electricity supply to sewa kendras was stopped due to non-payment of bills. They are using diesel generators without any funds for fuel and barely function one or two days in a week. The employees have not been paid for eight months,” he said.

In response, the minister said the previous regime had signed the contract with an outgo of Rs 1,400 crore for 2,139 centres for five years, but the present government cancelled it because the deal smacked of corruption. “The company will give us Rs 250 crore, besides footing the electricity and internet bills. About 100 services are being offered. Their number will go up to 550 in four years. We will run the centres in a transparent manner,” he said before announcing the probe on the demand from a ruling party member.

Trauma centres on all highways

Trauma centres will be opened on all national and state highways in the state, health minister Brahm Mohindra said. The minister made the announcement while replying to leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema’s query regarding the trauma centre at Dirba mini public health centre.

“There is no proposal to set up a trauma centre at Dirba. As per guidelines, the distance between two trauma centres must be 100 km. Such a centre is already proposed at Sangrur district hospital, 25 km from Dirba,” the minister said, adding, “There is shortage of doctors but the government will consider it once more doctors are recruited.”

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 21:05 IST