Holding his 3rd phase of ore-budget consultations with MLAs, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today announced a development grant of Rs. 208.40 crore for execution of various infrastructure works in the rural and urban areas of Barnala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Patiala, SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Rupnagar districts under the umbrella programme of Smart Village campaign and Urban Environment Improvement Plan (UEIP).The announcement came during pre-budget deliberations with the MLAs of Malwa-I comprising these districts.The Chief Minister asked the MLAs to prioritize the development works within their assembly constituencies and submit the list of works to be undertaken to their concerned Deputy Commissioners by January 31, 2019. He said rural and urban infrastructure works would be executed through the Rural Development and Panchayats Department and the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board respectively. He said all the MLAs will get a grant of Rs. 5 crore for rural areas in two installments, of which the first would be given at the start of development work and the remaining after completion, subject to the condition of submission of utilization certificate. Another Rs. 300 crore would be spent on the development works to be undertaken in the urban areas under UEIP.The Chief Minister also constituted a committee comprising Financial Commissioner Revenue, Principal Secretary Rural Development and Panchayats, Secretary Industries, besides MLAs of Rajpura, Ghanaur and Fatehgarh Sahib, to suggest modalities to identify suitable land for setting up of a Mega Industrial Park at Rajpura over an area of 1000 acres.
Expressing satisfaction over the functioning of Invest Punjab, the Chief Minister said the ‘single window’ had so far processed 70 approvals after seeking clearances from 23 different departments within 21 days, which was really laudable. Likewise, Business Facilitation Executives have been trained and deputed in the districts to facilitate the prospective investors/entrepreneurs.The Chief Minister further pointed out that 300 applications for various investment proposals worth Rs. 35000 crore had so far been received on the Invest Punjab ‘Online Investment Portal’.The Chief Minister also informed the MLAs that a Mega Food Park at a cost of Rs. 800 crore was being setup by the Spanish Company near Machiwara in Ludhiana district in collaboration with IFFCO with the concerted efforts of the state Government. Another agreement was signed between the PSIEC and Hero Cycles group for setting up a Rs. 400 crore hi-tech cycle valley project at Dhanansu village in Ludhiana over an area of 100 acres. He said all these developments on the industrial front were a pointer towards renewed confidence and trust in the pro-investors policies of the state Government.Dispelling the apprehensions of MLAs regarding hefty electricity bills raised by the Powercom to the SC domestic consumers to whom the state had extended the facility of free 200 units, the Chief Minister said that he had already asked the Power Minister to examine the matter and find a viable solution.
The Chief Minister also announced that the state government would soon come up with a special scheme of debt waiver for the Rural Landless Labourers, who were passing through acute financial distress due to the current agrarian crisis.Captain Amarinder also asked the MLAs to pro-actively implement the Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojna, the scope of which had been recently widened to cover over 42 lakh families instead of the proposed 14.96 lakh Socio Economic Castes Census (SECC) families. An Insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh, with no contribution from beneficiary, at a cost of Rs. 371 crore to the State was also rolled out by the Government.As many as 420 Health & Wellness Clinics would be established at the grassroots level by 31st March 2019 to provide basic healthcare facilities to the people. Health Minister Brahm Mohindra disclosed that 170 doctors had been trained for this scheme and the remaining would be imparted training shortly to make all wellness clinics operational.Intervening on an issue raised by several MLAs regarding shortage of doctors in the Government Hospitals, Brahm Mohindra apprised the Chief Minister that 400 doctors had been recently recruited and posted in different hospitals against vacancies. He urged the Chief Minister to merge the 750 doctors serving in Rural Development and Panchayats Department in the Health Department, which would ultimately help tide over the situation of shortage of doctors in the state to a considerable extent.
The Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to get this proposal thoroughly examined in consultation with Additional Chief Secretary Health and Principal Secretary Rural Development and Panchayats, and take an appropriate decision in this regard.The Health Minister further informed the Chief Minister that the Civil Hospital Mohali had been planned to be upgraded as Medical College from session 2019-20. He said that an inspection team from Medical Council of India would revisit before February 28, 2019 and the proposal for 168 posts of faculty and 826 posts of paramedics had been sent to Finance Department for approval.The Chief Minister assured the MLAs that paucity of funds would not be allowed to hamper the pace of development works and wherever funds were needed for smooth completion of projects, the same would be release proactively. He also directed the Principal Secretary Local Government to ensure that those development projects which were stuck up due to non-release of requisite funds should be examined on priority and necessary funds released forthwith.Taking part in the discussions, Member Parliament from Ludhiana Ravneet Singh Bittu expressed his gratitude towards the Chief Minister for sanctioning important projects like Halwara Airport, and a Government College for his constituency in the last two years. He also thanked Captain Amarinder for fulfilling a long pending demand of industry by announcing an Industrial Exhibition Centre in the city. He requested for more funds for repair of city roads and upgradation of sewerage system, and also sought Rs 50 Crores for construction of an approach road leading to the Hi-tech Cycle Valley.Industries Minister Sunder Sham Arora also thanked the Chief Minister for spearheading the process of heralding a positive industry atmosphere, which was most evident in revival of units at Mandi Gobindgarh.Responding to a demand of MLA Amloh Randeep Singh, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal agreed to set up a steel chamber at Mandi Gobindgarh and Sub Tehsil at Amloh.MLA Ludhiana East Sanjeev Talwar raised the issue of regularisation and transfer of ownership rights to illegal occupants of municipal land, which could fetch substantial revenue to the state.
MLA Fatehgarh Sahib Kuljit Singh Nagra highlighted the role of higher education in resource development and, citing the present financial plight of Punjabi University, demanded a Special Package for it. He also urged the Chief Minister to hold a special meeting in this regard and extend a liberal financial package to GNDU Amritsar and PAU Ludhiana.MLA Ludhiana Central Surinder Dawar requested for budget provision for the renovation of Government school at Millerganj, which was in a dilapidated condition.MLA Gill Kuldeep Singh Vaid urged the Chief Minister to bring in a legislation for allowing a bull cart race in Kila Raipur Rural Games, besides requesting him for one ITI Centre for his constituency.MLA Ghanour Madan Lal Jalalpur requested for a Girls ITI at Ghanour. MLA Samrala Amrik Singh Dhillon asked for strict enforcement to check smuggling of liquour in order to plug the pilferage of excise and enhance its revenue.MLA Rajpura Hardyal Singh Kamboj sought a special industrial park at Rajpura to boost industry.MLA Shutrana Nirmal Singh requested for providing a co-educational vocational college besides construction of three sports stadiums in his constituency, along with filling up of the vacant posts of medical/paramedic staff at Patran Civil Hospital. He also urged for construction of a Grain Market at Pattran.MLA Nabha Randeep Singh requested for establishment of Sub-Tehsil Amloh and a steel chamber in his constituency.Prominent amongst others who were present during the meeting were Cabinet Ministers Manpreet Singh Badal, Sunder Sham Arora, Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Charanjit Singh Channi, Aruna Choudhary, Vijayinder Singla, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Senior Advisor to CM Lt. Gen (Retd) T.S. Shergill, and Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral.Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, ACS Housing and Urban Development Vini Mahajan, FCR Kalpana Mittal Barua, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, ACS Excise and Taxation MP Singh, ACS Health Satish Chandra, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tewari, Principal Secretary Social Justice and Empowerment Roshan Sunkaria, Principal Secretary Rural Development and Panchayats Anurag Verma and Secretary Education Krishan Kumar and Advisor Invest Punjab Major B.S. Kohli were also present.