Out rightly rejecting any possibility of reviewing the ongoing power subsidy to the farmers in the state, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that the providing subsidies to compensate the farming community for ensuring food security was a ‘global phenomenon’.Interacting with the media persons after dedicating the newly constructed ultra modern Civil Hospital to the nation here today, the Chief Minister categorically said that there was no need for reviewing or rationalizing the ongoing power subsidies to the farmers as it was the bounden duty of the state government to share the whopping burden, meted out by them while serving the entire country. He said that the hard working and resilient farmers of the state had played a vanguard role in making the country self reliant in food production and the power subsidy was a meager way to compensate them for this gigantic task.
Badal said that the countries across the globe were assisting their food growers by extending them such subsidies adding that Punjab was no exception to it. Replying to another query, the Chief Minister said that the SAD-BJP alliance would contest the coming civic body polls in the state together. He said that the necessary strategy for contesting these polls would be chalked out soon by the top brass of both the alliance partners.Terming the floods in Jammu and Kashmir as a national tragedy, the Chief Minister said that the state would extend fulsome support and cooperation to the hill state in this hour of crisis. Expressing deep concern over the havoc and devastation caused by floods which left behind a trail of unprecedented death and destruction in the valley, Mr. Badal said that the Punjabis were firm believers of the ethos of universal brotherhood, communal harmony, tolerance and peace as propagated by the Sikh Gurus, saints and seers, therefore the state government would make all out efforts to help the Jammu-Kashmir government in rescue operations.
When asked to comment on INLD MP Mr. Dushyant Chautala’s statement that Mr. Badal would be the star campaigner of their party in Haryana, the Chief Minister said that SAD has always stood by the side of their allies and therefore he w ould be certainly campaign for INLD in the ensuing assembly polls. Mr. Badal said that the SAD and INLD had contested the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls together and there was hardly anything objectionable in it. “Late Chaudhary Devi Lal and his family have close ties with us, so both of us will contest these polls together” he added.
Later on while addressing a mammoth gathering the Chief Minister listed the initiatives taken by the state government to emerge Punjab as a major hub of Super Specialty treatment across the globe. He said that the setting up of the Homi Bhabha Cancer Treatment and Research Center at Mullanpur (New Chandigarh) was a right step towards this direction. Mr. Badal said that the state government has already made elaborate arrangements to provide state of the art treatment to the patients afflicted with the cancer in the Government Medical Colleges at Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot besides the upcoming ultra modern Cancer treatment centers in Bathinda and Sangrur. He further said that the state government had also initiated a cashless treatment scheme for the cancer patients besides making efforts to provide subsidized medicines to them.
Likewise, the Chief Minister said that the state government had already declared a war on drugs and crores of Rupees were being spent on the establishment of Drug de-addiction centers and Rehabilitation centers for drug addicts across the state. Highlighting the significance of Skill training, Mr. Badal said that the state government was fully seized with the problem of growing unemployment and the only solution to tackle this menace, especially amongst the college/ school drop outs, was to impart Skill training in different fields to enable them to earn their livelihood. He said that the state government has set a target of training nearly one lakh youth annually under various skill development programs in order to cater the needs of the local industry.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Cabinet Ministers Mr. Surjit Kumar Jiyani and Dr. Daljeet Singh Cheema, Lok Sabha MP Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Chaudhary Nand Lal, Chairman District Planning Committee Dr. Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi, former Chief Parliamentary Secretary Chaudhary Mohan Lal Banga, senior Akali leaders Mrs. Satinder Kaur Kariha and Mr. Jagteshwar Singh Majithia, Principal Secretary Health Mrs. Vinnie Mahajan, his Special Principal Secretary Dr. S Karunaraju, Managing Director Punjab Health Systems Corporation Mr. Hussan Lal and Deputy Commissioner Mrs. Anandita Mitra.