Reiterating the firm commitment of state government to ensure safe and prompt release of 39 Punjabis trapped in Iraq, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that they would once again take up the important issue with the Government of India (GoI).
Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of the Sangat Darshan in Lambi assembly segment here today, the Chief Minister said that from last few months the state government has been consistently taking up this matter with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and now also he had asked the Union Food Processing Minister Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal and other Akali MPs to pursue this matter with the GoI. He said that the state government was extremely worried for the sons of the soil trapped in Mosul city of Iraq and no stone was being left unturned for ensuring their safe return to their motherland. Mr. Badal said that besides taking up the issue with the Union External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, he was regularly in touch with the special envoy of GoI in Iraq over the matter.
The Chief Minister said that being an international affair there was limited scope of the state government in this matter and only GoI was competent enough to pursue this issue with their counterparts in Iraq. He further said that on its part the GoI was also trying its level best to evacuate the stranded Punjabis in the strife torn Iraq and all these steps would bore fruits. “We are making strenuous efforts to bring back the Punjabis from Iraq safely by regularly keeping a liaison with the GoI” added Mr. Badal.Replying to another query the Chief Minister said that the state government was making all out efforts for eradicating the menace of cancer from state adding 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.
Earlier addressing the gatherings at village Singhanwala, Fatuhiwala, Mithdi, Gaggad, Badal, Mehna and Bhaagu, the Chief Minister bemoaned that due to the ever escalating costs of agriculture inputs and squeezing margins of profit farming was no longer a profitable venture. He impressed upon the farmers to adopt allied agriculture activities like dairying, fishery, piggery, goatery, apiary and others so as to supplement their income. Mr. Badal also asked them curtail their inputs costs by avoiding heavy expenditure on farm equipments by borrowing them from Cooperative Societies on custom hiring basis as the state government was giving heavy subsidies to these societies for purchasing these equipments.
Reiterating the firm commitment of the state government to make Punjab a drug free state, the Chief Minister solicited fulsome support and cooperation of the public in this noble cause. Mr. Badal said that the state government has taken several initiatives like curbing the drug peddling and opening drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centers for drug addicts across the state but all these efforts would fructify only with the active support of public. “Need of the hour is that the government and public must resolve to eliminate the menace of drugs from the state” he added.Highlighting the significance of the Sangat Darshan program, the Chief Minister said that it was the ‘Remedy of all the problems’ of the people.
Badal said that Sangat Darshan was the flagship program of the SAD-BJP government and its sole aim was to mitigate the woes of people by direct interface with the administrative machinery. He further said that Punjab was the only state in the country to take this unique initiative for facilitating the general public.The Chief Minister was accompanied by his Special Principal Secretary Mr. KJS Cheema, Mr. Paramjit Singh Lally Badal, Chairman Mr. Tejinder Singh Middukhera, Akali leader Mr. Avtar Singh Banwala, Deputy Commissioner Mr. Jaskiran Singh, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Mr. Amar Singh Chahal and Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. Kuldeep Singh Chahal.