Hoisting the national flag during an enthusiastically packed district level Independence Day function, Punjab Health & Family Welfare and Labour Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu vowed to stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers against draconian anti-farmers laws forcibly imposed by the union government.Addressing the ceremony held at Shaheed Major Harminderpal Singh (Shaureya Chakra) Government College Phase-6 here, Mr. Sidhu said, "as per the Constitution of India, agriculture is the subject of the states, but the BJP-led union government has arbitrarily intervened in states' rights by enacting these black agri laws thus created an atmosphere of unrest and resentment across the country. The Cabinet Minister was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Mr. Girish Dayalan and SSP Mr. Satinder Singh.Mr. Sidhu said that despite the apathetic attitude of the union government, Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh-led state government is providing financial assistance to the relatives of farmers of the state, who were sacrificed their lives during the farmers' agitation besides giving jobs to one of their family member. "We taking up the cause of farmers introduced 'debt waiver scheme' under which about six lakh small and medium farmers who availed loans from various cooperative and commercial banks have been waived of loans of more than Rs.4600 crores", said Balbir Singh Sidhu, adding that the state government during its tenure so far procured 9 crops in 48 hours and paid farmers' dues on time.
Reiterating the commitment of the state government to firmly stand for the rights of farmers, he said, "as long as the union government did not accede to the demands of the farmers, the Punjab government would stand by the farmers."The chief guest Mr. Sidhu said that our government was committed for the welfare of every section. The reservation for freedom fighters in allotment of plots in PUDA and GMADA has been increased from 2 to 3 percent for providing them houses. He said that state government has made immense efforts to keep the youngsters away from drugs and encourage them towards sports. Even, under the new sports policy, there is provision of Rs.2.25 crore gold, 1.5 crore for silver and 1 crore for bronze in Olympics, but going beyond, we have given Rs.2.51 crore for bronze medal winners players of the Tokyo Olympics.Highlighting the major initiatives in the field of education, Mr. Sidhu said that more than 13,000 schools have been transformed into smart schools. In the recent rankings released by the Government of India, Punjab has clinched number one spot in the country in education sector. He said that the state government has increased the amount of social security pension to Rs.1500 per month and financial assistance under Ashirwad scheme has been increased to Rs. 51000.During these trying times of COVID-19, Mr. Sidhu said, the health workers and medical staff fought valiantly against the pandemic and their dedication was unparalleled. "With the efforts of state government, the capacity of around 40,000 RTPCR tests per day, was built in hospitals and medical colleges across state.
He informed that four new medical colleges were also being operationlised at a cost of Rs.1500 crore.Talking about government's ambitious project such as Sehat Bima Yojana, the Health Minister said that under this scheme around 40 lakh families in Punjab were being provided cashless health insurance facility up to Rs.5 lakh per family per annum. Any beneficiary can avail treatment in 906 entitled hospitals (213 government and 693 private hospitals).Throwing light on development works of Mohali constituency, Mr. Sidhu said that a Government Medical College with Rs.374 crore was under construction at Mohali and a Nursing College was also being established. He also spoke about the efforts of the government in Mohali to build new civil hospitals on 8.72 acres, Landran junction, strengthening of rural link roads, construction of new government school buildings and panchayat ghars and houses to the poor.Mr. Sidhu also inspected the parade and took salutation from the magnificent march past of four units of Punjab Police, with one NCC contingent from Government College Phase-6 and a Brass Band contingent of Punjab Police Academy Phillaur. Distinguished personalities of various fields were also honoured.On this occasion, District and Sessions Judge Mr. R.S. Rai, CJM-cum Secretary District Legal Services Authority Mr. Baljinder Singh Mann, ADGP Mr. Ishwar Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner (G) Komal Mittal, Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) Himanshu Agarwal, Municipal Corporation Mayor Amarjit Singh Sidhu, Municipal Commissioner Kamal Kumar Garg, Director Health & Family Welfare Dr. G.B. Singh, Civil Surgeon Mohali Dr. Adarshpal Kaur, Assistant Commissioner (G) Tarsem Chand Sharma, SDM Harbans Singh, SP A.S. Aulakh, DSP Manvir Bajwa and Mr. Gurpreet Singh Bains, District President Youth Congress Mr. Kanwarbir Singh Sidhu, Chairman Market Committee Kharar Mr. Harkesh Chand Sharma, Deputy Mayor Municipal Corporation Kuljit Singh Bedi, Senior Deputy Mayor Amrik Singh Somal and Chairperson Zilla Parishad Jaswinder Kaur were present.Meanwhile, SDM Dera Bassi Kuldeep Bawa and SDM Kharar Akash Bansal hoisted the tricolour at Dera Bassi and Kharar respectively.