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75th Republic Day- Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema unfurls tricolour at Jalandhar

Economy of Punjab is in right direction, reforms to further accelerate growth–Cheema

Harpal Singh Cheema, Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema, AAP, Aam Aadmi Party, Aam Aadmi Party Punjab, AAP Punjab, Government of Punjab, Punjab Government, Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, Sushil Kumar Rinku, Sheetal Angural, DC Jalandhar, Vishesh Sarangal, Jalandhar, Deputy Commissioner Jalandhar, 75th Republic Day, Republic Day 2024, Republic Day of India, Indian Republic Day, 26 January 2024
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5 Dariya News

Jalandhar , 26 Jan 2024

Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Friday said that the economy of Punjab was moving in the right direction and continuous reforms were being introduced for ensuring further growth of every sector. In his address after unfurling the national flag at the local Guru Gobind Singh Stadium to mark 75th Republic Day, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that every step was being taken to restore the fiscal health of the state and it had made record tax collections with better planning and effective implementation since the formation of AAP government in March 2022.

He said that with concerted efforts, Punjab has recorded a 16.52% increase in GST and a 10.4 % rise in excise revenues. He said that till December 2023 (current fiscal year), Punjab has already collected Rs 27931.16 crore as its tax revenue whereas the same figure was Rs 24468.14 crore till December 2022 (last fiscal year).

He said that Punjab had achieved a growth rate of 14.15 percent in total revenue from VAT, CST, GST, PSDT, and excise up to December during the current fiscal year as compared to the last year. The Minister said that the government had made this possible by ensuring transparent and responsive administration to the people and without levying any new burden on the people.

He said that the government established the Tax Intelligence Unit besides bringing One Time Settlement Scheme, 2023, ‘Bill Leyao Inaam Payo Scheme’, the Punjab GST Amendment Act, 2023, a reward scheme for Informers, and many more measures. He said that due to the government’s policies, the state had received 4125 investment proposals worth Rs 64114 crores which will ensure direct and indirect employment opportunities to 3.01 lakh people.

The minister also said that to promote tourism and culture, it has released Punjab Adventure Tourism Policy 2023 and Punjab Water Tourism Policy 2023. Cheema said that due to concerted efforts of the Punjab government, the state is heading towards a corruption-free state by adopting a zero-tolerance policy against corruption, and 550 arrests were made in this drive.

He said that the government had been giving Rs 1 crore as an ex-gratia amount to the family of the martyrs, enhanced ex gratia grant for physically disabled soldiers and financial assistance for non-pensioner ex-servicemen of World War I and II. He said that the ex gratia grant for physically disabled soldiers with 76-100% disability is now Rs 40 lakh (earlier was Rs 20 lakh), soldiers with 51-75% disability is now Rs 20 lakh (earlier was Rs 10 lakh), and soldiers with 25-50% disability is now Rs 10 lakh (earlier was Rs 5 lakh).

Further, he said that monthly financial assistance to non-pensioner ex-servicemen of World War I and II or their widows has been enhanced from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 and increased War Jagir as financial assistance from Rs 10,000 per annum to Rs 20,000 per annum to the parents whose only child or two to three children had served in the Indian Army during the Second World War, National Emergency 1962 and 1971 under The East Punjab War Awards Act 1948.

The minister also said  that the government had also provided government jobs to 39406 youths and regularized the services of 12710 employees. Speaking about the new initiatives taken in the field of health , the Minister also said that the government had opened 664 Aam Aadmi Clinics in the Punjab.

To further sharpening the skills of teaching fraternity, 200 principals and 100 head teachers were sent to Singapore and IIM Ahmadabad. He also said that the government created history by purchasing a private GVK thermal power plant of Rs 1080 crore and named it after Sri Guru Amardass thermal power plant.

Cheema further said that 12 toll plazas were shut down by the government due to which the people were saving Rs 185 crore. The government managed to vacate 12316 acres of land worth Rs 2000 crores from encroachments , the minister added. It had also transferred Rs 17.13 crore of cotton seed-subsidy into the bank accounts of over 87000 farmers. A speed breeding research centre was established in PAU, Ludhiana.

For sports, the Minister said that the government handed over cash awards worth Rs 33.83 crore to the 168 medal winners including Asian Games (32) and National Games winners (136) and it had also given Rs 8 lakh to each of 58 sportspersons for preparation of Asian games. He said that canal water supply projects worth Rs 2,200 crore were underway and 31 test labs were established in the Punjab.

He also spoke about various pension schemes, Kisan-Milini, the 1076-helpline under Bhagwant Mann Sarkar- Tuhade Dwaar, special camps, revenue helpline (81849-00002), and others. For Jalandhar, the Minister said that a grant worth Rs 205.14 crore had been given to the district for development works in rural areas of which funds of Rs 144.64 crore had already been spent. 

A total of 104 development works of Rs 68 crore were also underway in Municipal Corporation Jalandhar. Under the Punjab State Rural Livelihood Mission, 1500 self-help groups were established in Jalandhar and offered skill training to the women. Earlier, the Minister exhorted the people to take a pledge on this historic day to make Punjab a progressive state in the country and said that it was the need of the hour to cherish the aspirations of our countless patriots and freedom fighters who had made supreme sacrifices for the freedom of the country.

 He added that on this auspicious day, India became a sovereign and democratic nation adding that every year this day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and gaiety. Earlier, the Chief guest took a salute during an impressive march past by the contingents of Indo-Tibet Border Police, PRTC Jahan Khelan Commissionerate Police (Men and Women), Punjab Home Guards, NCC (Boys and Girls), Bharat Scouts and Guides led by the parade Commander PPS Mr. Damanbir Singh.

The Minister also distributed sewing machines, tricycles among the needy and also honoured the family members of five martyrs and freedom fighters. He also felicitated 113 officials/employees, players and social workers for their achievements in their fields. Likewise, a colorful variety program comprising a mass PT show, Giddha, Bhangra and other traditional folk dances enthralled the audience with their performance.

Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Rajya Sabha MP Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, Lok Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Rinku, MLAs Sheetal Angural, Raman Arora, Chairperson Rajwinder Kaur Thiara, Chairman Mangal Singh, Olympian Surinder Singh Sodhi, ADGP SS Srivastava, Deputy Commissioner Vishesh Sarangal, Commissioner of Police Swapan Sharma and others.


Tags: Harpal Singh Cheema , Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema , AAP , Aam Aadmi Party , Aam Aadmi Party Punjab , AAP Punjab , Government of Punjab , Punjab Government , Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal , Sushil Kumar Rinku , Sheetal Angural , DC Jalandhar , Vishesh Sarangal , Jalandhar , Deputy Commissioner Jalandhar , 75th Republic Day , Republic Day 2024 , Republic Day of India , Indian Republic Day , 26 January 2024



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