Punjab Governor side tracked issue of Chandigarh and other inter-state disputes in his address in Vidhan Sabha

Punjab News Express | February 12, 2019 04:08 PM

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore on Tuesday declared the state government’s commitment to pursue and take to their logical conclusion the investigations into the sacrilege cases and the false cases registered during the previous regime and probed by Mehrtab Singh Gill commission, while maintaining its policy of zero political vendetta or intolerance against anyone, irrespective of political affiliations or ideologies.

Governor however didn't refer to issue of transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab and other inter-state disputes with Haryana including sharing of river waters and transfer of Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab. Capt Amarinder Singh Government for the first time side tracked on political issues which were part of Governo's address in previous governments.

Kicking off the third Budget Session of the 15th Vidhan Sabha, Badnore, the government was committed to pursuing the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice Ranjit Singh, who probed the cases of sacrilege in the State in the year 2015-16, and these will be taken to their logical conclusion, allowing the law to take its full course. The government, he pointed out, had set up a SIT, as recommended by the House in its earlier session, and the same was expected to complete its task soon.

The Governor apprised the members of the various programmes launched by the government to mark the historic 550th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, while welcoming the historic laying of the foundation stone of a corridor to Sri Kartarpur Sahib (in Pakistan) on 26th November, 2018. The state government shall spare no effort to make this corridor operational by the coming Maha Gurpurab on 12th November 2019, he announced. Badnore also gave details of the programmes planned by his government to commemorate the Centenary of the tragic Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which falls on 13th April, 2019.

Citing the tremendous success achieved by the government in neutralizing the groups of gangsters operating in the state, Badnore disclosed that 1414 gangsters/ members of various criminal groups had been arrested or neutralized, including 10 category-A gangsters. 19 terrorist modules had been busted, and 101 terrorists and 22 foreign handlers arrested, he said, adding that the culprits of the Nirankari Bhawan attack were also being brought to book to provide justice to the victims.

The water crisis faced by the state found special mention in the Governor’s address and he expressed the desire that the central government takes a realistic view of the problem to prevent the state turning into a desert. Though the central authorities had declared Punjab as a water starved State, its water crisis and the fact that it does not have surplus waters is not fully appreciated, he lamented.  

The state government, said the Governor, had also succeeded in resolving the vexatious and long-pending inter-state issues in construction of Shahpur Kandi Dam Project and signed an agreement with the Government of Jammu & Kashmir on 9th September 2018. He also spoke about the government’s proposal to set up a State Water Authority to ensure better regulation and conservation of water, fully protecting the rights of consumers namely the farmers, industries, commercial establishments and, of course, rural and urban households.

Reiterating the government’s commitment to eliminate drugs from Punjab, the Governor listed out the various measures being taken to further its three-pronged strategy, i.e. EDP – Enforcement, De-addiction and Prevention, besides ensuring zero patronage to drug smugglers and peddlers. In fact, most, if not all, drug smugglers and peddlers have either left the State or they have been put behind the bars, he said.

Referring to the government’s efforts to revive the state’s economy, which had declined due to financial imprudence of the previous government, which had spent public money recklessly without caring for possible revenue receipts of the State, the Governor said the resource gap had been reduced to Rs. 4175 crore in 2017-18 and revenue receipts increased by 23% in December 2018. The state government had brought down State's fiscal deficit to GSDP of 2.65 percent in 2017-18 as against 12.34 percent in 2016-17.

On the progress of Mission Ghar Ghar Rozgaar and Karobaar, the Governor revealed that more than 5 lakh youth had been facilitated by his government for employment till December 2018. The Government has now reoriented its job programme to ensure that State's unemployed youth are skilled through the Punjab State Skill Development Mission and prepared for the jobs so as to ensure their speedier absorption in some gainful employment, he added.

Underscoring the government’s undeterred commitment to farmers’ welfare, the Governor hailed the success of the Farm Debt Relief Scheme, under which 5.83 lakh small and marginal farmers had been provided debt relief of Rs. 4736 crore so far. The remaining of the targeted 10.25 lakh small and marginal farmers will be provided their due benefit under the scheme shortly, he added. B

Taking note of the health concerns of State's population, the state government was striving to provide affordable healthcare to its citizens, said the Governor, referring to the establishment of wellness clinics and expansion of the health insurance cover for the people. He further spoke about the Mission Tandarust Punjab, launched by the government against sub-standard and adulterated milk, milk products and other food items.

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