·        CONSTITUTES A THREE-MEMBER COMMITTEE TO HEAR FARMERS’ GRIEVEANCESChandigarh, September 22: Taking a humanitarian stand, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered the release of all the farmers taken into preventive detention ahead of the Kisan Unions' protest starting in Patiala today. The Chief Minister has also constituted a three-member committee, headed by senior party leader and Chairman Mandi Board, Lal Singh, to hear their grievances and also apprise them of the steps taken by his government regarding the promised crop loan waiver.

The Chief Minister directed the DGP and the district authorities to facilitate the release of the farmers, who were clearly resorting to agitation out of sheer desperation and did not really mean to create any law and order problem. Of the total 377 rounded up, 34 have already been released while 308 are in judicial custody and 35 in police custody. An official spokesperson said the process to secure the release of those in custody was being initiated.

While appealing to the farmers to be patient, the Chief Minister said that he had inherited a government with empty coffers but despite that, steps to waive off the crop loans of the farmers had been initiated and a notification, the draft of which was cleared by the cabinet two days ago, will be issued soon. He said that he was committed to fulfilling each and every promise made in the party’s election manifesto, which had been adopted as a policy paper for his government.

According to the spokesperson, other members of the Committee, headed by Lal Singh, are legislators, Ramanjit Singh Sikki (Khadoor Sahib) and Gurpreet Singh Kangar (Rampura Phul).

It may be mentioned, that the Punjab Cabinet had on Wednesday approved the draft notification for crop loan waiver scheme announced by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in the state assembly in June this year. Besides taking over the entire eligible loan amount of the farmers covered by the debt waiver scheme, the government has decided to also take over the outstanding interest of farmers from 1st April, 2017 till the date of notification, which will lead to an additional Rs 400 crore benefit to the farmers.

The crop loan waiver scheme will directly benefit nearly 10.25 lac farmers across the state. The Chief Minister had in June announced the waiver of entire crop loans (upto Rs 2 lacs) of all small and marginal farmers (upto 5 acres) and a relief of Rs.2 lac to the remaining marginal farmers irrespective of the amount of loan.




 CHANDIGARH, SEPTEMBER 22:The Welfare Minister, Punjab, Mr. Sadhu Singh Dharamsot has said that the welfare schemes concerning the students belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Backward Classes (BC) categories would be implemented with full transparency.

 In a meeting here today with the delegation comprising various unaided colleges, Mr. Dharamsot said that the Punjab Government is committed to help the students of SC and BC categories develop their full potential in tune with the changing times. He also directed the officers of the welfare department adopt further transparent measures to implement the scholarship schemes related with these categories. He also disclosed that the aim of these scholarship schemes is to provide financial assistance to the students hailing from economically weaker sections.

 Assuring the delegation members to fulfill their just demands as per the rules, the minister said that the student welfare schemes run due to the mutual co-operation between the State and Union Governments and any technical problem arising with regard to these could only be resolved by holding consultations with the Union Government.

 On the issue of releasing balance funds pertaining to the students scholarships raised by the various college associations, Mr. Dharamsot said that he had recently met the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mr. Thavar Chand Gehlot who assured the sooner release of balance funds.

 The various associations also apprised the minister in detail about their problems and demands which the minister assured to address in accordance with the norms.

 On the occasion, Principal Secretary Welfare Department, Punjab, Mr. R. Venkatratnam, Director Welfare Department, Punjab, Mr. Malwinder Singh Jaggi, Director SC Sub Plan Mr. Raj Bahadur Singh, Additional Director Welfare Mrs. Bindu Walia, ex-Minister Mr. Inderjit Singh Zira, President Nursing College Association Mr. Charanjit Singh Walia, President B.Ed. Association Mr. Jagjit Singh Walia, President Punjab Unaided College Association Mr. Anshu Kataria, Seemanshu Gupta from ITI Association, Satwant Singh Sandhu from B.Ed. Association (GNDU), Rajinder Singh Dhanoa from Polytechnic Association and President of B.Ed. Association Jasneek Singh were also present.




 Mukerian (Hoshiarpur)/Chandigarh, September 22: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today reviewed the paddy procurement arrangements in Hoshiarpur district and also directed the district administration to ensure that the benefits of the government's social welfare schemes reach the right beneficiaries.

The Chief Minister asked the Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur to ensure proper implementation of pro-poor initiatives of the government, including Atta-Dal scheme, shagun, MNREGA, besides timely payment of social security pensions to the beneficiaries in the district.

Presiding over a meeting here on Friday to review the progress of these welfare schemes, the Chief Minister directed the district administration to take stringent steps to weed out the bogus beneficiaries who were getting pensions, while ensuring that no genuine or deserving beneficiary is harassed in the garb of re-verification. He reiterated that the basic objective of the entire exercise was to ensure inclusive development, with the fruits of development percolating down to the grass roots level.

On the issue of procurement of Paddy in the ensuing season, the Chief Minister categorically said that no laxity would be tolerated in this gigantic operation and the Deputy Commissioner should regularly review the progress of procurement and ensure timely payment to the farmers so that the entire operation is conducted seamlessly. Captain Amarinder Singh reiterated his government's commitment that every single grain of paddy would be procured at all costs.

The Chief Minister also monitored the progress of de-addiction and rehabilitation of drug addicts, who had been brought back in the mainstream after detoxification. He further said that these addicts should be handled with utmost care and affection so that they could lead a normal life with dignity and honour.

The Chief Minister also asked the Deputy Commissioner to launch a vigorous campaign to issue job cards to the eligible beneficiaries under MNREGA so as to enable them to earn their livelihood. Captain Amarinder Singh lauded the immense contribution of Mandeep Singh, the Sarpanch of Chhatarpur village in Mukerian, for effective implementation of MNREGA in his village.

Concluding the discussions, the Chief Minister asked the officers to liaison closely with the senior officers at the district headquarters for the successful implementation of various centrally sponsored schemes for the development of the district.

Prominent amongst those present in the meeting were Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal, Inspector General of Police Arpit Shukla and SSP J. Elanchezhian.

MLA Tanda Sangat Singh Gilzian and MLA Mukerian Rajnish Kumar Babbi were also present.