PUNJAB CM ANNOUNCES SPECIAL LEGISLATION TO REGULARISE CONTRACTUAL EMPLOYEES

Chandigarh, February 20: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced a special legislation to regularise contractual employees, along with a series of other initiatives to redress the long-pending grievances of the teachers and other state government employees.

Assuring the employees that their genuine grievances, whose redressal had been delayed due to the state’s grave fiscal situation, would be settled at the earliest, the Chief Minister said he was fully cognizant of their problems and the government was working seriously to mitigate the same.

During his speech in the Vidhan Sabha, the Chief Minister said while some of the grievances were taking longer to resolve because of the constraint of resources, his government had taken several decisions to mitigate some of the difficulties of the employees.

Pointing out that the legislation enacted by the previous government had to be withdrawn as the High Court had threatened to strike it down, as it had done in the case of Haryana, the Chief Minister announced the decision to enact a special legislation for regularization of the contractual employees.

Captain Amarinder Singh also announced that release of 6 percent of Dearness Allowance due to the employees had been notified, and his government had made reservation of 2 percent seats in all government vocational/professional colleges for wards of government employees (Group C and D).

The government, said the Chief Minister, had decided that allotment of land be undertaken by Development Authorities, Improvement Trusts and MCs for Employees Cooperative Group Housing Societies at reserve price. The necessary scheme will be notified by the government for allotment of One Acre of land for 40 employees, he announced. Reservation of 3 percent of residential plots was being done for allotment to government employees by Development Authorities, MCs, Improvement Trusts or any other government agency, he further said.

In another major relief to the employees, the Chief Minister said the government was working to amend the Rules to provide for expeditious promotions through reduction in requisite qualifying service as following:

· No reduction if requisite qualifying service is two years or less;

· Reduction of one year if the requisite qualifying service is more than two years but less than five years;

· Reduction of two years if requisite qualifying service is seven years or more; and

· Reduction of three years if requisite qualifying service is ten years or more.

· The concerned departments would amend their respective service rules in this regard.

The Chief Minister flayed the previous SAD-BJP government for failing to address the woes of the employees or take any steps for their welfare. He reiterated his commitment to ensure that their genuine problems get resolved at the earliest.

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PUNJAB CM LAMBASTS AKALIS FOR ERODING DIGNITY OF HOUSE AFTER DESTROYING STATE’S LAW & ORDER, GOVERNANCE

Chandigarh, February 20: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday unleashed a scathing attack on the Badals for the complete destruction of all institutions of governance in the state, alleging that what was happening during their regime was not governance but ‘danda raaj’, with “orders – legal and illegal – being passed by one family,”

Pointing out that no rules, regulations, laws or Constitutional principles & provisions were followed during the Badal regime, the Chief Minister said it was the halqa incharges, working at the behest of the Akali leadership, who were calling the shots.

Lashing out at the Akalis over their irresponsible and unruly behaviour in the House, Captain Amarinder Singh said it was unfortunate the way the Finance Minister’s speech was disrupted for petty political gains. Expressing surprise at the opposition’s attempt to twist the facts of the Governor’s address during the ongoing Budget Session, the Chief Minister slammed the Akalis for eroding the dignity of a revered institution like the Vidhan Sabha.

Replying to the Governor’s address, the Chief Minister said he had once seen Parkash Singh Badal pull the Speaker out of his chair, which was extremely regretful. Taking a dig at the SAD president, he asked whether the party had any leader, since Sukhbir seemed to be always missing from the House.

The Badals, in fact, came in for a major onslaught from Captain Amarinder Singh, who lambasted them over the total absence of law & order and governance in the state during their decade-long rule. “What was happening earlier was not governance but danda raaj, with orders – legal and illegal – being passed by one family,” said the Chief Minister, pointing out that no rules, regulations, laws or Constitutional provisions were followed then. It was the halqa incharges, working at the behest of the Badals and their cronies, who were calling the shots, he added.

Good governance, Captain Amarinder Singh said, meant trusting your officials and giving them the freedom to work, besides rewarding the performers and removing the underperformers. Even the Congress party functions like that, which was in total contrast to the Akali way of functioning, he added.

The Chief Minister, who listed out the progress made by his government in reversing the pathetic situation in which the SAD-BJP combine had left the state across all sectors and segments, pointed out that Rs. 5 crores were being given to every sub-division for development work. He flayed the opposition for their allegation that only Congress MLAs were getting development funds and said if they needed to get some work done they should submit their project proposals to the concerned DCs.

Describing the steps taken to combat the problem of drugs, of which his government had successfully broken the backbone, Captain Amarinder Singh challenged the opposition to come out with the names of the ‘big fish’, with evidence, to help the STF arrest them. He vowed to continue to fight the battle against drugs from the front, not resting till it is completely eliminated from the state.

Recalling the pathetic state of the economy, and the huge debt, left behind by the previous regime, the Chief Minister said his government had been ensuring development despite the fiscal crisis and had been able to generate revenue.

Backing his claims with hardcore numbers, the Chief Minister said law and order had been restored by his government in the state, with gangsters having been eliminated. Law and order is ensured only if you allow the police to work, which is what his government had done, he said, taking another dig at the Akalis.

The Chief Minister also minced no words in assailing the SAD-BJP for the sacrilege incidents, pointed out that they had failed to accept even their own Commission’s report into the firing incident. His government, said Captain Amarinder Singh, would take the findings of the Ranjit Singh Commission report to their logical conclusion, and not spare anyone found guilty of the horrendous crime.

On the Farm debt waiver scheme of his government, the Chief Minister, while citing the figures, promised to pay out more to the farming community once the state’s revenues show further improvement. “This money is not ours but that of the people of Punjab, and will go into their welfare,” he said, adding that his government would also waive off the loans of the landless labourers.

Captain Amarinder Singh thanked the farmers for supporting his government’s initiative to check stubble burning, which he said was not the cause of pollution in Delhi, contrary to what they claimed.

The Chief Minister also reiterated his stand on the water issue, asserting that while Punjab did not want to stop anyone from accessing this precious resource, it could not afford to give away water since it did not have spare. “We owe it to our future generations to take steps to prevent our land from becoming a desert,” he said, reaffirming his commitment to provide clean drinking water to every person.

From employment to industrial development, his government had made massive strides in powering the state forward on the path to progress, said the Chief Minister, expressing happiness that industry was now looking back towards Punjab as a favoured destination. On the employment front, he noted that his government had so far facilitated jobs and employment to over 5 lakh youth, which worked out to an impressive 720 youth per day, besides generating 415 lakh man-days under MGNREGA during the last two years (2017-19).

Underlining the importance of rural development for the state’s holistic progress, the Chief Minister referred to the repair of link roads undertaken by his government, in addition to the Smart Village Campaign.

Housing and Education, said Captain Amarinder Singh, were other priority areas for his government, and cited the Urban Environment Improvement Programme to boost civic amenities, in addition to the canal based drinking water schemes. He took particular note of the revival of the Kandi Area Development Board and establishment of Sri Anandpur Sahib Development Authority to ensure the development of the difficult region. The Chief Minister stressed the importance of education to the state’s development agenda, and noted that smart education was being pursued aggressively by his government to give a fillip to this segment.

On the Health front, Captain Amarinder Singh listed the Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojan and Mission Tandrust Punjab as some of the key initiatives taken by his government. He also reiterated his government’s commitment to the welfare of Dalits, OBCs and persons with disabilities and minorities, without which holistic progress could not be realized.

In conclusion, he thanked the House for the good note on which the debate on the Budget had ended in the Assembly, and hoped it would set a precedent for healthy discussions in the future too.

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LET’S JOIN HANDS IN ENSURING BEFITTING CELEBRATION OF 1ST GURU’S 550TH PARKASH UTSAV: CAPT AMARINDER TO AKALIS

Chandigarh, February 20: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday urged the Akalis to join the efforts of his government to ensure a befitting celebration of the 550th Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and asked the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) deputy leader in the Vidhan Sabha to speak with his leader on the issue.

During his reply to the Governor’s Address, the Chief Minister said the sacred occasion demanded the united efforts of one and all, rising above political lines.

Hailing the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor to coincide this auspicious occasion as a victory for the efforts of the Congress, which were initiated by Dr. Manmohan Singh and also pursued personally by him, the Chief Minister once again called for a visa and passport free ‘khule darshan’ through the corridor. If passport and visa are made mandatory, lakhs of people would be deprived of the opportunity, which was not logical, he said, adding that he had already requested the Government of India to accept his suggestion.

Conceding a request from MLA Rajpura Hardyal Singh Kamboj, the Chief Minister agreed to establish a chair in the name of legendary martyr Udham Singh in Punjabi University Patiala. The step would go a long way in rekindling the spirit of patriotism and nationalism amongst the youth, he added.

Noting that there were several names inscribed in Punjabi in the Andaman jail, the Chief Minister further suggested construction of a memorial in the state in their memory. The Speaker informed the House that the Vidhan Sabha had already constituted a Committee which would soon visit Andaman and Nicobar islands and suggest to the Central Government to duly recognise supreme sacrifices made by them.

Referring to the resolution passed today unanimously by the House demanding an apology from the British government for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the Chief Minister hoped it would strengthen the case of others who were fighting for it in the House of the Lords, where a debate on the issue was going on.

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SUNDER SHAM ARORA LAUDS JOB OFFER BY SEL TO FAMILIES OF JAWANS MARTYRED IN PULWAMA TERROR ATTACK

Appeal to various organizations & companies to provide financial assistance to martyrs' families

CHANDIGARH, FEBRUARY 20:The Industry and Commerce Minister, Punjab, Mr. Sunder Sham Arora has applauded the announcement by the Ludhiana based SEL manufacturing company to provide a job to one member of the family of each of the CRPF jawaans martyred in the Pulwama terror attack.

Mr. Arora here today appealed to the various organizations of Punjab to come forward for providing financial assistance to the families of Pulwama martyrs and said that it is our duty to help the families of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country.

It may be recalled that 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in the Pulwama terror attack. Expressing sympathy with the families of the Hawaiian, Ludhiana-based SEL manufacturing company has offered a job to one member belonging to the family of each marytred jawaan. The company's Chairman and Managing Director Mr. R.S. Saluja has written a letter expressing deep sympathies with the families of the jawans and asked one member of each household to give their names for the job.

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LET’S JOIN HANDS IN ENSURING BEFITTING CELEBRATION OF 1ST GURU’S 550TH PARKASH UTSAV: CAPT AMARINDER TO AKALIS

Chandigarh, February 20: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday urged the Akalis to join the efforts of his government to ensure a befitting celebration of the 550th Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and asked the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) deputy leader in the Vidhan Sabha to speak with his leader on the issue.

During his reply to the Governor’s Address, the Chief Minister said the sacred occasion demanded the united efforts of one and all, rising above political lines.

Hailing the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor to coincide this auspicious occasion as a victory for the efforts of the Congress, which were initiated by Dr. Manmohan Singh and also pursued personally by him, the Chief Minister once again called for a visa and passport free ‘khule darshan’ through the corridor. If passport and visa are made mandatory, lakhs of people would be deprived of the opportunity, which was not logical, he said, adding that he had already requested the Government of India to accept his suggestion.

Conceding a request from MLA Rajpura Hardyal Singh Kamboj, the Chief Minister agreed to establish a chair in the name of legendary martyr Udham Singh in Punjabi University Patiala. The step would go a long way in rekindling the spirit of patriotism and nationalism amongst the youth, he added.

Noting that there were several names inscribed in Punjabi in the Andaman jail, the Chief Minister further suggested construction of a memorial in the state in their memory. The Speaker informed the House that the Vidhan Sabha had already constituted a Committee which would soon visit Andaman and Nicobar islands and suggest to the Central Government to duly recognise supreme sacrifices made by them.

Referring to the resolution passed today unanimously by the House demanding an apology from the British government for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the Chief Minister hoped it would strengthen the case of others who were fighting for it in the House of the Lords, where a debate on the issue was going on.

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PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA RESOLVES TO PRESSURISE CENTRE FOR JALLIANWALA BAGH MASSACRE APOLOGY FROM UK

Chandigarh, February 20: As a befitting tribute to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh massacre during its centenary year, the House led by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution to mount pressure on the Centre for seeking a formal apology from the British Government for one of the worst ever bloodbaths in the world.

The resolution was moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra and was passed unanimously by the members through voice vote.

Moving the resolution, Brahm Mohindra said it was a dastardly act perpetrated upon the innocent people who had converged at the Jallianwala Bagh on the fateful day of Baisakhi on April 13, 1919, to protest against Rowlatt Act of the Imperial rulers. Even the British Government of the time had realised the gravity of the irresponsible act, as evident in the premature superannuation of General Dyer from the British Army, said the Minister, pointing out that Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore had returned the title of Knighthood in protest.

Urging the Speaker to put the resolution to voice vote by the Assembly, Mohindra said in light of these facts it was high time for India to prevail upon the British Government to tender an apology to assuage the bruised psyche of our countrymen and fellow Indian diaspora settled across the globe.