Punjab CM launches self-employment loan mela

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Patiala (Punjab), Jan 25 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday launched a mega self-employment loan mela here as part of his government's flagship 'Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Mission'.

A token of 1,000 loan sanction certificates were handed over to beneficiaries as a symbolic gesture across the state, with the chief minister handing over certificates to five beneficiaries.

Over 15 lakh youths have been facilitated in getting employment in private government sector or self-employment since Singh's government took over the state's reins in March 2017, translating into 1,100 youths benefitting every day from the mission, an official statement said.

He revealed that during this period, 8.8 lakh youths had been facilitated for self-employment, while 5.69 lakh youths had got jobs in the private sector and 58,258 in the government sector.

The October-December 2020 drive had led to a total of 1.7 lakh youths getting jobs/self-employment opportunities, he said.

The chief minister announced that with the COVID-19 situation now easing, two job melas will be organised every month in each district, and government jobs shall be regularly advertised this year to achieve the already announced target of giving one lakh jobs, of which advertisements have already been issued for filling up 20,000 vacancies.

Singh said his government's multi-pronged strategy on this front, along with the pro-active new industrial policy, had resulted in on-ground industrial investments worth Rs 71,000 crore in the state, thus generating additional potential of 2.5 lakh jobs.

Given the limitation to appointments in the government sector, where only 13,000 vacancies are created through retirement every year, his government had lowered the retirement age for government employees to create new opportunities for the youth, the chief minister said.

At the same time, Singh said his government would continue to focus on promoting industries, self-employment and private spheres.

As the COVID-19 situation stabilises, jobs would increase in the industry, he added.

The chief minister said the medical colleges, skill universities and private universities are being set up in the state to boost the skill levels of youth to enable them to find more jobs even outside the state.

In another function, Singh gave a clarion call to society to come forward to protect the life and liberty of girls.

He also underlined the need for creating grassroots level awareness to further improve Punjab's girl child sex ratio, which had gone up from 890/1000 in 2013-14 to 920/1000 during 2019-20.

His government's decision to dedicate the month of January as 'Dheeyan Di Lohri' was a step in this direction, Singh said. Noting that even the religious scriptures accord high status to women, he said with girls consistently outshining boys at various levels, they continue to prove their mettle year after year.

Women only need motivation to make a mark in every sphere, he said, pointing out that opportunities for girls were growing in today's era.

He cited the examples of Kamala Harris being elected the new Vice President of the US, an all women crew members of an aircraft and women fighter pilots as proof of the growing women power.

Incidentally, though the National Girl Child Day was on January 24, the state government celebrated the occasion on Monday, as per a government statement. PTI CHS SUN SNE SNE