Punjab govt has made every effort to fulfil its commitments, despite constraints: Guv

Chandigarh, Jan 16 (PTI) The Congress government in Punjab has made every possible effort to fulfil its commitments, despite constraint of resources and an 'empty treasury' inherited by it, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore said on Thursday.

Badnore made the remarks while addressing MLAs on the opening day of the Punjab assembly's two-day special session, even as opposition SAD and AAP members walked out from the House, alleging that the Amarinder Singh government had not fulfilled its promises. The session has been specially convened to ratify the 126th Constitutional amendment to extend reservation for those belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes for another 10 years, Badnore said.

'The government has completed almost three years since it assumed office in March 2017. During this period, it has made every possible effort to fulfil its commitments, despite constraint of resources and an empty treasury inherited by it,' the governor said in his speech reflecting the state government's initiatives.

It has re-established the rule of law, revived Punjab's economy and industry, maintained peace and amity at all costs, and made strenuous efforts to protect territorial and water rights of the state, Badnore said.

The Punjab government also 'retained, restored and protected the rights of women, Dalits and other minorities and weaker sections of the state, provided for the measures to raise farmers' income and create more jobs in the state and provided debt relief to the farmers', he said.

The Punjab government has waived crop loans of Rs 4,736 crore of 5.83 lakh small and marginal farmers, who were indebted to various cooperative and commercial banks, Badnore said.

The waiver was given under the state's Farmers Debt Waiver scheme. It will continue in its next phase to achieve the targeted coverage, he said.

'Further, it (state government) is also working on a scheme of debt waiver for landless farm labourers who have taken loans from primary agricultural service societies,' Badnore told the House during his 30-minute address.

He congratulated the government for successfully organising a series of events to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev and said a historic landmark was achieved with the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.

On the law and order front, he said, there has been a 'perceptible decrease in crime' with the neutralisation of 12 'A-category' gangsters and arrest of 1931 members of different criminal gangs operating in the state. Besides these, the Punjab Police has busted 31 terrorist modules and arrested 151 terrorists, the governor said.

He said the government is fully alert to ensure right-based action to contain drug abuse in the state and added that the special task force set up in 2017 has proved to be very effective in comprehensively tackling the drug menace.

    Touching upon the industry, he said the government has received investment proposals of Rs 57,735 crore on ground with potential to create 1.89 lakh jobs in the state.

The government proposes to introduce a new legislation 'Right to Business Act' to enhance ease of doing business for MSMEs in the state, he said. With Punjab predominantly being an agricultural economy, the governor said the government has been giving greater thrust on measures that help increase farmers' income.

'Despite many challenges arising because of poor evacuation of food stocks from the state by the FCI, the government has ensured hassle free procurement of foodgrains for the last six crop seasons consecutively.  The farmers have received an additional remuneration of Rs 44,000 crore during the last six crops procured by the government,' he said.

Saving water and crop diversification remains a priority of the government and it has also requested the Centre to initiate and approve a national project to canalise state's three rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, the governor said.

 He also touched upon steps being taken by state government on stubble burning issue.

 The government intends to provide 14,953 free EWS houses to homeless SC/BC families under the Punjab Shehri Awas Yojna and the PM Awas Yojana for which deputy commissioners have identified over 6,000 acres of land, he said.

Towards the end of his speech, the governor told the members that the House is a true reflection on our secular democratic polity”.“You have always upheld these values as enshrined in our Constitution..,” he said.

“..I am sure the deliberations in this House will further strengthen the government's resolve to take Punjab to new heights of growth and prosperity; demolishing the forces, if any who believe in divisive politics through radical thoughts and processes, Badnore saidPTI SUN VSD ANB ANB

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