The Punjab Cabinet today decided to bring a white paper to expose the alleged “false” claims of the previous SAD-BJP government on development, governance reforms and fiscal position of the state. The decision was taken in the first cabinet meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here, said an official spokesman. He said the cabinet decided that the departments of Governance Reforms and Finance would prepare the white paper to expose the false claims of the previous SAD-BJP dispensation on development, governance reforms and financial status of the state.
The white paper will be prepared to apprise the common man of the legacy inherited by the Congress government, the spokesman said. The SAD-BJP had fought the Punjab Assembly polls on development plank. In another decision, the cabinet decided to establish a Commission of Enquiry to review false cases and FIRs registered during the SAD-BJP government, he said. The decision was taken to ensure “justice to innocent people and fix accountability of the guilty” so that such things were not repeated, the spokesman said.
The Home Department would put forth a draft notification for the Chief Minister’s approval, he said. The cabinet also decided to open up the transport sector, and ensure free-and-fair grant of licenses for buses, mini-buses and other commercial vehicles in a transparent way, “freeing the sector from the SAD’s “stranglehold”, the spokesman said. The Transport Department would reformulate its existing policy and submit a fresh one for consideration in the next meeting, he said.
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A Punjab Road Safety Authority will be set up to study causes of road accidents in the state with a view to minimise it through effective planning, the spokesman said. The Amarinder Singh-led government will undertake reforms to wipe out corruption and ‘Inspector Raj’ from the state, and to “undo the wrongs perpetrated on the people under the erstwhile Badal regime”, he said.
The Punjab cabinet has also decided to abolish the post of District Transport Officers (DTO) and has initiated steps to do away with the controversial ‘Halqa In-charge’ system that was introduced by the previous government, the spokesman said. To end corruption and ‘Inspector Raj’ in the transport sector and stop unnecessary harassment of transporters due to frequent checking, the cabinet has decided to abolish the posts of DTOs, and reassign them offices of SDMs and SDOs, he said, adding Haryana had abolished the post around a decade ago.
In a bid to improve functional and operational efficiency, the cabinet decided to withdraw the previous government’s notifications on territorial restructuring of police stations, the spokesman said. The council of ministers noted that the ‘Halqa In-charges’ had become parallel power centres, controlling the administration and the police, and “misusing their powers to indulge in political vendetta and corruption”, he said.