On a day that Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh announced a huge farm loan waiver, he also made another major declaration, this time it concerned the children of the state. The Punjab government has announced that free textbooks for all students of government schools and pre-primary classes (Nursery and LKG) would be provided from the very next academic session, reported news agency ANI. Not only this, to promote English in schools, Singh further announced a pilot project from next month in all government schools. Further, Captain Amarinder said five new colleges would be set up in the state during this fiscal, notwithstanding the financial crunch faced by the government. The CM also announced WiFI for 13000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges, which was another poll promise made earlier.
In yet another major announcement, the Punjab government has also announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to PhD. This was with intention to ensure a major leap towards women empowerment. Meanwhile, reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies has already been increased by the government from 33 per cent to 50 per cent, as per the reports by the New Indian Express.
Punjab government also announced that it will enact new Lok Pal legislation with powers to initiate action on complaints against the chief minister, Ministers and also the bureaucracy at all levels.
Earlier in the evening, with constant demands of the Opposition parties, Amarinder Singh-led Congress government announced total waiver of entire crop loans of 8.75 lakh small and marginal farmers. This came in the wake of growing number of farmer suicides in the state. Following which the government-appointed expert panel exploring ways and means for debt waiver. The priority of the state government was to first extend relief to small and marginal farmers.