The Captain Amarinder Singh-led government in Punjab today said that it will find ways and means to clear debts of the states farmers and would soon approach the Centre in this regard. Chief Minister Singh told a meeting of the state’s Administrative Secretaries that he would soon take up the debt waiver issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had announced a special package for Uttar Pradesh in the run-up to the Assembly elections there. He, however, made it clear that his government would find ways and means to waive off all farm debts with or without the Centre’s support, said an official spokesman.
Amarinder lauded the efforts of the various government departments in ensuring the smooth procurement of wheat. His government was committed to alleviating the sufferings of the state’s beleaguered peasantry, he added. The Chief Minister asked the officials to make all-out efforts to introduce comprehensive job creation schemes, including “Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar”, “Hara Tractor Scheme” and “YAARI Enterprises”. He also ordered steps to set up Employment Bureaus in all the districts of the state, to be headed by Deputy Commissioners and to function as Enterprise Bureaus to facilitate self-employment and start-ups with a focus on Micro Enterprise.
Amarinder asked the Secretaries to prepare a comprehensive action plan to implement poll promises in their respective departments in right earnest, with special focus on the government’s main programmes such as employment generation, houses for homeless and 30 per cent reservation for women in jobs. The Chief Minister also asked the officials to ensure rehabilitation of all drug abuse victims within one year through the ‘Navjivan’ rehabilitation campaign.
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Disclosing details of the decisions taken during the meeting, an official spokesperson said the CM had reiterated his government’s zero tolerance policy towards corruption and had asked the Secretaries to ensure that all statutory procedures, rules, regulations and laws are followed and all cases are decided on merit. He directed them to make all the services pertaining to their departments online within a maximum of six months, with the services also made available on mobile apps.
Underlining his government’s anti-drugs focus, the Chief Minister asked the officials to take up the launch of the rehabilitation campaign ‘Navjivan’ in mission mode to rehabilitate all affected persons in one year. The Departments of Health and family welfare, Social Security, Rural Development, Medical Education, and NGOs will collectively launch the campaign, which will be led by the Deputy Commissioners. As part of the campaign, rehabilitation centres, namely “Navjivan Centres”, will be set up in each district and will be manned by professionals, to be supported by voluntary organisations.
The Chief Minister also directed the formation of village or town level committees comprising people from the general public and local level government officials to vigorously campaign for the rehabilitation of the affected persons and to closely monitor their progress and give feedback to the department concerned. It was also decided to extend the facility of the toll free ambulance service number 108 to victims of drug abuse, the spokesperson said.
To minimise the consumer transaction costs of availing government services, the Secretaries have been asked to ensure that all services are made available online within six months in such a way that there is a single point of contact and single application for a particular service.
Online application forms and legacy verification were discussed to make the process less cumbersome and augment the viability of the Sewa Kendras, which are already in the process of being revamped, the spokesperson revealed. Reiterating his government’s commitment to ensuring transparency in governance, the CM further directed the various departments engaged in public dealing to ensure that all public grievances/issues are addressed in a hassle-free and time-bound manner, with strict compliance to the Right to Service Act time limits.
Information under the Right to Information Act should be provided in 30 days as prescribed, and the Administrative Secretaries should direct all officers in districts and state headquarters to meet members of the public from 11 am to 1 pm every day.