Punjab CM calls for readiness to combat border threat from Pakistan and China

Salutes freedom fighters, defence forces, corona warriors and others

Punjab CM calls for readiness to combat border threat from Pakistan and China

Mohali (SAS Nagar): Warning of continued threat from both Pakistan and China, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said Punjab would always be at the forefront of fighting the enemy at the borders.

With tensions at the borders continuing, India had to be prepared to deal with any eventuality, said the Chief Minister in his Independence Day address, after hoisting the tricolour here to mark the historic occasion.

While Pakistan continues to resort to firing every day, China, on the other hand, talks about friendship but remains a danger to our nation, said Captain Amarinder, recalling the recent barbaric attack on Indian soldiers by the Chinese forces. India has always given Pakistan a befitting response, which is the only way to deal with them, he said, adding that China also needs to be handled with the same iron hand.

Recalling the contributions of the millions of Indians to the freedom struggle, the Chief Minister said Punjabis had always been at the forefront of every battle. The cellular jail in Kaala Paani (Andaman Islands) have the names of tens of hundreds of Punjabis etched in immortality, he said, adding that even though the I-Day celebrations this year were low-key due to the Covid pandemic, this was the time to remember the sacrifices of all those who had made freedom possible for us. It was also the time to salute the defence forces guarding the nation’s borders from the enemy, he added.

Paying his tributes to Punjab’s freedom fighters, Captain Amarinder reiterated his government’s commitment to extend all benefits of freedom fighters to their next generations (grandchildren).

At the same time, Captain Amarinder saluted the Health Workers and Paramedics who were continuously fighting the invisible Covid enemy, along with the NGOs and religious organisations that have worked tirelessly to provide free food and medicine during the period of lockdown. He also acknowledged the great work done by the farmers, who have produced the food that fed the nation during the lockdown period and government officials who are serving the people in these difficult times.

The Chief Minister recognised the people of Punjab for their cooperation in observing precautions that were helping in containing the pandemic, the students who had marvellously adapted to the online teaching methodology, as well as the teachers who were working day and night to create online content to ensure that the studies of their students do not suffer.

He also lauded the industrialists who had shown remarkable resilience in recovering from the extreme slowdown caused by the pandemic, and the industrial labour which had placed its faith in the state of Punjab and returned to work with the same dedication as before after the initial panic which forced them to leave for their home towns through the trains arranged by the Punjab government. 

Mohali (SAS Nagar)
: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday announced the virtual inauguration of two major projects for Mohali district, including a 66 KV sub-station and construction of building of Punjab Biotechnology Incubator.
The announcements were made by the Chief Minister while speaking at the state-level Independence Day programme here.

The 66KV Sub-station 1 will be set up at Sector 82 in IT City Mohali-2, while the Punjab Biotechnology Incubator building is being constructed at a cost of Rs 31 crore in Knowledge City, Sector 81, said the Chief Minister. Construction of the Incubator building was started recently by PWD (B&R), and work is in progress on the basement.

The Chief Minister made special mention of the people who had performed exceptional service during the pandemic, and said awards will be bestowed on these men and women by his government on January 26, 2021.

Two Mohali district personalities, who were present at today’s programme, were mentioned by the Chief Minister as exemplifying the dedication required to be shown by a Government servant in these difficult times. These were Dr. Manjeet Singh, Civil Surgeon Mohali, who led from the front and went personally to high exposure zones /containment zones despite battling leukemia, and Dr. Harmandeep Kaur, District Epidemiologist, who had to move her one-year-old child back to her parental home to ensure safety as she worked day and night, going to the field, for extensive contact tracing, testing, and taking preventive measures.

On the occasion, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, along with Mohali DC, presented to the Chief Minister a framed preamble of the Constitution on behalf of the people of the district.

Mohali (SAS Nagar)
: Vowing not to rest till he had put the state’s economy back on the track of growth, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday announced a slew of welfare measures for the people, including facilitation of another 6 lac jobs for youth over the next two years, of which one lac will be in the government sector.

In his Independence Day address, the Chief Minister announced that 50000 government jobs will be provided to the youth in FY 2021 and another 50000 in FY 2022. He also announced a Virtual Mega Job Mela next month with the target of placement of 50000 youth in the private sector. He pointed out that his government had already helped 13.60 lac youth get gainful employment/self-employment under its flagship ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ scheme.

While reiterating his government’s commitment to incentives for the industry to attract more investment to the state, he said Rs. 63000 crore investment had already been realised on the ground with potential of 2 lac jobs in the State.

Over the next few months, his government will also give debt relief to the tune of Rs 520 crore to landless farmers and workers, said the Chief Minister, pointing out that Rs 4700 crore had already been disbursed to 5.62 lac farmers under the debt waiver scheme of the government. He also announced that his government will soon enact a new land leasing law, to secure the land ownership of the farmers and the rights of tenants on agriculture land.

Captain Amarinder further said that with the launch soon of the Smart Ration Card scheme, as many as 1.41 crore beneficiaries will become eligible to get rations from fair price shops.

To further boost the infrastructure of the state, the Chief Minister announced construction of 1300 kms of State and National Highways with an investment of over Rs 12000 crore in the next two years. While 28,830 kms of rural links roads had already been repaired over the last three years with an expenditure of Rs 3278 crore, the next two years will see repair of another 6162 kms of link roads with an investment of Rs 834 crore, he said, adding that patchwork of an additional 17,000 kms of link roads will also be undertaken at a cost of Rs. 82 crore.

Underlining the need to take Punjab back to its lost glory in Sports, the Chief Minister announced the construction of 750 rural sports stadiums across the state in the next two years. He also announced Rs 2500 crore investment, over the next 2 years, in Phase II of the Smart Village Campaign (SVC), for which Phase I covering 19132 rural works has already been completed at a cost of Rs 835 crores. All rural households of the State will have piped potable drinking water connections in the next two years with an expenditure of Rs. 1200 crore, he added.

Another Rs. 1046 crore will be spent under the Urban Environment Improvement Programme (UIEP) in the next two years, while efforts will be made to make Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojna universal, with coverage of all rural and urban households in the state for health insurance of Rs. 5 lac each, said Captain Amarinder.

Though work on Mata Tripata Mahila Yojana and Mata Kasturba Manila Yojna, aimed at social and economic empowerment of women, had been delayed due to Covid, the schemes will soon be back on track, said the Chief Minister, adding that his government would also soon finalise a scheme for economic empowerment for persons with disabilities.

Despite the economic slowdown resulting from the pandemic, which led to 50% decline in revenue collection in the first quarter of the current year, the state government has successfully initiated several steps to combat the crisis, said the Chief Minister. A sum of Rs 26000 crore boost was given to the farming sector to ensure efficient Wheat Procurement, he said.

Citing the importance of Online Education, Captain Amarinder said 1.74 lac Class XII students of government schools were being given smartphones this year to facilitate their education.

In addition to tax relief and concessions for the industry, several waivers and deferments of fees, taxes and loans payable by the individuals had also been announced, he said. Timely pensions and cash assistance had also been ensured for the poor and needy, said the Chief Minister.

Expressing the confidence that Punjab would successfully overcome the Covid pandemic, Captain Amarinder appealed to the people to continue to extend their wholehearted cooperation to his government to fight the crisis. He urged them to take special care of elderly, while ensuring strict adherence to wearing of masks and other protocols, including avoidance of large gatherings and frequent washing of hands. Get yourselves tested the moment you see any symptoms, he appealed to the people, adding that early testing was the first step towards defeating the disease and winning the war.