CHANDIGARH, JUNE 3: On the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to give major push to resume infrastructural works in rural and urban sectors besides ensuring social security, the Finance Department (FD) on Wednesday has released Rs.1,118 crores.

Meanwhile, the salaries of all government employees have also been released on time despite the financial crisis in the wake of COVID-19.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that Rs.735 crore has been released towards the grant of 14th Finance Commission to Rural Development & Panchayats department to ensure holistic development of the state. Apart from this, another Rs. 300 crore would be released soon making the first instalment of Rs.1035 crore under second phase of Smart Village Campaign having total size of Rs.3040 crore.

It may be recalled that the Punjab Cabinet on May 27 has decided to converge funds under its various flagship programmes to pursue its 2020-2022 Strategy for Rural Transformation to alleviate the sufferings of the people in rural areas, and to secure their lives and livelihood in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To give further impetus to the rural development, 1.30 lakh works with an outlay of Rs.650 crore in all the villages would be taken up under MGNREGA in two tranches of 65,000 each to generate enormous employment potential during this year for the poor and needy to sustain in these trying circumstances of coronavirus pandemic. This pro-poor initiative would go a long way in mitigating the woes of beleaguered section of the society, which is already grappling with extreme hardships in this difficult phase. Notably, 47,000 works to be executed under MGNREGA worth Rs.250 crore have already been approved for employment generation.

Likewise, the Finance Department has also released a sum of Rs.150 crore on account of power subsidy to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), Rs. 187 crore for social security pensions and Rs. 46 crore for grant in aid to Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC) for execution of various development works in urban areas.



CHANDIGARH, JUNE 3: Vindicating the robust and accessible healthcare infrastructure in Punjab under the visionary guidance of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, only 2% of migrants returning to Bihar have been found to be have contracted virus, the random sampling by the Bihar Government has revealed. Only 3 persons out of 157 tested on return to Bihar from Punjab have shown positive symptoms.

Disclosing this a health department spokersperosn said this fact assumes greater significance in the backdrop of huge percentage of positive figures in comparison with the other states.

The Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh from very beginning had directed to ensure strict compliance of all health protocols making it priority to save precious lives. Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab was among the first states to enforce strict lockdown ensuring was the first state with equal focus on ensuring availability of essential commodities at doorstep of people, the spokesperson said.

Sharing figures of other states, the spokesperson added that Delhi recorded the highest percentage with as many as 218 (26%) found positive out of 835 tested. In case of those returning from West Bengal total of 373 samples were collected of which 265 were tested and 33 were found positive thus making it 12 percent.

In terms of Maharashtra, a total of 2083 samples of labourers were collected by the Bihar Government and 1283 were tested and out of these 141 i.e. 11 percent were found positive.

The neighbouring state of Haryana accounted for 9 percent migrant population from Bihar being found positive. A total of 690 samples were collected out of which 390 were found tested and 36 came out negative.


Letter to CM should be addressed to CM not to media: Mohindra tells Bajwa

CHANDIGARH, June 3: The Minister for Local Bodies and Parliamentary Affairs, Brahm Mohindra today took a dig at former PCC president and Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa for going public on the issues he should ideally have raised in the party or the government forum.

“It is good that you have been flagging for the attention of the CM the issues of the public interest, but the letters addressed to the CM should ideally reach the CM directly and not through the media”, Mohindra suggested to Bajwa while telling him this does not convey the right message.

“A letter to the CM should be addressed to the CM only and not to the media”, the senior minister remarked, while observing, that by releasing the letters to the media before dispatching it to the Chief Minister makes the motive and purpose of such letters obvious that the public concern (raised in these letters) is the last thing in the mind of the person.

Mohindra suggested to Bajwa that he should act as the spokesperson of the Punjab government and highlight the great achievement by the state in fighting the COVID-19, thanks to the aggressive and proactive approach of the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Minister pointed out, Punjab has the highest recovery rate of about 90 percent while the death rate is less than two percent. “This was despite huge influx of NRIs and infected pilgrims all of whom were treated properly and have recovered completely”, he said, while, adding, “this was possible only because our CM took the lead in imposing the lockdown and curfew ahead of the centre and other state governments”.

He said, Bajwa, as a loyal Congressman had full right to raise the issues of public interest, but there is always a proper way of doing things. “You don’t rush to the press with your letters addressed to the CM as it defeats the real purpose or may be your purpose is actually something else”, he remarked.


Punjab government provides one-year extension to associated schools: Education Minister

  • Schools to ensure safety of students; will have to fulfill criteria before December 31 2020 to continue classes: Vijay Inder Singla

Chandigarh, June 3:-Providing a major relief to the students, staff and managements of associated schools, Punjab Government provided extension to around 2200 such schools for another academic session, 2020-21. While providing details, Punjab School Education Minister Mr. Vijay Inder Singla told that after reviewing the critical situation due to spread of Covid-19 pandemic in Punjab, the education department has decided to give them breather for limited period of time. He added that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has approved the proposal.

The cabinet minister said that during the extension period, these schools will have to strictly ensure the safety and security of students.

“Though, the extension has been given to the associated schools till 31 March 2021 but the schools will have to provide undertaking to the education department till 31 December 2020 about improvements in their infrastructure and campus area. If any school will fail to meet the required criteria, it will be allowed to continue educational activities only for Pre-primary classes on its premises,” said Mr. Vijay Inder Singla.

Mr. Singla said that due to the spread of coronavirus, the issue of extension has been dealt sympathetically by the education department. He added that the situation will be reviewed again after 31 December 2020 and the school failing to meet the criteria will be allowed to continue only pre-primary classes for students not higher than age group of 3 to 6 years.

The cabinet minister said that safety and security of the school going children is at the utmost priority of Punjab Government and it will not be compromised at any cost. He also directed the officials of education department to conduct routine surprise checking of associated schools in their respective jurisdiction to ensure the safety of students. He also asked the managements of associated schools to strictly comply with the directions of education department to avert disciplinary action.



• Water Resources Dept. completes cleaning of distributaries/minors by spending Rs. 339.19 Lakh in Cotton Belt during Lockdown

Chandigarh, June 3:-Punjab Water Resources Department has cleaned 1396.55 km length of distributaries/minors by spending Rs. 339.19 Lakh before cotton season and now, in paddy belt the work of cleaning the distributaries/minors would be completed before June 10 to facilitate farmers in paddy sowing.

Disclosing this in a press communiqué, Punjab Water Resources Minister Mr. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria said that the Water Resources department was fully committed to provide canal based water to the tail end farmers and the department's officials/staff have worked tirelessly even during the national wide Lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. He said that all the instructions and guidelines, issued by the government, are being followed strictly during the cleaning of distributaries/minors.

He said that Canal Administration of Punjab Water Resources Department has completed the work of internal cleaning of distributaries/minors in cotton belt of Punjab. The work of cleaning has been done through MGNREGA/agencies in the cotton belt, he said, adding that total length of distributaries/minors 504.6 km (approx) was cleaned by spending around Rs.123.19 Lakh in Sri Muktsar Sahib district, total length of distributaries/minors 23.81 km (approx) was cleaned by spending about Rs. 8.57 Lakh in Faridkot district, total length of distributaries/minors 536.69 Km was cleaned by spending Rs. 115.96 Lakh in Bathinda district, total length of distributaries/minors 207.55 km was cleaned by spending Rs. 59.89 Lakh in Fazilka district and total length of distributaries/minors 123.9 km was cleaned by spending Rs. 31.58 Lakh in the Mansa district.




Chandigarh, June 3:The Punjab Government has constituted 11-member Board under the chairmanship of Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to deal with the problems of Markfed/Cooperative Marketing Societies across the state.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Cooperation department said that a notification in this behalf has been issued by Additional Chief Secretary, Cooperation Kalpana Mittal Baruah, who is also the member of Board. The board would have other members including; Principal Secretary Jails, Principal Secretary Social Security, Women and Child Development, Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare, Principal Secretary Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Principal Secretary/Secretary School Education, Managing Director Markfed besides two representatives of Cooperative Marketing Societies in the state, while the Registrar Cooperative Societies would be its Convener Member.


Vigilance nabs ASI for taking bribe of Rs.28,000

Chandigarh, June 3: State Vigilance Bureau, nabbed an ASI Gurjeet Singh posted at Police Station P.A.U, Ludhiana red handed while accepting bribe of Rs 28,000.

Disclosing this here an official spokesperson of the Vigilance Bureau Punjab said accused Assistant Sub-Inspector was nabbed red handed on the complaint of Shamsher Singh of village Raipur Majri, Fatehgarh Sahib district. The complainant has approached the VB and alleged that the accused police official was demanding bribe Rs. 70,000 for registering a police case against those who have beaten his daughter and the deal was struck at Rs. 58,000. The complainant had already paid Rs. 30,000 as a first installment to the ASI Shamsher Singh.

After verifying his information, the vigilance team laid a trap and the accused ASI was arrested on the spot while taking bribe of Rs. 28,000 of second installment from the complainant in the presence of two official witnesses. He informed that a case under section of prevention of corruption act has been registered against him at VB police station, Ludhiana and further investigation is under progress.