PUNJAB FINANCE MINISTER HARPAL CHEEMA STRONGLY VOICES ISSUES RELATED TO THE STATE WHICH NEEDS UNION BUDGETARY ATTENTION

- SUBMITS MEMORANDUM CONTAINING INPUTS FOR THE UNION BUDGET 2023-24 TO UNION FINANCE MINISTER

- SEEKS BORDER AREA SPECIAL INDUSTRIAL PACKAGE OF ₹2500 CR FOR DEVELOPMENT OF BORDER DISTRICTS

- SEEKS RESOLUTION OF CCL ISSUE IN LINE WITH RECOMMENDATIONS OF 15TH FINANCE COMMISSION SUB-COMMITTEE

- DEMANDS BUDGETARY SUPPORT OF ₹1,125 CRORE FOR ASSISTANCE OF ₹1500 PER ACRE TO FARMERS FOR QUITTING STUBBLE BURNING

- SEEKS ₹1,000 CR SPECIAL ASSISTANCE FOR MODERNISATION OF POLICE FORCE, INFRASTRUCTURE IN SENSITIVE BORDER DISTRICTS OF STATE

- DEMANDS VANDE BHARAT TRAINS FROM HOLY CITY OF SRI AMRITSAR TO NEW DELHI AND BATHINDA TO NEW DELHI

Chandigarh, November 25 Submitting a comprehensive memorandum containing all the suggestions and demands of Punjab for the Union Budget 2023-24, the Punjab Finance Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema on Friday sought a border area special industrial package of ₹2500 crore for the development of border districts of the state besides raising other major demands including the resolution of Cash Credit Limit (CCL) issue in line with recommendations of 15th Finance Commission sub-committee, budgetary support of ₹1,125 Crore for assistance to farmers quitting stubble burning, ₹1,000 Crore special assistance for modernisation of Police force and policing infrastructure in sensitive border districts of the state, Vande Bharat Trains from Holy City of Sri Amritsar to New Delhi and Bathinda to New Delhi, and a railway link between Rajpura and Chandigarh.

During the pre-budget meeting with the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi, the Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that Punjab being a border State with high stakes in national security needs to be considered along with other such areas in India as “Special Cases” to attract investors and industries. “A special package of Rs. 2,500 Crore be provided to the State of Punjab for the development of the Industrial Sector in the border districts of Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Firozpur, and Fazilka.

He said that this budgetary support would help the State Government in the setting up of infrastructure for Industrial Hubs and Parks specifically focusing on the One District One Products (ODOPs) and supplementing the promotion of exports besides providing special incentives or subsidies to the investors for establishing their industrial units in these border districts.

Raising the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) issue, Cheema said that the Sub-Committee notified by the 15th Finance Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ramesh Chand, in its report has clearly verified claims of the Government of Punjab amounting to Rs. 6,155 Crore. He demanded early resolution of this issue in line with the rightful claims of Punjab as stated in the Sub-committee report by providing the state relief of Rs. 6,155 Crore from this unsustainable debt burden.

Demanding budgetary support of ₹1,125 Crore for assistance to farmers quitting stubble burning, Punjab Finance Minister said that the State Government has already requested the Government to India to support and collaborate by providing Rs. 1500 per acre as compensation to farmers in lieu of the additional cost to be incurred on the management of paddy stubble and thus to tackle the menace of stubble burning and air pollution. He requested to consider this proposal on priority in the interest of farmers' welfare as well as common citizens of NCR and demanded to provide budgetary support of Rs. 1,125 Crore in the Union Budget 2023-24 for the same.

Seeking ₹1,000 Cr Special Assistance for modernisation of the Police force and policing infrastructure in the sensitive border districts of the state, Harpal Singh Cheema said that the state needed to be equipped with the latest equipment, and adequate and well-trained police force to deal with constant threats as it shares a 550 km long border with a hostile neighbor. He said that state needs this special assistance for modernization of weaponry but also for improving the mobility of police personnel; for installation of CCTV cameras in border areas to increase surveillance; for upgradation of police buildings and for the construction of new Police Stations, especially in vulnerable border districts of Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Firozpur and Fazilka besides providing basic infrastructural amenities and better working and living conditions to the Police forces in this border State to keep them motivated.

Cheema also sought budgetary support of Rs. 160 Crore for deploying two battalions of Police force permanently in the border districts of Punjab, which would ease the pressure on BSF as well. He said that this 2nd line of defence would enable the State Police in destroying nefarious designs of anti-national elements and safeguard from threats emanating from narco-terrorism.

Cheema also demanded Vande Bharat Trains from Holy City of Sri Amritsar to New Delhi and Bathinda to New Delhi besides setting up a railway link between Rajpura and Chandigarh. He said that the state government would make available the required land to Indian Railway for laying a railway track between Rajpura and Chandigarh. He said that it would fulfill the long pending demand of the people of this region.

It is worth mentioning here that in the memorandum submitted today the Government of Punjab has raised a number of utmost demands of the state pertaining to fiscal and legacy issues, agriculture and industry, Punjab as a security case, infrastructural development, skill development, health and education, strengthening of local bodies, etc.

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PUNJAB WILL BE DEVELOPED AS A TOURISM HUB - ANMOL GAGAN MAAN

PARTICIPATES AS CHIEF GUEST OF PUNJAB DAY FUNCTION DURING IITF-2022 New Delhi

New Delhi/Chandigarh November 25 -Punjab Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Investment Promotion Anmol Gagan Maan said that the state government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is fully committed to explore the potential of tourism sector of Punjab so as to develop the state as Tourism hub.

Cabinet Minister Anmol Gagan Mann, who was the Chief Guest of Punjab Day function organized at the ongoing 41st India International Trade Fair-2022 here today, was interacting with media persons after inaugurating the Punjab Pavilion.

Cabinet Minister Anmol Gagan Mann said that technology will be widely used and a special app will be developed to highlight the full potential of Punjab's tourism sector and to widely promote it. She said that all historical and cultural buildings of Punjab will be further developed and tourism transport network will be strengthened for the convenience of tourists.

She said that said that during the India International Trade Fair, the products of Punjab have received tremendous response and serious efforts are being made to promote the local brands of Punjab on wider scale in national and international markets. She also said that the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is working whole heartedly to live up to the expectations of the people of Punjab.

Punjab Cabinet Minister also visited the stalls set up by various departments and institutes including Markfed, Verka,, PSIEC-Invest Punjab, Punjab Tourism Department, Science Technology and Environment Department, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana at the Punjab Pavilion. Well known for their Sufi Singing, Nooran Sisters enthralled the audiences with the hit numbers during the cultural event of Punjab Day. Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce Mr. Dilip Kumar, Secretary Tourism and Cultural Affairs Mr. Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, AMD PSIEC Mr. Rupinderjit Singh Brar honoured the Cabinet Minister Anmol Gagan Mann and PSIEC Chairman Mr. Dalvir Singh. On the occasion Administrator Punjab Pavilion JS Bhatia, Deputy Administrator Gurpreet Singh and other dignitaries were also present.

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HARJOT SINGH BAINS DIRECTS TO CHANGE CENTURIES-OLD OFFICIAL NAME DPI OF EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, PROCESS INITIATED

DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION WAS NAMED IN THE BRITISH ERA

Chandigarh, November 25:Punjab School Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains has directed the officials of the education department to change the centuries-old, official, but the irrelevant name of the department, after which the process of changing the name i.e. "Directorate of Public Instruction" has been started.

Divulging this, School Education Minister informed, official name of the 'education department' as 'Directorate of Public Instruction' was named during the British rule, and till date, nobody even thought to change this irrelevant name as now this name does not have relevance as per its work and responsibilities. In most states of the country, the name of the school department has been changed from Directorate of Public Instruction to Directorate of School Education, he added.

S. Bains said, the Department of School Education works to educate the children, but from the name given by the Britishers, it appears that this department only gives instructions.

The Cabinet Minister further said, Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary School Education were asked in writing to initiate the process of changing the name of the department, and the work of changing the name has been formally started. "In future, this department will be known as Directorate of School Education", informed the School Education Minister.

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AGRICULTURE MINISTER KULDEEP DHALIWAL INAUGURATES CRUSHING SEASON

URGES FARMERS TO ADOPT CROP DIVERSIFICATION TO SAVE GROUND WATER

Chandigarh/Batala, November 25:Punjab Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal on Friday inaugurated the 60th Crushing Season and urged farmers to adopt crops diversification to save ground water.

During the function held at Cooperative Sugar Mill Batala, Mr. Dhaliwal said that the Punjab government is committed to provide all possible help to keep the cooperative sugar mills functioning. He urged the farmers to bring maximum area under sugarcane, maize, pulses, mustard cultivation to save ground water to further depletion. He also assured to implement the 6th pay commission for the employees of cooperative sugar mills.

The Cabinet Minister said that ultra modern technology adopted at Cooperative Sugar Mill Batala to enhance the capacity of the mill 3500 TCD to 5000 TCD with construction of new plant, including a 14 MW power generation plant, which can be scaled up to 100 MW in later stage. The work is in full swing and is scheduled to be commissioned before March 2023. This plant will produce refined sugar expect power which will prove financially helpful to the mill as well as farmers. Apart from this, the work of setting up a bio-CNG plant is also underway. He also informed that the Punjab government is committed to provide all possible help to keep the cooperative sugar mills in running state, besides update the entire infrastructure.

On this occasion, the Board of Directors, General Manager and all the farmers of the mill extended warm words of welcome towards the Cabinet Minister and Chairman Sugarfed Punjab and honored them. Mr. Dhaliwal and the Chairman were felicitated by the Workers Unions of Batala Cooperative Sugar Mill.

On this occasion, Cabinet Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, Chairman Sugarfed Navdeep Singh Sidhu and Chairman Punsup Balbir Singh Pannu handed over appointment letters on compassionate grounds to nine candidates.

During this function the first 11 farmers, who brought sugarcane trolleys to the mill, were also felicitated.

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PUNJAB TO PROMOTE GREEN ENERGY, ALL GOVT BUILDINGS TO BE SOLARISED SOON: AMAN ARORA

• NEW & RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES MINISTER WRITES LETTER TO HEADS OF ALL DEPARTMENTS

• ASKS TO APPOINT NODAL OFFICER IN THEIR RESPECTIVE DEPTS TO COORDINATE WITH PEDA

Chandigarh, November 25:In order to further strengthen the clean energy infrastructure in the state, Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government is mulling to equip all the state government buildings with solar power.

Disclosing this, Punjab New and Renewable Energy Sources Minister Mr. Aman Arora said that he has written a letter to Heads of all the departments in this regard. In this letter, their consent has been sought to install Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels on the rooftops of the office buildings under Renewable Energy Services Company (RESCO) Mode. All the Heads have also been directed to appoint a senior officer of their departments as a Nodal Officer to coordinate with Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) to smoothen the process of solarising the building of the departments concerned.

The Cabinet Minister informed that PEDA has already installed solar PV of a total capacity of 88MW on the rooftops of various government buildings and these have been successfully generating clean and green energy.

This revolutionary move, in turn, will help in creating hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, besides helping in meeting the electricity deficit by providing relief to the overloaded distribution network. It will also reduce the electricity cost to the state government thus becoming more efficient, he added.

Mr. Aman Arora said that it will also go a long way to save the environment by switching to clean and green energy from conventional forms of power generation using fossil fuels, which will help to decarbonise the power sector of the state. Solar PV has become the most preferred source of renewable power, due to the various benefits that it offers.

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AN EXCLUSIVE INITIATIVE OF THE MANN GOVERNMENT; BATHINDA MUNICIPAL CORPORATION CONSTRUCTED A SPECIAL PUBLIC TOILET FOR TRANSGENDERS:- DR.INDERBIR SINGH NIJJAR

Chandigarh, November 25:The Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is striving to provide basic facilities to every section of the state. Taking a step in this direction, Bathinda Corporation has taken an exclusive initiative to build the first special public toilet for transgenders.

Giving more information Punjab Local Government Minister Dr.Inderbir Singh Nijjar said that a toilet for transgenders has been constructed in an area of 90 square feet near the Bathinda bus stand.

The Cabinet Minister said that in this toilet, provision has also been made to provide toilet facilities for physically challenged persons . He said that this facility will also be arranged soon in other cities.

Cabinet Minister Dr. Inderbir Singh Nijjar said that according to his instructions Municipal Councillor Santosh Mahant (Ward no. 38) has inaugurated the toilet for transgenders, which has built by Municipal Corporation Bathinda. He also said that facility of this toilet has started

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CHIEF SECRETARY GIVES GREEN SIGNAL TO UPGRADE LARGE FORMAT FILM THEATRE IN THE PUSHPA GUJRAL SCIENCE CITY, KAPURTHALA

BATS FOR DEVELOPING AN ALTERNATE CORRIDOR TO SCIENCE CITY

Chandigarh, November 25Taking forward the vision of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to nurture science, technology and innovation in the State, Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua today gave green signal to upgrade Large Format Film Theatre in the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala.

A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of Governing body of science city held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary here today.

The Chief Secretary gave a go ahead for upgradation of Large Format Film Theatre from the existing system to high resolution full dome digital immersive projection system. He said that the Pushpa Gujral Science City (PGSC) has been entrusted with the responsibility to spearhead Mission Popular Science. Janjua said that Governing Body has approved the procurement of a new 3D film “Dino Safari” which will soon be launched for benefit of general public and students.

He further said that the State Government had sanctioned Rs.5 Cr. during the current Financial Year out of which Rs.4 Cr. has already been released for visit of Government School students.

Secretary Science Technology and Environment Rahul Tewari informed that Science City has been organizing interactive student based activities every alternate day. Director General Science City Dr Neelima Jerath Informed the meeting that in last seven months (1st April to 31st October 2022) total 1,54,110 visitors have visited the Science City, out of which 93,373 were students and 60,747 were other visitors.

The officers of STE appraised the CS that they were also working at a proposal of making another science city in mohali and a science centre in faridkot and CS directed them to process these cases expiditiously so that liking for science and a scientific temper could be built in the people of punjab