Manifesto of Punjab in English- 2017

Manifesto of Punjab in English- 2017

 

I N D E X

Sr. No.

Content(s)

Page(s)

I

Congress: Punjab’s Only Hope

1-14

I                To Redeem Punjab’s Honor Economically, Socially, Culturally, Financially, Environmentally, and to Restore Punjab to her Rightful place In India.

1-3

II              Saving our Youth

4-5

III             Standing up for Punjab

6

IV             Break the Ugly Oligarchic Stranglehold on Punjab’s Resources.

7

V              To Restore Punjab’s status as the Granary of India

8

VI             Ending Common Man’s Alienation

9

VII           Immediate and Total End to the VVIP culture

10

VIII          Eliminating the Politician-Police nexus

11

IX             A Job For Every Household –Ghar Ghar Rozgaar

12

X              Congress is for Punjab- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

13-14

II

 

Charge Sheet

Why it is imperative for the People of Punjab to rid themselves of a decade of SAD-BJP Mis-Rule

It’s A SAD BAD Show Here

15-26

III

Captain’s Punjab: A Nawan Naroan Punjab

27-34

I                Punjab Da Paani, Punjab Vaaste (Punjab’s water is for its people only)

28

II              Drug supply, Distribution and Consumption Char Hafte (four weeks) vich khatam (Done with Drugs in Four weeks only)

29

III             Ghar Ghar Rozgar ( A Job for Every Household)

30

IV             Kissana Layee Aarthik te Samajik Surkhsha: Waiver of Agricultural Debt

30

V              Trade, Business and Industry layee Kaarobar di Azadi & Affordable Bijlee, Paani te Safai Surkhshaa ( Full freedom for trade business, and industry with affordable electricity, water and sewerage)

31

VI             Women Empowerment

32

VII           Free Housing for all houseless SCs

33

VIII          Caring for the OBCs

33

IX             Ex-servicemen as Guardians of Governance (GoG) at Grassroots:

34

IV

Save Punjab-Vote for Congress

35-132

I                Curbing VIP Culture

35-36

II              River Water Of Punjab

37-39

III             War Against Drugs

40

IV             Agriculture and Allied Occupations

41-48

V              Governance Reforms

49-53

VI             Legislative Reforms

54-55

VII           Police Reforms

55-57

VIII          Financial And Economic Reforms

58-59

IX             War Against Corruption

60

X              Education

61-67

XI             Health

68-75

XII           Industry

76-85

XIII          Beopar (Trade)

86

XIV          Tourism

87

XV           Welfare Of Dalits: Development Of A More Equitable Society In Punjab

88-90

XVI          Caring For Economically Backward Classes (OBCs)

91

XVII        Minorities

92

XVIII       Rural Development and PRIs

93

XIX          Border Areas

94

XX            Urban Development And Local Self Government

95-96

XXI          Transport

97

XXII         Youth Affairs

98-103

XXIII       Comprehensive Policy For Redressing Nri Issues

104

XXIV       Social Security

105-106

XXV         Special Courts

107

XXVI       Real Estate Sector

107-108

XXVII      Power Reforms

109-110

XXVIII    Cooperatives

111

XXIX       Street Vendors (Rehri-Phari Workers)

112

XXX         Building Material

113

XXXI       Labourers and Safai Karamcharis

113

XXXII      Pensioners and Senior Citizens

114

XXXIII    Gaushala & Stray Cattle Pounds

115

XXXIV    Jewellers

115

XXXV      Punjabiat

116

XXXVI    Defence Personnel Welfare

117-120

XXXVII   Infrastructure Development

121-122

XXXVIII Women Empowerment

123

XXXIX     Marriage Palaces

124

XL            Agenda for Green Punjab

125-126

XLI          Freedom Fighters

127

XLII         Lawyers

128

XLIII       Lamberdars

128

XLIV       Chowkidars

129

XLV         Fair Price Shops/Ration Depot Holders

129

XLVI       Aided School Teachers

129

XLVII      MEDIA

130

XLVIII    Employees

131

XLIX        Miscellaneous

131-132

ANNEXURE –I

133-134

ANNEXURE –II

135

 


 

 

 

Nawan Naroan Punjab Layee

CAPTAIN De Naun Nukte

-------------------------------------------------------

 

 

ð    Punjab Da Paani, Punjab Vaaste (Punjab’s water is for its people only)

 

ð    Drug supply, Distribution and Consumption Char Hafte (four weeks) vich khatam (Done with Drugs in Four weeks only)

 

ð    Ghar Ghar Rozgar (A Job for Every Household)

 

ð    Kissana Layee Aarthik te Samajik Surkhsha: Waiver of Agricultural Debt

 

ð    Trade, Business and Industry layee Kaarobar di Azadi & Affordable Bijlee, Paani te Safai Surkhshaa (Full freedom for trade business, and industry with affordable electricity, water and sewerage)

 

ð    Women Empowerment: 33% reservation for  women in jobs and educational institutions

 

ð    Free Housing for all houseless SCs

 

ð    Caring for the OBCs

 

ð    Ex-servicemen as Guardians of Governance (GoG) at Grassroots

 

 

* * * *


 

I

Congress: Punjab’s Only Hope

 

The Indian National Congress seeks the vote and support of People of Punjab with a solemn pledge to restore the honour and redeem the glory of the State in keeping with the following:

I       To redeem Punjab’s Honor Economically, Socially, Culturally, Financially, Environmentally, and to restore Punjab to her Rightful place in India.

 

        If there is one word that describes Punjab, it is “Izzat” (honour). Our history, culture and way of life are replete with instances where we have lived and died for honour and prestige of our motherland.  But in the last decade, Punjab’s eminence and honour have been severely compromised. Today, our beloved state is being cited as an example of misrule and depravity. Indian National Congress’s prime objective is to “redeem the honour of Punjab with respect for every Punjabi anywhere in the country or abroad and to restore its rightful place in the front ranks of the provinces of India, in the service of our nation.

 

a)            Social Honour: The evidence of deprivation is everywhere—drug abuse in youth, deterioration of value systems, the ‘goonda raj’ unleashed upon the common man by the ruling dispensation, a total absence of ‘rule of law’, an atmosphere of insecurity that our daughters, sisters and mothers are being forced to live under and the plunder of our natural resources point to the fact that our social honour has been compromised. Unscrupulous elements in the society continue to provoke violence in the name of caste and religion. The Indian National Congress is committed to end this miasma of despair and insecurity and bring about a new dawn of hope, security, equality of justice, harmony and rule of law.

b)         Cultural Honour: Punjab is globally famous for being the land of Gurus, Masters and Prophets. It is the land where  Baba Nanak Ji laid the foundation of spiritual and cultural rejuvenation of people. This land has also given us bards like Waris Shah, Sufi giants, like Bulle Shah and philosophers like Sheikh Farid. It also gave us countless warriors who fought for maintaining the moral, ethical and cultural integrity of the land. Despite being subjected to numerous invasions, Punjabis’ stood for the glory of the written and spoken word, written and oral traditions, language, music, art, literature and poetry. Unfortunately there have been instances of disrespect to even our holy books. Our shared culture has also come under attack. The Congress shall arrest this downward slide, and take steps to revive our glorious cultural heritage.

c)             Fiscal Honour: Reckless expenditure by the SAD-BJP Government on meeting its own unconscionable MOTIVES, a highly corrupt and ineffective tax administration system, victimization of industry has ensured that our fiscal stability has been imperiled. It is a disgrace that our example is frequently quoted as an epitome of “how not to manage one’s finances”. Punjab today does not have money to pay for salaries and pensions. The State has been forced to mortgage and sell its properties. We have been living under this state of “fiscal emergency” and financial insecurity” for the past many years but far from correcting it; the SAD-BJP government has chosen to live in denial at its own peril. In fact, it has continued to mislead the people to prevent any monitoring of the unscrupulous expenditures of its ministers and acolytes.  This has to change. The Indian National Congress is committed to take Punjab out of a vicious circle of indebtedness and bring it on a virtuous circle of economic development and prosperity through prudent spending.

d)         Honoring the Earth and Environment: The famous land of five rivers, lush green fields, fertile soil and fragrant air is today polluted to such an extent that our holy rivers have been reduced to sewers. Their river banks are being plundered by the oligarchs. The fertility of the soil has been destroyed as our lands are getting increasingly sterile.  Our air is full of toxic gases. Forests have been felled without any attempt to replenish the state’s green cover.  Our people are succumbing to cancer and a whole range of diseases that stem from polluted and unhygienic environment.  The Indian National Congress is committed to put an immediate end to this ravaging of our environment and ensure that our waters, air and land are purged of pollutants and undesirable contaminants, providing our citizens clean and green living environment.

 

II      Saving our Youth

Our youngsters, who have been famous for their valour and fortitude, are today mired in a morass of drug abuse, unemployment, illiteracy and depravity. Punjab, which used to be on forefront when it came to international sports achievement and sending our youngsters to army is now earning global notoriety for destroying its youth.  Rather than accept the problems, the ruling SAD-BJP Government has chosen to deny them. This denial is yet another affirmation of the fact that the ruling dispensation is hand in glove with the nefarious agencies that have eaten into Punjab like termites.  It is ironical that whereas the other Indian provinces are talking about how to maximize their demographic dividend, we in Punjab are not even acknowledging that our youth are in distress. The Indian National Congress is committed to eradicate the menace of drugs, adapting a “Zero Tolerance Policy”.

a)                Permanent Cure, Perfect Rehabilitation: While we plan the severest of actions on the people who are directly engaged in drug trade, we are also committed to show utmost compassion and understanding to those who have been wrecked by this evil. An elaborate policy of rehabilitation and bringing our youth back into the mainstream of productive action would be introduced. 

b)               Economic Empowerment: At the same time, the Indian National Congress is committed to ignite economic and productive activity in the state.  It shall revive the industrial clusters and make all efforts to get big investment projects, which generate large-scale employment for our youngsters.  When we talk about investment we do not merely mean the real estate projects—the sorts talked about by the present government—which seek to benefit a select few  privileged people—but of the sort that can benefit society as a whole and help Punjab emerge as a manufacturing and services powerhouse.  In the absence of proper avenues many of our youngsters are forced to look for opportunities in foreign lands, where they are abused and exploited.  The Indian National Congress envisions a state that provides ample opportunities where no youngster is forced to leave his/her homeland because of lack of opportunities.

c)                Equipping with Education: Our primary, secondary and higher education systems are nearly defunct. The present government has disgracefully mistreated our teachers and has refused to make any investment in improving the education infrastructure.  As a result our youngsters are ill equipped to benefit from India’s fast evolving economy. The Indian National Congress shall ensure a total overhaul of state’s education policy, wherein it shall subsidize education, provide state of the art infrastructure, free education aids, and give teachers the respect and honour that they deserve. The Indian National Congress believes that money spent on education is not expenditure, it is the best investment because it improves the future all citizens of the state.

III    Standing up for Punjab

        While Punjab has never shirked from making sacrifices for the larger cause of the nation, it is regrettable that when it comes to protecting Punjab’s own interests, the current SAD-BJP government has failed miserably. This is because the present government’s leaders have been so selfishly pursuing their own personal agendas that they have had no time and inclination to take up Punjab’s issues at the national level.

 

        The Indian National Congress will take up issues crucial to Punjab’s well being and relentlessly follow them up with the Central Government.  These issues include-

 

a)         To Ensure that Chandigarh and Punjabi speaking areas become part of Punjab;

b)         Use of Punjab’s waters for Punjab only as it is water-stressed state and has no surplus water;

c)          Accord a special status to Punjab with tax holiday to promote industrial development; and

d)         Waiver for Punjab’s debt as an acknowledgment of supreme sacrifices made by Punjabis and losses suffered by them during the dark decades of terrorism.

IV    Break the Ugly Oligarchic Stranglehold on Punjab’s Resources.

        Punjab’s natural resources are being plundered by corrupt oligarchs and unscrupulous politicians turned businessmen, most of whom trace their origins to the family and relations of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister.  They have monopolized sectors such as transport, media, mining, lottery, housing development, liquor trade etc.  The nepotism continues in awarding contracts and giving away state’s precious resources at throw away prices.  This has to stop forthwith. Indian National Congress is committed to bring this evil to an end.  It shall introduce a transparent system of auctions, tendering wherein all the details shall be made available in public domain. All politicians and office holders will be barred to hold an office of profit. There would be zero tolerance for any “conflict of interest” and in case of a breach, the office holder would be relieved of his/her duties immediately.

 

V     To Restore Punjab’s status as the Granary of India.

        It is a tragedy that the farmers of a state who ensured food security of modern India are today struggling to make a living for their own
families. The SAD-BJP government has professed to be the
government of the farmers, but in reality this is a false projection. Our farmers have faced the worst troubles under the rule of SAD-BJP government.  Government’s claim of Punjab’s farmer getting 8-hour electricity is a bad joke.  Its commitment to bring about reforms in agriculture now sounds farcical.

 

        The Indian National Congress has always recognized the sacrifices that farmers of Punjab have made for food security of the country.  Given the right support, our farmers can spawn another green revolution and the Indian National Congress shall facilitate this revolution unhesitatingly. Its elaborate policy in this regard shall encompass, continuation of free power, improvement of our mandis and the purchase mechanisms, putting an end to
farmers’ exploitation, support to PAU to develop new HYV seeds, massive investments in improving state’s antiquated canal irrigation system, support and incentives to farmers who invest in crop diversification, promotion of food processing industry in the state and setting up of a modern warehousing infrastructure, cold storages and modern agriculture produce transport fleet.

VI    Ending Common Man’s Alienation

        Punjab’s social fabric has been a cementing factor that has held our society together. The strong bonds that our ancestors had built allowed Punjab to become a culturally rich and socially cohesive community.  This has been endangered by two terms of misrule of SAD-BJP government where religious tensions have erupted, minorities have been made to feel insecure, the scheduled castes and the downtrodden have been victimized, the women have felt insecure and the weaker sections of the society have been alienated completely.

 

        The Indian National Congress is committed to end the feudal and oppressive SAD-BJP regime and to bring about social justice, provide equal opportunities for the downtrodden, prevent alienation of the marginalized and minorities, repair the social fabric of Punjab, and restore people’s faith in the values of comity, brotherhood, secularism, and socialism.

 

        There is a serious “faith deficit” under the current dispensation, where people do not trust the government. In fact, they fear the government and its agencies. The Indian National Congress is fully conscious that a government is meant to serve and not to rule and its government shall serve the people of Punjab without prejudice against anyone. Affirmative action, devolution of resources and full implementation of reservation for Scheduled Castes, Women, OBCs, and minorities shall be crucial elements of Congress Government to establish a more equitable society in the state.

VII   Immediate and Total End to the VVIP culture

        The 10-years’ misrule of SAD-BJP government has totally alienated the common man, deflated his confidence in the government and has made him feel so powerless that he feels marginalized in his own state and in his own city. Cavalcades of blaring sirens rudely pass him by, asking him to make way on roads that have been constructed by taxes paid by him.  Most of the times, the only qualification of VVIPs in these cavalcades is that they are near and dear ones of the ruling family of Punjab.  These VVIP’s houses and personal properties have been accorded protection by state police forces, which ought be busy maintaining law and order and protecting the common man, but they have been reduced to mere orderlies of these pseudo VVIPs. 

 

        In today’s Punjab, there is no semblance of an honorable and egalitarian society. The exchequer is being depleted so recklessly by all these kith and kin of the ruling family that this expenditure has become one of key reasons for state’s pitiable financial condition.

 

        State’s administrative machinery, government wealth and public properties being used as personal belongings of these VVIPs, whose number have continued to swell alarmingly with each passing month.

 

        The Indian National Congress shall completely end this VVIP culture, with no preferential treatment of any sort to any office holder.  It is committed to install a government that is meant to serve the people. Its message to its office holders, administrators and ministers shall be clear that the sentiment  of “Sevabhav”  of the government should be seen and experienced by the people of Punjab without any discrimination.

 

VIII  Eliminating the Politician-Police nexus

        The Congress Government shall initiate large scale police reforms and shall completely obliterate unholy nexus between politicians and police, that has grown and prospered under the SAD-BJP government. The Police shall be freed from the clutches of undue political control, but at the same time their performance would be closely monitored on the basis of feedback received from the local citizenry. The Congress Government shall act as a guardian, intervening only when required. Police’s prime and only role would be to ensure rule of law and maintain law and order in the state, and secure the well-being and safety of the common man.  Police reforms as initiated by the Governments of New York city and Northern Ireland, which have helped to restore the faith of public in police and have also led to a dramatic curtailment in the crime shall be studied for implementation in Punjab.

 

IX    A Job For Every Household –Ghar Ghar Rozgaar

        The famous industrial clusters of Punjab in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, Mohali, Faridkot, Moga, Ferozepur and other districts are today moribund because of a decade of government apathy, harassment of industrialists, shoddy infrastructure and a total lack of support.  At the same time, big industrial units such as Dell have either left the state or curtailed their operations in view of the lackluster industrial climate in the state.  As a result, the industrial development in the state has become stagnant, there is no creation of jobs for the state’s youngsters.

 

        The Indian National Congress is committed to revive the traditional small and medium scale industrial clusters of Punjab such as hosiery, textiles, sports goods, electronics, wood work, electrical, hand-tools, light machinery parts etc and give a fillip to creation of new clusters. At the same time, it shall aggressively pursue prominent global and domestic investors to set up units in Punjab. The important yardstick in selecting these units would be their employment contribution for the youth of Punjab. These investments would be a major cog in Congress Government’s overall scheme of One Job for every household-Ghar-Ghar Rozgaar.

X       Congress for Punjab- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

        While making these commitments, the Indian National Congress would in all humility like to submit to the people of Punjab, it has performed its best, in hours of maximum distress and danger.  The Congress led the freedom struggle of India—ending centuries of foreign rule. It gave modern India its first constitution and a system of free and fair parliamentary democracy. The Congress government under the legendary Sardar Partap Singh Kairon, brought about the Green revolution, the prosperity and made Punjab the number one state in the country. He opposed trifurcation of Punjab sought by Akalis, in the guise Punjabi Suba. Akalis have in fact reduced the territorial strength of Punjab and plundered wealth of Punjabis for the benefit of select few.

        Punjab suffered a lot during the dark days of terrorism and when a lot of outsiders had given up hope on Punjab. It was a Congress government led by Sardar Beant Singh that brought about an end to terrorism in our state.  Again when country was torn apart by religious tensions and our internal security was threatened by a dismal economic situation, it was Congress Government that initiated economic reforms and propelled India to become a modern resurgent economy guided by Dr Manmohan Singh, a true son of Punjab.

 

        Today, Punjab is passing through one of its darkest hours. The Indian National Congress is pained by this and is committed to end this darkness and usher in a dawn of new beginnings and hopes in a New Punjab which is more equitable, safe, prosperous and healthy for all generations to come.  We plead to the People of  Punjab to vote for a Congress Government in the State.[1](Read footnote)

***

II

Charge Sheet

Why it is imperative for the People of Punjab to rid themselves of decade of SAD-BJP Mis-Rule

It’s A SAD BAD Show Here

It has been a starkly Shromani Akali Dal show for the entire reality of Punjab this last decade across which the SAD-BJP governance has dragged the State and its people into a deep abyss of fiscal deficit, economic mess, lawlessness, policy paralysis and  a shameful decline in uprightness. They believed and pursued vigorously a policy of Loot, Boot and Shoot, three malignant features of their character. Some of the key examples of poor governance, unprecedented loot/corruption, and inherent character malignancy of SAD-BJP government are as under:

 

·                   Family First---Family comes First while the State goes to the Dumps: It’s SAD but true - that a family of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister and its extended members hold key governing positions and then, instead of the governance machinery being watched and corrected, the State’s time and energy goes into camouflaging the misdeeds and misfires of its varied family members. While the State dips to depressingly low levels of economic activities and incomes, it is matter of common knowledge that a few individuals have turned multi-millionaires, and rather rapidly.

·    Drug-Abuse–The Big Trap of Youth: The way drugs have undone the people of Punjab, nothing else has. Clearly, it’s the SAD-BJP government that has mortgaged the future of young Punjabis to the rapidly-rising drug mafia. Picture this: Drug Lords are members and active players in the present SAD-BJP regime. Some of these individuals are not only involved in procuring and distributing drugs but they also arrange police and legal protection to drug suppliers. Studies indicate that nearly 70 per cent Punjabi youth, have, in one form or another, used various drugs, the most recent of which is ‘chitta’, introduced and propagated during the SAD-BJP regime. Since here is where big money is, the so called ‘efforts’ of the government to check the drug menace are a mere hogwash. Not many drug peddlers have been booked. Instead, a large number of hapless drug addicts, victims of the system and government’s transgressions, have been jailed. The government drug de-addiction centers established at all district headquarters with an investment of over Rs 200 crore, are lying vacant and  hardly any inmate is getting treated there. Policing the disoriented addicts, protecting the drug suppliers, and victimizing those who stood up for the families of the affected, have been hallmarks of the government’s manner of ‘tackling the menace’. The cold-shouldering of the addicts and their problems is clearly leaving the youth of the State at the mercy of the drug mafia who wield political, economic and even government authority over them.

·                   Destroying the Foundations: It’s never easy to unleash heavy rule breaking with institutions and structures that do not synchronize with motives driven by personal success. So naturally and sadly enough, the SAD-BJP government has been demolishing institutions and structures in the State, robbing them off their own powers and autonomy. Quite obviously, empowering the people of the State is the last thing on this government’s mind and centralization or authority like a superpower, and exercising the same in an unconstitutional manner have been the hallmark achievement of SAD-BJP Government.

·                   Corruption Everywhere: There are endless proofs and pointers showing how the SAD-BJP government has directly or indirectly promoted and lionized corruption and adulterated the social and moral fabric of the land. Some of the most glaring and widely reported cases of corruption in SAD-BJP regime are as following:

i)               Drug Mafia: Making money at the cost of youth, mortgaging their future;

ii)             Mining Mafia: Sand costs more than wheat flour;

iii)          Liquor Mafia: Country liquor prices have shot up shockingly just to benefit the liquor mafia;

iv)          Land Mafia: Most of the government land and properties are unscrupulously being sold to the members or benefactors of the SAD-BJP;

v)            Cable Mafia: Much crucial news goes undeclared and information is controlled through the PTC and Fast way groups, to promote and ‘feed’ the myth of development by the SAD-BJP government;

vi)          Transport Mafia: There is almost total control of the transport sector by the SAD leaders. The State’s transport policy, including licensing, route permits and tariff, is dictated by a select few transport companies who reap big riches from them, at the cost of Punjab Roadways and the PRTC;

vii)       Lottery Mafia: The sale of State lottery is monopolized by a select few benefactors of the SAD-BJP who operate under the freedom of assured police protection;

viii)     Food Scam: The CAG has reported food-grains worth over Rs 12,000 crore as missing and the State Government has admitted a mismatch of Rs 31000 crore on its food account;

ix)          Safai Scam: Contracts for cleaning up of major corporation towns such as Mohali, Ludhiana, Bathinda etc. have constantly landed in the laps of firms owned, patronized or promoted by the SAD bigwigs;

x)             Housing Scams: Housefed handed over a whopping Rs 237 crore to contractors for the Banur Housing Project instead of the actual cost of Rs 150 crore, and obviously, the poor allottees bore the brunt rather heavily. And all major real estate developers have been allowed to retain and utilize 10 per cent project land actually meant for the EWS. All this translates into hefty benefits for the SAD-BJP;

xi)          Recruitment Scams: The process of recruiting people - who come out-of-line and are grossly, undeserving, into various government positions, is breeding heavy corruption and pulling down the levels of professional aptitude in important positions of decision-making. With corruption being so rampant, the State can never hope to upgrade its functioning in any sector. Brilliance is bound to get discouraged and abandon the State. 

xii)        Education Scam: Admissions to medical colleges and nursing schools come at exorbitant fees, making education unaffordable for the common man. There are enough events of big bribery camouflaged as ‘grants’ for admissions to undeserving candidates. Where this takes our education system & our youth’s future  is anybody’s guess;

xiii)     Cheating the Farmers: The sale of wheat seeds and cotton pesticides is controlled by a select few at exorbitant prices. The farmers are forced to buy cheaper qualities that come adulterated. The produce thins away or is sometimes not good enough for selling. The farmers are, thus, going from poor to poorer and farmers’ suicides are always a reality dangerously frequent. 

·                Jungle Raj: The SAD-BJP has promoted and provokeda free-for-all, might-is-right kind of attitude in Punjab. This is how they have undone the State once a shining example for honest, upright men and women who could give up their lives for the sake of the ‘right’ and the ‘truth’:

i)                  The lost voice of the Common Man: The common man lives in constant fear and insecurity. His voice of dissent is constantly crushed under the police threat or political might. False and fake FIRs are used as a major weapon for the alleged misconduct;

ii)                Rogue is Right: The police and the civil administration back fraudulent individuals and proven rogues by shielding them and perching them on premium platforms and placements. In the barter, selfish political motives get hoisted. The whole system of policing and  administration is riding on blatant lawlessness;

iii) Loss of law: With rogues lording over law, the crime rate in the State has climbed up to shameful numbers. Murders, robberies and rapes are eating into daily lives of the common man;

iv)      Destroyed Holy Character of a Sacred State: Shockingly frequent incidents of disrespect to holy  Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, Srimad Bhagvat Gita , Quran Sharif and the Holy Bible either by burning or tearing them, are forcing everyone to scan the State’s hidden strategy. Amazingly none of the culprits in these incidents have so far been identified and brought to justice. These incidents are clearly threatening hard earned peace of Punjab;.

v)        Farmer suicides continue unabated: In a state that was once famous for its agrarian richness suffers an average of four-five farmer suicides everyday! And this does not seem to rankle the State enough to make drastic changes. It red-marks a thorough collapse of the State’s civil and economic administration;

vi)      Industrial Investment Exits: The SAD-BJP government has apparently left no stone unturned to push major industrial investors out of the State. Most of these investors have established and expanded their businesses of over Rs One Lakh Crore in the faraway Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Gujarat and Uttarakhand, not only shying away from expanding their businesses but also withdrawing most, if not all, of their investment in Punjab. Major industrial hubs of Mandi Gobindgarh, Batala, Phagwara etc. now wear a deserted look;

vii)          Green goes Grey: The State’s economy has hit rock bottom with the collapse of its vibrant agriculture sector. The farmers and agro-businessmen are leaving their occupations for menial wage employment. Studies by the Punjab State Farmers’ Commission indicate that over 1,00,000 farmers have left agriculture, especially over the last one decade, while distress sale of agricultural land is becoming more common. Farmer suicides not only continue unabated but have actually risen in number during the last two years.

viii)        ‘No Vacancy’ everywhere: Unemployment spreads a shroud over the State increasingly while political maneuverings and monopolization of industry, trade and business rises. One of the biggest reasons is the decline in agriculture, the general disregard and disillusionment farmers face at every step. The curse of unemployment is indeed a reality Punjab is being pushed to face now. It is estimated that nearly three million employable youth are on the roads, seeking jobs, but their hopes are only dimming and lives are declining with each passing day.

·                Resources - Ripped Apart & Depleted: The policy paralysis and failures of the government have seriously impaired the State’s financial, human and natural resources in many ways:

i)               The State’s financial resources have started depleting owing to the complete breakdown of taxation policy and administration.  Corruption in the tax administration has crossed all limits;

ii)             Apart from indiscriminate sale and disposal of government properties to meet political ends, the land resources of the people are fast depleting with no curative or remedial measures being taken by the SAD-BJP government.

iii)          The soil health of the State is seriously damaged, thanks to the increased and reckless use of sub-standard agro-chemicals and fertilisers;

iv)          The water resources, apart from natural decay, are depleting fast due to an inappropriate water-use arrangement, unintelligent sand regulations of the government and lack of a well-designed State Water Policy to ensure its optimal sustainable use;

v)            The human resource in Punjab, once proudly famous for being the most sturdy, healthy and dynamic in the country, is fast depleting, with its energy and intellect being impaired by heavy drug addiction, low standards of education and training, poor health facilities, rising diseases, unemployment and resultant social evils.

·                Declining Education Standards: The SAD-BJP government has not made any serious efforts to upgrade and improve standards of education for the poor. It is obvious from the following;

i)               Inadequate infrastructure in government schools and colleges;

ii)             No provision of teaching & learning aids in government schools and colleges;

iii)          Overall declining levels of learning in government schools and colleges;

iv)          High dropout rates in government schools;

v)            Mushrooming of private commercially-aimed schools and colleges with no effective regulatory mechanism; the levying of exorbitant fees and the resultant denial of right to education for deserving children; and

vi)          Abysmal working and living conditions in ‘aanganwari’ centers in rural areas, denying the residents early childhood care and education;

·                Health On The Lowest Low: The health standards in the State are on an all-time low, owing to: 

i)               Lack of infrastructure in government dispensaries and hospitals;

ii)             Lack of doctors and inappropriate placement of those available in government hospitals and dispensaries, ignoring the deeply-felt needs of people in the rural and urban areas;

iii)          Non-availability of medicines in government dispensaries and hospitals;

iv)          The resultant proliferation of private and commercial healthcare facilities which has resulted in complete obliteration of public healthcare services; and

v)            Spread of incurable diseases including cancer, Hepatitis, orthopedic deformities, water-borne diseases;

·                Dalits & OBCs Deprived of Their Rights: The SAD-BJP government is notorious for completely ignoring the rights and interests of nearly 50 percent of the State’s population represented by Dalits and the OBCs. These populations have been denied their basic rights to education, health, civil amenities including sanitation, drinking water and sewerage. Special Components plans, though prepared on paper, are never implemented. Scholarships to students belonging to Dalit and OBC families are not paid, misappropriating the funds for some other, not-so-essential projects. An amount of nearly Rs 650 crore is reported to be outstanding. Hostels established in government schools and colleges for these populations are not provided even the basic essential services. Old Age Pensions, Blue Cards for atta-dal, and shaguns, are provided to Dalit and OBC families purely on political affiliations, ignoring all those who do not support SAD-BJP’s demeaning governance.  Thousands of ineligible supporters of the ruling SAD-BJP combine are getting these benefits, ignoring the legitimately deserving poor Dalits and OBCs. The Punjab Reservation for Schedule Castes Act enacted by Congress Government in 2006 has been violated more often than implemented. Backlog of government jobs reserved for scheduled castes, has increased manifold during the last ten years.

 

Decidedly, during the last decade, under the SAD-BJP run, Punjab has lost its economic and financial punch, the agrarian space has been compromised, the youth have been sacrificed to drugs and unemployment, education has been sidelined and much of the treasures the State once boasted, have been uprooted & usurped. Pausing this plunder is a dire and crucial need if Punjab is even remotely dear to any of us.

 

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III

Captain’s Punjab: A Nawan Naroan Punjab

 

As a soldier, Captain Amarinder Singh knows about the fortitude and sacrifices required to defend the motherland. As someone who has been in the line of fire, he knows that difficult times call for courageous action. As a son of soil, who went to fight for his country, he knows that to protect his motherland’s honour, we all need to go beyond the call of our duty. As a commander of men, he knows about the virtues of collective action and team work. Today, this soldier and a true son of Punjab, finds his motherland, his beloved Punjab in absolute despair. Her honour having been ravaged, her glory being stripped, her wealth being squandered,  Punjab expects her warrior sons and daughters to pick up the cudgels and wage a battle against drugs, nepotism, bad governance, disease, inequality, pollution (of air, water, soil and culture), economic stagnation and unemployment.  Punjab, wants her honour back and Amarinder the warrior is ready. This soldier who led in the battle when enemy armies threatened to breach the borders of Punjab in 1965, is raring to attack the evils that enfeeble his province. For this battle, he seeks the support of people of Punjab. His strategy for renewal of Punjab is focused around nine key areas, which is described as “ Nawan Naraon Punjab layee Captain De Naun Nukte”- 

 

Nawan Naroan Punjab

Layee

CAPTAIN De Naun Nukte

 

The All-New Punjab:
Captain readiesthe Remedies

 

I        Punjab Da Paani, Punjab Vaaste (Punjab’s water is for its people only)

 

          As compared to the demand of water, there is a 30% of shortfall of water supplies in Punjab. This is a tragedy for a state that has been blessed with some of the great rivers of India. Punjab was the forefront when it came to sharing its resources with other provinces of India but the other states have not been as generous. The Central Government also has not given Punjab its due. On the contrary we are being chastised for ground water depletion. We supply wheat and rice to ensure food security of the country, we share our water resources with our states so that they may prosper—but we have been betrayed. Punjab covers 1.5 percent of India’s land, but produces nearly 20 percent of the nation’s wheat and 12 percent of its rice. Today, our ground water is depleting at such an alarming level that three fourth of the blocks have been declared as “Dark Zones” by the Central Government. Ground Water Development Index is 172, which is way above the danger mark of 85. Thus the state does not have surplus water, though acknowledged by the Central Government but they refuse to apprise the Supreme Court of India and other States namely Haryana and Rajasthan. Punjab’s river water is clearly required to sustain its people’s life and economy. While others have benefitted at our expense, we have suffered. The Indian National Congress would ensure that Punjab da Paani is used for Punjab only, and not dissipated at any cost.

II       Drug supply, Distribution and Consumption Char Hafte (four weeks) vich bund (Done with Drugs in Four weeks only)

The Akali-Dal BJP combine had an attitude towards drug menace in the state that oscillated from being callous to being complicit. The Congress makes a total commitment that people of Punjab give us a chance, then drug supply, distribution and consumption would be stopped within four weeks.

 The Indian National Congress proposes strict and deterrent punishments for all drug dealers, suppliers and distributors and a compassion for the victims. Those suffering as a result of consumption of drugs would be dealt with sympathy to enable them to bring them back to mainstream and to ensure that they live, healthy, peaceful and productive lives. A new Legislation would be enacted to ensure speedy trial of culprits and to begin with, confiscate their properties immediately.

 

 

III     Ghar Ghar Rozgar ( A Job for Every Household)

 The Indian National Congress would provide One Job for each family. It would identify all unemployed youth under its programme titled as Ghar Ghar Rozgar and ensure employment for them in a time bound manner. For speedy execution of this programme at professional level, Employment Bureaus (EBs) would be established in all districts of the state. These EBs would be manned by qualified professionals and specialists including Employment Counselors who would prepare annual district employment plans, clearly setting targets for self and wage employment. Training and guidance would also be provided for overseas education, training and employment. It would be ensured that  all those unemployed registered with the EBs are provided employment in pursuit of our target to provide employment to at least one person in each family in five years from 2017-22. Till such time these jobs are given, all identified unemployed would be an Unemployment Allowance of Rs 2500 per month.

IV     Kissana Layee Aarthik te Samajik Surkhsha: Waiver of Agricultural Debt

Depleting water, declining soil quality, poor human resource management,  corruption in supply of inputs, bad government policies and inefficient disbursement of subsidies have brought immense grief to Punjab’s farmers both socially and economically. The Congress Government shall rigorously pursue to remedy the situation with a waiver of agricultural debt—the biggest concern for state’s cultivators. The Congress also appreciates, that bringing economic relief to farmer would be a more elaborate process. In addition to debt relief, the Congress promises--

ü To continue free power to the farmers; 

ü To ensure Direct transfer of subsidies to prevent corrupt misappropriation;

ü Full input tax waiver for agro and food processing industries; Provision of deficiency pricing for alternative crops; 

ü Establishment of price stabilization fund;

ü Introduction of farmers pension scheme raising ex-gratia payment to Rs. ten lacs for families affected by suicides;

ü Raising crop compensation to Rs. 20000 per acre; and

ü Provision of health, life and a plot based crop insurance. 

V       Trade, Business and Industry layee Kaarobar di Azadi and Affordable Bijlee, Paani te Safai Surkhshaa(Full freedom for trade business, and industry with affordable electricity, water and sewerage)

Trade, business and industry have been substantially damaged and in some cases completely destroyed under the SAD-BJP regime. The Congress will immediately end the monopolization of transport, mining, liquor distribution, stone crushing, cable television and other areas where the ownership can eventually be traced to an Akali Dal leader.

The small scale industry clusters have been destroyed while investors have been harassed to the point where they have left the state.

The Indian National Congress is committed to make Punjab the most attractive investment destination in the country. We would focus on investments in manufacturing, service industry and food processing, which can provide jobs to our youth and lead to value addition in our agriculture. At the same time, we are committed to revive our indigenous small and medium scale industry. The Congress shall provide an environment that facilitates ease and freedom of doing business. We will provide affordable electricity at Rs 5 per unit and subsidized water and sewerage. Excise and taxation policy and administration would be completely revamped to check corruption, stop harassment and ensure efficient mobilization of revenue for state’s exchequer. 

VI     Women Empowerment:

The Indian National Congress is committed to implementing 33 per cent reservation for women in jobs, educational institutions and allotment of residential and commercial plots in all categories. In addition the reservation for women in PRIs and ULBs would be raised to 50 per cent.

VII    Free Housing for all houseless SCs:

The vision of Indian National Congress is that Punjab should be a more equitable and egalitarian society. The Congress government policy shall focus on removing poverty, promoting professional education and devolving more resources to persons/families belonging to scheduled castes that comprises of 31% of State’s population. The mission is to ensure their social and economic upliftment and to bring them at par, with other sections of the population. While continuing the reservation more effectively as per the Reservation Act 2006 which was enacted by the Congress Government, the Congress would ensure endowment of greater resources by giving free houses or 5-marla plots with financial assistance of Rs one lakh to eligible homeless SCs.

VIII  Caring for the OBCs:

    Post 1992, all other backward classes were mainstreamed by allowing them reservations in jobs, education and other ventures. The reservation for OBCs in jobs will be raised from 12 percent to 15 percent, and in educational institutions, from 5 to 10 percent. Further threshold limit for creamy layer in OBCs will be raised from Rs 6 lacs to Rs 10 lacs. The Indian National Congress will also implement a Mukhyamantri Awas Yojna to provide free houses to all homeless poor in rural and urban areas whose annual income is Rs 2.5 lacs or less.

IX     Ex-servicemen as Guardians of Governance (GoG) at Grassroots:

Punjab’s soldiers have always been at the forefront when it comes to defending the nation. From the earliest times, Punjab has been first in the line of fire and our people have made immense sacrifices throughout the history of India. Today, the soldiers who once defended the honour of motherland against the foreign enemy feel disheartened to see their helplessness as their own beloved Punjab hurtles from crisis to crisis. They are ashamed at the mis-governance that has crippled the state. 

The Indian National Congress is focused on improving governance at the grassroots and to achieve this, it shall reach out to distinguished ex-servicemen. Local ex-servicemen would be trained and appointed as Guardians of Governance, where they shall oversee proper implementation of government schemes and programmes. Their participation shall ensure that government’s relief reaches the needy, and is not dissipated due to corruption and favoritism.  The Congress Government shall create posts of Guardians of Governance at the village, cluster and block levels.

. 

 

*****


 

 

IV

 

Save Punjab-Vote for Congress

 

Punjab Congress Manifesto

 

Pradesh Congress Committee dedicates itself to the People of Punjab with the following Programme of Action for its Government in the State.

 

This Programme Document, presented as Manifesto of Punjab Congress, shall be a dynamic document to provide for and accommodate aspirations of People of Punjab during the next five years, 2017-2022.

 

I - CURBING VIP CULTURE

                 The Indian National Congress will pursue the following measures to achieve a complete end to VIP Culture in the state:

          1.      Red Beacon Light on all vehicles in Punjab, except emergency hospital /ambulance/ fire brigade services, will be abolished;

          2.    90 per cent cut in security personnel deployed for personal security of politicians and officials.  Security will be rationalized to make it need based only;

          3.     Two-year ban on official foreign travel of all MLAs/officials (on state government expense) except in cases where it so mandated or provided under any bilateral arrangement or agreement;

          4.    Reimbursement of Medical expenses including foreign medical bills of all MLAs, Ministers, Ex-Ministers & Chief Minister will be ensured through Medical Insurance, minimizing financial burden on Government;

          5.    Salary/allowances/reimbursement received by all MLAs will be updated every month on official website and will be made available to the public;

          6.    All MLAs and MPs will declare their immoveable properties on 1st January every year;

          7.    The protocol of laying foundation stones and inauguration by Legislators & Ministers will be defined and laid down, ensuring respect for all citizens. Foundation/ Inauguration stones will be laid only by the President of India, Vice-President of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers, and Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

          8.    No State Banquets or Dinners will be held (at government expense) except in the honor of the President of India, Vice-President of India, the Prime Minister of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha, and the visiting foreign dignitaries;

          9.    The use of helicopter for travelling by the Chief Minister and the Ministers will be forbidden except in the case of emergency or calamity;

          10.  All Ministers / CM will travel with bare minimum security and at no point will traffic be stopped or diverted to facilitate their travel.  The system of placing Police personnel every few yards (route deployment) will be abolished; and

          11.  The District Administration will function as normal  even on the visit of CM / Ministers.  Any official required by
the VIPs, will make himself available with prior written permission of the appropriate authority. The Government officials will not seek resolution of their grievances, if any directly at the political level except with the prior appointment and permission of the competent authority

II.      RIVER WATERS OF PUNJAB

The Indian National Congress categorically and emphatically states that Punjab does not have surplus water to share with any other non-riparian and non-basin states. It shall ensure that Punjab da Paani is used for Punjab Vaaste only. As compared to the demand of water, there is a 30% of shortfall of water supplies in Punjab. This is a tragedy for a state that has been blessed with some of the great rivers of India. Punjab was the forefront when it came to sharing its resources with other provinces of India but the other states have not been as generous. The Central Government also has not given Punjab its due. On the contrary we are being chastised for ground water depletion. We supply wheat and rice to ensure food security of the country, we share our water resources with our states so that they may prosper—but we have been betrayed. Punjab covers 1.5 percent of India’s land, but produces nearly 20 percent of the nation’s wheat and 12 percent of its rice. Today, our ground water is depleting at such an alarming level that three fourth of the blocks have been declared as “Dark Zones” by the Central Government. Ground Water Development Indices is 172, which is way above the danger mark of 85. Thus the state does not have surplus water, though acknowledged by the Central Government but they hesitate to apprise the Supreme Court of India and other States namely Haryana and Punjab. Punjab’s river water is clearly required to sustain its people’s life and economy. While others have benefitted at our expense, we have lagged. The Indian National Congress will thus ensure that Punjab da Paani is used for Punjab only, and not dissipated at any cost.

The Indian National Congress further emphatically states that:

 

1.    Provisions of Section 78/79 of the Punjab Reorganization Act 1966 are ultra-vires of the Constitution and Union Government should so declare it null and void.

2.    Inter-state River Waters cannot be distributed under Article 3 of the Constitution. The Government of India has neither enacted any legislation nor passed any orders under Article 262 read with Entry 56 of Union List, which deal with inter-state rivers. They have rightly not done so because three eastern rivers of Indus System namely Sutlej, Ravi, and Beas are not inter-state rivers qua Haryana, therefore they are not empowered to distribute water of these rivers to non-riparian and non-basin State of Haryana. Union Government should however apprise Hon’ble Supreme Court of India of this truthful constitutional position;

3.    the Congress Government will relentlessly work to undo injustice done to Punjab in sharing of river waters. It shall strengthen the existing intra-state river water distribution and regulation infrastructure to ensure optimal utilization of water. If so required, it shall construct new water channels, minors and distributaries including Dashmesh Canal to harness full potential of state’s river waters; and

4.    the Congress Government will not allow construction of any new canal including SYL, which takes its river waters outside its territorial jurisdiction.

 

III     WAR AGAINST DRUGS

          1     The Indian National Congress will adopt zero tolerance policy for smugglers, peddlers, police officials, politicians, bureaucrats of any rank or the Public who indulge in drugs trafficking.  The Congress Government will wipe out the drug trade within a month (4 HAFTE) of its assuming office;

          2.    A vigorous campaign to educate young people and to treat & rehabilitate drug users with compassion will be initiated immediately;

          3.    To discourage Liquor consumption in Punjab (which has doubled in the last 10 years), 5% of Liquor vends will be closed every year, thereby ensuring substantial reduction of the sale of Liquor in 5 years;

          4.    Fast track courts will be setup in all districts after getting the required endorsement from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. These Courts will try the cases under the NDPS Act, which are covered in Table 1 of the Act. Reports of the Forensic Science Laboratory, which now take approximately 6-months, will be placed before the courts within 30 Days of the recovery of contra-band drugs;

          5.    The Confiscation of Drug Dealers Property Act will be enacted within 30 days of the formation of Congress Government;

          6.    Approximately 45,000 cases under various NDPS Act have been registered. Most (90%) of these cases pertain to Drug users rather than the Drug Peddlers or Traffickers.  The Congress Government will review all these cases and fix responsibility of those involved drug peddling and supplies;

          7     Anyone who registers himself at the District De-addiction Centre will be treated with compassion free of cost; and

          8.    A skill training initiative will also be launched at the De-addiction Centres so that those cured of the addictions shall become useful/ responsible citizens to earn their livelihood.

IV – AGRICULTURE and Allied OCCUAPTIONS

1.      KARZA MUAFI -Depleting water, declining soil quality, poor human resource and corruption in supply of inputs and disbursement of subsidies have substantially damaged farmers both socially and economically. While the Congress Government will work to revive farmers’ economy by continuing free power, direct transfer of subsidies, diversification of agriculture with full input tax waiver for agro and food processing industries,, provision of deficiency pricing for alternative crops, establishment of price stabilization fund, introduction of farmers pension scheme raising ex-gratia payment to Rs. ten lacs for families affected by suicides, raising crop compensation to Rs. 20000 per acre, provision of health, life and plot based crop insurance etc., it shall ensure waiver of agriculture debt of  farmers;

2.      The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness Act 2016 will be made more comprehensive and effective. District Level Settlement and Reconciliation Forum will be broad-based with a retired Judge as its Chairman and one representative each from the Public, the Government and the Bank/ Lending agency as its members. The settlement of debt will be made time-bound;

3.      A new Law will be enacted to prohibit sale and Kurki of farmers land by the lending agencies. The existing section 67 (a) of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act 1961 will be omitted;

4.      Free Power to the Farmers will be continued;

5.      The Congress fully supports the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and will pursue with the Central Government for its early implementation;

6.      Agriculture Marketing will be upgraded and digitized with a complete Ban on utilization of Mandi Board Funds for purposes other than Agriculture Marketing;

7.      Punjab State Agricultural Insurance Corporation will be set up to promote agriculture sector insurance schemes with the seed capital being provided by the government;

8.      Agricultural Sustainability Programme will be launched with greater focus on:

  i)     Free Regular Soil Health Testing;

                   ii)    80 per cent subsidy on Intelligent Irrigation System including Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation;

                   iii)   Farmer Education and Skill Development through digital technology (ICT);

                   iv)   Precision farming in at least 2k for every holding of 5 Acres or less;

                   v)    Greater incentives on alternative crops including free seeds, interest subvention and marketing support by establishing a Price Stabilization Fund and adopting the deficiency pricing support systems;

                   vi)   Promotion of Next Generation Agriculture Extension Reforms; and

                   vii)  80 per cent subsidy on use of solar energy for agriculture;

          9.      Greater thrust will be given on Research and Development of Alternative Crops including Maize, Pulses, Horticulture Crops, etc. by PAU.

       10.    Deficiency Price Support will be provided to the Maize Farmers;

          11.    Updation of APMC Act will be done to ensure direct access of farmers to the national and international markets through digital technology without tinkering with the existing MSP system;

          12.    Full Input tax waiver will be given on processing of agriculture produce procured and processed in Punjab;

          13.    Greater thrust will be given on Establishment of food parks for processing units of wheat, rice, maize, fruits and vegetables;

          14.    Direct transfer of subsidy to the farmers will be ensured excluding government from the purchase of any inputs;

          15.    Punjab Farmers Commission will be strengthened and re-organized as a statutory body to provide for farmers rights and frame Agriculture Policy in a dynamic mode. The Commission will also be empowered for planning agriculture production. It shall study and survey international markets to assess the export potential and national demand for different agriculture produce to aid and assist the Directorate of Agriculture in preparation of district and block level agriculture production plan according to local agro-climatic conditions;

          16.    Agriculture Production Board (APB) will be established under PAU for supervision of agriculture production process in the state to improve the quality of production. It will be responsible for contract farming and will supervise and guide production process from seeding to post harvesting operations in tandem with APPC plan;

          17.    Contributory Farmer’s Pension Scheme will be implemented to ensure social security cover for the farmers;

          18.    Free Life and Health Insurance cover of Rs. Five Lacs will provided to all farmers in Punjab;

          19.    One member of each family of farmers owning less than 5 acres of land and landless laborers will be provided wage and gainful employment;

          20.    Government of India will not be allowed to tinker with the existing MSP system. Instead they will be pursued to effectively implement MSP for other crops i.e. Maize, Pulses also. The State Congress Government will ensure lifting of food grain within 48 hours and payment by procurement agencies within 3 days for the procured food grains;

          21.    Families of farmers and landless workers adversely affected because of suicides shall receive priority attention of Government and jobs would be provided to one member of each of these families;

          22.    Contract farming and land leasing will be guided and enforced through effective laws protecting the rights of land owners and cultivators in equal measure;

          23.    Subsidiary occupations including dairying, piggery, poultry, beekeeping, agro-forestry, fishery etc. will be promoted, developed and incentivized at par with the agriculture. The Government of India will be pursued to provide income tax exemption on these occupations on the lines of agriculture;

          24.    Cultivation of Maize (Kharif) will be incentivized to save water, electricity and ensure higher returns to the farmers.

          25.    The Congress Government will make Punjab a Front Line State in Bee keeping, Piggery and Horticulture;

          26.    As earlier, the Congress Government will ensure hassle free and fair procurement of crops with greater application and use of IT;

          27.    Agro and food processing industry will be incentivized with effective forward and backward linkages; 

          28.    Development of Cold storage warehousing and Grain silos will be incentivized at par with the agro food processing industry;

          29.    To present Punjab as a Premier Dairy State of India, greater funds will be allocated for R&D in Animal Sciences; 

       30.    Stamp duty on mortgage of land to access credit will be reduced to 0.25%;

          31.    Agriculture Implement Bank/Agriculture Service Centres will be set up in a cluster of every 8-10 villages, which shall lend modern implements to the farmers on nominal charges;

          32.    Agro Industries Corporation will be mandated to procure, store, process and market / export agriculture produce as per the contracts entered into by APB;

          33.    The Congress Government will ensure a minimum income (per acre) to the farmers and if required, direct income support will be given;

          34.    Capital intensive infrastructure will be provided at the primary cooperative Society level at subsidized rates to curtail the cost of farm operations;

          35.    Credit needs of the farmers will be reassessed and cash credit limit will be provided to the farmers by the Cooperative Banks accordingly;

          36.    Small industry and rural artisans will be provided cheap and easy credit and marketing support through cooperative and commercial banks;

          37.    Greater thrust will be given on income generating economic activities by women and a system will be developed for marketing of their home made traditional articles such as “durries, khes, embroidery work, Phulkaries, hosiery etc.” on a regular basis;

          38     Agriculture Labour will be compensated suitably along with the landowner farmers at the time of crop-destruction owing to the natural calamities;

            39.  POULTRY - Poultry is the largest employer per unit of investment. The Congress Government will :

(a)         Promote private sector investment for creating a beneficial value chain from farm to fork, mandatory investment in infrastructure at various levels of value chain, processing, cold storage facilities etc. will be ensured prior to allowing access to the farms, thereby creating new domestic and export markets to ultimately improve farmer income;

(b)         Regulate all kinds of contracts of farmers to safeguard their interest and save them from any potential exploitation through appropriate statutory mechanism. Such a mechanism will have adequate representation of the farmers;

(c)          Establish a fully equipped Pathology and Nutrition laboratory for sustainable, healthy, scientific and profitable poultry farming across the state;

(d)         Review feasibility of linking all government benefits to the size/ capacity of poultry farm to ensure equitable access to government welfare spending for small and marginalized farmers; and

(e)          Develop a framework for ensuring quality of farming inputs.

 

V-  GOVERNANCE REFORMS

          1.    The Congress government aims to bring out a ‘White Paper’ exposing false claims of the SAD-BJP regime in context of development, governance reforms and the financial position of the State, clearly cheating the common man;

          2.    Governance Reforms Commission will be reconstituted as Governance Reforms and Ethics Commission (GREC) and it will be manned by professionals who are experienced in governance processes and procedures;

          3.    GREC will, among other things, examine all contracts/ tenders/ bids above Rs 50 crore not only to ensure transparency but also to check their essentiality, desirability, and full compliance of rules, regulations and CVC guidelines;

          4.    The Congress government will move away from pseudo reforms to genuine reforms focused on Welfare of the people and Ease and Freedom of Doing Business in Punjab;

          5.    Employment Bureaus (EBs) will be established in all districts of the State. Qualified professionals and specialists including Employment Counselors who will carry out fresh surveys of both educated and uneducated unemployed in the State will man these EBs. They will prepare annual district employment plans, clearly setting targets for self and wage employment. Wage employment through skilled and unskilled jobs will be segregated for government and private sectors. Guidance and other facilities will also be provided for overseas education, training and employment. The Congress Government will ensure that all those unemployed registered with the EBs, are provided employment in pursuit of its target to provide employment to at least one person per family. And till such a time when they are provided a job each, they will be partaking of an Unemployment Allowance at the rate of Rs 2500 pm.;

          6.    Over the last decade the governance in Punjab, apart from being toxic, has become extremely expensive, detached and largely devoid of merit in Punjab. It has made justice unaffordable and rule of law scarce. The Congress Government will expand outreach of quality governance to the common man at a minimum cost, pursuing the principle of Barefoot Governance. Notwithstanding digital delivery of processes and services, direct interaction with the citizens and social audit/ scrutiny will be ensured through regular meetings of village and Mohalla/ Ward Nigraan Committees by senior district level departmental officers and DCs/ ADCs/ SDMs etc. Regular periodic inspections of government offices and staff at the block/ tehsil/ district and State level will be made compulsory;

          7.    Governance reforms will aim to achieve process reengineering to ensure effective timely delivery of services at village, block, district and state level;

          8.    The existing Punjab Lok Bill will be replaced with a new legislation to make it more comprehensive and effective for all persons occupying public offices including politicians, non-officials and employees;

          9.    Unified Service Delivery Centres will be established for online delivery of services amalgamating all existing segregated centers such as Suvidha Centers, Saanjh Kendras, Fard Kendras, etc. with complete backend computerization and digitization of records and data of all government departments/agencies;

          10.  For regular periodic assessment of staffing requirement of various government departments and organization, Staff Inspection and Assessment Organization (SIAO) will be established;

          11.  Staffing requirement of all government departments and organizations will be assessed separately for regular, permanent and contractual appointments. Critical core staff will be recruited annually on a regular basis;

          12.  A separate Special Component Plan will be prepared for the development of SCs and it will be presented along with the Annual Budget to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for approval;

          13.  The Punjab Right to Service Act will be recast to make it more comprehensive and to ensure that it is executed and implemented by regular permanent staff with full accountability;

          14.  A special legislation will be enacted to provide for regular statutorily empowered mechanism for redressal of public grievances at tehsil and district level;

          15.  All subsidies will be fully targeted towards genuine beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfers;

          16.  A separate authority will be established for effective management and processing of domestic, industrial and agriculture waste, both in urban and rural areas. Such an authority will work to generate ‘Wealth Out Of Waste’;

          17.  The Punjab-Online project will be launched to ensure complete digitization of records, processes of government, and the delivery of services across all sectors and departments of the State;

          18.  All rural and urban habitations of the State will be wifi-enabled. Likewise all educational institutions of the State will also be provided free internet connectivity.

          19.  Free Legal Aid will be provided to all SCs and OBCs who seek to achieve their rights or intend to get ‘wrongs’ done to them redressed through the judicial process. Separate Legal Advisers/Law Officers will be engaged in the office of Advocate General Punjab, in this regard;

          20.  Nayaya Panchayats will be established in rural areas amending the existing law on Panchayats, Block Samitis and Zila Parishads to ensure quick, easy and affordable justice at the grassroots;

          21.  One of the biggest challenges facing the administration and one of the biggest headaches for a farmer pertains to revenue records and family partitions. The Congress promises to put this particular task and updation of records on fast track and complete the entire exercise in a time bound manner;

          22.  Details of assets of all IAS/IPS and certain other categories of officers will be tabled in Vidhan Sabha every year. Failure at this shall be a punishable offence under the rules;

          23 . Special Courts will be established to adjudicate on matters concerning, NRIs, Serving Soldiers, and trial of drug peddlers to ensure speedier justice;

          24   A Commission of Enquiry will be established to review all false cases and FIRs  made during the last decade of the SAD-BJP Government with a view to ensure justice to innocent people and the accountability of the guilty so that such things were not repeated in future.

 

VI. LEGISLATIVE REFORMS

             The Congress Government will review all the existing legislation with a view to repeal the outdated legislation and update those , which are required to ensure good and transparent governance and speedy justice. Further it will give greater attention to enactment and implementation of the following legislation:

1.    Right to Education Act – every child below age of 14 years has a right to education. State government will ensure full and effective implementation of the Right to Education Act to provide free elementary education up to standard I to VIII;

2.    NRI Marriage Regulation Act – each marriage with NRI will be registered with the magistrate and proper records will be maintained so as to prevent dual and fraudulent marriages;

3.    Child Labour Act – Ban on Child Labour. No child below the age of 14 will be employed by any individual, household, organization or institution. The employers of the child and the child’s parents will be liable and accountable for lapses, if any, in this regard;

4.    NRI Property Safeguards Act will be enacted – for safeguarding the property of NRIs (eg. Summary eviction of Tenant at 90 Days Notice);

5.    Whistleblower Safeguard Legislation – Any person who acts as a whistleblower to expose corruption will be safeguarded against official backlash and victimization on account of his whistle-blowing act.  The Congress Government will enact a special Legislation in this regard;

6.    Cable Authority Act – De-politicization of all news channels in Punjab will be ensured. No monopolization or cartelization shall be allowed in cable TV networks and a state-wide statutory cable authority will be constituted comprising of senior media persons under a special legislation to be enacted in this regard;

7.    Confiscation of Drug Dealers’ Property Act:A special legislation will be enacted to immediately confiscate the properties of Drug Paddlers and suppliers;

8.    The Confiscation of Benami Property Act.

9.    The Conflict of Interest Act will enacted to ensure that the MLAs / Ministers were unseated if found to have business interest in their official capacity; 

10.  The Punjab Drinking Water and Sanitation Act will be enacted to ensure provision of these basic services as a matter of right of citizens; and

11.  The Punjab Law of Historical Memory will be enacted.(see annexure II).

VII - POLICE REFORMS

          1.    Police reforms will be accorded top priority by the Indian National Congress and the rule of law will be the corner stone of its Government. SAD-BJP government has treated police as their handmaiden. This unfortunate trend has to stop and the CONGRESS shall pursue the depoliticisation of state’s police force. There will be fixed tenures for police officers and they will be held accountable for their performances. The police department will be given autonomy to maintain, pursue and ensure the rule of law;

          2.    The Congress Government will implement Police Reforms keeping in view the directives of the Apex Court in as laid down in the matter of Parkash Singh and others;

          3.    No political interference will be tolerated at any level. Along with de-politicization of the police force, it is also important to initiate the process of humanization of the police force. The Congress is bound to uphold the human rights of every citizen, of the State. It is a pity that the common man today views the police force with a sense of terror. Reforms will be put in place to ensure that there are no human right violations and no unfair detentions. Each citizen will have a right to report against the police behavior that he/she finds inappropriate or harassing. The complainant’s identity will be kept secret and the complaint will be followed within 24 hours and an update on the action will be made public on the State Police web portal;

          4.    New training programmes will be initiated for the police personnel to train them to tackle the new crimes and situations that Punjab is grappling with, especially the drug menace and cyber crimes.

          5.    A new Police Welfare Fund will be set up to provide for housing of lower police personnel and education of their children;

          6.    Most importantly, the unhealthy trend of using police by politicians and bureaucrats as personal security staff will be strongly discouraged;

          7.    To increase functional efficiency of the police, territorial restructuring of police stations made by SAD-BJP with a view to politicize Police, will be reviewed and recast;

          8.    Halqa In-charge system introduced by SAD_BJP Government, making police sub-division and assembly constituencies coterminous, will be abolished  to check and avoid any external, political or otherwise interference at police station level;

          9.    Modernization of the police infrastructure will be pursued as a priority;

          10.  Free Medical Insurance will be provided to all the police personnel and their families;

          11.  Large-scale construction of police housing will be initiated to ensure a decent living for all police personnel;

          12.  Fixed hours of duty will be implemented, except in the case of emergency duties;

          13.  Henceforth all new recruitment into the police will be in the PAP and after five years of service, the policemen will be moved to their home districts. After five years of service, they will be eligible to serve under the various wings of the police e.g., Vigilance, CID, Excise etc.;

          14.  The Congress government will ensure time-bound promotion of Constable, Head Constable, ASI and all other ranks and these promotions will carry due increments as well; and

          15.  A zonal headquarters of the PAP will be established in the southern region of Punjab. 

 

VIII - FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC REFORMS

          1.    The Congress government will restore to the State its Legitimate Revenue in excise on liquor, auction money of minor mineral, CLU charges, Transport Fees and Taxes, Cable Fees and Taxes, etc. through open competition and bidding with complete removal of mafia from the State;

          2.    The Congress government will engage the required staff for all departments and pay them full salaries;

          3.    The Congress government will establish an Employment Commission along the lines of Employment and Skills Commission. The commission will facilitate major job and entrepreneurship ventures, and shall bring employers and employees together. Greater emphasis shall be on creation of more jobs and entrepreneurs.  Every new venture in Punjab, which avails or gains any tax concessions from the State, shall have to submit to the Employment Commission stating how many Punjabis will be employed. It shall bring out a weekly magazine-report in both Punjabi/English, listing all openings in Punjab, apart from maintaining an online database.  The commission shall also coordinate and monitor the work of Employment Bureaus;

          4.    An Expenditure Management Commission will be setup to examine all government expenditures to ensure prudence and efficiency in spending by various department and other organizations funded by the government;

          5.    Restructuring of Agriculture and Industry   - A new policy to restructure agriculture and industry will be announced to facilitate producers, manufacturers and traders for greater investments and business in these areas. Greater financial incentives for agriculture and food processing related activities will be announced in the first budget of the Congress Government so that Punjab could move ahead from producer to manufacturing to trading in agricultural commodities;

          6.    Debt waiver: The State government will initiate a debt waiver and restructuring dialogue with the Union Government to bring the existing huge debt created by SAD-BJP government within the manageable limits; and 

          7.    The Congress Government will ensure that no superfluous borrowings are allowed to any department and wherever necessary, borrowing shall be permitted only for capital investments.

IX - WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION

          1.    A new Lok Pal Bill will be introduced with powers to initiate action on complaints including those against the Chief Minister, all other ministers, and the bureaucracy at all levels;

          2.    Property details of all legislators and bureaucrats and
the police officers will be laid on the table of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha every year;

          3.    All contracts above Rs 50 crore will be scrutinized by an Ethics/Transparency Commission; and

          4.    Third party audit of all government expenditures including the expenditures of the local bodies for the last three yearswill be mandatory. Such an audit will be done in first six months of the Congress Government. It shall thereafter be carried out on an annual basis.

 

X.  EDUCATION      

          1     Quality Education will be promoted and imparted as an emergent requirement of the state;

          2.    Six per cent of State’s GDP will be spent on promotion and development of Education to ensure adequate funds for the concerned departments including Primary, Higher, Technical, Medical and Vocational Education Departments;

          3.    A Comprehensive Digital Education Programme will be launched in the State to improve access to quality School Education;

          4.    Neighborhood areas of all school will be defined to ensure that every eligible child in that areas goes to the designated school and further school based reforms will be made in keeping with the judgment of Allahabad High Court.

          5.    Transforming teaching and learning through wireless / digital technology: Smart classrooms will be setup in schools to make the teaching and learning interesting.  This will require preparing IT compatible teaching-learning material for all the classes along with the requisite hardware. Schools already have some infrastructure in this regard but it is not being used optimally.  The Congress Government will be pursue this as a priority;

          6.    Greater stress will be given on School Electrification Programme to achieve access to quality education through digital technology. The schools will be provided regular budget for electricity and other charges to be defrayed by them;

          7.    Deployment of Teachers will be rationalized: A large number of schools are without teachers particularly in border and far flung areas of the State, whereas in some areas there is overcrowding of teachers. This is despite the claim that rationalization happens every year. The need of the hour is to have a sustainable policy on school specific recruitment rather than a general cadre of teachers at state level. Teachers will henceforth be recruited for schools with no provision of transfer from one place to another;

          8.    Free Transportation facility will be provided to students: For optimum utilization of resources, school buses will be provided at the government expenditure;

          9.    Outsourcing of Mid Day Meal Scheme: The preparation of Mid Day Meal will be outsourced primarily for two reasons (1) Saving teachers’ time and (2) reducing the cost of quality food through economies of scales;

          10.  Exclusive cadre of Education Administrators: The posts of DEOs and other senior education administrators,  will be from a cadre of education administrators giving due emphasis on specialization. The recruitment for this cadre will be made exclusively out of teachers with the condition that the applicants should have a minimum teaching experience and recruited on the basis of open competition;

          11.  The Concept of Cluster Schools will be introduced: For decentralization of School administration one principal of a senior secondary school will be made in charge of all matters concerning a cluster of 10 to 15 schools. Such a principal will be allowed to take all day to day decisions including transfer of school teachers from one school to other, temporarily as and when the need arises.  He will be assisted with adequate number of non-teaching staff;

          12.  Teachers for teaching only: No non-teaching work will be assigned to the teachers. Currently schools teachers are assigned non-teaching work pertaining to education and other departments.  As regards the work of other departments, the Congress Government will consider to appoint multipurpose workers who will do all type of miscellaneous work including survey work etc. This will require about 15000 people and will not cost more than Rs. 150 crore for per annum. But it will certainly relieve the teachers from other work and they will be available full time for teaching only;

          13.  The Education Board will be given autonomy and confined to conduct of examinations rather than running some schools and preparing and printing textbooks;

          14.  Greater stress will be given on Strengthening of SCERT and DIETs: Currently preparation of textbooks is the mandate of PSEB.  This needs to be handed over to SCERT.  Further, DIETS will be opened in all districts. The Government In-Service Training Centers (GISTC) set up to impart training to secondary school teachers will be merged with DIETs.  The principals of DIETS will be of higher seniority than the DEOs.  Their role in activities like doing Action Research, Learning Centers, Source of learning and wisdom for teachers will be enhanced.  Needy teachers will be incentivized for training and higher education. Further, the teacher training programmes will be updated regularly;

          15.  Emphasis will be on Improvement in Quality of Education: It will be pursued as a continuous process. Being  highly technical, it requires lots of expertise like identifying the deficiencies in teaching methods, understanding the teaching problems, preparing material both for students and teachers, imparting short training to teachers at school level and working with them, focused attention on individual child, sharing of knowledge in teaching, creating a dedicated cadre of trainers on evolving basis etc. This will be accompanied by a strong but decentralized system of monitoring of quality parameters;

          16.  Removal of Grievances of Teachers: A credible and transparent system to redress the grievances of teachers will be put in place;

          17.  Regular Inspections of Schools: More emphasis will be given on regular inspection with due notice to the schools.  However, surprise inspections will also be conducted to ensure improvement in quality of Schools;

       18.    Free Text Books to ALL: Provision of free text-books will be made for all students rather than giving free books only to SC students particularly when only the students belonging to poor sections of the society come to government schools;

       19.    All Schools textbooks will be posted Online, enabling Students/ Parents to download the same free of any cost;

       20.    Emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education (Pre-primary Education): At present, no child below 6-years of age is admitted to government schools whereas parents do not wait for that long these days.  They prefer to send the child to schools at a very young age.  Within the Government, there is a difference of opinion between the Departments of Education and Social Security on this issue.  On the other hand, there is little emphasis on education in Anganwadi centers and at the same time these centers a very little have little credibility for imparting of education. Therefore, the Early Childhood Care and Education will be integrated with the school education and strengthened further;

          21.    33 per cent seats in Government-run colleges will be reserved for free education for Poor, Meritorious, SC, and OBC Students;

       23.    S. Partap Singh Kairon Scholarship Scheme will be introduced for need based Meritorious, SC and OBC Students to study in Foreign Universities with a minimum coverage of 200 students per annum;

       24.       Minimum Learning of Levels (MLLs) will be defined and achieved;

       25.    All Government Schools will be provided Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity with adequate infrastructure and hardware;

          26.    Adequate infrastructure will be provided in all schools. It will include classroom, toilets, office, drinking water, electricity and the playground;

       27.    Each district will have at least two senior Secondary Girls’ Schools with the proper hostels – Work in this regard will begin within 100 days of assuming office by the Congress Government;

           28    Libraries of School will be strengthened and one library period will be made mandatory in all schools;

        29.   Instead of only yearend examination, continuous evaluation system will be introduced as part of Examination Reforms;

        30.   English as a medium of instructions will be offered as an option in Government Secondary Schools;

        31.   A Regulatory Authority will be established to supervise and regulate the functioning of the Private Schools; and

        32.   All School buses / vans / autos will be exempted from payment of Road tax;

          33.    Girls Education – Employment oriented professional education for Girls as Teachers, Engineers, Doctors, Nurses etc. will be given priority. Free education shall be provided the girls belonging to SCs, OBCs, Minorities, and rural and urban poor families.

       34     Three Academies on the lines of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Academy will be setup in Malwa, Majha and Doaba regions;

       35.    The Congress Government will endeavor to set up two more Sainik Schools (One each in Malwa and Majha);

          36.    At least 50 new colleges will be opened in Punjab ensuring atleast one degree college at each sub-division –The Congress Government will start this work within 100 days of assuming office;

       37.    Autonomous status of State Universities will be restored;

          38.    Technical education will be restructured on the lines of SLIET Longowal. Existing technical colleges including some new government colleges will be run according to IIT pattern with multiple entry and exit points for students from Plus one up to Ph.D.;

       39     Syllabus of the technical and non-technical institutions will be re-designed inconsonance with present and future needs of national and international industrial market, in consultations with the Industry;

        40. A Regulatory Authority will be established to supervise and regulate functioning of Private Universities and Colleges in the state; and

        41.   Protesting Teachers Demands: All just demands of protesting teachers will be considered. Teachers on contractual services will be regularizedand discrepancies in their salaries etc. will be removed.

XI - HEALTH

1.      Health Insurance for All: State Health Insurance Scheme will be launched to provide for compulsory health insurance for all. The insurance premium for all those below 18 years and above 60 years will be borne be the State Government, and the others will be required to contribute a part of their  premium.

 

2       Development of Primary Health Care  Centers(PHCs) and   Community Health Centers(CHCs) as Multi-Specialties’ Hospitals:    The State has set up huge physical infrastructure particularly buildings for PHCs and CHCs but these facilities are not optimally utilized at present. This is due to non-availability of manpower and even where the Medical Officers are available, none of them are willing to serve and stay. This defeats the very purpose of the setting up of these facilities. Even the development infrastructure of residential accommodation for the staff at these places is not going to solve the problem. With the passage of time, the road infrastructure becoming better and better, doctors and other staff prefer to commute from the major towns to these facilities rather than staying at these places.

 

Coming on the delivery of services by these facilities, there is little credibility of these institutions in terms of quality of services. Most of these facilities have developed a tendency only to refer the patients to the districts hospitals. As a result people generally prefer to go to district hospitals or to the private hospitals, which are overcrowded. All PHCs and CHCs would therefore be developed  as Independent Multi-specialty hospitals equipped to provide requisite health care facilities to the citizens and ensuring appropriate facilities for medical and non-medical staff at these locations. 

 

 

3.      Establishment of Referral Mohalla/Ward Health Clinics:  The Congress Government will establish referral clinics for every 1000 population, both in rural and urban areas. Each of these clinics will not only be manned adequately but will also be attached with a multi-specialty hospital for referral and follow up treatment.

 

4.      Online OPD registration and appointments with the Doctors:  There is a long queue generally seen outside the hospitals even for OPD registration. This will be handled by providing more windows at the reception and also by providing the facility for online registration. This will save time and avoidable harassment to the patients.

 

5.      Appointment of Hospital Administrators: Doctors for Patients only- Hospital administration is a highly technical subject these days. In the absence of specialized hospital administrators, only the medical officers and specialists are required to do most of the tasks themselves at the cost of patients’ time. The specialist doctors need  be  spared from the routine administrative jobs. The Congress Government will run management courses in this regard to improve overall efficiency of the system. The doctors will be for clinical and medical work only.

 

 

6.      Regular Recruitment of Doctors particularly Specialists:     There is huge shortage of doctors particularly the specialists. The shortage of the specialists is a big hurdle in achieving the desired targets on MMR and IMR.  Thus, doctors will be recruited regularly on an annual basis to ensure regular and adequate availability of services.

 

7.      Opening of Medical Colleges: The shortage of medical specialists may be resolved partially by recruiting the manpower available in the market for the time being but in the long run, this can be solved only by optimally utilizing the available infrastructure and by evolving and improving it further.  To this end, every district hospital in the State can be easily attached with a medical college. So to achieve this, atleast five new medical colleges will be opened in the state, apart from improving infrastructure, facilities and man power in the existing medical colleges.

 

8.      Doing away of entertaining MLRs without police recommendations: This is another reform required to improve the efficiency of hospital administration. People generally having disputes over trivial matters come to hospitals and pressurize the doctors to issue medico-legal reports and try to create evidence in their favour and against the rival party. This not only takes valuable time of doctors but also exposes them to complaints by rival parties. This will however be distinguished from some serious cases of road accidents etc. MLRs will be entertained only in serious cases on the recommendations of the Police.

 

9.      Universalization of User Charges:   Patients are required to pay user charges at various facilities. These charges vary from facility to facility. Depending upon the size and available services, these charges will be kept to minimum and made uniform.

 

10.    Emphasis on preventive health care system:  In developed countries and even in small countries like Sri Lanka, there is a complete integration of health and sanitation services. Some of these services like sanitation both in rural and urban areas and also nutrition programmes, will be merged with health department to emphasize preventive health care and create a cadre of public health specialist to oversee proper implementation of preventive healthcare.

 

11     Online monitoring of Ultrasound centers: The implementation of Pre-Natal Diagnostic (Prevention) Act is always difficult and found wanting in the States like Punjab and Haryana. There is a requirement to submit monthly information of all scans carried out by an ultrasound center, during a month by 5th of every next month. This serves a little purpose in the presence of IT and better tools. Neither the Civil Surgeon is analyzing this information nor is it easy to document and prepare by the ultrasound centers. A better way would be to make online registration of all such cases by the ultrasound centre mandatory. These should further be transmitted to   Civil Surgeon, for regular online monitoring.

 

 

12.               Separate cadres of General Duty doctors and Specialists: It has been observed that there is little distinction made at district level between specialists and general doctors. Many times, the specialists are assigned duties that can and should be performed by general doctors who are simple MBBS. By putting specialists on general duties, we end up wasting valuable resources. This objective will be achieved by establishing separate cadres of general doctors/physicians and the specialists.

 

13.               Upgrading and Equipping District Hospitals with all equipment and ensuring their regular  maintenance: All the district hospitals will be upgraded and equipped with modern machines  like MRI, CAT Scan etc. to ensure that these facilities are available to all the deserving and needy persons.

 

          14.    Care of the elderly: Yearly preventive health check-up for those above the age of 55 years will be conducted across the State so as to screen them for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancers etc., thus ensuring a disease-free population of the elderly and also to reduce their financial burden for the future.

15.   Chemists and Pharmacists: The Congress Government will-

o   Not issue Wholesale License for sale of drugs inside the Government Hospitals;

o   Issue Drug Licenses to successors in interest on Death or Dissolution of partnership provided the successors in interest, have requisite qualifications; and

o   Ensure adequate supplies of drugs at affordable price, checking artificial shortages at any point of time.

16.           Community Medical Service:

The Congress Government will:

o   review  and enact a new legislation on the basis of the West Bengal “Community Medical Service” where Health volunteers would be given basic minimum training for 2 years. These volunteers would in turn be licensed to give First Aid and Emergency Aid.

       17        Indian Medical Association:

o   The Punjab Medicare Persons and Medicare Institutions (prevention of Violence and Damage to property) Act 2008, will be strictly enforced.  Adequate security will be provided to the hospitals so that doctors can work without any fear and threats; 

o   Private hospitals, nursing homes in residential areas will be regularized on as and where basis after payment of the prescribed CLU charges;

o   Review of Cashless Health Schemes – All cashless health schemes of the SAD-BJP Government will be reviewed thoroughly and revised after taking views of all the stakeholders. A modified PGEPIHS will be introduced providing safeguards for employees and pensioners.   Package Rates will be at least at par with CGHS rates.  There will be transparency in process of empanelment of hospitals, authorization process and pending payments;              

o   NO new Acts, rules or regulations regarding private hospitals, if any made, will be applicable retrospectively;

o   Incentives to Private Hospitals – Incentives like subsidized power, subsidized land, reduced property tax rates and tax holidays will be extended to small hospitals too;

o   Problems of PMC – The Punjab Medical Registration Act 1916, under which PMC has been constituted, will be reviewed in consultation with the stakeholders; and        

o   Coordination Committee: There will be a Coordination Committee of the IMA Punjab representatives and the Government headed by the State Health Minister, which will meet regularly to take stock of the problems of the health care delivery system and the doctors.

 

XII -INDUSTRY

      

          1.      The Congress Government will announce a new Industrial Policy in the State within 90 days of assuming office. The first priority of the Congress Government will be to revive the existing Industrial units by resolving their problems. SAD-BJP Government has been offering many incentives and facilities for new investment, most of these are only on paper, while the existing Industries have been ignored for the last 10 years. The Congress Government will revive and support the existing units since more than 20,000 units have closed down during the last 10 years due to anti trade and  industrial policy of SAD-BJP Government. The new policy will address all the issues and requirements of different industries such as textiles, yarn, hosiery, hand tools, light engineering, pharmaceuticals, cycles, garment making, sports goods, and paper, etc differently and effectively. It shall further encourage IT, ITES, BT and Pharmaceuticals and other sunrise industrial businesses and services to take the State on high trajectory of industrial growth.

                2.      An Industrial Urban Corridor between Amritsar and Chandigarh will be set up along the Axis of the GT Road as well as the Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur road along with Satellite Townships along the way. This will open up major areas of Punjab for Industrial Development;

                3.      A New Land Bank will be created for Industrial Development;

                4.      Electricity tariff for the existing and new industry will be frozen at Rs. 5/- per unit for the next 5 years;

                5.      In the last Annual Budget of the SAD-BJP Government, Rs. 100 Crore was earmarked for Industrial Department.  The Congress Government will enhance this to Rs. 1000 Crore at least to incentivize and develop industry in the State;

                6       Border and Kandi District Capital Incentive Scheme as per Industrial policy 2002-07 will be started again to generate new employment avenues for the youth of these areas to wean them away from drugs and other social evils;

                7.      A New Policy for Development of Industrial clusters in the State will be announced immediately.  Already more than 40 Clusters have been identified in the State, but MSMEs are not coming forward as there is no defined policy of SAD-BJP Government in this regard;

                8.      Establishment of Hostels for Workers of MSMEs will be encouraged;

                9.      The amount of Provisional VAT Refund will be increased from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 3 crore immediately;

                10.    Development & Maintenance of Infrastructure in Focal Points & Industrial Estates will be taken up on a War footing;

                11.    Special budgetary allocation will be made to improve the existing Industrial Infrastructure, particularly at the Industrial Estates and Focal Points;      

                12.    Education and Industry, particularly the Manufacturing will be synergized to create R&D hubs to help in development of new technologies and make the industry globally competitive;

                13     Promoting Startup Culture in Punjab: The Congress Government will allocate Rs. 100 Crore in order to provide entrepreneurs with the world-class facility. Any investment made by start-ups will be exempt from payment of all taxes for five years;

                14.    PLUG-IN SYSTEM in major cities of Punjab will act as an improvement in infrastructure which will be supported by adequate resources. This will help in shaping and implementing the policies for development of start-ups; 

          15.    “NOC” for industries set up within the Municipal limits in 1980’s and 1990’s will be exempted;

          16.    The Congress Government will remove gap and align the state policies with those of the Central Government so as to enable small-scale industrial units to benefit from the schemes and become competitive;

          17.    PAU will tie-up with the Industry for new Technology and for Products, particularly in Agro and Food Industry;

          18.    PTU will establish a Research and Incubation Center for Start-ups;

          19.    TRADE AND INDUSTRIAL BOARDS will be established or broad based so as to advise the Government in preparing and implementation of the policies for quick and effective growth of trade and industry in the state;

          20.    HOSIERY INDUSTRIES

                   (a)  The Industrial Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre will be set up in Ludhiana;

                   (b)Diploma and Degree Programs for Education and Training in Hosiery will be introduced in Institutes of Technical Education;

                   (c)  Workers Hostel for Migratory Labour will be set up in Ludhiana; and

                   (d)  the proposal for a full fledged Airport at Ludhiana will be pursued.

          21.    Trade and Exhibition Centre at Ajnala Road, Amritsar –A Trade & Exhibition Centre will be set up at Ajnala Road, Amritsar on the pattern of Pragati Maidan, New Delhi;

          22.    Establishment of Free Trade Zone at Integrated Check Post Wagah/Attari Border will be pursued vigorously;

          23.    Development of Small Enterprises :A Large number of Small household units are operating in mix land use areas like Shimla puri, Basti Jodhewal, Sunder Nagar, Dashmesh Nagar, SAS Nagar etc. since 1960. The Congress Government will develop a focal point for all such units and provide land and other facilities like common effluent treatment plant with modern amenities in the area at subsidized rates; 

                24.   NO NOC and CLU for new electric connection and enhancement of electrical Power Load will be required: The prevailing system to grant new electric connection to enterprises requires submission of NOC from district town planner/ Municipal Corporation/ GLADA etc. It is a difficult process and huge taxes/ development charges are demanded for NOC by the said departments, which make it difficult for the entrepreneurs to get the connection.  No NOC and CLUs will be required for new electric connection and enhancement of the existing power load;

                25.  Pollution Control Measures: The small but polluting industries/ enterprises will be provided industrial plots at subsidized rates along with all other incentives as provided to new Industries, to motivate the entrepreneurs to shift their enterprises to new focal points outside Ludhiana City.

                26.    Exports from Punjab: The state will incorporate online documentation for the export of goods as the entrepreneurs face lot of difficulties from the staff of Customs department in processing of their documents;

                27.    Labour Laws :  The existing Labour laws will be updated and simplified in consultation with the representatives of Industry and Labour;

                  28.  Suvidha Centre for Industry under one roof: Industrial Suvidha Centres will be established in all districts under the Punjab Bureau of Industrial Promotion (PBIP);

          29.    Open access to electricity will be made easier to facilitate Industry to buy electricity from private power plants with a levy of reasonable charges / duty;

          30.    The Congress Government will allot land lying vacant in focal points to small entrepreneurs;

          31.    The Congress Government will make registration of plots already allotted in industrial estates hassle-free;

          32.    The Congress Government will waive the condition of procuring CLUs (Change of Land Use) for duly notified Industrial Zones;

          33.    The Congress Government will standardize all requirements relating to pollution control and make compliance thereof hassle-free;

          34.    The Congress Government will setup a Consultative Committee for Industry with the representatives from Industry, government and experts as its members;

          35.    The Congress Government will incentivize and promote setting up of major industrial units in the State, which will spur the growth of ancillary units and create employment;

          36.    Incentive on Freight Charges: The Punjab Industry is far from the major Ports of India.  Raw material used by this Industry like Coal, Iron Ore, Steel Scrap and Ferro alloys come from other States or are being imported and have to be transported to Punjab from sea ports. Finished goods are also exported to the other states or to the other countries. Transportation cost is a great burden and a prohibitive factor for the growth of Punjab Industry. The Congress Government will provide freight equalization incentives to ensure viability and competitiveness of Industry in the State;

          37.    ICC at interstate borders will be fully mechanized with no manual interjections at all;

          38.    MOHALI INDUSTRY - In order to encourage exports, Dappar dry port will be made fully functional. The Congress Government will initiate dialogue with CONCOR and the Ministry of Railways to start dedicated freight train from Dappar dry port to Mumbai and Kandla.  CONCOR will be persuaded to accept half / part containers from the Dappar dry port;

          39.    Many large scale Industrial units in Mohali have either closed down or only using some portions of the plot and the rest of the land is lying vacant or unused. They will be allowed to lease out vacant land to other Industrial Unit with prior permission of Government. Similarly situated cases elsewhere in the state will also be treated at par.

          40.    Shifting of High Tension Power Lines passing through factories in Industrial Area, Phase 8 & 8-B, SAS Nagar (Mohali) will be taken up on priority; and

          41.    An efficient, safe and reliable Public Transportation system connecting Industrial areas of Mohali with the Tricity will be developed and implemented.

SPORTS GOODS INDUSTRY

          42.    The Congress Government will :

o   set up a new Focal Point at Jalandhar exclusively for Sports Goods Industry;

o   set up a skill-development center where labour will be trained with latest technique exclusively for the Sports Goods Industry to overcome the problem of shortage of skill labour;

o   open a Research and Development center exclusively for Sports Goods Industry;

o   set up district level Industrial grievances committees in place of the present Trade and Industrial Boards which are mere an eye wash to appease a few of SAD-BJP office bearers and as such they are of no use. The Chairman of these committees will be a local representative from the Industry who commands the respect of all concerned  and can help in Industrial growth of the State;

o   pursue with J & K Govt. to ensure easy availability of Kashmir Willow Clefts to the Sports Goods Industry;

o   take effective steps to modernize the manufacturing of various Sports Goods items;

o   formulate a policy to replace the imported Sports items by manufacturing these in Jalandhar by importing technology from abroad; and

o   waive processing fee charged by Excise and Taxation Department, Govt. of Punjab.

RICE SHELLING INDUSTRY

 

                   43.    The present SAD-BJP government has failed to implement many decisions of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) e.g. depreciation of C class gunnies, causing a loss of up to Rs. 20 lacs per Rice miller. While the FCI had released payment on account of gunnies for the last three years to the State agencies, the same has not been transferred to the millers.  Similarly, the state agencies are not paying transport charges despite the same having been already released to them by the FCI.  In order to redress the pending grievances of the Rice Shellers, the Congress Government will: 

o   take action against the guilty in the bardana scam causing tremendous loss to the rice millers and ensure that the millers do not suffer on account of use of gunny bags;

o   release transportation charges immediately on receipt from the FCI;

o   revisit the question of levying a recovery of Rs. 3 per quintal on rice-millers;

o   provide for On-line refund of security amount after the delivery of rice to the government;

o   withdraw levy of profession tax by SAD-BJP government on road transport contractors carrying rice;

o   engage with the representatives of Rice Miller Association regarding fixation of standards of paddy supplied for shelling, milling charges and yield of rice (for different varieties of paddy) etc.;

o   replace Security of Rs. 5 Lacs taken before milling by the Government of Punjab with a bond/bank guarantee;

o   eliminate Inspector Raj that causes Corruption in procurement operations; and  

o   introduce temporary Power Connections and payment on actual electricity consumption.

 

 

 

 

COTTON INDUSTRY

          44.    The Congress Government will:

o   waive Minimum Monthly Charges (MMC) for Ginning Industry and billing will be on actual basis;

o   ensure supply of Electricity to Spinning Industry in Punjab @ Rs. 5 per unit  and

o   Levy Market Fee and RDF on ‘Narma’ at par with Haryana and Rajasthan.

 

XIII  BEOPAR (TRADE)

 

          1.      Traders (Beoparis) will be given dignity honour, full freedom of choice and respect, which they deserve.  The Congress will raise the voice of Beoparis and be their advocate to resolve their pending issues / grievances;    

          2.      Advanced Tax will be withdrawn;

          3.      Annual processing fee for VAT return will be withdrawn;

          4.      VAT rate on Black tea will be reduced to 5%;

          5.      All types of Yarn will be taxed at 3.3%;

          6.      For fair and proper implementation of GST, Trade and Industry will be taken into confidence. There will be no clause of imprisonment in the bill and rates of taxes will be commensurate with those in other states to encourage trade and industry in the state; 

          7.      Special Grievances Cells will be established for redressal of Beoparis’ grievances in a time bound manner;

          8.      A Robust insurance scheme will be put in place for traders who may, by the quirk of circumstances, fall upon bad days;

          9.      Manufacturers will be expected to ensure quality of goods made and sold by them;   

          10.    Selling and Purchase of used Cars: Lakhs of people are directly or indirectly associated with the sale and purchase of used cars for their livelihood. The Congress Government will rationalize taxes on used vehicles and streamline the processes to facilitate such a trade.

XIV  TOURISM

          The Congress Government will:

1.    Formulate a Comprehensive policy on Promotion and Development of Tourism in the State;

2.    Ensure that the Policy so formulated gives grater thrust on development of Heritage, Eco and Farm Tourism;

3.    Give greater incentives to local investments in Heritage, Eco and Farm Tourism;

4.    Encourage and incentivize local youth as Tour Operators on pre-defined tourist circuits;

5.    Grant fiscal incentives at par with the Industry to all the projects aimed at promotion and development of Tourism including establishment of Budget Hotels at various district HQs; and

6.    Establish professional Tourist Police to guide, facilitate and ensure safety and security of tourists;

XV – WELFARE OF DALITS: DEVELOPMENT OF A MORE EQUITABLE SOCIETY IN PUNJAB

          1.      In order to build an equitable and more homogenous society in Punjab, greater thrust will be given on removing poverty, promoting professional education and devolving more resources upon persons/families belonging to scheduled castes, who comprise of 31% of State’s population, bringing them at par, both socially and economically, with other sections of the population;

          2.      Reservation for SCs in Government Jobs will be enforced strictly in keeping in view the ACT of 2006 as well as the Constitutional provisions. Existing backlog in recruitment shall be cleared by filling such vacant post in Government in a time bound manner;         

          3.      Reservation for SCs will also be applicable to the contractual/outsourced appointments;

          4.      Reservation for SCs will also be applicable for the posts of Chairman, Vice-chairman, members and directors of the Trusts, Boards and Corporations in the state;

          5.      Special Component Plan will be prepared separately and submitted to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for approval along with the Annual State Budget;

          6.      Free education will be provided up to graduation level to all students belonging to SCs and specifically to girl students belonging to SC categories, up to any level;  

          7.      SC students will be given scholarships or free education in professional engineering, management and medical colleges. 10 per cent seats would be reserved in all private educational institutions for such a purpose;

          8.      Expenditure on boarding and lodging of SC students admitted to professional colleges, will be borne by the Government;

          9.      Post-matric scholarship for SC students will be fully disbursed on time;

          10.    30 percent reservation will be made for SCs in allotment of houses, residential plots and commercial plots by the State Government or any of its agencies/department;

          11.    Likewise 30 per cent reservation will be made for SCs
in leasing of land both residential, commercial or agriculture
, by the State Government or an agency or organization set up under any of the State Laws; 

          12.    Housing for Houseless SCs: Free built up houses (living accommodation) or 5 marla plot will be provided to all homeless SC families with an annual income of less than Rs. 5 lacs. Further Mukhmantri Awas Yojana will be introduced to provide free residential houses to houseless rural and urban poor also;

          13.    Free Health and Life insurance cover will be provided to all SC families with an annual income of less than Rs. 5 lacs;

          14.    Ensure Employment to at least one member of every SC, OBC Family: At least one member from each family of Scheduled Castes /Backward Classes will get employment so that they do not fall prey to drug-addiction and other anti-social activities;  

          15.    Minimum 300 units of electricity will be allowed free to all families of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes;

          16.    Existing Shagun Scheme will be reviewed, making it more comprehensive as Ashirwaad Scheme and the  amount will be raised to Rs. 51,000/- for the wedding of the daughters of SCs, BCs, Christians, Muslim Communities and those living below the poverty line;

          17.    Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Community Centres will be build at block level in Punjab to enable poor families belonging to SC, ST and OBC to arrange their meeting and functions free of any charge;

          18.   Self Help Groups for Dalit families in rural areas will be set up for generating employment avenues.  Provision of low interest productive micro credit will be encouraged;

          19     Outstanding loans (up to Rs 50000) of SCFC raised by poor borrowers belonging to SCs for self-employment activities will be waived;

          20     Venture Capital Fund of Rs 100 crore will be created with SCFC to encourage youth belonging to SCs  to start their own ventures; and

          21     Existing Atta-Dal scheme will be reviewed to make it more comprehensive and better targeted. Along with Atta-Dal, sugar and tea-leaf will be provided to all those covered under the scheme.

XVI         CARING FOR ECONOMICALLY BACKWARD CLASSES (OBCs)

The Congress Government will:

o   increase reservation of OBCs in government jobs from the present 12 percent to 15 percent;

o   increase reservation of OBCs in educational institutions from the present 5 percent to 10 percent;

o   Increase threshold limit for creamy layer in OBCs from the present Rs 6 lacs to Rs 10 lacs;

o   Waive Outstanding loans (up to Rs 50000)of Backfinco raised by poor borrowers belonging to BCs raised by them for self -employment activities;

o   Venture Capital Fund of Rs 100 crore will be created with Backfinco to encourage youth belonging to OBCs  to start their own ventures;and

o   Housing for Houseless: Free built up houses (living accommodation) or 5 marla plot will be provided to all houseless OBC families with annual income of less than Rs. 5 lacs. Further the Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana will be introduced to provide free residential houses to the houseless rural and urban poor also.

XVII      Minorities

The minorities are the pride of Punjab and a living embodiment of  Punjabiat.  The Congress Government will work for the welfare of minorities in the state and shall provide them benefits in schemes and programmes such as Ashirwaad, Housing for Houseless, Waiver of loan for self employment activities and reservation in educational institutions at par with other economically weaker sections in the State. Further the State Minorities’ Commission will be broad based and strengthened.

The Congress Government will further: 

a.     Give due representation to Christians, Muslims and other minorities in all State Boards and Corporations;

b.    Allocate suitable land for burial grounds for Muslims and Christians; and

c.     Establish an Urdu Academy and a Medical College in Malerkotla with adequate allocation of resources;

d.    Promote Professional education amongst the minorities including Muslims, Jains, and Christians by establishing dedicated institutions/centres for them;

e.     Promote, name and dedicate the technical and other professional educational institutions in Muslim and Christian dominated areas to the memory of Muslim Saints and Christian Missionaries;

f.Provide poor Christian and Muslim families the same  benefits as provided to their SC counterparts like Shagun under the Ashirwaad Scheme, Free Electricity, Pensions, loan waiver and scholarship; and

g.    Give Five Marla Plots or houses to all houseless/landless Muslims and Christians of the State whose annual income is up to Rs 5 lacs.

XVIII         RURAL DEVELOPMENT  and PRIs

          The Congress Government will:

1.    Strengthen and Empower the Panchyati Raj Institutions(PRIs) with all functions and authority in keeping with the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act;

2.    Ensure timely devolution of resources to ULBs as per the recommendations of the State Finance Commission;

3.    Establish Career Counseling and Skill Development Centres in every block/cluster of villages;

4.    Establish a Separate Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to ensure unabated development of infrastructure in villages including rural roads, streets, drains, sewerage and drinking water supplies;

5.    Provide potable piped drinking water supplies and durable arrangement of sanitation with a toilet to  each and every rural household in next two years;

6.    Ensure cleaning and remodeling of all village ponds with regular outflow of sewage water ;

7.    Establish Integrated/Unified Service Centers in rural areas to facilitate quick and effective delivery of services at grassroots. These centers will provide 24x7 services with full backend computerization and the use of digital technology; and

8.    Ensure effective implementation of MNREGA with more extensive coverage of rural populations, development of rural infrastructure, timely (15 days) payment of wages based on statutory minimum wages.

XIX  BORDER AREAS

1.    A special relief package for Border Areas will be announced within a month of formation the Congress Government in the state. This shall involve, creation of new social and industrial infrastructure in the region, grant of reservation in government jobs and select educational institutions and fixing a suitable monthly compensation of land that has been destroyed/rendered unfit for use for defense/strategic reasons;

2.    The residents of areas within 30 kms of international border will be allowed 3 per cent reservation in Government Jobs;

3.    The residents of areas within 30 kms of international border will be allowed 5 per cent reservation in professional educational institutions;

4.    The limit of capital industrial investment for fiscal and other incentives under the State Policy, shall be 25 percent of the limit prescribed for other areas;

5.    And 20 percent of state’s total expenditure on infrastructure development shall be spent on border districts of the State.

XX           URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND LOCAL SELF GOVERNMENT

          The Congress Government will:

1.    Restructure Urban Local Bodies including Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils and the Nagar Panchayats/NACs to ensure that these become financially and economically viable structures of Local Self Government;

2.    Rationalize all taxes and levies including user charges for water and sanitation and property tax imposed by ULBs;

3.    Ensure that no taxes and levies are charged by ULBs from the urban poor with an annual income of less than Rs 2.5 lacs, widows, ex-servicemen, freedom fighters, physically challenged persons, and the philanthropic organizations which are exempt from payment of income tax;

4.    Empower ULBs with all functions and authority in keeping with the 74thConstitutional Amendment Act;

5.    Ensure timely devolution of resources to ULBs as per the recommendations of the State Finance Commission;

6.    Pursue Urban Sector Reforms including proper and effective solid and liquid waste management, Integration of City Planning and Delivery Functions, e-governance and delivery of services, re-engineering of processes for delivery of citizen services, rationalization and restructuring of staffing and streamlining of accounting on corporate lines;

7.    PROVIDE proper and adequate basic civic services, ensuring 100 coverage of urban population with potable piped drinking water supplies, sewerage, sewage treatment and waste management;

8.    Pursue development of city infrastructure alongside the provision of basic services including construction of roads and streets, parks, street lights, citizen friendly city transport system, e-kiosk to facilitate urban populations in achieving Smart Cities;

9.    Establish a Separate Urban Infrastructure Development Fund to ensure unabated development of infrastructure in cities including the full provision of basic civic services;

10.  Pursue the Government of India for abolition of octroi in Jalandhar and Ferozepur Cantonments;

11.  Establish a Separate authority for effective management and processing of domestic, industrial and agriculture waste, both in urban and rural areas. Such an authority will work to generate ‘Wealth Out Of Waste’;and

12.  Review and relocate the Solid Waste Dumps at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Bathinda.

XXI - TRANSPORT

          The Congress government will give greater attention to free and fair development of transport sector for being a major driver of growth. It will: 

        1.    Open up the transport sector and ensure free and fair grant of
licenses for buses, mini buses & other commercial vehicles in a transparent way;  

        2.    Put in place a fool-proof and hassle-free system for collection of toll tax on new roads and remove the toll plazas from old roads as per the original agreements with concessionaires;   

        3.    Ensure seamless entry of eligible goods carriers in the State from other parts of the country;     

        4.    Make the transfer of Registration Certificate (RCs) of used vehicles (transport and passenger) less costly and hassle free; and  

        5.    Stop penalization of truckers and consider a lump sum road tax for a fix number of years for the trucking industry. 

 

XXII–YOUTH AFFAIRS

          Employment Generation:

          1.      A comprehensive job creation scheme is what Punjab needs the most. By job creation, we mean, creation of jobs at all levels, right down from factory floor-employment to high level techies. The Congress will aim to ensure that no Punjabi leaves the state due to lack of employment opportunities. With this objective, the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Employment Generation scheme will be introduced  which will include;

(a)   ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ One lac taxies, commercial LCV’s and other vehicles per annum will be provided to the unemployed youth at subsidized rates.  The State Government will stand guarantee and no collateral will be required.  They will be expected to repay the loan in 5 years’. The Government will tie-up with major taxi operators’ like OLA, UBER etc. to ensure success of this scheme; 

(b)   ‘Harra (Green) Tractor Scheme (35 to 50 HP)’ At least 25 thousand tractors along with other agricultural implements will be given at subsidized rates to the unemployed youth enabling them to start their own venture for agriculture services. The State Government will stand guarantee and no collateral will be required.  They will be expected to repay the loan in five-year installments;

(c)    Creation of new jobs in Government & Private Sectors to ensure a job for every household in five years, 2017-22: The scheme shall involve setting up of new skill centers, start of new infrastructure projects, getting new corporate investment, setting up of agro processing industry and establishing new logistics set ups. All these steps shall create desired employment opportunities;

(d)   Compulsory recruitment of local youth by industrial investors in Punjab up to 50 per cent of the total work force; and

(e)    Yaari Enterprises: Small Enterprises promoted by two or more young entrepreneurs, termed as Yaari Enterprises will also be subsidized and incentivized to create employment for the youth. Such enterprises will receive a subsidy of 30 percent up to a maximum investment of Rs 5 lacs. Nearly one lakh such enterprises will be set up every year for the next five years, 2017-22.

          2.     EMPLOYMENT BUREAUs:

                 Employment Bureaus (EBs) will be established in all districts of the State. These EBs will be manned by qualified professionals and specialists including Employment Counselors and carry out fresh surveys of both the educated and the uneducated unemployed in the State. They will also prepare annual district employment plans, clearly setting targets for self and wage employment. Wage employment through skilled and unskilled jobs will be clearly segregated for government and private sectors. Guidance and other facilities will also be provided for overseas education, training and employment. The Government will ensure that all those unemployed registered with the EBs, are provided employment in pursuit of its target to provide employment to at least one person in each family. And till the time they are provided a job each, they will be partaking of an Unemployment Allowance at the rate of Rs 2500 pm. The work of EBs and implementation of employment generation schemes will be overseen by a permanent Employment Commission.

          3.    Incentive to Use Digital Technology

                  In order to encourage and incentivize youth to use digital technology in day-to-day life, the Congress Government will give free Smart Mobile Phones to the youth. This will enable the youth, among other things, to be a beneficiary and a partner in efforts to digitize Punjab through the Punjab Online Project.

Promotion and Development of Sports

                             Punjab has historically been a premier sporting state of India. However the Sports and Sporting achievements of the state have been on the decline for the last 10 years of SAD-BJP Government. The Indian National Congress recognizes that physical activities and sports are an integral part of Punjabi culture. These translate into benefits of health, social cohesion, economic activity, cultural enrichment and improved quality of life. It shall therefore pursue the following measures for promotion and development sports in the state:

                 1          SPORTS AT VILLAGE LEVEL – Rural Sports’ Stadium will be developed in every village. These stadia’s will provide facilities for atleast five outdoor game facilities. In addition, Gyms and Youth Clubs will also be established in these Sports Arenas:

                 2.         SPORTS AT BLOCK LEVEL - Block Sports’ Complex will be established in each block of the State in the next 5 years.  These block level stadium will have both indoor and outdoor facilities for about 15-  sports’ disciplines;

                 3.         SPORTS AT DISTRICT LEVEL – The District level stadiums will be upgraded to ensure integrated development of multiple sports disciplines in each district.

                 4.         SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE IN UNIVERSITY –Creation of requisite sports infrastructure in all Universities of the State will be encouraged with adequate financial support; 

                 5.         HIGH END SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT – Astroturf and synthetic track and courts of International standards will be made available to career sports persons.  100 % funding will be provided for all such projects;

                 6.         STATE SPORTS UNIVERSITY – A University for Promotion of Sports will be set up at Jalandhar;

                 7.         IDENTIFICATION OF SPORTS TALENT – A mass exercise to test physical ability of all children will be organized annually in schools in collaboration with the School Education Department to identify sports’ talent for nurturing the same for future;

                 8.         SPORTS SCHOLARSHIPS AND STIPENDS – It is recognized that scholarships and stipends are necessary to attract and retain talent in the sports.  Sometimes, due to fragile socio-economic condition of the players, they have to leave the sports in the midway.  The Congress Government will increase the number of sports scholarships as well as double the scholarship amount; 

                 9.        SPORTS AWARDS AND INCENTIVES will be disbursed to beneficiaries annually;

        10.       INSURANCE SCHEME FOR SPORTSPERSONS – An insurance scheme for the players will be formulated to insure them against sports’ accidents, sports injuries and other exigencies. Such an insurance will cover life and health risks of the sportspersons;

                 11.      PENSION SCHEMES FOR EMINENT SPORTSPERSONS – A pension scheme will be designed and implemented to ensure and provide social security to all those talented sportspersons who want to become champions at international level.     

 

XXIII-     COMPREHENSIVE POLICY FOR REDRESSING NRI ISSUES

                  A Comprehensive policy for redressing all issues concerning NRIs will be formulated in the name and memory of Lala Hardyal, one of the most erudite patriots who pioneered Indian freedom movement in a foreign land. The policy shall include – 

                   1)      Introduction of special Government Interface Center in every town wherein NRIs will directly approach for any issue their families face in Punjab. These centers will have tele-conferencing facilities enabling NRIs to apprise the officers-on-duty of their grievances. These Centers will, in turn, be responsible for taking appropriate timely action in the matter on priority;      

                   2)      A special portal will be designed for NRIs to give their feedback;

                   3)      An Institution of Ombudsman for NRIs will also be created to monitor the action on their complaints;

    4)     NRI investment plans for industry and social sectors in the State will be dealt on a priority basis. There will be a single window system with a 36-hour guaranteed clearance of the proposals;

    5)     Citizen Contact Centers of the Government of Punjab will also be set up in five cities of the European Countries to cater as one-stop centers for all issues of the NRIs living in those countries and concerning the State of Punjab; and

    6)     The Congress Government will set up a Special Section in the Department of NRI to deal with emigration and related issues, thus preventing the large scale Loot by Unauthorized Travel Agents. 

XXIV- SOCIAL SECURITY

1.    A New Social Security Scheme will be launched that shall allow a reasonable level of tax deduction at source, while an individual is working. Post-retirement, he will be provided with a social security in the shape of regular pension. All private business and industrial entrepreneurs, who pay state taxes shall start getting this pension at the start of the 60th year of age. A portion of the tax paid will be credited to the specially created social security account of the concerned tax payer which shall determine the level of his pension on his retirement;

2.    The existing rates of pensions for Old aged, Widows, and the differently abled will be reviewed and enhanced to Rs. 1500 per month; and

3.    HANDICAPPED PERSONS: For the handicapped and the physically challenged persons, the Congress Government will pursue the following:

a.     Every year the whole month of July will be dedicated to setting up Camps in every district where disabled / handicapped will be able to update Disability Certificate, Pension Papers, Medical Certificates, Railways & Bus Passes and Medical Insurance;

b.      The Minimum pension for disabled will be Rs. 1500/- per month and this will be transferred directly into their bank accounts;

c.     A Government School for Deaf and Dumb will be setup immediately (No such school exists in the whole of Punjab);

d.    Free Education at all levels will be provided to Disabled / Handicapped / Special Students;

e.     The Government Schools for Blind at Jamalpur (Ludhiana) will be upgraded to +2 immediately and the Staff will be recruited to full strength;

f.      A Government School for Mentally challenged/ Slow Learner will be setup in the State in the first year of Congress Government with the aim to setup similar schools in every district in the coming years;

g.      Adequate number of Wheel Chairs, Electronics Air Beds and Pumps will be provided to the people with spinal injuries;

h.    The Backlog in Government Jobs for Handicapped persons will be filled up immediately;

i.       A Skill Development Institute will be established for the  Physically Challenged Persons;

j.       Disabled Girls will also be entitled to the benefits of Ashirwad Scheme’ at the time of their wedding; and

k.    The Para-Olympic Athletes who bring laurels to the State will be treated at par with other Athletes in terms of rewards and benefits.

XXV - SPECIAL COURTS

                            The Congress Government will set up Special Courts to clear the backlog and ensure speedier justice for cases pertaining to:–

                             i)       Drug peddling and narcotics;

                             ii)      Corruption in public life;

                             iii)     NRIs; and

                             iv)     Serving soldiers.

                

 

XXVI – REAL ESTATE SECTOR

          The Real Estate Sector had contributed significantly to the State’s Gross Domestic Product during the tenure of the Congress Government from 2002 to 2007. However it received a debilitating blow during the last 10 years under SAD-BJP Government.

          The Congress Government will:

          1.      Recognize the Real Estate Sector as Infrastructure Industry and set up a State Board including inter alia representatives of the Sector to suggest measures for its future growth;

          2.      Regularize all unauthorized colonies on or before 31.03.2013 / houses, plots, shops, factories till date on As is where is basis”;  

          3.      For new projects there will be easy licensing, more saleable area, time bound system and reasonable License Fee, EDC,  & CLU charges.  No CLU will be charged in the same ZONE / CATEGORY.  Licensing will be decentralized and made easy;

          4.      Single window system will be made more effective. After the completion of necessary requirements License will be granted within 24 hours on the undertaking from the colonizer to comply with requisite NOC within stipulated period. However the failure to comply will amount to deemed cancellation;

          5.      There will be no need of completion certificate for old approved colonies;

          6.      The collector rates of property will be reviewed in keeping with the downturn in the economy; and

          7.    A Real Estate Regulatory Authority will be established in keeping with the Central Legislation to ensure justice and fair treatment to the common man in transactions concerning sale and purchase of land and buildings.

XXVII- POWER REFORMS

          1.      The Congress Government will revisit power sector reforms to ensure 24x7 power supply at affordable tariff to all sectors of State’s economy including domestic consumers, trade, business and industry;

          2.      Electricity tariff for industry will be frozen for five years;

          3.      POWERCOM shall be required to reduce AT&C losses by one percent every year;

          4.      Electricity duty on Industry will be reduced by 10 percent;

          5.      Electricity connections will be issued on demand for all categories of consumers; 

          6.      Separate dedicated feeders/lines will be provided for high demand/pressure and big consumers and growers of cash crops who intend to avail 24x7 electricity supplies at differential tariff. Infrastructure for such consumers will be provided by Power Com at no profit no loss basis;

          7.      Transparency in operations of PowerCom will be ensured through Third Party Pre-Audit. The operations of PowerCom for the last 5 years will be investigated through third party professional auditors;

          8.      Greater investments will be made to improve, modernize and upgrade distribution and transmission infrastructure to ensure smooth supply of power to all consumers, particularly those in remote, distant and scattered areas;

          9.      Uninterrupted power supply will be ensured to all educational and health care institutions in the State;

          10.    Infusion of IT will be accelerated in all technical operations including generation, transmission and distribution of power to improve internal efficiencies, reduce losses and avoid frequent break down of the systems and supplies;

          11.    Independent Dedicated Grievances’ Redressal Mechanism will be established at district level to ensure electricity related complaints and issues of the consumers were settled as early as possible but not later than 30 days;

          12.    Solarization of Irrigation Pumps: Since supplies to irrigation pump-sets is quite significant and causes major commercial distress, besides breeding inefficiencies, Punjab needs to isolate the agricultural supplies from the grid system by way of solarization of irrigation pump sets.  Adequate financial provisions will be made to fund the solarization plan over a period of 5 years;.

          13.    The Corporate Structure to manage Power Utilities will be empowered and granted adequate autonomy and support of the government to pursue next generation power reforms;

          14.    Efforts will be made to ensure full capacity utilization of power plants owned by PowerCom and the existing PPAs will renegotiated to  ensure that low cost power is first availed by the State for the benefit of its consumers; and

          15.    Pachwara Coal Mine of PowerCom will be made fully operational to ensure supply of cheaper coal to power plants at Ropar, Bathinda and Lehra Mohabatt.

 

XXVIII- COOPERATIVES

1.      Professional management will be introduced and encouraged  in the cooperative organizations instead of bureaucratic administration and control;

2.      Cooperative organizations will be developed as self-reliant autonomous institutions for socio-economic development. The role of government will be curtailed to supervision only;

3.      The Self-reliant Cooperative Societies Act, 2005 enacted by the Congress Government, will be fully implemented;

4.      The Departments of Cooperation and Cooperative Audit will be restructured to make them development and people friendly;

5.      All PACS will be made multifunctional and responsive to local needs so that they may undertake any business activity for socio-economic development in their area of operation;

6.      Agriculture implements including tractors, seeders, reapers, threshers etc. will be provided to PACS at subsidized rates to support small and marginal farmers in undertaking agriculture operations at nominal charges;

7.      PACS will be involved in marketing of agriculture produce and will be provided storage facilities such as plinths, cold stores for agriculture produce;

8.      Cooperative Banking System will be restructured to make it vibrant, cost effective, financially strong and competitive;

9.      Cooperative Marketing Federation will be remodeled and  involved in direct procurement, storage, processing and marketing of the agriculture produce;

10.    Cooperative Sugar Industry will be revived, modernized and made multi-functional with the latest technology; and

11.    Milk Cooperatives will be involved to develop large scale modern dairies in each district of the state and the rearing of indigenous high yields animals will be encouraged. MILKFED will be facilitated to establish Mega Milk Processing Plants in the State.

 

XXIX – STREET VENDORS (REHRI-PHARI WORKERS)

 

1.     Presently the poor who eke out a living by vending their wares on peripatetic carts (Rehris) or squatting on the roadsides (Pharis) have to face the wrath of the enforcement agencies. To provide them a decent and uninterrupted means of livelihood, the Congress Government will immediately enforce the implementation of the Street Vendors Act, 2014 enacted by the UPA government and provide full opportunity to every person above the age of 18 years to work uninterruptedly at designated places.

XXX – BUILDING MATERIAL

          Monopolization of minor minerals (bajri & sand) by a few persons has pushed up the cost of construction and building material for the common man.  The Congress Government will :

1.    Take necessary steps for decartelizing mining of stone and  sand business;

2.    Push for brick, sand & bajri to be included in the list of exempted items under the Goods & Service Tax (GST);

3.    Streamline and make filing of mandatory air pollution reports by brick-kilns user friendly;

4.    Introduce one composite license for setting up of Brick Kilns;          

5.    Fix Financial Year for Brick Kilns as per the extant Income Tax Act; and

6.    Rationalize the tax rates on plywood at par with the adjoining states.

 

XXXI– LABOURERS and SAFAI KARAMCHARIS

 

          Instances are abound where the contractors exploit poor laborers.  Their payments are delayed even by the government food-grain procurement agencies.  Safai Karamcharis also continue to lead a life of misery and hardship.  The Congress Government will:

1.    Suitably revise DC wages / rates for all categories of employees, linking them with the General Price Index;

2.    Suitably enhance minimum wages based on General Price Index;

3.    Provide 5 marla residential plots or tenements to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) on ownership basis at affordable rates and easy terms; and

4.    Establish a Board for Welfare of Laborers and Safai Karamcharis to provide them a say in formulation of government policies and programme concerning them.

XXXII – PENSIONERS AND SENIOR CITIZENS

                       

          Having given their best to the Society during their entire working life-time, the pensioners and senior citizens deserve a commensurate treatment from the society and the government in the evening of their lives.  Alive to this truth, the Congress Government will:

1.    Provide Senior Citizens a priority in dealings with all government offices;

2.    Set up geriatric centers in all government hospitals;

3.    Simplify the procedure for getting retirement benefits; and

4.    Establish a grievances redressal mechanism i.e., Board for Welfare of Pensioners, including both the civil and police pensioners.

XXXIII– GAUSHALA & STRAY CATTLE POUNDS

 

          The Congress Government will: 

1.    Open one Gaushala and Stray Cattle Pound in every block run by the State Animal Husbandry Department; and

2.    Make necessary provisions for NGO and Municipalities run Gaushalas at Rs. 30/- per animal per day.

 

XXXIV - JEWELLERS

         

The Congress Government will:

1.    Grant OBC status to Gold Smiths and they will get the OBC
certificate from the Punjab Government, as vide the page No. 1043 of the dictionary of Punjab Government SONI AND SAWARANKAR words are the same;

2.    Enable jewellers to declare entry of goods into the State online at the point of origin instead of the State barriers;

3.    Reduce the quantum of penalty presently levied @ 50% to 20%;

4.    Put in place a hassle free system for investigation of cases of stolen jewellery sold by the accused to unwary jewellers; and

5.    Introduce Insurance against theft and loss of life for Gold Smiths.

 

 

 

 

XXXV – PUNJABIAT

 

The Congress Government will :

1.    Establish a National Institute for Promotion and Development of Punjabi Language at Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda;

2.    Vigorously promote the Punjabi language and culture;

3.    Encourage printing and circulation of quality Punjabi Literature;

4.    Establish authorized Punjabi Centres for Standardization of the language;

5.    Distribute Free Software in Punjabi;

6.    Give Cultural rejuvenation grants for Punjabi Theater in every District;

7.    Connect prominent Punjabis outside the State to their villages and hometowns;

8.    Organize and Celebrate Punjabi Sahitaya Melas in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru;

9.    Revive and encourage Traditional Cultural Melas at Patiala, Bathinda, Amritsar, Kapurthala, Nabha, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar & Hoshiarpur in keeping with local traditions and ethos;

10.  Enhance the Award and Incentives for Punjabi Sahityakars by making them double of the existing amount; and

11.  Increase the grants for printing and publishing Punjabi Sahitya to 75% of the total cost.

 

1.    XXXVI - DEFENCE PERSONNEL WELFARE

 

1.    The Congress Government will set up a separate Ministry for the Welfare of Defense Personnel/Veterans under the Chief Minister;

2.    Indian Prisoners of War in Pakistan Jails since 1971: The Congress Government will immediately take up the issue with GOI.  The contribution of the dependents will be recognized and a suitable scheme will be formulated for their welfare;

3.    The Backlog of Vacancies in keeping with 13 %reservation in jobs for ex-servicemen will be cleared;

4.    Skilled Labour:  All Ex-Servicemen whether employed by PESCO or otherwise, will be treated as skilled labour and paid at the prevailing Collector rates ;   

          5.  Reservation of seats in private institutions: The Congress Government will provide for reservations in Private Schools / Colleges/ Universities for the children of ESM;

          6.   Excess levy of tax on CSD canteen items in
Punjab:
Levy of tax will be at par with the neighboring State;

          7.   Dual pension including old-age pension, especially to widows: will be permitted as per Central Government Order                                        of 2013;

          8.   Compulsory NCC: NCC shall be made compulsory in all institutes (government or private) and ex-servicemen will be employed as instructors to steer the youth into a disciplined force;

          9.   Army recruitment training Institutes: The Congress Government will open two more Sainik Schools to train the youth of Punjab to join the Army as a soldier or as an officer. The services of ex-servicemen will be explored for such institutes and this can go a long way in the character building of Punjabi youth. Institutes like Mai Bhago Institute at Mohali, for girls and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Institute and Army Law College are inadequate; Thus three more such schools/ institutes are proposed, one each in Majha, Malwa and Doaba regions;     

          10. Establishment of ESM Cell: An ESM Cell will be established directly under the control of Chief Minister. And the Chief Minister will directly look into complaints and welfare of the large number of ex-ESM of Punjab;      

          11. War Jagirs: Gallantry Awards and Emoluments will be increased every year and in case no land is available for War Jagirs, Cash awards will be given in lieu thereof; 

          12. Safety and Security of Property:    All properties of ex-servicemen and Serving soldiers will be brought under the same provision as the NRIs;

          13. Priority to soldiers’ complaints: Serving soldiers facing day-to-day problems at home will have their complaints forwarded by their CO directly to the ESM cell serving under the Chief Minister;      

          14. Non-payment of cash incentives: The pending payments to the youth who joined the defense forces through the NDA will be made forthwith. The pending payments to the War decorated soldiers will also be cleared;

          15. Improve Sainik Rest Houses: The ESM cell formed under the Chief Minister will nominate one member to look into the up-gradation of Sainik Rest Houses in Punjab;    

          16. Completion of Sainik Sadan in Phase X, Mohali: It willbe done within One year of the formation of the Congress Government;

          17. Recognition of WW-II veterans: There are very few WW-II veterans who are alive but are not paid any pension. They are dependent on their children. The Congress recognizes their contribution and believes that they also need to be called to various forums and they should also be considered for adequate financial relief;

          18. Honouring the Gallantry Award winners and ex-servicemen: The Congress Government will ensure that a Gallantry Award Winner and an ESM is encouraged to participate in state functions like Independence Day / Republic Day etc. This will inculcate a sense of belongingness among the ESM and they will feel pride in being so; and

          19. Ex-servicemen as Guardians of Governance (GoG) at Grassroots:

Punjab’s soldiers have always been at the forefront when it comes to defending the nation. From the earliest times, Punjab has been first in the line of fire and our people have made immense sacrifices throughout the history of India. Today, the soldiers who once defended the honour of motherland against the foreign enemy feel disheartened to see their helplessness as their own beloved Punjab hurtles from crisis to crisis. They are ashamed at the mis-governance that has crippled the state. 

           The Congress is focused on improving governance at the grassroots and to achieve this, it shall reach out to distinguished ex-servicemen. Local ex-servicemen would be trained and appointed as Guardians of Governance, where they shall oversee proper implementation of government schemes and programmes. Their participation shall ensure that government’s relief reaches the needy, and is not dissipated due to corruption and favoritism.  The Congress Government shall create posts of Guardians of Governance at the village, cluster and block level.

XXXVII - INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

                   The Congress Government will give greater thrust on development of quality infrastructure in keeping with requirement of the people in a transparent way, ensuring better living and business for all Punjabis. It will in this regard pursue the following measures:

1.    Third Party Professional audit of the rural and urban infrastructure will be carried out in three months to identify the existing inadequacies and deficiencies for remedial measures. Infrastructure Renewal Plans will be prepared for each block and municipalities in the state to ensure time bound action to meet the identified requirements;

2.    Rural Infrastructure Renewal Fund : A separate fund will established to renew, repair and maintain rural infrastructure including village roads, school buildings, hospitals and dispensaries, vet hospitals and dispensaries, panchayat bhawans, cremation grounds and burial grounds, sports stadiums, village street and drains etc.,

3.    Widening of Rural Link Roads: At least one rural link road to a village will be widened from 10 ft to 18 ft under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY);

4.    Urban Infrastructure Renewal Fund: a separate urban infrastructure fund will be established to renew, repair and maintain urban infrastructure to ensure 100 percent coverage of populations with potable drinking water, sanitation, sewerage, sewage treatment, waste management, and smooth flow of traffic with quality roads and streets;

5.    All district head quarters will be linked with high speed six lane roads. This will include widening and strengthening of Chandigarh-Ropar-Jalandhar-Amritsar Road; Chandigarh-Patiala–Sangrur-Bathinda Road; Chandigarh-Ludhiana –Jalandhar-Amritsar Road; Chandigarh-Ludhiana–Moga- Ferozpur Road; Chandigarh-Ropar-Hoshiarpur–Pathankot  Road;Amritsar-Batala-Gurdaspur-Pathankot Road; Amritsar-Tarn Taran-Patti-Ferozpur Road; Ferozpur-Fazilka-Abohar Road; and all other similar roads;

6.    Canalization of major rivers of the state, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej and construction of high speed economic corridors on bunds (Dhusis)on these rivers will be undertaken not only to secure livelihood of a large number of farmers but also to secure new possibilities of jobs and businesses for local populations in and around these areas;

7.    Establishment of new industrial hubs, Industrial Focal Points  and Infrastructure Logistic Parks along side the Rail Freight Corridors will be pursued on priority;

8.    Establishment of investor specific industrial parks and townships to promote new investment in IT, Food Technology, Bio-technology, and Agro and Food Processing will be pursued on a priority;

9.    Speedier development of air ports at tier II cities of Bathinda, Patiala Jalandhar, Ludhiana, and Pathankot, will be ensured;

10.  The Road Safety Authority will be setup to study the cause of road accident and deaths in the State with a view to minimize the same; and

11.  A State Site Selection Committee shall be setup to suggest appropriate sites to locate or relocate the Solid Waste Management Plants and Waste/Garbage dumps at Amritsar, Jalandhar Cantonment, Patiala and Bathinda.

 

XXXVIII - WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

1.    The Congress Government will :

1.    Ensure 33% reservation for women in all Government Jobs including contractual appointments ;

2.    Increase representation of women in PRIs and ULBs form the present 33 percent to 50 percent;

3.    Ensure skill development for widows of farmers who commit suicide for their quality employment;

4.    Provide free education including hostel facility to children of suicide victims;

5.    Ensure SAFE cities for all women;

6.    Provide Free education for girls for Class I to Phd.;

7.    Formulate a State Policy on Empowerment of Women with an action plan and allocation of resources;

8.    Establish Crisis Centers in all districts of the State to help
women affected by domestic violence. Free  Legal and  Medical aid will be provided at one point to all such women; and

9.    The State Commission for Women will be strengthened and made more broad based;

XXXIX – MARRIAGE PALACES

       1.         The indifference and unreasonable restrictions placed on Marriage palaces in Punjab has pushed most of them on the verge of closure. Marriage function in progress are raided at times, causing unwanted harassment of the people. The Congress Government will review the Government policy dated 16/11/2012 and ensure that no retrospective tax in the form of EDC, CLU, License Fee, SIF or fee for approval of building plan is charged from Marriage Palaces which were existing in Punjab before 21/01/2005;

       2.         The Congress Government will introduce practices and processes to stream line the grant of CLU’s to encourage establishment of new Marriage Palaces.  CLU rates will be reviewed; and  

       3.         The Congress Government will adopt and implement Excise Policy qua Marriage palaces at par with the neighboring States.

XL – AGENDA FOR GREEN PUNJAB

          1.      Huge awareness campaign to be launched. The Congress Government will initiate widespread awareness campaign on environmental degradation of all kind;

          2.      The Congress Government will establish State agency for all issues related to environment and natural resources.  The commission will be empowered to act as per the needs of the environment and to protect the environmental rights of the people of Punjab to get clean air, pure water, safe and nutritious food and prevention and treatment of environment related diseases. The fundamental right – “Right to Life” has no meaning without ensuring above said rights;

          3.      Improving Tree Cover: Forest and Tree Cover in Punjab is the lowest in the country.  A Large-scale state-wide Tree Plantation and Afforestation program will be taken up with massive citizen participation (and by using MGNREGS and other schemes), with a target of increasing the Forest & Tree cover to 15%.  Eucalyptus plantations, which are affecting state’s biodiversity, will be substituted with bio-diverse plantations. This will transform the ecology of the state in a big way – with massive improvements in air quality, ground water levels, temperatures and rainfall;    

          4.      Adoption of a watershed approach in planning and management of water resources: The Congress Government will adapt watershed approach to use and conserve water in different ways with due regard to its natural flow at the smallest level, in our streams, rivulets and rivers;

          5.      Making rain water harvesting mandatory: The rain water harvesting will be made mandatory in the whole of Punjab.  This programme will cover rural and urban areas. Farmers will be encouraged and incentivized to make farm ponds in their farms; 

          6.      Reviving water bodies: Thousands of water bodies, ponds and wetlands of Punjab have disappeared over the past decades due to large scale encroachments, destruction of catchments areas, mindless construction of water channels and other reasons, thus ruining the entire water ecology of the state and damaging its biodiversity. This has also caused steep fall in ground water recharging rate.  There is an urgent need to evolve a strategy to revive ponds, reservoirs and wetlands.  The Congress Government will pursue this as a time bound-agenda of the State; 

          7.      Making Pollution Control Board accountable: Industrial toxic waste being disposed of into water bodies, rivers, canals, seasonal drains, sewers and even in the groundwater through pits, wells and tube wells etc. is a major cause for concern.  The Pollution Control Board will be made to discharge its duty with full accountability and this will be addressed with community participation and education;  

          8.      A project will be launched for cleansing of river waters in Punjab. A committee comprising social reformers and environmentalists of proven caliber and credentials will spearhead the project. The work of this project will commence with the cleansing of Sutlej and Beas rivers; and

          9.      Rice straw bailing and Zero till machine (10,000) will be given ata subsidy of 75%.  

 

XLI – FREEDOM FIGHTERS 

                 The Congress had been in the Vanguard of the freedom struggle and applauds the freedom fighters from the Punjab who are now a dwindling lot.  It will be a privilege of the Congress Government:

1.    to honor Freedom fighters, the pride of the State, in their respective districts  on the Independence Day on 15th August and on the Republic Day on 26th January;

2.    to provide One house to every freedom fighters at the village or town where he resides ordinarily;

3.    to provide 300 units of Electricity free of cost every month;

4.    to provide One out of turn tube well connection for the family of a Freedom fighter; and

5.    to exempt freedom fighters from payment of toll tax on the State highways.

 

 

XLII-LAWYERS

                 The Congress Government will:

1.    provide Chambers to all practicing lawyers (within Five years) at reasonable lease rent and until then sufficient Hall space (for seating of those who don’t have chamber) shall be constructed at every district and sub divisional level.  This is specifically for the benefit of those young law graduates who start the profession but have to pay huge premium buying chamber space. The lawyers will be required to pay nominal user charges towards maintenance cost of chambers so constructed;

2.    Initiate a Cashless Medical & Accident Insurance Scheme for all advocates funded in equal part, by GOP and the advocate concerned; and

3.    A young Advocate who start practice will be given a stipend of Rs. 2500/- PM for the first two years.         

XLIIILAMBERDARS

          The Congress Government will ensure:

1.    an  exclusive chamber for the use of Lamberdars in every District and Sub Divisional Complex; and

2.    provide an Honorarium of Rs. 2500/- PM  to every Lamberdar. 

 

XLIV – CHOWKIDARS

      The Congress Government will :

1.    Increase remuneration of Chowkidars to Rs 2000 per month.

 

XLV – FAIR PRICE SHOPS/RATION DEPOT HOLDERS

1.     The Congress Government will review the existing scheme of allocation of licenses and rations for the Fair Price Shops under the Public Distribution System, ensuring that the licensees get fair remuneration for their livelihood and are not required to indulge in malpractices in managing their shops/business, ensuring that the rations reach the targeted groups.

 

XLVI – AIDED SCHOOL TEACHERS

              The Congress Government will:

1.    Review the Scheme of Financial Aid to Private Schools and Colleges to ensure that these schools get adequate number of quality teachers; and

2.    Consider the grant of allowances and other pending benefits as per Government rules. 

 

 

 

 

XLVII – MEDIA

The Congress Government will encourage and strengthen the fourth estate of Indian Democracy, including Print and Electronic Media, fully following all canons of its free and fair play. It will:

1. Set up a Press Accreditation Committee including representatives of the registered journalist unions/ associations with an over 10- years standing;

2. Implement special social security schemes comprising of pension, old age pension and medical insurance for the media-persons;

3. Allot land for group housing to the recognized associations/unions of the media-persons;

4. Allow free travel to all journalists and desk personnel;

5. Exempt media-persons from the payment of toll tax on the state highways; and

6. Review the existing rules for allotment of government accommodation to journalists to ensure provision of a fair quota for them.

 

 

 

 

XLVIII      EMPLOYEES

The Congress Government will:

1.    Ensure expeditious payment of the pending DA and other dues of employees;

2.    Expedite finalization and implementation of the report of 6th Punjab Pay Commission after hearing all representative employees’ associations/organization;

3.    Ensure payment of full salary on recruitment to the government service as per rules;

4.    Not allow recruitment of contractual staff against the regular sanctioned posts;

5.    Regularize all adhoc and contractual employees recruited through transparent systems and procedures;

6.    Ensure regular annual recruitment of critical core employees against the sanctioned posts; and

7.    Discourage transfers unless these are warranted because of any disciplinary actions/proceedings or hardship of employees.

 

 

XLIX         MISCELLANEOUS

 

          1.      ‘Sasti Roti’, the Community Kitchens will be set up in every district and sub-divisional HQs. These will be run by the District Red Cross Societies to provide meals to poor and homeless persons at Rs. 5/- per meal;

          2.      Set up a Professor Gurdial Singh Chair at Punjabi University Patiala for research in Punjab Culture; and

          3.      Introduction of an Annual Prof. Gurdial Singh National Award for outstanding contribution to Punjabi Literature.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

************


 

ANNEXURE -I

S. No.

Tournament / Championship

Medal

Earlier Award Money

Revised Award Money

1.

Olympics / Paralympics Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Participation

5,00,00,000

3,00,00,000

2,00,00,000

11,00,000

6,00,00,000

4,00,00,000

2,50,00,000

15,00,000

2.

Asian/ Para Asian Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Participation

200,00,000

100,00,000

50,00,000

05,00,000

3,00,00,000

1,50,00,000

75,00,000

7,50,000

3.

Commonwealth / Para Commonwealth

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Participation

1,00,00,000

50,00,000

25,00,000

5,00,000

1,50,00,000

75,00,000

50,00,000

7,50,000

4.

World Cup / Championship/ (once in 4 years)

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Participation

10,00,000

8,00,000

6,00,000

 

20,00,000

15,00,000

10,00,000

3,00,000

5.

World Cup / World Championship/ Para World Game/ Para World Championship (annual)

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Participation

10,00,000

8,00,000

6,00,000

 

20,00,000

15,00,000

10,00,000

3,00,000

6.

World University Games / Championship

Gold

Silver

Bronze

--

--

--

7,00,000

5,00,000

3,00,000

7.

Youth Olympic Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

10,00,000

7,50,000

5,00,000

10,00,000

7,50,000

5,00,000

8.

Youth Asian Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

7,00,000

5,00,000

3,00,000

7,00,000

5,00,000

3,00,000

9.

Asian/ Commonwealth Championship / Cup

Gold

Silver

Bronze

4,00,000

3,00,000

2,00,000

5,00,000

4,00,000

3,00,000

10.

Youth Commonwealth Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

5,00,000

3,00,000

2,00,000

5,00,000

3,00,000

2,00,000

11.

SAF Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

3,00,000

2,00,000

1,00,000

5,00,000

3,00,000

2,00,000

12.

National Games / Para National Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

3,00,000

2,00,000

1,00,000

5,00,000

3,00,000

2,00,000

13.

National Championship / Para National Championship

Gold

Silver

Bronze

2,00,000

1,00,000

50,000

3,00,000

2,00,000

1,00,000

14.

National School Games

Gold

Silver

Bronze

30,000

20,000

14,000

50,000

30,000

20,000

15.

All India Inter University Tournaments / Championship

Gold

Silver

Bronze

30,000

20,000

14,000

50,000

30,000

20,000

16.

National Women Sports Festival

Gold

Silver

Bronze

30,000

20,000

14,000

50,000

30,000

20,000

17.

All India Rural Sports Tournaments

Gold

Silver

Bronze

30,000

20,000

14,000

50,000

30,000

20,000

18.

International Veteran (Master) athletics Championship

(in all age group)

Gold

Silver

Bronze

70,000

50,000

30,000

1,00,000

60,000

40,000

19.

National Veteran (Master) Athletics Championship
(In all age group)

Gold

Silver

Bronze

30,000

20,000

14,000

75,000

50,000

30,000

20.

Special Olympic-World Games (International) for Mentally Challenged Sportspersons

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Participation

15,00,000

10,00,000

5,00,000

1,00,000

15,00,000

10,00,000

5,00,000

2,00,000

21.

World Marathon for Mentally / Physically Challenged Sports person

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Participation

1,00,000

75,000

50,000

--

3,00,000

2,00,000

1,00,000

50,000

22.

Special Olympic (National) for Mentally / Physically Challenged Sports Persons

Gold

Silver

Bronze

30,000

20,000

14,000

50,000

30,000

20,000

 


 

ANNEXURE –II

 

       Punjab’s Law of Historical memory is aimed at a collective recognition of the region’s past, and identifying specific periods of both prosperity and decline.  The era of the Empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh is to be celebrated as an era of greatness and strength, and special efforts will be placed on locating, preserving and displaying its relics. On the other hand, the British Raj is to be formally condemned as the single most unfortunate, cruel and humiliating phase of Punjab’s history, and indeed that of India. Any surviving colonial vestiges that serve as glorification of subjugatory, racist and imperialist policies, will either be destroyed, or displayed in a manner that clearly functions as a reminder of inflicted injustice.  This law must not be confused as an attempt to distort history, but should rather be understood as a conscious effort to encourage widespread knowledge of Punjab’s past.  Moreover, it seeks to reignite the Punjabi sense of pride by collectively identifying our epochs of both greatness and misfortune. Besides realizing the reasons behind them, we must unequivocally aspire to the former whilst denouncing the latter.

 

****



[1]On 9 August 1947 a decisive change was implemented to the Radcliffe Line: the boundary that would mark the borders between India and the new nation of Pakistan. Key areas that were originally intended to be awarded to Pakistan were deemed to remain in India, entirely at the insistence of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. These include Ferozepur and Zira tehsils from the district of Ferozepur, Nakodar and Jalandhar tehsils from the district of Jalandhar, Ajnala tehsils from the district of Amritsar and the whole district of Gurdaspur. Since these areas had populations with a Muslim majority and were contiguous to what would become West Punjab, it was decided that they should be included in the territories granted to Pakistan. However, due to Pandit Nehru’s intense persuasion of Lord Mountbatten, this decision was changed and it was agreed that the aforementioned areas would remain a part of India. The fact that this happened and was finalized on the night of 9th August is confirmed by both Mr H.C Beaumont, an I.C.S officer of the Punjab Cadre who was Secretary to Boundary Commission and Mr. N. Rao, Assistant Secretary of the Boundary Commission. Generations of Punjabis will remain indebted and grateful to the country’s first Prime Minister for ensuring that these areas are still part of Punjab, India.

 

 

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