CHANDIGARH: In order to generate more employment for the youth in the state, the Punjab government is reviewing the provision of extension of retirement age for two years, over and above the age of 58.
Chief minister Amarinder Singh, after casting his vote for the presidential election on Monday, said that the government was mulling a policy change to fix 58 as retirement age, but the issue was still under discussion. The matter was being reviewed and a policy decision would be taken only after detailed analysis of the implications of any change with regard to the existing policy, he added.
To a question on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) issue, he said that the state had been engaged in talks with the Centre to find an early and amicable solution to the issue. The state government, he said, had requested the Ministry of Water Resources to assess the existing quantum of river water before the issue was finally adjudicated upon. He denied having discussed the SYL issue with the Prime Minister, saying no talks had yet been convened on the issue.
Responding to a question on delay in repayment of crop loans after announcing debt waiver, the chief minister said that the government was already in the process of settlement with banks. He pointed out that finance minister Manpreet Badal had said the waiver scheme would be implemented by the government within a week.
Amarinder said the final report on debt waiver by the expert committee headed by Dr T Haq was awaited to enable the government to take a holistic view of the problem. On the possibility of imposition of any new taxes, Amarinder clarified that the state government was trying to mobilize additional financial resources to narrow the widening budget deficit and the finance minister was working in that direction.
On the possible candidature of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar from Gurdaspur Parliamentary seat, which was vacated due to the demise of BJP MP Vinod Khanna, he said there had been no discussion on Jakhar’s name for nomination so far.
All 77 Congress MLAs in Punjab, including chief minister Amarinder Singh, cast their votes in the presidential elections at the Vidhan Sabha here on Monday.