Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s first Cabinet meet witnesses 120 decisions

The Cabinet also decided to recall unutilised funds, amounting to thousands of crores, granted by the previous SAD-BJP regime to various government departments.

Published: 18th March 2017 11:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2017 11:56 PM   |  A+A-

Captain Amarinder Singh (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Two days after taking charge as the chief minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh decided to get rid of the VIP culture in his first Cabinet meeting on Saturday.
To begin with, the Cabinet has decided there will be no beacon lights on the vehicles of ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats even as 120 vital decisions were taken aimed at fulfilling one-third of the electoral promises in the first phase.
The coloured beacon lights on all vehicles, except emergency vehicles, ambulances, fire brigades, Chief Justice and the judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court, would be abolished after a formal notification to this effect is issued.
Launching a major crackdown on the drug-menace in the state, the Cabinet decided to set up a Special Task Force (STF) to prepare and implement a comprehensive programme to eliminate drugs from the state. The STF will be under an Additional DGP rank officer.
It was further decided that anyone who registers himself at the district de-addiction centres would be treated with compassion, free of cost, and no case would be registered against such persons.
Furthermore, the salary, allowances and reimbursements received by all MLAs would be updated every month on the official website and would be made available to the public.  All MLAs and MPs would declare their immoveable properties on January 1 every year, and the same would be done by July 01 this year.
The Cabinet also decided to recall unutilised funds, amounting to thousands of crores, granted by the previous SAD-BJP regime to various government departments in the run-up to the polls.
It also decided to set up a group of experts to assess and analyse the quantum of agriculture debt of farmers in the state, and propose ways and means to waive the same in a time-bound manner. The Cabinet resolved that the administrative secretaries would be entrusted with the task of time-bound implementation of every single commitment in the manifesto relating to their respective departments.
It was also resolved that the government would pursue all legal and administrative measures on the SYL issue to protect the state’s water.
A proposal to abolish the Improvement Trusts and amalgamate their activities with the concerned Municipal Corporations and councils was also considered at the meeting but a final decision on the same was postponed to the next Cabinet meet after Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu sought more time to examine the matter.
The Cabinet further decided that the Departments of Governance Reforms and Finance would prepare a White Paper exposing the false claims of the previous SAD-BJP regime on development, governance reforms and the financial position of the state to apprise the common man of the legacy inherited by the Congress government.
It was also decided to establish Employment Bureaus, manned by specialists and professionals, in all districts to tackle the problem of unemployment by carrying out surveys of the educated and the uneducated unemployed in the state and preparing annual district employment plans with clear targets.
The Cabinet decided that all subsidies, pensions, and other pro-poor schemes such as Ashirwad and Atta Dal would be better targeted towards genuine beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfers, wherever possible.
It was also decided to ban recruitment of contractual staff against the regular sanctioned posts in various departments of the government. The Cabinet decided to provide free connectivity to all government schools and colleges, for which the government will tie-up with telecom companies.
Accommodation for Badal
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has decided to provide his predecessor Parkash Singh Badal a free government accommodation of his choice. Badal will get an official residence of his liking to stay till the time he desires.


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