CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced that the youth would be provided free smart mobile phones shortly, under the Digital Punjab initiative in fulfilment of the poll promise.
Addressing a gathering at the Guru Gobind Singh Stadium in Jalandhar after unfurling the National Flag during a state-level function on the 73rd Independence Day, to give a further push to rural development, the Chief Minister pointed out that an outlay of Rs 680 crore had been kept under the Smart Village Campaign - an umbrella programme to ensure all-round development of villages, of which Rs 198 crore had been released as the first instalment.
Singh also appealed to the people to plant 550 saplings each in all 12,700 villages in the state as part of 550th Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Devi. He said 40 lakh saplings had already been planted so far in 3500 villages to make the state clean, green and pollution-free.
On the farmer-friendly initiatives, he said that the State Government was contemplating to disburse Rs 520 crore to 2.85 lakh farm labourers and landless farmers who are the members of the primary agriculture cooperative societies. Under the debt relief scheme till date, 5.62 lakh marginal and small farmers had been benefitted by settling their standing crop loans of Rs 47,000 crores.
Announcing that the State Government would organise the 5th Mega Job Fair at different venues across the state from September 9 to 30, Amarinder said about two lakh jobs in private sectors would be offered to the unemployed youth besides and 1 lakh applicants were likely to be assisted for self-employment.
Under the State Government’s flagship ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar Scheme’ more than 9 lakh youth had been facilitated in getting employment in private and government sectors or self-employment since March 2017. Nearly six lakh youth had been assisted in self-employment, 2.60 lakh in private sectors and 40,000 had got government jobs.
Referring to the crusade against the drug abuse, Singh pointed out that 27,744 cases had been registered under NDPS Act with the arrest of 33,622 persons besides recovery of 767 kg heroin and a huge quantity of other contraband substances.
As many as 87,000 addicts were being treated in 178 OOAT centres in the state.