Stating that the Punjab government was taking steps to create ten lakh new jobs,state Governor Shivraj Patil on Wednesday said the state would also ensure that youth are trained properly for them. The government will take steps to create ten lakh new jobs. Of these,two lakh jobs will be in the government sector and at least three lakh more jobs will be created in the IT sector alone. The rest would be in industry,manufacturing and the service sectors. The employment generation department will open skill development centres in each district and sub-division headquarters through the PPP mode to train our youth for employment in technical jobs,Patil said while addressing the inaugural session of the 14th Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday.
The governor also said that the government has set up a department to promote investment in the state. The Punjab Government has set up a separate department of Investment Promotion. The department will be headed by a minister. The concerned administrative secretary will have headquarters in New Delhi and the minister in charge will devote considerable time in the national capital to interact with various departments of the Union Government,as also potential investors and business houses, Patil said.
The governor also dwelt on the governance reforms that the state had recently implemented. It (government) undertook a series of administrative reforms to make the state machinery more responsive and accountable. To take this initiative further and ensure full implementation of the decisions already taken,the government will set up a dedicated department of Governance Reforms, he said.
Patil also urged the Centre to work on the MFN status issue. Punjab being a landlocked state,the government has been stressing upon the Union Government to get MFN status expedited from the Pakistan Government and also to have only the negative list of items for export, he said. He also called for a free hand to states in choosing and financing development priorities of their regions. Calling for a complete recast of Centre- state relations,the governor demanded at least 50 per cent share for states governments in taxes collected from the states.
He also had a word of advice for the political class. In these elections,the people of the state sent out a strong new political message to their elected representatives. That signal,in three words,is Perform or Perish. Performance,not politicking,is the new mantra. Negative politics,nit-picking and opposition merely for the sake of opposition has been rejected, read his speech.
On the states finances Patil said: There has been,between 2007-12,a definite turn-around in the economy of the state,with states own revenues going up from Rs 8,989 crore annually in 2005-06 to Rs 16,828 crore in 2011-12 and is estimated to touch Rs 20,408 crore in the 2011-12 Budget. The state expects to adhere to the budgeted target of fiscal deficit of Rs 8,801 crore for 2011-12,which is 3.39 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) as against 3.5 percent as per the Fiscal Road Map recommended by the 13th Finance Commission. The government has been following prudent debt management policy. The outstanding debt as per 2011-12 budget has been estimated at Rs 77,585 crore at the end of the current year.
The state has been maintaining fiscal discipline but the implementation of Fifth Punjab Pay Commission recommendations from January,2006 and part payment of arrears to government employees and pensioners have temporarily affected our capacity to maintain Revenue Deficit at 1.8 per cent of GSDP for the year 2011-12. The temporary slippage on revenue deficit target is on account of this additional financial commitment,dwindling share in central taxes and no subvention from the Union Government for implementation of the Pay Commission, he added.
Leader of Opposition,Sunil Jakhar said: The governor spoke what the government wrote. We will reply appropriately during the discussion on the governors address,if the speaker allows and SAD legislators do not intervene repeatedly.