CM announces immediate payment of dues as ‘flood relief’

Beneficiaries of pension and Shagun scheme in flood-hit areas to get outstanding dues in a week

Written by Express News Service | Mukstar | Updated: April 8, 2014 1:16:21 pm

In a major relief to Schedule Castes and other weaker sections in flood-affected areas,Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced immediate disbursement of outstanding dues pertaining to pension and Shagun scheme to

eligible beneficiaries in these areas.

Addressing a gathering during his visit to the flood-hit villages of Muktsar district here today,the chief minister said that the floods have caused massive damage to the infrastructure and standing crops in the region,but the worst affected were the people from weaker and downtrodden sections who have limited sources of income.

Badal said that even a small amount could be of great help to the flood victims so he had already directed the officers to make sure that all the outstanding dues pertaining to the pensions and Shagun scheme were made available to these beneficiaries within a week.

The Chief Minister further said that as the farmers of this region have also suffered a lot,he had asked the chairman of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to collect the security fee in easy installments.

The farmers pay this fee to get power connections to install water pumps. He said that this would ease out the immediate financial burden on the farmers.

Badal also said that he has asked the co-operative authorities to defer the recovery of loans from farmers,adding that the peasants could make payment of fertilisers purchased through them in installments.

The chief minister said he is supervising relief work to ensure rehabilitation of the flood victims.

He said the government is preparing a ‘master plan’ to upgrade and strengthen the century-old drainage system in the state.

Hitting out at the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for being “apathetic” towards the flood victims in the state,Badal said the riders imposed by the Centre were not allowing the Punjab government to give adequate compensation to the flood victims.

Badal slams Centre over tax incentives for other states

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday blasted the UPA government’s decision to grant industrial tax concessions to Himachal Pardesh,Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir and keeping Punjab out of the ambit of the package,despite repeated pleas of the Punjab government.

“The UPA government is clearly working to a plan to inflict economic devastation on the sensitive border state of Punjab through its deliberately ruinous policies. It does not require a great economist to understand that Punjab,as a land-locked state,along an active and hostile international border,has a much better claim on tax concessions being given to its neighbours…” he said.

Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had recently announced extension of capital investment subsidy of 30 per cent of value of plant and machinery and freight subsidy of 75 per cent to hilly states.

Badal asked the Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa to conserve some of his lung power to speak against injustice to his state by his own party.

“Or is your politics limited to providing a verbal cover-fire for the deadliest assault by the Congress-led government at the Centre to destroy the economy of your state?” he said.

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