Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal conducted a special meeting here today on the development of ‘Guru Ki Nagri’. The meeting took place at Municipal Corporation office where Lok Sabha MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla and some other MLAs were also present. During the course of meeting, the issue of completing pending development projects pertaining to Amritsar and initiating new ones was deliberated upon. Sidhu and Manpreet focused on the beautification of the place. Divulging the details, Manpreet said the Punjab government would not allow any dearth of funds to hamper the all round development of the holy city and the government would formulate a special policy to ensure that this objective is met. He further said that a third party audit is being conducted of the amount spent in the name of development works in the past 10 years by the previous SAD-BJP Government.
He also said that the perpetrators of financial irregularities during the previous regime would not be spared. Elaborating his plans to improve upon the financial condition of the state, Manpreet said that the implementation of the GST (Goods & Services Tax) would result in more income to the state from the central taxes than earlier. He also disclosed that the Union Government has guaranteed the 14 per cent tax share under the GST to the states for next 5 years.
He said that the austerity measures of the State government have resulted in cutting down expenditures to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore. On the occasion, Sidhu, while lashing out at the previous SAD-BJP regime, said that the erstwhile Badal Government had started BRTS project in Amritsar without any proper planning. Terming it as a political stunt of the Badals, he said the project had many flaws, due to which it couldn’t succeed.
He said that out of this Rs 600 crore project, the amount to the tune of Rs 400 crore has been spent but in a haphazard manner which led to its failure. He elaborated that this project would now be run on PPP mode. The minister also said that 60 buses would also be included in the project. Batting for a clean and green city, Sidhu said the state government would plant 10 lakh saplings in the present season to ensure this objective for which the Lok Sabha MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla has announced a grant worth Rs 50 lakh from his MPLAD fund.
He further said that under a new and novel policy, every house owner would pledge to plant 2 saplings while getting his/her house map approval and would also make arrangements for conserving the rain water in it. A committee under the stewardship of Deputy Commissioner has been formed to ensure its implementation. The minister also said that the state government would start solid waste management projects to solve the problem of garbage in the urban centers of the state.
He said that efforts are on to start these projects in Amritsar, Bathinda and Jalandhar. The state government would provide land ranging from 100 to 200 acres for these projects so as to permanently solve the problem of garbage within next 50 years. He also said that new special machines have been contracted to clean the sewerage systems in the cities.
Commenting further, the minister said that a new advertisement policy is being framed by the state government as per which the collection of Rs 200 crore as revenue has been targeted which would be spent on the developmental purposes. Coming to the transport policy, Sidhu said that the state government is going in for a new policy to finish off the transport mafia in the state which would be aimed at the strengthening of public transport, thereby breaking the monopoly of big transport companies.
He also said that under the newly envisioned policy, mini bus operators would be encouraged and taxes would be lowered. He said that the main aim of the new policy is to provide maximum transport facilities to the people. The minister assured that the Congress government would toil hard day in and day out for the prosperity of Punjab and fulfil each promise that has been made to the people. He said that all the pending projects concerning Amritsar would be completed in the next 6 months.
🗞️ Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️