Chandigarh: After taking over Punjab’s reins, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led government in its first Cabinet meeting on Saturday adopted the Punjab Congress manifesto as its work programme for the next five years. The Cabinet also took more than 100 decisions, which included the constitution of Special Task Force to eliminate drug mafias and corruption.
Abolition of DTO system by handing over the job to SDMs across the state, abolition of red beacons atop vehicles to end VIP culture and elimination of controversial halqa in-charge system were among other major reformative steps the Cabinet decided in the meeting, with all nine ministers present in the meeting. While resolving that the government would pursue all legal and administrative measures on the SYL canal issue to protect the state’s water, the Cabinet also decided to get a third-party audit of Power Department.
LESSER LIQUOR VENDS
Apart from time-bound waiver of farm loans, the Cabinet also decided to bring down the number of liquor vends from 6,384 to 5,900 with also mentioning that liquor quota would be reduced every year with an aim to cut it by 50 per cent in five years. It was also decided to exempt media persons from toll tax.
CM, MINISTERS UNDER LOK PAL
While deciding to repeal the Punjab Lokpal Act, the Cabinet decided to bring a fresh bill which would have the provision to bring the Chief Minister and other ministers under its purview.
Thanking the people of Punjab for the mandate to the Congress in the assembly polls, 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.
BOOST TO SOCIAL SECTOR
Further, the constitution of various high-level committees to bring agriculture and industry on track, reforms in education and health, extension of various benefits to Dalits and other backward classes and employment generation were also decided in the meeting.
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 both, 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 Transfer (DBT) scheme wherever possible.
The Cabinet also decided to introduce Confiscation of Drug Dealers’ Property Act, free internet connectivity to all government schools and colleges, free transportation facility and textbooks to school children. One degree college, at least, will be established in each sub-division of the state and also introducing two Sainik Schools in the state.
The Cabinet further decided to extend the state’s reservation policy to contractual and outsourced appointments. Enhancement of the job quota along with housing and other benefits for SCs/STs and OBCs, are other major decisions of the Cabinet, which also decided on a special package for border areas, to be worked out by the Department of Planning for notification within 30 days.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh chairing the first meeting of his Cabinet in Chandigarh on Saturday
Constitution of Special Task Force to check drugs mafia and corruption among 120 decisions taken in the first Cabinet meetingFIRST CABINET MEETINg
MOVE FOR SMARTPHONES
Department of Youth Affairs will take measures to give smart phones to the youth who had registered themselves under the Captain Smart Connect scheme. Other important manifesto promises on which the government will work on priority basis include establishment of a National Institute for Promotion and Development of Punjabi Language, constitution of an Ex-Servicemen (ESM) Cell under the Chief Minister’s control, appointment of Guardians of Governance and launch of ‘Sasti Roti’ community kitchens to be run by the district Red Cross societies.
Cabinet okays new Excise Policy for Punjab, cuts down on number of liquor vends and quota
Abolishes wholesale licence L-1A, abolishes inspector raj, DTOs and halqa in-charge system
Decides to recall unutilised pre-poll funds from all govt departments to generate
Resolves to pursue all legal and
administrative measures on SYL
Sets up Special Task Force (STF) to eliminate drugs corruption from Punjab
Repealing Punjab Lokpal Act and bringing fresh bill keeping Chief Minister and Ministers under its purview
All ministers as well as the CM to make their assets public annually
Stays all decisions taken in the last six months of SAD-BJP government, pending review
Commission of inquiry to review all false cases, FIRs registered during previous regime
To set up group of experts to assess farm debts, propose ways for time-bound waiver in 60 days
To continue free power to farmers, to notify new industrial policy in 90 days
Exempts journalists from toll tax payment
Free internet connectivity to all government schools and colleges
Free transportation facility and textbooks to school children
One degree college, at least, will be established in each sub-division of the state
Two new Sainik Schools to be set up in the state