Punjab

Punjab CM directs admin secretaries to take up employment generation on priority

Punjab News Express/Swati Walia
CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed Administrative Secretaries in the state to take up, on priority, the implementation of the government’s flagship programmes, including employment generation, as promised in the Congress manifesto, while promising to announce a special financial package for farm debt waiver soon.
The Chief Minister told the maiden meeting of the state’s Administrative Secretaries that he would soon take up the debt waiver issue with Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, who had already announced a special package for Uttar Pradesh in the run-up to the Assembly elections there. He, however, made it clear that his government would find ways and means to waive off all farm debts without or without the Centre’s support.
Captain Amarinder lauded the efforts of the various government departments in ensuring the smooth procurement of wheat through the coordinated and synergized efforts of senior officers and the functionaries of the state procurement agencies. His government was committed to alleviating the sufferings of the state’s beleaguered peasantry, he added.
The Chief Minister asked the officials to make all-out efforts to introduce comprehensive job creation schemes, including "Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar", "Hara Tractor Scheme" and "YAARI Enterprises". He also ordered steps to set up Employment Bureaus in all the Districts of the State, to be headed by Deputy Commissioners and to function as Enterprise Bureaus to facilitate self-employment and start-ups with a focus on Micro Enterprise.
Captain Amarinder asked the Administrative Secretaries to prepare a comprehensive action plan to implement the poll promises in their respective departments in right earnest, with special focus on the government’s main programmes such as employment generation, houses for homeless and 30% reservation for women in jobs.
The Chief Minister also asked the officials to ensure rehabilitation of all drug abuse victims within one year through the `Navjivan’ rehabilitation campaign.
Disclosing details of the decisions taken during the meeting, an official spokesperson said the Chief Minister had reiterated his government’s zero tolerance policy towards corruption and had asked the Administrative Secretaries to ensure that all statutory procedures, rules, regulations and laws are followed and all cases are decided on merit.
He directed the Administrative Secretaries to make all the services pertaining to their departments online within a maximum of six months, with the services also made available on Mobile Apps.
Underlining his government’s anti-drugs focus, the Chief Minister asked the officials to take up the launch of the rehabilitation campaign `Navjivan’ in Mission Mode to rehabilitate all affected persons in one year. The Departments of Health and family welfare, Social Security, Rural Development, Medical Education, and NGOs will collectively launch the campaign, which will be led by the Deputy Commissioners. As part of the campaign, rehabilitation centres, namely "Navjivan Centres", will be set up in each District and will be manned by professionals, to be supported by Voluntary Organizations.
The Chief Minister also directed the formation of village/town level committees comprising respectables from the general public and local level Government officials to vigorously campaign for the rehabilitation of the affected persons, and to closely monitor their progress and give feedback to the department concerned. It was also decided to extend the facility of the toll free ambulance service number 108 to victims of drug abuse, the spokesperson disclosed.
To minimize the consumer transaction costs of availing government services, the Administrative Secretaries have been asked to ensure that all services are made available online within six months in such a way that there is a single point of contact and single application for a particular service/purpose. Online application forms and legacy verification were discussed to make the process less cumbersome and augment the viability of the Sewa Kendras, which are already in the process of being revamped, the spokesperson revealed.
Reiterating his government’s commitment to ensuring transparency in governance, the Chief Minister further directed the various departments engaged in public dealing to ensure that all public grievances/issues are addressed in a hassle-free and time-bound manner, with strict compliance to the Right to Service Act time limits. Information under the Right to Information Act should be provided in 30 days as prescribed, and the Administrative Secretaries should direct all officers in districts and state headquarters to meet members of the public from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day.
Expressing concern over the poor standard of school education, Captain Singh said out-of-box steps would be initiated to enable students passing out from government schools to compete with their peers educated in private or convent schools. The Chief Minister batted for teaching of English, along with Punjabi, as the main language in primary schools, with students from Class X onwards being given the option to learn a foreign language too.
Earlier, the Chief Secretary directed the Administrative Secretaries to implement the development oriented programmes and citizen centric policies of the government in a time- bound manner.
Prominent amongst others present at the meeting were Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Mr. Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Tejveer Singh, besides Financial Commissioners, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries from various departments.

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