M A I N   N E W S

Badal promises total makeover of Punjab
With elections a year away, CM in a hurry to deliver
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 1
Yes, he can. Exuding confidence, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today promised that he would be Santa Claus to the state this year. The next election to the state Assembly being due before February next year, the state government has only the next 10 months or so to deliver on the promises and the urgency showed when the CM addressed the media on the New Year’s day.

There will be nothing short than a ‘kaya kalp’ ( complete transformation) of the state, he assured with the government focusing on education, health and skill development during its last year in office. Quick results in these areas are what the government would strive to achieve, he said.

While infrastructure in government schools would be upgraded, as many as 224 new primary schools, 17 new degree colleges and seven new polytechnics will also come up during the year. All private engineering colleges have been asked to enroll students at ten plus two level so that more rural students could take up professional courses.

On the health front, special emphasis would be given to cancer treatment in all the three medical college hospitals in the state. He claimed the government had earmarked Rs 300 crore for the health sector in the past four years compared to Rs two crore allocated for this sector by the previous Congress government.

The CM laid special emphasis on skill development. He said special academies to train youngsters for military service were coming up in Mohali and Ropar and that skill development centres would be established in rural areas also. He said the skill centres would become operational in a four to five mile radius throughout the state and would impart training in diverse fields including engineering, automobile and textile. He informed that companies like Larsen and Toubro, Tata and the Oswal group would be involved in this exercise.

Describing the last four years of his stint as chief minister as the most satisfying in his political career, Badal said the Rs 20,000 crore Bathinda refinery would change the industrial scenario in the state. He also claimed that Punjab would become self sufficient on the power front with thermal plants at Talwandi Sabo, Rajpura, Goindwal Sahib and Gidderbaha at different stages of completion.

He said the state had tied up for 4,500 MW of power from central projects. Similarly he said work was also being done to save power with Rs 3,400 crore being spent on making the transmission and distribution system more efficient.

The CM said the State had also met with success in generating revenue with VAT collection nearly doubling to Rs 10,500 crore in the last four years.

Similarly excise collection had also risen to Rs 2,500 crore per annum from the Rs 1,500 crore mark since the SAD-BJP government took office.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |