Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday ruled out a Spain-like Historical Memory Law to ‘erase all remnants of cruel and humiliating British colonial rule’ in the state.
The Chief Minister made this clear in response to questions from media persons regarding the proposal of state Finance Minister Manpreet Badal to bring in such a legislation to formally condemn British rule and destroy its remains.
Talking to media persons after the installation of senior Congress leader Lal Singh as chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, Captain Amarinder Singh said that as a historian himself he did not believe in wiping out history but in learning from it. By changing the name of Akbar Road, one India could not wipe out the existence of Emperor Akbar, said the Chief Minister, making it clear that he was not in favour of the kind of legislation that Manpreet had propounded.
The Chief Minister said these could be Manpreet's personal opinion but he would look into any such legislation as and when it is formally brought to his notice. At the moment it was in realm of media reporting only, he said, pointing out that history can neither be changed nor rewritten. It is a part of India’s past, from which we have already learnt our lessons and moved forward, he said, adding that he was personally not in favour of tampering with history, be it good or bad.
Replying to another question, the Chief Minister said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was likely to release the pending Cash Credit Limit (CCL) for the state on Monday. He disclosed that he had personally called up Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday night regarding the issue. Jaitely had assured him that he had taken up the issue with the RBI authorities and the issue was likely to be resolved on Monday, said Captain Amarinder. Though wheat had started arriving in a few mandis around Ferozepur the volume was currently very low, said Captain Amarinder, assuring smooth and hassle-free procurement of the farmers’ produce.
The Chief Minister reiterated his commitment to wiping out the drugs menace from the state in four months. While nobody involved in drug trafficking would be spared, at the same time innocent youth who were on drugs would be detoxified and rehabilitated soon to enable them to lead a normal life with self-respect and dignity. He asserted that IG Harpreet Singh Sidhu, entrusted with the task of eliminating drugs from the state, had already taken the charge as Chief of the Special Task Force (STF) and given a free hand to rid Punjab of drugs, which were a slur on its rich and glorious heritage.
Referring to the precarious financial condition of the state, the Chief Minister said he was confident that with prudence and peoples’ cooperation, the state would soon come out of the financial crisis. Underlining the need to cut costs and generate revenue through out-of-the-box thinking in order to revive the state’s economy, Captain Amarinder said his government was preparing a blueprint of revive the economy and the same would be unveiled soon.
The Chief Minister promised thorough investigation into all cases of funds bungling and financial misappropriation committed in any ministry, department or Board by the previous SAD-BJP alliance government. All those found guilty in such scams would be brought to the book according to the law of the land, he added.
Earlier, Lal Singh, during an interaction with the media, expressed gratitude to Captain Amarinder Singh for bestowing enormous responsibility upon him as Chief of the Mandi Board, thereby reposing enormous trust and confidence in him. Lal Singh assured Captain Amarinder Singh that he would leave no stone unturned to ensure smooth, fair and hassle-free procurement of wheat in a transparent manner. Lal Singh said Mandi Board was one of the six agencies engaged in wheat procurement and, as the Board’s chief, he would personally monitor the procurement operations across the state.