Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2018
CM announces Rs.100 crore for development of Amritsar city
Amritsar: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced a grant of Rs.100 crore for the execution of various development works in Amritsar, while making it clear that paucity of funds would not be allowed to scuttle the execution of these projects.
Addressing the newly elected Municipal Councillors of Amritsar, the Chief Minister said the overall development of all the municipal cities would be undertaken in a holistic manner, as per their needs, in consultation with the concerned Mayors and Municipal Commissioners.
The first Chief Minister to interact personally with the local MCs at the Municipal Corporation Amritsar, Captain Amarinder said the process of comprehensive development, as envisioned by his government, would begin with the holy city.
He reiterated his government’s firm commitment to cherish the aspirations of the people, who had reposed full faith and confidence in the pro-people policies and programmes of the government.
Speaking on the occasion, Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu assured the Chief Minister that Amritsar’s development works would be undertaken on priority.
Proposing a vote of thanks, Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu assured the Chief Minister that no stone would be left unturned to ensure all-round development of the holy city even though the government had inherited a whopping debt burden from the previous government.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion were Member Parliament from Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla, and MLAs OP Soni, Raj Kumar Verka, Inderbir Singh Bolaria and Sunil Dutti.
I AM #1 | NO, YOU ARE LIAR, DIRTY!
Ajit, Jagbani embroiled in dirty, all out war
15.02.18 - PT MEDIA CORRESPONDENT
ZERO TOLERANCE TO CORRUPTION
Capt Amarinder orders DGP to crackdown against Goonda tax
CHANDIGARH: Taking serious note of reports of illicit collection of money from business and industry, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered the Director General of Police to crack down against the so-called Goonda Tax in the state.
The Chief Minister directed the DGP to activate all available resources to identify and take strict action against the culprits, irrespective of who they are.
The issue was raised during the cabinet meeting by ministers, who urged the Chief Minister to take cognizance of reports related to Goonda Tax being charged from businesses and industries in some parts of the state. Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said his name was being vilified in the whole process, that was adversely affecting business sentiment, which the state government was striving hard to promote.
Responding to the ministers’ concern, the Chief Minister told the DGP to initiate immediate steps to crack down on those involved in the collection of such tax, without taking into consideration their political or other affiliations.
The Chief Minister asked the DGP to ensure that the message goes down the rank and file of the police force that no laxity or delay in the matter would be tolerated.
Such activities hinder the government’s efforts to bring industrial and economic development back on track, and to provide a clean and transparent environment to boost industry and investment in the state, Captain Amarinder asserted.
Reiterating his government’s zero-tolerance to corruption and illegal activities of all kinds, the Chief Minister also asked the Chief Secretary to monitor the work of the committee set up to check illegal mining in the state.
WILL ENTAIL NO EXTRA COST
Punjab to create separate department of mining & geology
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government has decided to hive Mining and Geology from the Department of Industries and Commerce and set it up as a separate unit to ensure sustainable development of the sector, which is witnessing fast-paced development and has emerged as a major contributor to the state’s revenue.
The decision, which is in line with the system followed by various other states, was taken by the state cabinet at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here on Thursday.
The move will entail no additional monetary burden for the state since the cadre of the new department, which will have 598 employees, will be drawn from the Water Resources Department, an official spokesperson said after the cabinet meeting.
The cabinet noted that with expansion of mining activities, there were growing environmental, administrative and legal, as well as marketing and financial challenges, which required special focus on mining activities. This had become even more important with the introduction of the progressive bidding regime, which had led to the mining sector emerging as a significant contributor to the state’s revenues.
The cabinet further noted that since most of the mining activities are carried out in the river beds, the Department of Water Resources, with its professional manpower and technical prowess, was better suited to provide the necessary wherewithal to the new department of mining.
The cabinet accepted the suggestion of the meeting, held under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary on February 2, that mining be separated from industrial activities. It agreed that the Industries and Commerce Department was seriously constrained in overseeing the mining segment in view of the limited manpower allocated to mining activities and also its growing focus on industrial promotion and business development, as per the state government’s thrust under the new industrial policy.
Increasing demand for sand and gravel as construction material had led to rapid growth in sand mining activities, triggering various problems, which the Industries and Commerce department was no longer equipped to handle, the cabinet felt.
The February 2 meeting, attended by representatives of the Department of Industries and Commerce, Department of Water Resources and Department of General Administration, had discussed the issues related to the establishment of the new department, in terms of structure, staff and space requirement, IT systems and project management consultancy. The meeting had discussed the widespread expansion of mining activities in the state in recent times, necessitating increased resources for surveys, preparation of mining plans, managing auction process and post auction management, besides enforcement of the contracts.
Currently, as per Rules of Allocation of Business of Government of Punjab, the subject of Mining is allocated to the department of Industries and Commerce, which administers the Petroleum Act 1934, the Mines Act, 1952 and the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957, besides implementing the Petroleum Rules, 1937, the Petroleum Concession Rules 1949 and the Mineral Concession Rules, 1964.
PUNJAB STATE TOURISM POLICY 2018
Cabinet okays new tourism policy to make Punjab world-class destination
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab cabinet, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, has approved the draft of 'Punjab State Tourism Policy, 2018', aimed at doubling the annual tourist visits and establishing the state as a world-class destination in the next five years.
Stamping its approval on the draft, the state cabinet, at a meeting chaired by the chief minister, agreed that the new policy would help attract high value tourism through responsible and sustainable development of sensitive tourism resources through a series of initiatives, including information dissemination and optimal use of electronic techniques including the social media. The new policy will replace the existing tourism policy of 2003.
Aimed at providing impetus to the tourism industry, besides attracting both domestic as well as foreign tourists to the state, the policy deals with various aspects of tourism, including human resource development, marketing & promotion, rural tourism and infrastructure development, medical tourism, heritage tourism and film tourism.
Under the policy, the state government will work relentlessly to double the annual tourist visits from 25 million to 50 million in the next five years by creating new infrastructure and improving the existing one. Training and capacity building activities will be made available, under the skill development programme, to the maximum number of people in the tourism sector, thus helping in employment generation for local youth, and also enabling the tourism industry to provide better services and motivate more tourists to come to Punjab.
The policy envisages investment promotion in the field of tourism through an investment portfolio for the information and motivation of potential investors. The state government’s investment portfolio would include projects pertaining to accommodation, transport, organization of conducted tours, conferences and conventions, and related fields. With electronic methods and social media deployment high on the agenda, the marketing operations would be managed by a team of well-qualified and experienced professionals.
The Circuit Touring concept would be promoted through thematic circuits which would attract the specific segment of the market that is interested in a specific destination or theme. Some of the thematic circuits which would be promoted include; the Mughal Circuit; the Maharajah Circuit; Amritsar Circuit; the Patiala Trail, the Ludhiana Circuit; the Chandigarh Circuit; the Nature Circuit; the Ferozepur Circuit (comprising the Indo-Pak frontier trail), Taste Punjab, the Punjab Retreat, Fashionable Punjab, Punjab in Style, Festive Punjab, and Punjab Agri-tours.
It may be noted that during 2016, a total of 6.60 lakh foreign tourists visits were recorded in the state, as against 2.43 lac in 2015, while the number of domestic tourist visits stood at 3.87 crore in 2016 as against 2.58 crore in 2015, helping Punjab attain the 13th rank in domestic tourist visits and 10th rank in foreign tourists visits.