Setting a deadline for the completion of his government’s flagship programs within six months, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed his Cabinet colleagues to expedite the execution of schemes.
Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is at loggerheads with the Chief Minister, was conspicuously absent from the first Cabinet meeting after last month’s parliamentary elections.
Expressing satisfaction that the Congress bucked the national trend to win in the state despite a Modi wave, the Chief Minister pointed out that Punjab was the only state where the Congress was in direct contest with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies.
However, he struck a note of caution, saying that there was no time to rest on laurels and they all had to work even harder now to meet the aspirations of the people and prepare for the 2022 Assembly polls.
Making it clear that no delay would be tolerated in the implementation of the schemes, such as farm debt waiver, ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ and the universal health insurance, the Chief Minister said the consultative groups should be formed immediately with two-three ministers and five-six legislators in each.
The Secretary of the department concerned would be part of the group, which will suggest changes after reviewing progress and taking feedback from the beneficiaries.
Any changes in the schemes should be notified by mid-July, said the Chief Minister, adding that where needed suitable modifications would be made to the schemes to ensure their effective implementation.
Amarinder Singh also directed initiation of talks, on priority, with government employees in order to resolve their pending demands and address their concerns.
Earlier, Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi stressed the need for urgent steps to resolve pending issues of various sections of the people, including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal called for focused efforts to revive the confidence of the urban voters through development programs aimed at strengthening facilities and infrastructure in the cities.