The rule of the Aam Aadmi Party government has completed six months in Punjab today. The government has seen many ups and downs during this period. The government has also been appreciated by the public on many fronts, but in some cases it has also faced criticism from the opposition. By giving 300 units of electricity free of cost every month, AAP has fulfilled the promise made to the voters ahead of the assembly elections. Despite that the state is already reeling under a huge debt of Rs 2.63 lakh crore. The electricity subsidy bill alone is set to cross the Rs 20,000 crore mark in this financial year. Since most of the pre-poll promises put a heavy financial burden on the state, all eyes are on the government as to how it will face this grave challenge.
One MLA One Pension
Mann government has been successful in notifying one MLA one pension rule in the state. To implement this rule, the government had amended section 3(1) of the Punjab State Legislature Members (Regulation of Pension and Medical Facilities) Act, 1977. This rule has now been fully implemented in the state. This step will save Rs 100 crore annually to the exchequer.
The government has decided to implement University Grants Commission (UGC) pay scales as per the 7th Pay Commission in universities, government colleges and government aided private colleges. The pay scale will be revised from January 15, 2016, which will be implemented from October 1, 2022. This decision will benefit all the teachers and other employees working in the equivalent cadre in the universities of the state.
In order to encourage farmers for Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR), the Punjab Government has announced a bonus of Rs 1500 per acre. The purpose of this step of the government is to save ground water. This was the first time that the Punjab government announced a minimum support price for moong dal, to motivate farmers to come out of the wheat-paddy cycle. The government claims that about 1.29 lakh acres of moong dal has been sown this year, which is double the area sown last year.
The government has claimed that 9,053 acres of panchayat land, including key lands near Mohali and other cities, have been freed from illegal encroachments. The Rural Development Department has so far traced 7,000 acres of Panchayat land, which is owned by the Panchayat Department, but it was not traced for many years.
Rs 1 crore to the families of martyrs
The Government has increased the ex-gratia amount from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for the martyred soldiers and has also announced to give government jobs to the next of kin. The Chief Minister launched a 24X7 anti-corruption helpline, asking residents to inform the Vigilance Bureau about any demand for bribe by any government official.
Mann government has not been able to fulfill its promise of giving 1000 rupees per month to all women above 18 years of age. This was one of the key election guarantees announced by AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal ahead of the assembly elections. Once implemented, the move will cost the state exchequer Rs 12,000 crore.
The horrific murder of singer Sidhu Moosewala has put the government on the back foot. The killing took place after the police temporarily withdrew the security of several security personnel, including Musewala.
The Chief Minister, presiding over his first cabinet meeting, had approved 26,000 government jobs for the youth. Of these, 10,000 are in the police department and the rest in other departments. Recruitment is being done in various departments. The CM had recently handed over job letters to the youth recruited in various departments. However, it will take time to fill 26,000 vacancies.
On Independence Day, CM Mann has formally dedicated 75 Aam Aadmi Clinics to the people of the state. Clinics have been set up in buildings used for service centers by the previous government. The clinics will provide the best healthcare services for free. Every clinic has MBBS doctors to treat patients. It also includes four to five staff members including doctors, pharmacists, nurses.