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Mann government lays foundation of a new and progressive Punjab in last one-year regime: Harpal Singh Cheema

The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, March 17

Asserting that Mann government has laid foundation of a new and progressive Punjab in the first year of governance, Finance Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema on Friday said that all major poll-promises, including providing free electricity, top-class health and education facilities, have been fulfilled by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.

Addressing a press conference here at Punjab Bhawan on Friday, the finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that the first year rule of Mann government shows our seriousness, diligence and dedication towards Punjab. He said that the Mann government took many historic pro-people decisions to revive the economy and facilitate the common people of the state.

Slamming the successive governments for pushing Punjab on the verge of disaster, Cheema said that Congress, SAD and BJP governments patronized gangsters, mafia and corruption while forcing the Punjabis to migrate abroad. Now, the Mann government streamlined the government system and adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption due to which many influential and powerful people including former ministers were lodged into the jail for incessant corruption and looting the state exchequer.

Listing the several pro-people initiatives taken by Mann government in the last one year, he said that Excise and Taxation have also made significant contribution in the state revenue by registering 45 percent increase in excise and 23 percent increase in GST as compared to financial year 2021-22.

Cheema said that it was for the first time that serious efforts were made by any government to promote direct sowing of paddy and cultivation of Moong Dal in a bid to save air, water and soil of the state. He said that these efforts have resulted into 30 percent decrease in stubble burning. He said that they have not only did efforts to save groundwater but it was for the first time that a Punjab Chief Minister has taken firm stand on SYL issue whereas the past CMs were doing either lip service or politics on this issue.

He said that collection of enforcement wings increased from Rs. 147.89 crore upto February 2022 to Rs. 173.27 crore upto February 2023 registering 17.2 growth over the previous financial year. He said that the Taxation department has also undertaken initiatives to help good taxpayers, like 24X7 ‘Chatbot’ for answering queries related to GST via WhatsApp number ‘9160500033’ and facilitating 16 registered persons during PPIS 2023 for good tax compliance.

Cheema said that the anti-gangster task force (AGTF) has arrested 567 gangsters, neutralized 05 gangsters, busted 156 criminals, recovered 563 weapons and 125 vehicles used in criminals activities. However, the previous government patronized them and due to this, the crime situation deteriorated in the state but now under Mann government law and order situation is intact.

Replying to a media query over financial burden on Punjabi University Patiala, Cheema reiterated that education should never be under any debt and no stone will be left unturned for the betterment of the universities. He accused previous governments of putting colossal debt on the university due to their vested interests and massive irregularities in the functioning in the past.

Assuring to implement that old pension scheme (OPS) soon, Cheema said that two different Committees, one headed by him and second by chief secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua to draft the standard operating procedure for the implementation of this scheme for government employees better than the flawed policy implemented by Rajasthan.

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