Punjab Government simplifies & provides various subsidies to farmers

Punjab government is taking various initiatives to make the life of farmers of the state more prosperous and hassle free. Punjab government has stated that the farmers of the state intending to get the certified seed of wheat on subsidy were only required to fill an application form and submit it to the agriculture department. There would be no need to attach land fard or any other land record with the application. The farmers only need to submit a self-declaration along with the application in the agriculture department. If the farmers are encountering any difficulty in getting the certified seed of wheat then they can contact telephone number 0172-29706022970609(fax) of the agriculture department and lodge a complaint. This number would be operational from 9AM to 5PM.

The state government informed farmers would get the 50% share of the price seed or maximum Rs. 1000/- per quintal subsidy would be transferred directly into their accounts. This subsidy would be given on priority to the farmers holding 2.5 acre of land. In case of left over subsidy, the facility of subsidy would also be extended to the farmers having five acre of land.

Punjab government has also announced that it will provide bumper subsidy to farmers for micro irrigation. It will provide 50% bumper subsidy (maximum Rs. 22000/- per hectare) for laying underground pipes for irrigation to the farmers of the state.

Punjab government has stated that for micro-irrigation (Drip Sprinkler irrigation System) 80% subsidy would be provided and besides this, the tube well connections would be provided by the government on priority basis.Also a further subsidy of 75% would be provided for installing solar pumps and water storage tanks for the purpose of micro-irrigation system to run with solar power. This has been done to ensure farmers take full benefits of the initiatives announced by the state government. www.dswcpunjab.gov.in is the website from where farmers can take various details and also they can contact the District Soil Conservator Officers.

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New cashless insurance scheme for Punjab government employees and pensioners

Punjab government has declared that the cashless health insurance scheme will now be known as Punjab government employees and pensioner health insurance scheme (PGEPHIS), which will cover all indoor medical treatment expenses, specified day care procedure and treatment of chronic diseases as specified by the government, this scheme will be applicable to all government employees (whether covered under old or new pension scheme) and pensioners on compulsory basis.

The state government said that PGEPHIS will cover all the entitlement as specified under the state services rule 1940, this scheme will insure cashless all in door medical treatment, pre or post hospitalisation as defined, day care procedure requiring less than 24 hours hospitalisation and OPD medical expenses relating to chronic disease up to a sum of Rs. 3 lakh per family per year on floater basis. Medicines for chronic diseases are also available on cashless basis from designated stores and hospitals in every district and block. All pre existing disease will be also covered.

Punjab government said that the treatment can be availed by any enrolled beneficiary in government or empanelled hospitals of Punjab, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Noida and Delhi. The state government said that no reimbursement will be available to employee/pensioner in the Punjab, Chandigarh and Panchkula region where cashless treatment is available. However, employee/pensioner can claim reimbursement for medical treatment taken in any other state in India in exceptional circumstances; the insurance company will reimburse the bill of employee up to 3 lakh as per the package rate defined under the scheme.

Since the cashless medical treatment is made available to employee/pensioners through insurance company, there are certain treatments which are not covered under health insurance as per the insurance regulatory and development authority of India (IRDA). Details of such exclusions are available in the scheme uploaded on website of the health department of Punjab www.pbhealth.gov.in. The reimbursement of such exclusion will be made available to employee/pensioners as per existing policy and states service rule 1940 as amended from time to time. The state government also said that any treatment taken abroad will not be covered under this scheme; any public servant/pensioner before going abroad may take overseas insurance cover, premium of such insurance cover will be borne by employee/pensioner. If any public servant is going on government tour, premium of such overseas insurance will be borne by the employee pensioner.

The State Government has selected oriental insurance company through tendering .The insurance company will make buffer of Rs. 25 crore for meeting out expenses over and above Rs. 3 lakh and cashless insurance to any employee/pensioner will be available beyond Rs. 3 lakh, subject to the availability of the buffer.

Punjab government stated that the enrollment under this scheme will start from immediate effect and will be completed by 31 December 2015. The employees/pensioner will be entitled for fixed medical allowance as per the existing pattern to cover the routine OPD expenditure. Any employee/pensioner can take any kind of information related to as Punjab Government Employees and Pensioner Health Insurance Scheme (PGEPHIS) and can also register their complaint at medical helpline number 104.

Making Mobile Governance Simple and Citizen Friendly

gop logoIn today’s fast growing digital world, providing the governance services to the citizens of the state effectively and efficiently has become the priority of the government. One of the efficient methods of achieving this is through mobile governance. Mobile governance involves the usage of all kinds of wireless and mobile technology services, applications and devices for governance. Its sole aim is to utilize the strengths of mobile penetration for the delivery of government services to common people. Punjab government has underlined the need for making mobile governance effective and citizen friendly with focus on 100 percent connectivity besides ensuring the data and financial security.

During last seven years Punjab has emerged as a leading state in e-governance and has pioneered itself in the field of mobile governance. The prime task of the state government is to ensure acceptability of new tools of mobile governance amongst the citizens by focusing on data and financial security. In order to popularise e-governance tools, the state government will ensure transparency, quick delivery besides maintaining the credibility of the system. The state government is working on new innovative ideas for effective mobile governance for the benefits of the citizens.

Punjab government has always stressed on importance of e-governance competency framework to build adequate and relevant capacities at all levels in order to achieve goals. E-governance competency framework speaks about bringing India’s e-governance planning, management and human resource aspects on par with global standards and practices. The purpose of this framework is to enable government departments to “Deploy right and develop right” to implement various e-governance initiatives.

Punjab government is committed to continue the introduction of mobile governance in a big way in the area of citizen service delivery. With the technological advancements, the state government will continue to find newer ways to serve the citizens by delivering unified e-governance experience in an effective and hassle free manner. Punjab government has planned to connect all the gram panchayats of the state under bharatnet project and all the services will be made available to the citizens of the state at their doorsteps.

Better Connectivity for Better Business

For a business to flourish and reach heights, one of the primary things that need to be taken care of is connectivity. Punjab is among the few states in the nation that enjoy great connectivity through roads, railway and air. This is one of the major reasons that Invest Punjab is getting huge acceptance and investors from across the world are ready to come and invest in Punjab.

Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (ADKIC) is an economic corridor in India that connects Amritsar to Kolkata via Delhi. It was developed by Government of India and is aimed at developing an Industrial Zone spanning across seven states in the country. Other cities of Punjab including Jalandhar and Ludhiana are also connected via the corridor, which give huge boost to trade. Accompanied by state-of-the-art infrastructure, Punjab happens to be one of the finest destinations in India to do business.

Punjab boasts of highest road densities in India at 133 km per 100 sq km. There are plans to further improve the road infrastructure with construction of that will connect all the major towns of Punjab. The government has also outlined 11 projects with estimated investment of ₹ 2,900 crore (US$ 483 mn) and a total length of 567 km under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) method. Among the ongoing projects are Ladowal bypass, Ludhiana with a total investment of ₹ 400 crores and a total length of 17 Km and four laining of Ropar – Phagwara road with a total investment of ₹ 1100 crores and a length of 89 Km. The state of Punjab is connected well to north and north eastern markets region that house over 40% of Indian population.

Besides, Punjab has enormous rail network. That proves to be of huge benefit when it comes to cargo transfer and trade. Further, Punjab is the smallest state in the country and first in North India to have two international airports at Amritsar and Mohali. Other than being a boon to NRIs of North India, these airports help in easy movement of freight across states and countries.

Punjab Government is very keen on developing the state as a whole to make it leading in all sectors including industry and business. Many significant steps have been taken in this direction and development of better connectivity one major among these. The ‘food bowl of India’ will soon be a hub of IT and industries and a perfect destination for trade and business.

Urbanization and Improved Infrastructure

With high levels of urbanization, Punjab is first state in the country to introduce master planning of towns. Besides, master plans of all major cities of the state have been notified already. New areas for planned development are being identified and necessary projects are being started. Government of Punjab expects to provide all its 147 cities and towns with planned development, 24 x 7 availability of quality power, 100% coverage for sewerage, solid waste management facilities and projects to ensure smooth traffic flow in next four years.

One of the major development projects underway is development of Mohali downtown. A total of 80 acres of prime land at a floor area ratio (FAR) of 2.5 in Sector 62 of Mohali is available for immediate development. Further, leading banks and financial institution are available for Mohali Downtown development. The planned area here includes land for development of office complexes, five-star hotel, convention center, malls, multiplexes and auditorium and it is estimated that a total of ₹ 3,000 cr will be invested in this project.

Similarly, development of Ludhiana Downtown is another endeavour by the government. The area has excellent connectivity via the National Highway and is in close proximity to the Ferozepur Road which is the main growth corridor in the city. This project is primarily aimed at creating central hub of growth within the city and tap into huge demand of retail/ office space and high end residential spaces in the region. 1,200 acres along Sidhwan Canal on the outskirts of Ludhiana city is proposed to be developed into Water front City. In addition, the project will aim at making Ludhiana a tourism destination by developing amusement, recreational and residential facilities in 1100 acres of area.

The government has also planned Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRTS) for major cities of state. The project will be implemented on Gross Cost Model with a government nominated agency for collection of fare. Private partners will be employed for maintenance and operation of the buses. Strategic cities for implementation of this project are Amritsar and Ludhiana since demand for such system is quite high in these cities. The projects have been sanctioned and are underway in these cities and may also include Mohali.

Such a great infrastructure and urbanization has improved the quality of life in Punjab a lot. These developments have made it not only a great place to live but a great place for industry and business.

Punjab emerges as ideal destination for Food and Agro Processing

The proud ‘Food Bowl of India’ is one of the most prosperous states of India. The state government has been paying a lot of attention to development of state in all aspects and has launched a number of projects for the same. Punjab is leading producer of crops across the country with two to three crops cultivated every year. In addition, 98% of the cultivable land has access to highly mechanized practices and great irrigation network.

Food-ProcessingAbundant food crops production has give way to agro and food processing industry in the state. Robust infrastructure and well developed ecosystem makes the state a good destination for the industry. Food production lays foundation for industries related to agriculture, processing, supply chain and sales. Vast agriculture of the state is a great opportunity of industries including crop husbandry, fertilizers and pesticides, modern farm machinery and equipment, plant tissue culture, micro irrigation techniques and high quality and disease/pest resistant seed production.

Also, there is abundant opportunity in processing industry for secondary and tertiary levels of processing of food grains and processing of fruits and vegetables, cotton, milk, animal, fish and meat products. Similarly, in supply chain industry there is opportunity for cold chain infrastructure, warehouses, silos and other supply chain components. Sales industry has access to large domestic market and exports through international gateways.

Government has taken opportunity to initiate food and agro processing industries in Punjab and there are several projects going on at present. A Food park is being operated by ITC at Kapurthala. It is an Integrated Foods Manufacturing cum Logistics Facility, set up on an area of 65 acres. Another food park will be setup at at Ladhowal, Ludhiana on 100 acres of land by the Punjab Govt. through PAIC in accordance with the guidelines of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, GOI. This facility will provide provide modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market. A Mega Food Park at Fazilka is a a multi-dimensional food processing infrastructure facility. Spread over 56 acres of land at Dabwala Kalan, this park is close to highway and is operated by International Mega Food Park Ltd (IMFPL).

One Stop Clearance

invest punjabPunjab government’s “one stop clearance” policy has emerged as an outstanding investment promotion policy which will make Punjab the most preferred investment destination of the country. It has been designed to cut red tape and provide single stop clearance for all 27 requirements including pollution clearances, change of land use, power application, factory act clearance, self certification etc. online with the single click of mouse.

Punjab government has established Punjab bureau of investment promotion (PBIP) which will act as a single point of contact for all investors. This will help in eliminating multiple points of contacts and applications and will provide essential government clearances. Investors can visit the PBIP website (www.investpunjab.gov.in/) and can create a login identification and password which will help them in tracking the online applications and approvals within the fixed time lines. PBIP has facilitated the prospective investors by online application submission with a single centralized application form and online gateways for payment of application/ service fee.

Investors can now do self attestation of documents, so the hassle of getting it attested from different government officials has been removed. The state government has removed the process of redundant clearance, inspections and certifications and has allowed third party certifications by professionals. Punjab government has also set a standardized mechanism for grievance redressal where the prospective investor can submit their grievance at info@investpunjab.gov.in and action will be taken within 15 days.

From the moment the investor applies through common application form, the bureau keeps the investor in loop regarding various project initiating stages or in case any further information or documents are required. A full transparent method is used where the investor is informed about every single detail.

The PBIP serves as a single point of contact for giving all regulatory clearances and applicable fiscal incentives and assist the investor in setting up the project.