In the year 2015 Punjab Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board had sanctioned amount of Rs. 185.66 crore against 87764 applications of the beneficiaries under various Welfare Schemes framed for the upliftment of labourers and workers in unorganized sector.  The Labour Department under ‘Punjab State Skill Development Mission’ has chalked out a prestigious programme  impart Skill Development training to the total 14790 construction workers engaged at 182 construction sites. A schedule for the skill development training which would be given in phased manner and would commence from January 1, 2016. cont

Punjab Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board has deposited an amount of Rs. 110.00 crore in the Pension Fund created with the LIC under the Pension Scheme for construction workers. During 2015 The Board has also given an advance of Rs. 4.20 crore for construction of 27 Labour sheds-cum-night shelters to Punjab Police Housing Corporation and Local Government department in the state of Punjab. One Labour shed-cum-night shelter in Phase-XI, Mohali has already been completed and inaugurated. the construction at 5 other sites has been completed and the work on other sites is underway.

The Labour Department has decided to construct four skill development centers at Amritsar, Mohali, Ludhiana and Jalandhar for imparting training to the construction workers. For this purpose after identifying the land, at Amritsar, Ludhiana and Mohali, contract for construction has also been given to the Punjab Police Housing Corporation.

Punjab Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board during its 18th meeting took important decisions like the amount of Ex-gratia under the Ex-gratia Scheme due to accidental death/ 100% disablement of a registered construction worker has been enhanced from Rs. 2.00 Lakh to 4.00 Lakh and in case of natural death, it has been enhanced from Rs. 1.50 Lakh to 3.00 Lakh and also proportionate increase thereof in the case of partial disablement on the basis of percentage of such disablement.

The financial benefit under the Maternity benefit scheme of the Board has been enhanced from Rs. 5000 to 21000 per child up to two children of female construction worker. Similarly the rate of minimum pension under the Pension scheme of the Board has also been increased from Rs. 5000 to 12000 per annum, and by increasing Rs. 1000 after every year, it may go up to Rs. 25000 per annum according to the length of membership of construction worker. The Mobile Van Scheme for detection of Silicosis and other diseases of registered beneficiaries of the Board and their families has also been approved by the Board.

The Punjab Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board in another meeting has enhanced the scholarship amount for the children of workers from 1st   standard to post gradation and medical /engineering courses for different classes from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 60,000 (for Boys) and Rs 4000 to Rs. 70,000 (for Girls), this scholarship was earlier ranges from Rs. 2800 to Rs. 58000. Besides this the grant for the cremation has also been increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000.

Consent has also been accorded to enhance the insurance cover upto Rs. 5 lakh for the construction worker in case of death due to accident. Decision to provide advance of Rs. 10 lakh to the Punjab Health System Corporation has also been taken to provide free tooth care and to fix dentures.


Health is not only the absence of illness but is also the yardstick of well being. Health is related to the overall growth and economic development of a state or nation. Economists use various indicators like life expectancy, infant mortality, maternity mortality etc to assess the health of the people of a country or state.healre

During the “2nd National Summit on Good & Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Systems in India” held at Shimla from 2nd to 4th July’ 2015, Punjab received national level awards for ‘Ensuring Safe Deliveries’ and ‘Reducing Infant Mortality Rate’ from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. Punjab Govt. has been awarded with World Health Organisation’s “World No Tobacco Day Award” for the year 2015. The award was given to the State Government for prioritising Tobacco Control and making rapid strides in tackling this epidemic with a comprehensive approach and many innovative interventions.

To ensure that basic health facilities are available to its citizens, Punjab government has invested into the health infrastructure including hospitals, beds, doctors, nurses, good pharmaceutical industry etc. In modern times, scholars argue that people have a basic right to health care services, thus, presence of health infrastructure is not enough and it should be accessible by everyone.

Ensuring Health for all, Punjab Government has provided cashless treatment of Rs. 50,000/- in empanelled hospitals to all 28.05 lakh BPL-Blue Card Holder families of Punjab under the BhagatPuran Singh SehatBima Yojana. Under Punjab Government Employees and Pensioners Health Insurance Scheme (PGEPHIS) employees and Pensioner of Punjab Government are being issued Smart Cards for cashless treatment of upto Rs. 3 Lakh in empanelled Government/Private Hospitals. Insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh for head of the blue card holder family is being given in case of accidental death or incapacitation besides providing free treatment to anybody during first 24-hours of emergency.

Focusing on safe deliveries and reduction in infant mortality rate, Punjab Health Department is providing cashless deliveries in all Government Hospitals along with free medicines, consumables, diet and referral transport besides effectively implementing ‘Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram’ and ‘Janani Suraksha Yojana’. Punjab government has also ensured free treatment to all children of upto 1 year age in all Government Health Institutions and free treatment of girl-child upto the age of 5 year for healthy future.  Approx 30,000 infants are provided free treatment under this program.


Punjab is recognized as a state where women’s empowerment has been always on the priority list of the state government. The State is influenced by the preaching of great Gurus and Saints, who had particularly stressed upon the equality of women and preached against the child marriages, female foeticide, sati pratha and illiteracy among the women.

To empower the Schedule Caste girls or women in the State and to uplift their educational, social and economic status, state government has implemented a number of programmes and schemes.

The Shagun scheme, started by Punjab government with effect from April 1, 1997 played a vital role in helping the underprivileged families at the time of their girl’s marriage. To ensure timely delivery of benefits, 100 percent amount under this welfare scheme is being credited to the accounts of beneficiaries using on-line management.

A budget of Rs.98 Crore has been earmarked for Shagun scheme for the financial year 2015-16 and Punjab Government has already provided Rs.60.17 crore to 40,105 beneficiaries under Shagan Scheme.  Till September 2015, Rs.41.43 crore has been transferred into accounts of 27611 beneficiaries, whereas, in the month of October and November 2015 Rs.18.74 crore has been credited into the 12494 beneficiaries’ accounts.

During financial year of 2012-13, the Punjab Government had covered 82,267 beneficiaries under this ambitious scheme and Rs. 124.30 crore were released. Similarly during financial year 2013-14 total 80,810 beneficiaries were covered by releasing  grant of RS.121.21 crore , whereas during the financial year 2014-15, in total 58,362 beneficiaries under Shagun Scheme were released grant of  87.54 crore.

Financial assistance of Rs.15000 is being provided under Shagan Scheme to Schedule Casts, backward class, Christians, economically weaker section and widows of any casts with the minimum age of 18 years on the occasion of their marriage.  To avail the benefit under this scheme annual income of the family should not be more than Rs.32,790.

Punjab Heritage & Tourism Promotion Board’s Endeavour Facilitated Jobs for 1000 Youth

The Government of Punjab accords highest priority to Skill Development of its youth and make them employable. ‘Hunar Se Rozgar Tak’ (HSRT) is an endeavour of Ministry of Tourism, launched in 2009-10 for creation of employable skill amongst youth, to reduce the skill gap in hospitality and tourism sector and to ensure that the economic benefit of tourism should reach to poor.HSRT

The initiative covers 6-8 weeks training in the hospitality trades namely Food Production, Food and Beverage Service, Housekeeping and Bakery. This scheme has successfully catered to training of nearly 3000 youth and has simultaneously facilitated jobs for 1000 trainees.

Tourism has emerged as a significant source of employment that requires varying degrees of skills and allows the quick entry of youth into the workforce. There was acute shortage of qualified employees in this sector, thus, Punjab Government taps these opportunities in favour of youth by implementing Hunar Se Rozgar Tak Scheme.

Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB) is implementing HSRT programme through the selected private institutes of the State. Government of India has approved training of 2520 persons at 10 institutes in the hospitality courses. The short term courses running under this scheme include four Hospitality Courses of varying duration namely Food Production (8 weeks), Food and Beverages (6 weeks), House Keeping (6 weeks) and Bakery and pastries (8 weeks).

In addition, the Government has also approved training of 540 persons at 4 institutes in ‘skin care and spa therapy’ course. The skill generating courses like Basic Fitness Training (8 weeks), Skin care and spa therapy (8 weeks) and Flower arrangements (8 weeks) are also being run under this scheme.

The target group for these training courses is 8th Pass within the age group of 18-28 years. Against the approved strength, under the hospitality courses 2492 students were trained out of which 727 students have been placed. In Skin Care & Spa 540 students were trained out of which 300 students have been placed.

In addition to the above courses, Government of India has also sanctioned 100% Grant in aid under the broad basing scheme for development of infrastructure in six ITIs  (namely Pathankot, Sunam, Amritsar, Patiala Nawanshahr and Kharar) and to five Government colleges (Bathinda, Mohali, Sangrur , Ludhiana and  Amritsar) for starting hospitality courses in these institutes.

Under this scheme, for starting the hospitality courses, a capital grant in aid up to Rs 200 lac is provided to each institute including up to Rs. 50 lacs for the civil works and up to Rs. 150 lacs for purchase of kitchen equipment. The funds are released to the Director Technical Education and Industrial Training for undertaking the works in I.T.Is whereas the funds pertaining to the colleges are disbursed directly to the concerned institutes.

Civil works in all the six ITIs has been completed and four colleges have also completed their infrastructure development works and they are successfully running the hospitality courses.

Punjab Opt Sub-Surface Drainage System to Check Waterlogging

Punjab government has chalked out a comprehensive plan to tackle waterlogging problem in the state. Along with surface drainage system, state irrigation department has planned extensive use of sub-surface drainage system. Particularly, for low lying pockets of Fazilka and Mukatsar districts where gravity flow is not technically feasible, sub-surface drainage system has been put in use.MKTsub-surface

12,882 acres of watelogging affected land of these two districts would be revived using this system by spending Rs 250 crore by March 2017. Punjab government has also imported two machines worth Rs 20 crore from Netherlands to lay perforated and collector pipes 5-6 feet deep in waterlogged areas.

Sub-surface drainage system works on water filtration system; the lateral pipes (pipes with small holes) suck the excess water from field and discharge it into collector pipes or main system either by gravity or by pumping. The wells which may be open dug wells or tubewells have normally to be pumped, but sometimes they are connected to drains for discharge by gravity. Subsurface drainage by wells is often referred to as vertical drainage, and drainage by channels as horizontal drainage, but it is more clear to speak of ‘field drainage by wells’ and ‘field drainage by ditches or pipes’ respectively. The accumulated water further used to be lifted by the pumps and thrown in seepage drains.

The buried drainage pipes and the special cover on the top of drainage pipe give the drainage pipe many advantages. First drainage pipes saving the underground water in drought seasons, works only when water table rises above specified levels, Secondly, disadvantages of growing plant roots turned into advantages as this system increases water flow in the direction of drainage pipe.

Modern buried pipe drains often consist of corrugated, flexible, and perforated plastic (PE or PVC) pipe lines wrapped with an envelope or filter material to improve the permeability around the pipes and to prevent entry of soil particles.

This method has been successfully implemented in Netherlands and this technique is now all set to make agricultural land of waterlogging hit areas of the state fit for cultivation again. Punjab government is committed to solve the waterloogging problem and is working on every possible measures including development of surface and sub-surface drainage system, bio-drainage for water logged soils and on-farm water management.


Aimed at giving a ‘healing touch’ to the poor and disadvantaged sections of the state, Punjab government has boosted the enrolment campaign for Bhagat Pooran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana to ensure cashless health insurance cover upto Rs. 50,000 for all 28 lakhs blue card holder families enrolled under Atta-Dal scheme. State government has set a target of enrolling 50000 Blue card holders per day under this campaign to complete the enrolment process at the earliest.bhagat

Recently, Mr. Sarvesh Kaushal, Chief Secretary Punjab reviewed the progress of the scheme with Principal Secretary Health, MD Punjab Health System Corporation, Representatives of United Insurance India Company, Representatives of Third Party Administrators and all the Deputy Commissioners of the State through Video Conferencing.

During this review meeting timelines of the enrolment process, issues in the process and other details of the scheme were discussed in detail, and the Chief Secretary asked all the Deputy Commissioners to utilise current enrolment kits to full capacity, resolve all the coordination issues with Insurance Company, Third Party Administrators (TPAs) and software/Aadhaar issues with Food & Civil Supplies department to achieve 100% target within timelines.

The representative of United Insurance Companies and TPAs have been asked to resolve all UID/Aadhaar integration software issues with Department of Food & Civil Supplies in next 3 days. All the TPAs were also asked to carry a backup connectivity to ensure that all enrollment kits are utilized to full capacity.

To ensure effective implementation of the scheme, all the DCs were asked to get the route plans of the enrollment kits & manpower finalized under their supervision and also to have regular meetings with TPA & BSNL officials to resolve any of connectivity or coordination issues.

The officials of Health Department will arrange for 150 more enrolment kits for the field and will also finalize the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be followed by all the stakeholders of the scheme including United Insurance Company, TPAs, DCs and the enrollment agents.

Under  Bhagat Pooran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana approximately 3.78 lakh beneficiaries have already been enrolled. All the beneficiaries of this scheme will be issued smart cards which will enable them to avail free medical services. In the recently held cabinet meeting coverage under the scheme has been increased from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 and compensation up to Rs. 5 lakh will also be given in case of accidental death and disability. In future, the farmers and the industrial traders of the State will also be covered under the scheme.


Punjab government’s endeavor to make administrative reforms a reality achieved another milestone with the Union government ranking the State’s e governance project as the best in the country. Union Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) in its quarterly ranking released on October 31 has rated the e-district project of state as the number one such project in the country.eDistrictLogo

The e-district Punjab project has been adjudged as best for its effective pilot project implementation, backend computerisation of maximum number of services among all states, on-time selection of system integrator, delivery of hardware and connectivity in more than 1,000 field offices, robust governance structure in the form of district e-governance society and other best features. After successful launch & operation of pilot implementation in Kapurthala and Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar, Punjab has now replicated the e-district project across remaining 20 districts of the state as part of phase-II of project implementation.

Under phase-II of e-district project, the required IT infrastructure of more than 2000 desktops, 1200 network printers, 1400 scanners and other basic infrastructure have now been provided across 959 locations covering 1500 government offices at district, tehsil and sub-tehsil level across 20 non pilot districts. All these offices have been provided internet connectivity and more than 9000 officials have been trained as part of capacity building for enabling service delivery under this project.

Till date, out of the total 42 planned services, varied numbers of services have already been made live across the state. As per consolidated numbers, approximately 90 percent of the services have already been made live and are running successfully across the state and Governance reforms department has been asked to achieve 100 percent roll out by end of December 2015.

Till date, more than 1.3 lakh service requests have been received through e-district application in 20 non-pilot districts and are at various stages of processing. Currently these services are delivered through Suwidha centres and in near future same shall be provided across all the counters at Sewa Kendras being established in the state.

The e-district project has substantially helped in bringing down the timelines for delivery of various services under the project and also acting as a tool for facilating the implementation of Punjab Right to Service Act, 2011. The use of various technological innovations such as use of Digital Signatures, SMS notifications to citizens, use of electronic workflow for processing of service requestsand provision of online authentication of services issued through e-district application has not only reaffirmed the faith of citizen in the government service delivery but has also helped curbing various mal practices.

This project has also helped the government officials through standardization of service workflow and enabled the monitoring of service requests at highest level.


The Keshopur Chhumb Community Reserve (KCCR) has excellent potential of developing as an eco-tourism destination.

image The Punjab Government has taken up Eco-Tourism Project in Keshopur Community reserve. Progress of the project pertaining to Keshopur Wetlands, Gurdaspur is nearly 40 percent completed. The physical work related to the development of the site has been completed at an expenditure of around Rs. 2.20 Cr.

Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB) is working on a sub-project worth Rs. 5.65 Cr. The main components of this sub project include Site development, landscaping and habitat improvement, Construction of Interpretation Centre, Infrastructure Development, Transportation, Communications and Mobility, Eco-development activities, Environmental Education & Awareness Programmes, Human Resource Development and Capacity Building Etc. All the works of this sub project are planned to be completed by August, 2016.

Keshopur Chhamb community reserve is the first community reserve which has been notified by Govt. of India under the wildlife (preservation) Act. The community reserve comprises wetland of five village panchayat which consented to conserve migratory bird habitat. Last year, the bird count was about 25000 birds of 50 species and the number is going on increasing every year due to the development works being taken by the department.

These fresh water wetlands are locally known as Chhumb and are located in the Doab area of Beas and Ravi Rivers. It covers an area of about 853 acres of freshwater marshy land. Miani, Dalla, Keshopur, Matwa and Magarmudian villages of Gurdaspur district are located along this wetland.

Keshopur Chhamb community reserve can be approached from Pathankot and Gurdaspur. The rail head is Pathankot on main Jammu-Delhi line. The nearest approach is from Gurdaspur to Magarmudian. Visit this reserve during winter from November to March and best in December to February when the migratory birds are in maximum number

Economic Development Catalysed by Boosting Employment Generation, Social Security and Communal Harmony

After fast tracking rapid growth and development, Punjab is now taking steps to generate employment, increase social security benefits and ensure communal harmony.

The State cabinet in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal recently, has taken several decisions to introduce new schemes and drives as per the need of hour. 11

In a bid to provide employment opportunities to the youth of the state on one hand and bringing efficiency in the administration to ensure better public services on other hand, the Punjab Government has launched a major recruitment drive to fill 1,13,766 vacant posts in various departments. Punjab Cabinet has also accorded approval for the creation of a post of Chief Engineer in the Engineering Wing of Rural Development & Panchayats Department. The Cabinet also gave approval for the creation of three new posts of Deputy Inspector Generals of Jails in Amritsar, Ferozepur and Patiala Jail.

Recognizing the significant role played by Nambardars in carrying out social and administrative work, the Cabinet decided to enhance the monthly honorarium paid to the Nambardars from Rs.1000 to Rs.1500. Cabinet also decided to give an honorarium of Rs 200 per meeting to each public member of supervisory committees in various departments at districts and sub divisional level.

Cabinet also decided to take important measures to ensure rapid growth of industry besides helping farmers in this hour of farm crisis. To look into the issues and problems faced by the various industrial associations in the state, the Cabinet also decided to set up a Ministerial committee under the Chairmanship of Deputy Chief Minister with Industries & Commerce and Finance Ministers as its members. The Committee would dwell upon the issues and problems raised by the industry and place its recommendations before the government for its resolution. The Cabinet also decided to waive guarantee fee of Rs 4 crore on soft loan to be arranged for private sugar mills to enable them to clear the pending cane dues of the farmers. The interest on soft loan for three and half years would also be borne by the Government to ensure that private sugar mills pay sugarcane arrears to the farmers.

Punjab farmers contribute their best to make the state food bowl of India and now it’s the time for state to hold their hand. State government would ensure payment of sugarcane price @ Rs.295 per quintal by the mills under all circumstances. Mills would pay Rs.245 per quintal, whereas the government would pay a subsidy of Rs.50 per quintal for the current crushing season i.e. 2015-16. Modern mechanised farming has become a risky job, Punjab government has introduced health & personal accident insurance scheme for all those farmers who bring their produce to the Purchase Centres established by the Punjab Mandi Board and hold J- farms. All the farmers would be provided a health insurance cover of Rs.50,000 and an insurance of Rs.5 lac in case of accidental death or incapacitation of head of family. As per available information nearly 11 lac farmers would be benefited under this scheme.

Farmers’ suicide emerged as a major issue of concern. Punjab government has implemented a number of programs to check this problem besides initiating policy and schemes to help grieved families. Besides giving financial assistance to the families of farmers and farm labourers affected by suicides, the policy also envisages priority assistance and grants to these families under various schemes of the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry. These schemes include Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and National Horticulture Mission (NHM), etc. Apart from this, the policy envisages increased institutional finance to the farmers.

The Cabinet also gave an approval to constitute a high powered committee comprising of Transport Minister, Finance Minister and Irrigation Minister for rationalising Motor Vehicle Tax for transport vehicles under the Punjab Motor Vehicle Act.

In order to streamline the functioning of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board and to accelerate the development of infrastructure in the state, the Cabinet approved certain amendments in the Punjab Infrastructure (Development & Regulation) Act 2002. These amendments would ensure smooth operation of provisions of Act, provide enabling powers for undertaking infra structure projects of various kinds besides bringing far more clarity in the existing provisions of the act.

Senior citizens especially Sangharshi Yodhas are the asset of state. Punjab government has decided to grant Sanman Patras to these Sangharshi Yodhas of Morcha against Emergency and Punjabi Suba Morcha, Sanman Patras besides providing them financial assistance. Instructions issued to all the heads of departments that wherever Sangharshi Yodhas visit the Government Offices, they may be properly entertained and their grievances be removed immediately, sending of formal invitation to the Sangharshi Yodhas for the District Level functions on Independence Day and Republic Day. In case of the death of Sangharshi Yodha due to any reason, the financial assistance would be disbursed to his widow.

Punjab government is committed to maintain communal harmony in the state. State Cabinet gave green signal to introduce a new amend section 295 AA in the Indian Penal Code 1860, which would provide punishment of life imprisonment for offenders committing heinous acts of sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Punjab Government is also going to start a novel scheme ‘Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Scheme’ from January 1, 2016 to provide free pilgrimage to sacred cities of Sri Nanded Sahib, Varanasi, Katra (Mata Vaishno Devi) and Ajmer Sharif. Under this ambitious scheme, 1050 people from each assembly constituency would be offered this facility of free travel to these pilgrimages. In another significant decision, the VAT levied on construction material etc. used for new Gaushalas have been capped at Rs 5 lakh per year. The VAT on consumables in Gaushalas have also been capped at Rs 3 lakh per year.

Punjab government has also decided to enhance financial assistance being provided to different sections of society enhanced as follows



The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) and Mini Mobile Medical Units of the Health department, Punjab, which have proved to be a boon for the people living in difficult and far flung areas, will now provide services free of cost.File Photo (2) The Punjab Government has decided to waive-off the user charges for health facilities and services being provided by the Mobile Medical Units and Mini Mobile Medical Units in the state.

This decision has been taken by Punjab Government in the interest of general public especially the under-served population living in remote and rural areas.

Mobile Medical Units are providing medical facilities to the people on daily basis except gazetted holidays. Each MMU unit comprises of one doctor, one nurse, one radiographer, one lab technician, helper and a driver. With this initiative all the health facilities in Mobile Medical Units and Mini Mobile Medical Units will become free of cost. This includes OPD services, Lab tests, X-ray’s and ECG’s. Prior to this OPD slip fee, Lab test and other medicines were chargeable on government rates.

Annually around four lakh people are availing health services benefits of Mobile Medical Units in Punjab. 24 Mobile Medical Units and 9 Mini Mobile Medical Units are functioning across the state, which cover about 10,000 villages.  Annually 1 lakh lab tests, over 10 Lakh X-ray’s and ECG’s are used to be conducted in these MMU’s and Mini MMU’s.

The purpose of MMU is to make health care services available to the rural poor as well as those living in urban slums. These MMU’s are also a boom for people who are unable to visit hospitals, especially old age people, children and women. MMU’s provide such people with various health facilities at their door steps.

Punjab Government is committed to provide better health care for the people of the State and is already providing facility of cashless delivery in Punjab Government hospitals since past many years, which has resulted in a significant improvement in state IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) and MMR (Maternal Mortality Ratio). Presently the IMR of the State has improved by 18 points i.e. 44 in 2005 to 26 in 2013 (as per S.R.S. data). Similarly the MMR has also improved, from 155 to 141 as per SRS data.

Government also provides free of cost facilities of referral transport, treatment and medicines to the pregnant women. In the State any child of upto 1 year age and all girls upto 5 year age are given free health facilities in Government health institutions. Almost all essential medicines are also available free of cost or on very subsidized rates in all Government Hospitals.