Strengthening infrastructure and inclusive progress of the people

For the progress and prosperity of the state, Punjab government has taken various initiatives to strengthen the infrastructure and provide inclusive growth to the people of the state. Punjab government has emphasised that in the coming months the state will witness inclusive development on a massive scale as the government has chalked out its agenda to develop the state socially and economically.

Punjab government’s ‘Progressive Punjab Investor Summit-2015’ which was held recently at ISB Mohali was a grand success, investors from across the globe had shown tremendous interest in making investments in the state which would result in strengthening the infrastructure as well as ensuring job avenues for 2.5 lakh youth. The state government has announced a slew of tax exemptions for the food processing sector and investments made in this sector would benefit the state’s farmers too. Setting up of IT hub in Mohali will provide great job opportunities to the youth of the state who move out in order to find suitable jobs. The state government has also tied up with various companies to setup skill training centres, the government is focused to train the youth and make them skilled, so that where ever they go they can easily find jobs. With such initiatives Punjab will soon become the most skilled state of the nation.

Punjab is the only state where every village, town and city is connected through a brilliant road network. The state is focused on broadening the road network from 4 to 6 lanes and will provide best connectivity to the citizens of the state in terms of road, air and rail.

Punjab government is inviting farmers to generate power from non-conventional energy resources; the state government is encouraging farmers to generate power from residue of crops besides devoting special attention to commissioning new biomass based plants. Solar plants are one of the major sources of production of clean and green electricity, farmers of the state and various companies has shown keen interest in setting up solar plants in the state which will benefit the progress of the state and its citizens to a great extent.

Punjab government would release funds constituency wise in the rural and urban areas to carry out developmental works like – roads, clean drinking water, lights, sewerage etc. The state government will soon advertise a total of 1 lakh jobs in keeping with its policy of providing employment to youth of the state.

Indeed Punjab is moving at a rapid rate by implementing every policy effectively and efficiently, focusing on the inclusive growth of the state and its citizens.

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“Make in Punjab”

In order to promote and encourage industrialists and businessman of the state, Punjab government has stated that it will come up with a new policy under “Make in Punjab” to encourage the local industry thereby providing incentives for its growth. The state government is committed to attract the setting up of new industries on one hand and revive the existing units on the other. “The sole aim is to provide congenial atmosphere, liberal policies and online facilities to the entrepreneurs for overall progress of the Punjab as well as generating job opportunities for youth.”

Punjab government has empowered the industrialists’ associations to develop and maintain existing focal points. Under new policy, Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) would be set up in each industrial area by January 1st. The SPVs would collect the taxes from the industrial units and spend it on the development of industrial areas. This unique mechanism will certainly help in eliminating the various problems regarding provisioning of basic amenities and other facilities in focal points.

Punjab government has assented to the demands of businessmen and announced that under existing labour rules, payments to the industrial labour through cheques would be deferred by December 31 and alternative arrangements would be made in consultations with the labour department. In order to redress their genuine grievances, the government has asked the excise and industry departments to constitute an advisory committee of small scale manufacturers in order to get their valuable suggestions. Providing big relief to the industrialists the state government has announced that the excise department would now scrutinise assessment cases of tax payers pertaining to the last three years instead of five years and if any tax payer found at fault then scrutiny of five years taxes would be implemented. With a view to provide online facilities and solutions to the queries of the tax payers, the state government has asked the industrialists to upload their email ids on the departmental web portal. This will allow the government to deliver the information and respond to their issues effectively and efficiently.

Punjab government has also declared to provide VAT retention and power incentives even for expansion of existing units under new industrial policy. The State government has stated that it is formulating a new power policy in which existing units would also get cheaper power which is below Rs 5 per unit, keeping in view their present consumption. The state government has also advised the small scale entrepreneurs to pay lump-sum taxes by adopting “Rahat Scheme” that had already been implemented for the traders to end ‘Inspector Raj’ across the state. The main aim behind the new scheme is to simplify the procedure of trade and business in the state.

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.

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.