Chandigarh, March 18:
Marching towards the goal to make Punjab a number one state in the country, the Chief Minister S Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government has taken numerous path breaking decisions during first year regime, which not only led to fulfil the aspirations of Punjabis but the state has also witnessed unprecedented growth in various sectors, said Mr Aman Arora, Minister of Punjab New and Renewable Energy Sources and Employment Generation & Training, on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference here at Punjab Bhawan, the Cabinet Minister Aman Arora said that New & Renewable Energy Sources department will soon come up with the Green Hydrogen policy as part of its energy transition plan, aiming to reduce fossil fuel usage by utilising agri residue. He said that the state produces 20 million tons of paddy straw every year and 12 million still remain un-utilised and with this policy, paddy straw will become an asset than a liability.
The work on another ambitious project of solarisation of all government buildings has also been initiated, the cabinet minister said while adding that Asia’s largest Compressed Biogas (CBG) plant of total capacity 33.23 TPD has already been operational in Sangrur district and agri-residue based 42 additional CBG projects have also been allotted by PEDA.
Highlighting the achievements of the Housing & Urban Development department during the year, Mr Aman Arora said that Punjab Government will construct 25,000 houses for economically weaker sections, which has been ignored by the successive governments, in a phased manner and 15,000 houses will be constructed in the first phase. The state government has also planned to develop around 100 New Urban Estates in next five years to ensure planned development in the state.
The Affordable Housing Policy, 2023 has been approved to provide affordable houses to lower-middle income and lower-income families and it will further give a push to revive the real estate sector in the state. He said that over 14,000 unauthorised colonies have been mushroomed in the state due to negligence and nefarious policies of previous governments.
He further said that the Housing and Urban Development department has decentralised powers to the level of Development Authorities for granting Change of Land Use (CLU), Completion Certificate, Layout and Building Plans. In another such move to simplify the process, authority for approval of Building Plans and grant of Completion Certificate to the standalone industries has been delegated to Director, Factories.
The H&UD department has also decided to do away with tedious and time consuming multi-step approval processes including CLU. Now onwards people, interested to start any project in the state, will not need to apply for CLU permission separately. Now, applicant(s) will have to submit a single application with the requisite documents to the Competent Authority and the Authority will grant the approval of Layout Plans/ Building Plans/ Licences within the mandated timeline. This decision will boost the development in the real estate sector by reducing the total time period for granting permissions for standalone projects to 30-60 days and for colonies to around 45-60 days.
Listing other achievements of the Bhagwant Mann led Punjab government in the first year, the Cabinet Minister Mr Aman Arora said that with the implementation of the new excise policy 45 per cent increase has been registered in excise revenue as compared to financial year 2021-22.
Health and Education are the core sectors for Aam Aadmi Party led state government, Mr Aman Arora said that over 500 Mohalla Clinics are already operational in the state and the number of such clinics will be 646 soon. As many as 117 Schools Of Eminence have been started in the state and two batches of school teachers have already been sent to Singapore for sharpening their professional teaching skills.
Fulfilling its major poll-promises within one-year, Mann government is providing 300 free electricity units and over 90% households are getting zero electricity bills. The state government has also initiated a process to regularise the services of 14000 employees.
The state government had implemented major guarantees like 26,797 new jobs to youth and Rs 1 Crore Ex-gratia to martyrs’ families during this year, he added.
With the commitment to ensure honest, transparent and accountable governance, Mr Aman Arora said that the government has also attracted investment to the tune of over Rs 40,000 crore in the state.