Punjab govt come up with another pro-people health initiative

Free medicines in government hospitals

The ruling SAD-BJP government is all set to launch a major pro-people initiative of free annual health check up program for 30 plus residents of the state. Under the Universal Health Coverage, the CM Prakash Singh Badal will prove his words during the health summit held in November.

As per the information, the residents who fall in this category will be screened for the diseases like Anemia, Hypertension, Diabetes, Kidne and liver diseases. The former Director of PGIMER, Dr K K Talwar has designed the programme.

The principal secretary health and family welfare Vini Mahajan said that as per public health experts, health check-up on a regular basis, especially after the age of 30, is the key to prevention of such diseases and play a major role in determining the quality of life.

After launching the initiative to provide free medicines and diagnostic facilities across the state, this annual health check-up programme has been designed to cover all 30 plus population.

Under this innovative  programme, basic investigations like Blood Pressure, Hemoglobin, Blood Sugar, Kidney amd Liver function tests will be conducted free of cost in addition to consultation by Doctors.

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, will be launching this programme from Community Health Centre, Chamkaur Sahib on December 6, 2016. The Punjab government has launched so many pro-people schemes and policies in the last ten years.

The new program is designed to cater the health problems of the residents above 30 years of age will add a feather in government’s cap. It’s a unique initiative taken by the ruling SAD-BJP regime.

The private doctors charge hefty fee for the consultation but in these camps, the doctors will provide free consultation along with the medicines. The residents of Punjab are already availing the free medicine facility in the civil hospitals. It is a boon for the downtrodden strata of the society.



An effort to stop the Wildlife Trade

Witnessing the struggling state of its biodiversity, The Punjab Government made sure that The World Environment Day was observed and celebrated with enthusiasm and vigour. Keeping in mind the global theme for 2016 as “Go Wild for Life – Zero Tolerance for Illegal Wildlife Trade”, a green ceremony was conducted all over Punjab.

The most impressive job was done by Amritsar, where the Local Bodies Minister, Anil Joshi, started the day by leading a cycle rally, originating from Novelty Chowk to Company Bagh, where he, along with other participants, planted tree saplings and distributed them among morning walkers and joggers, motivating them to replicate the thoughtful act.

Also, NGOs all over Punjab,organised and encouraged citizens to indulge in green activities like green walks, plantation drives and conducted awareness seminars.

Looking at the ignorance and neglect faced by the environment, BIG FM in collaboration with WWF India-Punjab, organised a painting competition for school children, on the theme ‘Save Water’, at 45 locations, all over India. With an aim to sensitize and educate children about the deteriorating situation of nature, and what they can do to prevent it and further decrease the seriousness of the crisis, the competition’s objective was to also make the students aware about issues like global warming and the depletion of native flora and fauna.

The government has really stepped up in taking an initiative to extend their efforts towards the saving and protecting of biodiversity.

Highlighting the importance of protecting wildlife in their natural habitat, the organisations also focused on the prohibition of deforestation.

In Punjab, where the state bird, the Northern Goshawk of Guru Gobind Singh, has become extinct, the state animal is visible primarily in a couple of zoos, and the state tree has dwindled manifold, the problems stare us in the eye. And yet we are blind to reality, and are moving towards catastrophe.

Kapsons, in association with citizen activists, also held a nature walk from the Mall Road to the Company Bagh which was joined by Jagjit Singh Walia, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Amritsar, who planted saplings along the roadside and at the Company Bagh and emphasized on saving environment for the future generations by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

The health sector in Punjab, seems to be healthy enough

The health sector requires special attention in order to drive growth, employment and economic prosperity in a state. The government of Punjab appears to be conducive towards a revolutionary change in the health sector of the state. Raising investment in various specialty hospitals in the state, with due emphasis on economic concerns has contributed significantly to the economic development and the increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in Punjab.

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It would not be wrong to claim that, the health care sector and the human resource development forms the backbone of an economy. Keeping in view the same, the health care sector occupied a pivotal place in the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit. The Summit aimed at enhancing the health sector in Punjab, by offering the most lucrative incentives to the pharmaceutical industry and the health care sector followed by providing single – window service for the efficient and effective clearances of such proposals. The computerization of health care records of all the government hospitals, and the policies in favor of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) people has resulted into a quantum jump in the productivity and the functioning of the health care sector in Punjab state.

There are various specialty hospitals operating in the state some of them include Fortis Hospital, Grecian super specialty hospital, Mayo healthcare super specialty hospital, Government multi – specialty hospital, Max super specialty hospital, JP hospital and Guru Nanak Dev super – specialty hospital. The Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) was incorporated through the revolutionary and legislative measures of the state Government of Punjab. The vision of PHSC was to bring more administrative flexibility for implementation of the ”Second State Health Systems Development Project” with assistance of  World Bank, with the motive of upgrading the health sector services at a secondary level.

The Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC), has been looking after about 150 institutions which include District Hospitals, Sub – Divisional Hospitals and various Community Health care centers. There are 86 medical institutions in the rural areas, and 64 medical institutions in the urban areas. The Second State Health Systems Development Project, has been contributing evidently towards adding, renovating and maintaining the health care institutions in the state in contrast to provision of equipment and chemicals for the diagnostic facilities.

Punjab remains one of the bright spots in the country, showing an upward growth trajectory in terms of the efficient health care facilities in the state. The state has witnessed to be undergoing the transformation into a pharmaceutical hub, owing to the emergence of various health sector tycoons such as Biocon, Max, Ranbaxy, and Merck proposing to invest lucratively in the health care of the state. The government of Punjab has been working responsively towards improving the performance and the efficiency of the health care system in Punjab by improving the institutional framework of the existing policies and initiating new policies for the development of the health services. Meanwhile, Punjab continues to be an anchor of stability and economic growth in the country.

Dhanis get the ‘power’ of 24-hr Supply

Punjab government in its bid to develop each part of the state, the Badal government took the step towards providing 24 hours electricity supply to Dhanis. The project which is worth Rs. 15.30 crore is dedicated towards electrifying more than 1500 dhanis.

Dhanis get the ‘power’ of 24-hr Supply

The government of Punjab is not just working for the welfare of the residents in the villages and cities under Punjab state but even for the people living in the far flung areas of the state. To do away with the problems of the people living near the border and sub-mountainous kandi areas the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal made it a point to provide electricity to these areas.

The project, which was taken up in 2013, aims to benefit more than 1500 Dhanis with an estimated cost of Rs. 15.30 Crore. Dhanis are places where people live collectively outside towns or villages.

The electricity in the border areas has not been regular and that has been a major reason for their disappointment. Government has now taken this into consideration and the Chief Minister has assured the residents of these areas of 24 Hour uninterrupted Electricity.

The funds for the project to start were immediately released by the Government to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd. (PSPCL). The plan as directed by the Chief Minister himself was to connect Dhanis with a Cluster of three or more houses in border areas with feeders. This would be done after laying separate lines to ensure a good power supply on the urban pattern.

Anirudh Tiwari was made the head of a committee that was to work out the modakities for the settlement of outstanding arrears outstanding. PSPCL was also directed by the chief minister to issue fresh power bills to BPL on the basis of current.

Electrifying the 1500 Dhanis in Punjab will lead the state into some much deserved appreciation. It has been proved to be a stepping stone towards development. Punjab government in this effort of theirs of providing uninterrupted electricity to the Dhanis which have had the problem of erratic supply of electricity, has made their intention of developing each corner of the state bold.

Further in the current Budget of the state presented by the finance minister S. Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Rs 102 Crores have been allocated towards electrifying the leftout Dhanis.

After providing electricity to the border areas of the state, Akali-BJP led government has done justice to the needs of the people living in the rural areas. Looking for the needs of the poor in the far flung areas makes clear the intention of the government to help the poor.

Single window System for power connection, a boost for Punjab govt’s claims

SAD-BJP’s promise to make offices of public dealing hassle free has received a big boost with the huge success of Single Window System which was introduced for online release of connections, by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) last year.

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The initiative, which provides hassle free connection with above 100 KVA(Kilo Volt Ampere) of Domestic, Non Residential or Industrial load has drawn a tremendous response across the state.

According to Er. K.D.Chaudhri, Chairman cum Managing Director, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited the Single Window System for online Release of Connections has been a huge success, since it was launched.

Officials at the PSPCL maintain the most important highlight of the scheme was that the consumers were not required to physically appear in the PSPCL office to apply for the connections. The objective was also to provide best service of the kind to electricity consumers all over the state.

What needs to be done to apply

In the scheme, the consumer has to visit PSPCL web site www.pspcl.in to register his application by filling the nominal processing fee of Rs.10 per KVA online. The applicant has the option to deposit the fee with multiple payment facilities like Credit Card, Debit Card, Net Banking or through RTGS. Once the processing is through, an e Demand Notice is issued for remittance of prescribed fee and the connection is released within the given frame of time. To keep the applicant apprised of the status of his application, complete status of application is updated on his mobile phone and e-mail. The maximum time to release the connection upto 500KVA, once the application is complete in all aspects is two months and for HT connection of any load is also two months. For Extra High Tension (EHT) connection of load above 500KVA, the duration is four months.

According to officials, ever since the scheme was introduced in March 2013, more than 500 applicants of load between 100KVA to 500KVA, 100 applicants of load between 500KVA to 1000KVA, over 50 applicants with load between 1000KVA to 2000KVA, about 30 applicants of load more than 2MVA and around 30 applicants of TG/DG sets have been accepted and the electricity connections have been released.

Monitoring from the top

A mechanism has been evolved to monitor the status of each application at PSPCL’s head office at various levels. And regular efforts are being made to expedite the process at each level to ensure that the deadlines are met. Officials maintain that the results of scheme are far encouraging as no complete application remained pending for the release of electricity connection. According to them the Single Window System to release electricity connections has not only improved efficiency for the release of connection, but has also led to complete transparency. The scheme has brought in the facility to the consumer at his doorstep.

What next

While the new scheme has not only built confidence amongst the consumers about PSPCL and government’s claims, it is now contemplating that the similar facility was provided to the applicants with load of less than 100KVA.

Agricultural indebtedness legislation a game changer for Punjab farmers

The introduction of “Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness Bill, 2016” by the SAD-BJP government has added another feather to the cap of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal who have emerged as champion of farmers’ cause through their series of farmer friendly initiatives.

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The bill primarily focusses on providing a framework for assessment and settlement of non-institutional agricultural debt, which has been a major burden on debt ridden farmers of Punjab. At a time when the interest is mounting on the debtor farmers, the provisions of new aim at directly benefiting the farmers who have already paid an amount equal to double the principal amount. The relevance of new legislation can be gauged from the fact that the agriculture indebtedness in Punjab at present is estimated to be over Rs 36,000 crore, including Rs 12,000 crore of non-institutional loans advance given by arhtiyas, the remaining being the institutional loans. Besides, there is non-agriculture rural indebtedness of another Rs 27,000 crore.


By and large it’s a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for debt-related disputes of farmers with arhtiyas (commission agents). Apart from reducing stress on farmers and agriculture labour through fair settlement of debt-related disputes, it would also reduce litigations in courts and harassment to parties.

The provisions of legislation empower the government to prescribe a maximum rate of interest which can be charged by the creditors on non-institutional loans provided by them. Each creditor will be required issue an authenticated passbook to the debtor.

How it would be implemented

District level forums and tribunals would be set up under the new Act all over the state. These bodies would have powers to declare the debt as having been discharged and waive the entire loan amount with interest. These forums would also have the power to order the release of any property pledged or mortgaged by a debtor whose debt is once decided as having been paid.

With the implementation of act, all disputes regarding loan amount upto Rs 15 lakh which are pending in civil courts would be handed over to these Forums. The forums now will have to decide disputes within three months, and civil courts will have no jurisdiction over such issues.

The district forums to be headed by a former or serving district or additional district session judge, will have two other members – one representative of farming community and another of money lenders. The appellant authority in such cases – tribunal will be headed by a former high court judge and will comprise two more members, who will have a three-year term.

Procedure for seeking relief
Any debtor or creditor of agricultural loan will be eligible to move a petition before the district forum for settlement of his/her debt. If dissatisfied with the order, he or she can file an appeal before the tribunal. As per the provisions, the orders of the tribunal can be challenged in high court.

According to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal the new legislation was the need of hour to to safeguard the interests of oppressed farmers through a regulated mechanism. “The legislation would go a long way in bringing much needed relief to debt-ridden farmers on one hand and regulating the process of money lending on the other,” he said.

Dairy farm service centers – A step towards progress

It is a un- deniable fact that, the dairy industry contributes in large numbers to the economic growth and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. It plays an indispensable role in the global food system and the upliftment and sustainability of the rural sectors, in a country. An augmenting demand of dairy products, is witnessed worldwide owing to which the dairy industry is progressing intensively.

Dairy farm service centers – A step towards progress, Progressive Punjab, Developing Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal

Learning lessons from the past, the SAD – BJP led Government of Punjab has taken efficient steps for business management of the dairy enterprise. Keeping in view, the reduction of the prices of milk, Single Farm Payment and ensuing tightening of margins, in contrast to uncertainty of quotas in future, it has been of immense significance to monitor flock performance on a regular basis. From replacing obsolete and conventional techniques of dairy farming, to precise management decisions for the business the government has left no stone un turned to step on the ladder of progress. The Punjab chief minister , Mr. Prakash Singh Badal during a meeting at Punjab Bhawan, gave approval to resurrect the ‘ Farmers Service Center ’ in the state.

According to the last livestock Census for 2012 statistics, Punjab had approximately 18.24 lakh female exotic/ cross-bred cattle, out of which 11.34 lakh were adult milch cows. In contrast to which, there were a mere number of 1.7 lakh female indigenous cattle, comprising of 1.03 lakh milch animals. The State animal husbandry department officials estimated the count of desi cows in Punjab in the range of 40,000 – 50,000. The apex mission of the Government of Punjab towards the dairy industry, as stated by the official website of Punjab Dairy Development Board (PDDB) is, “Promoting expansion and modernization of dairying, facilitating increase in production of milk and productivity of milch animals, improving and maintaining the quality of milk.”

Free of cost trainings are provided to the dairy farmers for rearing of indigenous cattle through the Farmers Service Centers, by the Punjab Dairy Development Board (PDDB). Inderjit Singh, the additional chief executive officer of PDDB stated that, “We have trained around 200 farmers till date at our various centers which include Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Patiala and Firozpur. They have been made aware about the merits of desi cows. We are receiving several queries now from farmers across the state for opening units,”

Owing to the firm determination and efficient working of the Farmers Service Centers, the massive number of dairy farms are not just involved in production of milk from cows, but also in the business of commercial rearing of the Holstein Friesian (HF) crossbred calves, which are annually transported to other states, thereby, contributing to economic development of the Punjab state.

There are various dairy training and extension services for the farmers, with the vision of making the farmers self-sufficient. The dairy farmers which usually include the un-employed rural youth, are imparted six weeks, two weeks and one day training which provide them an in-depth insight into dairy farm management, pregnancy diagnosis, milk handling etc.  With the initiation of the Milk Producers Training and Extension Service Programme, Punjab has stepped further on the ladder of progress.