Right to Services Act, a great step towards Citizen Empowerment

SAD – BJP (Shiromani Akali Dal- Bhartiya Janta Party), the state government of Punjab has been making its sincere efforts to fulfill the motive of Right to Service Act, which was implemented in the year 2011. The state government has always been focused on the agenda to put service beyond duty.

On 19th October, 2011, the state government of Punjab gave its agreement on the RTS Act (Right to Service Act). The primary motive of RTS Act is to make the delivery of government services to the people of Punjab in the easiest and smooth manner. Also, it was enacted to make sure that the services are delivered within specified set of time span to Punjab’s people. The Punjab RTS Act also ensures the proper and better execution of the services.

Following are the steps/procedure that is followed in the Punjab RTS Act, (as stated in the Information Handbook, under the RTS Act)–

  • Commission will arrange meetings after specified intervals of time to take important decisions.
  • The functioning of Commission will be monitored/supervised by the directions of the Chief Commissioner.
  • Any revision or complaint can be considered or decided by the commission from time to time.
  • Though, the final decision making authority lies in the hands of the Chief Commissioner.

Efficiently providing the effective services within the specified time frame, this Punjab Right to Service Act has been proved to be highly beneficial for the promotion of transparency and accountability in the operation of the government departments, which provide the services to the people of Punjab.

To make sure the timely delivery of services and making suggestions to Punjab government, a Punjab Right to Service Commission has been set up. It also ensures the accurate execution of the Punjab Right to Service Act. Apart from being the leading state to implement this Act, 7.21 Crore people have been benefited from the same. As per the official spokesperson’s claim, around 28, 37,866 applicants have taken the advantage of the notified services during the month of February under the mentioned Act. Also, only 14,160 are the pending applications which are to be cleared as soon as possible.

In addition to this, we can say that the implementation of The Punjab Right to Service Act has been successful in gaining the trust of citizens and it has also empowered the people of Punjab in the most efficient manner possible.

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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.

Punjab on Investment Promotion Mode

The industrious nature of the people of Punjab, progressive and transparent policies of the government, continuous investment in human capital, development initiatives, robust infrastructure development and good governance have put Punjab on the trajectory of fast growth in the last six years, said the deputy chief minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal .The set – up of the Bureau of Investment Promotion has been contributing in large numbers towards the economic growth of the state.

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The Bureau of Investment Promotion, Punjab is a meeting point for the regulatory clearances and attractive fiscal incentive approvals. It provides a one stop clearance to the investors, keeping in view the preferable investment destination in terms of abundant quality power, class logistics, end to end communication network, highly skilled manpower and enterprise and high quality social infrastructure.

The business rules of the Department of Investment Promotion, are to interact with industry at National and International level to promote investment in Punjab and to consistently deal with several proposals.

The visionary far sight of the deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is clearly by his statement at the Invest Punjab summit that, “When investors come to India why they should go to 100 departments of government of India? There should be one Invest India in Prime Minister’s office under the Prime Minister. Anybody who walks in there should be a one number, one man, one email and one month clearance for those who wants to invest in India that will be the game changer.”

The Bureau of Investment Promotion facilitates fiscal incentives and investment proposals of about 23 departments, some of which include pollution, labour, industry, forest and the electricity department. The head of the department, Anirudh Tiwari IAS, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the secretary of the administrative department, Karan A. Singh IAS have been conducive towards the Fiscal Incentives for Industrial Promotion, (FIIP) 2013 and attracting lucrative investors for the set – up of new industries in the state.

The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government, witnessed the signing of 378 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and approvals of about Rs. 1.15 lakhs in the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit. Studies have proven that radical initiatives of the state government such as the setting up of The Bureau of Investment Promotion, has been successful in attracting lucrative investments in the state by huge investors from all over the globe. Punjab’s rise is a defining storyline of the early 21st century. Owing to the concentrated leadership of the state government, Punjab is marching on the road of economic growth and stability.

Labour Act catering to needs of Labourers Effectively

The Labour department of the state Punjab has been initiating efficient steps in order to maintain industrial peace and coordination between the workers and the employers. Enacting the labour laws by the Government of India, the department looks after precisely ensuring safety, health and welfare of the workers so that the growth trajectory of Punjab witnesses only upward movement in the succeeding years.

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The Punjab contract labour act was initiated by the government in the year 1970 with the objective to regulate the employment of contract labour in certain establishments and provide for its abolition in certain circumstances and for matters connected therewith. The act extends to the entire country, with every establishment which includes the employment of twenty or more workmen or labourers on any day of the preceding twelve months as contract labour. However, the Punjab contract labour act does not applies to situations in which work of any casual nature is being performed.

The person who looks after the operating and supervision of the establishments or, the owner or occupier of an office is the principal employer under the act. All the contractors are supposed to obtain a license on an application in Form IV, made to the licensing officer of the area. In contrast to it, the contractor is also supposed to deposit a security amount of Rs. 270 per worker. The license is to be renewed by the contractor by submitting the application in Form VII in triplicate and also deposit fee for the renewal of the license.

With the view to provide comfort to the labourers, the contractor is supposed to provide and maintain canteens, rest rooms, first aid facilities, drinking water, latrines, washing facilities etc when one hundred or more than one hundred contract labour is being employed. The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government, has set up certain prescribed rates of minimum wages which shall not be abated by the contractor. In addition to that, the contractor in the presence of the authorized representatives of the principal employer is supposed to look after the well – timed payment of wages and ensure the disbursement of wages.

The records and submissions are to be maintained by the principal employer by the registration of the contractors, in terms of every establishment in Form XII and annual return in Form XXV. And by the contractor, in the form of registering the establishment in Form XIII, muster roll and registration of wages in form XVI and Form XVII when combined, register of wage-cum-muster roll in form XVII in which the wage period is fortnightly or less, register of deductions for damages or loss in Form XX, register of fines in Form XXI, register of advances in Form XXII, register of overtime in Form XXIII, wage slip in Form XIX, and half-yearly return in Form XXIV in duplicate within 30 days from the closing of half year.

Needless to say, the Punjab contract labour act has been successfully catering to the needs of the labourers in the state.

Shagun scheme – Towards a Better Life for Women in Punjab

India is a patriarchal society, where the males own the majority authority and power. However, the state of Punjab evidently acknowledges the contribution of women in the society. In order to provide a helping hand to the Scheduled caste girls or women, the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government has come up with various initiatives, which include the Shagun scheme. Notions of women empowerment thrive on initiatives like these.

Shagun scheme – Towards a Better Life for Women in Punjab.pngThe government of Punjab, initiated the Shagun scheme on April 1, 1997 with the view to provide economic stability and financial support to the underprivileged families, at the time of marriage of the females in the family. Women belonging to backward classes, Schedule Castes, economically weaker sections, Christians, and the case of remarriage of widows or divorcees of any casts who have attained the minimum age of 18 years on the occasion of their marriage, are provided with the financial aid of Rs. 15,000. However, the beneficiaries under the Shagun scheme should not have the annual income of the family exceeding Rs 32,790.

The status of women in Punjab, has been ameliorating ever since the Shagun scheme was initiated. The pro – active approach of the state government, is clearly evident by the fact that all the amount which is to be paid under this welfare scheme is credited to the accounts of the beneficiaries with the help of online management. The girls are supposed to apply 30 days prior to the commencement of their marriage, with the view to have an efficient, prompt and hassle free functioning of the Shagun scheme.

The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government, allocated an amount of Rs 98 crore for scheme, during the fiscal year of 2015 – 2016. The state government had already provided Rs 60.17crore to about 40,105 beneficiaries under Shagun Scheme, in the month of December, 2015.  The state welfare minister, Mr. Gulzar Singh Ranike claimed that the Punjab government had even issued the instructions to disburse the amount of Rs 15,000 under the Shagun scheme directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

Numbers sourced that the state government provided financial aid to about 82,267 beneficiaries, with the allocated budget of Rs 124.30 crore in the financial year of 2012 – 2013. Followed by 80,810 and 58,362 beneficiaries in the financial year of 2013 – 2014 and 2014 – 2015, respectively. The state government cleared about 18,798 cases of the Shagun scheme from March 2015 to June 2016, for which Rs 28.20 crore had been credited directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

The situation of underprivileged women is seen to be changing in the state. The potential government of Punjab has taken various steps like the Shagun scheme through which, the families can now bestow the same love for their daughters, as for their sons. This has come a long way, and shall definitely go longer towards the path of women empowerment and their position in the society.

Scholarship Schemes bring Smile on the faces of Punjabis

In the present world, education plays a part and parcel role in the efficient functioning of an economy. India being a country which is bogged down by various maladies, education turns out to be the medicine for putting a halt to such maladies. Keeping in view the same, the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government is creating the path which leads the masses from darkness to light, with the help of benignant Ashirwad scholarship schemes for the people of Punjab.

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The Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led, government of Punjab has initiated various scholarship schemes for the development of the society, which includes schemes for the students as well as the institutions. There are two apex schemes for institutions such as –

1. Construction of hostel for Other Backward Class (OBC) boys and girls – The Construction of hostel for OBC boys and girls, is a centrally sponsored scheme with the motive of cost sharing between the state and central government in 50:50 ratio with 100% funding to Union Territories and Central Government Institutions.

2. Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojana – The Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojana, has been successful in catering to the accommodation needs of the students belonging to scheduled castes. The scheme looks after the provision of expansion of the pertaining hostel buildings.

In contrast to the schemes for the institutions, various scholarship schemes have been initiated by the state government for the economically weaker sections, such as –

  1. Post matric scholarship scheme for the Scheduled caste students.
  2. Post matric scholarship scheme for the Other Backward Class students.
  3. Full financial support to Scheduled Caste students pursuing top class education beyond class 12th.
  4. University Grants commission’s Central Sector Scheme of ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship’ which provided Scholarships to the Scheduled Caste students for pursuing programmes in Higher Education such as M.Phil., Ph.D. etc.
  5. Post Matric scholarship scheme for the meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections of some minority community.
  6. Scheme of National Scholarship for the students who have at least 40% disabilities. They are given scholarship for pursuing post matric /post – secondary technical and professional courses which also include Ph.D. and M.Phil. from recognized institutions.

Numbers sourced that the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP led state government, disbursed approximately Rs 200 crore amongst more than 3.14 lakh students in the years 2007-2015, under post matric scholarships scheme which are being given to the students belonging to minority communities. An official spokesman of the Welfare department, government of Punjab said that, the scholarship will be awarded to those students who have secured not less than 50 per cent marks and the annual income of whose parents/guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs 2 lakh. 30 percent of the scholarships are allocated for the girl students.

Needless to say, the government of Punjab is radical in its approach, to provide scholarship to the students belonging to economically weaker sections. A positive contribution to the social good is made by the government, which has helped in transforming Punjab from ignorance to knowledge.

Chhota Ghallughara: Memorial of Courage

Built in a 10 acre campus the Chhota Ghallughara is a memorial to those brave Sikh men who lost their lives to the Mughal army in 1746. The government made the Rs. 12 crore campus to serve the memory of those men and also to keep alive the rich heritage of the state and Sikh people.

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Punjab has been a land of many great leaders, revolutionaries and also martyrs, we have had people like the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his General Hari Singh Nalwa. The list carries on till the time of freedom struggle that saw the likes of Bhagat Singh rise to the occasion. Punjab has seen many battles. There have been times in the past when the Sikhs came into grave danger of being killed all at once, one such occasion was the time when the Mughals went to take revenge of the death of Jaspat Rai and in turn massacred the Sikhs.

To glorify the sacrifice of those brave heart Sikh warriors who lost their lives in the battle, the government of Punjab has made a memorial. Standing in Kahnuwan Chhamb in the district of gurdaspur the monument has been linked to the suffrage of the people.

Spread in about 10 acres the monument was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal. The inauguration took place in November 2011. It is to remember the great warriors who fought the battle for more than two months. It is believed that around 11,000 people lost their lives during that time.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal made the announcement of opening Chhota Ghallughara memorial while he was at the opening of the Khalsa Heritage Complex, which has been dedicated to gurus.

Shiromani Akali Dal led government in the state did open the memorial centre shortly after. Spread in over 10 acre campus, has a 100 feet tall minar (tower). The memorial serves the memory of around 11,000 warriors and has a few buildings inside. This will work as a great way for letting the youth know the history of the state and about its great Sikhs.

It was a battle that was initiated by Lakhpat Rai who was the revenue minister of the Mughal Empire in 1746. To avenge the death of his brother, Jaspat Rai the former declared that he would not rest his head until he scourged the entire Sikh panth out of existence.

Lakhpat Rai took the help of the Mughal emperor in Lahore and summoned leaders from Multan, Bahawalpur and Jalandhar. All the Sikhs in Lahore were killed by Lakhpat Rai and then he went on to search for Sikhs who had reportedly taken shelter in the forest of Kahnuvan. The Sikh men gave a brilliant fight to the army of Lakhpat Rai.

Government’s idea of making a memorial shows their affection towards the rich history of the state and it gives tales of all the great men that have been born in Punjab. It shows how the SAD and BJP led government vales the sentiments of the people and cares for the rich history of the state.