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Punjab to spend Rs 1,500 cr on improving rural, urban infra: Amarinder

twitter-logoPTI | January 16, 2019 | Updated 22:32 IST

Chandigarh, Jan 16 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Wednesday said a sum of Rs 1,500 crore would be spent on improving rural and urban infrastructure in the state. Making the announcement during pre-budget consultations with his party MLAs from the Majha region, along with the top brass of his government, the chief minister assured the elected representatives that the paucity of funds would not be allowed to come in the way of development in both the rural and urban sectors. The chief minister said that out of the Rs 1,500 crore, Rs 1,000 crore would be spent on improving rural infrastructure while Rs 500 crore would be used for urban infrastructure, to ensure the best civic amenities to the residents. The pre-budget meeting to elicit the views of MLAs from Majha region on budget proposals to ensure holistic development of their respective assembly segments was held here, according to an official spokesperson. The state government has chalked out a four-phased programme of consultations with Congress MLAs from Majha, Doaba, Malwa-I and Malwa-II. Responding to the concerns expressed by the Majha MLAs, Amarinder directed the concerned departments to evolve programmes and schemes for promoting the smart village campaign and to also undertake a comprehensive urban environment improvement programme. He sought a detailed proposal for the same to be presented at the next meeting of the state committee. The MLAs highly lauded the work done by the government with regard to debt waiver, which would cover nearly seven lakh farmers with a total waiver amounting to Rs 6,000 crore by March 2019. Taking part in the deliberations, the MLAs made key suggestions, including strengthening of roads and bridges, expediting the debt waiver amount disbursement and new debt waiver scheme for landless labourers. The MLAs also suggested that concerted efforts should be made to further improve the urban infrastructure for better delivery of civic services. They demanded measures for overall development of Dera Baba Nanak area and Kartarpur corridor, besides sprucing up of the infrastructure of the holy town of Sultanpur Lodhi in view of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. Member Parliament from Gurdaspur Sunil Jakhar suggested that a special budgetary provision be made to facelift the holy city of Amritsar so as to showcase it as an iconic city across the globe. Rajya Sabha Member Partap Singh Bajwa said that focused attention should be paid to the education and health sectors. He pleaded that all the vacancies in government schools and hospitals, especially in the rural areas, should be filled on priority. PTI CHS MKJ

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