Punjab is just two-and-a-half per cent of the country’s size but the state has been a major contributor to the granary hence earning the sobriquet “food bowl” of the nation, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Monday.
Punjabis, especially the Sikhs were always in the forefront of freedom movement and suffered untold hardships in the form of life imprisonments and hangings, Sukhbir said this while presiding over the Independence Day function at Guru Nanak stadium here.
After freedom also the Punjabis continued to do their best for making the country and state move forward in social, economical and political sphere, he said.
Listing out the achievements of the SAD-BJP government during the past 9 years, Sukhbir said coalition has acted as the real benefactor of all the sections and fulfilled its promise of making Punjab a power surplus state.
He said the state government is carrying out modernisation of road infrastructure by making all the major roads 4 and 6 laned by spending more than Rs 20,000 crore besides providing sewerage, clean drinking water and LED street lights in 160 cities and towns of the state.
He said the SAD-BJP government has constructed airports of international standard at SAS Nagar and Bathinda apart from opening up 12 universities, IIT at Ropar and initiating work on IIM Amritsar to bolster educational sector.
The Deputy Chief Minister said Rs 2,500 crore have been spent to give fillip to irrigation sector, free power worth Rs 6,500 crore to farmers being provided, a new pro farmer law enacted according to which interest of one lakh would be payable on availing loan of same amount, no interest is to be levied on Rs 50,000 agri limit loan, health insurance scheme for farmers, traders & poor sections and ‘shagan’ scheme to poor strata.
He said 300 skill centers would be opened soon so as to impart latest professional skills to youth besides 389 sewa kendars in urban areas have been operationalised with another 1758 to start functioning soon in rural areas which would change the economic and developmental landscape of the state.
He informed that Rs 2,500 crore have been spent on the all round development of holy city Amritsar with several projects like beautification of area around Sri Durbar Sahib and Durgiana mandir which would be completed in 2 months.
Coming to the Industrial sector, he claimed the number of industrial units have increased from 5000 in 2007 to 11,000, a perfect rebuttal to the misleading opposition campaign.
Warning rowdy forces out to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of state, he said such elements would be strictly dealt with.
On the occasion, the Deputy CM took salute from the parade after unfurling the national tricolour. The cultural programme held added colour to the occasion.
Sukhbir also honoured kin of freedom fighters and handed over awards to police personnel and participants in the parade. He also distributed tricycles to the differently abled people