New mining policy on anvil: Punjab CM

Chandigarh, March 3 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said his government is committed to check monopoly and undue profiteering in transport business, and announced in the assembly that a new mining policy would come to an end the mining mafia.

The Chief Minister also announced 50 per cent concession on bus fare to the women travelling in government-run buses.

Also, 5,000 new mini bus route permits in the next two years to will be given to unemployed youth. Another 2,000 route permits would be provided for regular 52-seater stage carriage buses.

On the issue of the transport policy, the Chief Minister said the matter was sub-judice but necessary action would be taken as per the directions of the court as and when the issue was settled.

The Chief Minister assured the House that any transport permits found illegal would be cancelled, disclosing that show-cause notices had already been issued to 142, which were being examined as per law.

The transport department was in the process of issuing 15-day show-cause notices for the remaining 212 permits as well, said the Chief Minister, promising total transparency in issuance of permits, along with all possible steps to break the monopoly in the transport sector.

Referring to his government’s decision to lower the age of retirement by ending the process of optional extension, Amarinder Singh said all vacancies that will be created as a result of the move would be filled in two years.

Amarinder Singh announced his government’s decision to deepen the ambulances network through 108.

The number of ambulances will be increased from the existing 242 to 400 in two years, enabling 24X7 access to ambulance services for every cluster of 30-35 villages.

To strengthen the health delivery network, the Chief Minister said all doctors in government hospitals should double up both administrative and clinical work.

Earlier, first-time Congress legislator Amrinder Singh Raja Warring slammed his own government over its failure to tighten its noose against liquor and sand mafia in the state.

Speaking during the discussion on the budget proposals for 2020-21, Warring said in three years since the government assumed the helm, there was no new transport policy to end the mafia.

“We should not delay it, or we will have to face the consequences. Kindly fulfil your commitment of giving 5,000 licences to young people to run their buses,a he said.