Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday assured state legislators to launch a discretionary fund for them modeled after Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS). Similar programs have already been implemented in a few other states, including Delhi, led by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Mann made the announcement during Question Time while responding to a question posed by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Chief Manpreet Singh Ayali.
Ayali, who leads his party’s Legislative Caucus, told the Vidhan Sabha that for day-to-day needs, MPs should look to the government and that allocating a fixed discretionary fund would facilitate their functioning and also support local development. . He said where states like Assam, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi could offer such discretionary funds to MPs, Punjab should also follow suit and provide at least ₹5 crores each per year.
“We support the MLALAD fund and will work on the proposal,” Mann said, adding that it would also help move away from the practice followed by previous governments, in which the ruling party appointed its leaders as halqa officials to disbursement. funds bypassing elected officials.
Aahirwad: ₹219cr due to 43,640 beneficiaries
Responding to a question posed by AAP lawmaker Sukhwinder Singh Kotli, Minister for Social Justice and Minority Empowerment Dr. Baljit Kaur said the payout of ₹219 crore was pending for 43,640 beneficiaries under the Aashirwad scheme. Under this program, the state government provides ₹51,000 grants for the marriage of a girl to families belonging to socially and economically weaker strata.
On a question from AAP legislator Narinder Kaur Bharaj, Energy Minister Harbhajan Singh said that in case of death of a farmer, a tube well in his name is transferred to the legal heir under article 11 of the 2014 supply code. He said that since 2017, 31,801 applications had been received for it and only 20 cases were pending. However, the MP demanded a simplification of the procedure, to which the minister replied that the government was keen to do so.
Public Works Minister Harbhajan Singh told the House that the four-lane construction works of the Sirhind-Patiala road will be completed by August 2023. The issue was jointly raised by MPs from the ruling Chetan party Singh Joramajra and Ajit Pal Singh Kohli.
On an issue raised by AAP MP Harmeet Singh Pathanmajra to develop Gharam in Patiala district as a historic town, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Harjot Singh Bains said the government will include this religiously significant town in the next tourism policy.
Water Resources Minister Brahm Shanker Jimpa informed the House that the construction of Stage 2 of the Kandi Canal through Garhshankar has been completed. Adding to the response to the question posed by MP Krishan Singh Rori, he said that after the completion of the rehabilitation works for Stage 1, water will be released into the canal.