The Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government was quick to get off the starting blocks after coming to power. The state council of ministers took 118 decisions in its first meeting on March 18 to fulfil the promises made in its election manifesto, but many of them are still to be implemented or followed up with prompt action. A status report prepared by the fund-starved state government has shown that 45 of these cabinet decisions have been implemented in the past seven-and-a-half months.
Chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh, who has been asked by the CM for a status check of cabinet decisions, wrote to administrative secretaries last month with details of decisions related to their departments, seeking an update.
“The implementation of several decisions is in the works or taking time due to procedural requirements or non-availability of funds,” said sources. The departments have been asked to implement the decisions on priority.
The state government has been facing fire from the opposition parties over non-implementation of several of its election promises. Also, there have been murmurs of dissatisfaction from within the Congress. The Congress had, in its election manifesto, rained freebies, making promises such as farm debt waiver, smartphones with free data and calling, unemployment allowance and free bus travel facility for students.
When the party formed the government, the state cabinet, which met within two days, decided to implement many of them. Finance minister Manpreet Badal, who was also the architect of the party’s poll manifesto, had termed the first cabinet meeting as “mother of all meetings”.
The state government has implemented decisions related to administrative reforms, curbing VIP culture, establishment of committees and other panels, reservation for women, SCs and OBCs etc that required changes in rules through notification or official order. The much-awaited farm loan waiver, which is on top of government agenda, was also notified last month for 10.22 lakh debt-ridden farmers, but there is still no clarity on its funding. Other major decisions such as unemployment allowance, free smartphones, agriculture insurance and transportation facility are still “in the works”.
03 Mar 2021
04 Mar 2021