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Jago Punjab Yatra Agenda

Below is the agenda distributed by S. Manpreet Singh Badal during his press conference in Amritsar on November 14, 2010 where he also announced “Jago Punjab Yatra”

Radical economic, political and social reforms agenda to clean the system.

Warning – If we do not clean system, they will overthrow the system.

Taking agenda to the population of Punjab.

  1. Awakening – wake up call
  2. Seeking feedback/ direction on the agenda.

Awakening

  1. Economy / Finance
  2. Corruption
  3. Poverty
  4. Illiteracy
  5. Addiction
  6. Unemployment

RADICAL REFORMS AGENDA

FINANCE

1. Punjab Economy/ State Finance
2. Investments
3. Stop Wasteful Expenditure

POLITICAL

4. 50% quota for youth and women in State Legislature.
5. No MLA serve as a minister for more than two terms as a minister in the Punjab Cabinet.
6. No blood relative should serve in the same cabinet.
7. Eliminate VIP culture in Punjab. Laws against beacon light or siren etc. except for Emergency Services.

SOCIAL

8. Corruption
9. Drugs
10. Sustainable Environment

FINANCE/ ECONOMY

Strong government Finances:

(a) The Public debt of Punjab is unsustainable; it must be reduced by reducing government borrowing by cutting down expenditure and helping the economy to grow so that revenues from taxes grow faster. This can only be achieved by a strong political leadership willing to take tough decision.

(b) Subsidies must be given by targeting them to the poor. Free electricity is essential only to small and marginal farmers. Good subsidies are of two kinds. First, are subsidies required as a safety net for the poorest: old-age pensions, widow pensions, mid-day meals, subsidised food etc. Second, are subsidies that are an investment in humans: school education, basic health care, clean water etc. These subsidies can be provided by two methods. Either government provides the goods and services directly (schools) or government can give money or coupons to poor citizens entitling them to buy the goods and services in the market (food coupons). The major part of any state government’s expenditure is for providing free or subsidised services and goods to its citizens. Free education and health care are the two most important items of expenditure. Government must improve delivery of all its subsidised services and goods, to be more effective and to save money. Subsidies not reaching the poor must be stopped.

(c) Growth of tax revenues must be achieved by improving compliance and not by hiking tax rates. In fact rates can be lowered and revenues increased by ensuring compliance. IT systems, self assessment, compulsory audit, and scrutiny of selected cases will be introduced to improve tax administration and make it efficient, fair and corruption free.

(d) The revenue deficit should be eliminated in 5 years, after which Punjab should once again become a revenue surplus state as it was prior to 1985. The fiscal deficit of net borrowing of the state should be brought down from the current level of 4% of GSDP to 2.5% of GSDP in 5 years, and as interest payments begin taper off in future as a result of controlled borrowing, the fiscal deficit should be brought down further to 2% of GSDP in 10 years. Then Punjab will be able to come out of the debt trap.

INVESTMENTS

(a) Punjab will not bully investors but create conditions where investors feel their investment is safe and create jobs for our youth.

(b) Impart skills to all young Punjabis, build world-class training centres and educational institutions. Create jobs, especially high-wage jobs which Punjabis desire. Focus on value-added sectors with high growth potential for creating high-wage jobs for highly skilled peopled in Punjab: Health Care, tourism, hospitality, catering, IT enable services, transport, warehousing, logistics, retail, food processing, automobile parts, aircraft parts, precision engineering, electrical equipment, telecom equipment, energy pollution control. Encourage investment and business by improving governance and infrastructure. We must have a target of training 1 lac Punjabi youth every year. And we must create 1 lac skilled jobs every year.

(c) Set a target of investing 30% of GSDP (equal to Rs. 60,000 crore in 2011), to achieve a rate of growth of 10% per annum by 2017. This will enable Punjab to double its income every 7 years.

(d) To achieve this target we must open up the economy of Punjab, and to do that we must look East. Punjab has a three millennium long tradition of interaction with China, Greater Punjab always shared close trade and cultural links with China. Even today Amritsar has a thriving trade with central Asian Countries including Uzbekistan, Kazhakstan, Pakistan etc. Therefore, it is in the economic interest of Punjab and its all neighbouring states for India to open its trade routes with China and Central Asia. The dry ports at Ludhiana, Jallandhar and Amritsar can be expended for trade with China.

(e) Punjab will take concrete actions to win back the trust of the NRIs and open a real window of opportunities for them to contribute towards the social and economic well being of Punjab. Punjab is blessed to have a huge number of NRIs who are well established – economically, politically, and socially.

Investment promotion requires high growth expectations which can be built on a foundation of good governance, strong government finances, adequate infrastructure, abundant human skills and a sustainable environment. Investment is required to create jobs and improve living standards.

POLITICAL

(a) A quota of 50% seats in the State Legislature must be reserved to women and youth. There must be a quota also for women in the courts, legal profession, education, health and social services etc.

(b) No MLA may serve as a minister for more than two terms as a minister in the Punjab Cabinet;

(c) No blood relative should serve in the same cabinet.

(d) Eliminate VIP culture in Punjab. Laws against the use of beacon/ siren etc. except for Emergency Services.

SOCIAL

CORRUPTION

(a) Zero tolerance to corruption in Politics and administration. Special courts and special laws to deal with all corruption cases. All such cases to be dealt within a period of one year.

(b) Police system in Punjab needs to be significantly reorganised and de-politicized otherwise corruption will never end at any level in Government. The Police in Punjab is too powerful and intricately linked to political – industrial corruption.

DRUGS

A sustained campaign against drug addiction and special laws and special courts against drug dealers all cases to be brought to justice within one year. No liquor vend to be located within the periphery of a village.

SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT

(a) Punjab is in distress, it is running out of water. To conserve our water we need to change our agriculture, and recycle our waste water. Both these goals are very important and urgent, because if we fail in these Punjab will turn into a desert very soon.

(b) The next agriculture revolution will be a true green revolution because it will be life sustaining. It will focus on organic farming practices, water conservation mixed crop husbandry and horticulture, food processing and marketing. Research and development must be re-oriented towards pulses, oilseeds, fruits, vegetable and organic farming. Within 5 years, a dramatic shift in cropping patterns can be achieved with available technologies, marketing support, training and extention. It is necessary to subsidise the right agricultural practices.

(c) Clean water is essential for the health of humans, animals and the earth. Punjab must fund a mega project with international assistance for complete water cycle management : Provision of clean water and recycling of waste water for every citizen in every habitation – village, town and city, within five years.

MISSION

Clean politics, clean administration, clean environment combined with empowerd people with education and skills can bring more high-wage jobs, more investment resulting into more prosperity. Equality of opportunity and respect for merit can do wonders.

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