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Punjab Government

Illegal mining and Goonda Tax collection a reality in Punjab, CM order police to crack down

February 28, 2018 06:22 PM

CHANDIGARH: The illegal mining and collection of Goonda Tax in Punjab is a reality and finally Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday admitted in an official meeting even though the Congress party was in denial mode so far.

Capt Amarinder Singh today ordered the DCs and SSPs to crack down in full force to put an end to all illegal mining and the so-called ‘goonda tax’, which he said must be stopped with ‘full firmness and strict action.’

Addressing a meeting of the Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police of the various districts here, the Chief Minister issued strict instructions to the officials not to entertain any intervention or recommendation (sifarish) while taking action against illegal mining or goonda tax, but to stringently follow the rules.

The Chief Minister instructed the officials to list out all legal contractors, with both police and civic administration, and ensure that legal mining operations are conducted as per the rules and regulations. Any complicity or involvement on the part of the police or administrative personnel in such activity will not be tolerated, he warned, making the SSPs directly responsible for illegal mining.

With respect to the ‘Goonda Tax’, which he described as ‘totally illegal’, Captain Amarinder called for stern action, making it clear that his government would not tolerate any laxity on this count.

The time to procrastinate was over, said the Chief Minister, adding that after one year in office, there could be no excuse for any laxity in putting an end to all illegal businesses and corruption. He directed the officials to pursue the big fish more aggressively so that the process of cleansing the system could be strengthened, with the right signal going down to the lowest levels.

The Chief Minister underlined his government’s commitment to tackle corruption at all levels and stressed the need for DCs and SSPs to work closely together to improve the processes and systems. He urged the officials to make extensive use of IT for monitoring of works/applications received. He further directed them to undertake regular checking and inspection of subordinate offices.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister also directed the officials to ensure stringent enforcement of the war against drugs through a coordinated campaign by the Special Task Force (STF) and the district police. The two should work closely, with strong focus on proper rehabilitation of the addicts, said the Chief Minister, emphasising the need for concerted efforts in wiping out drugs completely from the state.

Congratulating the district administration for the excellent arrangements made for wheat procurement, the Chief Minister said very good work had been done during the last procurements. He called upon the DCs to ensure that all preparations for the forthcoming season are completed in time. There should be no harassment of the farmers by the agencies or the arhtiyas etc, said the Chief Minister, calling for reduction in rates to break the cartel of transporters.

The Chief Minister also underscored the need for proper implementation of the recently launched Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana, directing the officials to work with passion to take the fruits of development to the last and most needy person. Instructing them to try to cover all eligible persons by March 31, the Chief Minister urged them to ensure total transparency in the execution process.

The Chief Minister also reiterated the need for cordial relations and regular interaction between the government officials and Congress MLAs/workers to ensure successful implementation of all government programmes and policies.

The meeting took note of the success of the ongoing job melas, which had recorded 85,000 new registrations for 55,000 jobs. It was decided that the next job melas would be held in September-October, 2018.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting included; Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Home NS Kalsi, Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Viswajit Khanna, Additional Chief Secretary Housing & Urban Development Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary Taxation MP Singh, Principal Secretary Food & Civil Supplies KAP Sinha, Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare Anjali Bhawra besides DGP Suresh Arora, DGP Intelligence Dinkar Gupta, DGP Law & Order HS Dhillon and ADGP STF Harpreet Singh Sidhu.


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