SAD Promises Free Power Up to 400 Units, Quota for Youth in Private Jobs

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The SAD on Tuesday promised free power up to 400 units per month for all households and 75 per cent quota for the state youth in private sector jobs if the party’s alliance comes to power in Punjab next year. The slew of promises included quota for women in jobs, reservation for government schools students in professional colleges, cheap electricity to the industry and the MSP for fruits and vegetables.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which has an alliance with the BSP, also promised a grant of Rs 2,000 per month to women heads of “blue card” holder families (BPL beneficiaries) and a Rs 10 per litre reduction in price of diesel for agriculture consumers. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said a 13-point charter of initiatives will be implemented by the alliance if it comes to power in 2022.

He said 75 per cent jobs will be reserved for the Punjabi youth in the private sector. Badal promised free power up to 400 units per month to all households and doing away with outstanding bills of all “blue card” holders.

All connections of BPL families, which have been disconnected due to non-payment of bills, will be restored, Badal said here. The SAD leader also said there will be a provision of power at the rate of Rs 5 per unit for industry and an interest free loan of Rs 10 lakh for students.

He promised a health insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh per annum, which will cover treatment, medicines, diagnostic tests, surgeries and medical equipment in all public and private hospitals. For the youth, he promised if the alliance comes to power, it will help them go for higher studies within the country and abroad and said a “student education card” with interest free loan up to Rs 10 lakh will be issued.

Speaking about the initiatives which would be taken up in the agriculture sector, Badal said a legislation will be brought in the state assembly to ensure that the Centre’s three agriculture laws are not implemented in Punjab. He said simultaneously the government will introduce the minimum support price (MSP) for fruits and vegetables and pay the differential in case of reduction in prices to farmers.

The SAD-BSP alliance, if it comes to power, will prioritise health and education, he said, adding a 500-bed medical college with super specialty facilities will be established in every district. Thirty-three per cent reservation for government school students will ensured in professional colleges, including medical colleges, he said. A minimum of 50 per cent reservation for women in government jobs will be ensured, he said. The SAD chief said one lakh new jobs will be created in the government sector and 10 lakh jobs in the private sector.

All contractual employees, including safai karamcharis, will be regularised, Badal said. He said big companies will be encouraged to switch to solar energy by waiving transmission charges in the state. New textile and IT hubs will be created in the state, he promised.

Asserting that the SAD always delivered on promises, Badal said his party had earlier promised free power to farmers and delivered on it. We promised unique schemes for the socially disadvantaged,” he said, reminding of the “Aata-Daal” and “Shagun” schemes. “We promised to make the state power surplus and did so. Similarly, we promised to provide world-class infrastructure to people and delivered on it,” he said.

He also said the SAD-led governments of Parkash Singh Badal had always stood for peace, communal harmony, brotherhood and respect for all religions.

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