Punjab govt to extend benefits of ''Shagun scheme'' to BCs

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Ludhiana, Feb 20 (PTI) Punjab government will extendbenefits of ''Shagun scheme'', which provides monetary help toSC girls at the time marriage, to all the backward classesfrom April 1.

"The government has already issued instructions to clearthe pending cases of Shagun payment within one month and fromthe next financial year the benefit of scheme would beextended to all backward classes," Deputy Chief MinisterShukhbir Singh Badal told reporters here today.

On proposed Right to Service Act, he claimed for thefirst time any state government in the country hascontemplated this move to bring an element of accountabilityamongst the public servants.

He said government staff would have to act as servantsof public, providing them all citizen services listed in actin a stipulated timeframe, otherwise they would be penalised.

The deputy Chief Minister said focus of the SAD-BJPcombine government is basically on two planks -- developmentand administrative reforms and Right to Service Act is themain axis of governance reforms that will cut red-tapism.

Accusing Congress of protecting Jagdish Tytler and SajjanKumar, who were allegedly involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots,Badal said SAD has formed a fact-finding committee to lookinto the matter and the party will work to ensure justice tothe victims and "exemplary punishment" to the culprits.

Paying tribute to Baba Moti Ram Mehra here, he said theeducation department will introduce a chapter on the life andhistory of the devoted disciple of Guru Gobind Singh.

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