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No VIP culture: Punjab bans red beacons, foreign travel for ministers

March 19, 2017 18:15 IST

The beacons atop the vehicles of Punjab chief minister and his council of ministers have been removed after the Amarinder Singh dispensation decided to put a ban on its use on government vehicles.

The red beacons were removed from the vehicles of the chief minister and other members of the council of ministers on Saturday itself, without waiting for a notification, soon after the Congress government decided to put a ban on its use, an official spokesperson said.

Apart from it, the Amarinder Singh-led cabinet also decided to put a ban on the foreign travel of ministers for two years and organising of banquets on state expense as part of the government’s move to shed the VIP frills in line with the Punjab Congress’ assembly poll manifesto.

According to the manifesto, the chief minister and cabinet ministers were exempted but they decided to bring themselves within the ambit of the decision, the spokesperson said.

The move is a part of the effort of the state government, which is burdened by a huge debt inherited from the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party regime, to clean up the system of the much-hyped VIP culture that has been a huge drain on the exchequer over the years, he added.

The process of finalisation of the policy on the use of red beacons on government vehicles, barring those used in an emergency like ambulance or fire brigade, and those of the Chief Justice and the Judges of Punjab and Haryana high court, has started.

“Once the necessary notification is issued, all government departments would have to strictly implement it,” he added.

The process of implementation of other cabinet decisions has also been initiated, the spokesperson said, adding that all decisions would be executed in a time-bound manner, with the chief minister and the ministers personally monitoring it to ensure that there is no default or delay.

The Amarinder Singh cabinet, in its first meeting, on Saturday had taken over 120 decisions.

Image: Captain Capt Amarinder Singh flashes the victory sign. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo

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