In a first of its kind initiative aimed at reforming the Jail inmates, the Punjab Prisons Development Board (PPDB) today signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Indian Oil (IOCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) for opening 12 Retail Outlets (ROs) to be manned by Jail inmates across the state.

Pertinently, the aims come after instant approval by the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Charanjit Singh Channi and Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister had approved the execution of MoUs with IOCL and BPCL and subsequently the Lease Deeds with concerned Oil Marketing Companies. Out of these 12 Retail Outlets 11 will be opened by Indian Oil and one by the BPCL.

The MOU was executed by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) cum Member Secretary Punjab Prisons Development Board Mr Praveen Kumar Sinha on behalf of Board while Mr Amarendra Kumar executed it on behalf of Indian Oil Corporation. The MoU was signed in the presence of Principal Secretary (Jails) Mr DK Tiwari, Executive Director, Indian Oil Mr Sujoy Chaudhary, IG (Jails) Mr Roop Kumar Arora and DIGs Mr SS Saini and Ms Amneet Kondal.

Describing it as Red letter day, ADGP said that it was part of reformatory policies being launched by the Punjab government to ensure that jail inmates who want to return to main stream are given adequate opportunities. He said that these Retail Outlets will be operated by Prisons Development Board and will be managed by the prisons’ staff as well as inmates. Mr Sinha said that the operationalising of Retail Outlets will generate revenue for the Board besides providing adequate avenues to prisoners for skill development, reformation and rehabilitation. “This project is a win-win situation for the prisons department and jail inmates as well as Oil Marketing Companies as all of them will be benefitted from it”, he added.

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