To mark the 75th Independence Day of the country, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced development projects worth Rs 1, 200 crore for linking roads, along with a slew of welfare programmes for the Scheduled Castes.

The Chief Minister further announced that an Act would soon be notified which would mandate budgetary spending on the Dalit welfare equal to the percentage of SC population in the state, and the 85th Constitutional Amendment would be implemented in line with judgments of the Supreme Court.

Further, in order to facilitate ease-of-doing business, the Chief Minister announced a new set of a whopping 1, 150 reforms for medium and small enterprises (MSMEs). The details of these would be separately shared by the Department of Investment Promotion, he said.

He also announced that certain expensive medical procedures and tests like dialysis, X-rays, etc, would be made free at government hospitals. He said a universal health insurance would be launched shortly.

Regularisation of all safai karamcharis working for the past 10 years and increase in the monthly honorarium of anganwadi workers, mini anganwadi worker and helpers by Rs 600, Rs 500 and Rs 300, respectively, were among other key announcements made by the Chief Minister.

A sum of Rs 1, 170 crore would be spent under the Punjab Nirman Programme for infrastructure development according to the needs of the people residing in the rural and urban areas, said the Chief Minister.

Referring to the welfare of landless farmers, the Chief Minister said the state government would make payment of Rs 520 crore to 2.85 lakh landless farmers under the debt relief scheme on August 20, the birth anniversary of the late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Further, the debt relief up to Rs 50, 000 would be shortly given to about 16, 000 beneficiaries of the SC and BC Corporation at a cost of Rs 62 crore, he added.

The Chief Minister said Rs 5 crore would be earmarked for the development of area in and around Guru ki Wadali, the birthplace of Guru Hargobind Sahib in the vicinity of holy city of Amritsar.

Paying glowing tributes to the legendary martyr Madan Lal Dhingra, the Chief Minister announced that a memorial would be established in Amritsar city as a mark of homage to him.

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