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Navneet Sharma

A senior assistant editor, Navneet Sharma leads the Punjab bureau for Hindustan Times. He writes on politics, public affairs, civil services and the energy sector.

Articles by Navneet Sharma

In poll season, Punjab parties walk on eggshells around farmers’ stir 2.0

Though the farmers’ protest 2.0 is a pale shadow of the 2020-21 stir in scale and intensity, it is dominating the narrative in the state ahead of the April-May LS elections

Farmers during their ongoing protest, at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, in Patiala district. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 04, 2024 07:58 AM IST

Punjab government likely to miss capex target, only 32% achieved so far

Against a full-year capex of ₹10,354 crore envisaged in the budget, the state has spent ₹3,390 crore during the April-January period of the current fiscal, according to data on key economic indicators released recently. The capital expenditure incurred so far is 32.77% of the budgeted amount for FY24.

A finance department official said that capex numbers will look much better by the end of the fiscal though they may still fall short of the target envisaged in the budget
Updated on Mar 03, 2024 06:54 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab budget session: Cong MLAs raise farmers’ issue, disrupt guv’s speech

The Congress members entered the well of the House and raised slogans against the central and state governments over their handling of the issue, forcing Purohit to cut short his address. The governor had read out only a few lines from his 35-page speech amid the uproar when he discontinued his address and declared that it may be “taken as read”.

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit’s addressed in the Vidhan Sabha. (Sourced)
Updated on Mar 02, 2024 07:58 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

CAG blames non-release of state share by Punjab for delay in implementation of wetlands project

The project sanctioned by the Union ministry of environment, forests, and climate change in 2016-17 could not achieve its objective due to the non-release of the state share by the Punjab government even five years after it had received the central funds, according to an annual review of the working of forest divisions carried out by the office of the principal accountant general (accounts) for the financial year 2022-23

Migratory birds at Harike wetland
Updated on Feb 28, 2024 07:20 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab registers 22% jump in tax revenue

Punjab registered a 22% year-on-year jump in tax revenue in first 10 months of the financial year 2023-24 due to robust demand and stricter compliance

Punjab registered a 22% year-on-year jump in tax revenue in first 10 months of the financial year 2023-24 due to robust demand and stricter compliance.
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 08:58 AM IST

Punjab industry on edge as farmers take to the streets

The Punjab industry was hit hard by the 13-month-long stir against the farm laws, and the disruptions caused by the standoff between farmers’ Delhi Chalo call and the Haryana police, which is trying to stop them from heading to the National Capital, over the past two days, have refreshed their memories of the tough times they faced three years ago.

Protesters throw back tear gas shells at police personals during the protest at Shambhu border near Ambala on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Updated on Feb 15, 2024 08:16 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab: Kandi tubewell project delay vexes CAG

In its annual review of the working of public works divisions for the financial year 2022-23, the principal accountant general (audit) said the delay in allotment of works for implementation of the tubewell project is depriving the benefit of additional irrigation for 51,939 acres of land in five districts of the state and led to non-utilisation of funds.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the water resources department for delaying the implementation of a <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>195.91-crore project for the installation and energisation of 502 deep tubewells for irrigation purposes in Kandi area of the state. (HT File)
Updated on Feb 08, 2024 09:22 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab has no tech mechanism to check illegal mining, says CAG

As per the Punjab mining policy and NGT, the state should use geo-tagging, geo-fencing and electronic surveillance to check the menace, but records revealed that technology was not used by water resources dept

The Comptroller and Auditor General on India (CAG) has pointed out the failure of the Punjab government to use technology and electronic surveillance such as geo-tagging and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to detect and check illegal mining in the state.
Published on Jan 31, 2024 11:59 PM IST

INDIA bloc gets jolts in Bengal and Punjab as TMC, AAP rule out alliances

In both Punjab and West Bengal, the state Congress chiefs have been opposed to any alliance with the dominant regional party

A senior Congress leader involved in the seat negotiations with allies said, “The party leadership might reach out to Banerjee. But there is also resentment against Trinamool in the party unit.” (PTI)
Updated on Jan 25, 2024 04:11 AM IST
By, , , New Delhi/kolkata/chandigarh

Samagra Shiksha: Punjab proposes 3,000 crore action plan for school education

The Punjab government has submitted a ₹3,000-crore action plan to the Centre under the Samagra Shiksha program for quality education and infrastructure in schools. The plan includes initiatives for quality education, access and retention, and vocational education. The proposed budget for the next two financial years is ₹1,476 crore each, with an increase of 14% compared to the current year. The program is jointly funded by the central and state governments on a 60:40 sharing basis.

The work plan includes new classrooms and toilets, better drinking water facilities in schools and other initiatives. (HT File)
Updated on Jan 19, 2024 07:34 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Despite buoyancy, Punjab’s own tax revenue share below pre-Covid level

The state’s own tax revenue (SOTR), which has grown at 17% in the past two years, as a proportion of overall tax revenue of Punjab is below the pre-goods and services tax and pre-Covid levels.

Punjab has seen tax buoyancy in the past two years, but the share of its own tax collection in the overall tax revenue of the state has not shown any improvement. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 17, 2024 06:30 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Take decisive steps to discipline Sidhu, Punjab Cong leaders urge Yadav

Will speak to Sidhu, says new Congress Punjab affairs in-charge after party leaders object to former state party chief’s rallies

Amid growing tussle between the Punjab Congress leadership and him, several party leaders on Tuesday sought immediate decisive steps to discipline former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for holding rallies without consulting the state unit.
Updated on Jan 10, 2024 06:12 AM IST

2024 LS polls: Punjab Cong leaders air their views in meeting with party bosses, no decision on truck with AAP

The meeting in which Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former president Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary KC Venugopal held discussions with more than 30 members of the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) for Punjab saw the state leaders forcefully put forth their views for and against the alliance

2024 LS polls: Punjab Cong leaders air their views in meeting with party bosses, no decision on truck with AAP
Updated on Dec 27, 2023 08:14 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

2024 LS polls: Growing chorus against tie-up with AAP, Punjab Congress leaders to meet party bosses

The 31-member PAC, which includes top leaders of the state Congress, will meet the party’s central leadership, including Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former president Rahul Gandhi, and general secretary KC Venugopal, in Delhi

PPCC chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring with other leaders addressing a protest rally in Jagraon. (HT)
Updated on Dec 26, 2023 08:04 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

HT explainer: What do 3 Punjab bills sent for President’s consideration entail

As Purohit kept the bills pending following a row with the AAP government over the special session, the latter petitioned the Supreme Court, which ruled that governors cannot be at liberty to keep bills pending indefinitely without any action. The governor later decided to send three bills for the President’s consideration, and their fate now hangs in the balance.

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit calls on President Droupadi Murmu, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi. (ANI)
Updated on Dec 09, 2023 05:40 AM IST

Punjab governor reserves 3 bills for Prez’s consideration

The controversial bills, which have been at the centre of the latest row between Purohit and the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab, include the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and The Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

The Raj Bhawan spokesman declined to disclose the reasons cited by the governor while reserving the three bills for President’s consideration. (HT file)
Updated on Dec 07, 2023 05:54 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab governor reserves 3 Bills for President’s consideration

Bills, which have been at the centre of the latest row between governor Banwarilal Purohit and the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP govt in Punjab are the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

The three controversial Bills have been at the centre of the latest row between governor Banwarilal Purohit and the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab. (HT file photo)
Published on Dec 06, 2023 03:12 PM IST

Punjab governor Purohit gives assent to one of 5 pending bills

The assent come days after top court declared the June 19-20 session as constitutionally valid and asked the governor to take decisions on bills that were passed during the sitting

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit (File)
Updated on Dec 01, 2023 07:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Oppn corners Punjab govt over OPS implementation, pending DA

Raising the issue during the zero hour on the concluding day of the two-day winter session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, leader of opposition (LoP) Partap Singh Bajwa said that finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema had in November 2022 announced the revival of OPS for the state employees, but the government was still to implement the scheme.

Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa and other party MLAs at the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Updated on Nov 30, 2023 08:36 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab CM seeks quick assent to bills, governor says ‘under active consideration’

Chief minister Bhagwant Mann wrote to governor Banwari Lal Purohit requesting him to grant assent to pending bills forthwith in keeping with the ‘constitutional obligation’ and the spirit of democracy as elucidated in the order of the Supreme Court

The pending bills, along with the governor’s objections to adjournment of the assembly session sine die instead of proroguing it, were at the centre of the latest row between Banwari Lal Purohit and the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab (ANI)
Updated on Nov 25, 2023 07:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Cases pile up: 8 months on, Punjab NRI commission remains headless & memberless

The commission, set up to protect and safeguard the interests of NRIs in the state and recommend remedial measures for their welfare, does not have a chairman or member

A department official said the matter was pending with the state government. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Nov 22, 2023 09:10 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

States and their governors

Three state governments are at the SC arguing against the inordinate time taken by their Governors to sign bills. Which are the states and what are those bills?

Punjab’s petition states that Governor Banwarilal Purohit is yet to give his assent to seven bills, including three money bills (HT file photo)
Published on Nov 10, 2023 08:50 AM IST

2024 LS election: EC’s ‘Iss Vaar 70 Paar’ drive to increase turnout in Punjab

Punjab, which saw a tepid response with 65.9% turnout in the 2019 parliamentary elections, has drawn an elaborate voter turnout implementation plan to tackle elector apathy through interventions focused on constituencies with low female voter turnout, migrant inhabitants and urban pockets.

‘Iss Vaar Sattar Paar’ – no, this is not a mantra being chanted by a political party looking to improve its seats tally in the election. But the slogan coined by the poll authorities in Punjab to increase the voter turnout in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. (HT File Photo)
Updated on Nov 08, 2023 09:52 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab guv Purohit softens stand, says will examine pending bills on merit

Move comes days after Mann govt decided to move apex court against Purohit for withholding three money bills that were to be tabled in the assembly

With the Punjab government in the process of moving the Supreme Court (SC) against him for withholding three money bills, governor Banwarilal Purohit has informed chief minister Bhagwant Mann that he will examine all the bills on merit.
Updated on Oct 30, 2023 06:02 AM IST

Punjab to give NCERT’s state education achievement survey a miss

The school education dept says they are focused on conducting baseline tests under ‘Mission Samarth’ to identify the learning gaps of children of classes 3 to 8 in government schools

The state government communicated its stand at a meeting held two weeks ago by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on the first-of-its-kind survey, people aware of the decision said. (File)
Updated on Oct 28, 2023 07:02 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab governor fires another missive, questions AAP govt’s fiscal management

In a two-page letter, governor Banwarilal Purohit has asked chief minister Bhagwant Mann to explain additional borrowing and utilisation for purposes other than creation of capital assets along with accurate data, pointing to variation in feedback from CAG and figures given by the CM

Chief minister Bhagwant Mann and governor Banwarilal Purohit have had frequent run-ins on a number of issues, including summoning of special sessions, appointments to various institutions, adherence to legal procedures, over the past one year, and this exchange of letters over Punjab’s fiscal management is only the latest flashpoint. (HT file photo)
Published on Oct 17, 2023 03:13 PM IST

Punjab governor terms 2-day assembly session ‘illegal’

AAP says session legitimate; Vidhan Sabha secretary releases tentative date-wise programme of the business to be transacted by the House

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit. (PTI File)
Updated on Oct 14, 2023 08:22 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab governor objects to AAP govt calling extended assembly session

In a letter to the secretary, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the governor’s secretariat wrote that any such extended budget session called by the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government from October 20-21 is bound to be illegal, and any business conducted during it is “unlawful, and ab-initio void”.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Friday objected to the two-day session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha called by the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government from October 20 as an “extension of the budget session”. (HT file photo)
Published on Oct 13, 2023 12:54 PM IST

Amid debt row, Punjab cuts back its borrowings in third quarter

It has projected a market borrowing of ₹7,500 crore in the October-December period. Of this amount, ₹3,500 crore will be raised in October, ₹2,500 crore in November, and ₹1,500 crore in December, according to the indicative borrowing calendar shared by the state government with the Reserve Bank of India

Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann (ANI file)
Updated on Oct 13, 2023 09:32 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab debt: CM tells governor 57% of 47,107-cr loan spent on paying interest

With legacy debt of ₹2.82 lakh crore at the end of the financial year 2021-22, which is projected to touch to ₹3.47 lakh crore in FY-2024, Punjab is among the most indebted states in the country.

The exchange of letters on the politically sensitive issue of debt is the latest standoff between Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit and chief minister Bhagwant Mann, who have had frequent run-ins over the past year on a number of issues. (HT file photo)
Published on Oct 03, 2023 02:39 PM IST
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