CHANDIGARH, FEBRUARY 21: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has asked the Punjab State Advisory Council (PSAC) to focus on agriculture and allied sectors to boost the state’s agrarian economy.

Chairing the second meeting of PSAC late on Thursday evening, Captain Amarinder underscored the need to chalk out an action oriented strategy to woo investment in pharmaceuticals, information technology and automobile sectors by leading business groups. Stressing the need for industrial growth in the state and jobs for the youth, since the ability of traditional agriculture to absorb more labour was already saturated, he said called for a time- bound action plan for phased diversification.

Captain Amarinder also urged the think tank to use their expertise and experience to help the State Government to draw up a strategic roadmap for implementing Governance Reforms to ensure greater engagement between the government and the citizens. He also impressed upon the members to suggest ways to harness the potential of the youth by initiating capacity building programmes and improving the education system, make the youth integral partners in the state’s development.

The Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to ensure that officers work in close coordination with the PSAC members to imbibe and implement successful ideas.

The participants also discussed the current challenges before the State and the approaches to help the state revive its growth and become a leader in the country on social and economic indicators.

Meanwhile, Prof. Devesh Kapur, from John Hopkins University USA, shared his thoughts on policy and structural changes the government needs to adopt in order to overcome its current challenges, including those related to declining water table, stagnating farmers incomes, and the need for greater focus on urban development to accelerate economic growth. The discussion also looked at various aspects related to School Education, Agriculture, Youth Engagement and District Administration. Members also stressed the importance of repositioning the State and harnessing its tourism potential, as well as constructive engagement with its diaspora.

Notably, the PSAC was constituted by the State Government last year under the chairmanship of Captain Amarinder Singh to undertake transformational reforms in key areas of governance and to accelerate the overall development process in Punjab.

The meeting was attended by Members Prof. Devesh Kapur of John Hopkins University (USA), Mr. Ravi Venkatesan, Mr. T Nanda Kumar, Ms. Yamini Aiyar and Dr. Gyanendra Badgaiyan. Others present included Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, ACS (Governance Reforms) Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Special Secretary Governance Reforms Ravi Bhagat and Director Governance Reforms Parminder Pal Singh.

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