Punjab CM Mann appoints 710 new ‘patwaris’ even as revenue officials continue strike

Mann said that nobody would be allowed to hold the state to ransom and would replace the officials who were not working.

BySouth First Desk

Published Sep 09, 2023 | 11:02 AMUpdatedSep 09, 2023 | 11:02 AM

Bhagwath Mann giving away appointment letters to newly appointed patwaris

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann appointed 710 patwaris even as the revenue officials — including patwaris and kanungos — continued their pen-down strike.

The newly hired patwaris will undergo training for six months from Monday, 11 September. The chief minister also enhanced their stipend during training to ₹18,000 from ₹5,000 a month.

Mann said that nobody would be allowed to hold the state to ransom and would replace the officials who were not working.

“If you use your pen, you will get many perks. If you threaten a pen-down strike, you will not get anything. Then you will be responsible for this yourself,” he said.

Mann also said that the government had issued an advertisement inviting applications to fill up 596 posts of patwaris.

The newly-appointed patwaris will have to clear an examination of the state’s Patwar school within a fortnight.

Related: Punjab to get new patwaris: Bhagwant Mann

‘First time not involving bribes’

The Punjab chief minister said, “Did you need to seek any minister’s help to get there? Earlier too, entrance exams were held, but they involved bribes. Did anyone ask you for money? It never happened earlier. You did not have to pay money.”

“When you go out to the field, lakhs of files will come to you. I hope you will be upright and make just decisions,” Mann further added asking the newly appointed officials to perform their duty conscientiously.

Taking a dig at Opposition parties, Mann said that the earlier governments were run by taking turns and on a quid pro quo basis “Nobody cared for the public, nobody looked after hospitals and schools,” he alleged.

“We conducted raids on the representatives of former governments. Currency counting machines were found at their houses. We have not taken a single penny from anyone. We have given free electricity to people. So many people are getting zero bills. This is people’s money,” Mann said.

Related: Punjab government invokes ESMA ahead of pen-down strike by revenue staff

Increased GST collections

Speaking about the previous governments’ he said, “We have waived off pending bills and have paid off the loan of power utility PSPCL (Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd). They left a pending amount of ₹9,000 crore as arrears towards the power utility. We have paid off the first instalment.”

“We are recording an increase in GST collections. Whatever money we will collect, it will be given to people as it belongs to them,” he added. Mann added that the revenue department had earned a bad name due to corruption. But it was the responsibility of new appointees to wash this off.

It may be noted that patwaris have been protesting against the government for increasing the training period of patwaris from a year to one-and-a-half years, and for paying those on contract ₹167 per day.