Amarinder Singh praised after he bans his photos on 108 ambulances in Punjab

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Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, has taken another crucial step in eliminating the VVIP culture from the state.
 Amarinder Singh

Singh has ordered that the photographs of the Chief Minister are not carried on `108’ ambulances with immediate effect. The same had been constantly questioned during Badal regime due to the huge losses incurred by the state for keeping these pictures.

Parkash Singh Badal’s fixation for having his picture embossed on these ambulances had cost the state exchequer heavily for several years and had even led to a stand-off with the central government in 2013, when the latter had threatened to stop a Rs. 3.5 crore central grant to the state over this issue.

The issue had escalated into a major debate two years ago when the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) rapped the Punjab government for forgoing central grants under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) on account of its refusal to remove Badal’s pictures from the emergency ambulances.

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In its 2015 report, CAG had reported that Punjab had lost out Rs. 23.8 crore of central grant for ambulances over three fiscals from 2012 over its failure to follow a prescribed uniform colour code of the NRHM.

On Monday, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh directed the concerned officials and ordered a fresh notification to ensure that no pictures of the Chief Minister are carried on the ambulances in future. It is significant to mention that Captain Amarinder’s pictures were not put on these ambulances after he took over as Chief Minister with a clear majority.

An official spokesperson quoted that the Chief Minister had made it clear that he wanted the process to be initiated without delay and ensure that the ambulances align completely to the NRHM rules.

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Chief Minister of Punjab also communicated these instructions via his tweet this evening :

A huge appreciation came in form of replies for this courageous step :

Earlier Captain Singh’s government has taken various other steps, such as removal of red beacons from VVIP vehicles, rolling out the process of implementing its manifesto promises to end the VVIP culture, putting a ban on coloured beacons except as exempted and also on inscription of names of ministers, MLAs etc on inauguration plaques and foundation stones, in order to wipe out the VVIP culture.

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