Addressing a gathering after hoisting the national flag, here on Thursday on the 73rd Independence Day, the Chief Minister said anti-national forces were envious of the peaceful atmosphere and development in the state. "Let us rededicate ourselves to work to build a strong and prosperous Punjab and to cement the bonds of love, peace and amity," he said.
Highlighting Punjabis' contribution in the national freedom struggle, he said it was the collective duty to preserve the freedom attained through countless sacrifices.
Recalling his visit to Jung-e-Azadi Memorial to inaugurate its third phase on Wednesday, Singh said the memorial would be instrumental in spreading awareness amongst youth about the freedom struggle.
The Chief Minister said 2019 was a historic year because of the 550th Prakash Purb of Guru Nanak Dev, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the centenary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
On drive against the menace of drug, Singh said 27,744 cases had been registered under NDPS Act, 33,622 people arrested and 767 kg heroine and a huge quantity of other contraband substances seized.
As many as 87,000 addicts were being treated at 178 Out Patient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) clinics for de-addiction, he added.
On farmer-friendly initiatives, he said the state was contemplating to disburse Rs 520 crore to 2.85 lakh farm labourers and landless farmers who were members of the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies. Under the debt relief scheme, Rs 47,00 crore crop loan of 5.62 lakh marginal and small farmers had been settled.
The total annual remuneration of farmers on account of government procurement of grain had increased to Rs 1.24 lakh crore since 2017, registering a hike of about Rs 30,000 crore over the corresponding seasons of the previous government.
Farmers' income through sale of grain had increased by 32 per cent since the formation of his government, Singh said.
The Chief Minister also conferred state awards to 21 for outstanding contribution in various fields, besides bestowing Chief Minister's Police Medal on 9 officers. The awardees included social activists, artistes, litterateurs, poets, progressive farmers, environmentalists and government officials.
( With inputs from IANS )