Chandigarh, May 30:

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday publicly reiterated his government’s zero tolerance against corruption, while vowing to deal with corruption with an iron hand.

He was addressing and interacting with a distinguished gathering at Zee Television’s show - Punjab The New Roadshow, at the launch of Zee Punjab Haryana Himachal channel, during which he touched on a wide range of issues relating to his government and the issues confronting the state.

Noting that corruption was a curse in Punjab and was rampant during the last regime, the Chief Minister vowed to deal with corruption with a strong hand. Corruption had, in fact, kept industry away from the state, he added, asserting his commitment to bring industrial development back on track.

Referring to the charges against Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh in the recent sand auctions, the Chief Minister said an inquiry has been instituted to probe the allegations.

Sharing his dream for the state, Captain Amarinder said he wanted to see a drugs-free Punjab, with industrial revival and crops diversification key programmes to bring the smiles back on the faces of Punjabis.

Congratulating Zee Chairman and Member of Parliament Subhash Chandra on the new venture, the Chief Minister welcomed the new channel as a positive step in the direction of bringing transparency in the media. The Chief Minister promised media houses of a favourable and free environment to promote the state’s democratic institutions.

Captain Amarinder underlined the need to inform people about the truth, accusing the earlier government of brainwashing people with false propaganda. He warned people to beware of the lies sought to be spread by PTC channel, which was completely under the control of the Badals.

The Chief Minister hit out at the Badals for the financial mess left behind by them and said the extent of the problem would be clear once his government comes out with a white paper on the fiscal situation. The white paper would be soon released, he said, adding that the debt would be much higher than what the Badals had been projecting.

Lamenting the gross mismanagement unleashed by the erstwhile Badal government, Captain Amarinder said they had cancelled all the welfare initiatives, including employment generation, initiated by him in his previous stint. Pointing out that his government needed to provide 90 lakh jobs to youth, which was the only way to wean them away from drugs, the Chief Minister assured that his government would deliver on all its promises to the people.

He said he was regularly following his Facebook page to keep himself abreast of what people think and would ensure that their grievances are addressed and their problems resolved at the earliest.

Describing the drugs crackdown by STF as one of his biggest achievements in the past two months, the Chief Minister asserted his commitment to breaking the back of the drugs mafia. The big fish will be caught and brought to book, he said, adding that action had already been taken against 4000 culprits involved in drugs smuggling and peddling. He noted that 70% of the affected people were coming to the rehabilitation centres, indicating the success of the anti-drugs campaign of his government.

Captain Amarinder also expressed satisfaction at the response he had received from captains of industry during his meetings in Mumbai last month, and promised good governance to all industrialists. He spoke about the interest shown by the Ambanis in reviving the `farm to field’ project started in collaboration with the state government during his earlier tenure.

The Chief Minister listed smooth, timely and efficient wheat procurement as another of his government’s success stories. He promised to create a mechanism to ensure remunerative prices for the farmers, pointing out that he had already taken up the issue of maize procurement by the central government at MSP to promote crop diversification.

He also declared his commitment to overhauling the education centre to make youth employable and to improve the health system in the state.