Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today welcomed the Union Cabinet's decision to get rid of red beacons from all vehicles from May 1, saying it is a "healthy step that will further strengthen the country's democratic fibre". Such regressive symbolism promoted by the VIP culture that has prevailed in India for decades needs to be eliminated completely to make the authorities more accessible to the people and promote transparent governance, he said here. The Union Cabinet today decided that beacon light will be removed from all vehicles, including that of the Prime Minister.
Beacons, however, will be allowed on vehicles concerning emergency and relief services, ambulance, fire service etc. Other ministers in the state government also came out in support of the decision, terming it a "progressive move". Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said Punjab had emerged a clear trendsetter in this direction, having decided to do away with red beacons at the very first meeting of the Amarinder Singh cabinet. Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said it was a positive step which would go a long way in bringing the government closer to the people. The elimination of VIP culture was a key promise in the Congress manifesto for the Punjab Assembly polls and the state government has already set an example with its initiatives to do away with red beacons. The chief minister has also directed that plaques and foundation stones be dedicated to the people of Punjab and will not carry the names of any political leaders, including ministers. Amarinder, a few days ago, also refused to accept preferential treatment at the airport while entering, checking-in and boarding a flight, thus sending a loud and clear message that his government was totally opposed to any VIP frills.
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