Political parties ignore public libraries bill in the election manifesto: Gumtala

Punjab Vidhan Sabha Elections-Jan-Feb-2017
Amritsar, January 24, 2017: The Punjabi Writers Co-operative Society Ltd, Ludhiana/Amritsar has appealed to political parties to include public libraries bill in their election manifesto .In a joint statement Dr Bikram Singh Ghuman president and Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala member of the board of directors stated that Tamil Nadu passed such legislation in 1948. Even Haryana passed a similar act in 1989.

All states have passed such legislation but Punjab has not even introduced the bill in the state assembly. ‘Shabad Parkash Punjab Public Library and Information Services Bill ‘ was prepared in 2011 by the then education minister S.Sewa Singh Sekhwan. Under this bill, the government had planned to set up a state central library, 22 district libraries, 141 block-level libraries, 157 town libraries and 12,282 village libraries. The entire project was to take 10 years to complete. In October 2011, Mr Sekhwan issued a statement that an ordinance will be passed by the state government to put the bill into effect before the enforcement of the election code (ahead of 2012 assembly polls). But Akali-BJP government did nothing in this regards in the last 5 years.It has opened wine shops in every village but not libraries.

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