Drug menace, farm loans, revival of industry and improvement of state's financial health are set to be high on Captain Amarinder Singh's agenda when he begins his second innings as the Punjab chief minister on Thursday.
All the above formed the core of the Congress' poll manifesto and it's likely to prove a major challenge for the new government to deliver results.
Having promised to end the wide-spread drug menace in the state within four weeks, Amarinder could very well begin his new innings on Thursday with the formation of a special task force to wipe out the drug menace.
He also intends to set up more rehabilitation and de-addiction centres, as well as appointment of more psychiatrists, to tackle the drugs problem.
For revival of ailing industries, the new government would liberlise the state's industrial policy in a bid to check the flight of industries and make Punjab an attractive destination for them. According to a Right to Information reply, as many as 18,770 factories closed between 2007 and 2014.
In view of the state's worst financial health, fulfilling the farm loan waiver would, however, prove a uphill task for the Congress government as the total farm indebtedness in Punjab is estimated to be about Rs.69,355 Crore. Faced with the grim fiscal scenario, in the recent past cash-strapped Punjab government have been delaying payment of salaries to its employees, VAT refunds to industries and clearing its fuel expense bills.
Austerity already appears to be high on the new CM's mind as he has already asked for keeping the swearing-in ceremony as a low-key affair keeping "in view the financial constraints facing the state".
Having promised one government job for each household, generating employment will also a major challenge for the new government. The unemployment rate among state's youth is 16.6 per cent as compared to the national average of 10.2 per cent.
The CM has already made it clear that generating employment will take some time.