The Punjab Cabinet today gave approval to include Saini and Swarnkar/Sunar Communities in the list of Backward Classes of Punjab on the recommendations of Backward Classes Commission.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that a decision to this effect was taken by the Cabinet in its meeting held under the chairmanship of the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here at the Punjab Bhawan, this morning.
This decision would also help the Saini and Swarnkar/Sunar Communities to avail various benefits of government welfare schemes.
The Cabinet also gave nod for introducing the memorandum for passing a resolution to ratify the amendments to the Constitution of India (122nd Amendment Bill, 2014) by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha during its ongoing session for the implementation of General Sales Tax (GST). It may be recalled that the 122nd Amendment Bill, 2014 has already been passed by both the Houses of Parliament.
The Cabinet also gave approval to the draft of Punjab Anand Marriage Rules, 2016 in conformity with the registration of Marriages in the state by exercising the powers conferred under Section-6 of the Anand Marriage, Act 1909 as amended by Anand Marriages (Amendment) Act 2012. Pertinently, to mention here that those marriages which were being registered under the Anand Marriages Act 1909 and Anand Marriages (Amendment) Act, 2012 shall not be required to be registered under the Punjab Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act 2012.
The Cabinet also decided to introduce the Punjab Laws (Special Provision) Bill, 2016 replacing the already issued ordinance in the current session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha for its enactment to regularize the unauthorized colonies thereby bringing them within the ambit of planning framework and to provide the basic civic amenities to the residents of these colonies for a period of another one year. It may be recalled that the state government had been inviting applications from these residents from time to time and subsequently the term of these extensions given twice for one year each had expired on April 16, 2014 and February 5, 2016. Under this scheme 4,39,902 applications were received from the residents across the state but still several NRIs and people working outside the state could not avail benefit of this scheme so now the Cabinet has taken a conscientious decision to make The Punjab Laws (Special Provision) Bill, 2016 to provide another opportunity for one more year.
In another significant decision aimed at providing land to weaker sections of the society, the Cabinet also gave nod to amend section 2 (bb) of The East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act 1948 to allot five marla plots each from village common land ( Jumla Mustarka Maalkaan) to homeless people.
The Punjab Cabinet today gave approval to replace the Ordinance into a bill to grant power to first and second appellate authority for issuing suo-moto notice to ensure implementation of provisions of Right to Service Act in a far more effective manner. Henceforth, Section 7-A would be added as an amendment in the RTS Act 2011. With the implementation of this amendment, first and second appellate authority would also have power to take suo-moto notice of failure to deliver services in accordance with the provision of this Act. These amendments would go a long way in ensuring justice to the general public at grass roots level without approaching Commission.
In order to further improve the functioning of the Right to Service Commission (RTS), the Cabinet also gave nod for converting Punjab RTS (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 into Act in the ongoing session of the state assembly. Pertinently, this Ordinance was promulgated by amending section 13 (1) of the Right to Service Act- 2011 thereby increasing the members of Right to Service Commission from existing four to 10.
Taking cognizance of the representation submitted by Handicrafts Inlay Work Industry Association, Hoshiarpur, the Cabinet decided to abolish VAT on Wooden Goods with Inlay Work (Pachikari) Craft in the state to ensure a level playing field to the local handicrafts industry, which was finding it extremely difficult to compete with its peers in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh which had already exempted wooden handicrafts from VAT. This step would provide much needed relief to the industry and promote this craft. Besides, craftsmen in this particular sector would get more employment.
The Cabinet decided to amend the Punjab Minor Minerals Rules-2013 by introducing rule 74-A empowering the state government to issue guidelines under the rules.
The Cabinet also approved ‘The Punjab Health & Family Welfare Technical (Group-C) Service Rules, 2016’ to fill the vacant posts in different technical categories of the Health & Family Welfare Department and ensure timely promotions to the staff. Similarly, the Cabinet also gave nod for formulating service rules 2016 for group A, B, C (Technical) and Non Technical services in Punjab Bhawan, New Delhi for filling the posts on regular basis.
In order to enhance the functioning of Jail Department, the Cabinet also gave approval for revival of 377 posts of different cadres and creation of 53 new posts in Jail department. It was also decided that recruitment process for 210 posts of Wardens and 57 posts of Matrons would be undertaken by the Police Recruitment Board by taking them out of the purview of SSS Board.
The Cabinet also gave approval to set up the ‘Advance Autism Care and Research Centre’ at Mohali for the awareness and medical care of autism affected children and their families. The Cabinet also gave necessary permission for the creation of posts of well qualified and trained specialists to provide the best medical care facilities to the children suffering from autism. Likewise, the Council of Ministers also decided to create six posts of Clinical Psychologist, Speech Therapist and Paediatric Occupational Therapist at Government Medical College, Patiala and Amritsar in the Department of Medical Education and Research. This decision would provide medical care to the children suffering from autism and also be instrumental in bringing them into the mainstream.
The Cabinet also gave green signal to the proposal to amend in form No.III and IV mentioned in sub-rule (2) of rule 10 of "The Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Rules”, 1984. Likewise, the Cabinet also gave nod to amend the provision 3 (1) of "The Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act, 1977” to increase the pension of Ex-MLAs of Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Both the draft Bills in this regard would be introduced in the current session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha for the passing of necessary amendments.
The Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion would henceforth be a statutory authority and the Cabinet approved the draft bill to this effect. As a statutory authority, the Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion would be now felicitating the prospective investors far more efficaciously.
The Cabinet also gave approval for amending Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes Act, 2004 thereby increasing the strength of non-officials members of the Punjab State Scheduled Caste Commission from existing three to 10. This would help in safeguarding the interests of SC populace in the state besides enhancing the administrative structure of the Commission. The Senior Vice Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Commission would also be appointed from the members of the Commission.
The Cabinet also gave nod to omit provision 3 (1-A) of the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act 1977 and to amend the provision 3 (5) of the Act, which envisages that "No person shall be entitled to pension under this Act for or in respect of the term and during the period for which he shall be disqualified by the Court of competent jurisdiction under the provisions of Representation of People Act, 1951”.
The Cabinet also gave approval to amend the Punjab Rural Development Act, 1987 by inserting a provision regarding the utilisation of fund as the Government might deem fit in the interest of producers and for the benefit of the persons paying the fee including the dealer. In addition to the development works done in the state with the Rural Development fund, this fund could now be aptly used for welfare of people.
In order to impart quality higher education to students of the state, the Cabinet also gave nod to present the bills for converting Sri Guru Ram Dass University of Health Sciences, Sri Amritsar, Ordinance 2016 and Khalsa University, Sri Amritsar, Ordinance 2016 into Acts in the ongoing session of the state assembly.
In order to promote tourism in the holy city of Amritsar by facilitating the people and ensuring proper upkeep and cleanliness of important places, the Cabinet also gave approval for presenting the bill to enact Amritsar Culture and Tourism Development Authority Act 2016 in the ongoing session of state assembly. This Act would facilitate the setting up Amritsar Culture and Tourism Development Authority under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister with Deputy Chief Minister as its Co-Chairman and Minister Tourism and Local Government as its members besides nine other official members. This authority would take care of all the newly created tourist facilities in the vicinity of Golden Temple, Gobindgarh Fort, Durgiana Mandir and Ram Tirath Complex. The authority would be authorised to undertake the works regarding maintenance, cleanliness, power supply, monuments lighting, sanitation, roads, solid waste management and other related works.
In another significant decision, the Cabinet also gave nod to create a corpus fund of Rs 50 crore for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of Jang-e-Azaadi Memorial Kartarpur, Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal Amritsar, Sri Guru Ravidass Memorial Khuralgarh and War Memorial Amritsar, after their completion. The provision of Corpus fund would be made under the state plan budget and would remain with the Foundation/ Boards constituted for the projects, which would use the interest incurred on corpus for O&M.
The Cabinet also gave approval to extend the period for shifting industrial units from non designated zones of the master plan from 10 years to 15 years. This would enable the industry to plan their shifting to designated zones more systematically.