Punjab Cabinet on Friday gave its approval to include Saini and Swarnkar/Sunar Communities in the list of Backward Classes of the state on recommendations of the Backward Classes Commission.
A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office in a release said 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 in Chandigarh on Saturday. This decision would help the Saini and Swarnkar/Sunar communities to avail various benefits of government welfare schemes, it said.
The cabinet gave nod for introducing memorandum for passing a resolution to ratify amendments to the Constitution of India (122nd Amendment Bill, 2014) by the state assembly in its ongoing session for implementing Goods and Service Tax. It gave green signal to the proposed amendments in the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Rules, 1984. Likewise, it approved amendments in the Act to increase pension of Ex-MLAs.
Both the draft Bills in this regard would be introduced in the current Punjab Assembly session to pass necessary amendments, the spokesperson said.
It approved the draft of the Punjab Anand Marriage Rules, 2016 in conformity with the registration of marriages.
To mention, 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 decided to introduce the Punjab Laws (Special Provision) Bill, 2016, replacing the already issued ordinance in the current session of assembly for enactment to regularise unauthorised colonies.
It will bring them within the ambit of planning framework and provide basic civic amenities to the residents of these colonies for another one year.
The state government has been inviting applications from 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, this year.
Under this scheme 4,39,902 applications were received from across Punjab but still several people working outside the state and NRIs could not avail its benefit.
Therefore, 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 decision aimed at providing land to weaker sections and homeless, the Cabinet approved amendments in 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.
On the basis of a representation submitted by the Handicrafts Inlay Work Industry Association, Hoshiarpur, the cabinet decided to abolish VAT on wooden goods with inlay work.
It will ensure a level playing field to the local handicraft industry to compete with its peers in Uttar Pradesh, which has already exempted VAT on wooden handicrafts.
Besides, craftsmen would get more employment, the spokesperson said.
In order to promote tourism in the holy city of Amritsar by ensuring cleanliness and upkeep of civic amenities, the cabinet approved presenting the bill to enact Amritsar Culture and Tourism Development Authority Act, 2016, in the ongoing assembly session.
This Act would facilitate setting up of the Amritsar Culture and Tourism Development Authority under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister with the Deputy Chief Minister as its co-chairman.
The tourism minister and local government will be 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 undertake maintenance, cleanliness, power supply, monument lighting, sanitation, roads, solid waste management and other related works.
The cabinet also gave nod to create a corpus fund of Rs 50 crore for operation and maintenance of Jang-e-Azaadi Memorial Kartarpur, Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal Amritsar, Sri Guru Ravidass Memorial Khuralgarh and War Memorial Amritsar, after their completion.
The provisions for the corpus would be made under the state plan and would remain with foundation and boards constituted for the projects.
It approved setting up of the Advanced Autism Care and Research Centre at Mohali and gave necessary permission for creation of posts to recruit specialists.
Likewise, it approved creation of six posts of clinical psychologist, speech therapist and paediatric occupational therapist at the Government Medical College, Patiala and Amritsar’s department of medical education and research.
The spokesman said, the Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion (PBIP) would henceforth be a statutory authority and the draft bill was approved to this effect.
The cabinet approved amendments to the Punjab Rural Development Act, 1987, by inserting a provision regarding the utilisation of fund as the government might deem fit in interest of producers and benefit of the persons paying fee, including dealers.
In order to impart quality higher education, the cabinet gave nod to present bills for converting Sri Guru Ram Dass University of Health Sciences, Amritsar, Ordinance 2016 and Khalsa University, Sri Amritsar, Ordinance 2016 into Acts in the ongoing session of the state assembly.
The cabinet gave approval to replace the ordinance into a bill to grant power to first and second appellate authority for issuing suo-motu notice to ensure implementation of provisions of Right to Service Act in a far more effective manner.
With the implementation of this amendment, first and second appellate authority would also have power to take suo-motu 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, spokesman said.
In order to further improve the functioning of the Right to Service Commission (RTS), the cabinet gave nod for converting Punjab RTS (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 into a Act in the ongoing assembly session.
The cabinet has decided to amend the Punjab Minor Minerals Rules-2013 by introducing rule 74-A. It empowers the state government to issue guidelines under the rule.
It approved the Punjab Health and Family Welfare Technical (Group-C) Service Rules, 2016 to fill vacant posts in technical categories and ensure timely promotions in the Health and Family Welfare Department.
To enhance functioning of the Jail Department, the cabinet approved revival of 377 posts of different cadres and creation of 53 new posts.
It was decided the Police Recruitment Board will recruit 210 wardens and 57 wardens, taking them out of the SSS Board’s purview.
The cabinet approved amendments in the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes Act, 2004 to increase strength of non-official members of the Punjab State Scheduled Caste Commission from existing three to 10.
Thereby, enhancing the commission’s administrative structure and safeguarding interests of SCs. The commission’s senior vice chairman and vice chairman would be appointed from among members.
The cabinet extended the period for shifting industrial units from non-designated to designated zones of the master plan from 10 to 15 years.