With its first session to start from June 2021, Amity University is set to come to Punjab to set up its campus in IT City in Mohali. Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to the university campus to be established by Amity Education Group.
The virtual Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, gave its nod to the draft of ‘The Amity University Ordinance 2020’ and authorised the Chief Minister to approve the final draft prepared by the Legal Remembrancer, without placing it again before the Cabinet.
A government statement said that the self-financed private ‘Amity University Punjab’, being established as a research and innovation driven university on a 40 acre state-of-the-art campus, will be developed at a prime location in Mohali, SAS Nagar, with an investment of Rs 664.32 crore over 5 years. The university will become functional from the next academic year, with its first session set to commence in June- July 2021.
The statement added that the university will pave the way for the development of the area as a major educational hub.
The university will be located just 10 minutes away from Chandigarh airport.
“The upcoming university would be instrumental in imparting world-class higher education to the students to empower them to compete globally and be gainfully equipped. It will have an annual intake of 1,500-2,000 students,” the government statement said.
The Punjab government has made it mandatory to reserve 15 per cent of students from Punjab in the upcoming university, and 5 per cent of total number of students will be given free education as part of the ordinance and its terms and conditions. The university would be recruiting teaching and non-teaching staff as per UGC Guidelines.
The state government had formulated ‘Punjab Private Universities Policy, 2010’ to promote quality higher education. Accordingly, the Ritnand Balved Education Foundation, New Delhi, had submitted a proposal for setting up Amity University at Block-D in Sector-82 Alpha, IT City, SAS Nagar (Mohali). After considering the proposal and adopting the required procedure as per the aforesaid policy, the Letter of Intent was issued to the sponsoring body on February 18, 2020 by the Higher Education Department.
The university in Mohali will be the tenth university to be established by the not-for-profit Amity Education Group.
MOTOR VEHICLE TAX EXEMPTION
The Cabinet also approved 100 per cent exemption from the Motor Vehicle tax for state stage carriage buses and buses of educational institutions/school/college buses till December 31, 2020, effective from March 23, to support private transport operators amid the Covid pandemic. The move will cost the state Rs 66.05 crore.
The Cabinet gave post-facto approval to the notification issued in June to exempt these vehicles from MV tax till May 19, 2020, and also okayed notification for further extension from May 20 to December 31, 2020.
The Cabinet has also approved extension of the amnesty scheme, deferring payment of arrears of taxes, without interest and penalty, to March 31, 2021.
A government statement said, “The Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval to the notification dated June 1, 2020, reducing Motor Vehicle Tax of Stage Carriage Buses (Ordinary Buses) from Rs 2.80 to Rs 2.69 per kilometre, per vehicle, per day. It also gave ex-post facto approval to another notification dated June 2, 2020, by which Motor Vehicle Tax exemption was given to Educational Institutions, Schools, College buses, Mini buses, Maxi Cab and Three Wheelers from March 23, 2020 to May 19, 2020.
The exemption given to the above stage carriage buses and buses of Educational Institutions/Schools/College was expected to cost the state exchequer about Rs 66.05 Crore.
The promise of exemption was made by the Chief Minister to the private bus operators during a meeting in October. They had sought extension of amnesty scheme issued on June 1, 2020. Under the amnesty scheme, the transporters were liable to pay tax on their vehicles from June 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 without any interest and penalty. It has now been decided to grant 100 per cent tax exemption to all types of stage carriage buses and educational institutions (schools and colleges) buses from May 20, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
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