PUNJAB GOVT PLANS TO UNVEIL BUDGET ON MARCH 8, SESSION PROPOSED FROM MARCH 1 TO 10
Chandigarh, February 19:
The Captain Amarinder Singh government plans to unveil its budget for Punjab for 2021-22 on March 8.
A Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Friday approved summoning of the 14th Session (Budget Session) of the 15th Punjab Vidhan Sabha from 1st to 10th March, 2021, and recommended the same to Governor VP Singh Badnore, who is authorized to officially summon the State Legislature as per Article 174(1) of the Constitution of India
An official spokesperson said after the cabinet meeting that the Chief Minister has been authorized to approve the Governor’s Address for 14th Session of the 15th Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
Besides the state budget estimates for the next fiscal, the session will see the presentation of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year 2018-19 (civil, commercial) and financial accounts of Government of Punjab for the year 2019-20, as well as Appropriation Accounts for the year 2019-20. Supplementary demands for grants for the year 2020-21 and Appropriation Bill on supplementary demands for grants for the year 2020-21 will also be laid on the table of the House.
PUNJAB CABINET OKAYS JOBS FOR KIN OF 4 MINORS KILLED IN MAUR MANDI BOMB BLAST
Chandigarh, February 19:
The Punjab government has approved special provisions in the rules to provide government jobs to one of the family members/kin of each of the four minors killed in the Maur Mandi bomb blast of January 31, 2017.
The decision was taken on Friday by the Council of Ministers at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
It was decided at the Cabinet meet to grant special provision to provide jobs,
on compassionate grounds as per the educational qualifications of one member each of the families of the deceased – Japsimaran Singh (15) s/o Khushdeep Singh, Sourav Singla (14) s/o Rakesh Kumar, Ankush (11) s/o Gian Chand and Ripandeep Singh (9) s/o Kala Singh.
The existing rules did not provide for employment in state service on compassionate grounds for minor deceased. With the Cabinet decision today, the relevant rules/policy have been relaxed to provide jobs to a member each as per their educational qualification in Bathinda district or adjoining districts against direct quota vacant posts as a special case (without treating it as a precedent).
The jobs provided by the state government are in addition to the financial grant of Rs. 5 lakh each to the families of each of the deceased persons. The injured have got Rs. 50,000/- each from the Chief Minister’s Relief fund.
It may be recalled that seven persons were killed and 13 injured in the bomb blast incident at Maur Mandi in Bathinda district. The state government had earlier provided government jobs to the next of kin of two deceased, namely Harpal Singh (40) s/o Teja Singh and Ashok Kumar (35) s/o Babu Ram, as per the existing policy, since both were the breadwinners of their families. In Ashok Kumar’s case, his minor daughter, Bago (11) was also killed, but since one member of the family has already been given a job, Bago has not been included in the special provision approved today.
PUNJAB CABINET APPROVES RESTRUCTURING OF 5 MORE DEPARTMENTS TO CREATE 1875 NEW POSTS & BOOST EFFICIENCIES
Chandigarh, February 19:
In line with the government’s decision to generate jobs across departments and enhance functional efficiency through optimum utilization of manpower, the Punjab Cabinet on Friday approved restructuring of five more departments.
The decision of the Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, will lead to the creation of 1875 new posts, with 3720 existing ones, which had become defunct or irrelevant, to be surrendered.
The five Departments to be restructured are Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management, Social Security and Women & Child Development, Planning, Social Justice Empowerment and Minorities and Civil Aviation.
As per the restructuring plan of the Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management Department, the Cabinet has decided to revive/create and abolish posts of various categories in the offices of Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners besides newly created Sub-Divisions/Tehsils and Sub-Tehsils in the office of Commissioner Faridkot Division, Faridkot.
In the Social Security and Women & Child Development Department, 124 defunct posts will make way for 12 new ones, with the Cabinet also approving filling up of 101 posts (62 in Women & Child Development Wing, 39 in Social Security Wing) connected with professional services through outsourcing.
In line with the restructuring plan approved for the Planning Department, 219 posts have been created (five from Punjab State Planning Board and 214 from Economic and Statistical Organization) against 637 defunct ones.
The Cabinet also approved the restructuring of the Social Justice Empowerment and Minorities Department with emphasis on strengthening the legal to enable it to better handle multiple legal cases apart from empowering the field offices. As per the restructuring process, 285 posts will be done away with to make way for 147 new ones.
The Cabinet also approved the restructuring of the Civil Aviation Department in order to infuse greater efficiency and economy in the working of the department.
Notably, the Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on October 14, 2020 approved a State Employment Plan 2020-22, to fill vacant jobs in government departments, boards, corporations and agencies in a phased time-bound manner in fulfillment of his promise of providing one lakh government jobs to youth in the remaining term of his government.
PUNJAB CABINET APPROVES IMPLEMENTATION OF MISSION LAL LAKIR IN ALL VILLAGES
OKAYS ALLOTMENT OF ENCROACHED LAND TO SMALL/MARGINAL FARMERS IN POSSESSION FOR LONG
Chandigarh, February 19: To facilitate villagers/owners to monetise property rights and avail various benefits provided by Government departments/institutions and banks, the Punjab Cabinet on Friday approved implementation of Mission Lal Lakir in all the villages across the state.
As no Record of Rights is available for such properties within the Lal Lakir, the same cannot currently be monetized as per real value of the property and no mortgages etc. can be created on such properties. There are households within the Lal Lakir which do not own property other than the areas within the Lal Lakir and are thus at a disadvantage when it comes to monetizing or realising the real value of the property.
Under Mission Lal Lakir, Right of Record of properties within Lal Lakir in the Villages of the State will be prepared, with cooperation of Government of India under the SVAMITVA Scheme. This will enable mapping the land, households, habitation and all other areas falling within the Lal Lakir.
The SVAMITVA scheme was handled by the Rural Development and Panchayats Department, but on the directives of the Chief Minister, it will now be transferred to Revenue & Rehabilitation department.
The implementation of Mission Lal Lakir would go a long way in improving living standard of villagers and boosting their self-esteem. Issues arising out of rights relating to these properties would now be dealt with through a litigation being drafted specially for these Lal Lakir properties. The common lands within the Lal Lakir, such as ponds, common gathering areas and even passages and streets, which were facing encroachments due to non-availability/creation of record to maintain these assets, will now be protected under the Mission.
UNAUTHORISED SMALL/MARGINAL FARMERS TO BE ALLOTTED ENCROACHED LAND IN THEIR POSSESSION
In another significant decision, the Cabinet also gave approval to ‘The Punjab (Welfare and Settlement of Landless, Marginal and Small Occupant Farmers) Allotment of State Government Land Rules, 2021’ in order to make allotment of encroached lands to unauthorized small and marginal farmers on the basis of a rational criteria by sale of land at a predetermined price. This would ensure a fair balance for the occupants who have been in possession since long, and for the Government to get its due revenue in respect of the unauthorized occupation of Government lands and also settle unnecessary long pending litigation.
The new rules would provide a mechanism for the receipt and process of the applications to be received under the Act. The eligible person under the Act would apply to the Allotment Commissioner, who would issue an allotment letter after seeking report from Patwari with due diligence. The allotment letter would be issued on payment of 25% of the total allotment price and the rest of the 75% payment would have to be paid in lumpsum or in six equated instalments. In case of default in payment of 25% of the allotment price, allotment letter would not be issued and the allotment would be revoked. In case of default in payment of the instalments as per the allotment letter, the payment would be allowed to be made along with 6% interest on delayed payment within three months of the final payment due. After the payment of the entire sum, the conveyance deed would be registered in the name of the farmer.
It may be recalled that, as per the recommendations of the State Revenue Commission to allot lands to the landless, medium and small farmers at a fixed price on rational criteria as a legal framework for resolving welfare and various other disputes, another Act – ‘The Punjab (Welfare and Settlement of Landless, Marginal and Small Occupant Farmers) Allotment of State Government Land Act, 2021’ – was earlier passed to provide revenue to the government from illegal occupation of government land as well as to settle unnecessary pending lawsuits, so that proper balance can be struck between the two.
INDUSTRIES & COMMERCE DEPT REPORT OKAYED
In another decision, the Punjab Cabinet has also approved Administrative Report of Industries & Commerce Department for the year 2017-18.
PUNJAB CABINET OKAYS AMENDMENT TO INDIAN PARTNERSHIP ACT, 1932 TO REVISE NEARLY 90-YEAR-OLD FEE STRUCTURE
Chandigarh, February 19:
The Punjab Government has decided to revise the nearly 90-year-old fee structure under the Indian Partnership Act, 1932, to bring the same at par with other states.
The decision was taken on Friday by the Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
The Council of Ministers approved ‘The Indian Partnership (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2021’ for the revision of fee for various services as contained in Schedule-1 under Section 71 of the Act, such as Registration of firms, Updation of records, Inspection and Copying.
Disclosing this, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the prescribed fee structure for various services as currently contained in Schedule-1 of the act is too meagre and has become irrelevant with the passage of time, as the existing fee structure has not been revised since the Act came into force in 1932.
Under the revised structure, Rs.5000 would now be charged for making a statement under section 58 for application registration as against Rs. 3/- charged earlier. Instead of the existing Rs 1/-, the revised structure provides for charging Rs. 500 each for making a statement under section 60 for recording of alternations in firm name and principal place of business, for intimation under section 61 for noting of closing and opening of branches, for intimation under section 62 for changes in names and addresses of partners, notice under section 63 (1) & 63 (2) for recording of changes in and dissolution of a firm, recording of withdrawal of a minor besides application under section 64 for rectification of mistakes respectively, said the spokesperson.
Further, Rs. 100 each in place of earlier fee of fifty paisa would be now charged for inspection of one volume of the register of firms under sub-section (1) of section 66, for inspection of all documents related to one firm under sub-section (2) of section 66 regarding inspection of register and filed documents and Rs. 20 against previous fee of twenty five paise for each hundred words or part thereof regarding copies from the register of firms under section 67 for the purpose of grant of copies.
Notably, barring Punjab and Haryana, other major states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have been charging higher fee for various services offered under the Indian Partnership Act, 1932.
PUNJAB TO AMEND INDUSTRIAL POLICY TO AVAIL INCENTIVES THROUGH GST FORMULA EXTENSION
GIVES GO AHEAD TO AMEND (FRBM) ACT, 2003 TO AVAIL BENEFIT OF ADDITIONAL CENTRAL BORROWING
Chandigarh, February 19: To promote post-Covid industrial revival and attract greater investment, the Punjab Cabinet led by Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday gave approval to amend the Industrial & Business Development Policy, 2017, for extension of GST formula for availing incentives under the said policy till October 17, 2022.
The move is also prompted by feedback/suggestions from certain industry associations for extending the last date of claiming the GST incentive, given in the notification dated October 17, 2018, and make this last date as coterminous till the expiry of the Industrial Policy of the state.
The fiscal incentive under the present Policy was only applicable for investment proposals received by March 31, 2020 on the Invest Punjab Business First Portal. With the Cabinet decision, the GST Formula notified vide notification no. 4888 dated October 17, 2018 shall be extended for availing incentive under Industrial & Business Development Policy, 2017 till October 17, 2022 (i.e. till the applicability of Industrial & Business Development Policy, 2017).
Notably, the Industrial and Business Development Policy-2017 was formulated and notified on October 17, 2017 to provide the incentive of investment subsidy by way of reimbursement of net SGST. This formula for the calculation of the incentive was approved by the Cabinet on October 17, 2018 and notified on the same day. Thereafter, an amendment was issued on March 7, 2019.
(FRBM) ACT 2003 TO BE AMENDED FOR ADDITIONAL BORROWING
To avail the benefit of additional borrowing of 2% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in 2020-21, the Cabinet also gave approval to amend Section 4, in Sub-Section (2), for Clause (a) of the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003.
Notably, the Government of India has allowed 2% of GSDP, of which 1% shall be unconditional and remaining 1% shall be conditional to specific reforms.
It may be recalled that in view of the Covid pandemic, the Government of India had decided to provide relaxation in borrowing limits by increasing an additional borrowing limit of upto 2% of GSDP for the year 2020-21 subject to implementation of specific state level reforms as well as amendment of state’s FRBM legislation for the year 2020-21 to this effect. Of this 2%, 0.5% was unconditional and the remaining 1.5% was conditional in respect of reforms viz; implementation of one nation one ration card system; ease of doing business reforms; urban local body/utility reforms and power sector reforms. The weight-age of each reform would be 0.25% of GSDP totalling to 1%. The remaining borrowing limit of 0.50% was to be conditional to undertaking of at least 3 out of the above named reforms.
To compensate the shortfall arising out of GST implementation, the GoI had offered two borrowing Option-I and II to the States, of which, the Punjab state had opted Option-I.
Option-I has given permission to the states to borrow the final instalment of 0.5% (originally intended as a bonus for completing at least three of the four specified reforms) even without meeting the pre-conditions. Thus, Punjab has been allowed 1% unconditional additional borrowing limit in place of 0.5% out of the 2% additional borrowing limit allowed earlier. The remaining 1% additional borrowing limit shall be conditional to above mentioned reforms. Therefore, the state is required to amend its Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003.
STAGE SET FOR PRIVATE SELF-FINANCED AMITY UNIVERSITY TO BECOME OPERATIONAL IN MOHALI THIS YEAR
PUNJAB CABINET GIVES GO-AHEAD TO TABLE BILL FOR ENACTMENT IN BUDGET SESSION
Chandigarh, February 19: The stage is set for tabling, for enactment in the forthcoming budget session of the Vidhan Sabha, the Bill for establishment of a private self-financed Amity University, which is set to become functional at IT City, Mohali, from this year.
The Ordinance for setting up of the university could not be promulgated earlier due to the imposition of the election code of conduct for the civic polls, thus necessitating the legislation of a Bill to be approved by the House, an official spokesperson said after a meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
Approved under the ‘Punjab Private University Policy-2010’, the university will come up over an area of 40.44 acre with an investment of Rs.664.32 crore over five years. It will have an annual intake of 1500-2000 students.
The Punjab government has made it mandatory to reserve 15 percent of students from Punjab in the University and 5 percent of total number of students will be given free education as part of the Bill and terms and conditions. The University will be recruiting teaching and non-teaching staff as per UGC Guidelines.
According to a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office, it will be a multidisciplinary University with various departments like Engineering, Computer/IT, Communication, Commerce, Management, Psychology, Liberal arts, English Literature etc. The university is expected to bring quality education to the city and would help in overall development of the area.
The proposal for for setting up of a private self-financed ‘Amity University Punjab’ at Block-D, Sector-82 Alpha, IT City, S.A.S. Nagar (Mohali) was received from Ritnand Balved Education Foundation, New Delhi. After considering the proposal and adopting the required procedure as per the provisions of Punjab Private Universities Policy-2010, the Letter of Intent was issued to the Sponsoring Body on February 18, 2020.
It has been the endeavour of Punjab Government to establish Mohali and adjoining areas as educational and IT Hub.