The Punjab Cabinet has paved the way for levy and collection of taxes on entertainments and amusements by all the Municipalities and Panchayats in the state.”The Punjab Entertainments & Amusements Taxes (Levy & Collection by Local Bodies) Ordinance, 2017″ was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.The Cabinet discussed and approveda proposal mooted by the Local Government Department to levy nominal entertainment tax @ Rs. 5 per DTH connection and Rs. 2 per local cable connection per month by all the Urban Local Bodies and Gram Panchayats of the state.The move, according to an official spokesperson, is expected to generate annual income of around Rs. 45-47 crore for the Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats of the state. Of this, Rs.9.60 crore would accrue on nearly 16 lac DTH connections and Rs.36.96 crore on 44 lac Cable connections across the state.However, no entertainment tax has been proposed on Cinemas, Multiplexes, Amusement Parks and other similar places providing facilities for entertainment and amusements.The move was necessitated by the introduction of GST by the Government of India with effect fromJuly 1, 2017, as a result of which entertainment tax being levied and collected by the State Government through the Department of Excise and Taxations stood withdrawn. The power of levying entertainment tax has now been conferred on the Panchayats and Municipalities through amendment to entry 62 of the state list to the 7th schedule of the Constitution of India.Meanwhile, in another decision, the Cabinet has decided to amend “The Punjab Department of Water Supply and Sanitation Junior Engineers (Group-C) Service Rules 2006” and “Amended Rules 2010”, to enable thedepartment to fill 210 vacant posts through direct recruitment. It also agreed to the proposal of the department to make amendments in the service rules before initiating the fresh recruitment process, so that of the 75% posts falling under direct recruitment mode, 95% posts be earmarked for Civil Engineering Diploma holders and 5% posts for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Diploma holders.Pertinently, the majority of works under Water Supply and Sanitation Department are of civil type in natureand Mechanical & Electrical works are bare minimum. Earlier, the work of boring of tubewell was done by thedepartment for which Mechanical Engineers were required. Now-a-daysneither the tubewell boring work is being done by the department nor it has any machinery for the same. Hence, there is hardly any requirement of Mechanical wing staff.