NewZNew (Chandigarh) : The Punjab Cabinet today accepted the recommendations of the committee headed by the state Chief Secretary with regard to waiver of purchase tax on sugarcane for the year 2014-15 as done by the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttrakhand.
A decision to this effect was taken in the meeting of Council of Ministers chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal at CMO this morning.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the Cabinet also decided to recover the previous arrears of purchase and other taxes from the Sugar Mills in annual equated installments. These decisions were taken in view of the uneconomic operations of the sugar mills all over the country due to increasing cane price and stagnant prices of sugar. The government intends to support sugar mills so that farmers continue to cultivate sugarcane.
The Cabinet also approved to establish Punjab State Institute of Sports (PSIS) in the state with an objective to create a large pool of sportspersons, who could be groomed as prospective medalists of Olympics, Commonwealth, Asian games and other national and international sports competitions. These high potential players would be trained by the renowned domestic and foreign coaches in modern sports complexes by providing them nutritious diet besides providing accommodation in ultra modern hostels and foreign training and competition exposure. The headquarters of this premier institution would be at SAS Nagar (Mohali) and centers of excellence in selective sports discipline would also be established under it. It may be recalled that the state PSIS has already been registered under the Societies Act 1860.
The Cabinet also approved the summoning of session of 14th Punjab Vidhan Sabha from December 22.
The Cabinet has also decided to waive off the water user charges on tube wells run by Punjab Water Resources Management and Development Corporation (PWRMDC) @ Re 1 per unit for Kandi area and Rs 1.60 per unit electricity consumed for other areas. The Cabinet also decided to waive off the arrears amounting to Rs 6.50 crore recoverable from the shareholders of these tube wells. Pertinently to be mentioned here, the state government had levied the charges for water supplied through tube wells run by the erstwhile Punjab State Tube well Corporation now PWRMDC @ Re 1 per uit of Kandi area and Rs 1.60 per unit electricity consumed for other areas vide its notification no. 14/22/94-IW (2)/10440 dated 13/5/2003.
The Cabinet also approved to convert the ordinance regarding the levying of water cess @ Rs.50 per acre per crop instead of Abiana by amending the Indian Canal & Drainage Act, 1873, into bill for presenting in the forthcoming session of the state assembly. The water cess thus collected would be utilised for maintenance, upkeep and modernisation of the canals.
The Cabinet also gave nod to the Information and Public Relations Department to engage the services of Online Social Media Agency for the effective dissemination of state government’s pro-people and development oriented policies and programs with an objective of deeper penetration amongst the masses especially the youth, who evinced keen interest in different formats of social media like Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Linkedin, Watsapp and others.
The Cabinet also gave approval for ratifying the amendment of the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty First Amendment) Bill, 2014 and National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014 as passed by both the houses of Parliament. As per clause 2 (d) of the proviso to article 368 of the Constitution of India, certain amendments to the constitution required ratification by half of the states of the Union of India. By the way of this amendment, it is proposed to insert articles 124A, 124B and 124C. Certain amendments have also been proposed in Articles 127, 128, 217, 222, 224, 224A and 231. The proposed Judicial Commission would be chaired by Chief Justice of India besides two senior most Judges of Supreme Court, Union Law and Justice Minister besides two eminent persons to be nominated by a committee comprising Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of Opposition as its members. One of the nominated members would be from SC/ ST/ OBC/ Minority or woman. It may be recalled that the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2014 was passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on August 13, 2014 and August 14, 2014 respectively. The Cabinet approved the proposal of the state Home Affairs and Justice Department before laying down the same on the table of Punjab Vidhan Sabha for its assent.
The Cabinet also gave approval for changing the service conditions under the Punjab Civil Services Rules whereby during the Probation period for two years the new appointee would be paid only the basic pay and after the successful completion of probation period, full salary would be admissible to the employees. However, these conditions would not be applicable in case of PCS (Judicial).
The Cabinet also gave nod for transferring 201 schools (495 ETT teachers with post) working in Urban Local Bodies to the Education department and merging them with the cadre of ETT teachers in Education department. Pertinently, the Cabinet had in its meeting held on September 2, 2014 already decided to transfer 5752 schools ( along with 13034 teachers with sanctioned posts) working under the control of Panchayati Raj.
The Cabinet also gave go ahead for amending the Punjab Municipal Act 1911 and the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 by making suitable provisions in both the acts viz. that the model bye-laws notified by the government shall remain applicable till these are altered or modified by the concerned Municipal corporations/ committees, that if a corporation or committee delays in taking a decision on a matter of public interest or is unable to take such a decision in the absence of elected house in those circumstances the state government shall be competent to take appropriate decision in public interest and the commissioner/ executive officer shall be bound to implement such decision of the state government and the state government may cancels its confirmation of any such bye-law or alteration and thereupon the said bye-law or alteration shall cease to have effect.
In a benevolent gesture to grant financial assistance as livelihood to the victims of botched eye surgeries, he Cabinet also gave green signal to amend Financial Assistance to Disabled Person Rules 1996 to pay special pension of Rs 2000 per month to victims, who lost their vision, during the Eye Operation Camp organised in Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts.