APPROVAL: Punjab Cabinet approves to link SAS Nagar (Mohali) with Chandigarh Metro Rail Project

Author(s): 

A meeting of the Punjab Cabinet being chaired by Punjab Chief Minister  Parkash Singh Badal at Chandigarh on Wednesday.

•         Clears enactment of Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Bill, 2012 and Punjab Compulsory Registration of Marriages Bill, 2012
•         VAT on timber and scaffolding slashed from 13% to 5.5%
•         Nod for UPLOKPAL’s Appointment
•         Two Cabinet Sub Committees constituted to review unauthorized possession of government land in rural & urban areas
Chandigarh December 12, 2012: The Punjab Cabinet today gave approval to link SAS Nagar (Mohali) with Chandigarh Metro Rail Project at a cost of Rs.1427 crore.
A decision to this effect was taken here at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Punjab Chief Minister  Parkash Singh Badal this morning.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s office said that the total length of the metro rail covering the tricity i.e. Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali was 37.57 KMs to be completed at a cost of Rs.10,900 crore.  Two corridors would be developed one from Capital Complex Chandigarh to Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan Sector 70 in Mohali having a length of 12.49 KMs, of which 3.97 KM in Mohali city.  Likewise, the second corridor would be from Mullanpur (Punjab portion) to Grain Market Panchkula (Haryana) having a length of 25.07 KMs, of which 3.87 KM would be in Mullanpur.  
In order to strictly regulate the profession of travel agents besides checking their illegal & fraudulent activities and mal practices of the persons involved in the organized human smuggling in Punjab, the Cabinet also gave approval for the enactment of Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Bill, 2012.  The Bill stipulated whosoever contravenes the provisions of the law and indulges in activities which result in sending people abroad illegally shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not less than three years, which may extend to seven years and with fine.  Whoever, having been convicted of an offence under any provision of this Bill, is again convicted of an offence under the same provision, shall be punishable, for the second, and for each subsequent offence, with double the penalty, provided for that offence.   The SDMs/DSPs have also been given power to search the premises of such violators with the prior approval of the District Magistrate.  It would be mandatory for all travel agents to get licenses from the competent authorities for doing business.  
To ensure compulsory registration of marriages solemnized under any law governing the parties irrespective of their religion, caste, creed or nationality in the state, the Cabinet also okayed the enactment of the Punjab Compulsory Registration of Marriages Bill, 2012 which would include NRIs also.  
The Cabinet also approved the amendment in the Punjab School Education Board Act, 1969 to declare the Board as sole body to discharge the functions of the Board.  This decision would empower the board to check the malpractice of issuing bogus certificates/degrees which were not approved for employment in the government as well as other organizations.  
In another significant decision, the Cabinet also approved to slash the rate of VAT on Timber and Scaffolding from 13% (plus surcharge) to 5.5% (plus surcharge).    The reduction in VAT would help in preventing the flight of timber and scaffolding trade and industry from Punjab to the neighboring state.   
Acting swiftly on the written requests from farmers, the Cabinet also gave go ahead to return those lands leased to the Citrus council for which the farmers had made requests besides allowing to return such lands for which a written request would be received from the land owner in future also.    
To ensure quick dispensation of justice to the people of the state, the Cabinet also approved the creation of 37 posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrates besides entrusting the work of selection of 71 posts of PCS (Judicial Branch) to the Punjab & Haryana High Court by taking these posts out of the purview of Punjab Public Service Commission.  The said posts would be advertised by the Punjab Public Service Commission and thereafter the selection would be made by the recruitment committee of Punjab & Haryana High Court.  
The Cabinet also approved the amendment in the Punjab Lokpal Act by making provision for appointment of one Uplokpal.  
The Cabinet also gave approval to grant extension in the service contract of Health/Veterinary Pharmacists and Class-IV employees working as service providers @ Rs.7000 and Rs.3000/- per annum w.e.f. December 1, 2012 up to May 31, 2013 or till regular recruitment (whichever is earlier) as a stop gap arrangement in 1186 rural dispensaries and 582 veterinary hospitals functioning under the Zila Parishads.
The Cabinet also approved the repealing the Pension Scheme of 1996 for the grant of pension and gratuity to the teaching and non-teaching staff of the Punjab Privately Managed Recognized Affiliated Aided Colleges.  
The Cabinet also approved the re-designating of 84 associate professors of the government colleges in the state as professors, who were getting Rs.9000 as academic grade pay and are having qualification of PhD as per the notification issued by the University Grants Commission.  
The Cabinet also decided to constitute two cabinet sub committees comprising four cabinet ministers each for rural and urban areas respectively to review the situation where the government land was under unauthorized possession.  These committees would be assisted by the Chief Secretary and other concerned officials and would also make recommendations to the cabinet to tackle with this situation effectively besides suggesting measures that such situation does not recur in future.  
To ensure better citizen centric services to the people and smooth functioning of the Pathankot and Fazilka district administration, the Cabinet gave approval for the creation of 239 and 228 posts in various departments of Pathankot and Fazilka district respectively.     Likewise, the Cabinet also approved the creation and filling of 28 posts in blocks of Bhagtan Bhai Ka in Bathinda, Raikot in Ludhiana, Sujanpur and Dorangla in Gurdaspur district.
The Cabinet also approved the amendment in Rule 42-A of the Punjab Motor Vehicles, Rules, 1989 for the allotment of fancy registration marks of choice at a price determined through e-auction.  The implementation of this scheme would mop up additional funds of nearly Rs.17-18 crore annually to the state exchequer.
The Cabinet also gave approval for the conversion of Punjab Institutions and other Buildings) Tax (amendment) Ordinance 2012, into Bill in the larger public interest.  
The Cabinet also approved the conversion of Punjab Municipal (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2012 and Punjab Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2012 regarding the introduction of unit area based Property Tax in the State into Bills in the forth coming session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.    
The Cabinet also gave approval for the enactment of Punjab Safety Measures for Prevention and Control of Fire Act, 2012 through conversion of Ordinance into a Bill in the coming winter assembly session.  
            The Cabinet also gave green signal to amend Section 60 of the Punjab Town Improvement Trust, 1922 by converting the said Ordinance into an Act in the next assembly session, to pave a way for making a single member Tribunal with a president to be appointed by the state government, who would either a judge of High Court of Punjab or an officer of the state government not below the rank of a Financial Commissioner.    
The Cabinet also approved the conversion of the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Ordinance, 2012 into Bill in the ensuing Vidhan Sabha session wherein all the committees, constituted by way of nomination under section 12 as it existed immediately before such commencement shall stand superseded.  
With a view to protecting and safeguarding the interests of minority communities in the state, the Cabinet also gave approval for the conversion of the Punjab State Commission for Minorities Ordinance 2012 into a Bill in the forth coming winter session to constitute a Commission for Minorities in Punjab.
To check the illegal use and theft of canal water, the Cabinet also approved the conversion of the Northern India Canal and Drainage (Punjab amendment) Ordinance 2012 into Bill in the forthcoming winter session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.  Under section 12 of clause 70 of the Act, the amount of penalty for the theft of canal irrigation water had been enhanced from Rs.1000 to minimum Rs.5000 up to maximum Rs.50,000 or imprisonment up to 6 months or both.  After that a provision to debar such defaulters from getting canal irrigation water for two years had also been incorporated in the Act.   
The Cabinet also accorded approval for conversion of Punjab VAT amendment Ordinance No.17 of 2012 into Punjab VAT Act (amendment) through a Bill in the forthcoming session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
            The Cabinet also decided to present a Bill before the Punjab Vidhan Sabha relating to enhancement of 1% Social Infrastructure Cess levied in addition to stamp duty at the time of registration of sale deeds.    
             The Cabinet also gave nod to bring the Punjab Motor Vehicle Taxation Act (amendment) Bill, 2012 in the coming session.
The Cabinet also approved the conversion of Ordinances of self financed Universities namely DAV University Jalandhar and Desh Bhagat University Mandi Gobindgarh in district Fatehgarh Sahib into Bills in the forthcoming winter session of state assembly.  Likewise, the Cabinet also approved the conversion of “The Punjab State Board of Technical Education & Industrial Training (amendment) Ordinance 2012” into a bill to enable the Punjab State Board of Technical Education & Industrial Training to utilize its funds. 

Date: 
Wednesday, December 12, 2012