In an effort to provide free legal aid to the poor, the Punjab council of ministers on Thursday decided to convert 229 temporary posts of the Punjab Legal Services Authority into permanent ones. It also approved the regularisation of services of 88 assistant district attorneys of the state prosecution and litigation department.
The cabinet also decided that various district and sessions courts in the state would have 13 more judges. These slots would be filled within the next three months by the Punjab and Haryana high court for speedy disposal of long-pending cases, a government spokesman said.
Food Act panel
The cabinet meeting, which was chaired by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, okayed the constitution of an empowered committee under the chairmanship of deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to implement the Food Security Act in the state. The committee would comprise food and civil supply minister Adaish Partap Singh Kairon, industry minister Madan Mohan Mittal and finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa as members.
No VAT on cancer-detecting chemicals
The cabinet amended certain schedules of the Punjab VAT (value-added tax) Act, 2005, exempting cancer-detecting chemicals F-18 and F-18 FDG from the payment of 6.5% VAT. It also approved the introduction of VAT at the first stage of sale only in the case of cigarettes.
Extension to retd PCS officers
The cabinet decided to grant ex-post facto approval for extension in the re-appointment of 10 retired PCS (executive branch) officers on contractual basis for further period of six months till December 31, 2013.
It approved the revival of 48 regular posts in the hospitality department to fill these through outsourcing.
The cabinet also sanctioned 244 posts of various categories in Nawanshahr, Moga and Muktsar districts to overcome staff shortage. These newly-created posts would entail a financial liability of Rs 7.14 crore to the state exchequer.
The cabinet approved the creation of 97 posts, while abolishing 926 posts of various categories out of the existing 2,782 in the cooperation department. A total of 1,643 posts in the department are presently lying vacant, it was observed.
After restructuring, 1,953 posts would be under the regular head in the department, the spokesman added.
The government would recruit 175 veterinary inspectors through Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, instead of the Punjab State Subordinate Services Selection Board.
To ensure proper maintenance and upkeep of record related to registered documents at the district level, the cabinet gave approval to create one post of HRA (head registration assistant) each in five districts and 11 posts of HRCs (head registration clerks) in 11 districts.
The cabinet decided to create a new industrial tribunal at Mohali. The Gurdaspur industrial tribunal would now function under the Amritsar tribunal. Currently, the industrial tribunal in Patiala has jurisdiction over Patiala, Rupnagar, Mohali, Sangrur, Barnala and Fatehgarh Sahib districts, thereby resulting in huge pendency of cases, it was pointed out at the meeting.
In compliance with the Supreme Court orders, the cabinet gave its nod for extending the jurisdiction of the Punjab Education Tribunal to hear and decide cases of disputes between unaided educational institutions and their employees by amending the Punjab Privately Managed Recognised Schools Employees (Security of Service) Act, 1979.
TV/film stars for ad campaigns
The cabinet decided to rope in film and TV personalities for the promotion of the government's welfare schemes etc. "These policies and programmes would be aptly projected through advertisements in electronic and print media," it was decided.