The Punjab Cabinet on Saturday decided to adopt the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system for releasing old age pension and other financial assistance under social security schemes to those eligible in the rural and urban areas.
At present, most cash payments are being made by the government departments directly or with the help of panchayats. There are often complaints of misuse and embezzlement.
To counter such complaints, certain state governments have introduced EBT to disburse pension under social security schemes by issuing smart cards to beneficiaries of old age and widow pensions. This system eliminates the role of the postal department and saves the time and money of beneficiaries, who will get payment at their doorstep.
"The EBT system will ensure prompt, hassle-free and foolproof disbursement of pension," a state government spokesperson said.
This decision was taken here at a cabinet meeting, chaired by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The cabinet directed the welfare department to devise a methodology so that shagun for the marriage of daughters of Scheduled Castes, backward classes, Christians, economically weaker sections, besides daughters of widows and divorcees must reach on or before the wedding day.
POLICY FOR ETT INSTITUTES
The cabinet gave its nod a policy to set up institutes providing diploma in elementary education (ETT) and approved a six-member committee under the chairmanship of the Director General School Education (DGSE) for the implementation of the policy. This decision will now pave the way for the affiliation of private unaided, self-financed ETT colleges as earlier there was no such provision to affiliate these colleges by the SCERT. "This will ensure fair and transparent admissions for ETT aspirants in affiliated institutes," the spokesperson said.
LAND FOR SERVICES SELECTION BOARD
The cabinet approved the handing over of the possession of 200 acres of the state agriculture department at Birla farm, Rupnagar, to the army free of cost to set up the Service Selection Centre (North) where interviews are conducted for becoming an officer in the army.
The general officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Command had mooted a proposal to set up this centre for the recruitment of officers in the army.
GRANTS FOR 2011-12
The cabinet approved supplementary grants for 2011-12 that will be presented before the assembly on March 28 and also cleared the proposal for seeking a vote on account.
In order to expedite infrastructure projects and overcome the shortage of junior engineers (JEs) in the PWD, the cabinet approved taking out 272 posts of JEs from the purview of the Punjab State Subordinate Services Selection Board.
"They will now be recruited by the department in a transparent manner so that the shortage of technical staff is taken care of," the spokesperson said.
The cabinet also gave its nod to fill 50 vacancies of group C and D on a regular basis in various NCC units.
These posts will be filled directly by the state NCC directorate after taking these posts out of the purview of the board.
The cabinet approved restructuring of the housing and urban development department to make it efficient, result-oriented and cost-effective so that illegal and haphazard growth of unauthorised colonies is not carried out.
It approved the creation of 173 posts and the setting up of enforcement, planning and regulatory wings to ensure planned urban development across the state.