The Punjab government will introduce the Punjab Regulation of Fees of Unaided Educational Institutions Bill-2014 in the ensuing session of the Vidhan Sabha as the state cabinet gave the go-ahead to the proposed legislation here on Monday.
The state had already constituted a two-member judicial panel for recommendations on the issue in wake of the escalating fee structures of private schools and colleges in the state. The said bill, if passed, would be applicable to all such private institutes to bring down the fees as per the norms in the proposed legislation.
The council of ministers also okayed the creation of the post of 'agriculture commissioner' in the agriculture department, "to give boost to the state's agriculture diversification programme".
Chiefs in power sector
The cabinet gave nod for ex post facto approval to the proposal of enhancing the upper age of the chairman-cum-managing director of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL), from 62 to 65. Likewise, the upper age limit of all directors of PSPCL and PSTCL has also been enhanced from 62 to 65.
Rayat Bahra University
In another significant decision, the cabinet gave its nod to a draft legislation (bill) of the state government for a private self-financed Rayat Bahra University.
Right to service
The cabinet gave nod to the Punjab Right to Service (Amendment) Bill, 2014, empowering Punjab State Right to Service Commission (PSRTSC) to impose a fine up to Rs 10,000 on officials held accountable for dereliction of duty.
Jobs for blind teachers
In a big reprieve to the visually challenged, the cabinet also approved review of the 167 posts of JBT/ETT teachers and converting them into hobby teachers for clearing the backlog of blind-category persons. It would help in filling the backlog of 1% quota under this category.
Sop for shopkeepers
To rehabilitate the shopkeepers whose shops were demolished for widening the road leading to the Golden Temple, the government gave its nod to the proposal for relaxing the rule 8 of the Punjab Town Improvement (Allotment of Land and Plots), Rules 1983 to allot shops to 19 shopkeepers at collector rates.
For relief to the people in urban areas besides ensuring smooth collection of property tax, the cabinet also gave nod to place bills in the ensuing session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to amend the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, and the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976. These amendments stipulate to give 10% rebate on property tax deposited up to March 31, 2014, instead of the earlier date of December 31, 2013. Similarly, the rate of property tax to be levied on residential properties under rent would be reduced from the existing 7.5% to 3%.
The cabinet approved abolishing property tax on residential property owned by the serving defence personnel and ex-servicemen. The cabinet gave the go-ahead to reduce the tax on sale and purchase of goods through CSD from 6.05% to 4%.
Cow health care
The cabinet also gave its nod to introduce the Punjab Gau Sewa Commission Bill, 2014, to ensure the welfare and protection of cows and to financially strengthen cow shelters.