The Punjab council of ministers on Saturday gave the nod to ‘The Punjab Regulation of Fees of Unaided Education Institutions Ordinance, 2016’, in a bid to curb the practice of excessive charges at private schools.
“The decision was taken in view of the proposal mooted by the education department to constitute a regulatory authority/mechanism for the purpose of regulating fees of unaided schools in the state,” the government spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the cabinet meeting that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal chaired accepted a demand by the Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA) and gave approval to revise a policy of August 17 to cut by half the compounding fee on institutional/public buildings.
PILGRIMAGE TO PATNA
To help people of Punjab undertake a free-of-cost pilgrimage to Patna Sahib in Bihar on the 350th Parkash Utsav of Guru Gobind Singh, the cabinet gave approval to 10 special trains and 200 buses.
Cabinet decided to amend Punjab State Commission for Minorities Act, 2012, thereby making a provision to appoint its chairperson for three terms of three years each subject to the maximum age of 70. However, the term of appointment of senior vice-chairperson, vice-chairperson and members would be the same as earlier — three years, and re-appointment for one term until the age of 70.
NO PENAL INTEREST
The cabinet approved the waiver of Rs 35 lakh penal interest payable by Bhai Randhir Singh Trust, Ludhiana, by granting relaxation in the existing rules.
Nod to acquire over 40 acres in Kandola village of Adampur in Jalandhar district at a cost of Rs 16 crore. This land will be transferred to the Airports Authority of India for the construction of civil terminal at Indian Air Force station.
Cabinet approved policy to grant concessions to real estate sector by allowing payment of dues by the developer in six quarterly instalments starting January 1, 2018, after the lapse of moratorium period on December 31, 2017. Change in land use (CLU) to be charged for passages/gaps would not affect the overall planning of the project. Rate of interest on outstanding amount of external development charges (EDC) would now be 9.5% instead of 10%, and rate of penal interest would be 1% instead of 3%. In case of default for more than two quarters, benefit of moratorium shall not be extended and other approvals would be stopped.
SUB-DIVISION, SPECIAL POWERS
Cabinet upgraded sub-tehsil Bhikhiwind in Tarn Taran district as a new sub-division along with the requisite staff. And, to protect gram panchayat’s shamlat land, village streets and public property from illegal encroachment, cabinet gave the power of special executive magistrate to all district development and panchayat officers (DDPOs) and block DPOs or BDPOs, subject to the condition that the officer would have to pass the requisite exam of Criminal Procedure Code.
LOW LOTTERY TAX
Cabinet slashed the rate of tax on four-digit lottery scheme from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 62,500 per draw. Agents would conduct minimum 24 draws daily. This decision is expected to get revenue of nearly Rs 55 crore a year.
On news reports of death sentence awarded to 10 youths from Punjab in United Arab Emirates (UAE), the cabinet decided to send ministers Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Madan Mohan Mittal to the Indian Mission in UAE.
The cabinet decided to abolish 25% direct quota for the post of sub-divisional soil conservation officers. Now 100% of these officers would be promoted from amongst soil conservation officers. The cabinet also decided to enhance the retirement age of the Chairmen of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL) from 65 to 67.