The Punjab cabinet on Tuesday cleared the decks to give private university status to Amritsar-based Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research being run by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and setting up of Khalsa university on the iconic Khalsa College campus.
A go-ahead to the twin proposals had already been given by the high-powered committee. The cabinet approval was needed though chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had given the green signal to issue the letters of intent a month back.
Named after Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh master and founder of holy city Amritsar, the SGPC-run medical institute is currently affiliated to Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) and SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar is the chairman of the minority institute.
After getting the status of a university, the medical institute will not be governed by the BFUHS.
PCS OFFICER PUNISHED
The cabinet gave approval to implement the decision of ‘competent authority’ to stop two increments of Vijay Kumar Syal, a Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officer. The disciplinary proceedings were started against the officer for “placing his feet on the memorial of Shaheed Bhagat Singh” when he was posted as the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Banga, a spokesperson said. Syal is currently posted as assistant commissioner (grievances) at Faridkot.
SLASH IN VAT
The cabinet slashed value added tax (VAT) rate on e-bikes, e-scooters and e-rickshaws from 13%+10% surcharge (14.30%) to 5.5%+10% surcharge (6.05%). The objective of the decision is to promote pollution-free public transport. The VAT on these items in Uttarakhand, Delhi and Rajasthan is 0%, and its is 5.25% in Haryana and 13.75% in Himachal Pradesh. This cut in the VAT rate will cause a loss of `2 crore to the state exchequer, a spokesperson said.
Amritsar Tourism Development Authority will undertake the maintenance work of Harmandar Sahib, Durgiana Mandir, Ram Tirath temple, Town Hall, Gobind Garh Fort and Urban Haat at Amritsar, instead of local government department. About 500 to 750 square metres area around these religious and tourist destinations will be under the control of this authority that will execute works such as cleanliness, electricity, monuments-lighting, sanitation, upkeep of roads, solid waste management. The authority will raise funds from the cess collected under the excise policy.
The cabinet gave nod to convert 162 vacancies of JBT/ ETT category reserved for blind/partially blind into hobby teachers. Ex-post facto approval was given to create three posts of chief parliamentary secretaries (CPSs). After five CPSs were sworn in, the number of CPSes in Punjab is 24 and cabinet had already given approval for 21 such posts.
Nine posts will be created/regularised in group-D of different cadres of daily workers working at Dr BR Ambedkar Institute of Career and Courses, Mohali, since March 18, 2011, in the wake of a high court decision.
Cabinet okayed ‘Punjab Financial Commissioners’ Secretariat (Group-A) Services Rules, 2016. Personnel department on the recommendation of 5th Pay Commission had included officers drawing a Grade pay of `5000 or more in the Group ‘A’ service. In view of this, new rules have been framed so as to implement the necessary conditions for service of these officers.
The cabinet deleted a sub section of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 wherein a minimum 10 years service was fixed for appointment of commissioner of municipal corporation.
JAITON NEW BLOCK
Jaiton in Faridkot district will be a new block consisting of 67 panchayats for which the cabinet also created 10 posts. Currently, people of these 67 villages have to go to Kotkapura for their development works and to Jaiton for works related to SDM/revenue officers.
Sixteen kanal land of Kishan Kot village in Batala tehsil of Gurdaspur district will be given on lease to ‘Sarhad Pune’ for 33 years to set up ‘Bhasha Bhawan Yatri Niwas’ where the wards of “terrorists” and riot-affected people and children of needy or poor families will receive education.
No decision on PCOCA
CHANDIGARH: Punjab cabinet on Tuesday declined to give approval to the draft of Punjab Control of Organised Crime Act (PCOCA) after some ministers expressed reservations on the necessity of the bill. Punjab Police had proposed this bill to curb the activities of gangs and it was formulated on the lines of MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act).