In a Punjab cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday here, the government decided to increase ex-gratia aid to the families of the soldiers killed or disabled in counter-insurgency operations.
The assistance goes up from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh in case of death, from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 4 lakh in case of 75% disability; from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh in case of 51-to-75% handicap; and from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh in case of 25-to-50% disability.
City bus service in all towns
After Amritsar, Ludhiana, and Jalandhar, the cabinet has now extended the city bus service to all towns. The state transport undertakings will operate their stage-carriage buses as laid down in the recent city bus service scheme notification. These buses will operate within the respective municipal limits along with up to 10 kilometres outside. The government expects it will bring down the number of personal vehicles on road and help reduce both congestion and pollution.
Food-grain project for Tarn Taran
Seron village in Tarn Taran district will get an Integrated Foodgrain Management Project where a sugar mill stood earlier. The state co-operative department has transferred the land to the food and civil supplies department. The storage facility will have modern silos and a laboratory for scientific storage of grains. After it is operational, the procurement agencies will not have to send paddy far for shelling. Basmati/paddy will be shelled locally, which will save the agencies a lot of money and generate employment in the border area, a government spokesperson has said.
Food panel appointments
The Cabinet gave clearance to appointing three members on the Food Commission constituted in the light of the Centre’s National Food Security Act, 2013. The members will monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Act.
Ordinance to become bill
The cabinet approved converting the Punjab Infrastructure (Development and Regulation) (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2015, into a bill. In its earlier meeting on November 19, 2015, the cabinet had approved certain amendments in the Punjab Infrastructure (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002 by promulgating an ordinance.
FDA posts: Nod to framing rules
The cabinet approved the framing of new service rules for the upgrading/promotion of 33 posts and creating another 44 to be filled by direct recruitment for the newly created Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). A major objective of implementing the amended Drugs and Cosmetics Act is to make standard quality drugs, blood, and cosmetics available and take inferior drugs off the market.
Pilgrim train for Christians
The cabinet accorded ex-post-facto approval for running a pilgrim train under Mukh Mantri Teerath Darshan Yatra Scheme for Christian community as well. The train will run between Punjab and Chennai from March 8 to 13. The Cabinet also gave ex-post-facto approval for presently operated four buses going to Salasar and Chintpurni under this scheme daily since January 4.
Bill banning plastic bags
To minimise pollution because of the excessive use of plastic carry bags, the cabinet gave nod to Punjab Plastic Carry Bags (manufacture, usage and disposal) Control (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Haryana and Himachal Pradesh governments have already implemented the ban. On December 22, 2015, the state cabinet had approved the issuing of an ordinance to insert Clause 2 in Section 7 of the Punjab Plastic Carry Bags (manufacture, usage and disposal) Control Act, 2005. After the ordinance was out, the government had prohibited the manufacture, sale and use of plastic carry bag in the jurisdictions of all municipal corporations and councils, besides nagar panchayats, from April 1.
Bill on regularising Amritsar structures
To regularise unauthorised construction in the walled city of Amritsar on the “as is where is” basis, the cabinet gave its approval to the recommendations of the cabinet subcommittee for presenting a bill to this effect in the ensuing Budget session. It was, however, decided that the government would notify the compounding charges separately.
The cabinet also approved the recommendations of Punjab State e-Governance Society (PSeGS) for implementing the operation, maintenance, and management proposals of 2,174 Unified Service Delivery Centres in the state, from where all services of all departments were to be made available to citizens near their homes.