Punjab MLAs, MPs now have to declare assets every year; deadline Sept 30 this time | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Punjab MLAs, MPs now have to declare assets every year; deadline Sept 30 this time

After a meeting of the cabinet here, a spokesperson of the CM’s office said it approved to amend the Punjab Legislative Assembly (Salaries and Allowance of Member) Act, 1942, to make it mandatory for all MLAs and MPs from Punjab to declare their immovable properties immediately after the said amendment for the year 2017-18.

punjab Updated: Aug 04, 2017 23:56 IST
HT Correspondent
Punjab chief minister Captain Amrinder Singh along with cabinet ministers and other MLAs on the first day of the first session after the Congress won power in the Vidhan Sabha, in Chandigarh in March.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amrinder Singh along with cabinet ministers and other MLAs on the first day of the first session after the Congress won power in the Vidhan Sabha, in Chandigarh in March.(Keshav Singh/HT)

In a step towards transparency, the Punjab council of ministers, headed by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Friday decided to make it mandatory for all members of legislative assembly (MLAs) and Parliament (MPs) from Punjab to declare their immovable properties on January 1 every year, with the exception of the current year, when the declarations are required to be filed by September 30.

After a meeting of the cabinet here, a spokesperson of the CM’s office said it approved to amend the Punjab Legislative Assembly (Salaries and Allowance of Member) Act, 1942, to make it mandatory for all MLAs and MPs from Punjab to declare their immovable properties immediately after the said amendment for the year 2017-18.

STAMP DUTY CUT FROM 9% TO 6%

To boost the real estate sector in the state, approval has been given to reduction in stamp duty on the registration of property in urban areas from 9% to 6% till March 31, 2018. Also, in-principle approval was given to the proposal to lower or rationalise circle and collectorate rates. A formal proposal on reduction in circle/collectorate rates to be presented in the next cabinet meeting.

The cabinet also decided to grant exemption from 10% increase in change of land use (CLU), external development charges (EDC) and license fee (LF), permission fee from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020 for real estate projects.

NOD TO APPOINTMENT OF 1,337 TEACHERS

In a relief to the Punjab Teacher Eligibility Test (TET)-qualified candidates, the council of ministers gave the nod to issue appointment orders to 1,337 candidates against the 6,060 posts of TET-qualified master-cadre teachers advertised in 2015. The cabinet also decided, in principle, to advertise 4,183 new posts in view of a judgment of the Supreme Court.

NOD TO MARRIAGE PALACE POLICY

The cabinet also approved new the marriage palace policy for regularisation of unauthorised marriage palaces, besides granting approval for construction of new marriage palaces across the state.

The new policy replaces the earlier marriage palace policies framed by the previous government, from time to time, to ensure regularisation of marriage palaces constructed before November 16, 2012.

FILLIP TO AIR CONNECTIVITY

In another decision to give a fillip to air connectivity from Ludhiana, Pathankot, Bathinda and Adampur under Regional Connectivity Scheme ‘UDAN’ of the civil aviation ministry, the cabinet also decided to grant ex-post facto approval for signing memorandum of understanding among the Punjab government, ministry of civil aviation, central government and Airport Authority of India.

The move will further boost economic and trade activity across the state with the launch of new flights through these airports.

NOD TO HOUSING SCHEME

It also approved ‘The Punjab Shehri Awas Yojana-2017’ which aims at providing free housing to eligible houseless SC/BC urban families. Urban households with an annual income of less than Rs 3 lakh in the first phase and Rs 5 lakh in the second phase would be eligible to claim free housing facility under the scheme, being launched to implement a major poll promise of the Congress government.

EMPOWERING FARMERS

Nod given to enact the ‘Punjab State Farmers Commission Act-2017’ to empower and safeguard the interests of the farming community, besides setting up a ‘Punjab State Council for Agricultural Education’ to promote agricultural education in the state. The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) vice-chancellor (V-C) will be the head of this council, who would regulate agricultural education being imparted in private colleges.

FARMERS’ COMMISSION

Go-ahead for enactment of ‘Punjab State Farmers and Farm Labourers Commission Act-2017’ through an ordinance. The five-member commission, with nominated chairperson, member secretary, PAU V-C, GADVASU V-C and, assistant chief secretary (development) will have the powers to frame agriculture policy and other matters referred to by the government. The Commission will have a corpus fund of Rs 25 crore initially and Rs 5 crore for next five years. The chairperson of the commission will have the status of a cabinet minister and the member secretary would be in the rank of secretary to government.

CLIMATE CHALLENGE FUND

Nod to set up ‘Climate Challenge Fund’, which will help the state in creating awareness among the farmers about the harmful effects of crop residue burning. The cabinet also agreed in principle to create a fund of Rs 1 crore for giving incentives to those farmers adopting mechanical solutions to deal with crop residues.

WATER MANAGEMENT

It also decided to create a new entity, Directorate of Ground Water Management, under the irrigation wing of the department of irrigation and power, for conservation, utiliaation and management of the depleting groundwater resources in the state.

REGULARISING UNAUTHORISED WATER, SEWERAGE CONNECTIONS

The cabinet also approved a ‘one time settlement’ scheme for regularising unauthorised water and sewerage connections and recovery of arrears of water and sewerage charges, besides settling pending dues of house/property tax for urban local bodies in the state.

NOD TO HEALTH RULES

The cabinet also gave the go ahead to new ‘Punjab Health and Family Welfare Technical (Group A) Services Rules-2017’ framed by the health and family welfare department, thereby repealing all the previous notifications and service rules in this context.

REJECTS MORE POSTS IN SC WELFARE DEPT

In view of the poor financial health of the Punjab Scheduled Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation and Punjab Backward Classes Land Development and Finance Corporation, the cabinet rejected a proposal mooted by the department of welfare of scheduled castes, backward classes and minorities for creating posts of senior vice-chairman in these corporations.

EXTENSION TO JUNIOR ENGINEERS

The cabinet authorised the local government department and Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board to approve extension of contract appointment of 68 junior engineers (civil), transferred from the education department, after every six months.