Punjab cabinet okays new foodgrains labour policy

Published on Aug 27, 2022 01:52 AM IST

A decision to this effect was taken by the council of ministers headed by the CM in a meeting held here at the Punjab civil secretariat. A spokesperson of the CMO said the revised transportation policy is now in sync with the custom milling policy for procurement and milling of paddy, approved by the cabinet a few days ago.

A decision to this effect was taken by the council of ministers headed by the Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann in a meeting held here at the Punjab civil secretariat. (HT File)
A decision to this effect was taken by the council of ministers headed by the Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann in a meeting held here at the Punjab civil secretariat. (HT File)
By, Chandigarh

Punjab cabinet on Friday gave nod to the New Punjab Food Grains Labour Policy 2022 and the revised Punjab Food Grains Transportation Policy 2022 to ensure wider competitive participation with increased transparency and at the same time, reducing frivolous litigation.

A decision to this effect was taken by the council of ministers headed by the CM in a meeting held here at the Punjab civil secretariat. A spokesperson of the CMO said the revised transportation policy is now in sync with the custom milling policy for procurement and milling of paddy, approved by the cabinet a few days ago.

The revised transportation policy mandates, for the first time ever, the installation of vehicle tracking systems in every vehicle used for transportation of food grains procured by the government.

The department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs has already initiated the process of empanelling companies, which provide vehicle-tracking systems, and making the existing Anaaj Khareed Portal compatible with these systems.

Likewise, the new labour policy aims at ensuring wider participation of Labour Associations by abolishing the prevailing Labour and Cartage Policy. The existing Labour and Cartage Policy, prevailing for past many decades, was perceived by many to favour participation of contractors, since it involved providing labour and transportation services by the same person. But the new policy has completely delinked labor and transportation services, thereby providing increased opportunities to labour associations to directly participate in the tender process, which will directly increase their incomes by removing the contractor margin, he explained.

Highlighting the aspects of the labour and transportation policies, the spokesperson said that every effort has been made to make the system completely transparent by removing certain existing provisions, which were sometimes open to abuse and often caused frivolous litigations.

An important step in this regard was taken by completely eliminating the submission of manual documents during the tender process, as many tenders were often rejected on account of minor discrepancies in their submission, he said.

In consonance with the government’s policy to encourage new entrepreneurs, the policy has, for the first time, allowed participation in tenders without any requirement of past experience. The requirement of submitting physical details of registration certificates of trucks and Aadhar numbers of labour, which often resulted in rejection of bids due to minor discrepancies and subsequently caused frivolous litigations, has also been done away with. Elaborating further, the spokesperson said that the policy has limited the size of the tendered cluster to 50,000 MT. This in turn is expected to reduce the requirement of vehicles and labour in a cluster, thereby increasing competition. Earlier there was no yardstick for determining the size of a cluster, which varied from as low as 5000 MT to more than 2 lakh MT, he explained. Both the policies have now made the deputy commissioner the chairman of the tender committee, he added.

359 posts in agri department to be filled up

The cabinet gave approval to fill up 359 vacancies of direct recruitment in various cadres of the technical side of the department of agriculture and farmers welfare.

These posts include 200 of agriculture development officers, 150 of agriculture sub-inspectors and nine of laboratory assistants.

Nod to fill 80 posts of civil judges

The cabinet also decided to fill 80 posts of civil judge (junior division)-cum-judicial magistrate through Punjab & Haryana High Court by bringing out the purview of Punjab Public Service Commission, Patiala. This decision will help to expedite the process of recruiting new judicial officers to ensure speedy dispensation of work at the subordinate courts.

Meanwhile, in a bid to provide efficient animal health services in the 582 veterinary hospitals across the state, the cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval for continuation of the services of service providers --497 veterinary pharmacists and 498 class-iv/safai sewaks -- already working on contract basis as a stop gap arrangement, for a period of one year, i.e. from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

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