Punjab cabinet approves one MLA, one pension, recruitment to 26k govt jobs

Published on May 02, 2022 11:34 PM IST

The one MLA, one pension scheme, which is expected to save the government Rs.19.53 crore per year, was in particular focus after it was announced by chief minister Bhagwant Mann on March 25, fulfilling a longstanding demand by the party.

In a meeting chaired by CM Mann, the Punjab cabinet approved amendment to the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act, 1977, which makes former lawmakers eligible for a single pension payout, irrespective of the number of terms served by them) (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
In a meeting chaired by CM Mann, the Punjab cabinet approved amendment to the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act, 1977, which makes former lawmakers eligible for a single pension payout, irrespective of the number of terms served by them) (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Chandigarh: Punjab’s cabinet on Monday approved a new pension scheme for lawmakers that scraps payouts based on the number of terms served by a legislator, recruitment for 26,000 government jobs and a doorstep ration delivery scheme, marking key legislative promises by the new Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.

The one MLA, one pension scheme, which is expected to save the government Rs.19.53 crore per year, was in particular focus after it was announced by chief minister Bhagwant Mann on March 25, fulfilling a longstanding demand by the party.

In a meeting chaired by Mann, the cabinet approved amendment to the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act, 1977, which makes former lawmakers eligible for a single pension payout, irrespective of the number of terms served by them. Earlier, they received a separate sum for each term served.

There are around 300 former MLAs drawing pension in the state. According to the amendment, former legislators will get 60,000 per month besides dearness allowance (DA) -- around 1.2 lakh a month along with other applicable allowances.

Earlier, a former MLA was paid a lump sum pension of 75,000 for a single term and 50,000, for every subsequent term. For example, Akali patriarch Parkash Singh Badal, who was MLA for 10 terms, was entitled to a lump sum pension of around 6 lakh per month.

AAP spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang said that the decision has ended disparity between the government employees and the elected representatives. “Our government will fulfill all the promises made to the people of Punjab and we will set an example,” he said

Govt to fill 26,454 vacant posts

The cabinet also approved recruitments to 26,454 posts lying vacant in various government departments, fulfilling another campaign promise made by AAP in assembly polls earlier this year.

According to a spokesperson of the chief minister’s office (CMO), the posts to be filled belong to Groups A, B and C in the departments of home affairs, school education, health, power and technical education. The cabinet directed the administrative departments to ensure fair and time-bound recruitment. “It has also been decided that interviews would not be conducted for the recruitment for Group-C posts,” said the spokesperson.

Amnesty scheme for transporters

The cabinet also gave its nod to the state transport department’s amnesty scheme for commercial vehicle operators. Last month, Mann announced that transporters whose business suffered due to the Covid-19 lockdown could pay their motor vehicle tax without any penalty in the next three months.

“In a bid to give much-needed relief to commercial vehicle operators, the cabinet gave a go-ahead to the state transport department’s amnesty scheme from May 6 to August 5 for collecting the motor vehicle tax,” said the CMO spokesperson. “However, the department will neither collect interest nor late fee while issuing the fitness certificate,” added the spokesperson.

According to the rules, fitness certificate is issued to only those vehicles for which taxes have been paid.

Relief for cotton farmers in Muktsar

Giving relief to cotton farmers in Muktsar district, who suffered massive losses due to the pink bollworm attack in 2021, the cabinet approved disbursal of 41.89 crore to them.

The matter was taken up by the state government after farmers from the district — where cotton is grown over 70,000 acres — complained that their entire crop was damaged but they were not adequately compensated.

According to the cabinet decision, 5,400 per acre was fixed as compensation, assuming 50% loss to the crop across the district. Out of the total compensation, 38.08 crore will be released to affected farmers and 3.81 crore to farm labourers out of the state budget.

Earlier, 644 crore was given to cotton growers in Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda, Barnala and Muktsar. It included 4.74 crore given to farmers and 47.44 lakh to farm labourers in Muktsar.

No decision on blending imported coal

The cabinet was apprised about the Union power ministry’s advisory issued in December last year to use imported coal for blending to the extent of 4% in the current financial year (2022-23) and to take steps to arrange imported coal by May 2022 — before the onset of rainy season — to build up coal stocks.

On April 28, the Union ministry again said that government and private thermal power plants must import coal for blending purposes so as to meet 10% of the total requirement. The ministry has also instructed the state to place orders for imported coal by May 31.

The move aims at overcoming shortage of domestic coal supply, especially during the paddy season. The financial implications of usage of imported coal were also placed before the cabinet by the state power department. However, no decision was taken, it is learnt.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals