Punjab cabinet clears land transfer for Bathinda AIIMS project
The Punjab cabinet on Thursday decided to transfer certain land pieces belonging to the state government to the Union ministry of health and family welfare for the AIIMS project at Bathinda.
An official spokesperson said it decided to transfer 4 acres, 1 kanal and 13 marla of land, which stands in the name of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, and department of sports, Punjab, to the central ministry. The cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval for 175.1 acre of land belonging to the PAU at Jodhpur Romana village in Bathinda that was earlier transferred to the ministry free of cost. The requirement of entire land for the establishment of AIIMS at Bathinda now stands completely fulfilled.
Ensure timely payment to farmers: CM
The cabinet also reviewed the arrangements and preparedness for the paddy procurement season beginning from October 1 with the CM issuing directives for smooth and hassle-free procurement of the grain.
Amarinder directed the food and civil supplies department, the nodal agency for the procurement operations, to lift every single grain of the farmers’ produce from the market and strictly adhere to the prescribed norms of timely payment. “All necessary arrangements should be made for smooth, prompt and hassle-free procurement and storage of paddy,” he said.
An official spokesperson said elaborate arrangements were being made to procure the expected 200 lakh tonnes of paddy. The department informed the cabinet that for the procurement of 190 LMT paddy, cash credit limit amounting to ₹40,300 crore was required by state procuring agencies and the same will be arranged before the commencement of the season.
Rules approved for FRBM Act
The cabinet also cleared the rules for implementation of Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003. The move will help the state achieve specific fiscal targets within a stipulated time period to avail the benefit of the Centre’s debt consolidation and relief facility for states, according to an official release. The framing of these rules was also necessary as the state government had entered an agreement with the Asian Development Bank, under which it would get a loan of USD 200 million (approximately ₹1,200 crore). While the government has received the first tranche of USD 50 million (₹316.92 crore) and second tranche of USD 50 million (₹337.06 crore), the rules were necessary for release of third tranche of USD 100 million.
OSDs to get flat or 20% of salary as house rent allowance
The cabinet also decided to provide officers on special duty (OSDs) to the chief minister official accommodation or reimburse 20% of their salary as the house rent allowance (HRA). The decision will benefit five OSDs, all political appointees, who are entitled to a salary of ₹30,000, telephone bill of ₹2,000 and an official car. “They will be given the HRA from their date of joining,” said an official.