December 15th, 2016

 In recognition with the gallantry services rendered by the Second World War Heroes, the Punjab Cabinet gave approval to increase financial assistance of Second World War veterans, ex-servicemen/their widows from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 4500 per month. 

A decision to this effect was taken in the meeting of Council of Ministers chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal here at Chief Minister’s Office, this evening. 

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that presently the state government was providing financial assistance to Punjab ex-servicemen/their widows of the First and Second World War, who were above 65 years of age and discharged from their services without any financial benefit/pension. It may be recalled that the Second World War veterans had been passing through tiring circumstances and leading a life in penury. The annual income limit has been increased from Rs.1 lac to Rs.2 lac.

To mitigate the hardships and inconvenience faced by the general public, the Cabinet also approved the up-gradation of Sub-Tehsil Dudhan Sadhan in Patiala, Bhawanigarh in Sangrur and Kalanaur in Gurdaspur district as new Sub-Divisions along with the requisite staff, as the people of these areas had to visit Sub-Division/Tehsil Office at Patiala, Sangrur and Gurdaspur respectively related to their revenue works.

To bring far more efficiency in the functioning of state administration, the Cabinet also gave approval to create nearly 750 new vacancies in Elections, Advocate General, Social Security & Women and Child Development, Welfare and Social Security, Defence Services Welfare, Personnel and General Administration departments. 

As a sequel to it, the Cabinet also accorded approval for the creation of 341 permanent posts in different categories in the State Elections Department to overcome the shortage of staff and ensure its smooth working.

Likewise, the Cabinet also gave green signal for the creation of 87 posts of various cadres in the office of Advocate General, Punjab and revival of one post of reserve category in the office of Treasurer, Charitable Endowments to ensure smooth functioning of the office of Advocate General, Punjab. 

The Cabinet also gave approval for the creation of 37 vacancies for the newly created Goniana and Maloud Blocks in Bathinda and Ludhiana districts respectively. 

Similarly, the Cabinet also gave a go ahead for the creation of 230 vacancies of various cadres for the establishment of Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS) Mission. Apart from this, it was also decided to create three vacancies one each for Law Officer, Assistant Law Officer and Data Entry Operator for the establishment of a Legal Cell in the Head Office and 12 new vacancies of Teaching & Non-Teaching Staff for the upgraded 10+2 Government Institution of Blinds, Jamalpur, Ludhiana. The Cabinet also gave a nod for the conversion of 1893 posts of various cadres in the Social Security and Women & Child Development department into permanent ones. It may be recalled that ICDS scheme is operative since 1975-76 in the state as per the guidelines of Government of India and now this scheme is operative through 26,656 Anganwari Centres, in 156 blocks (146 Rural and 9 Urban slums) of the state. Expenditure on the salaries of the staff recruited by the ICDS Mission shall be borne by the Centre and Punjab Government in the ratio of 60:40. 

Similarly, the Cabinet also okayed the creation of post of Officer-on-Special Duty (Litigation) in the Welfare and Social Security Department to deal with important matters such as Central schemes for Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes categories, Reservation Policy, Exclusion & Inclusion of any caste into SC or BC categories etc are being dealt in these department. 

The Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval for filling of two remaining vacancies of Members along with supporting staff in the Punjab State Food Commission established under the National Food Security Act, 2013.

The Cabinet also gave approval to sanction 16 posts as requisite staff for the District Defence Services Welfare Offices in two new districts of Pathankot and Fazilka. 

Consequent upon the recent cadre review of Punjab Civil Services (PCS), the Cabinet also decided to increase the existing cadre strength of PCS (Executive Branch) officers from 288 to 310. Previously, the cadre review of PCS (EB) was undertaken in 1993. 

The Cabinet also gave concurrence to create one post of Senior Technical Assistant in Punjab Civil Secretariat and two posts of Personal Assistants and one Driver in Punjab Raj Bhawan. 

Conceding the long pending demand of the Sikh Rajput Community to include their caste in the list of Backward Classes, the Cabinet also gave concurrence to include Sikh Rajput of Punjab State in this list so as to raise their status in the society.

On the persistent demand of village Panchayat of Saholi in Ludhiana district, the Cabinet gave its nod to include Saholi village from Tehsil Ludhiana (Central) to sub-tehsil Mullanpur Dakhan, in view of its proximity to the Sub-Tehsil Mullanpur Dakhan. 

To ensure overall welfare and fair representation of Ex-servicemen in the State Civil Services, the Cabinet decided to amend the para 5 (i) of Punjab Recruitment of Ex-servicemen Rules, 1982 for providing four chances to Ex-servicemen candidates to appear in Punjab Civil Services Examination. Presently, the Punjab Ex-servicemen Rules, 1982 provide three chances to Ex-servicemen candidates to appear in the Punjab Civil Services Examination. 

The Cabinet also gave Ex-post facto approval and ratification of Administrative & Financial Sanctions for the sub-projects taken up in Tranche-1 under Infrastructural Development Investment Programme for Tourism (IDIPT) in Punjab. The IDIPT project is being implemented in Punjab with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as per the earlier approval of the State Cabinet during its meeting on September 19, 2010. Total outlay for the IDIPT project is $88.54 Mn (INR 531 Cr.) to be implemented in 10 years (2011-2020) in two phases and the share of ADB and Punjab Government is 70:30 ratio. Ten projects under this major project are nearing completion and some of the important historical and cultural sites of tourism importance are likely to be opened to public shortly, such as Attari parking, Gobindgarh Fort, Keshopur Wetland etc. 

In a major relief to the Sewermen performing duties of highly hazardous and arduous nature, the Cabinet also approved the regularization of services of Sewermen working in the various Municipal Corporations/Municipal Councils/Nagar Panchayats in the state. Presently, 1214 Sewermen are working on contract or temporary basis in the Municipal Corporations and similarly some other might be working in the Municipal Councils/Nagar Panchayats also. However, it was decided to regularize the services of Sewermen working over three years in various Municipal Corporations/Municipal Councils/Nagar Panchayats in the state and their posts would also be deemed to have been created. 

The Cabinet also authorized the Health & Family Welfare Minister to take a call on thecontinuation of Cashless Health Insurance Scheme for the Government Employees and Pensioners in future after hearing them, as the term of current scheme was ending on December 31, 2016. 

The Cabinet also approved conferring ownership rights to the members of Nazool Land Cooperative Societies in the state. It may be recalled that 15 to 20 lac families are connected with these Nazool Land Cooperative Societies and were cultivating land since nearly 60 years. The member allottees and their predecessors, in interest, are facing plentiful problems as most of the members have been expired and due to large number of their legal heirs’ domestic disputes are commonly witnessed. It was thus utmost necessary to accord the ownership rights to these individual members so that disputes of these families could be ended.  

On the recommendations of the Punjab government, the Cabinet also decided to handover the Saragarhi Gurdwara, Ferozepur for seva (upkeep and maintenance) to Baba Nand Singh, Charitable Trust, Jagraon (Ludhiana) for 30 years subject to certain conditions. It may be recalled that on September 12, 1897, 21 young men of 4 Sikh Regiment, in a display of unparalleled bravery and courage, sacrificed themselves against the most fearful odds, making this one of the most stirring episodes of rare valour not only in the Sikh Regiment but in the history of warfare. Consequently, the then British Government honoured these brave soldiers with the highest gallantry award ‘Indian Award of Merit’. 

In a bid to upgrade the level of higher education besides opening new vistas of employment for the youth of state, the Cabinet also gave approval for setting up of Self Financed Private CT University at Ludhiana under the Punjab Private Universities Policy 2010. 

The Cabinet also decided to offer another opportunity to people especially the NRIs and those residing outside the state, who could not avail benefit to get their plots/buildings regularized in unauthorized colonies in the state under the provisions of The Punjab Laws (Special Provision) Act, 2016. The objective of this entire exercise was to regularize the unauthorized colonies thereby bringing them within the ambit of planning framework and to provide the basic civic amenities of metalled roads, safe drinking water, sewerage and electricity to the residents of these colonies. 

The Cabinet also approved Bhagwan Valmik Ji Tirath Sthal (Ram Tirath) Shrine Board Act, Ordinance, 2016 and Rules 2016 there-under for operation and maintenance of the Bhagwan Valmik Tirath Sthal (Ram Tirath), Amritsar. The Fifteen-member Shrine Board has been constituted under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister and Minister in-charge of the department of Tourism & Cultural Affairs as its Vice-Chairman. The other members of the board would be Minister Welfare of SCs and BCs, Secretary Welfare of SCs and BCs, Secretary Finance, Deputy Commissioner Amritsar and Director Cultural Affairs besides Secretary Tourism & Cultural Affairs would be its Member Secretary. Apart from these eight members, the state government would nominate seven non-official members belonging to Valmiki/Majhabi Sikh Community who in the opinion of government, have distinguished themselves in the service of the community. 

The Cabinet also decided to amend clause (a) of Section 6 of the Punjab School Education Board Act, 1969 through promulgation of Punjab School Education Board (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 for the appointment of its Chairman from amongst the IAS or PCS Officer, who has served the Central Government or State Government or both for a period of not less than ten years.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal mooted by the Local Government department, where it has been proposed to notify The Punjab Municipality (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Scheme 2016 for disposal of Municipal properties under rent/lease etc. since long.