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CABINET OKAYS PUNJAB REGULATION OF FEES OF UNAIDED EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS ORDINANCE, 2016

December 15th, 2016

In order to curb the practice of charging excessive fees from students, the Punjab Cabinet gave nod to ‘The Punjab Regulation of Fees of Unaided Education Institutions Ordinance, 2016. 

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 this decision has been taken in view of the proposal mooted by the Education department to constitute a Regulatory Authority/Mechanism for the purpose of regulating fees of unaided schools in the state and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

To facilitate the people of Punjab to pay obeisance at Takhat Sri Patna Sahib in Bihar on 350th Parkash Utsav of Tenth master of Sikhs Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Cabinet also gave approval to run 10 special trains and 200 buses for pilgrimage to the birth place of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji free of cost on this historic occasion. It may be recalled that the state government had already launched a scheme ‘Chief Minister Tirath Darshan Yatra’ to undertake pilgrimage for the people of state at free of cost to Sri Nanded Sahib (Maharashtra), Varanasi, Ajmer Sharif and Chennai. Besides, the state government had already launched another such scheme to run buses free of cost to enable the people of the state for pilgrimage to holy places in Salasar (Rajasthan), Mata Chintpurni (Himachal Pradesh), Mata Vaishno Devi (Katra). Likewise, free buses are being run from all small towns and villages to enable the people to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandar Sahib (Amritsar) and Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib (Sri Anandpur Sahib). 

The Cabinet also accorded its approval to acquire 40 acre 5 kanal 14 marla of land in village Kandola of tehsil Adampur in Jalandhar district at a cost of Rs.16 crore and transfer the same to the Airports Authority of India for the construction of Civil Air Terminal at Indian Air Force Station, Adampur. This decision would go a long way in fulfilling the long cherished desire of Punjabi Diaspora from the Doaba region settled abroad to have domestic air connectivity. 

Conceding the demand of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), the Cabinet also approved the policy to grant concessions to the real estate sector thereby allowing the payment of dues by the developer in six quarterly installments starting from January 1, 2018 i.e. after the lapse of moratorium period on December 31, 2017. Apart from this, Change in Land Use (CLU) to be charged for passages/gaps would not affect the overall planning of the project. Right of easement of any other user of the passages would not be affected by the developer so that closure of any revenue passage may not cause any inconvenience to the public. The rate of interest on the outstanding amount of External Development Charges (EDC) would be now 9.5% instead of 10% on which rate banks have extended loans to all the Special Authorities and likewise the rate of penal interest would be 1% instead of 3%. In the case of default in payment for more than two quarters, benefit of moratorium period shall not be extended and approval for CLU, Layout Plan and Building Plans etc. would also be stopped. 

To mitigate the hardships and inconvenience faced by the general public, the Cabinet also approved the up-gradation of Sub-Tehsil Bhikiwind in Tarn Taran district as a new Sub-Division along with the requisite staff, as the people of this area had to visit Sub-Division/Tehsil Office at Tarn Taran related to their revenue works.

The Cabinet also decided to slash the rate of tax on four digit lottery scheme from Rs.2 lac to Rs. 62,500/- per draw. The lottery agents would conduct minimum 24 draws daily of four digit lottery schemes. This decision would mop up annual revenue of nearly Rs.54.60 crore in the state. 

In order to remove and protect Gram Panchayat’s Shamlat land, village streets and public property from illegal encroachment, the Cabinet also decided to assign the power of Special Executive Magistrate to all the District Development & Panchayats Officers (DDPOs) and Block Development & Panchayats Officers (BDPOs), subject to the condition that the concerned officer would have to pass the requisite exam of Criminal Procedure Code. 

The Cabinet also decided to amend the Punjab State Commission for Minorities Act, 2012 thereby making a provision to appoint its Chairperson for three terms of three years each subject to the maximum age of 70 years. Earlier, the term of Chairperson, Senior Vice-Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and the members of the Commission was three years from the date he assumes office and shall be eligible for re-appointment for another term of the said duration or until he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. However, the term of appointment of Senior Vice-Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and the members of the Commission would be the same as earlier. 

Acceding to the request of the Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA), the Cabinet also gave approval to amend the compounding policy issued earlier on August 17, 2016 to formulate a revised policy to rationalize the compounding fee charged from the institutions/public buildings. Subsequently, the Cabinet decided to grant substantial relief to slash the compounding fee by 50% for public buildings and institutions. 

The Cabinet also decided to abolish 25% direct quota for the post of Sub-Divisional Soil Conservation Officers, now 100% of these officers would be promoted from amongst the Soil Conservation Officers. 

Taking cognizance of the news reports about the death sentence awarded to 10 youths from Punjab in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and expressing heartfelt sympathies with the affected families, the Cabinet also decided to send its two Cabinet Ministers Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Mr. Madan Mohan Mittal to Indian Mission in UAE to take effective measures and also explore possibility of their prompt release in this matter. 

The Cabinet also decided to enhance the retirement age of the Chairmen of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL) from 65 to 67 years. 

The Cabinet also approved the waiver of the penal interest to the tune of Rs.35 lac payable by Bhai Randhir Singh Trust, Ludhiana by granting relaxation in the existing rules.

The Cabinet also gave directions to all the procurement agencies in the state to expedite the receipts from Food Corporation of India (FCI).