The Punjab Cabinet today gave approval to provide free LPG connections to the BPL beneficiaries (Priority Household and Antodaya), who were left out of the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 on the lines of Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojna (PMUY). A decision to this effect was taken in the meeting of Council of Ministers chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister 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 the state Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department was already maintaining an E-PDS portal under which details of beneficiaries have been uploaded. The Aadhaar numbers of the above beneficiaries have also been seeded at the portal and the list has been de-duplicated with LPG Consumers Data provided by the Public Sector Oil Companies to weed out the identified LPG consumers from this list. It may be recalled that the state government has shown its inclination to provide the above benefits to the consumers during the visit of Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas on November 11, 2016 for formal launch of PMUY in Tarn Taran, Jalandhar and Ludhiana districts. The Cabinet also gave approval to levy VAT on the sales of all goods except automobiles at the rate of 5.05% provided these goods were purchased from within Punjab and meant for sale to serving and retired police personnel on the pattern of similar concession already extended to the serving BSF personnel. This landmark step towards the welfare of Punjab Police force would benefit nearly 80,000 working/retired Police personnel including their families. It may be recalled that at present the rate of tax on all sales made to BSF canteen Jalandhar is fixed at i.e. 5.05% provided that the goods purchased are meant for sale to serving BSF personnel.
In another significant decision aimed at providing relief to the families of Home Guard Volunteers, the Cabinet also gave nod to give jobs to the next of kin of the Volunteers, of the Home Guards Department, who have died on duty during last ten years on compassionate grounds. This decision would be applicable on dependents of Home Guards Volunteers expired after January 1, 2007. The Cabinet also decided to recruit 50 Sub-Inspectors and 1379 constables as per the rules, after taking these posts out of the purview of the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board in the office of Police Commissionerate Ludhiana and Amritsar besides SAS Nagar (Mohali) district. The Cabinet also gave nod to provide two gunmen each to the Executive Magistrates and the Civil personnel posted in Enforcement Wing. The Cabinet also gave a go ahead to grant scale/grade pay of 10300-34800+3200+D.A. totaling to fixed salary of Rs.31,570/- to the physiotherapist working under Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan in IED branch at district level. Pertinently to mention, these physiotherapists treat orthopedically handicapped, cerebral palsy, mentally challenged and multiple disability. To mitigate the hardships and inconvenience faced by the general public, the Cabinet also approved the up-gradation of Sub-Tehsil Morinda in Rupnagar district as new Sub-Division along with the requisite staff, as the people of this area had to visit Sub-Division/Tehsil Office Rupnagar related to their revenue works.
The Cabinet also decided to regularize the services of 26 daily wages employees working in Hospitality department.
On the request of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), the Cabinet also gave a go ahead to release an amount of Rs.10 crore to it for setting up a Multimedia Centre for Sikh studies at Gurdwara Sri Rakabganj Sahib, out of the estimated cost of Rs.30 crore proposed by DSGMC. This Centre would be instrumental for the promotion of Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s philosophy. These funds have been released by the Punjab government under the 350th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, which are being commemorated all over the country. To mitigate the hardships faced by the owners of the buildings being constructed outside the Municipal limits, the Cabinet also decided to amend the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (Building) Rules, 2013. The said amendments would boost urban development and building construction activity in line with the emerging technological developments, which in turn would propel further economic growth.
To ensure the best and hassle free healthcare services to the people in the state, the Cabinet also approved the creation of 165 posts in different categories in the offices of Civil Surgeon in the newly formed districts of Pathankot, Fazilka, Mohali, Barnala, Tarn Taran, Moga, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Mansa. This decision would also help to bring far more efficiency in the functioning of health administration in these districts. To enhance the profitability of the farmers equipping them with innovative techniques and avenues in horticulture besides ensuring proper functioning of the 11 Centers of Excellence and Citrus Estates established by the Horticulture department, the Cabinet also gave nod to create 58 new posts of Joint Director, Deputy Director, Assistant Director, Horticulture Development Officer and Horticulture Development Officer (Specialized) in the Horticulture Department.