The Punjab Cabinet led by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday stamped its approval on new Bills relating to procurement, amendment to state civil services rules and postings in veterinary hospitals in the state, as well as the Excise Act Amendment Ordinance.The cabinet approved the draft of ‘The Punjab Transparency in Public Procurement Act, 2019’ to ensure efficiency, economy and transparency besides providing fair and equitable treatment to bidders in order to promote healthy competition and put in place mechanism to prevent corrupt practices.The draft legislation relates to all procurements which are met from the Government accounts including consolidated fund, public accounts and contingent fund of the state. It would apply to all procuring entities, whether an Administrative Department or Board/Corporation/PSU/Semi-autonomous Bodies or a society of an Administrative Department.The Act also provides the requisite legal status to ‘State Public Procurement Portal’, making its use mandatory for Public Procurement, and envisages the creation of procurement facilitation cell. It covers the procurement of not only goods but also services and works in a single, comprehensive legislation, besides recognizing Swiss Challenge as a method of procurement with an objective to promote innovativeness, creativity and uniqueness in finding everlasting solutions to the persisting problems of society.The Act also institutionalises the Annual Procurement Plans, thereby providing economies of scale and better planning for prospective bidders. Being a self-contained legislation with in-built mechanism of grievances redressal, it will also serve as a deterrent for wrong-doers, who indulge in malpractices and breach the trust reposed in them as a custodian of Public money.
Punjab Excise Act Amendment
Meanwhile, the Cabinet also gave nod for conversion of Punjab Excise Act Amendment Ordinance 2019 (Punjab Ordinance No. 2 of 2019) into an Act by presenting a Bill during the forthcoming monsoon session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha. This enactment is related to amendment in clause (C) of section of 31 of Punjab Excise Act, 1914 as a regulatory/monitoring measure only.
Civil Services Rules
Further, the Cabinet has approved amendment in Civil Services (Departmental Examination) Punjab Rules, 2014 for the posts of Assistant Commissioners/Extra Assistant Commissioners.
Vet Hospitals Service Providers
Meanwhile, in a bid to provide efficient animal health services in the veterinary hospitals across the state, the Cabinet okayed continuation of the services of Service Providers (516 Veterinary Pharmacists and 531 Safai Sewaks) for a period of one year, i.e. from March 31, 2019 to March 31, 2020.The decision has been taken to ensure smooth functioning of the veterinary hospital, besides enabling farmers to avail the best veterinary services for the livestock. The state government has already transferred back 582 Civil Veterinary Hospitals to the Animal Husbandry Department, including 582 sanctioned posts of Rural Veterinary Officers from Rural Development & Panchayat Department, to provide efficient animal health services to livestock owners.