The Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday authorised Governor Punjab V.P.Singh Badnore to summon a 2-day Special Session of the State Assembly, while giving go-ahead for placing resolution to ratify the Constitutional 126th Amendment and enactment of Goods & Services Act.The Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, has decided to recommend to the Governor to summon the 10th Session of the 15th Punjab Vidhan Sabha, as per the Article 174(1) of the Constitution of India, for two days on 16th and 17th January, 2020, according to an official spokesperson.It was decided by the Cabinet to change the timing of the commencement of the session.The session will accordingly start on January 16 with the speech of Governor at 11 am, instead of 10 am, as scheduled earlier. On January 17, the session would begin at 10 am with obituary references, followed by presentation of a resolution to ratify The Constitution (126th Amendment) Bill, 2019.The house would adjourn sine-die after the proposed legislative business on the same day, said the spokesperson.The Constitution (126th Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to extend the reservation for Scheduled Castes in Punjab for another ten years w.e.f. January 25, 2020. It may be recalled that the Amendment Bill 126 had been passed by the Lok Sabha on December 10, 2019 and by the Rajya Sabha on December 12, 2019.
Notably, Article 334 of the Constitution of India provides reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and special representation of the Anglo Indians in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies. Initially, the reservation of seats was to cease in 1960 but this was extended to 1970 by the 8th Constitutional Amendment. The period of reservation was subsequently extended to 1980 and 1990 by the 23rd and 45th Constitutional Amendments respectively.The 62nd Amendment extended the period of reservation to 2000, which was further extended to 2010 and 2020 by 79th and 95th Amendments respectively. The reservation and special representation, which was extended vide 95th Amendment for ten years, now expires on January 25, 2020.Meanwhile, the Cabinet has also approved enactment of the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, with the relevant Bill to be presented under clause 2 of Article 213 of Constitution.The Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 was issued vide notification No. 25-Leg/2019 on December 31, 2019. This ordinance was promulgated in order to bring certain visionary amendments in Punjab Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 for facilitation of taxpayers and promotion of ‘Ease of doing Business’.The Cabinet has also approved the annual administrative report of the Civil Aviation Department for the year 2018-19, according to the spokesperson.