Punjab

PUNJAB CABINET PASSES SPECIAL RESOLUTION HAILING KARTARPUR CORRIDOR, NOD TO SET UP SPECIAL DERABABA NANAK DEV.AUTHORITY

December 03, 2018 06:21 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News)

The Punjab Council of Ministers, under chairmanship of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Monday passed a special resolution to set up a Dera Baba Nanak Development Authority for the development and beautification of the area in and around Dera Baba Nanak ahead of the 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji.

The Chief Minister has already announced a slew of development projects for the upgradation of infrastructure and facilities for the lakhs of pilgrims expected to visit the area during the historic occasion, for which the year-long celebrations were kicked off by the state government on Gurpurb, on 23rd November 2018.

In its special resolution, the cabinet also welcomed the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor as a historic step to mark the auspicious occasion.

*APPROVES INTERNATIONAL CIVIL TERMINAL AT HALWARA *MERGER OF 20 DCCBs WITH PSCB TO STRENGTHEN RURAL CREDIT SYSTEM*APPROVES FILLING OF 185 VACANT POSTS IN ESI HOSPITALS & DISPENSARIES, ACCORDS SANCTION FOR CREATION OF FOUR DYING CADRE POSTS IN PUNJAB POLICE*CLEARS DRAFT PUNJAB WATER RESOURCES (MANAGEMENT AND REGULATION) BILL, 2018*CABINET OKAYS OTS POLICY-2018 FOR PSIDC & PFC IN LAST CHANCE FOR DEFAULTERS TO PAY UP

The cabinet, at its meeting here, said with the laying of the foundation stone for the corridor, a long-pending demand of the Punjabis had been fulfilled, thus paving the way for opening the way for devotees to visit the historic Kartarpur Gurdwara, close to the Line of Control.

The cabinet noted the persistent efforts by Captain Amarinder Singh, which had culminated in the momentous decision to open the corridor.

APPROVES INTERNATIONAL CIVIL TERMINAL AT HALWARA 

In a bid to further boost industrial and economic activity in the state, the Punjab Cabinet on Monday approved the setting up of a new international civil terminal at Indian Air Force (IAF) Station, Halwara, Ludhiana.

The decision fulfills an old demand of the state, which was first taken up by Captain Amarinder Singh with the central government during his previous tenure as chief minister. The matter, however, remained in abeyance pending clearances from the Centre.

The Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, also gave go-ahead for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the same.

A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the Civil Terminal would be developed jointly by the AAI and the Government of Punjab through a Joint Venture Company (JVC) to be constituted for the purpose. While AAI would have majority stake of 51%, the Punjab Government, through the Greater Ludhiana Development Authority (GLADA), will have 49% stake in the project.

The state Government would provide 135. 54 acres of land free of cost to the JVC by way of its equity in the project. The capital expenditure on development of the new airport would be borne by AAI, whereas the expenditure on the operation, maintenance and repairs would be taken care of by the JVC.

According to the spokesperson, the first phase of the project, which will include development of a new international civil enclave over an area of 135.54 acres for full-fledged operations up to Code-4C type aircraft, is likely to be completed within three years. 

The project, aimed at giving a fillip to the economic development of Punjab’s business and industrial hub Ludhiana, also fulfills a long-pending demand of the Ludhiana-based industry, which the Chief Minister has now acceded.

Notably, Ludhiana is Punjab’s largest industrial and business city with a population of nearly two million, which is presently serviced by a small airport at Sahnewal under the operational control of AAI, which runs RCS-UDAN flights to Delhi. Ludhiana also has the advantage of being at the geographical centre of Punjab.

With the length of the runway at the present airport being limited, it only allows for operation of small aircraft which severely limits air connectivity. Moreover, as the city has grown significantly around the airport, acquisition of additional land and expansion of the existing airport at Sahnewal is not feasible. Further, Ludhiana has substantial export potential, which could be exploited with the growth of cargo traffic. 

MERGER OF 20 DCCBs WITH PSCB TO STRENGTHEN RURAL CREDIT SYSTEM

Punjab Cabinet has okayed the merger of 20 District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) with the Punjab State Cooperative Bank (PSCB) to strengthen the state’s rural credit system and facilitate famers taking credit from cooperative banks

With the Cabinet giving the green signal to change the state’s three-tier Cooperative Credit Structure into two-tier, by amalgamating the DCCBs with the PSCB, the latter has now become a larger entity bank. This has paved the way for PSCB to play a greater role in the area of rural credit, according to an official spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the decision had been taken in view of RBI guidelines, which mandate that all DCCBs should have a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 9% (CRAR). Although at present the DCCBs are adhering to the required CRAR of 9% (CRAR), there is hardly any space for majority of these DCCBs to enhance their business and to increase their profitability. Without further capital induction the CRAR stipulation given by the RBI cannot be met. Hence, the Cooperative Credit Structure in the State is facing severe hardships.

To meet the CRAR stipulation mandated by RBI for the Cooperative Banks, the State Government had to infuse capital amounting to Rs. 307 crore in the past. With this merger, the Cooperative Bank in the State will emerged a financially and structurally stronger entity.

After amalgamation, the single entity will have capital adequacy in the range of 13- 14%, allowing Cooperative Banks to increase their business while meeting RBI's stipulation of capital adequacy. It would increase the profitability of the Bank and help it to adopt the latest technology and give better delivery services to its customers as well as the farmers of the State. There are around 9 lac farmers who are holding Kisan Credit Cards of the Cooperative Banks in the State and are dependent on credit in the prevalent Cooperative Structure.

Notably, the amalgamation of the DCCBs with the Apex Bank would be largely beneficial for ensuring maintenance of Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) on regular basis, enhance the profitability of the Cooperative Banking Structure in the state, increase regular flow of credit to the farmers, curtail the cost of computerisation and other administrative expenses besides better tax compliance and human resources management.

APPROVES FILLING OF 185 VACANT POSTS IN ESI HOSPITALS & DISPENSARIES, ACCORDS SANCTION FOR CREATION OF FOUR DYING CADRE POSTS IN PUNJAB POLICE

Cabinet on Monday took a slew of decisions related to various cadres and servicemen in different departments, including approval for filling up of 185 vacant posts of doctors and paramedic staff in ESI hospitals and dispensaries.

The filling up the posts will help ensure the best healthcare services to nearly 12.92 lakh insured persons covered under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme across the state, according to a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office.

The Health Department would soon initiate the process of recruiting 55 doctors and 130 paramedics on contract basis, pending regular appointment. The decision would enable the Health Department to ensure cent percent availability of doctors and paramedics in ESI hospitals and dispensaries.

The spokesperson further pointed out that the total financial liability for the 185 posts would be Rs. 3.96 crore, of which Rs. 0.50 crore would be met by the State Government and Rs. 3.46 crores by the Employees' State Insurance Corporation, New Delhi (a statutory enterprise of the Government of India).

The Department of Health & Family Welfare has been entrusted with management and administration of 6 ESI Hospitals and 69 Dispensaries in the State. The Health Department is required to ensure adequate manpower in these ESI Hospitals and dispensaries, and to provide the medical facilities to the insured persons. The expenditure on running of the ESI hospitals and Dispensaries is borne by the State and ESIC (GoI) in the ratio of 1:7 i.e. 12.5% is to borne by State and remaining 87.5% is to be borne by ESI Corporation.

There are 12.92 lakh persons covered under the ESI Scheme. Employees drawing monthly pay of less than Rs.21,000,  working in industrial units/establishments having 10 or more persons, are covered under this Scheme.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, has also accorded approval to the Defence Services Welfare Department to amend Para 8-B of the Punjab Recruitment of Ex-Servicemen Rules, 1982 to grant benefits to re-employed ex-servicemen for the services rendered during 2nd National Emergency Period from December 3, 1971 to March 25, 1977. This decision has been taken in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court.

In another decision, the Cabinet has also approved the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department (Head Office) (Group-'A') Service Rules, 2018. The post of Superintendent Grade-1 falls in Group 'A' as per Finance Department instructions dated May 27, 2009. Consequently, separate set of rules is required to govern the service conditions of employees falling under Group 'A' at Head Office. The earlier applicable 'The Punjab Excise and Taxation Commissioner's office (State Service Class-III) Rules, 1954' have been repealed only to the extent applicable to Group 'A' employees.

The Cabinet has also accorded sanction for creation of four Dying cadre posts and inclusion of names of one Inspector and three Sub-Inspectors as Sports Persons, to ensure the overall efficacious  administration of Punjab police, besides raising the morale of its force.

CLEARS DRAFT PUNJAB WATER RESOURCES (MANAGEMENT AND REGULATION) BILL, 2018

The Punjab Cabinet, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, on Monday approved the draft of Punjab Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Bill, 2018, aimed at ensuring judicious, equitable and sustainable utilisation and management of the state’s critical water resources.

The proposed Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA) would have a Chairman, besides two members to be appointed by the state government. The Authority would be empowered to take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the objective for which it is to be set up, and would have powers to issue directions and guidelines for the conservation and management of the water resources. The Authority would also be empowered to issue tariff orders specifying the charges to be imposed by entities supplying water for drinking, domestic, commercial or industrial use. 

The bill further proposes an Advisory Committee on Water Resources, headed by Chairman of the Authority to be notified by the Govt., consisting of experts and ex-officio members from various government departments to advise the Authority. The Authority may also engage experts on its own. The Authority shall have and maintain a separate fund to be called the PWRDA Fund in which the grants/loans would be credited by the state government. 

The Bill also proposes to empower the government to issue to the Authority such general or specific directions in writing in the matters of policy involving public interest and the Authority shall be bound to follow and act upon such directs. 

CABINET OKAYS OTS POLICY-2018 FOR PSIDC & PFC IN LAST CHANCE FOR DEFAULTERS TO PAY UP

Cabinet approved a One Time Settlement (OTS) Policy to give entrepreneurs of promoted and loanee companies the last chance to settle their dues with PDSIC and PFC, with the condition that no such OTS opportunity would be given to defaulters hereafter. 

According to an official spokesperson, the decision to come out with OTS Policy-2018 followed representations and suggestions from Chamber of Commerce and Industries Association and after marathon discussions with the promoters for rehabilitation & revival of the industries in state. 

 The Cabinet, however, agreed to the suggestion of Finance Minister Manpreet Badal that this should be the last such OTS and the government should go hammer and tongs after those who fail to pay up even now. 

The policy will give the entrepreneurs of promoted and loanee companies one-time opportunity for settlement of their dues with Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (PSIDC) and Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC), and will help them recover Rs. 80-100 crore and Rs. 7-10 crore, respectively.  

Besides releasing the blocked industrial assets, it will help in reducing the litigation of these corporations and generate revenues for their development activities. 

The spokesperson pointed out that under the OTS policy-2017, PSIDC did not receive any application for loan cases. However, a sum of Rs. 3.99 crore was recovered by way of OTS for equity from two companies. PFC received offers for OTS from 25 loanees concerns having tentative OTS amount of Rs. 2.72 crore, against which it has so far recovered Rs. 1.57 crore, with the remaining being recovered in quarterly instalments. 

Notably, the PSIDC extended term loans to 861 industrial units, of which 739 units have already settled with corporation and only 122 units are pending, and all of them have already become non-performing assets. Besides, PSIDC had made equity investment in 322 units, of which 245 collaborators have already settled their dues by way of buy back of their equity/settled their accounts under OTS, and only 77 promoted units are yet to buy way of equity investments. 

Similarly, PFC extended term loans to 18000 loanee concerns, of which 16900 have settled their accounts and about 1142 units are at present outstanding and the entire portfolio has been declared NPA. Currently, the default position to the bond holders of PFC is Rs. 151.95 crore, which includes Rs. 101.31 crore as principal and Rs. 50.64 crore in interest. The bondholders of PSIDC owe Rs. 542.52 crore to it, inclusive of Rs. 392.48 crore and Rs. 150.04 on account of principal and interest respectively.

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