Punjab

PUNJAB CABINET DECISIONS: 153 DIRECT QUOTA POSTS OF TEACHING FACULTY IN GOVT MEDICAL COLLEGES TO BE FILLED

February 17, 2019 04:08 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News)

In a major step towards strengthening the state’s healthcare system, the Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday approved filling up of 153 vacant sanctioned direct quota posts of 42 professors, 46 associate professors and 65 assistant professors in the Government Medical Colleges at Amritsar and Patiala.

The vacancies would be filled up by the departmental selection committee headed by former Director PGIMER, Chandigarh Dr. KK Talwar. This will be done under the Punjab Medical Education (Group-A) Service Rules, 2016 after taking these posts out of the purview of the Punjab Public Service Commission.

According to an official spokesperson, the selection committee which was constituted on April 22, 2016 under the chairmanship of Advisor to Health & Medical Education, Punjab, Dr. KK Talwar, has now been allowed to continue for another three years, with effect from April 22, 2019.

The panel’s strength has also been increased. Earlier, the selection committee had seven members, in addition to the Chairman, including Vice Chancellor Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Secretary Medical Education & Research, Director PGIMER or his representative, Director Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai or his representative (for treatment of cancer related specialties only) and two members of concerned subject of institutions like AIIMS/PGIMER/TMC. Apart from these, Director Research & Medical Education Punjab was the member secretary of the committee. Now, a representative from the department of Welfare Punjab has also included as a member, taking the committee’s strength to eight.

The entire staff strength was reviewed by Dr. KK Talwar Committee, which proposed restructuring. A total of 46 direct quota posts were created, on account of proposed super-specialty departments, enhancement in MBBS seats and increase in bed strength in two hospitals. Consequently, the Medical Education & Research was allowed to fill up these 153 posts by the Talwar Committee.

The Committee also recommended that since it was unlikely that all the posts would be filled up in one attempt, the Department of Medical Education & Research may therefore be allowed to make repeated attempts till these posts were filled up. It was further recommended by the committee that vacancies arising in future on account of retirement may be allowed to be filled up without approaching the Finance Department and Officers Committee for their approval. 

REVIVAL OF BULLOCK CART RACES AT KILA RAIPUR GETS APPROVAL:Punjab Cabinet ly paved the way for the revival of the traditional annual bullock cart races at the Kila Raipur Rural Sports.

The Cabinet gave the green signal to present the 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2019' in the current Budget Session of Vidhan Sabha for enactment.

The bullock cart races had been an integral part of the state's rich cultural legacy and heritage, till they were prohibited by the Supreme Court in 2014. Subsequently, various representations were received from time to time by the Governor, the Chief Minister and the Animal Husbandry Minister to allow bullock cart races. The State Cabinet, in its meeting on October last year, had detailed deliberations and favoured in law to legally allow Kila Raipur sports, in which various animals also participate.

Notably, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (Central Act 59 of 1960) was enacted to prevent the infliction of unnecessary cruelty and suffering on animals. The Act also recognises the need to exempt the application of its provisions in certain circumstances.

The state government has decided to exempt the conduct of Bullock-Cart Racing in Kila Raipur Rural Sports event from the provisions of the said Central Act 59 of 1960, in view of the significant role played by the traditional rural sporting event and fair, which has been taking place at Kila Raipur (Ludhiana) since the 1930s, in promoting the spirit of games and sports. The government feels the sport also enriches the cultural heritage and tradition of Punjab, while being a great source of entertainment, especially for rural Punjab.

It is in this background that the state government has decided to amend the Central Act 59 of 1960 in its application to the State of Punjab for the resumption of bullock cart races during the annual Kila Raipur rural sports.

GRANTS PERMISSION TO PRESENT BUDGET, CLEARS VARIOUS ACCOUNTS & CAG AUDIT REPORTS FOR VIDHAN SABHA: Punjab Council of Ministers cleared the presentation of the Budget Estimates for 2019-20, along with various accounts and CAG audit reports, in the ongoing budget session of the Vidhan Sabha.

A cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, okayed the presentation of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Audit Reports, Finance Accounts and Appropriation Accounts for the year ending March 31, 2018, in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

As per provisions of Clause 2 of Article-151 of the Constitution of India, these documents and reports are mandatory to be tabled in the State Assembly during the Budget Session. CAG has forwarded authenticated copies of Finance Accounts (Vol-I and II) and Appropriation Accounts of the Government of Punjab for the year 2017-18, to the state government for tabling these reports in the Assembly.

Further, according to the provision of Rule 11 of the Rules of Business of the Government of Punjab, 1992 and entry at Sr.No.14 of the Schedule thereto, the annual audit review of the Finances of the State is required to be placed before the Council of Ministers.

In pursuance of the provisions contained in Clause (3) of Article 203 of the Constitution of India, the Cabinet also gave approval to present the Supplementary Demands for Grants of the Government of Punjab for the year 2018-19 to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

It also gave the go-ahead for presenting the Budget Estimates of the Government of Punjab for the year 2019-20 in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in the current Budget Session, in pursuance of the provisions contained in Clause (1) of Article 204 read with Article 206 of the Constitution of India.

The Cabinet also gave approval to regularise the excess accumulated expenditure of the demands for grants mentioned in the Appropriation Accounts for the year 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 in the current Budget Session of the Assembly. 

PROCUREMENT TO GET MORE EFFICIENT WITH PUNJAB CABINET OKAYING COMPETITIVE ONLINE BIDDING The Punjab Cabinet on Sunday gave its nod to "The Punjab Food Grains Transportation Policy 2019-20" for transportation of food grains from mandis to its storage points at minimum rates through competitive tenders from various transporters.

Disclosing this here today, spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office here said that for the ensuing season, commencing from April 1, transportation of food grains beyond 8 Kilometers (KMs) would be allowed through a competitive online tender process. This would be done by district tender committees, of which the respective Deputy Commissioners would be the Chairpersons, with district FCI head, district heads of all state procurement agencies and district Controller of Food Supplies as members. The tenders under this policy would be invited for the financial year 2019-20 and would be valid for the period from 1-04-2019 to 31-03-2020.

Further, to ascertain the competitive rates, detailed Schedule of Rate (SOR) guidelines have been incorporated in the policy, listing out rates per MT from more than 8 KMs up to 52 KMs. For every additional KM beyond 52 KMs, a rate @ Rs. 3.10 per ton/kilometer would be applied. No premium beyond 120% of the rates mentioned in the SOR shall be permissible in any case. The powers to open the tenders, evaluation of technical bids and finalisation of the financial bid shall lie with these Committees, the spokesperson added.

Giving details about the tendering process, the spokesperson said to ensure minimum expenditure on transportation of food grains, tenders would be invited cluster wise.

It may be noted that the state procuring agencies of Punjab namely PUNGRAIN, MARKFED, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC), PUNSUP, along with Food Corporation of India (FCI), procure food grains every year for the Central Pool or for Public Distribution System at the Minimum Support Price fixed by the Government of India.

The detailed procedure regarding service of notice, cancellation of work, levy of penalty and blacklisting has been made part of the policy this year. District Tender Committees have been given the right to blacklist deficient contractor up to a period of two years, besides forfeiture of security and levying of penalty up to 2% of the contract value, depending on the merit of each case. 

DECIDES TO EXTEND 5% RESERVATION IN ALLOTMENT OF HOUSES/PLOTS TO RIOTS/TERRORIST VICTIMS TILL DECEMBER 31, 2021 : Victims of the 1984 riots and terror attacks in Punjab are all set to get a major relief with the Punjab Council of Ministers deciding to extend to them 5% reservation in allotment of plots/houses by Urban Estates/Improvement Trust/Pepsu Township Development Board, without any financial concession, for five more years.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the time limit of the existing policy, that had expired on December 31, 2016, had been extended till the end of December 2021.

The Cabinet, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, considered the demand of the Danga Peerat Committee, Barnala and Sangrur, in this regard, to take the significant decision in the interest of the victims of the riots and terrorist violence. 

CABINET OKAYS AIR AMBULANCES FOR SERVING & RETD HC JUDGES & THEIR DEPENDENTS: Cabinet decided to provide the facility of air ambulance to serving/retired High Court Judges and their dependents. It has been decided to accordingly amend Rule 2 (3)(v)(a) of Punjab Services (Medical Attendance) Rule, 1940, which covers Punjab government employees, said an official spokesperson. Employees of the High Court including High Court Judges, who have adopted Punjab government rules, are provided medical reimbursement by UT Administration, Chandigarh.

Notably, during a meeting in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on January 28, 2019, the Chief Justice and other Judges had sought amendment to the Punjab Services (Medical Attendance) Rule, 1940, for providing facility of air ambulance in case of emergency to sitting and retired Judges and their dependents.

PROCUREMENT TO GET MORE EFFICIENT WITH PUNJAB CABINET OKAYING COMPETITIVE ONLINE BIDDING: The Punjab Cabinet on Sunday gave its nod to "The Punjab Food Grains Transportation Policy 2019-20" for transportation of food grains from mandis to its storage points at minimum rates through competitive tenders from various transporters. 

The decision, taken at the Council of Ministers' meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here this morning, is aimed at bringing further efficiency and transparency in procurement of food grains operations. 

Disclosing this here today, spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office here said that for the ensuing season, commencing from April 1, transportation of food grains beyond 8 Kilometers (KMs) would be allowed through a competitive online tender process. This would be done by district tender committees, of which the respective Deputy Commissioners would be the Chairpersons, with district FCI head, district heads of all state procurement agencies and district Controller of Food Supplies as members. The tenders under this policy would be invited for the financial year 2019-20 and would be valid for the period from 1-04-2019 to 31-03-2020. 

Further, to ascertain the competitive rates, detailed Schedule of Rate (SOR) guidelines have been incorporated in the policy, listing out rates per MT from more than 8 KMs up to 52 KMs. For every additional KM beyond 52 KMs, a rate @ Rs. 3.10 per ton/kilometer would be applied. No premium beyond 120% of the rates mentioned in the SOR shall be permissible in any case. The powers to open the tenders, evaluation of technical bids and finalisation of the financial bid shall lie with these Committees, the spokesperson added. 

Giving details about the tendering process, the spokesperson said to ensure minimum expenditure on transportation of food grains, tenders would be invited cluster wise. 

It may be noted that the state procuring agencies of Punjab namely PUNGRAIN, MARKFED, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC), PUNSUP, along with Food Corporation of India (FCI), procure food grains every year for the Central Pool or for Public Distribution System at the Minimum Support Price fixed by the Government of India. 

The detailed procedure regarding service of notice, cancellation of work, levy of penalty and blacklisting has been made part of the policy this year. District Tender Committees have been given the right to blacklist deficient contractor up to a period of two years, besides forfeiture of security and levying of penalty up to 2% of the contract value, depending on the merit of each case.

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