BIRTH, DELIVERY CASES MADE TOTALLY FREE
IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS CABINET OKAYS TO SET UP PUNJAB MUNICIPAL
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT FUND
CHANDIGARH SEPTEMBER 23, 2008
In a unique decision to ensure safe delivery and reduce the mortality
rate of infants and health hazards to mothers, the Punjab government
today decided in principle to waive off all medical charges on delivery
cases in government hospitals in the state. The medical services
for delivery cases in the state would from now on be "absolutely
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state council
of ministers here this evening. The meeting was chaired by Punjab
Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal.
Giving the details of the decision taken at today's meeting, Chief
Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the government
also decided to set up Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development
Fund (PMIDF) under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 under the
chairmanship of State Chief Secretary to mobilize financial resources
and fund urban infrastructure projects to improve the living standards
of urban population including the urban poor. The other members
of the board would include Principal Secretary Finance, Principal
Secretary Local Government as Managing Director, Principal Secretary
Planning and Director Local Government as Chief Executive, Additional
Secretary Local Government as joint MD and the commissioners of
Municipal Corporations at Punjab. The board would empower the state
government to contribute and improvement trusts to invest in the
equity of PMIDF. The board would also act as a special purpose
vehicle to leverage funds through utilization of the properties
of the urban Local bodies/Improvement trust etc.
The Cabinet also approved an amendment of the Punjab Lokpal Act,
1996 and other connected regulations to bring "Chief Parliamentary
Secretary" and "Parliamentary Secretary" with in
the purview of Lokpal.
The Cabinet also approved to allow the Chief Parliamentary Secretaries
a sum of Rs.75000 per annum as petty/discretionary grants to each
of them. At present there are 14 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries
and this decision would entail an expenditure of Rs.10.50 lac annually.
In yet another decision, as a major relief to the cinema owners
in the state, the Cabinet also approved for the promulgation of
an ordinance to extend the facility of exemption in entertainment
tax to them as 'No Entertainment Tax' on the pattern of the exemption
to the multiplexes already given by the Punjab government.
The Cabinet also gave a nod to transfer 15.179 acres of the Sugarfed
land out of total land measuring 27.8854 acres at Banur in district
Patiala to Housefed directly for setting up a housing project. The
stamp duty and other expenditure involved in the transfer of this
land would be borne by the Housefed Punjab, added Mr.Bains.
Punjab adjudged best State
in India in Water Supply & Sanitation
Chandigarh September 23, 2008
Punjab was adjudged as the Best State in the sphere of Water and
Sanitation in the country at the IBN7 Diamond States Awards ceremony
held at New Delhi yesterday evening. The Award was presented by
former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to Punjab's Information &
Public Relations and Water Supply & Sanitation Minister Bikram
The Awards were given as recognition of the human and social development
and evaluation of the standards of governance in the States of India.
Access to drinking water and toilet facilities are the parameters
considered by the IBN Network while evaluating the performance of
different States of the country in the category of Water and Sanitation.
Water Supply & Sanitation Minister Bikram Singh Majithia congratulated
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the people of State
on the happy occasion and termed the achievement as "a recognition
of the work being done by the SAD-BJP Government in Punjab".
He stated that the State Government was fully committed to improving
the access of public to potable drinking water supply and quality
sanitation facilities, especially in rural areas and urban slums.
He further stated that the State had taken some bold initiatives
to provide quality drinking water using Reverse Osmosis technology
in collaboration with Naandi Foundation, an NGO in Muktsar district
which was now being extended to cover other endemic problematic
villages of Malwa area. Work on the Rs. 1250 crore World Bank aided
Water Supply & Sanitation project had also been expedited, he
The Minister stated that the State's infrastructural shortcomings
were being addressed on priority with special focus on health and
education to improve its manpower resource. On the other hand, a
massive power generation programme had been launched to transform
Punjab from a power-deficit to a power-surplus state by 2011-12.
"These efforts would be further intensified in the years to
come ushering in an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity",
Commenting on the feat, Member Parliament and President of Shiromani
Akali Dal, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal said that "this award was
confirmation of will of SAD-BJP Government to provide them basic
necessities of life like water and make Punjab power surplus State".
The selection process of this award was a credible multi-pronged
approach involving Independent Validation partner, the International
consultancy Price Waterhouse Coopers, that analyzed official sources
of information as well as did extensive research based on parameters
set up by Network18 Editorial Board, the Outlook Editorial Board
and Jury consisting of eminent citizens of India.
PUNJAB TO CONTRACT OPUS INTERNATIONAL FOR
UPGRADATION OF ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE
CHANDIGARH SEPTEMBER 23, 2008
The Punjab government would soon engage the services of Opus International
Consultants Ltd, New Zealand (OPUS) to devise a strategy for future
implementation of Output & Performance based Road Contracts
(OPRC) to rehabilitate/improve, maintain and manage a portion of
its road network of about 650 km in the southern districts of the
State through the Punjab Roads & Bridges Development Board (PRBDB).
An assurance to this effect was given by the Punjab Chief Minister
Mr. Parkash Singh Badal to the Technical Director Tony Porter who
called on him this morning at Chief Minister's Residence.
While briefing the Chief Minister, PWD (B&R) Minister Parminder
Singh Dhindsa mentioned that the civil works, under Phase II of
the Rs.1500 crore World Bank funded Punjab State Road Sector Project
(PSRSP) would be now based on the output of these services likely
to be commenced by mid of 2009.
It may be recalled that under the OPUS contract, the contractor
was responsible for upgradation, renewal and maintenance of the
network as required and payments were based primarily on measured
"outputs" reflecting the target conditions of the roads
under contract, rather than unit prices for works inputs. Typically,
OPRC contracts run for periods of 5-10 years, with indications being
that the quantum of work involved for this network over a 10 year
period would be in the order of 200-300 km of upgradation works
(typically widening of the paved surface), 150-250 km of rehabilitation
works and routine maintenance for the entire length of the network.
The Chief Minister emphasised the need to abide by the parameters
of strict quality control, regular supervision and maintenance after
the completion of road projects to ensure timely completion and
durability of these infrastructure installations. He asked the team
leader of OPUS Mr. Robert Fergerstrom to undertake an extensive
tour of Punjab to have first hand information about the existing
road conditions and suggest constructive measures to improve upon
its quality in the larger public interest.
Mr. Porter and Fergerstrom assured the Chief Minister that their
internationally acclaimed company OPUS had undertaken the construction
of 70% of road infrastructure in New Zealand and was consultant
to many countries across the globe. They said that within an OPRC
contract, the client was bound to abide by the stipulated specifications
and conditions of the work allotted to him that obviously resulted
in high class quality.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included
technical Advisor to the Punjab Government Lt. Gen. (Retd.) B.S
Dhaliwal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Secretary
PWD (B&R) Kulbir Singh and project Director PRBDB Kulwinder
MGSIPA TO HOST TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Chandigarh, September 23, 2008
Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration Chandigarh
is organizing a sensitization Conference tomorrow on Total Quality
Management (TQM). The Conference aims at sensitizing senior officers
of Punjab Government in implementing TQM practices in Government
with a view to improving the overall efficiency and responsiveness
of the entire delivery system.
The Keynote address in the Conference would be delivered by Sh.
VK Agnihotri, IAS (Retd.) presently Secretary General, Rajya Sabha
and a reputed authority on TQM practices in Government Sh. Padamvir
Singh, IAS Joint Director Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of
Administration, Mussoorie would be also making a presentation of
the subject. Punjab Chief Secretary Sh. Ramesh Inder Singh would
preside over the conference. The State Institute has invited senior
Government functionaries to attend the Conference.
SC/BC TEACHERS UNION SUBMITS CHARTER OF
Chandigarh September 23, 2008
The SC/BC teachers Union Punjab today met Dr. Upinderjit Kaur,
Education Minister Punjab and presented their charter of demands.
The delegation of teachers demanded to amend and rectify the anomalies
in seniority list as per the Janjua judgement and to clear the backlog
in promotions of Master and Lecturer cadre. The Minister assured
the delegation that the department would sympathetically consider
their genuine demands at the earliest and asked the leaders to fully
devote their attention to impart quality education to the students
so that they could excel in competitive examinations.
The meeting was held in very cordial atmosphere and the Union
leaders praised the Minister for her progressive approach to uplift
the standard of education by initiating the process of recruitments,
promotions and other developmental activities in the department.
Among others Mr. K.B.S.Sidhu, Secretary, Mr. Ashok Kumar Gupta,
Special Secretary, Mr. Jagtar Singh Khattra and Mrs. Harcharanjit
Kaur Brar (both DPIs) and Mr. Sadhu Singh Randhawa Director SCERT
were also present in the meeting.
PUSA – 1121 AND SHARBATI VARIETIES OF PADDY EXEMPTED FROM
Chandigarh, September 23: The Punjab Government today decided to
exempt PUSA – 1121 and Sharbati varieties of paddy from levy
obligations for the year 2008-09.
According to an official spokesman each rice miller has been instructed
to maintain a proper record of the purchases made by him especially
with regard to IR-8 that can be checked / verified as and when required.