In a major decision, the Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill for regularisation of services of 36,000 employees who were working on contract, ad hoc, daily wages and temporary basis in different government departments.
The cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, gave nod to the Punjab Protection and Regularization of Contractual Employees Bill-2021 for regularisation of the services of employees.
The bill will be tabled in the assembly for enactment.
"In a major decision, the cabinet today decided to regularise 36,000 employees.... It is a big gift for employees," Channi told reporters.
A spokesperson of the chief minister's office said with this decision, the services of nearly 36,000 employees with more than 10 years of service would be regularised.
The assembly election in Punjab is due early next year.
Several contractual and outsourced employees had been protesting against the state government, demanding regularisation of their services.
In another decision, the cabinet approved the enhancement of minimum wages with effect from March 1, 2020.
The revision in minimum wage based on consumer price index was due on March 1, 2020. It has now been increased by Rs 415.89 from Rs 8,776.83 to Rs 9,192.72.
With the hike in minimum wage, a worker would also be entitled to get arrears of Rs 8,251 from March 1, 2020 up to October, 2021, the chief minister said.
In another move, the cabinet decided to repeal the Punjab Contract Farming Act, 2013.
"Keeping in view the dilemma/fear in the minds of the producers/farmers of the state due to the strict provisions incorporated in the Punjab Contract Farming Act, 2013 like imprisonment, monetary penalties and other rigorous punishments, the cabinet decided to repeal the aforesaid Act in the larger interest of Punjab farmers,” according to a government statement.
Channi said that his government will bring a bill related to the power purchase pacts, resolutions on the Centre's farm laws and the Centre's notification on extending the BSF's jurisdiction.
The cabinet also accorded approval to the Punjab Energy Security, Termination of PPAs and Redetermination of Power Tariff Bill, 2021.
With the passing of this bill, power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Nabha Power Limited and Talwandi Sabo Power Limited shall stand referred to power regulator Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission for re-determination of tariff.
The cabinet gave the go ahead to the Punjab Renewable Energy Security, Reform, Termination and Re-determination of Power Tariff Bill, 2021, aimed to evolve statutory measures for sustained development of the electricity sector and make available electricity to the consumers at an economical basis.
The cabinet also gave nod for promulgating the Punjab One-Time Voluntary Disclosure and Settlement of Violations of the Buildings Bill, 2021 for all unauthorised constructions, which have come up till September 30, 2021.
The cabinet approved the Punjab (Institutional and Other Building) Tax Repeal Bill, 2021 to waive un-paid dues in all cases.
The Punjab (Institutional and Other Building) Tax Act was implemented on the industrial and other institutional buildings, which come outside the municipal limit. This decision would give a relief of Rs 250 crore to the beneficiaries.
It also gave approval to amend the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961 and to introduce the Punjab Horticulture Nursery Bill-2021 in the assembly session by amending the Punjab Fruit Nurseries Act-1961.
To avail the benefit of normal net borrowing ceiling of 4 per cent of the projected gross state domestic product in the financial year 2021-22, the cabinet approved amendment in the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003.
Meanwhile, in a notification, the state government decided to dispense with the services of retired employees who were re-employed in various government departments. PTI CHS VSD
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