PUNJAB CABINET OKAYS INCREASE IN WOMEN QUOTA IN PRIs, ULBs FROM 33% TO 50%

PUNJAB CABINET OKAYS INCREASE IN WOMEN QUOTA IN PRIs, ULBs FROM 33% TO 50%

·        GIVES NOD TO EXCLUSION OF MEGA FOOD PARKS FROM LICENSE UNDER PAPRA

Chandigarh:

In a major decision ahead of the Budget session of the Vidhan Sabha, the Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday gave its go-ahead for an increase in women reservation in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) from 33% to 50%.

A decision to this effect was taken by the Council of Minister in a meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here at Punjab Bhawan this afternoon.

The enhancement of women reservation quota in PRIs and ULBs is aligned to a key poll promise of the Captain Amarinder Singh government, which is committed to empowerment of women in the state.

The draft Bill to amend the Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911 and the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, will be placed in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha budget session, commencingon Wednesday, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) disclosed after the cabinet meeting.

The amendment will help empower women in the rural areas by enhancing their reservation quota in the direct elections for the members of Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads, besides Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats. The representation of women in the offices of Sarpanches of Gram Panchayats, Chairmen Panchayats Samitis/Zila Parishads besides Mayors of Municipal Corporations and Presidents of Municipal Councils/Nagar Panchayats will also be enhanced accordingly.

The Council of Ministers, at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, also decided to exempt the Mega Food Parks being set up in the state from the provisions of Section 44(2) of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995 (PAPRA). The decision is aimed at boosting the development of the food procession industry, especially the Mega Food Parks projects in the state, besides securing employment for the unemployed youth. The decision will exclude future projects from the requirement of taking a license under PARA.

Further, to ensure fiscal management in view of constraint resources of revenue, the Cabinet decided to seek Government of India’s approval to swap high cost market loans taken by the state government with new low cost market loans. This decision would go a long way in improving the financial position, besides providing better opportunities to incur expenditure on development works in the state.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also gave the nod for the Khalsa University (Repeal) Ordinance, 2017 to be presented in the House for enactment. The decision has been taken to preserve the glorious heritage and rich legacy of over century old prestigious Khalsa College.

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