PUNJAB CABINET OKAYS RELEASE OF RS.36.70 CR TO PAFC FOR RMS 2019-20 WORK

Chandigarh, March 5: The Punjab Cabinet on Friday gave approval to release payment of Rs. 36.70 crore to the Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation (PAFC) on account of administrative charges for the work done by it during Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2019-20.

The approval came during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here this evening through video conferencing.

According to a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office, the said payment would be released, subject to the conditions of the Finance Department, by deducting/recovering the same from the accounts of Pungrain, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) and Markfed, as per the PAFC share in procurement transfer to them from the administrative charges receivable by other procuring agencies for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2019-20.

The procurement share of PAFC during KMS 2018-19 was 10%, which was transferred to Pungrain (4%), Markfed (3%) and PSWC (3%) during KMS 2019-20. Accordingly, the proportionate share of administrative charges for PAFC amounts to Rs. 36.70 Crore.

State agencies that procure foodgrains (wheat and paddy) on behalf of Government of India are paid administrative charges @ 2.5% of MSP of paddy during KMS only. These administrative charges are disbursed when paddy is shelled & rice is delivered to Food Corporation of India, GoI. These funds are utilized by the state agencies during the year for various post procurement expenses, including personnel, custody & maintenance, upkeep of stocks, other administrative expenses etc.

PAFC was allowed as State procurement Agency for the procurement of wheat and paddy in the state by the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department. PAFC procured almost 10% of the total paddy procured by the State Procurement Agencies.

To ensure better management of the procurement operations, the State Government had decided before KMS 2019-20 to reduce the number of procurement agencies in the State. Accordingly, Punjab Agro Food Grains Corporation was withdrawn from the procurement of foodgrains in the State vide letter dated July 2, 2019. Therefore, PAFC did not receive any administrative expenses during KMS 2019-20, which adversely affected the various payments by PAFC including custody & maintenance, upkeep of stocks, service of debt, personnel and administrative expenses etc, the spokesperson added.

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UPGRADATION OF 2 ENGINEERING COLLEGES TO STATE UNIVERSITY STATUS APPROVED BY PUNJAB CABINET

Chandigarh, March 5:The Punjab Cabinet on Friday approved the upgradation of Shaheed Bhagat Singh State University and Sardar Beant Singh State University to state-level universities.

The relevant Bills will be tabled in the current Budget Session of the Vidhan Sabha, an official spokesperson said after a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

With the enactment of the Bills, Shaheed Bhagat Singh State Technical Campus, Ferozepur and Beant College of Engineering & Technology, Gurdaspur, would be upgraded as Shaheed Bhagat Singh State University, Ferozepur and Sardar Beant Singh State University, Gurdaspur respectively. The up-gradation of these engineering colleges as State Universities would enable both these institutes to start multidisciplinary courses with its existing infrastructure, as per the needs of surrounding areas besides improving their financial position.

The Finance Department has approved grant of Rs 45 crore initially for the next 3 years (Rs 15 crore/year) for each of the two universities, which will be mentored by IIT Ropar to attract students, Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi informed the Cabinet. The Chief Minister said the continuation of the grant will be reviewed after 3 years.

These two institutes, set up in 1994 by the state government, have played a major role in the development of Technical Education in the border areas of State of Punjab. They are run by the societies registered under Societies Registration Act of 1860 and all their affairs are looked after by a Board of Governors constituted by the State Government.

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UPGRADATION OF 2 ENGINEERING COLLEGES TO STATE UNIVERSITY STATUS APPROVED BY PUNJAB CABINET

Chandigarh, March 5:The Punjab Cabinet on Friday approved the upgradation of Shaheed Bhagat Singh State University and Sardar Beant Singh State University to state-level universities.

The relevant Bills will be tabled in the current Budget Session of the Vidhan Sabha, an official spokesperson said after a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

With the enactment of the Bills, Shaheed Bhagat Singh State Technical Campus, Ferozepur and Beant College of Engineering & Technology, Gurdaspur, would be upgraded as Shaheed Bhagat Singh State University, Ferozepur and Sardar Beant Singh State University, Gurdaspur respectively. The up-gradation of these engineering colleges as State Universities would enable both these institutes to start multidisciplinary courses with its existing infrastructure, as per the needs of surrounding areas besides improving their financial position.

The Finance Department has approved grant of Rs 45 crore initially for the next 3 years (Rs 15 crore/year) for each of the two universities, which will be mentored by IIT Ropar to attract students, Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi informed the Cabinet. The Chief Minister said the continuation of the grant will be reviewed after 3 years.

These two institutes, set up in 1994 by the state government, have played a major role in the development of Technical Education in the border areas of State of Punjab. They are run by the societies registered under Societies Registration Act of 1860 and all their affairs are looked after by a Board of Governors constituted by the State Government.

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Rana Sodhi gets first dose of COVID vaccine at Civil Hospital Mohali

Chandigarh, March 5:Punjab Sports and Youth Services Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, on Friday, inoculated with first dose of COVID vaccine at Civil Hospital, Phase-6, SAS Nagar.

After getting his COVID vaccine shot, he also appealed to the public to get vaccinated at your turn to save yourself and family from the deadly disease amid the resurgence of the COVID pandemic. "It is high time to remain more vigilant and alert. We should wear mask all the time, when go outside house to prevent ourselves from the COVID.

Rana Sodhi also took a photo on dedicated selfie-point at Civil Hospital.

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Every possible effort be made to complete the work of Baba Kala Meher Sports Stadium: Rana Sodhi

Chandigarh, March 5:Punjab Sports & Youth Services Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi today informed that approval of Rs.601.56 Lacs was accorded by the state government for the construction of Baba Kala Meher Sports Stadium in the year 2015.

Responding to the call attention during 5th day of budget session in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Rana Sodhi said that construction of 3 Pavilion Blocks, Galleries for spectators and separate changing rooms for Boys/Girls has been constructed with these funds, which are being utilized by the athletes. He said that few works of sports grounds amounting to Rs.38.31 Lacs of this stadium are yet to be completed, which was not completed due to paucity of funds during the last years. The possible effort will be made to complete this work in the year 2021-22 subject to availability of funds, he added.

MLA Mr. Gurmeet Singh Meet Heir had asked about the construction work of Baba Kala Meher Sports stadium, saying that local athletes have to go Sangrur for practice which is not possible for every Athlete. He had requested that this problem should be solved on priority.

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Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu gets jab of Covid vaccine

Chandigarh/Mohali, March 5: The Health and Family Welfare minister Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu got his first Covid vaccine shot on Friday. He was administered the dose at District Hospital, Phase 6 here. After receiving the jab, the Health Minister said that he is feeling fit and fine and people must come forward for the vaccination without giving any attention to rumors.

Mr Sidhu said that the vaccine is safe and so far no adverse effect of vaccination has been reported from anywhere. He lauded the efforts of Health care workers and front-line workers for working tirelessly in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus. He added that even though the vaccine is being given the world over, caution is still needed. People should cover their faces with masks while moving out, and keep the necessary distance from each other. It is also important to wash hands frequently with soap and water.

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WSSD organises Workshop on Solid Waste Management in Rural Areas

• Behaviour change tools and techniques, to create a zero-waste villages discussed

• Tools and measures supporting waste segregation & reduction, examined

• Implementation of plastic waste, e-waste, biomedical ,C & D waste Faecal Sludge and Septage Management, discussed

Mohali/Chandigarh, March 5:Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Punjab organised a one-day workshop on Solid Waste Management in Rural Areas for officials and social staff of various districts at MGSIPA, Chandigarh.

Ms. Parneet Shergill IAS, Additional Secretary cum Mission Director SBM (G) addressed the participants, highlighting the importance of Solid Waste Management in rural areas and encouraged them to work actively for Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase II. She further emphasized upon dissemination of key learnings received from the workshop and incorporate them in their respective districts.

The objective of the workshop was to hone capacity of social staff of Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Punjab on Solid Waste Management rules along with preparation of implementation of solid waste management, plastic waste management, e-waste management, biomedical waste management, Construction & Demolition(C & D) Waste Management, Faecal Sludge and Septage Management.

The workshop was conducted and facilitated by M/s feedback foundation.

Facilitator of the workshop Sh. Ajay Sinha addressed the participants through participative approach focusing on behaviour change communication and experiential learning. The workshop revolved around understanding waste, evolution of solid waste management, behaviour change tools and techniques, key principles to create a zero-waste village.

Along with briefing on technical aspects of waste management various tools and measures were discussed that shall support in waste segregation and reduction. Special focus was given on types of waste and origin of waste and way forward steps to be taken to manage the waste.

The participants were also informed about on ground challenges and measures to resolve them through various approaches of social and behaviour change communication. Brief understanding on operation and management, funding pattern, recycling waste and septage management was given.

The overall session was interactive and initiated with expectations of participants and addressing loopholes while implementing the SWM projects in rural areas. It was followed up by presentation by the participants and acknowledging queries of each through open discussion.

At the end of the workshop the participants were highly encouraged through cross learning.

Vote of thanks was given by Sh. RK Sharma,State Coordinator SBM(G) expressing gratitude towards Feedback foundation and experienced facilitator Sh. Ajay Sinha, CEO Feedback Foundation for giving his insights and nurturing the team.