CM introduces Punjab State Vigilance Commission (Repeal) Bill, 2022

Bill passed unanimously by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha

Chandigarh, September 30:-Punjab Chief Minister today moved the Punjab State Vigilance Commission (Repeal) Bill, 2022 that was passed unanimously.

Moving a resolution to this regard, the Chief Minister said that the main function of the Punjab State Vigilance Commission is to enquire or cause enquires into complaints alleging commission of offences by a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018. He said that the Commission is also empowered to exercise superintendence and control over the functioning of the Vigilance Bureau and Police establishment in so far it relates to corruption cases. Bhagwant Mann said that Punjab state Vigilance Commission Act 2020, which was supposed to be enacted on the lines of the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003, suffers from serious deviations.

The Chief Minister said that Vigilance Commission constituted under this Act is, therefore, not serving any useful objectives except being a burden on the State exchequer. He said that as there are multiple agencies in the State to deal with same set stakeholders including full-fledged Vigilance Department. Therefore, Bhagwant Mann said that to avoid overlapping, contradictory findings, resultant delays and gaps in communication, it has become necessary to repeal the Punjab State vigilance Commission Act 2020 (Punjab Act no. 20 of 2020).

The state government has enacted Punjab State Vigilance Commission Repeal Act, 2022 by repealing the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Act, 2020 (Punjab Act no. 20 of 2020). He said that the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Act had come into force on November 13, 2020. Bhagwant Mann said that Punjab State Vigilance Commission set up under this Act has not achieved the desired objectives. He said that this decision has been taken in the larger public interest of the residents of the state.

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PADDY PROCUREMENT TO COMMENCE FROM FIRST OCTOBER

ALL ARRANGEMENTS IN PLACE

EVERY SINGLE GRAIN TO BE PROCURED: LAL CHAND KATARUCHAK

FOOD, CIVIL SUPPLIES AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS MINISTER TO START PROCUREMENT FROM RAJPURA MANDI

NAKAS SET UP AT INTER-STATE BARRIERS TO CHECK ILLEGAL ENTRY OF PADDY/RICE

FLYING SQUADS CONSTITUTED AT DISTRICT LEVEL

Chandigarh, September 30:-The Punjab Government led by the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann would ensure that every single grain of paddy is procured and no farmer faces any hassle in any mandi during the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2022-23 beginning from October 1 as farmers are the backbone of predominantly agrarian economy of the State.

Disclosing this here today, the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Mr. Lal Chand Kataruchak said that he would commence the procurement process from the Rajpura Mandi on October 1.

Divulging more, the Minister added that during the season, which would continue till November 30, all the agencies would make procurement of Paddy Grade A at the MSP of Rs. 2060 per quintal while common variety would be procured at the MSP of Rs. 2040 per quintal. The State Government has made robust arrangements for the smooth procurement of 191 LMT paddy though Govt of India has fixed the target of procurement target at 184.45 LMT for the State

Principal Secretary Food Supplies, Rahul Bhandari informed that the Punjab Mandi Board has notified 1804 regular mandis during the season, which have been allotted amongst Govt procurement agencies and further 364 temporary purchase centers have also been notified to avoid glut in mandies. He also added that the bardana in requisite quantity has been arranged.

Likewise, grievance redressal committees have also been formed Mandi wise with control rooms for facilitating the farmers. This would ensure on the spot redressal of any issue. The Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department has also set up a control room at the Headquarter level to make sure that no farmer encounters any hurdle in selling his produce.

Pointing out further, he said that the RBI has already approved the Cash Credit Limit worth Rs. 36,999 crore to the Punjab Government, while labour and transportation arrangements have been put in place with directions to all concerned to ensure lifting strictly in accordance with the policy.

As per the Punjab Custom Milling policy for Kharif 2022-23 approved by the State Cabinet, E-checking of all rice mills is being done before registration and allotment and as many as 4315 rice mills have been inspected and online allotment of 3500 rice mills has been done.

Notably, the DGP has been requested to set up Nakas at Inter State barriers and deploy police personnel to check illegal recycling of paddy rice from other States in the State of Punjab.

Ghanshyam Thori, Director Food Supplies also informed that on the directions of the Chief Minister, Punjab, the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department has asked the Commissioner Excise and Taxation to deploy mobilise Excise wings to ensure vigilance apart from probing the GST returns of the private players who would procure the paddy.

Apart from this, Flying Squads have been constituted at the Deputy Commissioner level who would keep a hawk's eye on the paddy arriving into the mandis of their respective districts, added the Director.

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DALVIR DHIILON ASSUMES CHARGE AS CHAIRMAN PSIEC IN PRESENCE OF PVS SPEAKER SANDHWAN AND CABINET MINISTERS DHALIWAL & MEET HAYER

Chandigarh, September 30:Punjab Small Industries & Export Corporation (PSIEC) newly-appointed Chairman S. Dalvir Singh Dhillon today assumed charge of the office in the presence of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan, Higher Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer and Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and Deputy Speaker S. Jai Krishan Singh at PSIEC Office here.

Expressing gratitude towards Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Mann and the entire central and state leadership of the Party for reposing faith in him, the new incumbent Chairman Dhillon said that he would live up to the expectations and fulfil all the commitment of the party made to the people. "I would carry out this responsibility with utmost dedication and commitment", he added.

Speaking on this occasion, the Speaker and Cabinet Ministers said that we had promised to the people that the honest leaders would be encouraged in Punjab and the appointment of Mr. Dhillon is the leap towards this direction.

MLAs Hardeep Singh Mundian, Narinder Kaur Bharaj, Amolak Singh, Kulwant Singh Pandori, Gurdit Singh Sekhon, Kumar Amit MD PSIEC, Rubinderjit Singh Brar AMD PSIEC, J.S. Randhawa and Davinder Pal Singh (both CGM), Chief Engineer Parminder Singh and other officers were present on this occasion.

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KHARAR AND ZIRAKPUR RESIDENTS WILL SOON BE PROVIDED WITH CANAL DRINKING WATER FACILITY: DR. NIJJAR

ABOUT 60 CRORES WILL BE SPENT ON THIS WORK

INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO THE DEPARTMENTAL OFFICIALS TO COMPLETE THE WORK ON A WAR FOOTING

Chandigarh, September 30:The State government led by Chief Minister Punjab, Mr. Bhagwant Mann is constantly striving to provide basic facilities to the people of the state. Working in this direction, Local Government Minister, Dr. Inderbir Singh Nijjar has instructed the officials of the concerned departments to complete the work on a war footing to provide canal water facilities to the residents of Kharar and Zirakpur. It is also worth mentioning that this work will cost about 60 crores.

Giving more information in this regard, Local Government Minister, Dr. Inderbir Singh Nijjar said that Water Treatment Plant with capacity of 5 MGD will be constructed by GAMADA. Apart from this, the construction of pipelines and tanks will be done by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, so that the potable water needs of Kharar City residents can be fulfilled.

Cabinet Minister said that after discussing with the officials of GAMADA, It has also been agreed to recently provide 2.0 MGD canal drinking water for Zirakpur City. He said that after getting canal drinking water to Kharar and Zirakpur cities, this will be an important step in the direction of preventing the underground water from going deeper.

Dr. Nijjar said that the land and funds will be provided by the Municipal Council Kharar.

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VIGILANCE ARRESTS PRIVATE PERSON FOR TAKING BRIBE RS ONE LAKH ON BEHALF OF POLICE OFFICIALS TO SETTLE BRIBERY CASE

Chandigarh September 30:The Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, during its campaign against corruption in the State, on Friday nabbed a private person accepting bribe of Rs.1,00,000 in the name of police officials, to settle a vigilance case. During his search the Bureau has recovered one .32 bore Revolver, One car and 2 mobile phones from his possession.

Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Vigilance Bureau (VB) said the above mentioned private person Sukhjinder Singh of village Chak Roriwala (Tambuwala), Tehsil Jalalabad, district Fazilka has been arrested on the complaint of Sandeep Singh.

Giving details of this case he informed that the accused Sukhjinder Singh was a complainant in a bribery case under FIR No 13 dated 04-08-2022 under section 7 Prevention of Corruption Act, at VB police station Ferozpur which was registered against Swaran Rani, Junior Engineer, MGNAREGA, Fazilka. In this trap case she was nabbed earlier by VB while taking bribe amount of Rs 25,000 from this private person.

He further added that the complainant Sandeep Singh has approached the VB and alleged that accused Sukhjinder Singh was demanding Rs 15 lakh from him as a bribe in the name of police officials to dispose of the above said case but deal has been struck at Rs 11 lakh. The complainant Sandeep Singh is a brother of Swarna Rani JE.

The spokesperson further added that after verification of facts and material evidence, a VB team from VB, Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Ludhiana has arrested the accused Sukhjinder Singh in the presence of two official witnesses while accepting a bribe of Rs one lakh in advance as remaining amount was to be given later on.

He informed that in this regard a case under FIR No 11, dated 30-09-2022 under section 7-A of Prevention of Corruption Act at VB EOW police station, Ludhiana. Further investigation in this case is under progress.

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SUPERINTENDING ENGINEER AMONG THREE PSPCL OFFICIALS SUSPENDED OVER IRREGULARITIES IN AWARDING ORDERS FOR LAYING ELECTRICITY LINES

— POWER MINISTER HARBHAJAN SINGH ETO ORDERS DETAILED INQUIRY INTO THIS CASE

— CHIEF MINISTER BHAGWANT MANN LED GOVT WON'T SPARE ANYONE INVOLVED IN ILLEGAL PRACTICES, SAYS HARBHAJAN SINGH ETO

CHANDIGARH, September 30:With Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led state government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against illegal practices, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) suspended three officials including Superintending Engineer after irregularities were found in awarding orders for the erection of electric lines, said Power Minister Harbhajan Singh ETO here on Friday.

Those suspended officials include Superintending Engineer (SE) of Distribution Circle Ferozepur Er Bhupinder Singh, Divisional Accountant Jaswinder Singh, and Circle Assistant Ashok Kumar. In addition, the department has also terminated the services of a Computer operator involved in these irregularities.

As per the information, the minister had ordered an investigation following a complaint regarding irregularities in the award of Work Orders for the erection of electric lines for providing connections and improvement works in Mamdot Sub Division of PSPCL.

Divulging details, Power Minister Harbhajan Singh ETO said that a preliminary inquiry was conducted by the Technical Audit wing of the PSPCL and it was found that officers/officials of the PSPCL had colluded to issue Work Orders for the works, which were already completed in the previous years.

The Work Order for works done during 2017-18, 2018-19 & 2019-20 financial years were placed in 2020-21 & 2021-22 amounting worth Rs 41.88 Lakhs, he said, adding that moreover, these work orders were placed at a rate higher than the rate of the previous years when works were actually done, leading to substantial loss to PSPCL.

“It was also observed that in a few cases two work orders were placed to different contractors for the same work and payments were also released,” he said.

He said that on the basis of the preliminary report, PSPCL has suspended officers/officials found involved and further detailed inquiry has been ordered in this case. The inquiry will be conducted by a high-level committee of Chief Engineer/Enforcement and Chief Finance Officer of PSPCL to check comprehensively the role of all concerned officers/officials from the Sub-Division level up to the Chief Engineer office.

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10 URBAN LOCAL BODIES OF PUNJAB SELECTED FOR SWACHH SURVEKHAN AWARD: Dr INDERBIR NIJJAR

MC, MOHALI AND KHARAR SELECTED AS TOP URBAN LOCAL BODIES DURING INDIAN SWACHHTA LEAGUE

Chandigarh, September 30:10 Urban Local Bodies of the state of Punjab have been selected for the award by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India during the Swachh Survekshan. Punjab State Local Government Minister, Dr.Inderbir Singh Nijjar congratulated the management and staff of these local Bodies for this achievement.

Giving more information in this regard, Local Government Minister, Dr. Inderbir Singh Nijjar said that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India is organizing an award ceremony on 01 October 2022 at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi is based on Swachh Survekshan-2022.

The cabinet Minister said that the 10 Urban Local Bodies of the state which are to be awarded under Swachh Survekshan-2022 by the Government of India, among them are Bareta, Bhikhi, Moonak, NawanShahar, Nangal, Fazilka, Ghagga, Mandi Gobindgarh, Dasuya, Apart from Kurali, Jalandhar Cantonment (Canton Board) will be given awards in different categories.

Dr. Nijjar also informed that on 17th September 2022 Indian Swachhta League was conducted in which 1850 ULBs were selected for a special honor program among them two ULBs of Punjab state, MC, Mohali. and Kharar, have been selected who will be honored during a special felicitation program on 30 October 2022.

Minister said that this is a matter of great honor for the local government department and the state. He has also appealed to other ULBs of the Local Government Department to take inspiration from these ULBs.

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PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA PASSES ‘The Punjab Rural Common Lands (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2022'

Chandigarh, September 30:During the ongoing session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, 'The Punjab Rural Common Lands (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2022' passed with thumping majority during the legislative business on Friday.

'Punjab Rural Common Lands (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2022' presented by Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal were passed by the House.

Notably, this amendment would bring clarity that the land kept reserved for common purposes during the consolidation titled as "Jumla Mustarka Malkan" is also "Shamlat Deh" as defined in section 2(g) of Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act 1961.

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INDUSTRIES & COMMERCE DEPARTMENT ORGANISES ORIENTATION PROGRAM ON VALUE CHAIN AND CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT

Chandigarh, September 30:The Department of Industries & Commerce, Punjab has organized an Orientation Program on Value Chain and Cluster Development for General Managers, District Industries Centre and Industrial Associations of the State under the MoU signed between Punjab Government and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to strengthen MSME ecosystem in the State.

Focus area of the training was to get benefits from the schemes offered by the Government of India and accelerate the development of MSMEs in the state of Punjab through developing hard infrastructure. While inaugurating the program, Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce, Punjab Dilip Kumar stressed upon the significance of such programs for the acceleration of MSMEs. Secretary-cum-Director, Department of Industries & Commerce, Punjab Sibin C also marked the importance of such Orientation Programs for industries to this State’s economic development. Renowned Industry Expert Prof. V Padmanand, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat explained about the concepts of cluster development approach and value chain for the MSME development in the State. He also mentioned about the benefits of hard infrastructure and role of Industrial Associations in the development of the State. Joint Director, DIC Vishav Bandhu explained about the latest initiatives of the department to improve the ecosystem of the industries in the State.

About 115 officers from the department including Additional Directors, Joint Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, General Managers, Functional Managers, Project Managers, Business Facilitation Officers and members of Industrial Associations attended this event physically as well as virtually.

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PUNJAB GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO PROCURE AND LIFT EVERY SINGLE GRAIN OF PADDY: KULDEEP SINGH DHALIWAL

CM WILL HOLD MEETING WITH FARMER ORGANIZATIONS ON 6TH OCT

SUGAR MILLS WILL BE OPERATIONAL BY NOVEMBER 5; PUNJAB AGRICULTURE MINISTER ASSURES FARMER ORGANIZATIONS

Chandigarh, September 30: Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal has assured farmer organizations that the Punjab Government is committed to procure and lift every single grain of Paddy.

Mr Dhaliwal further disclosed that the Chief Minister will also hold a meeting with the farmer organisations on October 6, 2022.

The Agriculture Minister said that directions have been issued at all levels for timely and hassle free procurement and lifting of paddy. He further said that besides this the directions have also been issued to Mandi board officials to make all necessary arrangements in the grain markets such as lighting, drinking water, cleanliness, toilets etc. for the farmers during the paddy procurement season. ' The Punjab Government is pushing hard to ensure that the sugar mills start their operations from November5’, added Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal.

Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that the meeting with farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal, BKU (Ekta-Sidhupur) and main leader of SKM-Non political 16 organizations was held regarding the smooth procurement during the paddy season and running of sugar mills in which the farmer leaders have expressed satisfaction over the arrangement made by the government regarding both above issues.

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VIGILANCE BUREAU NABS ASI JUJHAR SINGH FOR TAKING BRIBE RS. 5,000

Chandigarh September 30: Keeping in view the zero tolerance policy against corruption adopted by the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led state government, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau during its ongoing campaign on Friday nabbed ASI Jujhar Singh posted at police station Nurpur Bedi, Rupnagar district red handed accepting bribe of Rs. 5,000.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of Vigilance Bureau (VB) said the accused ASI Jujhar Singh has been arrested on the complaint of Barjinder Singh of village Matour, Anandpur Sahib.

Giving details he informed that the complainant has approached the VB and alleged that he has to get released his vehicle from the police custody confiscated in a police case but the accused ASI was demanding Rs 10,000 for the same. He further alleged that the ASI Jujhar Singh has already received bribe of Rs 5,000 as a first instalment and demanding more Rs 5,000 to release his vehicle.

The spokesperson further added that after verification of the facts and the evidence material in this regard, a VB team caught Jujhar Singh ASI red handed while accepting second instalment of bribe of Rs. 5,000 from the complainant in the presence of two official witnesses.

In this regard a case under FIR No. 16 dated 30-09-2022, under section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered at VB police station, flying squad-1, Punjab, SAS Nagar and further investigation is under progress.

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PUNJAB GOVERNMENT SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR COMBINED COACHING COURSE FOR IAS/PCS (P) EXAM-2023

DEADLINE 12 OCT FOR APPLYING

Chandigarh, September 30:Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government is constantly striving to provide employment to the youth of the state. Under this series of works, Punjab Government has invited applications from graduate youth for Combined Coaching Course for I.A. S./ PCS (P) Exam-2023.

The Minister for Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities, Dr. Baljit Kaur, giving this information stated that the applicants should be permanent residents of the state of Punjab. They can be from general, Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes and Minority Communities (Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Parsi and Jain). The minimum educational qualification will be graduation to avail the benefit of this scheme.

Annual income of the candidate's family from all sources should not exceed Rs.3 lakhs per annum. The Cabinet Minister said that selection of candidate will be done on the basis of objective type test of Mental Ability, General Awareness (History, Geography, Indian Polity, Indian Economy, Everyday Science, Current Events etc.). This test will be held at Ambedkar Institute of Careers And Courses Phase-III-B-2 SAS Nagar Mohali on October 20 at 10:00 am. The duration of this test will be one hour.

She said that under this scheme the candidate who wishes to appear for the Combined Coaching Course of IAS/PCS (Pre) Examination-2023 can apply. They should send their complete applications along with self-attested copies of all necessary certificates to the Principal, Ambedkar Institute of Careers and Courses, Face –III-B-2, SAS Nagar (Mohali) by 12 October 2022 or can send before this. The complete information regarding the admission also be obtained from the institute website www.welfare.punjab.gov.in.

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PUNJAB GOVERNMENT PASSES PUNJAB GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (AMENDMENT) BILL 2022

BILL AIMED AT PLUGGING LOOPHOLES TO BENEFIT TRADERS AND INCREASE REVENUE: CHEEMA

Chandigarh, September 30:The Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday passed the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022in the Punjab Assembly.

The Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister, Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema tabled this bill in the House which was passed with thumping majority.

Launching a scathing attack on the opposition for creating unwarranted hue and cry in the House, Cheema said that previous governments had not made any effort to improve the financial health of the state exchequer.

"Now, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government has plugged all the loopholes and stopped bogus billing, which will not only benefit the traders but will also increase the revenue of the state," he said.

Revealing the importance of the amendments made in the Bill, Harpal Singh Cheema said that tax evaders will be dealt severely. He said that to check the menace of bogus billing and fraudulent ITC, Section 16 of the Act has been amended to empower the State Government to restrict the availment of ITC by the taxpayer. “To facilitate ease of doing business, time period for availment of ITC has been extended to thirtieth day of November following the end of the financial year in which the supply is carried out, or furnishing of the relevant annual return, whichever is earlier”, he added.

The Finance Minister said that rationalising the furnishing of returns by the taxpayers, amendment has been passed to be carried in section 37, 38 and 39 of the Act. He said Section 39 amended to provide for furnishing of details of outward supplies as a condition for furnishing the return to check the menace of bogus billing and fraudulent ITC and to improve compliance.

He further added that late fees is introduced for late filing of statement by taxpayers who are Tax collectors such as e-commerce operators to improve compliance. He said that Section 49 has been amended for improving compliance to empower the government to prescribe restrictions on utilization of ITC by taxpayer.

The Finance Minister said that to facilitate ease of doing business, Section 50 has been retrospectively amended to limit the levy of interest only on the ITC wrongly availed and utilized. He further added that section 54 is amended to provide that time period for claim of such refund shall be two years from the furnishing of return to streamline refunds to SEZ Unit or Developer.

Notably, the Union Government, on the recommendation of the GST Council, had amended the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 through the Finance Act, 2022. Similar changes are proposed to be carried out in the Punjab Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.