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WITH 1 LAKH DOSES ON WAY, PUNJAB CM ORDERS STEPS FOR 18-45 VACCINATION BY GOVT HOSPITALS FROM MONDAY

Chandigarh, May 7 (Ozi Indian Bureau) : Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday asked concerned officials to prepare to start vaccinating the priority groups in the 18-45 years category from government hospitals from Monday, as the state was expecting 1 lakh doses to come from the Serum Institute of India (SII) over the weekend.

The vaccination of priority groups identified by the state government for Phase III should start as soon as the doses arrive, the Chief Minister said. The state government has identified 18-45 age group construction workers, teachers, government employees and those with co-morbidities as high-risk individuals for priority vaccination.

The Chief Minister, who was chairing a virtual Covid review meeting, directed all government employees, except those with medical problems, to get vaccinated.

While the Labour Department will coordinate vaccination of construction workers and their families, to be funded by BOCWWB, the DCs have been asked to coordinate vaccination of government employees. Vaccination of co morbid categories will also be planned by DCs, with only advance registration and slotting of vaccination site to be allowed.

The state government had ordered 30 lakh vaccine doses from SII for the Phase III vaccination, and the Government of India has now allocated 3.30 lakh against this order to Punjab for this month.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has directed the Chief Secretary to explore utilization of some component of the state’s World Bank loan for purchase of 10000 Oxygen concentrators, along with tankers and O2 plants as well as vaccines.

The Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the various organisations that were sending aid to the state to support its fight against the second deadly wave of the pandemic. He informed the meeting that besides the TATA Group, which was sending 500 Oxygen concentrators, an additional 200 concentrators were being sent by the Tata Memorial Hospital also.

HEALTH MINISTER CONDOLES DEATH OF SMO PUSHPINDER KUMAR

Chandigarh, April 28 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Punjab Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu, on Wednesday, condoled the death of Dr. Pushpinder Kumar, Senior Medical Officer, CHC, Bhikhi.

Mr. Sidhu said that it is unfortunate that the Health Department has lost it's front line warrior in fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that Dr. Kumar was suffering from co-morbidities and tested positive COVID-19 on dated 23.04.2021 He was admitted in ICU at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot on 26.04.2021 after he started feeling breathless. He said that Dr. Kumar was recovered and shifted to general ward where he again felt sick after 3-4 hours and took his last breath on 27th April.

The Health Minister said that Dr. Kumar had received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but before getting the second dose he was infected with coronavirus.

In his condolence message, Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu extended his heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family and relatives of the deceased and prayed to the Almighty to give them the courage to bear this grief and grant eternal peace to the departed soul. Dr. Kumar is survived by his wife and a daughter, who is pursuing MBBS at Adesh Medical College, Bathinda.

PUNJAB CABINET PAVES WAY FOR HIKE IN ASHIRWAD SCHEME TO RS. 51000 TO FULFILL ANOTHER PRE-POLL PROMISE

Chandigarh, April 28 (Ozi Indian Bureau)::

Fulfilling another key pre-poll promise of the Captain Amarinder Singh led government, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved hike in financial assistance under the Ashirwad Scheme from Rs.21,000 to Rs.51,000 per beneficiary, with directions to clear all payment backlog under the scheme.

Payment till December 2020 have already been cleared under the scheme, the cabinet was informed.

The latest increase comes into effect from July 1, 2021, an official spokesperson said after a virtual meeting of the Council of Ministers. This is the second hike in the scheme amount by the present government, which had earlier enhanced the assistance from Rs.15,000 to Rs.21,000 soon after it took over in 2017, while renaming the Shagun scheme as Ashirward scheme. At that time, the state cabinet had also decided to make payment direct into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through the online banking management system, under the scheme implemented by the Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities department.

The Chief Minister clarified that the scheme was also applicable to Muslims girls of 18 years or above age, along with Scheduled Caste, Christian, Backward Class/Caste, Economically Weaker Section families, and daughters of widows of any caste. Scheduled Caste widows/divorcees are also entitled to the benefit at the time of their re-marriage.

Muslim girls were in the list even in 2006, and if they have been inadvertently left out, they should be added, he directed the Department.

The latest increase will benefit 60,000 beneficiaries, putting an addition burden of 180 crore on the state exchequer, said the spokesperson. Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot congratulated the Chief Minister for the various measures taken for the empowerment of the vulnerable sections of the society.

To avail the benefit, the annual income of the family from all sources should not exceed Rs. 32790. The parents/guardians of the girl should be domiciled in Punjab and the financial assistance under this scheme is limited to two girls only from one family.

The applicant is required to submit application for getting financial assistance in the prescribed proforma before the date of marriage or 30 days after the of the marriage of the girl.



APPROVES RESTRUCTURING OF LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT

In a bid to bring greater efficiency in the functioning of the Languages Department, the Punjab Cabinet also approved its restructuring plan for creation of 13 new posts in lieu of 61 non-essential surrendered posts thus reducing burden on the state exchequer.

The Cabinet authorised the Chief Minister to approve the notifications regarding amendment in service rules, to be prepared in consultation with the Personnel department and Punjab Public Service Commission.

The restructuring proposal, prepared by the Languages department in line with the instructions of Finance Department, has been approved the Cabinet as per the recommendations of the Officer's Committee headed by the Chief Secretary.

PUNJAB CM DIRECTS ALL PROCUREMENT AGENCIES TO ENSURE PROMPT LIFTING & TIMELY PAYMENT TO FARMERS THROUGH DBT

Chandigarh, April 28 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed all procurement agencies to ensure prompt lifting and timely payment to farmers through the newly introduced Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system during the ongoing Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2021-22.

Reviewing the wheat procurement progress at a virtual meeting with his Cabinet, the Chief Minister also ordered strict adherence to the Covid protocols amid the current surge. He urged all those farmers, arhtiyas, labourers, employees of procurements agencies and other stakeholders, above the age of 45, visiting the grain markets to get themselves vaccinated at the Covid vaccination camps in all 154 market committees across the state.

On inquiring about the availability of gunny bags, the Chief Minister was informed by Principal Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, KAP Sinha that the issue had been sorted out and there was no shortage. Some instances of shortage were reported earlier from some Mandis as the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India, had allocated fewer bales in contrast to the requirement of the State agencies and early arrivals had pushed up demand, he said. However, after the permission for use of good quality used bags arranged by the arthiyas was obtained from the GOI on April 18, 2021, there has been no shortage of bags and as of now, 19.19 crore gunny bags have already been used for packaging of wheat, the meeting was informed. Further, around 30 lakh new bags, both HDPE/PP as well as jute, are being received every day by the agencies and are also being supplied directly in the grain markets across the state, said Sinha.

The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction at the smooth procurement amid the challenges faced by the state due to the ongoing farmers; agitation against the farm laws passed by the Centre, the initial hostility of the arthiyas towards the DBT, scarcity of labour, shortage of bales, as well as heavy and quick early arrivals, along with the surge in Covid cases in the state. He congratulated Food Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu for the smooth operations.

The procurement of wheat commenced in the state on April 10, 2021, and in a span of just 18 days, 98 LMT wheat has arrived in the mandis, of which 95.97 LMT wheat has already been procured till date. Further, 70% of the stock due to be lifted in 72 hours, has been lifted from the mandis., while 90 % of the due payment of MSP, i.e. Rs.14,958 crore has been cleared by the department directly into the bank accounts of nearly 5 lakh farmers.

The Food & Civil Supplies department informed the Cabinet that the number of mandis has been increased from 1872 to 3510 and 1638 additional/temporary mandis have been set up in the state to stagger procurement to curb the spread of ongoing second wave of Covid 19 pandemic. Further, 30x30 ft boxes have been marked in the mandi yards for unloading of heaps to ensure social distancing

The Cabinet was also informed that the Punjab Mandi Board had set up ‘farmers help desks’ in the grain markets across the state, where IT professionals along with Board officials were assisting the farmers in their registration on the Anaaj Kharid portal to ensure timely payment directly into their bank accounts under the DBT scheme. It was also informed that till earlier seasons, the Department of Food transferred the payments into the bank accounts of nearly 22,000 arthiyas (commission agents) for making further payments to the farmers. However, from the current procurement season with the introduction of the DBT scheme, the payments are now being directly transferred by the procurement agencies into the bank accounts of the farmers, which are numbering approx. 10 lakh.

Punjab decides to reserve all beds of Medical Colleges for COVID patients: Soni

Chandigarh, April 28

Firing from all cylinders, Punjab Government has decided to suspend OPDs in all three Medical Colleges and Hospitals till further orders and reserve all the beds in these facilities for COVID patients but the emergency services to be continued.

In a meeting to review the situation of Oxygen availability and other requirements here today, Punjab Medical Education and Research Minister OP Soni instructed the authorities that prompt action is needed if any eventuality comes up pertaining to any obstruction in oxygen and any other medical supplies. He said that if any report of oxygen shortage came to their notice then instantly report it to higher authorities so that steps can be taken.

Reiterating the state government led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to leave no stone unturned to provide health care facilities, the Cabinet Minister directed Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research to reserve 75 beds in Advanced Cancer Center, Bathinda for COVID patients. He also apprised that beds in medical colleges and hospitals being increased by more than 900 over the current occupancy. The work of installation of oxygen tanks and generation plants is being expedited throughout the state. He also ordered to regularly audit the supply, availability, and usage of Oxygen to tap any leakage or pressure drops.

The meeting was attended by Principals & Medical Superintendents of Government Medical Colleges Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot.

CAPT AMARINDER LEADS PUNJAB CABINET IN CONDOLING EX-CS RATRA’S DEMISE

Chandigarh, April 28:

The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday condoled the death of former state chief secretary YS Ratra.

The cabinet placed on its record its appreciation for Ratra’s service and contribution to Punjab, with the Chief Minister remembering him as a competent civil servant and a fine gentleman.

Captain Amarinder recalled Ratra, a long-time friend, as a great civil servant. “We were commissioned in the Army together, while he went to Engineering, I went into the Infantry,” he added.

Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan described Ratra as an upright civil servant with the highest integrity, while Minister Rana Sodhi termed his death a big loss for Punjab.

PUNJAB TO REGULARISE UNAUTHORISED TELECOM TOWERS INSTALLED DURING DEC 5, 2013 – DEC 7, 2020 TO STRENGTHEN E-GOVERNANCE

Chandigarh, April 28 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

To further strengthen the telecommunication infrastructure in the state as part of its focus on e-governance and e-commerce, the Punjab government has decided to regularise all telecom towers installed unauthorizedly between December 5, 2013 and December 7, 2020.

The decision was taken at Wednesday’s virtual cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. The cabinet decided to extend the scope of provisions in Section 2.0 (I)(a) of the Telecom Guidelines issued on December 7, 2020 for this purpose.

According to a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office, the regularisation would be subject to the fulfilment of conditions contained in clause 1.4(I)(a) of the Telecom Guidelines dated December 7, 2020, along with one-time payment of Rs. 20,000. The scheme is open for six months.

The state telecom guidelines are aligned to the Right of Way Rules 2016 issued by the Indian Government under the Indian Telegraph Act 1985 on November 15, 2016. The GoI had asked all the States/UTs to align their respective Telecom Policies/Guidelines with these Rules.

PUNJAB WATER RESOURCES DEPARTMENT TRANSFERS 28 SUB DIVISIONAL OFFICERS AND 10 JUNIOR ENGINEERS

Chandigarh, April 28 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Punjab Water Resources Department has issued transfer/posting orders of 28 Sub Divisional Officers and 10 Junior Engineers with immediate effect.

Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson of the department said that Mr. Prabodh Chandar, Superintendent Engineer, has been transferred and posted as a Joint Director, IPRI, Water Resources Department, Amritsar.

According to the spokesperson, the Sub Divisional Officer Devinder Singh has been transferred to Hydromet Sub Division, IPRI, Amritsar, Sarabjit Singh to Mechanical Drainage, Sub Division No. 3, Amritsar, Ashish Kumar to Sub Division, Rohti, Parminder Singh to BML Mechanical, Sub Division, Sarabjit Kaur Gill to Vigilance and Quality Assurance Ludhiana, Arshdeep Singh Sidhu to Rajasthan Feeder Sub Division, Gidderbaha, Sandeep Kumar to Water Policy and Evaluation Division, Sanjeev Slot to Vigilance and Quality Assurance Chandigarh, Ashutosh to Chief Engineer Design Hydel Project, Rajinder Kumar Rana to Director/Monitoring, Chandigarh, Navjot Singh Bhutalia to Canal Sub Division, Nawanshahr, Karanveer Singh Bains to Nasrala CHO Sub Division, Hoshiarpur, Chandar Mohan to Lining Sub Division No-3, Lining Division No: 1, Ferozepur, Sushil Kumar to Harike Headworks, Sub Division, Harike, Jasveer Singh Ghumman to Bist Doab Division, Sub Division Goraya, Kuldeep Singh to Sub Division No. 4, Amritsar (UBDC), Rakesh Kumar Gupta to Amritsar Drainage Sub Division Amritsar (CMC), Satnam Singh to Sub Division No. 2 Amritsar (CMC), Rohit Bansal to Chief Engineer Design Hydel Project, Sukhpreet Singh to Lining Division No. 3, Malout Sub Division No. 11 PWRMDC, Tehal Singh to Sub Division Fazilka Ferozepur Canal Circle, Baljit Singh to Sub Division Barnala, Drainage Construction Division Sangrur, Buta Singh to Director Interstate Water SAS. Nagar, Satwinder Singh to Sub Division No. 1 Anandpur Sahib Ropar Drainage Division, Jaspreet Singh to Akash Sub Division Devigarh Division, Patiala, Varinder Singh Jhalli to Chief Engineer Design Hydel Project, Khushwinder Singh to Lining Division No. 8 Bathinda, Sub Division No: 31 PWRMDC and Pawan Kumar has been transferred to Kandi Area Dam Maintenance Division, Hoshiarpur (Dholbaha Dam Circle).

Similarly, Junior Engineer Sandeep Sharma has been transferred to Akash Sub-Division Sirhind Adampur (Devigarh Division Patiala), Ravinder Singh to Ropar Drainage Division Ropar, Narinder Kumar to BML Circle Patiala, Love Jindal to Drainage Circle Gidderbaha, Vatandeep Kaur to Bathinda Canal Division, Jaspreet Singh to Sub Division Jalalabad Amirkhas Eastern Canal Division, Chetanveer Singh to Discharge Sub Division No. 3 Jalandhar, Amandeep Singh to Nakodar Drainage Sub Division Jalandhar, Sumesh Joshi to Drainage Construction Division Amritsar and Harsimran Singh Taneja has been transferred to Ground Water Management Circle, Mohali.

PUNJAB CABINET PAVES WAY FOR HIKE IN ASHIRWAD SCHEME TO RS. 51000 TO FULFILL ANOTHER PRE-POLL PROMISE

Chandigarh, April 28 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Fulfilling another key pre-poll promise of the Captain Amarinder Singh led government, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved hike in financial assistance under the Ashirwad Scheme from Rs.21,000 to Rs.51,000 per beneficiary, with directions to clear all payment backlog under the scheme.

Payment till December 2020 have already been cleared under the scheme, the cabinet was informed.

The latest increase comes into effect from July 1, 2021, an official spokesperson said after a virtual meeting of the Council of Ministers. This is the second hike in the scheme amount by the present government, which had earlier enhanced the assistance from Rs.15,000 to Rs.21,000 soon after it took over in 2017, while renaming the Shagun scheme as Ashirward scheme. At that time, the state cabinet had also decided to make payment direct into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through the online banking management system, under the scheme implemented by the Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities department.

The Chief Minister clarified that the scheme was also applicable to Muslims girls of 18 years or above age, along with Scheduled Caste, Christian, Backward Class/Caste, Economically Weaker Section families, and daughters of widows of any caste. Scheduled Caste widows/divorcees are also entitled to the benefit at the time of their re-marriage.

Muslim girls were in the list even in 2006, and if they have been inadvertently left out, they should be added, he directed the Department.

The latest increase will benefit 60,000 beneficiaries, putting an addition burden of 180 crore on the state exchequer, said the spokesperson. Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot congratulated the Chief Minister for the various measures taken for the empowerment of the vulnerable sections of the society.

To avail the benefit, the annual income of the family from all sources should not exceed Rs. 32790. The parents/guardians of the girl should be domiciled in Punjab and the financial assistance under this scheme is limited to two girls only from one family.

The applicant is required to submit application for getting financial assistance in the prescribed proforma before the date of marriage or 30 days after the of the marriage of the girl.



APPROVES RESTRUCTURING OF LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT

In a bid to bring greater efficiency in the functioning of the Languages Department, the Punjab Cabinet also approved its restructuring plan for creation of 13 new posts in lieu of 61 non-essential surrendered posts thus reducing burden on the state exchequer.

The Cabinet authorised the Chief Minister to approve the notifications regarding amendment in service rules, to be prepared in consultation with the Personnel department and Punjab Public Service Commission.

The restructuring proposal, prepared by the Languages department in line with the instructions of Finance Department, has been approved the Cabinet as per the recommendations of the Officer's Committee headed by the Chief Secretary.

Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker nominates various committees of House for year 2021-22

Chandigarh, APRIL 28 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP Singh on Wednesday nominated various Committees of the House for the year 2021-22. A notification in this regard has been issued.

Divulging the details a spokesperson informed that The Chairmen/ Members of the Committees of the previous year have again been nominated in the same Committees with some minor adjustments in view of Covid-19 pandemic and also because very short time ahead is left at the disposal of the Committees. The following Members have been appointed as Chairman of the Committees:



Sr. No.

Name of the Hon'ble Member

Name of the Committee





1.

Gurmeet Singh Meet Haher

Public Accounts Committee

2.

Navtej Singh Cheema

Committee on Public Undertakings

3.

Hardyal Singh Kamboj

Committee on Estimates

4.

Nathu Ram

Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes & Backward Classes



5.

Ajaib Singh Bhatti

(Ex-offico Chairman)

House Committee

6.

Sunil Dutti

Committee on Local Bodies



7.

Harpartap Singh

Committee on Panchayati Raj Institutions



8.

Ramanjit Singh Sikki

Committee on Agriculture and Allied Activities









9.

Fatehjang Singh Bajwa

Committee on Cooperation and Allied Activities

10.

Kushaldeep Singh Kiki Dhillion

Committee of Privileges



11.

Inderbir Singh Bolaria.

Committee on Government Assurances



12.

Tarsem Singh D.C

Committee on Subordinate Legislation



13.

Gurkirat Singh Kotli

Committee on Petitions

14.

Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal

Committee on Papers Laid/ To be Laid on the Table of the House and Library



15.

Parminder Singh Pinki

Committee on Questions & References