CHANDIGARH: As part of the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government's administrative reforms, the Punjab Cabinet on Monday approved the introduction of a draft bill to streamline appointments and bring transparency in the functioning of the office of the Advocate General.
The Punjab Law Officers (Engagement) Act, 2017, Bill will be tabled for enactment in the current session of the Assembly.
An official said it was aimed at putting in place an efficacious mechanism for the engagement of law officers in the Advocate General’s office purely on merit, as per the directions of the Supreme Court and High Court.
The enactment of the legislation will bring in greater transparency, fairness and objectivity in the appointment of senior additional advocate general, additional advocate general, senior deputy advocate general, deputy advocate general, assistant advocate general and advocate on record, the spokesperson added.
Also in another key decision in the Cabinet, principal amendments in the qualifications and experience for the post of the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to strengthen the organisation and make it more effective were approved.
As per the Cabinet decision, the PSPCL CMD would now be an IAS officer, in the rank of Principal Secretary or above, having experience of working in the power sector.
Concurrently, the Cabinet has also amended the terms and conditions with respect to qualifications and experience for the said post, adding the streams of civil engineering, electronics and communication engineering, instrumentation engineering and information technology to the existing basic qualifications. In addition, the experience of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) would also be considered for the post of CMD.
In another decision, the Cabinet decided to engage the services of Inspector General of Police Khubi Ram (Retd) as security adviser to the Chief Minister in the rank of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), with entitlement to equivalent status, pay, perks, privileges and allowances, as admissible in such cases.
It was also decided in the Cabinet to take up the matter of settlement of the legacy accounts regarding the pending Cash Credit Limit (CCL) with the Union government along with RBI and SBI, on priority basis in larger public interest and in view of the state’s financial situation.
The state government, which has inherited a huge debt legacy from the previous SAD-BJP government, will actively pursue the issue with the Centre. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had last week met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely to seek immediate authorization and release of `20,683 crore CCL from the Central government for smooth and timely wheat procurement in the state. The procurement of wheat in the state is slated to commence on April 1.
At its meeting here on Monday the state Cabinet also approved supplementary grants for the year 2016-17 to be presented before the State Assembly during the ongoing session. The Cabinet also cleared the proposal for seeking vote-on-account for 2017-18 in the Vidhan Sabha.
The supplementary grants and vote-on-account are scheduled to be presented before the House on March 29.