CHANDIGARH: The first full-house meeting of the Punjab Cabinet today took several decisions, including one-time relaxation of rules to fill 282 vacant posts of staff nurses, extension of the revised agreement with Quarkcity India for seven years more, and ex-post facto extension for BPSSBY till October 31.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh kick-started the meeting by welcoming the newly appointed ministers.
Aruna Choudhary could not attend the Cabinet meeting as she was out of town, a spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that faced with acute shortage of staff nurses in government medical colleges and hospitals across the state, the Cabinet decided to fill the vacancies on contract basis through relaxation of the instruction issued by the Personnel Department last year banning contractual appointments for regular posts.
The move was aimed at upgrading the healthcare facilities for the public and at the same time save the government medical colleges from the threat of disaffiliation from Medical Council of India due to shortage of staff, the spokesperson said.
The cabinet noted that while 282 selections against 462 sanctioned posts was completed by the previous government, the process could not be completed due to imposition of the model code of conduct for the Assembly elections held last year.
Regarding the revised agreement with Quarkcity India Pvt Ltd, the Cabinet approved its extension from November 3, 2023 to November 2, 2030, in line with the original agreement that was signed in 2003 to create state-of-the-art industrial and urban infrastructure in the state in two phases.
The revised agreement was signed for Phase-I of the project, which is under development at Mohali, where the promoter has already invested more than Rs 320 crore till date, out of required minimum fixed capital investment of Rs 500 crore according to the agreement.
The project, which focuses on IT and IT enabled services industry in particular, has huge potential to create quality and lucrative jobs for youth, apart from generating revenue and economic growth for the state.
The Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval to extend Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana (BPSSBY) till October 31, 2018.
The decision to extend the scheme, which provides cashless health insurance cover to blue card holder families, J-form holder farmers, small traders and construction workers, is aligned with the Centre's proposed National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) for providing health insurance up to Rs 5 lakh to the poor and vulnerable families.
Since the BPSSBY expired on March 31, and NHPS is proposed to be launched in October, the tenure of the BPSSBY has been extended to October 31.
The Cabinet in principle agreed to the proposal for one-time adjustment of interest free loan of Rs 1,240 crore payable to Guru Gobind Singh Refinery Project, Bathinda, set up by HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd.
(HMEL) against deferred Central Sales Tax collected by HMEL.
The modalities and financial implications of the move will be worked out by the Industry and Finance departments, which will submit their recommendations, along with the financial implications at the next cabinet meeting, scheduled for May 15.
The Cabinet also approved the criteria for the recruitment of Medical Officers (Specialist) through walk-in-interviews following an appropriate amendment.
It also decided to create a new Sub-Tehsil at Chanarthal Kalan, covering 55 revenue villages.
At present, Chanarthal Kalan is a part of Fatehgarh Sahib Tehsil.