Chandigarh March 18:
Going by its poll promise the Punjab government, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, has decided to do away with the VIP culture in the state.This decision was taken at the first meeting of the Punjab cabinet chaired by Capt.Amarinder Singh.
Following the decision, red and other coloured beacon light on all vehicles, except emergency hospital /ambulance/ fire brigade vehicles, the Chief Justice and the Judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court, would be abolished after a formal notification to this effect is issued. An official spokesperson said a new policy on use of such beacon lights on vehicles will soon be formulated and notified.
The cabinet decision would also lead to a ban on foreign travel of all Ministers, MLAs and official state government expense for two years, except where it is so mandated or provided under and bilateral agreement or arrangement.
Salary/allowances/reimbursements received by all MLAs would be updated every month on the official website and would be made available to the public. All MLAs and MPs would declare their immoveable properties on 1st January every year, and for the year 2017-18 the same would be done by 1st July this year.
The cabinet also decided to bring the reimbursement of medical expenses, including foreign medical bills of all MLAs, Ministers, ex-Ministers and the Chief Minister, to be covered under Medical /Health Insurance, minimizing the financial burden on Government.
The protocol of laying foundation stones and inaugurations by Legislators and Ministers would be clearly defined and laid down, ensuring respect for all citizens. Foundation/ Inauguration stones would henceforth be laid only by the President of India, Vice-President of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Minister, Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha and the State Cabinet Ministers.
No State Banquets or Dinners would be held (at government expense) except in the honor of the President of India, Vice-President of India, the Prime Minister of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha State Governors and the visiting foreign dignitaries.
The District Administration would function as normal even on the visit of CM / Ministers. Any official required by the VIPs, would make himself available with the prior written permission of the appropriate authority. The Government officials would not seek resolution of the grievances, if any, directly at the political level except with the prior appointment and permission of the competent authority.
In another decision cabinet also took was of abolition of District Transport Officers & elimination of the controversial halqa in-charge system.
Repeal of the Punjab Lokpal Act, revisiting of the citizens’ services delivery process by the Department of Governance Reforms, and establishment of Unified Service Delivery Centres are some of the major decisions taken by the cabinet with the aim of uplifting the quality of public service in the state.
The cabinet decided that all subsidies, pensions, and other pro-poor schemes such as Ashirwad and Atta Dal would be better targeted towards genuine beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfers, wherever possible.
The Department of Personnel would be directed to submit a complete proposal to regularize all adhoc and contractual employees recruited through transparent systems and procedures, according to an official spokesperson, who added that the cabinet also decided to ban recruitment of contractual staff against the regular sanctioned posts in various departments of the Government.
To ensure rule of law and speedy justice, a series of new legislations, as proposed in the manifesto, will be enacted at the earliest. This includes the vital Confiscation of Drug Dealers’ Property Act. The concerned departments would prepare the necessary legislation for immediate enactment through an ordinance.