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Punjab announces reservation for women, dumps VIP culture

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Punjab Congress Meating Live

Chandigarh, 18 March 2017 : The new Punjab Cabinet in its maiden meeting here on Saturday announced reservation for women in jobs and urban and rural local bodies and an end to use of red beacons on official vehicles by the Chief Minister, ministers, legislators and officers.

There will also be no auction of land of farmers, who have availed of loans but have not paid back, by any bank, including cooperative ones. The state will also come up with a new transport policy.

“Punjab is the first state to give 33 per cent reservation for women in jobs, including contractual appointments, and 50 per cent reservation to them in Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies,” Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal told the media after the meeting.

He said the Cabinet announced the setting up of a special Cabinet sub-committee to provide details on debt of farmers within 60 days to enable the Congress government to take further action.

Badal said the Chief Minister, ministers and legislators will no longer lay foundation stones of public projects and also not inaugurate them.

“Even for big projects of Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore or Rs 500 crore, the names of the Chief Minister and ministers will not be displayed (on the foundation or inauguration stones). It will carry only one line — the project has been executed with the money of the taxpayers,” Badal said.

He said liquor quota would be drastically reduced and liquor vends reduced by 400 to 500 initially.

“We want to reduce liquor consumption by 50 per cent in five years,” he said.

The Cabinet meeting discussed 140 agenda items.

Promising to curb cartelisation and monopolisation of bus transport in Punjab, which was prevalent in the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government rule of 10 years, Badal said a new transport policy will be taken up at the next Cabinet meeting.

“We will reduce our expenses and increase our revenue. In five years, we will make Punjab a revenue-neutral state,” Badal, the estranged nephew of previous Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, said.

The Congress leader said the mafia rule which he claimed was encouraged in the previous regime will end.

“We will butcher the mafia operating in Punjab. No one in the mafia will be able to survive the state’s action,” Badal said.

The minister said all MLAs will submit lists of their property in the assembly on January 1 every year, including the Chief Minister and ministers.

“We will bring a strong Lokpal Bill in the assembly. This will be more comprehensive than the bill proposed by social activist Anna Hazare and his movement. This will include the Chief Minister, ministers and high officials,” the Finance Minister said.

Other decisions include scrapping of ‘halqa’ (area) in-charge system prevailing during the previous government’s rule, abolition of district transport office (DTO), fixed duty hours for police personnel, initiation of detailed police and governance reforms and setting up of degree colleges in every sub-division.

The Amarinder Singh-led Congress government assumed charge in Punjab on March 16 after the Congress swept the assembly polls on March 11, winning 77 of the 117 assembly seats.

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PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti released from detention after 14 months

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Jammu, 13 Oct : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti was on Tuesday released from detention. “PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is being released from detention,” said Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson Rohit Kansal.

A government order issued on Tuesday night said her detention was being revoked with immediate effect.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration in July had extended her detention by three months under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

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Cinemas, theatres, multiplexes to open with up to 50% seating capacity from Oct 15

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Swimming pools for training of sportspersons to open with SOP from Oct 15

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SAD breaks alliance with BJP Leaves NDA in protest against farmers ordinance

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Chandigarh, 26 Sep : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has severed its alliance with the BJP. The Akali Dal had a 22-year-old alliance with the BJP.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the Akali Dal’s Kaur Committee which lasted for more than four hours today. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal addressed the press after the meeting and announced that he would no longer be a part of BJP-NDA.

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