Chandigarh: In a major decision just ahead of the Budget session of Punjab Assembly, the Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday gave its nod for an increase in women reservation in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) from 33 per cent to 50 per cent, according to The Statesman report.
A decision to this effect was taken by the Council of Minister in a meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh at Punjab Bhawan on Tuesday afternoon.
The enhancement of women reservation quota in PRIs and ULBs was a key poll promise of the Captain Amarinder Singh government. The draft Bill to amend the Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911 and the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, will be placed in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha budget session, commencing on Wednesday, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) disclosed after the meeting.
A spokesperson said, the amendment will help empower women in the rural areas by enhancing their reservation quota in the direct elections for the members of Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads, besides Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats. The representation of women in the offices of Sarpanches of Gram Panchayats, Chairmen Panchayats Samitis or Zila Parishads besides Mayors of Municipal Corporations and Presidents of Municipal Councils or Nagar Panchayats will also be enhanced accordingly.
In another significant decision, Cabinet gave nod to the draft model Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill to be put before the House in the budget session starting from 14 June. The Cabinet also decided to bring the draft bill on the appointment of Administrators to the Market Committees and the amendment to the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961 in the budget session of the Vidhan Sabha, said the spokesperson. It also decided to introduce draft bill to amend the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961 in order to facilitate marketing reforms as per the model act circulated by Union government.
The Cabinet also decided to exempt the Mega Food Parks being set up in the state from the provisions of Section 44(2) of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995 (PAPRA). “The decision is aimed at boosting the development of the food procession industry, especially the mega food parks projects in the state, besides securing employment for the unemployed youth,” said the spokesperson. Meanwhile, the Cabinet also gave the nod for the Khalsa University (Repeal) Ordinance, 2017 to be presented in the House for enactment.