The Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday approved financial assistance and a government job on compassionate grounds to next of kin of the persons killed in Mosul (Iraq).A senior official said by relaxing the existing policy of the state government as notified on November 21, 2002, the kin would be given the government job.In a first meeting of the Council of Ministers held after the recently expanded Cabinet, it was decided to provide employment to one dependent family member of each victim, as per their educational qualification and government’s policy, besides ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh.It has also decided to continue with the monthly pension of Rs 20,000 being paid to the family members from the CM’s Relief Fund till the time the jobs are provided.On the directives of the Chief Minister, an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to 26 dependent family members, amounting to Rs 1.30 crore, has already been disbursed from the CM’s Relief Fund, said an official spokesperson, adding that, as per records, one victim had no legal heir.The case of providing compassionate appointment to dependent family members of the 27 deceased Punjabis does not fall within the purview of the state policy. Therefore, relaxation in the policy was required for the purpose. Keeping in view the hardships faced by the victims’ families, the Cabinet decided to relax the existing policy of the state government as notified on November 21, 2002. However, the remaining conditions of the policy would remain applicable.Meanwhile, Due to model code of conduct for the Shahpur byelection, the Punjab Council of Ministers after approving a draft ordinance to regularise all unauthorised constructions, which had come up till March 31, 2018, withdrew its decision. It would have enabled one-time voluntary disclosure and settlement of violations of the Building Ordinance-2018. It was aimed at regularising the constructions in larger public interest, subject to the condition that these buildings fulfilled the prescribed fire, parking and safety standards.Norms eased to recruit nursesAn approval was granted to fill the posts of staff nurse on contract basis in the Medical Education and Research Department through relaxation in norms related to ban on future contractual appointments against regular posts. While 282 selections were made against the 462 sanctioned posts by the erstwhile government, the process could not be completed due to the election code of conduct.
Extension to Quarkcity project
Under a revised agreement with Quarkcity India Pvt Ltd, the government approved the extension of the project from November 3, 2023, to November 2, 2030, in line with the original agreement signed in 2003 to create a state-of-the-art industrial and urban infrastructure in the state.
Health insurance scheme extended
The Cabinet gave an ex post facto approval to extend the Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana (BPSSBY) till October 31, 2018. The decision is to line with the Central Government’s announcement to launch National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) from October 2018
One-time adjustment of loan
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, against the deferred Central Sales Tax collected by HMEL.
Recruitment of medical officers
The Cabinet also approved the criteria for the recruitment of Medical Officers (Specialist) through walk-in-interview by the selection committee in the Health Department following an appropriate amendment.
New subdivision at Dinanagar
A new sub-tehsil at Chanarthal and subdivision at Dinanagar were approved. Shambu Kalan was declared new block.