Panel with Captain Amarinder Singh as chief to expedite project implementation

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The Punjab government has decided to establish an Empowered Committee of Ministers. (File)

To check delays and speed up implementation of various projects and schemes in the state, the Punjab government has decided to establish an Empowered Committee of Ministers that will have the powers to take all necessary decisions relating to the same. With the Chief Minister as chairman, the committee will have Local Government Minister and Finance Minister as its members and the minister incharge of concerned department as its co-opted member.

A decision to this effect was taken in state Cabinet meet chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Thursday. On the suggestion of the Chief Minister, who pointed out that many issues that come up in project implementation are SC-related, the Cabinet also approved inclusion of the senior most minister from the community, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, as a member.

The meetings of the empowered committee would be attended by the Chief Secretary and Administrative Secretaries of the concerned departments, besides Chief Principal Secretary to CM, Principal Secretary to CM and Principal Secretary Finance.

The committee will meet every week, at least for the first six months, and the concerned administrative department would put its agenda of schemes and projects to the Chief Minister through its Minister In-charge, for further placing it before the Empowered Committee for consideration.

Tourism and culture policy amendment. To make tourism more disabled-friendly, the Punjab Cabinet approved the necessary amendments to the Punjab State Culture Policy, 2017 and Punjab State Tourism Policy 2018, in compliance with Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. As per Government of India guidelines for protection of rights of disabled persons, all departments of the state government are required to adopt and incorporate its provisions.

The amendments relate to facilities, support and sponsorship to artists and writers with disability to pursue their interests and talents; making art accessible to persons with disabilities; facilitating participation in dancing and art and redesigning courses in cultural and arts subjects to enable participation and access for persons with disabilities.

Similarly, special provisions for persons with disabilities have also been incorporated in Punjab State Tourism Policy 2018, which stipulates facilities and support to persons with disabilities to visit places of tourist interest in the state.

Bill on water authority gets the nod . A month after passing an ordinance to save water, the ordinance would be enacted as Bill in the upcoming Special Session of Vidhan Sabha. The Water Regulation and Development Authority would be set up after enactment of The Punjab Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Bill 2020.

The Bill proposes to set up a Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority, consisting of a chairman and two other members to be appointed by the government. The Authority will be responsible for management and conversion of water resources of the state in a judicious, equitable and sustainable manner, and will be empowered to take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for this purpose.