Punjab brings revised scheme for constitution & administration of Guarantee Redemption Fund

  • Poor recovery and non contribution to the Guarantee Redemption Fund during last years, has put the State Fiscal to a great risk
  • Government to make suitable budget provision in order to enable transfer of the total amount of contribution to the Fund
  • Guarantee Redemption Fund would be administered by Central Account Section of the concerned Bank
  • Fund and the investments would be maintained by the Accountant General of the state

The Punjab Government has brought revised scheme for the constitution and administration of the Guarantee Redemption Fund for meeting its obligations arising out of the Guarantees issued on behalf of State level bodies. It will come into force with effect from the financial year 2017-18

fundRevealing this here today, an official Spokesman of Finance Department said that In terms of the 12th Finance Commission recommendations, the State had introduced the “Guarantee Redemption Fund Scheme” with an objective to meet its obligations arising out of the Guarantee extended to State level entities, so that this guarantee money should create a sinking fund to provide for the contingencies.

“Accordingly over the period 2013-14 to 2015-16, the State was required to contribute minimum amount of 1241.58 crore (Finance Accounts 2015-16 AG Punjab). However, poor recovery and non contribution to the Guarantee Redemption Fund, has put the State Fiscal to a great risk, and the State Government is now forced to bailout some of the State public sector enterprises (SPSEs) who had borrowed using State Guarantees”, said the spokesman while quoting the para 2.49 of White Paper on State Finances issued by the Department of Finance, Punjab Government.

Spokesman further added that the accumulations in the Guarantee Redemption Fund would be utilised only towards the payment of the guarantees issued by the Punjab Government and invoked by the beneficiaries and not paid by the institution on whose behalf guarantee was issued.

Giving a brief account regarding contribution to the Guarantee Redemption Fund under revised scheme, the Spokesman said that the Fund would be setup by the Government with an initial contribution of minimum 1 percent of outstanding guarantee at the end of the previous year and thereafter minimum 0.5 percent every year to achieve a minimum level of 3 percent in next 5 years. The Fund would be gradually increased to a desirable level of 5 percent. “In order to enable transfer of the total amount of contribution to the Fund, the Government would make suitable Budget provision on the expenditure side of their budget”, he added.

The revised scheme for constitution and administration of the Guarantee Redemption Fund of Government of Punjab has also opted special measures to ensure the efficiency of Fund administration. The spokesman informed that the Guarantee Redemption Fund would be administered by Central Account Section of the concerned Bank subject to such directions or instructions as the Punjab Government may issue from time to time. He said that the Government would pay to Bank a commission at the rate of 1/8 percent of 1 percent of the turnover of the Fund or at the rate to be mutually decided from time to time.

He further added that the accounts of the Guarantee Redemption Fund and the investments would be maintained by the Accountant General of the state in the normal course and the concerned department of the Government would maintain subsidiary accounts in such manner and detail as may be considered by the Government in consultation with the Accountant General.

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District Bureau of Employment & Enterprise to ensure achievement of objectives of ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ Mission

  • Bureau to provide one stop platform for facilitating employment including overseas employment

  • State level Apex Committee will ensure effective functioning of District Bureaus

  • Bureau will be funded by the State Government in the department of Employment Generation

The District Bureau of Employment and Enterprise constituted by Punjab Government will bring necessary synergy, oversight and effective coordination in the implementation of various schemes for employment generation, skill training, self employment and entrepreneurship development across the departments at the district level and facilitate overseas employment to achieve the objectives of ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar Scheme’, an employment generation initiative of the state government.

District Bureau of Employment and Enterprise will act as one stop platform for facilitating employment including overseas employment, skill training, self-employment, enterprise and entrepreneurship development at the district level. Bureau will coordinate with all the concerned departments for successful implementation of relevant central and state government schemes besides regularly monitoring the same.

Functions of the Bureau : Bureau will provide regular interface between the job seekers and employers through digital platform as well as conventional channels. It will provide a variety of services to the employers and job seekers that include understanding the requirements of employers and aspiration of the job seeker. Bureau to support youth in seeking self-employment and other entrepreneurial ventures by providing assistance under various Central and State schemes besides providing professional guidance and mentoring, linkages with banks and other necessary support. Youth desiring oversees placement will be provided necessary support such as information about oversees opportunities, clearances required, skill required and counseling etc.

            Bureau will coordinate and partner with various educational institutions and skill training agencies for providing skill training, employment and entrepreneurship to the registered youth. It will also facilitate employment in agriculture related activities by facilitating the dissemination of latest practices for agricultural and allied activities.

Bureau will provide digital platform wherein all the jobs or vacancies of the Government Departments or organizations would be published. Bureau will also coordinate, facilitate and effectively discharge any other function, which may be entrusted to the Bureau by any department or organization of the state or Central Government.

Organizational Setup : State Level Apex Committee will have 21 members including 5 representatives from industry and Chief Secretary as its Chairperson, and each district bureau will have a governing council consisting 16 members including Deputy Commissioner as Chairperson, Additional Deputy Commissioner as Vice Chairperson cum Chief Executive Officer and a Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Deputy Chief Executive officer will be full time professional assisting the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson, Governing Council. He will be in-charge of the team of professionals to be placed with Bureau under various schemes. He will also ensure that the Bureau functions in a professional manner.

Functions of State Level Apex Committee and Governing Council of the Bureau : State Level Committee will approve and review state annual action plan for employment, provide overall policy directions and consider the annual report of the District Bureaus besides monitoring, supervising, guiding the program and reviewing the progress of State Employment Strategy. The Directorate of Employment Generation will provide the secretariat assistance to the State Level Steering Committee.

The Governing Council will provide overall guidance and supervision to the Bureau in discharging its functions. It will approve annual district plan, annual budget and accounts of Bureau besides planning and reviewing various Job Fairs, placement, mobilization and awareness campaigns, engagement with local employers and educational institutions.

It is pertinent to mention here that the functions and activities of the Bureau will be funded by the State Government in the department of Employment Generation by way of grant in aid. The Bureau may however levy fee for the services provided by it with prior approval of State Level Steering Committee, but no fee will be charged to unemployed youth belonging to SCs and OBCs.

Punjab to install e-PoS machines in all Fair Price Shops across the state

Move aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability besides eliminating pilferage


The State Food and Civil Supplies Department is in the process of acquiring Point of Sale (PoS) machines to complete the end-to-end computerization under National Food Security Act (NFSA).

These machines are handheld devices that allowed Aadhaar authentication at the moment of distribution, ensuring that the proper beneficiary receives their allocated ration. The PoS machine also has a scale, which allows for proper measuring which ensures that the beneficiary receives their full amount of ration. Additionally, these PoS machines allow real time location information, allowing the Food and Civil Supplies Department to track the movement of grains from storage godowns up to the receipt of ration beneficiary at the Point of Sale.

All such information allows for greater transparency and accountability in the scheme, effectively eliminating the chances of pilferage, and increasing the management capability of the department.

This device related to the computerization of operations at the Fair Price Shop where Aadhaar is the basis of authentication of the beneficiary at the time of food grains delivery. All Fair Price Shops (FPSs) will be equipped with PoS terminals for the purpose of authenticating/verifying beneficiaries before commodity distribution. One crucial feature of the process is that the closing balances will be updated in database through all PoS transaction from FPS.

PoS terminal with in-build finger print scanner is specially designed to address Public Distribution System (PDS) and all Aadhaar based transactions with Standardization, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Certified Bio-Metric Authentication. It is based on Charge Coupled Device (CCD) finger print and comes with connectivity options like GSM/GPRS, CDMA and Ethernet. Apart from this, PoS supports interfaces with all types of payment gateways and Aadhaar Server with related logical interfaces for Magnetic stripe reader and Smart card reader for Aadhaar Authentication.

The salient features of e-PoS is that it has Touch Screen TFT LCD, Virtual Keypad on LCD, QWERTY Keypad, Build-in Magnetic Swipe Card Reader, Smart Card Reader/Contactless Reader, Bluetooth, High Performance STQC Certified Optical Sensor, Finger Print Scanner, in-built Speaker for announcements and inbuilt GPS. Likewise, the services provided through e-PoS application included delivery of wheat through online Aadhaar authentication of ration card holders, sale of PDS commodities, cashless transactions and creating awareness.

This machine will go a long way in creating information visibility of supply chain, which will reduce diversion besides ensuring transparency in the movement of wheat from De-Centralized Procurement (DCP) godown to the Point of Sale, generation of delivery order, truck challans, receipts enabling tracking of stock movement from DCP godowns to FPS/ Point of Sale besides obtaining up-to-date statements of stock lifting and available stock at various stock points.

Captain Amarinder Singh inaugurates World’s 1st Partition Museum

Dedicates the Museum to the nation with a call for learning lessons from history to prevent repetition of such sad events


It was a sombre moment as Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh unveiled the plaque of the world’s first Partition Museum at a special commemoration ceremony which scripted the observation of August 17 as the Partition Remembrance Day. A minute of silence was observed after the ringing of a bell at the historic Town Hall, Amritsar, where the Museum has been built.

The Chief Minister dedicated the Museum, developed in collaboration with the state government, to the nation on the occasion, with a call for learning lessons from history to ensure that such a sad event is never repeated in any part of the world.

Capt Amarinder, in his speech filled with memories and emotions of the sad chapter of Indian history, lauded the efforts of Lord Meghnad Desai in giving shape to the first-of-its-kind museum, which had “recreated a very said chapter of our history.” The museum, along with The Azadi Memorial in Jalandhar and similar initiatives, would serve to help the younger generations know and understand their past and learn from it, said the Chief Minister, adding that no nation could do well without learning their lessons from history.

The Chief Minister said that while for the younger generation, those days of the partition had been reduced to statistics, those who went through it had many sad and grim memories of those times. The museum, he said, would help the youngsters actually see and experience one of the greatest migrations in history.

He recalled his own memories of the partition, when, as a young boy, he was coming back home from his boarding school in Shimla in a train and had pushed the curtain aside to see bodies lying at one of the stations. It was a memory still etched in his mind, he added.

The Chief Minister also recalled the work done by his mother, Rajmata Mohinder Kaur, who passed away recently, to help return refugee girls back to their homes. He recalled how her major memory of those days was that many of the girls forcibly sent back home were happily settled in their new homes across the border and did not want to leave their children and families but were forced to do so following an agreement by the governments of India and Pakistan.

Captain Amarinder later walked around the Museum in what he described as a memorable experience which brought many memories to life.

The Punjab Government, which has supported the construction of the Museum, has already declared 17th of August as ’Partition Remembrance Day’. Seventy years after India became independent, hundreds of young men and women experienced, for the first time in their lives, the pain and suffering their parents/grandparents had gone through during one of the world’s biggest exodus across the border. As they came face to face with many grim reminders of that painful history, one could see a wave of emotions stream their eyes.

Earlier, addressing the gathering, Minister of Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Archives and Museums, Navjot Singh Sidhu described the Museum as the story of human resolve and resilience, as well as the indomitable human spirit. The Museum had revived history which was getting lost in the sands of time, he said, adding that Captain Amarinder had created history by opening the museum.

The event, which was marked by a poetry recital by Gulzar, who launched his newly translated book, Footprints on Zero Line: Writings on the Partition, on the occasion, was marked by a series of events, including panel discussions with eminent experts such as Urvashi Butalia and the poet Surjit Patar, a short play on Partition by Kahaniwala, and Sufi music recital by the Hashmat Sultana sisters.

Addressing the gathering, the Partition Museum Trust Chair, Lady Kishwar Desai, thanked the state government, led by Captain Amarinder, for its support to the development of the unique Museum, dedicated to the spirit and courage of the Partition survivors. She also expressed her gratitude to those without whose donations the museum would not have become a reality.

Advertising Guru Suhel Seth, who has the Gallery of Migration named after his parents, described his contribution as a `befitting tribute from a grateful son.’  Padmashri V S Sahney (a Trustee of TAACHT), Chair of the Sun Foundation, described it as a people’s museum, whose inauguration was a solemn occasion.

Built in the long-neglected Town Hall building at Katra Ahluwalia near the Golden Temple complex, the Museum is inspired by the stories of Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, who belonged to Amritsar and whose family home in Gali Vakilan was among the 40% houses destroyed in the Partition communal violence.

IMG_5329The Museum has put together mementos and material of 1947 shared by various people and is a walk down memory lane, with its pictures, paintings and videos. A hall of the freedom struggle plays piped songs of resistance from the two regions most active in the struggle and a sad poem by Amrita Pritam, addressed to Waris Shah, plays in the background.

A wall-hanging reads that 9,423 abducted women were recovered from India and sent to Pakistan between December 1947 and July 1948. 5,510 women abducted women recovered from Pakistan were sent to India.

A Hall of Hope brings one out of the Museum of misery, with paper hangings of migratory birds leading the way, and a Tree of Hope, crafted from barbed wire by designer Neeraj Sahai, standing out as a symbol of hope for the people of both India and Pakistan.

Partition Museum – an initiative of The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust or TAACHT, is a tribute to the sacrifices of the millions of people who lost their lives and homes in the partition of the country in 1947.

 

Punjab Police stars Avneet, Ashish brings laurels to country

DSP Avneet wins 4 medals in shooting, AIG Ashish 2 in tennis


Punjab Police DSP Avneet Kaur Sidhu has won 4 medals in shooting and AIG Ashish Kapoor won 2 medals in Tennis events during the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) held from August 7 to 17 in Los Angles, USA.

Bathinda based Olympian and ace shooter Avneet Sidhu clinched 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronzes in different events of Rifle Shooting whereas Mr Kapoor has won gold by convincingly beaten his opponents in both singles and doubles titles.

It is mentioned here that the WPFG games are being held after every two years in which officers/officials from Police and Fire departments from all over the world compete in the different events.

It is a sort of mini Olympics for sportspersons from Police and Fire and more than 12,000 participants from the world had participated in the sports and fire fighting events during this year.

Earlier, Arjuna Awardee Avneet Sidhu had won one gold and one silver medal in 18th Commonwealth Games-2006 held at Melbourne (Australia) and bronze medal in 15th Asian Games-2006 at Doha (Qatar).

AIG Kapoor has made the country proud by winning medals for the consecutive 5th time since 2009 in these games. In his debut in 2009 in WPFG games at Vancouver, he had won bronze medal in tennis singles. In New York games-2011 he got Silver whereas in Belfast, Ireland (2013) and Fairfax USA (2015) he clinched Gold medals.

It is mentioned here that Mr Ashish is All India Police champion in Tennis singles events for the last 15 years and a top seeded in this event.

Vigilance adopts multi-faceted anti-corruption strategy

Launches public awareness drive, posters, helpline, online complaint filing facility


Field officers to keep strict vigil, monitor grievances redressal mechanisms


Aiming to stamp out corruption from public offices, the State Vigilance Bureau has adopted multi-faceted approach to corner the bribery seekers and aware the public during this drive to make the Punjab ahead in curbing the social malady.

The Bureau has chalked out an anti-corruption strategy to implement the corruption free agenda of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in all the government offices. “Adopting a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of corruption, Bureau has launched a toll free helpline, online complaint filing facility and invoked electronic media platforms to aware the people. In addition to this, informatory posters have also been displayed at all public places and awareness camps were being organised in the state under this drive”, said Punjab Vigilance Bureau Chief Mr. B.K. Uppal, ADGP

Giving more details vigilance chief Mr. Uppal said all the field officers of six vigilance ranges have been directed to sensitize the public as well as government officials through awareness camps in the ranges. He further revealed that the Bureau had laid down 44 traps in last three months in which 52 public servants have been nabbed red handed.

To keep a tab on the bribery complaints in public dealing offices, Mr. B.K. Uppal has advised the senior officers of the PSPCL, Revenue, Police etc posted in the field to keep strict vigil and monitor their grievances redressal mechanisms so as root cause of the evil could be nipped in the bud.

Vigilance Chief has asked the public as well as honest public servants to help the Bureau in its anti-corruption drive in the state and inform the Bureau on its toll freehelpline 1800-1800-1000 or lodge online complaint on VB website if any public servant demands bribe. He assured that information and identity of the informers would be kept strictly confidential.

He stressed that no innocent officer/official be harassed in any manner and the honest officers should perform their duties without any fear or stress. Reiterating mission statement of Bureau, a couplet from Gurbani, “Suchh Hovey Ta Sach Paayiye”, he has categorically said any misconduct on the part of its own officials would not be tolerated at any cost to get rid of corruption.

Various foreign companies evinced interest in setting up business units in Punjab

REPRESENTATIVES OF VARIOUS FOREIGN COMPANIES MEET PUNJAB CM TO EXPLORE INVESTMENT


RUSSIA INTERESTED IN WASTE-TO-ENERGY, CHINA IN METRO RAIL PROJECT, UAE ALSO KEEN TO INVEST


Various foreign companies, including Russia, China and UAE, have evinced interest in setting up business units in diverse areas, such as defence and metro railway, in Punjab.

Mr. Vigen Sogomonyan, Head Corporate Banking, SBERBANK with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh at New Delhi on Tuesday.

A Sberbank representative, on behalf of Energo Group Company LLC, met the Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh with a proposal for waste-to-energy projects in the state, offering turnkey solutions for renewable energy projects. Vigen Sogomonyan, Head – Corporate Banking, said the Russian company Energo had done extensive research in Punjab and seeing the state’s agriculture potential, would like to explore opportunities for setting up a waste-to-energy technological plant in Punjab within the `Make in India’ framework. The plant, according to the company, would create energy from raw material such as animal dung, agriculture waste etc.

Sberbank conveyed to the Chief Minister that a Russian helicopter manufacturing company was interested in setting up a facility in India. The chief minister said his government was willing to offer the necessary land and suggested that the company make a formal presentation to the state government in this regard. Several companies were also interested in establishing defence manufacturing units in Punjab, said Vigen.

Mr. Vigen Sogomonyan, Head Corporate Banking, SBERBANK and Managing Director Great Eagle Group Kartik Chopra with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal at New Delhi on Tuesday.

Kartik Chopra, Managing Director of the Great Eagle Group, also attended the meeting and told the chief minister of Beijing’s interest in launching a metro project in Ludhiana. Captain Amarinder said he was willing to explore the possibility after going through the details and asked the delegation to put the company officials in touch with his government.

Chopra also proposed food processing units for exports to the UAE, to which the Chief Minister responded positively, according to the spokesperson. Others at the meeting included Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and other senior officials of the Finance Department.

The Punjab government led by Captain Amarinder has opened the doors to foreign investors in a big way with its various investor-friendly initiatives since taking over the reins of the government in March this year. Various other countries have also shown interest in collaborating with the Punjab government in various areas of business, the spokesperson pointed out.