Punjab Cabinet gives nod to convene two-day assembly session on November 28-29

Punjab Cabinet gives nod to convene two-day assembly session on November 28-29

Chandigarh, Nov 20 (PTI) The Punjab Cabinet on Monday gave its nod for convening a two-day assembly session on November 28 and 29.

A decision to this effect was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann here.

The move comes days after the governor prorogued the Budget session, which was held in March.

Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema told reporters the two-day session will be convened on November 28 and 29.

The Cabinet gave approval to convene the fifth session of the 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Cheema said.

'The Vidhan Sabha session will be held for two days in which different Bills that have been pending will be passed,' the minister said.

Three money Bills -- the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Indian Stamp (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2023, will be tabled during the session.

Cheema also told reporters that there are many Bills pending before the governor and added he should soon take a final decision on those.

The session will start with obituary references on November 28. The business for the two-day session will be decided by the Business Advisory Committee shortly, according to an official statement.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit prorogued the Budget session on November 15 after the Assembly Secretariat wrote to him on the same.

The issue of summoning the session by extending the Budget session by the AAP government was a sore point between the Bhagwant Mann dispensation and the Raj Bhavan.

The Budget session, which was convened in March, was adjourned sine die but not prorogued.

The state government then convened a special session as an extension of the Budget session on June 19 and 20.

During this, four Bills -- the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Amendment Bill, 2023, were passed.

These Bills are yet to be given assent by the governor, who had called the June session 'patently illegal'.

The state government again called a two-day session on October 20-21 as an extension of the Budget session and Purohit had then stated that this was 'bound to be illegal' and any business conducted during it 'unlawful.' After the governor withheld his approval to the three money Bills, which were to be tabled during the October 20-21 session, the AAP government cut short its two-day session and moved the Supreme Court against Purohit last month for not giving assent to the Bills passed by the assembly.

The governor cleared two of the three money Bills after the government moved the top court. He cleared the third money Bill -- the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2023 -- on November 16.

The governor's approval is needed to table money Bills in the Vidhan Sabha.

On November 10, the Supreme Court pulled up the Punjab governor for 'indefinitely sitting over' some Bills passed by the assembly, saying 'you are playing with fire'.

The apex court had also questioned the state government for repeatedly adjourning the Budget session sine die instead of proroguing it. The top court, however, upheld the speaker's supremacy in conducting the business of the House or adjourning its sessions.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also gave its nod for creation and filling up nine posts of technical cadre through direct recruitment in the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Sports University, Patiala.

The Cabinet also approved the Punjab Canal and Drainage Bill, 2023, on regulating and managing canals and drainage in the state.

The main objective to enact the Bill is to ensure supply of hindrance-free canal water to farmers and landowners for irrigation, maintenance, repair and timely cleanliness of canals, drainages and natural water courses.

The Cabinet also gave nod to close the Punjab State Social Welfare Board and the merger of its staff into the department of social security, women and child development.

It also gave consent for sending the case of one prisoner seeking premature release and rejecting the case of four others confined in jails in the state. PTI CHS VSD SZM

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