Medical charges for delivery cases waived off in Punjab

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Chandigarh, Sep 23 (UNI) In a unique decision to ensure safe delivery and reduce the mortality rate of infants and health hazards to mothers, the Punjab Government today decided in principle to waive off all medical charges on delivery cases in government hospitals in the state.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state council of ministers presided by Chief Minister Parkas Singh Badal here this evening.

The medical services for delivery cases in the state would now onwards be "absolutely free", Chief Minister's Media Advisor Harcharan Bains said .

The Government also decided to set up Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Fund (PMIDF) under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 under the chairmanship of State Chief Secretary to mobilize financial resources and fund urban infrastructure projects to improve the living standards of urban population, including the urban poor.

The Cabinet approved an amendment of the Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996 and other connected regulations to bring "Chief Parliamentary Secretary" and "Parliamentary Secretary" within the purview of Lokpal.

The Cabinet also approved to allow the Chief Parliamentary Secretaries a sum of Rs 75,000 per annum as petty/discretionary grants to each of them.

At present there are 14 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and this decision would entail an expenditure of Rs.10.50 lac annually.

In yet another decision, as a major relief to the cinema owners in the state, the Cabinet approved to promulgate an ordinance to extend the facility of exemption in entertainment tax to them.

The Cabinet also gave a nod to transfer 15.179 acres of the Sugarfed land out of total land measuring 27.8854 acres at Banur in Patiala district to the Housefed directly for setting up a housing project. The stamp duty and other expenditure involved in the transfer of this land would be borne by the Housefed.

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