Punjab Cabinet approves bills for introduction in Assembly

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Chandigarh, Dec 16 (UNI) The Punjab Cabinet today gave its approval to the ordinance banning the printing, publication, storage, distribution and sale of of the Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, by private publishing houses or individuals.

The Cabinet took this decision at meeting chaired by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here.

The ordinance implies that no publishing house other than the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) or its 'authorised individual' would be able to print, publish of distribute the scripture.

The SGPC had a couple of months back written to the Chief Minister seeking a ban on the publication and distribution of the scripture by individuals or by private printing houses. The SGPC prints and distributes the scripture through its printing and publishing wing (press) at Amritsar.

The SGPC in its letter had pointed out that private printing houses or individuals often violate the 'maryada' (norms) while printing and distributing the Guru Granth Sahib. The SGPC had in the past complained to the Akal Takht against a Amritsar-based publishing house, 'Jeewan Singh, Chattar Singh', the oldest printing house involved in the printing and publishing of the Holy scripture.

The ordinance (bill) known as 'Jaagat Jot Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ordinance, 2007' approved by the Cabinet will be presentaed in the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha commencing here tomorrow.

In another significant decision, the Cabinet also gave its nod for the implementation of the judgment of the Supreme Court on Police Reforms in Writ Petition (Civil) filed by Mr Parkash Singh, a former IPS, officer and others versus Union of India and others. The bill on this subject will also be introduced in the assembly session.

The Cabinet also approved the framing of Punjab Private Security Agency Rules, 2007 under the Private Security Agency (Regulation) Act, 2005. These rules aim at ensuring gainful employment to the unemployed youth of the State in the Private Security Agencies.

The Cabinet gave its go ahead to the Punjab Education Development Ordinance (Bill) which would also be introduced in the assembly in the winter session. The ordinance aims at providing quality education to the meritorious poor students.

The Cabinet also approved the constitution of Educational Tribunals covering all aided and un-aided educational institutions in the State through the introduction of a Bill in the forthcoming session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha into ''The Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service) Amendment Act, 2007''.

The Cabinet also approved the enhancement of the percentage of tax deducted from the amount payable to works contractors from the existing 2 per cent to 4 per cent by amending section 27 of the Punjab VAT Act, 2005, except for individual housing construction activities by dispensing with the condition of previous notice through introduction of Bill in the ensuing session of the Legislative Assembly. The upward revision of tax would be at par with the pattern prevailing in Haryana.

The Cabinet also gave green signal for bringing amendments in section (4), in Sub-section (2), for clause (a) of the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 and Section 25 of the Punjab Infrastructure (Development&Regulation Act), 2002 through introduction of bills in the Vidhan Sabha session.


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