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Efficiency unheard of in Punjab
Passes 7 Bills in 15 minutes
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Quick Act

n The Punjab Tax on Luxuries Bill- 2009
n The Punjab Rural Development (Amendment) Bill- 2009
n The Punjab Preservation of Sub-Soil Water Bill- 2009
n The Punjab Entertainment Tax (Cinematography Shows) Amendment Bill, 2009
n The Industrial Disputes (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2009
n The Punjab Packages Deal Properties (Disposal) Amendment Bill, 2009
n The Punjab Agriculture Produce Market (Amendment) Bill 2009.

Chandigarh, March 9
Punjab Legislative Assembly took barely 15 minutes to conclude legislative business and passed seven Bills unanimously in the absence of the Congress party which boycotted Vidhan Sabha proceedings. No legislator had questions or objections to the Bills, which include five amendments and replacement of two ordinances. Even after Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon asked the legislators to debate the Bills, there was no response and the Bills were passed one by one unanimously without discussion.

With the passing of The Punjab Tax on Luxuries Bill, 2009 many services provided by hotels, banquet halls and marriage palaces now be taxed empowering the government to mobilise Rs 20 crore.All gardens, farmhouses where space is let out for monetary considerations for marriages, receptions, conventions, parties, exhibitions, sales, meetings, etc will invoke a tax, says the Bill. The property that charges over Rs 5,000 per day will come under the purview of this Bill. The tax will be 15 per cent of the amount charged.

The Bill requires the property, where the activity mentioned above is undertaken registered. Failure to deposit the tax will invite penalty that is double the amount of tax due. With this Bill coming into force, marriages are bound to go up. The Bill replaces the Punjab Tax on Luxuries Ordinance, 2008.

The House also passed The Punjab Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2009 empowering the government to utilise the Rural Development Fund effectively. Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh langah, said it would promote agriculture for higher production, including agri-business and agri-processing. The state now will be able to spend the Rural Development Fund on construction and repair of rural roads, panchayat ghars, etc, establish government education and health infrastructure, set up veterinary hospitals and dispensaries, etc. The Bill also includes augmenting storage facilities for foodgrains and grain management.

The Punjab Preservation of Sub-Soil Water Bill, 2009 will prevent sowing and transplanting paddy before the notified dates thereby checking depletion of sub-soil water.

Now sowing of paddy before May 10 and transplanting it before June 15 or any other date as notified from time to time will constitute an offence says the Bill. . Violation of the Bill empowers to the authorized officer to destroy the sown or transplanted paddy at the cost of the farmer. The violation also invokes penalty of Rs 10,000. The Bill aims at checking depletion of sub-soil water.

The other Bills passed today include, The Punjab Entertainment Tax (Cinematography Shows) Amendment Bill, 2009, The Industrial Disputes (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2009 - which will help revive small industry, especially those facing problems, The Punjab Packages Deal Properties (Disposal) Amendment Bill, 2009 and The Punjab Agriculture Produce Market (Amendment) Bill 2009 will help boost activities of the Mandi Board.

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