Punjab cabinet approves presentation of 5 ordinances for enectment in upcoming Vidhan Sabha session

The Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday approved the presentation of five ordinances for enactment in the forthcoming one-day Vidhan Sabha session, a statement from the state’s Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said on Tuesday.

“These ordinances include amendment bills related to the regulation of private clinical establishments, temporary release of some prisoners amid the COVID-19 pandemic, control of drug dispensation by private de-addiction centres, industrial disputes and child labour,” the statement said.

For the Punjab Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Ordinance of 2020, the statement said since there was no legislation at present in the State of Punjab to register or regulate private clinical establishments, that enactment would aim to bring clinical establishments under a regulatory mechanism to ensure more transparency in their functioning.

“It will also seek to improve quality healthcare, prevent overcharging of patients, and to lay down norms, terms of physical standards, medical standards, staff norms, record maintenance, reporting, etc,” it said, adding that the legislation will provide for such establishments to support the state during the natural disasters, calamities as well as pandemics and epidemics.

The statement further said that due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the presentation of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners Amendment Act (temporary release) had been approved by the Council of Ministers.

“The enactment of this legislation will pave the way for extending the period of parole in situations of disasters, epidemics, and extreme emergencies. The rationale behind bringing the legislation is to enable the Jail Department to take measures to decongest jails, besides ensuring that the jails remain COVID-19 free, as readmitting the inmates released on parole/interim bail, who reside in different parts of the state and outside, would expose other inmates to the risk of contracting Covid-19,” it added.

The Council of Minister also approved the amendment to the Punjab Substance use Disorder Treatment and Counseling and Rehabilitation Centres Rules 2011 for the session, to enable the Health Department to control the private de-addiction centres dispensing Buprenorphine-Naloxone and monitor private psychiatric clinics in order to avoid misuse of drugs.

The statement said, “The Cabinet has also given its nod for conversion for the Industrial Disputes Act into a Bill to be presented during the forthcoming session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha. The amendment provides for enhancement of the threshold limit for applicability of Chapter V-B from the present limit of 100 to 300 workers. Apart from this, now workers will be eligible for 3 months of extra wages on retrenchments or on the closure of establishments. This move will go a long way in further improving the process of ease of doing business,”

It also said that the state government would present a necessary amendment for raising the number of workers for attracting the provisions of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act.

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