Chandigarh: Shedding a decades-old legacy, Punjab government led by Captain Amarinder Singh, in its first Cabinet meeting on Saturday decided to do away with the VIP culture in the state. The same had been promised in the Congress poll manifesto. Following the decision, red and other coloured beacon lights on all vehicles, except emergency vehicles, hospital ambulance, fire brigade vehicles, the Chief Justice and the Judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court, would be removed after a formal notification to this effect is issued.
A new policy on use of such beacon lights on vehicles will soon be formulated and notified, informed the state’s finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal after the meeting. The cabinet decision would also lead to a ban on foreign travel of all Ministers, MLAs and official state government expense for two years, except where it is so mandated or provided under and bilateral agreement or arrangement.
The salary, allowances and reimbursements received by all MLAs would be updated every month on the official website and would be made available to the public. All MLAs and MPs would declare their immoveable properties on January 1, every year and for the year 2017-18 the same would be done by July 1, this year. The Cabinet also decided to bring the reimbursement of medical expenses, including foreign medical bills of all MLAs, Ministers, ex-Ministers and the Chief Minister, to be covered under Medical/Health Insurance, minimising the financial burden on government.
The protocol of laying foundation stones and inaugurations by legislators and ministers would be clearly defined and laid down, ensuring respect for all citizens. Foundation stones and Inauguration stones would henceforth be laid only by the President of India, Vice-President of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Minister, Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha and the State Cabinet Ministers.
No state banquets or dinners would be held (at government expense) except in the honor of the President of India, Vice-President of India, the Prime Minister of India, speaker of Lok Sabha, state governors and the visiting foreign dignitaries. The district administrations would function as normal even on the visit of CM and Ministers. Any official required by the VIPs, would make himself available with the prior written permission of the appropriate
authority. The government officials would not seek resolution of the grievances, if any, directly at the political level except with the prior appointment and permission of the competent authority.