The Punjab assembly on Friday passed seven Bills, including the Punjab Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2020, which seeks to bring clinical establishments under a regulatory mechanism. The one-day assembly session was held amid strict protocols put in place in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the sitting, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu tabled the Punjab Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2020, in the House. Sidhu said as there is no legislation at present in Punjab to register or regulate private clinical establishments, the aim of this enactment is to bring such establishments under a regulatory mechanism to further ensure transparency in their functioning. It also seeks to improve quality of public healthcare, prevent overcharging from patients, and lay down staff norms, terms of physical and medical standards, and norms for record maintenance and reporting, according to the Bill.
The assembly also passed the Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, presented by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal. In view of the serious negative impact of the unprecedented COVID-19 situation on resources of the state government, the Centre has decided to provide relaxation in borrowing limits by increasing an additional borrowing limit of up to two per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2020-2021, subject to implementation of specific state level reforms, as per the Bill. Punjab has been allowed an additional borrowing of Rs 12,130 crore over and above its net borrowing ceiling of three per cent of GSDP.
The House also passed the legislation for setting up the Sri Guru Teg Bahadur University of Law at Tarn Taran to commemorate the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Teg Bahadur. The Sri Guru Teg Bahadur State University of Law, Punjab Bill, 2020, was presented by Higher Education Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa "to establish and incorporate a state university for the development and advancement of legal education, for the purposes of imparting specialised and systematic instruction, training and research in the field of law and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto". The assembly also passed the Punjab Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020. Finance Minister Badal said the Bill seeks to provide changes so as to make levy and collection of taxes under the GST effective and easier for taxpayers. The House also passed the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Amendment Bill, 2020, which was tabled by Higher Education Minister Bajwa.
The legislation will pave the way for extending the period of parole in situations of disasters, epidemics and extreme emergencies. The assembly also passed the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Industrial Disputes (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020.