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3-day Assembly session from Nov 27 

Chandigarh: The three-day winter session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha will begin on November 27, ahead of the elections to three Municipal Corporations of Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala and 36 Municipal Councils.The Cabinet decided this at a meeting here today.Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said the civic body elections would he held before December 18, when the results of the Himachal and Gujarat Assembly elections would be declared.The Cabinet decided to meet every Wednesday at 3 pm to ensure smooth functioning of the government and take timely decisions.The Cabinet approved the replacement of blue cards under the Atta-Dal Scheme with smart cards. Now, point-of-sale (PoS) machines are used for biometric Aadhaar-based identification of beneficiaries and these machines would be linked with weighting machines and iris scanners. The digitisation of beneficiary details will help in identifying and eliminating fake ration cards, besides better tracking of movement of foodgrain from mandis to godowns and from there to distribution centres.The Council of Ministers approved the Punjab Victim or their Dependents Compensation Scheme, 2017, enabling the government to compensate victims of crimes. For this, a corpus has been created. The Centre will make a one-time contribution of Rs 4.01 crore to the corpus. The state will make a budgetary provision for it later.An acid attack victim, for instance, will get a minimum compensation of Rs 3 lakh.The Cabinet also decided to set up a special operation group (SoG) to counter and neutralise militant threats. The creation of a separate police wing for investigation of cases, and restructuring of police ranges and zones have also been approved. To boost crop diversification, the Cabinet decided to bring guava, banana and vineyard farmers on a par with their counterparts working in orchards in terms of the maximum land they are permitted to own.

Sub-panel for review of fiscal situation

The cash-crunched state government has decided to regularly review its fiscal condition, with focus on expenditure curtailment and resource mobilisation. A Cabinet sub-committee, headed by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, has been formed for the purpose. The sub-committee will meet every Tuesday to discuss ways and means of cutting down on expenses and generate resources. Besides the Chief Minister, the sub-committee comprises Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra and Finance Minister Manpreet Badal. 

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