The Punjab Cabinet on Thursday took a slew of vital decisions for the development of the state, including approval of the rules for implementation of Punjab Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003. The move will help the state achieve specific fiscal targets within a stipulated time period to avail the benefit of the Centre’s Debt Consolidation & Relief Facility for states, an official spokesperson disclosed after the Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
The Act was framed by the Government of India on the basis of the model draft bill circulated by the Reserve Bank of India, suitably amended from time to time. As per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, each state is mandatorily required to enact a Fiscal Responsibility Legislation to realize the desired targets.
The framing of these rules was also necessary as the state Government had entered an agreement with the Asian Development Bank, under which it would get a loan of USD 200 million (Rs. 1200 crore approximately). On fulfilment of the necessary conditions, the first tranche of USD 50 million (Rs. 316.92) and the 2nd tranche of USD 50 million (Rs. 337.06 crore) had already been received by the state, said the spokesperson.
As per the conditions of the agreement for release of 3rd tranche of USD 100 million, it was necessary for the state Government to make Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Rules. Meanwhile, in another decision, the cabinet gave nod to frame the Punjab Waqf Rules, 2018 under the Waqf Act, 1995 (Central Act 43 of 1995). As per sub-section (1) of the section 109 of the aforesaid act, the State Government has been authorized to make rules by notification in the official gazette to carry out the intended purposes of the Act.
Notably, the Waqf Act, 1995 has been enacted by the Parliament for providing better administration of Auqaf and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Cabinet has also approved the annual administrative reports for works executed by Soil and Water Conservation Department for the year 2014-15 and Cooperation Department for the year 2015-16.