Press Trust of india

To facilitate more investment, construction area condition for universities relaxed in Punjab

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Chandigarh :  The Punjab cabinet on Thursday decided to relax construction area requirements for setting up universities in the state.

It was decided to reduce the requirement of construction area from 50,000 square metres to 30,000 sq. mt for multi-domain university (offering courses in different streams) and from 20,000 sq. mt to 15,000 sq. mt. for single-domain university.

It has also been decided to accordingly amend the Punjab Private University Policy-2010, an official spokesperson said after the cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, held through video conferencing.

The move will encourage the establishment of more private universities in the state.

The decision has been taken in line with the recommendations of the committee, constituted under the chief secretary by the higher education department to consider the representations received from various bodies for relaxation for the establishment of new private universities in the state.

The amended policy would further facilitate higher capital investments in the field of higher education and it is expected that two more universities, which have tie-ups with globally acclaimed universities, would set up campuses in Punjab, said spokesperson.

Under the Punjab Private University Policy-2010, the state government has so far approved 14 universities. Apart from these, proposals to establish four more private universities are under process, said spokesperson.

The cabinet, in another decision, approved waiver of fee for the Change of Land Use (CLU) and several other charges for ‘Satsang Bhawans’ established, or to be established in future, by Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) across the state.

Apart from CLU, the other charges to be waived include External Development Charges (EDC), Permission Fee (PF), Social Infrastructure Fund (SIF) and Building Scrutiny Fee, said spokesperson.

The decision has been taken in view of the “immense contribution” of Radha Soami Satsang, Beas, in disseminating the universal teachings of love, peace, harmony and brotherhood as propagated by the great Saints through its Satsangs and publications, besides motivating people to stay away from drugs and other bad habits.

The cabinet acceded to the proposal put forth by the housing and urban development department for exemption of the aforesaid charges, with a financial implication of Rs 12.18 crore as per the list submitted by the RSSB, of which Rs 6.96 crore belongs to state exchequer and Rs 5.22 crore to the respective urban development authorities.

The state government has already exempted above charges for educational, health, religious and social institutions set up by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Durgiana Mandir, Amritsar and Devi Talab Mandir, Jalandhar.

Meanwhile, the state government said to ensure universal coverage of rural households with piped water connections, it has decided to accord first priority to providing functional house tap connections (FHTCs) in the 17.59 lakh households from the tied grants for water under the 15th Finance Commission.

Of the 17.59 lakh households that still remain to be connected, 7.60 lakh with FHTCs would be covered in 2020-21 and 9.99 lakh in 2021-22, as per the decision taken by the cabinet.

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