Punjab Cabinet paves the way for MLAs to hold ‘Office of Profit’

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The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday paved the way for the enactment of the law to enable MLAs to hold several new categories of `Office of Profit.’

“The Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) (Amendment) Bill, 2018” will be tabled in the forthcoming session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha following the Cabinet nod to the new legislation.

According to an official spokesperson, with the amendments proposed in the Bill, various categories of office of profit will be added to the current list of positions/offices which MLAs can hold without inviting disqualification.

The amendments, aimed at addressing the complexities of modern day governance, include incorporation of a new Section 1A to provide for the definitions of “compensatory allowance”, “statutory body” and “non-statutory body”. As per Section 1(A), “compensatory allowance” would mean any sum of money payable to the holder of an office by way of daily allowance, any conveyance allowance, house-rent allowance or travelling allowance for the purpose of enabling him to recoup any expenditure incurred by him in performing the functions of that office.

Insertions and additions have also been made to the categories of offices of profit under Section 2 of the said Act under the Bill.

The Section 2 of the Act includes any office held by a minister (including the chief minister), minister of state or deputy minister, office of chairman, vice chairman, deputy chairman, state planning board, office of (each leader and each deputy leader) a recognised party and a recognised group in the Vidhan Sabha, office of chief whip, deputy chief whip or whip in the Assembly.

The Bill amends Section 2 to include the office of chairman or member of a committee, set up temporarily for the purpose of advising the government or any authority on a matter of public importance or for making an inquiry if the holder of such office is not entitled to any remuneration other than compensatory allowance.

This also include the office of chairman, director or member of any statutory or non-statutory body, if the holder of such office is not entitled to any remuneration other than compensatory allowance.