Guwahati: The Assam Cabinet has given its approval for placing a cattle preservation bill in the budget session of the assembly, beginning on July 12, minister and government spokesperson Pijush Hazarika said on Thursday,

A Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday, decided to repeal the existing “The Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950” and introduce “The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021” in the forthcoming session of the House, Hazarika, the water resources minister, said at a press conference here.

About the proposed bill, Governor Jagdish Mukhi had said while addressing the inaugural session of the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly on May 22, “We will adopt a zero-tolerance policy and enforce stringent punishment for offenders.

“The proposed bill envisages the imposition of a complete ban on the transport of cattle outside the state.”

The Cabinet also decided to fully bear the litigation cost of government officials in connection with their actions taken for border protection, Hazarika said.

“This is required as most of the litigations and cases are frivolous and instituted in a vindictive manner to demoralise the government employees from taking a bold stand in discharging duty for protecting the border without fear or worry,” the minister said.

Also read: Watch: Assam Police opens fire to foil cattle smuggling in Dhubri

The Cabinet has also approved the inclusion of Gorkhas, residing in the tribal districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa, and Udalguri from before 2003, as a “protected class”.

It also gave its nod for including Moran, Matak, Ahom, Chutia, and Gorkha communities who are permanently residing in the Sadiya tribal belt in the list of “protected classes of persons”.

The Cabinet also decided to restructure the present manual process of registration of applicants in the employment exchanges of the state by shifting to the digital mode.

The employment portal will be hosted and maintained by National Informatics Centre (NIC) with a provision for linkage with the National Career Service Portal of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The applicants who have already registered and their cards are still valid, will be given the option of entering their previous registration number to retain the date of their initial registration, the spokesperson said.

The Cabinet also approved the provision of rehabilitation grant in respect of houses damaged due to natural calamities to those landless families who are residing on government land for long and are eligible for getting allotment or settlement as per the provisions of the 2019 land policy and if there is no dispute over the possession.

It was also decided to rename the post of “Gaonburhas” as “Gaonpradhan” (village headman) and restrict their upper age limit to 65 years, keeping in view the nature of duties and responsibilities entrusted to them, the minister said.

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