In the midst of politics, the government bites Rs 151-cr: extends the electricity tariff advantage by one month
Punjab’s electricity consumers will benefit from an additional reduced tariff – from November 1 of this year instead of December 1 – after the Cabinet on Thursday approved a proposal, with the new decision coming as the polls approach. the assembly.
The additional month’s relief will put a financial burden of Rs 151 crore on the chessboard, the government said in a statement. The decision will benefit nearly 69 lakh consumers out of a total of 71.75 lakh. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi announced in October a reduction in the electricity tariff of Rs 3 per unit, but decided to notify the deployment of the benefit from December 1. Electricity tariffs and subsidies are major issues in Punjab and the benefit is not reflected in October bills as opposition parties have attacked the government accusing it of ‘mislead the population.
Safai sewaks, regularized sewer workers
The Council of Ministers, chaired by Channi, also agreed to regularize the services of ‘safai sewaks’ and sewermem. The operation will benefit 4,587 contract workers working in the service of urban local authorities. The additional annual financial burden on the public treasury during the first three years of probation would be around Rs 46 crore, the statement said.
After the trial period, an annual increase and other allowances would be paid and this additional financial burden would be borne by the local urban bodies, he added.
Brick earth mining
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Channi, also declared the excavation of brick earth in an area of up to two acres and a depth of up to three feet as a non-mining activity.
Brick kiln owners will need to apply for a license in accordance with Form “A” and obtain the license in accordance with Form “B” for this purpose. If the excavation is carried out beyond the specified limits, the case will be handled in accordance with the Punjab Miners’ Minerals Rules (PMMR) 2013 and applicable guidelines. This will facilitate the process of operationalizing the brick kilns in addition to ensuring the uninterrupted supply of essential construction at affordable rates, the statement said.
Notably, the brickyard owners had submitted several claims to declare the excavation of brick earth as a non-mining activity.
Punjabi made compulsory
In another important decision, the Cabinet decided to implement the required qualification of the Punjabi language for direct recruitment in boards, companies, commissions, authorities, parastatals as well as all departments in the letter and the mind. He also ordered all agencies to immediately change their rules of service to make knowledge of the Punjabi language compulsory under Article 17 of the Punjab Civil Service Rules (General and Common Conditions of Service), 1994 .
Regularization of settlements, buildings
The cabinet also decided to introduce a rule under a relevant section of the Punjab Apartments and Property Regulation Act (PAPR) to regularize unauthorized settlements and plots in the state.
He also decided to facilitate the regularization of autonomous buildings such as educational, medical, commercial, farm, religious, social buildings, etc. which were built without the prior authorization of the Department of Housing and Urban Development by levying a regularization fee. Applications can be submitted for this purpose until December 31, 2022.
Water bill arrears canceled
The Cabinet also decided to waive arrears of water bills worth Rs 500 crore, of which Rs 256.97 crore from rural consumers, Rs 17.98 crore from urban and Rs 224.55 crore for programs. water supply managed by gram panchayats and committees.
The Department of Water Supply and Sanitation provides potable water to people in rural areas of Punjab and in some towns of Muktsar Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, Faridkot and Bathinda. In October, Channi announced that he would waive backlogs in rural water supply programs, water supply and sanitation fees for the household connection worth Rs 18.68 crore.
Relief for cotton farmers
The cabinet also approved a proposal to expand the value of relief from Rs 12,000 per acre to Rs 17,000 per acre for 76-100% cotton crop loss. The relief rates will take effect on June 1, 2021, the statement said. Relief worth Rs 416 crore has already been provided to farmers affected by damage to the cotton crop from pink boll worm (pest attack).
The Cabinet also approved the creation of 76 new positions of various executives for the 25-bed hospital built in the name of Shaheed Havaildar Ishar Singh in the village of Jhordan in Ludhiana.
He also gave the green light to take over two private schools – Kukarpind Public High School and Janta High School, Phuldiwal – in Jalandhar.