Express News Service
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab cabinet today announced that a pro-poor initiatives will be launched from October 2 to mark the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and deliberated that the free mining of sand by the landowners will be allowed to ensure its availability to the consumers at affordable rates.
The state cabinet in its maiden meeting which was headed by newply appointed Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi discussed the various pro-poor initiatives to be implemented in a time-bound manner and decided that these initiatives will be launched from October 2.
It deliberated that the free mining of sand by the landowners will be allowed to abolish the contract system. Under this system, any landowner can mine sand from his or her land to ensure its availability to the consumers at affordable rates.
It also directed the Housing and Urban Development department to immediately start construction of 32,000 Economically Weaker Section (EWS) houses on priority basis. These houses will be made available to the eligible beneficiaries in affordable installments.
The cabinet emphasized special focus on the core sectors of education and health to provide affordable quality healthcare and education facility.
The cabinet also deliberated to increase free electricity units from existing 200 units to 300 units under SC, BC, BPL domestic consumers. It asked the Additional Chief Secretary Power to bring the proposal to the next cabinet meeting to give relief to the poor and needy. It also decided to waive off the pending electricity bills of tubewells working under Rural Water Supply (RWS) schemes and also to provide free water supply in rural areas.
The cabinet also reviewed to give relief to the domestic water and sewerage tariff to the consumers of the urban areas. It was decided that the Local Government department will bring a proposal in the next cabinet in this regard.
The cabinet simplified the process of allotment of five marla plots and empowered the Panchayat Samitis to decide the cases. A special campaign will be launched by the Rural Development and Panchayats department to identify and finalize the allotment of plots to the eligible beneficiaries within two months.
Likewise, the cabinet asked the department to make a policy for the purchase of land for chappar, samshan ghat, and kabristan wherever the land for this purpose is required. The power to determine the prices of land will be at the level of ADC (D).
It was also decided that Punjab Scheduled Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation (PSCFC) will formulate a policy for allotment of land to occupants at affordable rates. Considering the importance of education, the cabinet decided that a comprehensive policy regarding proper implementation of Right to Education Act and providing monetary help to the eligible educational institutes be prepared and put up in the next meeting.