With the state assembly polls round the corner, the Punjab cabinet on Wednesday decided to grant 200 units of electricity for free to other backward classes (OBCs) on the pattern of the subsidy being given to the scheduled castes.
The state cabinet, during a meeting presided over by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal here late evening, also resolved to grant a concessional tariff of Rs 4.99 per unit to small power industrial consumers.
These popular measures will come up as an additional burden on Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to which the state government already owes more than Rs 1,230 crore for various subsidies granted to agriculture sector and the poor in the previous fiscal.
CHECK ON MISUSE OF INDUSTRIAL PLOTS
The cabinet also approved a policy to check the practice of illegal conversion of industrial plots for other commercial uses. This policy will be instrumental in safeguarding and reviving industrial focal points and industrial estates, the spokesman said. The policy, however, has clauses to convert the premises “as per the modern needs and the changing phase of transition in the industrial sector”.
50% CONCESSION ON STAMP DUTY
The cabinet also approved the agenda of reducing stamp duty by 50% on execution of conveyance deeds of “affordable houses”, and 20% on flats as part of the state’s housing policy. This will benefit colonisers in the change of land use (CLU) and other transactions.
OTS FOR LOAN RECOVERY EXTENDED
The cabinet gave its nod to the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, Punjab Agro Industrial Corporation and Punjab Financial Corporation to extend the one-time settlement (OTS) period to recover long-pending bad loans from industrialists up to December 31.
The other decisions included a grant of Rs 1 lakh each to pilgrims of Kailash Mansarovar, exemption of turmeric from value added tax (VAT) and reduction of taxes on pepper and a few other spices from 6.87% to 4.4%. This decision will entail foregoing of revenue to the tune of nearly Rs 40 crore annually.