The Punjab cabinet will meet on Tuesday to give the nod to the linking of the urban consumer’s water supply and sewerage charges to their electricity bills.
Currently, the water supply and sewerage bill is based on the metered reading. In the new system, a fixed amount based on the slabs of power consumption will be added to the power bill. No separate bill for water supply and sewerage will be generated. The water supply and sewerage charges collected by the power department will be passed on to the municipal bodies concerned.
The highest amount is Rs 500 per month chargeable to those who are using Rs 10,000 and more worth of electricity in that month. For lesser electricity consumed, the charges are lower.
The move to link the two charges has been in the pipeline for three years now but the ruling SAD was facing objection from its alliance BJP. The two agreed on the proposal last week.
The cabinet will also consider the increase of war widow pension from the current Rs 150 to Rs 500 per month. These will be applicable to those women who were widowed during the 1948, 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars and also during Operations Pawan and Meghdoot.
The cabinet will also approve giving an annual grant of Rs 1.5 crore to every constituent college of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Panjab University, Chandigarh.
The cabinet will give the final shape to the draft amendment proposed in the Indian Penal Code to provide life imprisonment to those involved in sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib. The cabinet on November 20 had approved the proposal. The final draft of the amendments which have to be sent to the Centre will be discussed in the cabinet.
Panel to consider VAT variations
The cabinet will also create a committee headed by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to consider variations in the imposition of VAT in cases of increase or decrease in the price of petrol and diesel.
The cabinet will also give the nod for setting up of the Guru Gobind Singh’s 350 years Prakash Utsav celebrations foundation headed by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. The year-long celebrations that will commence in January 2016 will be organised in Punjab and Bihar.
The cabinet will also consider permitting the tourism and culture department to draw Rs 5.6 crore from the Virasat-e-Khalsa corpus of Rs 20 crore for use.
Besides, the cabinet will also change the name of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University in Bathinda, removing the word ‘state’ and replacing it with ‘Punjab’.
The cabinet will also reiterate the ban on production and use of plastic bags in the state and also implement the changes in the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue Rules, 2014.
The cabinet will give post facto approval to the increase in the insurance amount to those covered under the Bhagat Puran Singh Insurance Scheme. The cabinet is also likely to discuss inclusion of farmers whose produce is procured by the government to be included in the scheme.