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CM Channi-led Punjab government waives off pending water, electricity bills

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The Punjab government, led by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, has decided to waive arrears of water supply charges in urban areas and pending electricity bills of rural water supply schemes in villages. The move, which comes ahead of the crucial state assembly election, will cost the Punjab government nearly Rs 1,800 crore.

The decision to waive off electricity and water bill was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by CM Channi on Monday. 

The Punjab CM announced in a press conference after the meeting, saying, “We are waiving water bill arrears of Rs 700 crore of all cities.” He added, “In villages, the panchayats’ have pending bills related to the supply of water. We are waiving Rs 1,168 crore of their pending bills to give relief to villagers.”

“We Promised and We Delivered. The waiver of unpaid electricity payments has commenced, as promised to the people of Punjab. The resolution to waive the arrears of all Punjab users with a 2 KW load has been put into effect today by burning copies of these bills.,” he said in a tweet later. 

An official statement read, “The Cabinet decided to waive all the outstanding arrears of water supply and sewerage charges for domestic connections.” The statement added that in the Cabinet meeting it was decided to provide funds through budgetary support to “settle outstanding arrears of Rs 1,168 crore of power bills of rural water supply schemes.”

The Punjab cabinet has also decided to provide free power o all rural water supply schemes, which comes in effect from October 1. This will put an expenditure of Rs 440 crore on the state exchequer, the official statement said. 

It added that the state will also reduce service charges by 70 percent, from Rs 166 to Rs 50 per household per month in the villages, on all rural water supply schemes. 

The water usage charges will also be reduced to Rs 50 per month for domestic connections of all categories with plot size above 125 square yards in municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats and Municipal Corporations, the Cabinet decided on Monday. 

It should be noted that plots up to 125 square yards in urban areas are already exempted from paying water and sewerage user charges.



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Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com

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