M A I N   N E W S

Haryana plans uniform power tariff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7
The Haryana Cabinet, which met here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, decided to introduce a uniform rate of tariff for both metered and unmetered connections, thus withdrawing the slab system of tariff and giving relief to farmers to the tune of Rs 138 crore.

In case of metered category, there would be a uniform rate of 25 paise per unit for all the four levels prescribed for depth of tubewells (100 feet, 101-150 ft, 151-200 ft and above 200 ft). Earlier, this tariff was 65 paise per unit, 53 paise per unit, 46 paise per unit and 38 paise per unit, respectively.

For unmetered tubewells, there would be a uniform rate of tariff of Rs 35 per BHP per month for all the four levels of depth. Earlier, there were four different rates for this category too. The state government would be required to reimburse additional rural subsidy to the tune of Rs 138 crore annually to the Power Utilities to meet the shortfall in its revenue collection.

The state government had constituted a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Sampat Singh in March, 2002, to review the slab system of agriculture tariff. The decision to review the existing power tariff was taken in view of representations from many farmers against the existing slab system.

The committee observed that the water table had gone down in most of the areas in the state with the passage of time and a large number of consumers were now pumping out water from much deeper depths.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal of the Industries Department to constitute a 16-member committee under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister to work out the modalities for execution of the Rs1600 crore project of 130- km-long Kundli-Manesar-Palwal express highway.

The members of the committee are Financial Commissioners of Irrigation and Power, Finance, Town and Country Planning, Tourism and Forest, Commissioners of Public Works, Industries and Environment, Resident Commissioner, Haryana Bhawan, New Delhi, Managing Director, Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation, Legal Remembrancer, Chief Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority, Engineer-in-Chief, Public Works Department (Building and Roads) and Managing Director, Haryana Roads and Bridges Development Corporation. The Director, Industries, would be the member-secretary. The committee would also monitor the implementation of the project.

The Cabinet decided to exempt the owners of all self-occupied residential buildings constructed over plots having an area of 100 sq.yards or less from payment of house tax and all residential buildings from payment of fire tax. This decision would come into effect from April 1, 2004, and the beneficiaries who might have paid these two taxes for the period following April would be reimbursed the money paid by them. The Cabinet decided to rename Haryana State Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) as Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA). The name was changed because the word ‘energy’ in HAREDA did not specify whether it was renewable energy or conventional energy.

The Cabinet approved a proposal of the Rehabilitation Department to transfer land measuring 11 acre 3 kanal and 17 marla situated at village Mundra in Rewari district to the Forest Department for plantation. The Cabinet also decided to amend the Kurukshetra Shrine Bill, 2004. The Bill was proposed in view of the poor maintenance and development of the temples and inadequate facilities being provided to the pilgrims by the local private management. In an earlier meeting of the Cabinet on July 18, 2003, it was decided to take over the administration and management of 75 famous ancient temples of historical importance falling within 48 km of Kurukshetra radius on the pattern of Shri Mata Mansa Devi Temple, Panchkula. The Government of India had suggested that sub-section 4 of Clause 26 of the Bill might be modified.

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