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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fund starved Punjab hikes mutation fee

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who chaired the Cabinet meeting, also asked the Revenue Department to launch a special campaign for clearing all pending mutations in the interest of landowners.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | July 9, 2020 12:03:06 pm
Fund starved Punjab hikes mutation fee As some ministers pointed out that several mutations were pending for years, the CM asked the Chief Secretary and FCR to look into the matter and take action, a government statement said. (File photo)

Amid a shortfall in revenue, the Punjab Cabinet Monday approved a proposal to double the mutation fee from Rs 300 to Rs 600.

Mutation fee is levied at the time of transfer of property or change of title in the revenue records and records of civic bodies. The move would earn the state exchequer Rs 10 crore.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who chaired the Cabinet meeting, also asked the Revenue Department to launch a special campaign for clearing all pending mutations in the interest of landowners.

He also directed the department to consider charging mutation fee and expeditiously completing the documentation at the time of registration of sales to prevent unnecessary delays.

As some ministers pointed out that several mutations were pending for years, the CM asked the Chief Secretary and FCR to look into the matter and take action, a government statement said.

It was learnt that Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa raised the issue that the mutation was not done for 4-5 years after submitting applications.

SHORTFALL IN REVENUE

Noting that there is a whopping 21 per cent shortfall in revenue receipts in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal, the Cabinet decided that the CM will now review every month the fiscal situation of the state for more efficient management of the limited resources.

The CM agreed to Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s suggestion to draw short-term financial plans on quarterly basis.

Manpreet warned that faced with its own revenue shortfall, the Government of India was likely to pull back finances even further from states in the coming quarter.

The funds expected from the Centre in the first quarter had not come, thus leaving the state struggling to cope, he pointed out.

Earlier, highlighting the grim fiscal situation, Principal Secretary Finance, KAP Sinha, said as of June 30, the share of Central Taxes for Punjab had gone down by 32 per cent.

The Grant-in-aid from Centre for the March-June period showed an increase of 38 per cent, but that was mainly on account of the GST receipt of Rs 3070 crore received in April, which included Rs 2366.46 crore against pending arrears for last fiscal.

While state’s own tax revenue fell by 51 per cent, the first quarter decline in the state’s non-tax revenue stood at 68 per cent, Sinha informed the Cabinet.

INDUSTRIAL PARKS

The Cabinet also approved setting up of two industrial parks in Ludhiana and Patiala at a total cost of Rs 3,200 crore.

Aimed at boosting the state’s economy, the modern industrial park and integrated manufacturing cluster would come up over an area of 2,000 acres on government and panchayati land near Mattewara (Ludhiana) and Rajpura (Patiala).
The two projects would be instrumental in accelerating the pace of industrialisation and creating enormous employment potential.

The projects will cater to the needs of prospective entrepreneurs or industrialists for setting up their ventures expeditiously, in line with the urgent need to develop such industrial hubs in the state.

The Mattewara project had been envisioned by the Industries Department. The project site had been under active consideration of the government for past several years.

Giving the break-up of the available land for establishment of industrial park at Mattewara, the spokesperson said that out of 955.6 acres, 207.07 acres belonged to Animal Husbandry department, 285.1 acres of Rehabilitation Department (Potato Seed Farm), 416.1 acres of Gram Panchayat, Sekhowal, 27.1 acres of Gram Panchayat, Salempur (Potato Seed Farm) and 20.3 acres of Gram Panchayat, Sailklan.

The integrated manufacturing cluster near Rajpura would be developed with the assistance of National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation on 1000 acres.

Of 1102 acres of Panchayat land, 492 acres belong to village Sehra, 202 of Sehri, 183 of Aakri, 177 of Pabra and 48 of Takhtu Majra.

PCS ASPIRANTS

Formalising the announcement made last week by CM, the Cabinet approved increase in the number of attempts for candidates belonging to ex-servicemen category in the Punjab State Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination.

The increase is on the pattern of the attempts provided by the Union Public Service Commission.

The approval is to amend the existing proviso Clause (i) of Rule 5 of the Punjab Recruitment of Ex-Servicemen Rules 1982, in this regard.

With this approval, the way has been paved for increasing the number of attempts for general category ex-servicemen candidates from existing four to six, and four to nine for the Backward Classes ex-servicemen category in the PCS (Executive) and Allied Examination, while the Scheduled Castes ex-servicemen candidates would continue to get unlimited chances.

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