Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday announced to waive pending electricity bills of 55 lakh defaulters, covering 80 per cent of the total consumers. It will put a burden of Rs 1,200 crore on the state exchequer.
Amid the turmoil within the ruling Congress party and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal's visit to Punjab, Channi told the media after the Cabinet meeting that it decided to waive pending electricity bills of all defaulters having connection up to 2 KW.
"It is a major relief for the common man," the Chief Minister, who reiterated the government won't indulge in corruption nor let anyone do it. But the Chief Minister clarified that the arrears could be of one month or as old as 10 years, all outstanding will be cleared by the government.
The decision will benefit consumers in rural and urban areas. "The policy will apply only to the previous electricity bills that are pending. From now onwards, the consumers would be liable for the outstanding," he added.
Channi said committees at the tehsil level would be formed to handle old bill waiver cases and verify the beneficiaries. The Chief Minister announced a mechanism soon to end the sand mafia by bringing a new policy on mining.
Upon taking oath as the new CM of Punjab, Channi had announced that the Congress government will waive water and electricity bills of farmers. He had also urged the Centre to scrap the new farm bills.
Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation
On Congress chief Navjot Sidhu's resignation, Channi said he had talked to him. "I have invited him to talk so that we can resolve the issue." He said that as sought by the party high command, the government is appointing a dedicated team of public prosecutors and lawyers to handle sensitive cases like sacrilege.