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Channi holds first Cabinet meet, decides to roll out pro-poor initiatives from Gandhi Jayanti

The Cabinet emphasised on laying a special focus on the core sectors of education and health to provide affordable, quality healthcare and education facilities to the people of the state.

Hours after taking charge, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi Monday convened his first Cabinet meeting with his two deputies — OP Soni and Sukhbjinder Singh Randhawa — and discussed various pro-poor initiatives including the construction of 32,000 houses for economically weaker sections, increasing free electricity units from the existing 200 units to 300 units for SC/BC/BPL domestic consumers, waiving pending electricity bills of tubewells under the Rural Water Supply (RWS), and simplifying the process of allotment of five-marla plots.

Speaking to The Indian Express after the nearly 3 hour long meeting, Randhawa said they would roll out these decisions from October 2.

“We held a long meeting and discussed many issues. The administrative secretaries have been asked to put up a proposal for the next Cabinet meeting. All these major decisions will be rolled out then,” he said.
Among others, the Cabinet decided that free mining of sand by landowners will be allowed to abolish the contract system. Under the new system, any land owner can mine sand from his land to ensure its availability to consumers at affordable rates.
While deliberating on increasing the number of free electricity units from 200 to 300 for the domestic consumers belonging to the scheduled caste, backward classes and below-poverty line (BPL) categories, the additional chief secretary in the power department was asked to bring a proposal at the next Cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet emphasised on laying a special focus on the core sectors of education and health to provide affordable, quality healthcare and education facilities to the people of the state.

It directed the housing and urban development department to immediately start the construction of 32,000 Economically Weaker Section (EWS) houses on priority. These houses will be made available to the eligible beneficiaries on affordable installments, it said.

The cabinet simplified the process of allotment of five-marla plots and empowered the panchayat samitis to decide the cases. A special campaign will be launched by the rural development and panchayats department to identify and finalise the allotment of plots to the eligible beneficiaries within two months.

Likewise, the cabinet asked the department to make a policy to purchase land for cremation and burial grounds. It was decided that the Punjab Scheduled Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation (PSCFC) will formulate a policy for allotment of land to the occupants at affordable rates.

The Cabinet decided that a comprehensive policy regarding a proper implementation of the Right to Education Act and providing monetary help to the eligible educational institutes will be prepared and put up at the next meeting.

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