Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: The Haryana Cabinet has approved a pilot project for providing safe drinking water based on reverse osmosis and related technologies in select water quality affected villages in the Public-NGO-Community Mode through the Naandi Foundation of Hyderabad.

Announcing this after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda disclosed that 100 villages would be taken up in the affected districts including Mewat, Mahendergarh, Jhajjar and Kaithal.

The Cabinet also decided to either exempt or reduce the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) on certain commodities on the recommendations of the State Level Consultative Committee (SLCC). This decision would benefit trade, industry and consumers to the tune of about Rs.75 lakh to 80 lakh per year, Mr. Hooda said.

It has been decided to exempt coarse maize bran chhilka from tax. Also, now wooden crates and 19 chemical and hardware inputs would be taxed at a reduced rate of four per cent.

The Cabinet decided to write off arrears amounting to over Rs.39 lakh as these had become irrecoverable even after resorting to all procedures and efforts.

It accorded its approval to amendment of Schedule B and C of the Haryana VAT Act, 2003, to implement the tax relief proposed in the Budget speech of the Haryana Finance Minister for 2008-09.

The Cabinet also decided to amend Rule 25 of the Haryana VAT Rules to give exemption from VAT on sales made by various dealers of Haryana to diplomatic missions or embassies in India. Mr. Hooda added that the Cabinet also decided to frame a policy for allotment of land to sitting MLAs and MPs from Haryana for construction of houses or flats in Panchkula and Gurgaon.

The Cabinet decided to convert the ancestral house of the renowned freedom fighter the late Neki Ram Sharma into a memorial.