The Punjab government on Wednesday approved a pilot research project on direct benefit transfer for electricity (DBTE) for 990 agriculture consumers in the State.
Presiding over the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh said the move would save the vital groundwater resource as he also appealed to the big farmers to voluntarily give up their power subsidy to contribute to the government’s efforts to check water depletion.
“The beneficiary farmers would be paid subsidy in cash, based on cost of power for irrigating the crops as finalised by experts from Punjab Agricultural University, Punjab State Farmers Commission along with Agriculture and Water Resources departments,” said a spokesperson.
The spokesperson said the farmers would be issued bills for electricity and allowed to retain the savings i.e. subsidy minus the bill amount. Importantly, the move would not place any financial burden on the already beleaguered farmers.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to the State procurement agencies to use the Central government portal -- Government e-Marketplace (GeM) -- for direct online purchases of goods and services.
The Cabinet also gave its approval in principle to reclassify and restructure the Finance Department in the form of Directorates, while also approving bifurcation of the Excise and Taxation Commissionerates.
In another decision, the Cabinet decided to close all but 500 of the State’s 2,147 Sewa Kendras.