April 7: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Friday said that the state government had cleared all dues of the power utility by paying the subsidy bill of Rs 20,200 crore. Besides, the government has also promised to pay the legacy outstanding of Rs 9,020 crore in instalments in five years, and already paid the first instalment of Rs 1,804 core and the interest of Rs 663 crore.
CM Mann told reporters that the Rs 20,200 crore figure included agriculture subsidy worth Rs 9,063 crore, domestic and other subsidies worth Rs 8,225 crore and industrial subsidy worth Rs 2,911 crore.
“Every paisa has been paid,” he said, while gesturing toward chief managing director of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) Baldev Singh Sran seated next to him in the press conference. Sran said that the government has cleared all the bills.
CM Mann said that the government has also given 3,538 new jobs in the power sector and added that there would be no power crisis in the state as they would generate power beyond capacity and also the government was getting coal from its own mine in Jharkhand.
He said the power subsidy would continue as the debt of Rs 3 lakh crore on the state was not due to the people of the state but of the “wrong policies of the previous governments.”
“They have been questioning us as to where the money would come from. I want to tell them that money will come from the government’s resources. We are an honest government. My ministers are honest. Earlier, the money was directed to the houses of leaders. That is how these people had money-counting machines at home,” he said.
Mann said that the state has already witnessed an all-time increase in revenue from excise by 41.41 per cent. “We have been able to generate Rs 8,841 crore, which is Rs 2,587 crore more than last year,” he said, and added that the GST collections had also increased by 16.6 per cent.
While it was Rs 15,542 crore in 2021-22, it has increased to Rs 18,121 crore in 2022-23. “We are now among the top states in GST collections. Earlier, we used to be at the bottom of the list of the states.”
CM Mann also announced that the cut in stamp duty and registration fee by 2.25 per cent will continue in April also. Earlier, it was done for the month of March witnessing an increase of 78 per cent.
He said the government had opened sand mines for the public and this has helped the common man. He also listed 504 Aam Adami Clinics that had treated 21,21,350 patients so far. He said 134 more ‘mohalla’ clinics are ready.