Punjab to get water development authority
Chandigarh (Punjab) Dec 1, : Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday directed Water Resources Department (WRD) to immediately finalise modalities for setting up a Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA) for the conservation and management of the state's water resources.
Chief Minister Singh, while chairing the Cabinet meeting, ordered officials that the proposal to set up PWRDA should be presented before the Cabinet by Monday. According to a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), "The proposed authority will have the mandate to fix tariffs after hearing the concerned entities and the public."
"The authority will also be empowered to issue directions and guidelines for the conservation and management of all the water resources. However, the authority shall be bound to follow and act upon government's directions," the spokesperson added.
Expressing concern over the depleting water table in the state, the Chief Minister said: "If immediate steps were not taken for conservation and management of water, many parts of the state would turn into a desert in 15 to 20 years." "We owe this (thrust on water management) to our children and the coming generations," said the Chief Minister.
Referring to his recent visit to Israel, the Chief Minister said that he was highly impressed by the water management and irrigation techniques adopted by them, transforming their country from water scarce to water surplus one. "The visionary laws and policies, measurement and proper pricing of water, and adoption of innovative technology, coupled with education and awareness, had worked wonders for Israel," Captain Amarinder said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also reviewed the outcome of the One Time Settlement Policy (OTS) of the Industries Department, which was approved by the Cabinet on Oct 16 last year.
After discussions with the officials of the Industry Department, the Chief Minister approved its proposals to bring in a fresh liberalised one-time settlement (OTS) policy for equity and loans of Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) and its Subsidiary Companies and the Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC).
The main features of the proposed OTS Policy-2018 for PSIDC and PFC will include a waiver of interest on loans for loss-making companies and reduction in the interest rates for those making profit. The OTS proposal will also come up for discussion and approval at Monday's cabinet meeting.