Chandigarh: The Haryana government on Wednesday announced reduction in the rate of rural development fee on fruits and vegetables to one percent from two percent.

It would be effective from September 1, 2012, by issuing an Ordinance as Haryana assembly is not in session, an official release said. A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of the state Cabinet, which met under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Chandigarh on Wednesday evening.

This decision will provide a huge relief to the farmers, vegetable and fruit sellers and the consumers in the state. It would also stop diversion of trade from the state to other nearby states and would benefit the vendors, it said.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal to constitute the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights as per provisions contained in the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act-2005. Its headquarters will be Chandigarh or Panchkula.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal of the Department for modification in the purpose and scope of utilisation of Rs 171.86 crore under State Finance Commission grants.

During the current financial year, Rs 171.86 crore have been provided under the Head Grant-in-aid to Panchayati Raj Institutions on the recommendations of the State Finance Commission grants. The Cabinet also gave ex-post-facto approval to the proposal of Power Department to re-launch the scheme for settlement of pending electricity bills of rural domestic and agricultural categories of consumers in rural areas.
According to the original scheme which was applicable for rural domestic and agricultural consumers, the defaulting consumers were required to deposit their current bills with effect from June 17, 2005 for 20 months /10 billing cycles regularly, then their defaulting amount prior to June 17, 2005 was to be waived off.

According to the release, it was observed that in the original scheme, out of the total amount of Rs 1781 crore, a sum of Rs 998.28 crore of 6,19,137 consumers has already been waived off and 44.6 percent of the defaulting consumers had opted for the scheme initially launched on June 17, 2005.
Keeping in view the response of the consumers, the scheme was re-launched for three months with effect from August 1, 2012 which has now been extended upto March 31, 2013. According to the present proposal, rural domestic and agricultural defaulting consumers who could not participate in original scheme were required to pay their current bills issued after June 16, 2005 without surcharge in one go.


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