Chandigarh:  In a relief to consumers, the Punjab government on Monday gave its nod for abolishing octroi on fuel, making petrol and diesel cheaper in the state.
   
The petrol and diesel will be cheaper by 0.73 paise and 0.82 paise a litre respectively within the municipal limits of towns and cities across the state.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Punjab Cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, here, an official release said.

Punjab levies one per cent and two per cent octroi on total value of petrol and diesel respectively within cities and total collection from octroi stands nearly Rs 50 crore per annum, according to fuel pump owners.

"The abolition of octroi will make petrol and diesel cheaper by 0.73 paise and 0.82 paise a litre respectively," Punjab Petroleum Dealers’ Association Vice President Ashok Sachdeva said.

On December 24 last year, the Punjab government had decided to abolish octroi on fuel, a few hours before the Election Commission announced the January 30 election date for the assembly election.

The Election Commission rejected the state government’s decision on December 27 saying "the government straightaway passed an order without following due procedure and necessary amendments in law."
   
The Cabinet also gave its nod for requisite amendments in the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 and the Punjab Municipal Fund Act, 2006. The state government would issue required Ordinances in this regard immediately.

To enable panchayats to give land to government departments, boards and corporations for implementation of projects of public importance, the Cabinet decided to remove the condition on the panchayat retaining 50 per cent of the cultivable land available with it after sale, gift or exchange as provided under Section 5 of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961.

The Cabinet also decided that no retired official of the state government except the PCS would be re-employed in any form.

(Agencies)