Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 5
Addressing the oxygen crisis triggered by the spike in Covid cases, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday announced ‘thrust sector’ status for all oxygen production units.
With this decision, the units (both old and new) will become eligible for 100 per cent exemption from change of land use (CLU)/external development charges (EDC), property tax, electricity duty, stamp duty and investment subsidy by way of reimbursement of GST up to 125 per cent of fixed capital investment made in the land and machinery.
Besides, a nodal officer has been appointed to coordinate with the Customs department for quick clearance of foreign aid.
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, while chairing the virtual meeting, announced phased opening of shops and three-month extension in permission period for construction of plots/projects by the state development authorities, as he ruled out complete lockdown.
He said the restrictions currently in place were more stringent than the lockdown conditions in many other states. Releasing of social security pension of April and May was also raised by ministers in the meeting.
The CM said, “With the way things are going currently, the situation is likely to worsen in the coming days, with nobody knowing how many more Covid waves will hit the country and the state.” The incentives to oxygen production will apply to the units with minimum capacity of 700 cylinders per day equivalent to 5 MT, oxygen cylinder manufacturers/fabricators and oxygen concentrator manufacturing units. Oxygen refilling units will not be covered by the special status.
- Cabinet limits number of teachers in govt schools to 50%, with the rest taking online classes
- Food Dept to prepare 5 lakh additional food packets for Covid patients
- Sarpanches authorised to spend up to Rs5,000 per day out of panchayat funds for providing emergency relief
- Administration officials to work out phased shop reopening plan for their respective districts
Explore vaccine supply options: CM
- With hospitals failing to start the process of vaccinating people in the 18-44 age group due to unavailability of doses, the CM on Wednesday directed the health dept to explore all options for vaccine supply
- Though the state government paid Rs10.37 crore to Serum Institute of India for around 30 lakh doses on April 26, no schedule for supply had so far been received, Health Secretary Hussan Lal told the Cabinet