Punjab government preparing to bring white paper on power

The government is working overtime to bring a white paper on the power scenario in Punjab so that it can be tabled in the Vidhan Sabha session commencing Monday.

The white paper was put up to Cabinet Sub-Committee that met after the Cabinet meeting on Sunday but was rejected by the ministers for now as it did not “nail the Akalis wrongdoing”, sources told The Indian Express.

The white paper on power was promised by former CM Amarinder Singh in January last year but was never tabled. Several ministers had rejected the white paper draft stating it did not fix responsibility.

The sub-committee, comprising Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Manpreet Singh Badal, Pargat Singh, was chaired by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.

The sub-committee asked the officials concerned to get back to work on the white paper, fix responsibility and then table it in Vidhan Sabha. The government had decided to extend the session for another day on Thursday in the Cabinet meeting as it needed time on several agendas. Hence, on Monday the Assembly session would only take up obituaries before getting adjourned for the day. The Assembly will meet again on Thursday and take up business on that day only.

Sources said that the government was also preparing to bring legislation to reject the Centre’s farm laws. But  it was decided that the sub-committee first meets the farmer leaders and take them on board. “Last time, when Amarinder’s government had negated the farm laws, the farmers leaders had rejected the Bills. This time we want to make sure that they do not reject our legislations,” said a leader. The decision to this effect was also taken in the Cabinet sub- committee meeting.

Also, the government is preparing to bring a resolution to terminate the PPAs. “We want to bring a resolution in Vidhan Sabha so that the thermal plants are not able to get relief through judicial route. We are taking legal opinion. We want to play it very safe. We have to take a decision yet. That is why we have taken two days to brainstorm before going to the Vidhan Sabha.2”

It is also learnt that Channi is preparing his maiden speech as Chief Minister. He also requires more time as the government wants to be appearing to be doing a lot.

The meeting was also attended by Advocate General A P S Deol, who it is learnt, was actively participating in all the agendas.

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