The Punjab government is mulling to raise the income of panchayats from the auction of panchayat land, state minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said today. Bajwa, who is the Rural Development and Panchayat minister, has called a meeting of all District Development and Panchayat Officers (DDPO) tomorrow in view of the auction of the panchayat land in the state.
“We will take steps to increase the income of panchayats by ensuring holding of auction of their land in a transparent manner,” he said.
Punjab has about 1.40 lakh acres of panchayat land which is meant for agriculture activities, and panchayats earn an annual revenue of Rs 300 crore from its auction.
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The minister blamed the previous SAD-BJP government for holding the auction of the panchayat land in a “dubious” manner. “The workers of the previous ruling party pocketed the money, depriving panchayats of their due share,” he alleged.
Bajwa said the auction of the land will now be conducted by the DDPO instead of village sarpanchs, the practice followed during the SAD-BJP regime. “We want that income of panchayats be raised by at least Rs 50 to 60 crore,” the minister said.
He further said effective steps will be taken to free encroached panchayat land. “At several places, the panchayat land has been encroached upon. We will be taking necessary steps to remove any sort of encroachment of the said land,” he said.