Chandigarh, November 29: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday informed the Vidhan Sabha that his government was working on an action plan to curb the menace of stubble burning and free the state of the resultant smog and pollution.

Intervening in a reply by Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh to a query raised by Khanna MLA Gurkirat Singh, the Chief Minister disclosed that the state government had recently signed a MoU with a Chennai-based company to address the problem and work on alternate ways of disposing off crop residue. The MoU provides for NEWAY company to set up 400 processing plants for converting paddy straw into bio energy in the state, he said.

Captain Amarinder said that the state generated a total of 20 million tonnes of paddy straw in a season, of which 19 million tonnes would be used by NEWAY at these units, thus curbing the environmental hazard triggered by stubble burning.

Earlier, Rana Gurjit Singh informed the House that state had been extending a slew of incentives, including exemption of CLU/EDC/fees, for setting up of Renewable Energy Power Projects, including paddy/wheat straw based industry, under new and Renewable Sources of Energy (NRSE) Policy-2012. The Minister said that the government was providing 100% exemption from payment of stamp duty for registration/lease deed charges for NRSE projects and leasing of Panchayat land for setting-up NRSE projects, besides 100% Electricity Duty exemption for NRSE Power Generation and Consumption by generators themselves as a captive unit.

The Minister further said that 100% Electricity Duty exemption for power consumed from State licensee during construction and testing of the project was also being offered. Apart from this, Single Window Clearance and Power Purchase Agreement with State Utility (PSPCL) for 25 years was also being ensured by the state, he added.

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