In a bid to check the theft of canal water, the Punjab Government on Monday approved amendments to the Northern India Canal and Drainage Act, 1873, to make it more stringent and punitive.
A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of Council of Ministers under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here, an official spokesman said.
Under the amended provisions of Section 70 of the Act, the amount of fine for canal water theft has been enhanced from the earlier Rs 1,000 to a minimum of Rs 5,000, which can go up to Rs 50,000 or imprisonment of up to six months or both.
The guilty would be deprived of the facility of canal water for two rounds for a first time offence, for a season in case of second offence and for two years for a third time offence.
In another significant decision, the Cabinet approved a proposal of making recruitment to Punjab Civil Services and allied services compulsorily every year.
The recruitment process would start every year in September and end the next year in August.
The Cabinet also approved the exemption to the SGPC, Durgiana Temple, Amritsar, Devi Talab Temple Jalandhar from External Development Charges (EDC), Change in Land Use (CLU) and License fee for setting up schools, colleges, hospitals and other social institutions benefiting the public.
It reviewed the arrangements of wheat procurement during the Rabi Marketing Season 2012-13 and expressed satisfaction over the ongoing procurement operations across the state.