The Punjab Cabinet on Monday decided to waive water bill arrears of consumers in urban and rural areas, a relief announced keeping an eye on the assembly polls beginning next year.
The decision will put an additional burden of about Rs 1,800 crore on the state.
In addition, the Cabinet has decided to fix the water tariff at Rs 50 per month.
"We are waiving water bill arrears of Rs 700 crore of all cities," Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said at a press conference after chairing a Cabinet meeting.
Mr Channi said the Cabinet has decided that the state government would pay the electricity bills of water supply tubewells.
"In villages, the panchayats'' pending water bills will also be waived," he said, pointing out that these would amount to nearly Rs 1,168 crore.
The Cabinet has also decided to conduct appointments on a regular basis for group-D posts which comprises peons, drivers etc.