Although Diwali is 15 days away, the Maharashtra Government has given gifts to the ex-servicemen and also to poor and needy who get lunch under the subsidised meal scheme. The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday approved waiver in property tax and house cess to ex-servicemen and their widows residing in the permanent homes. The scheme has been named after Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.
As reported by Free Press Journal, the state cabinet today gave nod for extension of Shivbhojan subsidised meal scheme with Rs 5 per plate up to March 31, 2021.
The necessary provision for exemption in property tax and house cess for ex-servicemen and widows residing in urban areas has been made by the Urban Development Department. On the other hand, similar provision has been made by the Rural Development Department for ex-servicemen and widows residing in rural areas.
The cabinet approval was needed as earlier there was no provision for giving exemption in property tax for all servicemen in urban and rural areas. However, with today’s cabinet decision it will be waived. The scheme has been named as Balasaheb Thackeray Maji Sainik Sanman Yojana.
In a related development, the cabinet also approved extension for the subsidised meal at Rs 5 per plate under the flagship Shiv Bhojan scheme up to March 31, 2021. So far 2 crore people have been benefited under the scheme which was launched on January 26. Initially, per plate Rs 10 was charged but the government from April onwards during the nationwide lockdown it has reduced the charges to Rs 5 per plate. The government will shell out Rs 9.75 crore for the same.
Minister of Food and Civil Supply Chhagan Bhujbal said the cost of Shiv Bhojan per plate for urban areas was envisaged at Rs 50 and for rural areas it will be Rs 35. The poor and needy person will pay Rs 10 only and the balance amount will be borne by the Government. Originally priced at Rs 10 per plate, it is later slashed to Rs 5 per plate during lockdown (till September 31, 2020). The time period has now increased up to March 31.