The Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday decided to postpone all exams being conducted by the state Public Services Commission (MPSC) in view of the COVID-19 situation. The revised schedule for the exams will be announced later, state Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar told the council of ministers during its meeting.
"The examinations are being deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said. The government also announced the ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to kin of each person killed in the Mahad building collapse incident.
In another decision that will come as a relief for property buyers, the state cabinet has decided to slash stamp duty on sale deed documents by 3 per cent from September 1 to December 31, 2020, and by 2 per cent from January 1, 2021 to March 31 2021. The cabinet also approved a proposal to set up a separate Slum Redevelopment Authority for eight municipal corporations and seven municipal councils, excluding Mumbai,in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), with a budgetary allocation of Rs 200 crore.
The headquarters of the MMR-SRA will be located in Thane. "A decision has been taken for effective implementation of slum redevelopment projects in Navi Mumbai,including CIDCO and NAINA areas, and in Thane, Panvel, Kalyan-Dombivali, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Vasai-Virar, Mira Bhayander and Ulhasnagar municipal corporations," the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement.
The new authority will also cover ares under Ambernath, Badlapur, Alibaug, Pen, Khopoli, Matheran and Karjat municipal councils. A study group has been formed for implementation ofslum redevelopment projects in other prominent cities in the state, it said.
In a significant decision for the transport sector hit hard by the lockdown, the government has decided to waive vehicle tax on public transport and goods vehicles, it said. The waiver will be effective for the period between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020.
"This means for the year 2020-21, 50 per cent tax waiver has been given," the CMO said. The waiver will be applicable for goods and tourist vehicles, school buses, and vehicles offering private services which pay annual tax, it said, adding that the state exchequer will incur loss of Rs 700 crore due to this decision.
The council of ministers also decided that fishermen who suffered losses as they couldn't venture into the sea due to 'Kyarr' and 'Maha' cyclones will be given the ex gratia to the tune of Rs 65.17 crore.