Punjab on Friday announced stricter penalties for those not adhering to restrictions put in place to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, increasing significantly the fine for spitting and not wearing masks in public to Rs500.
The state government also increased the fine for violating the home quarantine to Rs2,000.
Previously, the state government imposed a fine of Rs200 for not wearing masks, Rs100 for spitting at public places, and Rs500 for violating home quarantine guidelines.
Taking cognizance of violations of the guidelines, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said penalties needed to be enhanced to keep Punjab safe from the coronavirus.
The state government also fixed Rs2,000 as fine for violating social-distancing norms by owners of shops or commercial places.
A fine of Rs3,000 will be imposed on owners of buses, Rs2,000 on cars, and Rs500 on auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers for violating social-distancing norms, Sidhu said.
Non-payment of fine will attract legal action under IPC Section 188 (order promulgated by a public servant empowered by the law to do so), he said in a statement.
He said the Amarinder Singh government is working round-the-clock to prevent the spread of the disease.
He said Punjab became the leading state in the country in recovery of COVID-19 patients, which is around 91 per cent.
The minister clarified that officials not below the post of Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Naib Tehsildar and any official authorized by Deputy Commissioners can impose the penalties under the provisions of Epidemic Disease Act.