Guwahati: The Assam Cabinet on Friday decided to convert a grant of Rs 3359 crore and a loan of Rs 930 crore given to Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) to equity and waived the interest due from the loan.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, chairing a meeting of the Council of Ministers here, made the decision to empower the APDCL and to help improve the company’s balance sheets and facilitate better credit inflow, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said.

The Cabinet also approved Rs 480 crore for payment of tariff relief to Jeevan Dhara (BPL) category consumers and low paying domestic, commercial and industrial consumers for the financial year 2021-22, he told the media after the meeting.

This will benefit over 12 lakh BPL families currently availing free electricity besides providing relief to over 45 lakh low paying domestic consumers, the minister added.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to amend rules to facilitate use of EVMs instead of ballot papers in municipal board elections.

The Council of Ministers also approved that the two medical colleges of Charaideo and Biswanath, to be set up at a cost of Rs 557 crore and Rs 564 crore respectively, will be financed by the Assam Infrastructure Finance Agency through a term loan from NABARD.

It was also decided at the meeting that in order to promote competitiveness and professionalism in the cooperative sector, the sections of Assam Cooperative Societies Act, 2007 that had barred registration of another cooperative society with similar objectives in the same area would be deleted.

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