Patna: Nitish Kumar cabinet on Tuesday relaxed the norm for mandatory toilets at the homes for candidates contesting the coming elections to panchayat and urban local bodies.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet presided over by Kumar, principal secretary Cabinet
Coordination Department Brajesh Mahrotra told reporters.
The Bihar State Panchayati Raj Act, 2006 had made it compulsory for a candidate in the local bodies poll to have a
toilet at home as an eligibility criteria.
The election to local bodies in Bihar is scheduled for next month.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who had made a request to the state government for waiver of the
clause, expressed happiness over the cabinet decision.
Sushil Modi told reporters that the fault lies with the state government for not building toilets for about 1.5 crore households in the state. The mandatory clause of the toilet would have stopped many genuine candidates from fighting the poll.
In another important decision, the state cabinet gave its nod to a proposal of finance department to increase VAT on petrol and diesel from existing 20 percent to 30 percent, Mahrotra said.
An additional Rs 330 crore would be mobilised annually by increasing the surcharge, he said.
The Nitish Kumar cabinet also cleared a proposal to increase dearness allowance by 11 per cent to employees and
pension holders with effect from 1 July 2015, he said.
Now they will get 234 percent DA in place of 223 percent at present, Mahrotra said.
The Bihar cabinet also gave green signal to creation of 46 posts of different levels of Bihar Vikash Mission headed by advisor to the CM Prashant Kishor for implementation of CM's "seven resolves".