CHANDIGARH: Over 25,000 houses for the poor will be constructed in Punjab with the state cabinet on Wednesday approving a new EWS policy in this regard, an official statement said. The developers and authorities will be required to develop five per cent of the project area for the economically weaker section (EWS) housing, it said.

These buildings will be constructed in reasonably sized pockets, along with social infrastructure, such as schools, community centres and dispensaries, at convenient locations to ensure comfortable living for the beneficiaries, it said.

The residents will also be provided access to basic civic amenities.

This decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Amarinder Singh through video conferencing, according to the statement.

The houses under the new policy would be constructed with the latest brick-less technology, using services of qualified project management agencies. They will be offered to eligible families who will get affordable monthly instalment rates from banks, it said.

The policy provides for eligible applicants to furnish proof of birth in Punjab or of 10 years stay in the state from the date of application, such as Aadhaar card, copy of ration card, extract of voter list, copy of driving license, passport etc.

The family income of the applicant should not be more than Rs 3 lakh per annum from all sources, as revised by government of India or Punjab from time to time, it said.

The applicant, his spouse, minor child must not already own freehold, leasehold residential plot, dwelling unit in Punjab or Chandigarh, and the applicant would be required to self-certify on these counts, it said.

The applicant must be married and the application must be in the joint name of the husband and wife. There will be a bar on sale, gift, mortgage with possession, exchange, long lease of the allotted EWS dwelling units for a period of 15 years except within the family in case of the beneficiary’s death.

The government would fix sale price for EWS keeping in view the cost of construction of unit, proportionate cost of site development and common infrastructure such as school, community centre etc. and administrative charges which would not exceed five per cent of the total project cost.

Land cost will be taken as zero and there would be exemption from external development charges on the projects.

In 2013, the cabinet had approved a policy that made it mandatory for developers to transfer the EWS pockets free of cost to government and accordingly a notification was issued on December 31, 2013.

Subsequently, in 2016, the said policy was amended by the Cabinet Committee.

There has been general resistance to construct EWS houses within the colonies due to wide variance in life styles necessitated by economic status, as per the statement.

It was also felt that provision of social infrastructure in large number of small sized EWS scattered pockets was extremely difficult. In view of these limitations and legal issues, virtually no EWS houses have come up in the state under the government policy, it said.

To address all these issues and to see that EWS houses are actually built in the state in requisite numbers, the new policy has been framed in accordance with relevant provisions of extant law, it said.

In another decision, the cabinet gave approval to amend the Punjab Motor Vehicle Taxation Act.

This move is aimed to simplify the procedure for realisation of motor vehicle tax and its refund where applicable, the statement said.

It deals with issues like refund of lump sum tax paid in case of a motor car or motorcycle owner shifting to another state with the vehicle and ceasing to be resident of Punjab, or transfer of ownership of the vehicle to a person having residence outside Punjab, it said.

The cabinet also gave approval to the bifurcation of the common cadre of the departments of health and family welfare and medical education and research.

The move is aimed at prompt resolution of disputes arising out of the establishment matters between these two departments through separation of controlling authority and rules of both the departments, the statement said.



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