Punjab gets affordable housing authority
The Punjab cabinet on Wednesday approved the setting up of the Punjab State Affordable Housing Development Authority under the chairmanship of the chief minister for providing “affordable housing for all”, with a target of 1 lakh dwelling units in the next two years for the economically weaker sections (EWS) and other vulnerable weaker sections in the state.chandigarh Updated: Nov 26, 2014 22:00 IST
The Punjab cabinet on Wednesday approved the setting up of the Punjab State Affordable Housing Development Authority under the chairmanship of the chief minister for providing “affordable housing for all”, with a target of 1 lakh dwelling units in the next two years for the economically weaker sections (EWS) and other vulnerable weaker sections in the state.
This decision was taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal here.
The authority would construct such dwellings for the poor, including the lower income group (LIG) and other sections such as Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes, minorities, senior citizens and physically challenged persons, “to ensure that no individual is left shelterless in the state.”
The ministers for housing and urban development, local government, finance, labour and employment and rural development would be the members of the authority, besides the chief secretary as its member secretary, a government spokesman said.
The cabinet okayed the proposal to entrust the work of selection of 118 posts of civil judge (junior division)-cum-judicial magistrate to a Punjab and Haryana high court Committee after taking these posts out of the purview of the Punjab Public Services Commission.
In a relief to traders, the cabinet approved the slashing of value-added tax (VAT) from the existing 13% to 5.5% on the heavy machinery such as earth movers.
These items would now be included in Schedule B of the Punjab VAT Act 2005. With this move, the VAT rates have been brought on a par with neighbouring states, the spokesman said.
Other major decisions
Horticulture bodies annulled: The cabinet approved winding up the Council for Citrus and Agri Juicing, Council of Viticulture, Council for Value Added Horticulture and the Organic Farming Council of Punjab. The work of these councils, which were dependent on the state finances, would be transferred to the Punjab Agro.
Forensic labs: The state would set up three new forensic science laboratories (FSLs), one each at Bathinda, Ludhiana and Jalandhar, and depute the required staff. This has been done in view of the delay and pendency of sample tests in cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Director, budget: In view of the workload in the finance department, a new post of director, budget, has been created.
Atta-dal scheme: The cabinet gave approval for amending the state’s atta-dal scheme in accordance with the National Food Security Act 2013. The move is likely to benefit 31 lakh identified beneficiary families.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Technical University: Bill promulgating the university approved. The university would have its territorial jurisdiction across Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Muktsar, Patiala and Sangrur districts.
Relief for cotton units: It was also decided to “rationalise” VAT on cotton and other types of yarn (excluding 100% polyester filament yarn) for which the deputy chief minister has been entrusted with the task of to fix the final rates.
Job to kabaddi player: The cabinet approved to recruit national kabaddi player Jaspreet Kaur as a class-IV employee by giving relaxation in the existing rules under the sports quota. Jaspreet was rendered 100% physically disabled due to a fatal injury during the National Games at Patiala in November 2001.