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Punjab: Rental housing policy on agenda of cabinet meeting

Sources in the government revealed that the policy aims at encouraging group housing and creating large blocks to be given on rent for a specific time period.

punjab Updated: Jan 23, 2018 22:25 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab cabinet,Rental housing policy,Punjab news
Punjab cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in April last year.(HT FIle)

The Punjab council of ministers will discuss a draft policy on rental housing in its meeting on Wednesday.

A draft prepared by the housing and urban development department will be tabled in the meeting, official said.

Sources in the government revealed that the policy aims at encouraging group housing and creating large blocks to be given on rent for a specific time period.

Vinni Mahajan, additional chief secretary, housing and urban development department, said, “The purpose of the policy is to target professionals and young dwellers who can’t buy a dwelling unit, yet they want to live with all amenities.”

The group houses coming up under the policy as per the draft will have all the facilities such as food court and recreation centre.

Officials say it’s a housing policy focusing on rental properties, unlike other policies which are in practice, including those offered by the Centre, that give the ownership right, but there’s nothing for the tenants.

Farm debt waiver

The cabinet is also likely to discuss the issues cropping up in the farm debt waiver process. The government wants to leave aside the farmers who have alternate sources of income and are paying income tax, as they are considered not under debt even if they have outstanding farm loans on them.

The cabinet is also likely to take up the issues flagged by a committee of top three officials of revenue, cooperation and agriculture departments who met on Monday.

In the recent past, Congress MLAs had raised the issue that a majority of 46,500 farmers who got benefited by the debt waiver in the first phase were Akali supporters. The government had given waiver certificates worth about Rs 167 crore while certificates of at least Rs 580 crore were ready with the government.

Will Sidhu come or not?

Meanwhile, there was speculation in the top brass of the administration over whether local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu will attend Wednesday’s cabinet meeting or not.

Sources say the top government officials and politicians tried to contact him, but Sidhu was not accessible.

The minister, who appeared before the media in Amritsar on Monday, had announced his displeasure over not being invited to the meeting for the mayoral polls. He stayed away from the meeting on Tuesday.

Sidhu is among the nine ministers in Capt Amarinder Singh’s cabinet.

Rural development and panchayats minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, who was party observer for Amritsar municipal corporation polls, reportedly went to meet Sidhu, but was told that the latter was not at home.

Speaking on the matter, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said, “It’s unfortunate, and not expected from a seasoned politician like Sidhu.”

Sources say some other Congress leaders also tried to contact Sidhu, but he refused to budge.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 22:20 IST