Govt waives Rs 2,764 cr housing scheme dues

The Cabinet on Thursday decided to waive dues of Rs 2,764 crore pending from beneficiaries of various subsidised housing schemes meant for those below poverty line, including the Ashraya housing scheme, in the State.

Briefing reporters, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said about 11 lakh beneficiaries have defaulted on payment after being allotted houses. Of the total amount, Rs 1,458 crore is the principal amount and Rs 1,030 crore is the accumulated interest. The subsequent governments failed to initiate recovery proceedings against them. Hence, it was decided to waive the payment, he added.

Besides, about 58,149 beneficiaries under HUDCO and VAMBAY housing schemes—taken up by Karnataka Slum Development Board between 1983 and 2005—have defaulted on payment of Rs 276.34 crore, including interest amount. The Cabinet has decided to waive the payment, he added.

The Congress government has been waiving pending dues under various social welfare schemes meant for SCs, STs, backward classes and minorities, considered its Ahinda vote bank.

Jayachandra said that of 2,03,541 lakh files at the State Secretariat, about 1.31 lakh were pending clearance. Only about 35 per cent have been disposed of between April 1, 2014, and July 31, 2014. “The chief minister has taken a serious view of the tardy pace. He has directed all ministers, the chief secretary and department heads to chalk out an action plan to clear them,” he said. 

The Revenue department tops the list of having the highest number of files pending with 26,616, followed by Home department with 23,283 and Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms with 18,998. All the ministers have been asked to spend at least two days a week in their offices and clear files.

The Cabinet also decided to make it mandatory for those opening new nursing and paramedical colleges to start a hospital on their premises. A hospital has to be set up within five years of opening colleges. The government does not want these colleges to conduct only certificate courses, he said.

Church attack reports

The Cabinet has directed the Law minister to look into Justice B K Somashekara Commission of Inquiry reports on church attacks in 2008 and recommend whether to accept it. The Commission’s preliminary and final reports are contradictory. Hence, the Cabinet directed a look into terms of reference, findings and submit a report.

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