>Over 2 lakh houses to be built over the next few years
>Roll out of Excise Policy 2020-21 approved
> Special dispensation approved for regulating construction in ‘Strategic Areas’
Precious Kashmir News
SRINAGAR, JULY 17: The Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, G C Murmu, accorded sanction to the proposal of Housing & Urban Development Department for adoption and notification of J&K Housing, Affordable Housing, Slum Redevelopment and Rehabilitation and Township Policy, 2020.
The policy envisages seven models of housing, ranging from in-situ slum redevelopment to integrated township, to cater to the need of every section of society.
The new policy aims at promoting public-private-partnerships for affordable housing and slum rehabilitation projects and provides platform for operation and maintenance of integrated/ special townships in a cooperative manner. It further proposes minimum relocation of existing slum dwellers so as to maintain sanctity of existing economic and social linkages developed over a period of time in these informal settlements.
Additionally, the policy also includes provisions for fast track approvals of housing in Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) categories. Besides, it provides for their incentivization in the form of exemptions from building permit fee, land use conversion and external development charges.
The policy also aims to provide Rental Housing in which EWS families will be given dwelling unit on license basis for occupation and use for a particular period on making initial deposit and monthly charges.
The policy has been approved under the broader vision of meeting the growing requirement for affordable housing, slum redevelopment and rehabilitation and rental housing, for which an initial target has been set for construction of 1 Lac dwelling units over the next 5 years.
Roll out of Excise Policy 2020-21 approved
The Administrative Council (AC)also approved the roll out of Excise Policy for the year 2020-21 and implementation of policy measures to improve transparency and objectivity related to renewal, cancellation, transfer of licenses and penalties.
The new policy aims to rationalize the number of taxes, duties and other levies to optimize revenues for common good, and bring about greater social consciousness about the harmful effects of consumption of liquor and alcoholic beverages.
The policy envisages checking bootlegging of Bottled in Origin (BiO) brands from neighbouring states, besides providing choice of brands and a level playing field to those in the business.
Under this year’s policy, the Department has specified fixed number of licenses/ licensed zones for Ex-servicemen, specially-abled persons, SC/ST/OBC and people belonging to economically weaker sections as per the criteria to be notified separately.
Further, the License Fee structure has also been revisited in the Draft Policy. A fixed component of ‘Annual License Fee’ has also been introduced, whereas, the existing per bottle license fee has been revised on higher side as ‘Additional License Fee’.
The Excise Policy for the year 2019-20 was extended till June, 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and now stands expired.
Special dispensation approved for regulating construction in ‘Strategic Areas’
The Administrative Council (AC) also gave its nod to the proposal of amending the Control of Building Operations Act, 1988 and the J&K Development Act, 1970 to provide for special dispensation for carrying out construction activities in Strategic Areas.
The amendments proposed by Housing & Urban Development Department will pave way for notifying certain areas as “strategic areas” in terms of the requirement of armed forces and in such areas, the regulation of construction activity shall be through a special dispensation. The move is aimed at simplifying the procedures and shall facilitate time bound development of infrastructure of strategic importance.
The approval has been granted keeping in view the strategic importance of certain locations and reconciling their security needs with developmental aspirations.