Chandigarh: Aiming to provide "affordable housing for all" in next two years, the Punjab Government today decided to set up Punjab State Affordable Housing Development Authority headed by the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The decision was taken by the Cabinet in a meeting headed by Badal here on Wednesday, an official spokesman said.
With an aim to provide housing to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Lower Income Group (LIG) and other vulnerable sections of society, the authority would construct one lakh dwelling units in the state in next two years.
"The vulnerable sections of society would include scheduled castes, backward classes, minorities, senior citizens and physically challenged persons in the state to ensure that no individual was left shelter less," he said.
The authority would also have Deputy Chief Minister or Housing and Urban Development minister, Local Government minister, Finance minister, Labour and Employment minister, Rural Development minister and Chief Secretary as its members while Secretary Housing and Urban Development as its Member Secretary.
The Cabinet also approved the establishment of three new Forensic Science Laboratories (FSLs) at Bathinda, Ludhiana and Jalandhar along with the creation of 33 posts of group A, B, C and D categories.
"This would reduce the time taken for testing of NDPS samples and also curtail the pendency of testing NDPS samples and help in intensifying the ongoing efforts to curb the drug menace in the state, the spokesman said.
With this decision there would be now four laboratories in the state as one of them was already functioning at SAS Nagar (Mohali).
The Cabinet also approved the proposal to entrust the work of selection of 118 posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division) -cum-Judicial Magistrate to the Punjab and Haryana High Court Committee after taking these posts out of the purview of the Punjab Public Service Commission.
Also, the government approved to slash the rate of VAT from existing 13 per cent plus 10 per cent surcharge to 5.5 per cent plus 10 per cent surcharge as a major relief to the trade of heavy machinery including cranes and earth moving equipments in the state.