The government tabled The Allotment of Houses under control of the Estate Department (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the last session of the Assembly, which was passed by both Houses on Thursday.
The Amendment Bill sought to include senior journalists in the list of those eligible for allotment of “type-5 houses” earlier meant only for ministers, judicial services and other officers of Group-A, trusts and chairmen and members of statutory commissions, under the original Act.
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In the statement of objects and reasons tabled by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, “It has been decided to amend the said Act for defining the words “senior journalist” and to include the “senior journalist” in the list of eligibility to type-5 houses.”
Other amendments included increasing the period of allotment of houses to a trust from five years to 10 and proposing to amend renewal from maximum period of five years to ten years at a time.
The amendment also sought to define the term “senior journalist” as: “Senior journalist means a journalist, who has been related in any manner to any national daily newspaper/news, TV channel for at least 15 years, and has worked as correspondent or has done the written or editing work at senior level.”
In the original Act, journalists were to be allotted only type-4 houses of the Estate Department, which were also meant for Group-B officers in state government, officers of judicial services, society and recognised association.