Tightening norms for beneficiaries of government housing schemes, the Maharashtra Cabinet Monday cleared a policy that bars an individual who has already availed a flat in a government housing scheme, from applying for allotment of a second house. The new norm will also apply in cases where the original benefit was provided to the applicant’s spouse or dependent son, sources said.
Acting on a Bombay High Court order, the state’s housing department had formulated a revised policy that makes an individual (and immediate family) eligible for a house under any government scheme only once. On Monday, the state cabinet approved this policy.
Exploiting the existing provision that imposed such restrictions only on the allotment of a second house in the same district, several beneficiaries, mainly politicians and bureaucrats, were found to have availed the benefit multiple times.
On May 4, 2018, the Bombay High Court, while hearing a case of an allotment made to a housing society of sitting High Court judges in Mumbai suburbs, had passed a ruling in this regard, forcing the government to modify the existing provisions. “An individual, even if he is a judge or a bureaucrat, should not get another flat if he already has one under a government scheme,” the court had ruled.
The new policy will be applicable to all housing schemes across the state. To make sure that an ineligible applicant does not bypass the new norm, the state has also said that gifting of the previous allotment to a relative won’t make a person eligible for the second time. However, an applicant will be permitted to surrender his or her earlier allotment to the government if he or she wants to apply for a bigger home, said sources.
The government has clarified that the new norm will also apply to scheme where the eligibility had been determined previously but possession of homes has not been granted. It won’t be applicable in case of redevelopment projects where the government provisions buildable area incentives in lieu of free rehabilitation of occupiers.
In another development, the state cabinet announced additional subsidy of Rs 1.5 lakh for leprosy patients and their families under the government’s flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The government also announced a special vocational training institute for specially challenged people. Among other decisions, the government announced the set up of a ministerial committee of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee memorial in Mumbai. It also waived off royalty payments for mining of minor minerals for various public sector road and infrastructure projects under the public works department.