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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday initiated the process of allotting free houses for the homeless poor, as promised in the Congress poll manifesto, while directing 
the setting up of a committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, to formulate a legislation for regularization of illegal colonies and transfer of ownership rights to the occupants.
The Chief Minister also directed the Town Planning Department to complete work on preparing Master Plans of all the cities in the state by the end of the current financial year. The meeting further decided on a series of measures, including allotment of project-based No Due Certificate (NDC) to promoters, in order to ease the Real Estate business in the state. The NDC will now be valid for three months, to be taken by the department on the date of application for a particular service rather than as on date of delivery of service.
In another decision, the Chief Minister put his stamp of approval on the reduction of transfer fee levied by GMADA etc from 2.5% to 2% till March 31, 2018.
Chairing a review meeting of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Government of Punjab, Captain Amarinder directed the concerned officials to ensure completion of the master plans within the stipulated time-frame by outsourcing the necessary planning work, if need be.
The meeting took several key decisions to create an enabling environment for the growth of the Real Estate sector, which has been suffering from a severe slowdown for the past several years. The Chief Minister took note of the various suggestions presented to him by officials of the Housing and Urban Development department and issued instructions for immediate implementation of several of them, according to an official spokesperson.
The suggestions presented to the Chief Minister were based on intensive discussions with the various stakeholders in the Real Estate sector, which was in an upbeat mood with the change in government in Punjab, the spokesperson added.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary Tejveer Singh and Housing & Urban Development Secretary Vini Mahajan.
On the issue of regularization of the illegal colonies, it was decided to set up a committee under the Chief Secretary to formulate the necessary legislation for their regularization and grant of ownership rights to the occupants. The committee will have members from the Housing department, the Local Bodies department and the Revenues Department, which would look into the issue of such colonies built by private promoters, on MC land and on land outside MC limits, respectively. 
The Finance Minister stressed the need to ensure implementation of master plans in all the cities of Punjab, which currently has only 43 cities covered by master plans. The Chief Minister ordered work on the master plans to be take up on priority, with all master plans to be made available online. 
A mobile app has also been launched, with effect from today, to facilitate the online procurement of property records by the allottees. The application would be extended later to cover e-payment services, such as making payments towards the allotted sites, payment user charges, viewing availability of sites with different authorities etc.
The Chief Minister directed the department to initiate the process of identification and scrutiny of beneficiaries for free houses under the Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojana, as promised in the election manifesto. It was also decided to implement the poll promise of 30 per cent reservation for SCs in all future allotments, besides subsidised loans to families for buying/improving MIG housing. The meeting agreed to bring in a new need-based policy for LIG housing.
Captain Amarinder directed the department to come up with a detailed plan for the amalgamation of various Real Estate authorities to ensure better service for the citizens. On the suggestion for reduction of CLU, it was felt that all stakeholders should be consulted before taking a final decision.
Taking note of the grievances of owners of marriage palaces, the Chief Minister asked the department to meet the stakeholders and take their views.
Among the other key decisions taken at the meeting were single-window clearance for small investors in five major cities, fixing of reasonable reserve prices for plots and sites, review of policy to allow medium sized real estate housing project, inclusion of EWS residential projects in industrial zones in all master plans and moratorium on the payment of EDC due extended for the calendar year 2017.
It was also decided to review the policy regarding compensation to the promoters on account of land acquired for the purpose of construction of sector roads. The meeting also agreed on de-hypothecation of sites pledged at the same rate at which they were hypothecated till March 31, 2018.
Quick clearance of CLU/Layout plans, fast-track acquisition of Revenue Rastas, early resolution of issues relating to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, expediting recruitment of staff, and collection of arrears of OUGVL and other properties by Special Development Authorities were some of the other important decisions taken at the meeting.
EDC received by development authorities from a project will be utilised for providing basic services viz. road connectivity, water and sewerage connection to that project on priority, it was further decided.
The meeting also decided to set up a Tourism-cum-Theme Destination Park around Thein Dam along Ranjit Sagar Lake in PPP mode.