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Khattar makes populist announcement in Haryana Assembly

twitter-logoPTI | February 22, 2019 | Updated 23:42 IST

Chandigarh, Feb 22 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday unveiled a new policy under which the kin of its deceased employees would be given a government job or the amount of salary the employee would have received till the age of retirement. In the move that comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, he announced that in case a government employee dies before turning 48 years of age, his/her dependent can opt either for a government job or the amount of salary that the employee would have received till the age of 58 years, the age of retirement in the state. In case the employee dies after the age of 48 years, his/her family would get full salary the employee would have received till retirement. Under the Ex-gratia Policy, 2006, 5 per cent of the posts were kept reserved for such case, but under new policy it had been decided to extend this benefit to all cases of ex-gratia. The chief minister was replying to the debate on the Governor's Address in the ongoing budget session of the Haryana Assembly. As the double-sittings of the session were held on Friday, Khattar, who was frequently interrupted by the opposition members, spoke late in the evening and gave his reply for almost two hours. Earlier, during the debate which took place through the day, there was thin attendance of MLAs, both on the ruling as well as the opposition side, on few occasions. Khattar said that the dependent family member of the deceased employee could be given a government job in any government department.     He announced to change the name of Collector Rate to Fair Value Rate. Collector Rate is the minimum value at which the sale or transfer of a property including a plot, built-up house, commercial property etc can take place. He said that the name "collector rate" is in practice from the time of British but now it has been decided to change it to Fair Value Rate. Khattar also sought to assure the House on PLPA issue. During the day-long debate on Governor's Address, opposition INLD and Congress MLAs had targeted the Khattar government on the issue of Aravallis, claiming that it has decided to amend the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), which could favour private builders. They had claimed that the move would open up more land for real estate development as construction activity could be allowed in areas where it was previously disallowed due to enforcement of PLPA. The chief minister asserted that the legislation had been brought for striking a balance between development and environment preservation. Khattar said amendments in the PLPA are the need of the hour as it was a very old Act and much has changed over the period of time.  The chief minister said that the government was concerned over the preservation and promotion of environment, but the development and environmental preservation go hand in hand. Notably, the PLPA legislation was enacted to save soil erosion. It is applicable in Punjab and Haryana.      However, the Congress MLAs including former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Karan Singh Dalal questioned the "undue haste" in bringing the legislation. They sought a committee of the state assembly to study the proposed Bill before it was introduced. However, as the ruling benches did not agree to this demand, the Congress MLAs staged a walkout. Earlier, ruling benches trained guns on Hooda, claiming that everyone knows irregularities took place in land deals during the previous Congress regime. However, Hooda launched a counter offensive, saying no irregularities were committed. Hooda said he was not going to be cowed down by chief minister Khattar's often-made statements that one former chief minister (O P Chautala) was behind bars and another one (Hooda) would be behind bars soon. Asserting that the BJP government in the state has ensured transparency in jobs, Khattar said that number of jobs given during the four-and-a-half year tenure of the present regime are more than the number of jobs given during last 15 years. With opposition parties targeting the government on recent recruitments made for Group 'D' posts, Khattar said that of the newly-recruited Class IV staff, 15,071 come from the rural areas while only about 3,200 hailed from the urban areas. He said that a dam would be constructed on river Ujh, a tributary of river Ravi at a cost of Rs 600 crore which would ensure additional water to Haryana. On the floor of the House, Khattar ruled out possibility of holding the state assembly elections, which are due in October 2019, simultaneously with the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The chief minister also spoke in details about steps taken for the welfare of farmers. PTI SUN DPB

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