Presenting its maiden budget, the Captain Amarinder Singh government on Tuesday announced to provide 2,000 built-up houses for free to state's large number of poor urban Scheduled Caste (SC) and Backward Class (BC) families.
Opposition parties, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alleged the Congress government for betraying the people of Punjab.
Earlier, claiming to fulfill his party's manifesto promise on 'Free housing for all homeless SCs,' finance minister (FM) Manpreet Singh Badal announced 2,000 houses for poor SCs and BCs.
He said the land for construction of the same number of house houses for would be taken up during the year 2017-18.
He said that the land for construction of such houses shall be made available free of cost by the state government.
"I have made an initial provision of Rs.25 crore for this scheme in urban areas. A similar allocation of Rs.25 crore has been made for providing houses to the homeless rural poor as well. Our government has also increased the reservation for SCs from 15 per cent to 30 per cent in all government schemes pertaining to the allotment of plots or houses in the state," Punjab FM Manpreet Badal said during his budget speech in the House.
He also said that his government will take up the development of new residential urban estates and industrial estates at various places in the state, including Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana, even as it expedites ongoing projects. "An amount of Rs.2,020 Crore will be spent on various development works in the state including Optimum Utilisation of Vacant Government Lands (OUVGL) Scheme works and development of Urban Estates by Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) and other development authorities," said FM.
Notably, were a total of 46,714 homeless people in Punjab. Out of this total figure, 28,340 were rural homeless and 18,374 were urban homeless as per 2011 Census.
Out of a total population of 31.94 per cent of SCs, the majority of the SCs (73.33 per cent ) live in the rural area, whereas, 26.67 per cent lives in the urban area of the state.
"The ruling government is betraying the common people. Only 2,000 units for a large population of SCs are enough to prove government's false manifesto claims," SAD president and former Punjab deputy chief minister (CM), Sukhbir Singh Badal said in a Press conference after the budget.
Similarly, AAP leaders also defamed the government claiming the budgetary allocations insufficient.