Friday, October 21, 2011

EMS Housing Scheme to be continued till March next year

by Roy Mathew

Minister for Panchayat and Social Welfare M. K. Muneer said in the Assembly on Thursday that the government proposed to continue the EMS Housing Scheme started by the previous government.

Replying to the debate on the demands for grants for Panchayat, Social Security and Welfare, the Minister said that implementation of the Scheme was not very effective. Only 10, 000 of the one lakh applicants without land could be provided with houses. Money was also misused for building second storeys to buildings. However, the scheme would be continued till the extended time limit (March 2012).

Mr. Muneer said that orders had already been issued raising the honorarium of mayors, chairmen of municipalities, panchayat presidents and other office bearers by Rs. 1000 a month. This was an announcement made in the Revised Budget for the current year.

He denied that there was any move to reconstitute community development societies (CDS) under the Kudumbasree Project through nominations. Election to the CDS would be held in January next year.

He said that the agency COSTFORD would be under scan in view of the allegations about the housing schemes implemented by them. The government had ordered a performance audit and a CBI enquiry was on.

The Minister announced that the government proposed to set up model aganwadis in places where land was available. They would also serve as resource centre for girls and day care centre for the aged. ISO certification would be sought for them. There were also plans to set up gender parks with cultural centre for women.

He said that the government had changed rules to enable totally blind persons to obtain employment in Education Department and Medical Colleges besides the State Electricity Board and Kerala Water Authority. Steps had been taken to fill existing posts reserved for the disabled.

He said that certification of disability by medical boards would henceforth be required for persons with multiple disabilities. Others could get disability certificates from specialist doctors in community health centres and taluk hospitals. The disabled would be issued identity cards which could be used for various purposes.

After the Minister’s reply, the House passed the demands for grants totalling Rs. 613.90 crore. The demands for grants for State Legislature, Elections, Stamps and Registration, Treasury and Accounts, Pensions and Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous Economic Services, Information and Publicity, Compensation and Assignments and Miscellaneous Loans and Advances were guillotined.

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