Assembly Question Hour
Shimla: While allegations about violations in restrictions of sale and purchase of agriculture land under HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972 abound, the government in two years has detected 121 â€˜alleged benami transactionsâ€™, annulled no such deal so far and has permitted land sale in 609 cases to non-Himachaliâ€™s, the Vidhan Sabha was informed today.
Responding to a question by congress president Kaul Singh, the revenue minister Gulab Singh Thakur said that between 1st January, 2008 to 25 February 2010, the government had granted permission for sale of 618 hectares of agricultural land in 609 cases, whereas between 2003 and 2007, when the congress government was in power, permission was granted in 2068 cases.
Among the sale permissions granted, 342 were for industrial purposes, 136 for houses, 52 for educational institutes, 22 for hotels, 18 for hydel projects, 14 for agriculture, 10 for religious organizations, 6 for shops and commercial establishments and 2 for apartment buildings, said the minister.
In response to benami deals and transactions done on General Power Attorney (GPA) papers, the minister said that since sale deeds are not executed, it is very difficult to prove benami transactions even though 121 such alleged deals had been detected. The government has no complaints about sales made on GPA, he added.
216 Corruption Cases in Two Years
The chief minister in response to a question by Gangu Ram Musafir (congress) in a written reply stated that between January 2008 and July, 2010 the government had registered 216 corruption cases. While investigations in 159 cases were still going on but in 46 cases the challans had been filed in court. Five cases had been closed as untraced, he said.
Cases registered and still being investigated included one against former chief minister Virbhadra Singh his wife Pratibha Singh, IAS officers Subhash Ahluwalia and Sanjay Gupta while challan in a case against former minister Singhi Ram had been put before the courts.
Responding to a question by GS Bali and Sukhvinder Sukku of congress about sale and purchase of power, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that between 1st January, 2009 and 31st January, 2010, the state sold 3943.53 million units (MU) of power at an average price of Rs 2.16 per unit (Rs 851.8 Cr) and sold 2218.92 MU for Rs 6.52 per unit (Rs 1446.73 Cr).
50 % Reservation for Women In Panchayat Elections
To a question by Urmila Thakur (BJP) about 50 percent reservations to women in the upcoming panchayat elections, rural development minister Jai Ram Thakur said that based on the 2001 census and taking a block as a unit, reservations for women of scheduled caste, tribe, OBC and general category would be decided.