The Assembly on Monday referred to its Subject Committee a Bill amending the Kerala State Housing Board Act of 1971 to introduce a provision to permit the board to partner with any private person or company in housing schemes, or [asset] improvement schemes.
Introducing the Bill in the House, Minister for Finance and Law K.M. Mani said the government wanted to lift the board out of the red. The Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) had agreed to a concessional settlement of the huge debt the board owed it.
Under the conditions of this agreement, HUDCO would have resumed its financial assistance to the board if the old dues were settled at the level of Rs.700 crore, which was lower than the actual debt. It could not be done during the time of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government. The United Democratic Front (UDF) government provided Rs.250 crore in last year's budget and Rs.150 crore in this year's for this purpose, Mr. Mani said.
Mr. Mani said this Bill was ‘Dr. Isaac's baby.' The provision being introduced in the original Act now was the same as the one to be found in the ordinance promulgated during the time of the LDF government. The ordinance was reissued repeatedly and the present Bill was to replace the ordinance.