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Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 2:03 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 2:03 AM (IST)

Govt in a spot over fixing rent for Bhattal’s house

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13

The occupation of a palatial government house in Sector 2 here by former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal has put the state in a fix.

The government is trying to wriggle out of a possible controversy by deciding ways and means to charge rent, be it official rental value or market rate. The matter is under consideration of the PWD and Department of General Administration.

The government rental value is a few thousands of rupees, whereas the market rent touches Rs 3 lakh per month for the palatial Sector 2 house. “While the matter of fixing rent remains undecided, its calculation from retrospective effect is also undecided,” said a government official. The former CM could not be contacted.

A few months ago, the state Cabinet led by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had decided to waive penal rent of Rs 84 lakh charged from her for overstaying for 15 months in the government house No. 46, Sector 2. In February last year, she had paid the penal rent to get the no-due certificate from the government to contest the Assembly elections.

Bhattal is at present staying in house No. 8, Sector 2, which was allotted to her by the previous Badal government.

The issue of taking a policy decision on the issue of allocating house to former CMs is still pending. An old provision in the Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act for government accommodation and other privileges — withdrawn in 1972 – which allows the government to extend facilities, including an official bungalow, to former CMs will have to be restored through an amendment.

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