Misuse of state-provided housing may bring 3 yrs jail, Rs 1m fine

Published On: August 17, 2018 06:59 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 17: The government has proposed up to three years in jail and Rs 1 million fine for those taking residence facilities from the state even though they have a house, land, a job or enough property.

Under a new law to regulate misuse of state-provided residence facilities meant for squatters and the financially deprived,  misuse of this facility may incur a fine of  Rs 100,000 to 1 million  and one  to three years in jail. 

Proposing financial aid for the financially deprived  for building their homes and residence facilities to  citizens living in extreme poverty, the Bill on Right to Residence has provisioned legal action against those taking advantage of residence facilities from the state on the basis of  false particulars or wrong claims.

The bill registered by  Urban Development Minister Mohammad Istiyak Rai at the parliament secretariat on Wednesday strictly bars incumbent or retired employees of the government or private organizations, NGO or INGO staff, those running businesses, possessing foreign PR, renting out houses, apartments or  land or otherwise having enough property from benefitting from residence facilities provided by the state. The law  also bars the use of such residences for any purpose other than as living quarters. 

If a residence grant is secured through the  submitting of forged documents, the  authorities can retrieve such funds  along with interest on the  amount,  in addition to taking other legal action. 

The proposed law has also provisioned action against those  recommending residence facilities for squatters or the  financially deprived on the  basis of false testament. 

With the enactment of the law by parliament, local units will be responsible for distributing identity cards for the financially deprived and squatters. Also, squatters willl have to declare that they don’t possess any land or house  to be included in  the eligible list. 

The local level authorities are also  responsible for arranging temporary shelter for those displaced by calamities or disasters, along with the federal and provincial governments. 

In order to settle ongoing disputes over compensation for land requisitioned  by the state for building roads, airports or other infrastructure, the draft law has made it mandatory to pay the compensation prior to removing the affected people from their h0mes. If the  authorities are unable to pay compensation prior to such eviction, they  must fix a deadline for the reimbursement.  

The bill has also barred the authorities from removing private shelters during the night or at odd hours and without providing prior information. Likewise, the law has  provisioned the proper  relocation of those displaced. 

The federal government should coordinate with local units and lay down procedures and issue directives for providing  residence facilities as a fundamental right of the citizens.

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