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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today assured the centre of his government's commitment in implementing the central government-aided poverty alleviation and housing projects in the state. He also promised the implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) in letter and spirit in the state. The assurances were made during the chief minister's meeting with Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu. Amarinder also called on Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya to discuss the central support and collaboration in holistic development of Punjab, with special measures to help the state's beleaguered farming sector and special packages for debt waiver, industrialisation and border area development. "The Niti Aayog has agreed to visit the northern state for detailed discussions with the state government for development of the region through crop diversification, industrial revival and other programmes," an official spokesperson said. While Panagariya assured the chief minister that Punjab would not be impacted by industrial incentives to the states of Uttakahand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, Captain Amarinder suggested a special industrial package for his state along a 40 km belt in the sensitive border area. During his meeting with Naidu, Amarinder apprised him of the progress made by his government on implementation of various central schemes and projects for which the Union Government had released funds in the past, "but they did not reach the intended beneficiaries." To a suggestion from the chief minister on the adoption of certain rules from other states to strengthen RERA, Naidu said the central government had no objection as long as there was no dilution of the spirit of the law, a spokesperson in the Punjab Chief Minister's Office said. Naidu, who is planning to visit Punjab in July to review the progress of the central projects, also noted that the central government funds released to the state had not been transferred to the beneficiaries. The Punjab chief minister said his government was cognisant of the fact that the central funds were lying un-utilized as the previous dispensation had failed to transfer the same to the beneficiaries concerned. His government, said Amarinder, had started the process of verifying the beneficiaries, especially for the affordable housing scheme of the central government. The chief minister further assured the Union minister that his government was working on policies and programs for taking forward key projects, including the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and the Housing for All mission.
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