NEW DELHI: To give a fillip to its 2019 election campaign, the Narendra Modi government is aiming at early completion of its ‘Housing for All’ schemes. It now envisions the construction of 10 million houses for the rural poor and sanction for as many for the urban poor by the end of 2018.
While 10 million houses in rural India under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) could be completed by the end of this year, ahead of the March 2019 deadline, the urban component of building 11.8 million houses may be completed by 2020 instead of 2022, a top government official told ET.
A total of 10 million urban houses may be “sanctioned” by the end of 2018 to assure beneficiaries “that a house is on its way,” with 4.5 million houses approved so far, the senior official added.
“PMAY is the highest-priority scheme as it brings the biggest change in the lives of the poor people by giving them their own house. BJP will ask for a second mandate in 2019 by delivering a house to the majority of the poor in the country, especially the rural poor, before the polls,” a senior BJP leader told ET.
The programme is being speeded up on the back of strong performance in Uttar Pradesh, the state with the maximum shortage of rural houses. Under chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 800,000 houses were built over the past year, the most by any state. The achievement was made possible by revamping the way subsidy of Rs 1.2 lakh was given to the beneficiaries.
The state government realised that routing the subsidy through the PM Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) bank accounts was hindering the implementation of the scheme because only Rs 1 lakh can be transferred to such accounts in one year and not more than Rs 50,000 in one transaction. “You hence cannot complete a house in one year. We converted the PMJDY accounts to simple accounts or opened new accounts.
The instalment payout was changed to Rs 40,000, Rs 70,000 and Rs 10,000 to speed up execution,” a UP official told ET. “UP took a loan from HUDCO for its share of the scheme to ensure there was no shortage of funds.” Among the other states, Madhya Pradesh constructed 600,000 houses and Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh each built 350,000 houses in the past one year.
“Over 4 million houses are complete under PMAY-G. We aim at completing 6 million houses by June and the rest by December 2018,” an official said. The deadline of March 2019 was set by the PM when the schemes was launched in 2016.
In the urban areas, finances and land have been issues, resulting in only 500,000 houses being completed so far and about 2.2 million under construction, although the Centre plans to sanction 500,000 houses a month. Hardeep Singh Puri was appointed urban development minister last year to speed up the scheme.
Source: Economic Times