Over 15 per cent of the 54.95 lakh houses sanctioned in last three years under the Centre’s flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) have been completed, according to data provided by the Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry. While the government has set a target of one crore houses to be constructed in urban areas across the country over a period of seven years from 2015 to 2022 and claims the work is on full swing, the opposition Congress has questioned its seriousness citing the “small target achieved” so far.
Last month, the ministry approved construction of nearly 1.12 lakh more affordable houses for urban poor, taking the total number of number of houses being funded under the PMAY (Urban) to 54,95,443. As per the ministry’s official figures, 8.55 lakh houses have been completed till August 21 this year since the launch of PMAY (U) while work is underway on 30.4 lakh units across the country.
The opposition Congress hit out the central government, saying the scheme was turning out to be yet another “jumla” (gimmick). “The small target that has been achieved so far under the PMAY proves another jumla. The BJP is known for making false promises,” Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said. A senior official of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, which is mandated to implement the scheme, however, said that construction work is going on in full swing and it is exploring use of new technologies to ensure faster completion. He said out of 8.55 lakh houses, 5.68 houses have been completed in the last one year. The PMAY (U), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015, aims to ensure “Housing for all by 2022” by providing financial assistance to beneficiary.
Ministry Spokesman Rajeev Jain said, “New technologies are being implemented and further new technologies are also being explored to ensure faster completion of houses.” BJP spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri said that PMAY (urban) was an extremely beneficial scheme for the people and was on the right track. “Our government and officers are seriously working to complete the target which has been set under PMAY,” he added.
The Ministry has constituted Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) under the chairmanship for HUA Secretary for overall review and monitoring of the mission. As per the official data available, 4,320 cities and towns have been included in the PMAY (U) across the country and 11,226 projects have been approved till July this year.
The HUA Ministry has also planned to organise the Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge to attract innovative construction technologies which are adaptable, sustainable, low cost and can be used for creating large scale affordable housing at rapid pace. As per the conditions of PMAY (Urban), an applicant should not own a pucca house in his or her name in any part of the country. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) has four components – ‘Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme’ (CLSS), In Situ Slum Redevelopment (ISSR), Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP) and Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) under which ministry provide central assistance to beneficiaries to construct their own houses. The scope of CLSS, initially for EWS and Low Income Group (LIG), was last year extended to Middle Income Group (MIG).
The scheme approved initially for one year has been extended up to March 31, 2019. Under CLSS, Centre provides interest subsidy of up to around Rs 2.67 lakh on home loans to individuals, which reduces the principal outstanding amount of the loan. The total estimated investment under the PMAY (Urban) is Rs 2,96,919 crore.
The Ministry said that it has approved central funding of Rs 82,040 crore till last month. It has divided MIG in two categories which cover annual household income between Rs 6 lakh to 12 lakh and second category covers Rs 12 lakh to 18 lakh. The home loan borrower can then opt for lower EMIs or repay loan faster with original EMI. Beneficiaries who are eligible for interest subsidy under the CLSS scheme have to apply to their lenders for availing the subsidy benefit. Under ISSR, slum redevelopment grant of Rs 1 lakh per house is admissible for all houses built for eligible slum dwellers under this component using land as resource with participation of private developers.
Central assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh is available Under BLC to individual eligible families belonging to EWS categories while central assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh per EWS house is also provided under AHP for projects where at least 35 per cent of the houses are for EWS category and a single project has at least 250 houses. On the CLSS under PMAY (U), Noida Extension Flat Owners’ Welfare Association (NEFOWA) said that the central government needs to make people aware about the eligibility for the scheme.
“There are certain conditions of the PMAY (U). Every builder attracts buyers through CLSS. But when applicant applies for the subsidy, his or her application is rejected,” Indreesh Gupta of NEFOMA said. The ministry had last month told Lok Sabha in a written reply that keeping in view the roadmap for achieving the goal of housing for all by 2022, states and Union territories have been asked to strategise fast tracking in submission of project proposals to saturate their entire demand by 2018-19.
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