Pulling up the States for the delay in completion of the NDA government’s flagship rural household scheme — Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) — the Union Ministry of Rural Development has come up with a set of penalties that the State governments will have to bear for any further delay.
What is the issue?
- West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Assam, are the leading four States who are far behind their targets.
- This is the first time, since the scheme started in April 2016 with a target of constructing 2.95 crore houses, that the Union Government has introduced a penalty clause.
- The initial deadline for the scheme was March 2022, which owing to the COVID-19 pandemic was extended by another two years till March 2024.
- Under the scheme, the government has set itself a target of 2.95 crore houses. This number was deduced from the Socio-Economic Caste Survey, 2011. As per the statistics available with the Union Ministry of Rural Development, till August 2022, 2.02 crore houses have been constructed.
About ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin’ –
- It replaces Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), which was launched as a sub-scheme of Jawahar Rozgar Yojana in 1985.
- The PMAY-G was launched in April 2016 and aims to provide a pucca house with basic amenities to all rural families who are homeless or living in kutcha or dilapidated houses by the end of March 2022. The target is construction of 2.95 crore houses with all basic amenities by March 2022 (now extended till March 2024).
- IAY aims at helping rural people below the poverty-line (BPL) in construction of dwelling units and upgradation of existing unserviceable kutcha houses by providing assistance in the form of full grant.
- Beneficiaries are people belonging to SCs/STs, freed bonded labourers and non-SC/ST categories, widows or next-of-kin of defence personnel killed in action, ex-servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces, Disabled persons and Minorities.
- It is implemented in rural areas across the country except Delhi and Chandigarh.
- Beneficiaries of the rural houses are chosen according to data taken from the Socio-Economic Caste Census of 2011, subject to 13 point exclusion criteria, followed by Gram Sabha verification.
- An allowance of Rs.1,20,000 in plain areas and Rs.130,000 in hilly areas will be provided.
- The unit size will be enhanced from the existing 20 sq.mt. to up to 25 sq.mt. including a dedicated area for hygienic cooking.
- The beneficiary would be facilitated to avail loan of up to Rs.70,000 for construction of the house which is optional.