Modi's 'Housing for All' scheme falters in rural areas

Last Updated 25 December 2019, 15:55 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet “Housing for All” scheme seems to be faltering in the villages across the country.

Though Modi Government had set March 31, 2019, as the deadline for building one crore houses in the rural areas of the country under the first phase of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) or the PMAY (G), construction of nearly 14 lakh houses are yet to be completed.

The Government, however, already moved to the second phase of the PMAY (G) and set the target to build over 51 lakh houses in 2019-20 financial year. But the latest data collated by the Union Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) revealed that only 3.61 lakh houses had been built under the second phase of such even as almost three quarters of the financial year had already been passed.

A parliamentary panel too recently noted that funds had already been sanctioned for building houses for beneficiaries under the PMAY (G) scheme, but construction had either not started or got delayed.

The Modi Government restructured the erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) into Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) with effect from April 1, 2016.

Prime Minister, himself, formally launched the PMAY-G on November 20, 2016. The restructured scheme is aimed at providing 'pucca' (built with brick and cement) houses with basic amenities by 2022 to all households, which either have no house or have just 'kutcha' (built with mud and thatch) and dilapidated houses,.

The BJP-led Government at the Centre also set an immediate target for the first phase of the PMAY (G) – building houses for at least one crore beneficiaries by the end of 2018-19 financial year.

The MoRD data, however, revealed that fund had been sanctioned for construction of houses for 95.58 lakh beneficiaries with verified accounts against the target of building one crore houses by March 31 this year. But even as the deadline set by the government itself had passed nine months ago, only about 86.07 lakh houses had actually been built so far under the first phase of the scheme.

The government set a target of building over 51.05 lakh houses before March 31, 2020, under the scheme during the second phase of its implementation from April 1 this year. But the MoRD data revealed that while funds had been sanctioned for building houses for 39.23 lakh beneficiaries under the PMAY (G), only about 3.61 lakh houses had been constructed so far.

The MoRD conveyed to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development that implementation of the PMAY (G) had slowed down due to Model Code of Conduct enforced by the Election Commission from March 10 to May 23 this year for the Lok Sabha polls. The monsoon also delayed construction of houses in rural areas.

The parliamentary panel, however, expressed anguish noting that construction of the houses sanctioned for the beneficiaries had either not started or not completed. “The committee were of strong view that the target of the PMAY (G) needs to be completed on war footing and DoRD (Department of Rural Development) is recommended to leave no stone unturned in the completion of houses targeted under PMAY (G) while also ensuring the completion of pending houses,” the committee said in a report presented in the Lok Sabha earlier this month.

(Published 25 December 2019, 15:55 IST)

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