Rural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar meets with states to scale up flagship projects
As per the announced dates, the nationwide lockdown is nearing its end on the 3rd of May 2020. In this respect, the government is now looking forward to extending concessions to more sectors of the economic activities. The Union Rural Development Ministry is looking forward to making the rural sector stronger as a majority of Indians depend on it for their livelihood.
The Rural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has recently met the counterparts of his state over video conference in order the discuss the upcoming challenges and the way forward to scale up the key flagship schemes. Some of the schemes which were discussed in the meeting include the guaranteed employment programme MGNREGS, the rural housing scheme PMAY-G, the rural road programme (PMGSY), and the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
More than 1 crore houses under PMAY to be government-sanctioned by March 2020
Approximately 1.12 crore houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is to be sanctioned by the government by March 2020, said the Minister for Union Housing and Urban Affairs. This is a revised figure since the initial demand was for the sanction and construction of 1 crore houses within the same timeframe. Currently, approximately 60 lakh units are being constructed and will be handed over within the next 18 months. So far, beneficiaries have received 32 lakh houses. The PMAY (Gramin) scheme has been implemented since April 2016 while the PMAY (Urban) scheme has been implemented since June 2015.
Tripura’s rural development department bags 13 national awards
13 national awards have been bagged by the Rural Development Department of Tripura under various categories for the successful execution of flagship schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development for the year 2018-19. The distribution function of the National Awards took place in Delhi on 19 December 2019 and as per a press release, the awards were given under the categories – Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalaya Yojana, Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin, and National Rural Livelihood Mission. Tripura secured the first position under hilly states for implementation of Good Governance Initiatives category under the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA. The award for outstanding contribution in the implementation of Institution Building Capacity Building (IBCB) has also been received by the Tripura Rural Livelihood Mission (TRLM) under the National Rural Livelihood Mission Scheme. The state also managed to secure the top rank in the category of the number of houses completed in Group-I (the North Eastern States, Union Territories, and the Himalayan States).
First regional workshop of states regarding PMAY – G to be held in Bhopal
The rural development ministry has asked officials of all the states attending the first regional workshop regarding PMAY – G to keep the data regarding the progress of the first two phases of the scheme ready. This workshop is being held in Bhopal on August 8 and 9 and is aimed at exchanging ideas and reviewing the performance of the states regarding the scheme. The workshop can come in handy when it comes to implementation of the housing scheme in the future. It needs to be mentioned here that in the workshop officials are expected to make presentations regarding the reason as to why construction of some houses under the scheme were not completed.
1.95 crore houses to be constructed under PMAY – Gramin over the next 2 years
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union budget reiterated that the government aims to achieve housing for all by 2022 under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme. She added that 1.95 crore houses will be built under the scheme in the next two years to meet the target. In her speech, she stated that the time taken for completion of the houses built under PMAY have been reduced to 114 days in 2017-18 from 314 days in 2015-16 as the government makes use of direct benefit transfer (DBT) platform. The 1.95 crore houses to be built will have amenities like LPG, electricity and toilets, the minister added.
Odisha CM requests sanction of five lakh special houses under PMAY-G scheme
Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to initially sanction five lakh special houses under the PMAY-G scheme. In the letter, Patnaik reiterated the request for waiver of the permanent waitlist (PWL) criterion for allocation of houses to the beneficiaries. He also asked the central government to consider a centre-state fund sharing pattern of 90:10.
The chief minister informed that with the rainy season approaching, the state government has decided to issue work order from June 1 in anticipation of the approval of the central government as there was an urgency to provide pucca houses to the affected people. He thanked the centre for the support it provided in effectively managing cyclone Fani and its aftermath.
It needs to be mentioned here that the state government is carrying out a detailed house damage assessment. As per preliminary estimation, about five lakh houses have been completely or substantially damaged across 14 affected districts. Narendra Modi had made an aerial survey and took stock of the situation on May 6.
FY19 target under PMAY-G likely to be missed
The target of providing 10 million houses to the rural poor by the end of FY19 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Grameen (PMAY-G) is likely to be missed by the government. This speculation has emerged after a government official recently stated that only 8.6 to 8.7 million houses were expected to be completed by April 20.
The delay in meeting the target has been accounted to factors like land not being readily available, refusal of beneficiaries to move from the dwelling areas for construction of houses etc. While in states like Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala, there aren’t enough approved beneficiaries to meet the targets.
It needs to be mentioned here that in FY20, as many as 6 million houses are scheduled to be completed under the scheme. Given the fact that individuals can get Rs.1.2 – 1.3 lakh for a house under the scheme, it has been approved for another 19.5 million houses by 2022.
Cabinet approves second phase of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin
The Union Cabinet has reportedly approved the implementation of the second phase of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G). Under the scheme, the government has aimed at constructing over 1.95 crore houses for the rural poor by the year 2022. According to the official statement, all left out households who care living in dilapidated houses or homeless come down to an estimate of 1.95 crore households for whom the government will be providing pucca houses by the year 2022. The Phase-2 of PMAY-G will progress as per the same criterion and norms of Phase-1, targeting over 60 lakh houses during the year 2019-2020. PMAY offers eligible beneficiaries a subsidy on the home loan interest rates, making life easier for first-time home buyers in the country. According to sources, the State government’s share will amount to Rs.28,305 crore while that of the Central government will be Rs.48,195 crore for the implementation of Phase 2 of PMAY-G.
Rural development schemes of the government lacking in funds, PMAY amongst many others in the list
According to reports by The Quint, the interim budget for rural development has only been increased by 5% from the estimates which were put forward in 2018-2019. This includes the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana where the allocation of funds by the government has reportedly reduced by 13% in accordance with the revised estimates of 2018-2019. In 2019, the funds were decreased by another 5%.
In the reports, Rs.58,900 crore had been sanctioned for the scheme between November 2016 and March 2019. The shortage of the funds now is being credited to delay in payments to the beneficiaries of the scheme. During the period between April 2014 to the end of December 2018, 1.04 beneficiaries were still to receive the final installment, of the total beneficiaries who had completed construction.
When the interim budget was announced by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on 1 February 2019, the middle-class people of the country were to be benefited from the particulars of the budget which included a limit of income tax deduction to be raised to Rs.5 lakh per annum from the previous Rs.4.5 0 lakh per annum. Apart from that, the real estate sector was given a boost where the tax deductions on rental income were also increased with the aim to encourage the middle-class to buy and invest in homes and home loans.
However, the Finance Minister has mentioned the details of various schemes the government had implemented and its success, namely the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. According to statements, 15.3 million houses have already been constructed and the government aims to fulfill its promise of affordable housing for all by 2022. Between January 2019 to March 2019, a total number of 3.64 million houses need to be completed and inspected. Even with a deficit of funds, the government will need to reach its target of 10 million houses.
Rural housing project number falls short by 500,000 houses, government sprints to achieve target before May.
Due to land availability, nearly 500,000 houses for the poor was not sanctioned by the government. This resulted in many people who do not own any land, being homeless. However, as the general elections are around the corner, the government is reportedly doing everything to provide homes for the poverty-stricken people.
According to reports, 460,000 houses under the rural housing scheme have not been developed due to unavailability of land. Out of the 460,000, 240,000 houses are in Bihar while 30,000 are in Tamil Nadu.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the government had sanctioned to complete 10 million houses by the end of March. Out of which, 6.7 million houses have already been completed and 1.7 are in final stages of completion.
Officials in central government had stated that statements had been issued to the states regarding the unavailability of land and mentioned that construction of the remaining houses in Bihar and Tamil Nadu will be sanctioned by February 10.
No Progress In PMAY-G’s Mason Training Initiative
The Rajasthan rural development department has expressed dissatisfaction over the ‘zero’ progress of the mason training initiative under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana?– Gramin (PMAY-G) scheme. As a result, it has asked the district collectors to expedite the training process immediately.
The district collectors have also been asked to submit the details of the trainees by 14th January. Last year, the target for the districts of was set at 20% for the months of October and November. For December and January (2019) it was set at 40% and for February and up to 15 March 2019, it was set 40%.
The review meeting will be held on 15th January and the officials have also been asked to take the necessary steps before the meeting. It has been decided that 5 candidates will be trained during the construction of one house.
It has also been decided that a minimum of 25 candidates would be selected from every village and the priority would be given to the older and the needy ones.