Vasundhara govt suspends Gehlot’s housing scheme

The scheme, introduced in 2011, aimed at providing 6.80 lakh dwelling units to rural homeless by 2014.

Written by Sweta Dutta | Jaipur | Published:August 13, 2014 12:36 am

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has suspended Mukhyamantri Gramin BPL Awas Yojana — one of the pet projects of previous Congress government in the state — citing fiscal prudence.

The scheme, introduced in 2011, aimed at providing 6.80 lakh dwelling units to rural homeless by 2014.

Sources in the government said the previous government had allegedly circumvented the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act — that recommends limiting the total debt taken by a state —to fund the project. “Instead of taking the Rs 3,400 crore loan directly from Housing and Urban Development Corporation, the state took it through zila parishads so that on paper it showed fiscal prudence. The state stood guarantor for the loan and is effectively paying for the loan as the zila parishads have no repayment capacity,” said a senior government official.

With the scheme having the same target group as that of Centre’s Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), the BJP government has now decided to not take any more loan. “The units that were already sanctioned will be given the assistance. We are not stopping the scheme in that sense. The Centre is working towards expanding the IAY and has increased the sanction amount,” said state Rural Development Minister Gulab Chand Kataria.

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