Amid complaints around bogus developers offering flats under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told Parliament that the Centre was collecting information from states and Union territories on private builders allegedly indulging in forgery in the name of the affordable housing scheme. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Puri said that various steps have been taken by the ministry to deal with complaints regarding bogus developers offering flats under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). Responding to a query if private builders were indulging in forgery on a large scale under the housing scheme, he said: “The information is being collected from the state/UT governments.”
He further said that the ministry has not only issued public notice in major regional dailies cautioning people against possible fraud in the name of PMAY(U), but has also posted a disclaimer on its website intimating public that the government has not authorised any private entity to collect money for availing any benefit under the affordable housing scheme. Incidentally, under PMAY(U), the government offers benefits under various components to help people buy a house. The ministry targets to build around 1.2 crore houses for the urban poor.
While the government has stated that it is on track to meet the target of ‘Housing for All by 2022’, the ministry has been pushing development of houses within the scheme across states. Responding to a query in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Puri said that in order to achieve the same, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has asked the northeastern states, hilly states and smaller states/UTs, such as Kerala and Goa, to saturate their demand of houses under PMAY(U) by 2017-18, so that construction of all houses may be completed by 2019. Similarly, it has asked the larger states to saturate their 50 per cent of demand of houses under PMAY (U) by 2017-18 and the remaining by 2018-19, so that construction of all houses may be completed by 2022.
However, according to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, over the last three financial years and the current financial year, a total of 2.91 lakh houses have been constructed under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), including the subsumed projects of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) during past three years and the current financial year are annexed. Of 2.91 lakh, 2.03 lakh houses have been constructed in the current financial year.
A closer look at the data of houses constructed across states shows Gujarat coming on top with a total of 54,474 houses constructed in the state over the four years. The state is followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu that have seen 33,445 and 32,730 houses, respectively, constructed under the PMAY(U) over the four years. Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand are the next in line. A surprise entry in the list of top-10 states in terms of houses constructed under PMAY(U) over the last four years is Tripura which occupies the 10th spot with construction of 7,440 houses, more than those developed in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Out of the 36 states and Union territories, only nine have seen more than 10,000 houses constructed, whereas 16 of them have seen construction of less than 1,000 houses over the four-year period.
According to data provided by the minister, as of now, a total of 6,671 projects (including 183 subsumed projects of Rajiv Awas Yojana) have been sanctioned across the country for construction of 31.18 houses involving central assistance of Rs 47,915 crore. He informed the house on Thursday that of this, Rs 11,143 crore has already been released to the states/UTs concerned. In addition, under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme vertical of the PMAY(U), Rs 1,627 crore has been disbursed as interest subsidy to 80,860 beneficiaries for acquisition/construction of new houses.
Earlier, in November, the Centre had approved enhancement of the carpet area of houses for the middle-income group (MIG) category under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). Under the MIG-I category, the carpet area of the houses was enhanced from 90 square metre to 120 square metre, while under the MIG-II segment, it had been increased to 150 square metre from 110 square metre. Under the MIG-I category, a four per cent interest subsidy is provided to the beneficiaries, whose annual income is between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 12 lakh, on a loan of up to Rs 9 lakh.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), launched on June 25, 2015, aims to provide assistance to states/Union Territories in addressing the housing requirement of the urban poor by 2022.
With inputs from PTI
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