November 20, 2019 8:22:19 am
The benefits of Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna (PMAY) are not reaching the poor in Congress-ruled Punjab, as out of 1.62 lakh applicants, bankers have only shortlisted 10,202 applicants till now, said Punjab’s Local Bodies Director Karnesh Sharma, who was strongly seconded by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal at the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting of Punjab on Tuesday.
When the issue was raised by the duo, the SLBC constituted a three member-committee to look into the issue and check the eligibility of each applicant. A representative of the state’s local bodies department would be part of the committee, it was announced. It was also decided that the delay in deciding the applications would also be probed.
Sharma said that out of 1.62 lakh applications in the last one year, only 10,202 applicants were stated to be eligible by the bankers. Badal raised questions on the “unenthusiastic” approach of bankers towards the scheme, benefits of which should have reached the grassroots.
The bankers said that the scheme was meant for the urban poor, while most of the applications received by them were from rural areas. Hence, their application was not being processed.
To this, Badal said that if that was the case, the bankers should have made it known to the applicants. “If you think those applicants are not eligible then the applications should have been rejected at the first instance and the applicants should have been informed. There is no point in keeping them waiting forever. They should be dealt with in a dignified way,” he added.
He further said, “People can handle rejection. But it is not good to get people to make rounds of the offices. It is unfair. If an application is rejected then the applicants know that rules were being followed.”
Badal also raised the issue of banks lending money to farmers and called for the need to make sure that the loans are commensurate with their source of income. Otherwise, this was pushing them into a “debt trap”, he said.
The government provides a subsidy of Rs 1.65 lakh under the scheme — Rs 1.5 lakh is contributed by the Union government and Rs 15,000 by the state government.
The Yojna is not getting enough response as an applicant is required to demolish his/her existing structure and show a vacant plot to the bank to avail of the loan under the Yojna. Moreover, only a 30 sq. yard house can be constructed including a bathroom.
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