Funds for rural housing scheme okayed till September 2024

April 16, 2024

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The finance ministry has approved the release of funds for six more months through September 2024 under the government’s flagship housing scheme, a move that will enable completion of about 3.5 million rural houses, a senior official told ET.

The government had set a target of building 29.5 million houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) by March 2024 to realise its “housing for all” goal.

Approval was granted to construct nearly all these. About 26 million houses have already been built since November 2016 when the scheme was rolled out revamping the erstwhile Indira Awas Yojana.

In a communication to the rural development ministry this month, the finance ministry has made it clear the funds will have to be utilised only for meeting committed liabilities under the PMAY-G as of March 31, said the official.

“They (the rural development ministry) have been told that there should be no fresh sanctions under the scheme beyond March 31 or beyond the targeted 29.5 million houses for now,” the official said.

The rural development ministry had last month sought the finance ministry’s approval for releasing funds beyond March 2024 against committed PMAY-G liabilities, the official added.

‘Not bypassing EC norms’
Although the latest move comes in the build-up to the general election, it doesn’t violate the Election Commission’s model code of conduct, as the fund release is to merely honour past commitments, said another official.

Under the scheme, the Centre bears 60% of the construction cost in most states, which goes up to 90% in North East and 100% for UTs, while states pitch in with the rest.

Delay in construction
About 1.1 million of the targeted 4.57 million houses in West Bengal are yet to be completed, as the Centre’s payment has been withheld for now due to alleged irregularities in the implementation of the scheme by the state government.

Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh, only 29% of the houses have been completed, thanks to allegations of non-adherence of rules. However, the pace of construction in the state has now gathered steam.

  • Published On Apr 16, 2024 at 09:06 AM IST

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