CHANDIGARH: The state governments in the region are going slow in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) scheme — a flagship rural household scheme of the central government. Among the three states, Punjab has fallen behind the pack and has the highest pendency rate, even higher than the national average.
The aim of the scheme is to provide pucca houses with basic amenities to all those living in kutcha and dilapidated houses in rural areas and the states have a target of handing over the houses within a stipulated time.
Against the target, set by the ministry of rural development, of 41,117 houses to be completed under the scheme, Punjab is yet to complete the construction of 15,304 sanctioned houses, which accounts for 37.22% of the target, as per the information shared by the ministry in response to a question by Rajya Sabha member from Odisha, Dr Sasmit Patra.
At the national level, 26.86% of the sanctioned houses are yet to be constructed.
In Haryana, out of a target of 30,789, 7,183 (23.32%) houses are pending. In Himachal Pradesh, the pendency rate stands at 24.39%, with 11,706 houses having been built out of 15,483 sanctioned in the state.
In the last four years, the central government, as its share, has provided Rs 138.54 crore to Punjab, Rs 81.45 crore to Himachal, and Rs 49.42 crore to Haryana.
In response to Syed Naseer Hussain, Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, the ministry shared some of the constraints that PMAY-G faced, which include nationwide lockdown induced by Covid-19, affecting all construction activities, including construction of houses under the scheme.
The other reasons for pendency shared by the states with the ministry are delay in the release of central and state share from the state treasury to state nodal account of PMAY-G, unwillingness of beneficiaries, permanent migration, disputed succession of deceased beneficiaries and delay in allotment of land to landless beneficiaries by the states/UTs among others.
The House was informed that to accelerate the progress of the scheme and reduce delays, the ministry has decided to impose minor deductions from ensuing tranches of central share of administrative funds in cases where there is a delay at various stages of sanction/ completion of houses.
Deduction at the rate of Rs 10 per house per month is imposed for delay beyond permissible limits for various stages like sanction, release of instalments and capturing geo-tagged photographs.
In case of delay of more than 2 months in sanctioning of houses, penalty of Rs 20 per house is imposed. So far, no deduction has been made for the delay.
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