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7th Pay Commission benefit: House Building Advance for staff gets huge hike from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh; 10 things to know

Central government employees can now borrow from the government for house building up to Rs 25 lakh as against Rs 7.5 lakh earlier.

As per the new rules, both spouses, if they are Central government employees, are now eligible to take the House Building Advance either jointly or separately.

In a bid to give a boost to the nation’s housing sector, the government has revised the House Building Advance (HBA) rules for the Central government employees, incorporating the accepted recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. With this, a Central government employee can now borrow from the government for house building up to Rs 25 lakh as against Rs 7.5 lakh earlier.

Here are 10 important things to know about the new rules:

1. A Central government employee can borrow up to 34 months of the basic pay, subject to a maximum of Rs 25 lakh, or cost of the house/flat, or the amount according to repaying capacity, whichever is the least for new construction/purchase of new house. Earlier this limit was only Rs 7.50 lakh.

2. The HBA amount for expansion of the house has been revised to a maximum of Rs 10 lakh or 34 months of basic pay or cost of the expansion of the house or amount according to repaying capacity, whichever is the least. This amount was earlier Rs 1.80 lakh.

3. The cost ceiling limit of the house which an employee can construct/ purchase has been revised to Rs 1 crore with a proviso of upward revision of 25% in deserving cases. The earlier cost ceiling limit was Rs 30 lakh.

4. As per the new rules, both spouses, if they are Central government employees, are now eligible to take the House Building Advance either jointly or separately. Earlier only one spouse was eligible for HBA.

5. There is a provision for individuals migrating from home loans taken from financial institutions/ banks to HBA, if they so desire.

6. The provision for availing ‘second charge’ on the house for taking loans to fund balance amount from banks/ financial Institutions has been simplified considerably. ‘No Objection Certificate’ will be issued along with sanction order of HBA, on employee’s declaration.

7. Henceforth, the rate of Interest on Housing Building Advance shall be 8.50% at simple interest (in place of the earlier four slabs of bearing interest rates ranging from 6% to 9.50% for different slabs of HBA which ranged from Rs 50,000 to Rs 7,50,000).

8. This rate of interest shall be reviewed every three years. All cases of subsequent tranches/ installments of HBA being taken by the employee in different financial years shall be governed by the applicable rate of interest in the year in which the HBA was sanctioned, in the event of change in the rate of interest. HBA is admissible to an employee only once in a life time.

9. The clause of adding a higher rate of interest at 2.5% above the prescribed rate during sanction of House Building Advance stands withdrawn. Earlier the employee was sanctioned an advance at an interest rate of 2.5% above the scheduled rates with the stipulation that if conditions attached to the sanction including those relating to the recovery of amount are fulfilled completely, to the satisfaction of the competent authority, a rebate of interest to the extent of 2.5% was allowed.

10. The methodology of recovery of HBA shall continue as per the existing pattern recovery of principal first in the first fifteen years in 180 monthly instalments and interest thereafter in the next five years in 60 monthly instalments.

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