Massive affordable housing boost! Government plans to sanction 75 lakh houses before March 2019 under PMAY-U

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New Delhi | Updated: August 18, 2018 12:09:03 PM

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has set a target to sanction around 75 lakh houses till March 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban), a senior government official said.

Centre plans to sanction 75 lakh houses in FY19 under PMAY-U (Reuters)

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has set a target to sanction around 75 lakh houses till March 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban), a senior government official said. “Construction of around 30 lakh houses is expected to be completed by March next year,” he said.

In 2017-18, the ministry had sanctioned around 26.7 lakh houses, while the target for 2018-19 is around 30.6 lakh houses. So far, since the start of the programme, the government has approved construction of a total of 53.7 lakh houses, and close to 30 lakh dwelling units have already been grounded and are in various stages of completion. More than 8 lakh houses have already been completed. “Construction takes time…While houses under the beneficiary-led construction takes around 18 months to complete, others takes around 30-36 months to complete,” the official said.

While efforts to provide low-cost housing loans have been made for many years (National Housing Policy, 1994; Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, 2005; Rajiv Awas Yojana 2013), the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) launched in 2015 provides a fresh impetus – the PMAY-Urban (PMAY-U) subsumes all the previous urban housing schemes and aims at ‘Housing for All’ to be achieved by 2022. The total housing shortage envisaged to be addressed through the PMAY-U is around 1 crore.

The official said the government has released Rs 1,424.59 crore under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme of the (PMAY-U) in the current year while Rs 2,481.56 crore was released under the CLSS in the previous financial year.

According to the ministry, the Centre has approved an assistance of Rs 78,008.36 crore under the (PMAY-U) during the last three years and of this amount, Rs 27,653.18 crore has been sanctioned and released. Around Rs 9,565 crore has so far been utilised under the mission in the last three years since the launch of the (PMAY-U).

Recently, a parliamentary panel on urban development had pulled up the government over “slack implementation” of the Centre’s flagship programmes, including the (PMAY-U) and the Swachh Bharat Mission, and had asked it to get its “act together” and address the issues.

The panel observed that the housing and urban affairs ministry is giving the “usual excuse of procedural delays” in accounting for spent funds in case of the prestigious flagship programmes, but the reality is that “enough thought” has not gone into the promises made to people.

The ministry told the committee that the Centre approves the states’ plans and provides assistance to states, Union Territories and cities, whose projects are designed, approved and executed by them. Release of funds and utilisation is part of the normal financial procedures to ensure proper accounting, and it is not a “true barometer” of the physical progress and the speed of implementation of mission targets and objectives.

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