Tamil Nadu on Thursday urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to increase the central government's contribution in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) from Rs 1.5 lakh per beneficiary to Rs 5.4 lakh.
Tamil Nadu on Thursday urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to increase the central government’s contribution in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) from Rs 1.5 lakh per beneficiary to Rs 5.4 lakh. Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam made the plea in a pre-budget consultation meeting on Thursday Jaitley had with 14 finance ministers, the Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry and the Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Manipur and Tamil Nadu here. “The flagship scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) has been designed to meet the housing needs of the urban poor. I am constrained to point out that under the ‘Affordable Housing in partnership’ and ‘In-situ rehabilitation scheme’ of the PMAY, the central share is limited to Rs 1.5 lakh per beneficiary, while the actual cost of a tenement is Rs 10 lakh and the beneficiary contribution is Rs 1 lakh,” he said. Panneerselvam said thus the contribution of government of India to the scheme is only 15 per cent, while the state government is contributing 75 per cent of the cost. “It would be appropriate if the government of India enhances its share to at least Ts 5.4 lakh per beneficiary, in line with other centrally sponsored schemes, in which central share is 60 per cent,” he said.
He also said that under the ‘National Social Assistance Programme’, the central government is providing pension of Rs 200 per beneficiary under the Old Age Pension Scheme and Rs 300 per widows and the differently abled since 2011. “It is obvious that Rs 200 per month is grossly inadequate for a decent living. I, therefore, strongly urge the Finance Minister to increase the pension to at least Rs 1,000 per month,” Panneerselvam added. Jaitley said the suggestions made by the states and Union Territories in the meeting would be examined and “suitably considered” while formulating Budget proposals of 2018-19.