The implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Housing Scheme (PMHS), both urban and rural, has been tardy and the targets set for the same would be difficult to achieve. In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that in the current assessment year, the Centre will provide homes to nearly 70 lakh families. For this, 21 lakh homes will be constructed in urban areas and 49 lakh homes will be built in rural areas. However, the slow pace of implementation means that those targets may be difficult to achieve.

The announcement of constructing 70 lakh homes till 2019 was part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of providing homes to all till 2022. In 2015, the Prime Minister had announced a mega programme of providing housing to all and the aim was to build 2 crore houses in urban cities and one crore houses in rural areas by 2022. The scheme was earlier called the Indira Awaas Yojana.

According to data about the PMHS, the government is lagging behind target and so far, only 3 lakh houses have been built under the PMHS. The occupancy rate in these homes is also very low. Due to the alleged lackadaisical approach of bureaucrats and the lack of proper implementation, the Centre is far from achieving the target.

However, to achieve the target, the government has made a comprehensive plan, according to which a budget of Rs 21,000 crore will be given to the Ministry of Rural Development. Besides the increased budgetary allocation, about 80,000 people will be given training in masonry to speed up construction work. In addition to this, basic amenities will be provided to the homeless as well.

In order to ensure that housing benefits reach the needy under the PMHS rural housing scheme, a Digital Delivery System (DDS), a digital monitoring unit, has been set up.

A senior official of the Ministry of Rural Development told The Sunday Guardian: “The DDS will scrutinise the names of prospective applicants for the housing scheme, sent by the Gram Panchayat, and it will assess the applications on multiple parameters. The DDS will match the details of the applicants with the applicants’ details available in the Unique Identification Data (UID). By this, the government will ensure that the applicants are genuine.” 

“The construction work has been slow, but, in the meantime, we are confident of achieving our goal. Three crore houses will be built till 2022 in rural and urban cities as well. Both the Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, have also constituted programme management units to monitor the whole process at all block levels across the country. Besides this, the government has also appointed an Awaas Sahayak who will act as a facilitator for timely construction of these houses,” the same official cited above said.

“The most attractive provisions of the PMHS are the subsidy on home loan interest. Under this scheme, EWS, LIG and middle income groups will be given subsidy of 3% to 6.5% on the interest of home loans. The government’s goal is to provide subsidy to one lakh people in the year 2018-19. About Rs 1,900 crore in funds have been allocated for subsidy on housing. These provisions will enable the government to achieve the target,” the same official cited above added.

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