(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013 - PIB "Topic: Awas Yojana"

(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013

Chapter: Gist of Press Information Bureau Articles

Topic:  Awas Yojana

Q. What the actions have been taken by Government of India to address the issue of slums and urban poverty?

In a bid to address the issue of slums and urban poverty, the Government of India has undertaken several measures through the five-year plans as well as other policy initiatives and schemes such as:

  1. Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY): launched in December 2001, VAMBAY was a centrally sponsored scheme with an in-built subsidy for undertaking construction of dwelling units for slum dwellers. The scheme was successful in providing affordable houses to the urban poor and with the launch of JNNURM; elements of this scheme were dovetailed into JNNURM.

  2. Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM): Launched in 2005 with a 7 year mission period, JNNURM was developed to facilitate fast-track, planned development and renewal of urban areas in the country, and in particular in 65 mission cities. The sub-mission for Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) focused on granting a 7-point charter of entitlements to the urban poor, namely, affordable housing, water supply, sanitation, security of tenure, health, education and social security.

  3. Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY): aims at addressing urban poverty through the promotion of gainful livelihood opportunities for the urban poor through both wage employment and entrepreneurship development focusing on community-based delivery mechanisms and particularly targeting women.

  4. Integrated Low Cost Sanitation (ILCS): This scheme envisages the conversion of dry latrines into water seal twin-pit sanitary latrines on a whole town basis.

  5. Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP): This aims at operationalizing the strategy envisaged in the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy (NUHHP) of 2007 and was launched in April 2009. It seeks to promote various kinds of public-private partnerships - government with the private sector, the cooperative sector, the financial services sector, the state parastatals, urban local bodies, etc-to create affordable housing stock. Under the scheme, the Government provides subsidy at the rate of Rs.50,000 per affordable unit or 25% of the cost of infrastructure(internal and external),whichever is lower.

  6. Scheme for Interest Subsidy for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP): This scheme, introduced in Feb 2009,aims to lighten the repayment burden of home loans with Central Government subsidies for those EWS and LIG households who have no pucca dwelling but own land in an urban area and want to construct or buy a house. The subsidy has been so designed as to provide the banks the comfort of risk abatement.

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Q. Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY)?

On 2nd June 2011, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the launch of Phase I of RAY to provide financial assistance to States willing to assign property rights to slum dwellers, for the provision of shelter and basic civic and social services for slum redevelopment and for the creation of affordable housing stock.

The duration of Rajiv Awas Yojana will be in two phases: Phase-I for a period of two years from the date of approval of the scheme and Phase-II which will cover the remaining period of the Twelfth Five Year Plan 2013-17, RAY will be run in a Mission Mode.

Q. What are the main features of Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY)?

The scheme is expected to cover about 250 cities (with a population of 1 lakh and above) covering about 32.1 million slum dwellers by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017). The key features of the scheme include:

  • A ‘whole city, all slums, whole slum’ approach;
  • Pace of progress to be set by the states;
  • Central Government to bear 50 per cent of slum re-development costs
  • The two schemes of AHP and ISHUP have been dovetailed into RAY;
  • RAY encourages the use of Central Government assistance by the states and cities towards viability gap funding;
  • Mortgage Risk Guarantee Fund will be established to facilitate lending to the urban poor for housing with an initial corpus of Rs. 1,000 crores from the Centre;
  • Centrality of community participation across all activities of the scheme.

Q. What are the conditions under RAY for states?

Central assistance under RAY is conditional to the implementation of reforms by the states. These include:

  • Enactment of law regarding the assignment of property rights to the slum dwellers;
  • Reservation of 20-25 per cent of developed land for EWS/LIG housing;
  • Earmarking 25 per cent of the municipal budget for providing basic services to the urban poor;
  • Implementation of the 7-point charter of entitlements (as under JNNURM) and
  • Commitments with timelines for amending rent control acts, review of land policies and simplification of approval processes for housing projects.
  • The most crucial reform to be enacted is the property rights reform.

Q. What are the main features of Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act 2011?

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has drafted a Model Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act 2011 focusing, inter alia, on the following:

  • Each individual urban poor household living in slums is to be given the right to a dwelling space (either a unit/house, or a plot on which a dwelling unit/house may be built);
  • The title is to be either exclusively in the name of the female head of household, or jointly in the name of the male head of household and his wife;
  • Every slum dweller will be given a legal document of entitlement to the dwelling space, and by extension, the provision of basic civic services and amenities and
  • The dwelling space is mortgagable, allowing slum dwellers to use it to raise finances.

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