(The Gist of Kurukshetra) PMAY-G: RURAL HOUSING REVOLUTION [AUGUST-2018]



Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G), previously Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), is a social welfare flagship programme, created by the Indian Government, to provide housing for the rural poor in India. Under the scheme, financial assistance worth 70,000 (US$1,000) in plain areas and 75,000 (US$1,100) in difficult areas (high land area) is provided for construction of houses. These houses are equipped with facilities such as toilet, LPG connection, electricity connection, drinking water and electricity connection. Convergence with other schemes e.g. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan toilets, Ujjwala Yojana, LPG gas connection, and Saubhagya Yojana is a hallmark feature of this scheme

The houses are allotted in the name of the woman or jointly between husband and wife. The construction of the house is the sole responsibility of the beneficiary and engagement of contractors is strictly prohibited. Sanitary latrine and smokeless chulhas are required to be constructed along with each house for which additional financial assistance is provided. This scheme provides subsidies and cash-assistance to people in villages to construct their houses themselves.

Purpose: The broad purpose of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to some of the weakest sections of society to upgrade or construct a house of respectable quality for their personal living. The vision of the government is to replace all temporary (kutcha) houses from Indian villages with pucca houses.

Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G) on 20th November, 2016. The erstwhile rural housing programme, Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), was restructured into PMAY-G. To achieve “Housing for All by 2022”, a target of completing one crore PMAY-G new pucca houses in rural areas by 3lst March, 2019 and 2.95 crore pucca houses by 2022 was set. Of these, 51 lakh houses were to be completed by 31st March, 2018, which included completion of expected 2 lakh incomplete IAY houses as well.

While meeting the target of construction of 1 crore PMAY-Gramin houses by December, 2018, more than 76 lakh beneficiaries have been sanctioned houses, and approximately 63 lakh beneficiaries have received 1st installment. Highest number of PMAY-G houses have been completed in the State of Uttar Pradesh during the Financial! Year 2017-18 followed by Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. In fact, almost all States that have the highest number of PMAY-G beneficiaries like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand etc., are on course for completion of PMAY-G houses within the prescribed time-frame. So far, 38.22 Iakh PMAY-G houses have been completed. With Assam and Bihar also speeding up completion of houses, we hope to complete 60 lakh PMAY-G houses by June, 2018 and 1 crore by December, 2018.

Transparent Implementation: Construction of bigger and better houses has been possible due to transparent beneficiary v selection, capacity building of beneficiaries, timely availability of funds to the beneficiaries, structured monitoring and course-correction based on the feedback on implementation.

The faster completion of quality houses under PMAY-G has been facilitated by payment of assistance directly into the beneficiary account through IT-DBT platform from single State Nodal Account maintained at the State level. Use of ITDBT platform has ensured transparent, hassle-free and quality programme implementation. Payment to beneficiaries under PMAY-G, is routed through Public Financial Management System (PFMS). Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) has led to:

Ministry of Rural Development has developed a Performance Index incorporating various parameters of progress under PMAY-G. The Index acts as a tool not only to monitor progress of PMAY-G on various parameters across States, Districts, Blocks and Gram Panchayats, but also instil a healthy competition among them. It also helps in identifying areas of improvement and in motivating them towards better performance in implementation of the programme. The ranking of State/UTs and below on Performance Index is
done on real time basis and changes everyday based on the performance of the State / UT and below. The national ranking of districts has also been introduced recently which places the performance of a district in the national perspective.

Ensuring Quality Construction: To ensure quality construction of a house and to facilitate availability of trained masons in the rural areas, Rural Mason Trainings are being organized. A total of 25,000 trainees have been enrolled, out of which 12,500 trainees have been trained and certified. The rural mason training has been initiated in 11 States and the States of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have taken the lead and have the Lightest number of certified rural masons. It is targeted to train 1 lakh rural masons by March, 2019 which will contribute towards not only the quality construction of PMAY-G houses in rural India, but also to the skilled manpower pool of the country. In addition, this will also help in getting better livelihood opportunities for the trained Masons.

States have also taken adequate steps to ensure continuous availability of construction material at reasonable prices so that the pace and quality of construction is not adversely affected. Budget allocation, 2017-18: Rs 23,000 crore PMAY(G) Allocation for 2018-19: Rs 21,000 crore (extra-budgetary support is additional). Rural housing has been a marquee scheme for the Government. So far this year, 31 percent of the houses sanctioned have been completed, as against 50 per cent last year. In nearly three years starting 1 April 2016, 27 lakh houses have been completed. The Rural Development Ministry is confident of meeting the one crore target by end of this fiscal. Officials say full emphasis is being paid to make sure the target is met and that identification of beneficiaries is fool-proof. There is real-time monitoring of progress of construction through geotagged photographs. Funds are transferred electronically to beneficiary bank accounts through DBT. 45 lakh houses sanctioned in the second installment are near completion.

Conclusion: Rural development has assumed global attention especially among the developing nations. It has great significance for a country like India where majority of the population, around 65% of the people, live in rural areas. The present strategy of rural development in India mainly focuses on poverty alleviation, better livelihood opportunities, provision of basic amenities and infrastructure facilities through innovative programmes of wage and self-employment. The Rural Housing program has certainly enabled many BPL families to acquire pucca houses. Rural Housing will improve rural people's livelihoods in an equitable and sustainable manner, both socially and environmentally, through better access to assets (natural, physical, human, technological and social capital), and services.

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Courtesy: Kurukshetra