In what could be the first step towards replacing the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty names from a plethora of government schemes, the Modi government has proposed changing the Indira Awas Yojna (IAY), the rural housing scheme to National Gramin Awas Mission (GRAM).
The proposed change in the nomenclature of the 29 year old scheme, launched by the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1985, is being done on the pretext of upgrading it into a mission with a revised target and additional cost.
“A National Gramin Awas Mission becomes imperative since government has sought to achieve the goal of pucca houses for all by year 2022. It would help focus attention on improving living conditions rather than just offering shelter with sufficient thought to inter-related considerations of basic amenities,” a note on the mission issued last week by the rural development ministry said.
Under the re-launched scheme, the unit size of the houses would be increased to 30 sq meter from 20 sq meter, financial assistance per household raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from existing Rs 70,000, and the twelfth plan target of 1.5 crore houses raised to 3.2 crore houses.
According to the proposal GRAM will be set up in the form of an autonomous registered society to implement and monitor the scheme at the national level.
“Changing the name of Indira Awas Yojna, the scheme associated with the former Prime Minister India Gandhi is a first step towards replacing other schemes associated with the Gandhi family,” a source in the government told HT.
There are more than 600 government schemes named after the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
Before the polls, the BJP had indicated that if they came to power they would review the schemed named after three generations of the Gandhi dynasty.
A month before the Lok Sabha elections results were declared, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu on April 16 had attacked the Congress for “glorification of only one family.”
“Congress launched 650 schemes in the name of three personalities — Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi — giving an impression that no other leader other than one family did any good for the country,” he had said while speaking to reporters in Patna.