HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

UPA 2’s Rajiv loan scheme for affordable housing has no takers

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 21, 2014
First Published: 00:21 IST(21/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:16 IST(21/7/2014)

Last October, the UPA government had launched the Rajiv Loan Scheme (RLS) with much fanfare to provide affordable homes to those belonging to economically weaker sections and low income group.

But nine months down the line, the housing and urban poverty alleviation (HUPA) ministry which is piloting the scheme has failed to disburse loan to even a single beneficiary as state governments failed to notify designated officials who could certify income certificate of the poor, a mandatory requisite under the scheme.

At the time of launching the scheme, the government had said that it intends to cover one million beneficiaries under the scheme during the 12th Plan period (2012-2017).

As part of RLS, the central government has committed to provides 5% interest subsidy on long term home loans (15-20 years) for buying/constructing of house to those qualifying under the economically weaker section (EWS)/low income group (LIG) category. While for EWS (defined as households having income upto Rs. 1 lakh) the loan upper limit has been fixed at rs 5 lakh for LIG (households having income upto Rs. 2 lakhs) the ceiling is Rs. 8 lakh.

The schemes failure to find takers has come under flak from M Venkaiah Naidu, HUPA minister.

“Under performance in respect of physical and financial targets has come to my notice in respect of almost all schemes….there could be some reasons for this including the states which are the implementing agencies not being adequately pro-active. I am keen to ensure that implementation bottlenecks are addressed to while launching our urban flagship programmes like smart cities and housing schemes,” Naidu told Hindustan Times.

Ministry officials said that not only state governments failed to notify designated officers but banks also created obstacle by insisting that beneficiaries should have mortgageable properties if they want to avail loan.

 “A majority of those belonging to EWS/LIG category do not have mortgageable property making them ineligible for loan,” said an official.

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