Rural poor may get 90% more funds to build houses under new scheme

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 13, 2015 07:17 IST
Indira Awas Yojna is set to be rebranded as national Grameen Awas Mission in an effort to revamp the rural housing scheme. (File Photo)

Poor people in rural India may get 90% more funds to build their houses with the government planning to revamp the rural housing scheme, Indira Awas Yojna (IAY).

The scheme — likely to be redesigned as the national Grameen Awas Mission — currently offers beneficiaries Rs 70,000 to build a house and Rs 8,000 for a toilet. The Centre is planning to hike this allocation to up to Rs 1.48 lakh for each house, sources said.

Beneficiaries will also be offered cheap housing loan with interest subvention from the government and a wider variety of designs to model their houses on.

The IAY revamp comes amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to link rural housing with the Swachh Bharat mission and strengthen its earlier convergence with MGNREGA, the rural job scheme.

According to new proposals, each beneficiary would get a total of Rs 1 lakh from the Centre and the state. Rs 12,000 would be allotted from the Swachh Bharat fund separately for building toilets. Beneficiaries can rope in MGNREGA workers for construction works that warrant wages up to Rs 16,000. This amount will be paid out of the MGNREGA funds. In addition, beneficiaries will be offered a loan of Rs 20,000.

“The Centre is mulling a housing loan whereby the recipients get Rs 20,000 in addition to the government allocation. They will pay just Rs 269 per month for seven years to repay it,” said an official.

The new proposals -- currently awaiting the nod of the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) which comes under the finance ministry – are set to be implemented before the assembly elections in Bihar later this year.

Several internal reports had pointed out that current allocation rates were insufficient to build houses. Recently when the PM asked secretary-level officers to revisit their first area of posting, many reported how open defecation continued as paucity of funds had stalled the construction of toilets under the existing IAY.

Modi, who had recently launched insurance schemes with cheap premium for workers of the unorganised sector, is also expected to launch the Grameen Awas Mission.

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