The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an upgraded rural housing scheme that seeks to build one crore pucca houses over the next three years at a cost of Rs 82,000 crore, according to reports published in the media.
The reports said the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin, will start from April 1 this year and run till March 2018-19. The Government has decided to upgrade the unit size of these houses from the existing 20 sq metres to up to 25 sq metres including a dedicated area for hygienic cooking.
It has also enhanced the financial assistance for the programme to provide Rs 1.2 lakh in the plains to Rs 1.3 lakh in hilly states and difficult areas from the earlier grant of Rs 70,000 and Rs 75,000 respectively. The expenditure involved in implementing the project over three years from 2016-17 to 2018-19 will be Rs 81,975 crore, said the reports.
The scheme provides financial assistance for construction of pucca house to all families without a house and also to households living in dilapidated houses.
The Government has allowed the Rural Development Ministry to meet additional financial requirement of Rs 21,975 crore by borrowing through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). This amount will be amortised through budgetary allocations after 2022. The funds will be transferred electronically directly to the account of the beneficiary.
The additional requirement of building material, manufacturing of bricks using cement stabilised earth or fly ash will be taken up under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). The beneficiary will also be entitled to 90 days of unskilled labour under MGNREGS. The scheme will be implemented in rural areas throughout India except Delhi and Chandigarh.
The cost of houses will be shared between the Centre and states in 60:40 ratio in the plains and 90:10 in hilly areas. A National Technical Support Agency will provide support in achieving the rural housing targets.