The State is set to lose its normal Central assistance under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), the rural housing scheme for the poor families, for its poor utilisation of funds.
As per the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), release of second instalment to the State will be subject to utilisation of 60 per cent of the total available funds (opening balance plus the fund released during the financial year) and completion of all the houses sanctioned more than three years ago and 75 per cent of the houses sanctioned two to three years ago.
The State progress report stated that 1,26,313 houses sanctioned to normal beneficiaries and 89,315 to tribals and other traditional forest dwellers under Forest Right Act (FRA) have remained incomplete till end of June.
The online report of the MoRD said over 1.25 lakh houses are under construction during the current financial year. However, not a single house has been completed.
The State Government had set a target to construct 1,55,363 houses during 2012-13. Though 1.25 lakh houses were taken up for construction, only 364 houses were completed by the end of March.
The performance of the State was no better in 2011-12. With an annual target for construction of over 1.42 lakh houses, the Panchayati Raj department could ensure completion of 296 houses under IAY. Beneficiaries belonging to the scheduled categories and minority community have not benefited much under the housing scheme. In 2012-13, houses of 31 out of 31,805 Scheduled Tribes families were constructed while 122 out of 32,705 houses of Scheduled Caste families could be completed.
Last year, the Centre sanctioned nearly one lakh houses for people enjoying the land rights under Forest Rights Act (FRA). The Ministry of Rural Development sanctioned Rs 362.52 crore additional assistance towards Central share and released Rs 181.12 crore as first instalment.
But the State Government has been able to utilise 6 per cent of Rs 79 crore available with the department by constructing only 325 houses.
The State continued to perform poorly in the utilisation of funds. With an outstanding balance of Rs 150.75 crore, the total availability of fund under IAY scheme was Rs 171.44 crore. However, the State had utilised Rs 29.20 crore till June 1 which was 17 per cent of the total fund. The State Government has directed the district collectors and project directors of District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) to ensure completion of the backlog houses by March, 2014.