BHUBANESWAR: The uncertainty over Central assistance for rural housing scheme under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) for the current fiscal is finally over with the Ministry of Rural Development sanctioning Rs 591.44 crore for the State.
The financial allocation has been made as per the guideline giving 75 per cent weight to rural housing shortage from the latest census data and 25 per cent weight to poverty estimate, official sources said.
However, the fund sharing pattern between the Centre and the State has been revised to 50:50 for the current financial year. Till the last financial year, the Central share was 75 per cent.
There will be no change in the funding pattern for hilly and difficult terrains (90:10) and the Union Territories (full cost).
The unit cost of the house under Centrally sponsored scheme is Rs 70,000 in plain areas and Rs 75,000 in North Eastern States and other hilly areas.
In a recent communication, Director (Rural Housing) in the Ministry of Rural Development BC Behera has requested the State Government to enter the revised housing target of each district in the AwaasSoft, the software developed for monitoring the rural housing scheme, before October 15.
The Ministry has further directed the State Government to issue order to beneficiaries and ensure that the proposals for the second instalment are submitted in time.
As per the normal practice, the first instalment of the Central assistance to the State was released in April and the second instalment was sanctioned in September.
The Centre has approved housing for 1,60,610 BPL families of the State in the current financial year. The change in funding pattern will put additional financial burden on the State which has made a provision of Rs 1,286.16 crore in the 2015-16 budget anticipating higher allocation from the Centre.
While the State is seriously lagging behind the target for construction of houses under IAY and Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, the reduced allocation of Central assistance after lapse of six months of the financial year will further delay the housing projects.
The State Government had set a target to construct 1.61 lakh houses in the last financial year for which the Centre had released Rs 684 crore out of an allocation of Rs 876.93 crore. The total utilisation of fund by the end of April was Rs 67.51 crore with construction of only 11,000 units.