NEW DELHI: The Rural Development Ministry has overhauled certain conditions of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) in order to achieve the government’s goal of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022.
“We are trying to make changes to the programme to facilitate people to build homes faster. This is a way for us to achieve the housing for all targets and also speed up the progress of the scheme in states where it is lacking,” a ministry official said.
According to the new criteria, the unit assistance has been increased from Rs 70000 to Rs 120000 in the plains and from Rs 75000 to Rs 130000 in Himalayan states and difficult areas.
The ministry has also decided to increase the size of the house. It has decided to now build houses in 25 square metres as opposed to the previous dimension of 20 square metres. Also, a dedicated space for hygienic cooking would be provided.
“We just do not want to concentrate on increasing the numbers. We want to ensure that the houses are built with an aim to improve people’s living standards and hence we have made the changes,” the official said.
Under the new set of guidelines, apart from the financial assistance, the beneficiaries will be able to avail a loan of Rs 70,000 from different financial institutions to make their houses better.
Another aspect of the scheme which has been tweaked is the convergence of the PMAY-G with other programmes like the Swachh Bharat Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
“For instance, if people are ready to build toilets, we are providing additional financial assistance of Rs 12,000,” the official said.
According to sources, these changes will be subject to a social audit to check whether the changes are being implemented and the beneficiaries are availing the scheme.
“For the audit, teams will be employed at every district and panchayat level and the reports will be submitted to the ministry,” the official.