BHUBANESWAR: With panchayat polls slated to be announced in the next few days, the BJD government on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, came up with direct cash benefit sops for beneficiaries of housing schemes that will touch around 30 lakh families in the State.
In a video message after presiding over a Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced special house repair assistance in cash for beneficiaries under housing schemes of the State government and those waiting to get a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Grameen (PMAY-G).
While beneficiaries under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, Nirman Shramik Pucca Ghar Yojana and Khani Anchal Pucca Ghar Yojana will get repair assistance of Rs 3,000 each, eligible families waiting to get a house under PMAY-G will receive Rs 5,000 each. The one-time financial assistance will be directly deposited in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. Around 30 lakh families will benefit from the decision.
The State government will bear the additional burden of Rs 1,444 crore for implementation of the scheme. The amount will be met from the budget of Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana. Stating that Covid-19 has hit people of the State hard and many of them do not have money for repair of their houses, the Chief Minister said the assistance announced by the government will help those in need.
The Chief Minister said efforts by the State government are on to get houses under the Central schemes for eligible beneficiaries. However, if the Centre does not accept the demand, the State government will take steps to provide houses to the deprived people from its own scheme.
Stating that shelter security of people is a prime focus area of the government as the State faces natural calamities like cyclone and flood every year, the Chief Minister said that a decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting in 2014 to convert all kutcha houses to pucca dwellings. Since the launch of BPGY in 2014, the State government has spent Rs 22,000 crore on the scheme.
The Chief Minister said the State government has launched several schemes for providing houses to the beneficiaries from its own resources. Besides, it also provides nearly half of the funds for the PMAY-G. He said many eligible beneficiaries are waiting to get a house under the Central scheme despite his repeated appeals.