Awaas+ window only after action on PMAY lapses: Minister
Odisha government has been pressing for opening of the Awaas+ window for migration of data for over six lakh ‘eligible’ households from the State-owned rural housing portal.
Published: 12th August 2022 05:51 AM | Last Updated: 12th August 2022 05:52 AM | A+A A-
BHUBANESWAR: The Centre on Thursday flagged serious irregularities in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) in Odisha and made it clear that the State government’s request for inclusion of beneficiaries will only be considered after due compliance to objections raised by the Ministry of Rural Development last year.
Odisha government has been pressing for opening of the Awaas+ window for migration of data for over six lakh ‘eligible’ households from the State-owned rural housing portal. This was conveyed to Panchayati Raj Minister Pradip Amat by Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Giriraj Singh during a meeting with the former in the presence of Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi.
Raising concern over the several irregularities flagged by the Central team that visited the State in March 2021 to review the status of PMAY-G, Singh said the team had pointed out serious lapses in implementation of the flagship scheme.
The Union Minister said there were gross irregularities in the selection of beneficiaries - a whopping 37 per cent were ineligible - in cyclone Fani, discrepancies in uploading data on Awas-soft website, fudging in beneficiaries’ bank account numbers, transfer of funds to ineligible persons and denying benefits to legitimate beneficiaries. Singh also raised serious objection to change of logo of the PMAY-G which is against the scheme guidelines.
Calling for effective monitoring of the housing scheme in the State, he advised the government to strictly ensure social audit of beneficiaries and effective convergence of the scheme with Swachh Bharat Mission for construction of toilets, Saubhagya plan for power connection, tap water and LPG connection to the households. The convergence is still a paltry 20-25 per cent in Odisha, he stated.
Odisha to take action against PMAY-G irregularities
Referring to the 8.17 lakh housing units allotted to the State last year, Singh told Amat to accord priority to tribals and backward districts during selection of beneficiaries. It was agreed in the meeting that anomalies pointed out by the Central team will be resolved and punitive action will be initiated against fraudulent beneficiaries and complicit officials.
Explaining the corrective measures taken by the State government, Amat informed Singh that action has been taken against erring officials and ineligible beneficiaries have been removed from the list. While asking the State government to recover funds from ineligible beneficiaries, the Centre had directed it to initiate criminal action against authorities concerned in case of fund diversion. A week ago, Pradhan discussed the issues with Singh and requested him to open the Awaas+ portal for Odisha for data migration of left out beneficiaries.