PRADHAN Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban and Gramin) is among the most popular social welfare policies introduced by the Narendra Modi Government. Under the PMAY, new houses come with basic amenities like electricity, cooking gas, and water connections.
In her Budget speech this year, Finance Mnister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the overall outlay for PMAY is being enhanced by 66 per cent, to over Rs. 79,000 crore. Documents show that the hike is primarily in the PMAY-Gramin (or rural) component of the scheme. The budgetary allocation for the PMAY-Gramin for providing housing for the rural poor increased by 12 per cent – to Rs. 54,487 crore. No wonder, as the scheme is meant to provide affordable housing to the number of people, roughly equivalent to the entire population of Nepal! The Union Government rolled out the rural housing scheme with effect from April 1, 2016. The objective was to provide ‘Housing to All’ by 2024. The programme envisages the completion of 2.95 crore PMAY-G houses with all basic amenities by the year 2024. As on March 3 this year, a total of 2.86 crore units have been sanctioned to beneficiaries by the states and Union Territories. Out of these, 2.22 crore houses have been completed.
Direct Cash Transfers
The details were provided by Minister of Rural Development Giriraj Singh in a statement while answering a question in the Lok Sabha on March 28.
The process was made possible through the adoption of Direct Cash Transfers to verified bank accounts, the creation of the state nodal account and other reform processes that characterise PMAY-G.
In addition, the Government introduced certain implementation reforms aimed at improving the speed and quality of construction and ensuring timely release of funds to beneficiaries. A monitoring system has been put in place through MISAwaasSoft and AwaasApp. AwaasSoft provides functionalities for data entry and monitoring of multiple statistics related to implementation aspects of the scheme.
Accessible, transparent New modules have been added to the software for making it more accessible and maintaining transparency in the implementation of the programme. The Ministry for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has taken initiatives for introducing new modules in the Awaassoft, such as Landless Module, Convergence module, E-ticketing system, Aadhaar Based enabled payment, etc.
On February 22, 2022, the Minister for Rural Development Giriraj Singh launched the PMAY-G Dashboard for stringent monitoring of the implementation of the scheme. The dashboard is used by the stakeholders for monitoring and managerial purposes. However, the minister has asked officials to make the portal public to make it ‘Aam Janta Ka Portal’ in reality.
Under PMAY-G, there is a grievance redressal mechanism as well, set up at different levels of administration – Gram Panchayat, Block, District, and State. Cases of irregularities reported by Members of Parliament, Members of State Assembly, and the public – directly or through CPGRAMS – are taken up with the concerned state Government for necessary action.
Portal for grievances
CPGRAMS (Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System) is an online platform available to the citizens 24×7 to lodge their grievances with authorities on any subject related to service delivery. It is a single portal connected to all the Ministries/ Departments of Government of India and states.
Till March 23, a total of 1,787 complaints relating to irregularities in implementation of PMAY-G have been received in the Ministry of Rural Development on CPGRAMS.
As the state governments implement PMAY-G, these complaints have been forwarded to respective states for taking necessary action under intimation to the Rural Development Ministry. Out of these complaints, 1,757 have been disposed of as of March 23. It needs mention that PMAY-G was intended to address the failures of Indira Awas Yojana. In fact, the flaws were mentioned in various reports.
One such exhaustive report was from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. PMAY-G, thus, began with addressing housing typologies, agroclimatic zones, and soil-type, by top experts. Safety features were infused with housing plans.
The new units were thus reinforced against strong wind, degradation by water, other effects of weather and earthquake, etc. Over 200 designs according to the respective locale and region were adopted by the states after thorough deliberations. It was then that the costing was worked out and easy means of financing by selected beneficiaries were identified.