Pursuing its aim of providing 'homes not houses', the Centre on Monday said it will not only ensure a roof over the heads of as many as 44 lakh people in the next financial year but will also provide them with LPG, power and water connections. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) or PMAY, the Centre will directly transfer about Rs 1.30 lakh and Rs 1.50 lakh in accounts of the beneficiaries staying in plain areas and hilly areas respectively, Rural Development Secretary Amarjeet Sinha told PTI. Besides, all beneficiaries will be given additional Rs 12,000 for construction of toilets and 90 days of employment under MNREGA for construction of their own homes which amounts to Rs 18,000, he added. "Earlier, the target for next year was to provide homes to 33 lakh lakh beneficiaries which has now been revised to 44 lakh. Prime Minister's direction is clear to raise the quality of life of people by ensuring them homes not houses," Sinha said. "Our broader aim is to ensure homes to those who are homeless and concrete houses to those staying in kachha houses," he said adding that Centre also requested states to transfer land in name of those beneficiaries who are homeless. It is estimated that about 60 per cent of beneficiaries for whom these houses will be constructed belong to SC and ST communities. "The work for selection and validation of beneficiaries under the PMAY has been completed.
The scheme will be on DBT (direct benefit transfer) mode. The funds will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries in installments over three years period," Sinha added.Special emphasis is being given to check diversion of funds and to ensure transparency, he said adding that the geotagging of all houses which will be constructed under this scheme along with a photograph of the beneficiary in front of it will be done. The government is ensuring and taking all necessary steps that the funds are not misused or diverted to the people who are not in the list, he added. He informed that the government has provided training to 30,000 masons for constructing houses which are being designed as per local geography. In a bid to boost rural and urban housing post demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on eve of New Year announced interest subsidy of up to 4 per cent on loans taken under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana. Announcing a slew of measures, Modi in his national address had also said 33 per cent more homes will be built for the poor under this scheme in rural areas. Besides, in urban areas housing loans of up to Rs 9 lakh and up to Rs 12 lakh will receive an interest subsidy of 4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, while in rural areas loans up to Rs 2 lakh will get an interest subvention of 3 per cent.