New Delhi: The government today embarked on an ambitious journey to build one crore houses for India’s poor over the next three years. The move is part of the Centre’s programme to provide housing for all by 2022, the year which marks the 75th year of India’s Independence.
The announcement of this "very important decision" came from senior BJP leader following a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
The minister said that 2.95 crore houses will be built by 2022 and for this a financial assistance of up to Rs.1.30 lakh will be provided to each homeless family in rural areas of the country.
The measure is part of the government's rural housing scheme -- Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana - Gramin -- for construction of brick and mortar houses for all houseless and households living in temporary shelters. The houses will also be provided with basic amenities like electricity and water at cheaper rates.
Ravi Shankar Prasad said that every poor family living in plains will get Rs.1.20 lakh and those living in "hilly and difficult" areas will receive an assistance of Rs.1.30 lakh to construct a house.
"This programme will run for 6-7 years," the minister told reporters, adding the scheme will run in two phases.
In the first phase, he said, "the government will provide assistance for construction of one crore houses in rural areas over the period of three years from 2016-17 to 2018-19".
For this, the government would need to spend nearly Rs.82,000 crore. Out of this, Rs.60,000 crore will be provided by "budgetary provisions" and the "additional financial requirement" of nearly Rs.22,000 crore will come as loan from India's apex development bank NABARD.
The loan will be "amortised through budgetary allocations after 2022", he said.
The minister stressed that "transparency in the selection of beneficiaries" will be maintained in the implementation of the scheme which will be executed all over India except for Delhi and Chandigarh.
Masons to be employed for building the houses should be trained properly so that the construction is done as the per the regional requirements, Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
For identification of beneficiaries, the government will depend on the Socio Economic and Caste Census data that was issued recently, according to an statement official statement. The Census identified poor households living in temporary shelters.
The Census said that there were 2.3 crore households in rural India living in one room or less with non-concrete walls and roof.
(With IANS inputs)