Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), a central government scheme launched in 2015 with a vision to boost affordable housing, aims to provide over 2 crore pucca houses inclusive of all basic amenities like water connection, proper sanitation and 24-hour electricity supply to the poor and eligible beneficiaries by March 2022. The scheme has been classified into two categories based on its focus segments- PMAY-Gramin/Rural (PMAY-G) and PMAY-Housing for all (HFA)-Urban (PMAY-U). Although the ultimate objective of these rural and urban counterparts of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is to provide affordable housing to the poor, they do differ a great deal from each other on the following grounds:
- PMAYProgramme Verticals of the Mission:
The PMAY-U strives to address the housing needs of the urban poor including slum dwellers through four programme verticals:
- In-situ Rehabilitation of slum dwellers in collaboration with private construction developers using land as a resource.
- Affordable housing under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
- Subsidy for individual house construction/enhancement led by the beneficiary.
- Credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) for economically weaker sections to facilitate affordable housing.
On the other hand, the PMAY-G reflects a single point vertical to provide puccahouses by 2022 to the rural poor who are homeless or living in kucha or dilapidated houses.
- Eligibility Criteria and Beneficiaries under PMAY
Households belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS), low income groups (LIGs) and middle-income groups (MIGs) are usually the beneficiaries covered under PMAY-U comprise of. Under PMAY-U, the eligibility criteria that needs to be met by an individual to be declared a beneficiary of the scheme is based on his household’s annual income. The annual income limit is upto Rs. 3 lakhs for EWS, Rs 3-6 lakhs for LIG, Rs. 6-12 lakhs for MIG-I and Rs. 12-18 lakhs for MIG-II. EWS beneficiaries are eligible for financial assistance in all the four verticals of the mission, unlike the LIG and MIG categories that are eligible for assistance only under the Credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS). Also, the beneficiary or his immediate family member (includes spouse, parents or unmarried children) must not already own a puccahouse to avail PMAY-U assistance. Other beneficiaries include socially backward and minority groups like the OBCs, SC/STs, Women who are required to produce their respective caste certificate to be enlisted under PMAY-U.
Identification of eligible beneficiaries for assistance under PMAY-G is done through the information available from the latest Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011 (SECC 2011) to ensure complete objectivity and transparency. The census information lists all the socially and economically backward sections that are categorized as beneficiaries under the PM Rural Awas Yojana, another centrally sponsored rural housing scheme. The Gram Sabha identifies beneficiaries who have already availed the assistance under the PM Rural Awas Yojana or those who were disqualified for other reasons. The final list of beneficiaries eligible for PMAY-G is then published annually by the Gram Sabha through a participatory process. Once the name is shortlisted in the list released by the Gram Sabha, he/she shall be eligible for the financial assistance under PMAY-G scheme. To avail the assistance, the applicant must belong to EWS or LIG or BPL (Below the Poverty Line) category, and the annual income of the applicant’s family should be between Rs.3-6 lakhs.
- Financial Assistance
Under PMAY-U, eligible beneficiaries can avail the following financial assistance under each of the programme verticals:
- A slum rehabilitation grant of an average of Rs. 1 lakh would be admissible for all houses built for slum dwellers under the vertical of in-situ slum development. This is applicable only for EWS families.
- As part of the vertical of affordable housing under PPP model, the PMAY-U provides financial assistance to the EWS families upto Rs. 1.5 lakh on behalf of the central government.
- Under the Credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) of PMAY-U, the EWS, LIG and MIG families can avail home loans from banks, housing finance companies and other such financial institutions for purposes of new home construction and enhancement to their existing homes as incremental housing. EWS and LIG beneficiary families are eligible for an interest subsidy of 6.5 %, while MIG- I and MIG-II families can avail 4 % and 3 % interest subsidy rates respectively, all for a maximum loan tenure upto 20 years.
- For those EWS families unable to avail financial assistance under the above three verticals of PMAY-U, the central government provides financial assistance of upto Rs. 1.5 lakh under the vertical of subsidy for individual house construction/enhancement undertaken by the beneficiary.
Under PMAY-G, the financial assistance given to its beneficiaries is upto Rs. 1.2 lakhs for homes in plain areas, and upto Rs. 1.3 lakhs for construction of homes in hill states, difficult terrains, Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for ST and backwards districts. An additional provision for assistance of Rs. 12,000 towards toilet construction is permitted through the scheme’s convergence with Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme). The beneficiary is also entitled to about 90/95 days of unskilled labour under MGNREGS.
Interest rate subsidies on housing loans can be availed by eligible beneficiaries under PMAY-G. These loans shall be provided at 6 % per annum interest rate for a loan amount upto Rs. 6 lakhs. Anything above this loan amount shall be provided at an interest rate at market value. However, if the home loan amount does not exceed Rs. 2 lakhs, a 3 % concession on interest rate is applicable. The funds are electronically transferred to the beneficiary’s bank account.
The minimum size of the house under PMAY-G is 25 sq.m that includes an exclusive hygienic cooking space. On the other hand, the carpet area of the unit under PMAY-U depends on the income categories the beneficiaries belong to. The maximum dwelling unit carpet area under PMAY-U is 30 sq.m for EWS families, 60 sq.m for LIG category, 160 sq.m for MIG-1 and 200 sq.m for MIG-2 categories.
The PMAY-U and PMAY-G also differ in terms of their application process. While a potential beneficiary can register for the PMAY-U scheme by filling the application either online or offline, the PMAY-G is not available for registration, since the beneficiaries are identified and finalised on a priority basis by the Gram Sabha with the help of the available village census information from SECC. Potential beneficiaries can, however, check the status of their selection online through the official PMAY website.
In a nutshell, while the rural and urban components of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana differ on the operational and financial aspects, they do strive towards PMAY’s ultimate goal of ‘Housing for All’, especially for the economically weaker and lower income groups, by 2022. In this direction, the third and last phase of Pradhan execution is on, and potential beneficiaries can avail a home loan under the scheme to fulfil their dream of owning a home – a symbol of basic dignity of life. _
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