The Centre has not provided Bihar with fresh targets under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) for the last three years, though around 13 lakh families are waiting for houses in the state, Rural Development Minister Sharvan Kumar claimed.
He asserted that several letters were sent to Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh, urging him to allocate fresh target for Bihar, but the state did not get it for 2018-19, 2022-23 and 2023-24.
The opposition BJP, however, accused the Bihar government of playing politics over the issue, and claimed that the state administration is not ready to submit work completion reports or fund utilisation certificates on time.
Eligible beneficiaries get financial assistance from both central and state governments to build pucca houses in rural areas under the PMAY-G scheme. According to the Centre's notification, the PMAY-G aims to construct 2.95 crore houses across rural India to achieve the vision of "Housing for All" by March 2024.
The state government is completing construction of 500 houses almost every day. Despite this progress, there remains a substantial backlog of families awaiting homes. The BJP-led central government is ignoring our request on PMAY-G, Kumar told PTI.
The minister said the targets under PMAY-G are set annually based on availability of eligible beneficiaries, achievements of targets allocated during the preceding years and discussions held with states or union territories during the Annual Action Plan.
After allocation of annual targets, distribution of funds among beneficiaries is made by the states on the basis of eligible number of beneficiaries, the minister said.
The beneficiaries under this scheme are identified based on specific housing deprivation parameters outlined in the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) of 2011.
Around 26.96 lakh houses were sanctioned from 2016 to 2021 for construction under the PMAY-G scheme in Bihar, and around 24.54 lakh units - 90 per cent of the target - have already been completed or delivered to beneficiaries, officials said.
Senior BJP leader Nikhil Anand alleged that when the ambitious housing project for lower and middle-income groups is successful in other states, Bihar has a very bad record.
"The Bihar government is not at all interested in implementing the schemes of the Centre. It is not ready to submit the work completion report or fund utilisation certificate on time.
"Bihar's rural development department has been a major centre of corruption. None of the programmes and policies are being implemented on time," Anand said.
The PMAY-G initiative seeks to provide pucca houses, with basic amenities such as water, sanitation and electricity to all eligible rural households, in two phases. The cost of one dwelling unit is shared by the central and state governments in the ratio of 60:40.
While the assistance for each unit in the plains is Rs 1.20 lakh, it is Rs 1.30 lakh per unit for houses in hilly and difficult areas and districts under the Integrated Action Plan (IAP).
The payments, in three instalments, are electronically transferred directly to bank accounts or post office accounts of the beneficiaries.
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