PMAY-U scheme

News Excerpt: 

The current Union government completes two terms, one of its flagship programmes was Housing For All (HFA) by 2022, both in urban and rural areas, planned under the PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) scheme in 2015.

About PMAY scheme:

  • The PMAY is a centrally sponsored scheme both the Union and the State governments are supposed to financially contribute to it. 
  • The declared objectives of the scheme included 
    • Rehabilitation of slum dwellers with private developers’ participation; 
    • Promotion of affordable housing for the weaker sections through Credit Linked Subsidy Schemes (CLSS); 
    • Affordable housing in partnership with public and private sectors; 
    • Subsidy for Beneficiary-led Construction (BLC).

How has the scheme panned out?

  • Even after two more years since the supposed completion of the scheme, Housing for All remains a distant reality.
  • The government has approved the continuation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) up to December 31, 2024, for the completion of already sanctioned houses till March 31, 2022.
  • According to government estimates, there is a shortage of around 20 million houses in rural areas and 3 million in urban centers. 
    • However, these figures do not reflect the actual reality.
  • Till 2023, the urban housing shortfall was more than 60 lakh (6 million) houses.
  • A study by ICRIER found that the urban housing shortage increased by 54%, from 1.88 crore (18.8 million) in 2012 to 2.9 crore (29 million) in 2018, 
    • indicating that the PMAY-U has faltered.
  • According to the PMAY dashboard, there is a shortfall of around 40 lakh (4 million) houses from the sanctioned and completed segments.
  • The in-situ slum redevelopment (ISSR) vertical, which is supposed to meet the largest demand, has failed. 
    • Only 2,10,552 houses have been sanctioned for eligible beneficiaries under ISSR.
  • Even if the remaining sanctioned houses are constructed by the end of 2024, it would have addressed just about 37% of the real need, leaving almost 2.4 crore (24 million) households still without a roof.
  • Despite the focus and budgetary infusion of over $29 billion in the last five years for both rural and urban low-cost housing, "Housing for All" remains an unfulfilled promise.

What ailed the PMAY?

  • The scheme is euphoric in the participation of the private sector in bridging the gap of public investments in social housing. 
  • The current estimates suggest that in the Indian urban landscape around 40% (according to the World Bank, 49%) of the people are living in both designated and informal slums. .
  • In some of the projects where spaces occupied by the slum dwellers were handed to private players, 
    • Vertical growth of settlements where slum dwellers were relocated to multi-story buildings created problems for residents, 
      • such as recurring costs of utilities like water, electricity, and sewerage that were beyond their affordability. 
    • The building typologies and linear design with squeezed spaces were also not suitable for the residents.
  • Land availability was a major issue, as land registered under airports, railways, forests, etc., was impossible to use for in-situ slum redevelopment (ISSR) projects.
  • The ISSR plans were drawn up by consultants without any involvement or role from the community residing in the slums.
  • There exists a dichotomy between city master plans and PMAY-U, 
    • as city plans are being dictated by big consultants favoring large capital-intensive technological solutions like 
    • transit-oriented development models, without considering social housing needs.
  • The architecture of PMAY does not adequately address the needs of the landless and the poor. 
  • The government's role is limited in the Beneficiary-Led Construction (BLC) vertical (62% of sanctioned houses) and Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) vertical (21% of beneficiaries), where it only provides interest subsidy, while land ownership is with the beneficiaries.
  • Only about 2.5% of the total beneficiaries are slum-dwelling families to be rehabilitated under the ISSR vertical.
  • The Centre's contribution to the overall investment expenditure under this scheme is just about 25%, while the bulk of the money (60%) is to be contributed by the beneficiary households themselves, which may be challenging for the poor and landless population.

BLC: (Beneficiary-Led Individual House Construction or Enhancement)

  • A Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS)
  • Assistance to individual eligible families belonging to EWS categories to either construct new house or to enhance existing houses on their own
  • Central assistance upto Rs. 1.5 lakh per house
  • Enhancement shall mean addition of minimum carpet area of  9.0 Sq Mt into the existing house with pucca construction of at least one habitable room or room with kitchen and/or bathroom and/or toilet conforming to NBC norms
  • The total carpet area after enhancement must not be less than 21 Sqm and must not be more than 30 Sqm

CLSS(Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme): A Central Sector Scheme

  • Interest subvention on home loans taken by eligible urban poor (EWS/LIG) for acquisition, construction or enhancement of house
  • For the first time, the Middle Income Group (MIG) has been included for a housing scheme in the country.

Book A Free Counseling Session