The Central government has asked the Telangana state government to return the 190 crores given in 2016-17 for building rural houses for the economically backward under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) as reported by the Economic Times.
This move from the Centre came after the State refused to update the Centre about its progress on implementing the scheme. Telangana was given a target of building 70,674 houses in 2016-17 and the first instalment of Rs 190.78 crore was provided to the state.
As per the minutes of the Empowered Committee meeting held on Oct 13, it was decided that the target of 70,674 houses allotted to Telangana would now be given ‘to other well-performing/needy states’ so as to enable the ministry to complete the target of constructing one crore houses under PMAY-G countrywide by 2018-19. Despite a lapse of two years, the Telangana state is still to adopt the transparent criteria of PMAY-Grameen for allotment of houses and has not made any progress on AwaasSoft (an online portal where the progress has to be updated), as told by the Secretary, Rural Development.
Telangana also did not seek the second instalment of PMAY-Grameen funds for 2016-17 till date. As per the ministry’s portal, Telangana has not made a single house under PMAY-Grameen. About 52 lakh houses have been completed across India under PMAY-Grameen so far.
According to a senior Ministry official, the Telangana government was, in fact, pushing its own state housing scheme that promises 2-bedroom houses to all the homeless poor. The scheme employs a contractor system with a higher financial package for the house than the PM Awas Yojana, where the beneficiary himself builds the house. It was possible that the category of people eligible for the PM Awas Yojana, the rural poor who do not have a concrete house of their own, may have been covered by the state scheme, but the state needed to inform the Centre of the same.
The Empowered Committee has decided that Telangana should first complete the gram sabha resolution process, as envisaged in the framework for implementation of PMAY-G, identify beneficiaries as per provisions of the scheme, and then upload their names on the AwaasSoft portal. The ministry accepts the progress of PMAY-Grameen as uploaded only on the portal.
The official, however, reportedly informed that if the state provided the necessary data, the situation can be retrieved.