Shelter is a basic need of a citizen which is critical for determining the quality of human life. A roof over the head endows a shelterless person, with an essential asset and improves his physical and mental well being. Hence, fulfilling the need for rural housing and tackling housing shortage particularly for the poorest is an important task to be undertaken as part of the poverty alleviation efforts of the Government. The Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development. Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) households in the rural areas for construction of dwelling units. It has been in operation since 1985-86.
The funding of IAY is shared between the Centre and States in the ratio of 75:25. In the case of Union Territories, entire funds of IAY are provided by the Centre. In case of North East States, the funding ratio between the Centre and States is 90:10. The ceiling on construction assistance under IAY is Rs. 45,000 per unit in the plain areas and Rs. 48,500 in hilly/difficult areas/IAP districts. For upgradation of kutcha house, the financial assistance is Rs. 15,000 per unit. In addition to the unit assistance availed, a beneficiary can also borrow a top-up loan upto Rs. 20,000/- from any nationalized Bank at 4% interest per annum under Differential Rate of Interest (DRI) Scheme.
The criteria for allocation of IAY funds to the States and UTs involve assigning 75% weightage to housing shortage and 25% to poverty ratio. The allocation amongst districts is based on 75% weightage to housing shortage and 25% weightage to SC/ST component. Further, 60% of the IAY allocation is meant for benefiting SC/ST families, 3% for physically handicapped and 15% for minorities. Also the IAY houses are expected to be invariably allotted in the name of women. In addition, 5% of the central allocation can be utilized for meeting exigencies arising out of natural calamities and other emergent situations like riot, arson, fire, rehabilitation etc.
In order to introduce transparency in selection of beneficiaries, permanent IAY waitlists have to be prepared gram panchayat wise by the States/UTs. These lists contain the name of deserving BPL families who need IAY houses in order of their poverty status based on the BPL list 2002. Gram Sabha select the beneficiaries from the list of eligible BPL households/Permanent IAY waitlist wherever it has been prepared.
Construction of an IAY house is the sole responsibility of the beneficiary. Engagement of contractors is prohibited and no specific type, design has been stipulated for an IAY house. However, sanitary latrine and smoklesschullah are required to be constructed alongwith each IAY house. For construction of a sanitary latrine, the beneficiary can avail of financial assistance as admissible under the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC).
Bharat Nirman Programme
Rural Housing is one of the six components of Bharat Nirman Programme. Under Bharat Nirman ProgrammePhase-I, 60 lakh houses were envisaged to be constructed through Indira Awaas Yojana all over the country during the four years i.e. from 2005-06 to 2008-2009. Against this target, 71.76 lakh houses were constructed with an expenditure of Rs. 21720.39 crore. The target for the next five years period starting from the year 2009-10, has been doubled to 120 lakh houses.
During the last three years of the Bharat Nirman Programme Period-Phase-II approximate 85 lakh houses have already been constructed. Since inception of the IAY scheme about 286.88 lakh houses have been constructed with an expenditure of Rs. 85141.13 crore.
Convergence of Various Centrally Sponsored Schemes with IAY
Under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) each IAY beneficiary can get a free electricity connection to his house, under Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) an IAY beneficiary who will construct a sanitary latrine can get TSC funds in addition to the unit assistance he has got under IAY, all willing IAY beneficiaries can get the benefits available under Janshree Bima and Aam Aadmi Bima policies, under DRI, an IAY beneficiary can borrow up to Rs. 20,000/- from any Nationalized Bank at 4% interest per annum to top up the unit assistance he has got under IAY.
Allotment of Homestead Plot
A scheme was launched on 24th August, 2009 as part of IAY, for providing homestead sites to those rural BPL households whose names are included in the permanent IAY waitlists but who have neither agricultural land nor a house site. Since inception of the scheme, funds amounting to Rs. 347.46 crore have been released to States namely Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra for purchase of land and Rs. 1367.31 crore have been released to Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, West Bengal, Rajastan, Maharashtra and Jharkand as incentive for additional houses for providing homestead sites.
The Indira Awaas Yojana is being continuously reviewed through Monthly and Annual Reports received from the States/UTs. Senior officers at the level of Deputy Secretaries and above in the Ministry are appointed as Area Officers for different States/UTs. These Area Officers visit the allotted States/UTs from time to time and inspect the actual implementation of the programme in the field. They also participate in the State Level Coordination Committee Meetings providing thereby, a source of effective link between the policy makers, i.e., the Government and the implementing agencies (States /UT Governments). The programme is also reviewed at the meeting with the State Secretaries of Rural Development and with the Project Directors of DRDAs in the workshops held every year. From April 2007 onwards, an online monitoring mechanism has been put in place to enable DRDAs to upload their monthly progress reports into the website of the Ministry.
The web-based local language MIS Programme ‘AWAASsoft’ was launched, this software captures beneficiary-wise data and is accessible to all the stake holders, beneficiaries and citizens at large.
During the last year 2011-12, Rs. 9991.20 crore (including Rs. 500.00 crore for Homestead Component) were allocated for Rural Housing for construction of 27.27 lakh houses under Indira Awaas Yojana, against the physical target of construction of 27.27 lakh houses, 24.66 lakh houses were constructed after utilization of Rs. 12814.88 crore and 26.95 lakh houses were under construction.
In the current financial year 2012-13, the total budgetary outlay for Rural Housing is Rs. 11075.00 crore. Out of which Rs. 10513.20 crore has been earmarked under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) for construction of 30.09 lakhhouses and Rs. 553.00 crore for Homestead Component. Rs. 4783.70 crore has already been released as first installment of funds. Against the physical target, 3.83 lakh houses have been constructed so far.