The government on Wednesday decided to construct 2.95 crore houses in rural areas under its ambitious Housing for All by 2022 scheme.
The Union Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its nod for the implementation of the rural component of the scheme.
The government will have to spend nearly Rs 81,975 crore over construction of the one crore houses in the first three years of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin under which it will provide financial assistance of Rs 1.20 lakh to those living in plain areas and Rs 1.30 lakh to those in "hilly and difficult" areas.
Terming it a "very important decision", Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said there could be an anticipated variation of 10% in the total number of houses to be constructed.
The scheme would be implemented in rural areas throughout the country except Delhi and Chandigarh. The cost of houses would be shared between the Centre and the states.
"An amount of Rs 81,975 crore will be needed to construct one crore houses between 2016-17 and 2018-19 out of which Rs 68,000 crore will be provided by budgetary provisions," Prasad told reportes after the Cabinet meeting.
He said the rest Rs 21,975 crore will come from borrowing through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to be amortised through budgetary allocations after 2022.
The Union Cabinet had in June last year approved the launch of the 'Housing for All by 2022' programme for the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers and promotion of affordable housing for the urban poor, targeting to provide nearly 20 million houses over seven years.
On Wednesday, the Cabinet gave its nod for rural component of the plan, using the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC)-2011 data for identification of beneficiaries.
The programme is a key promise in the Bharatiya Janata Party's manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 a "pucca" house for every family by 75th anniversary of the independence.
The scheme envisages setting up a National Technical Support Agency at the national level to provide support in achieving the target set under the project.
Prasad expressed confidence that there will be total transparency and objectivity in identification of beneficiaries eligible for assistance and their prioritisation through this scheme.