New Delhi: With an eye on political dividends, the government in the interim budget has set aside substantial allocation for flagship programme Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY) but the implementation on the ground remains the major challenge.
Union minister Piyush Goyal announced Rs 19,000 crore for the scheme, which missed the target of one crore houses. According to a government note reviewed by Firstpost, against the total target, more than 4.5 lakh houses are still pending to be sanctioned.
Bihar is lagging behind among the states and the Centre has asked the JD(U)-BJP ruled state to prepare an action plan with timelines to achieve the target. The problem is more severe in landless category, where only 56,000 have been provided with land for house construction against the identified 4.7 lakh beneficiaries.
The government has revised the target to complete the one crore houses by March 2019, just a month before the election, which appears to be an uphill task since at least seven states, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are yet to claim the first installment of 2018-19 budget allocation.
The government has also substantially increased the allocation for National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) from Rs 8,900 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 9,200 crore in 2019-20 budget to cater to the various components including pension, Annapurna scheme and disability pension. This scheme has been a huge success for the Centre with few aberrations in disbursement of pension. Gujarat, Assam, Meghalaya and Lakshadweep are using 100 percent DBT for payment of benefit under the NSAP schemes.
In addition, Odisha, Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh are following 100 percent disbursement through cash mode. One of the key areas where government is pitching aggressively is National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), which has been allocated Rs 9,024 crore, a massive hike from previous allocation of Rs 5,783 crore in 2018-19. Despite the renewed push since NDA came to power, the states are lagging behind in saturation and inclusion in the existing blocks.
Although Centre has directed that all blocks are to be covered under intensive implementation strategy by March 2020, monitoring of disbursement, utilisation and repayment of community funds remain a major concern. The government has admitted slow pace in universal inclusion of all vulnerable communities.
The Centre last month asked all the states to initiate systematic intervention on insurance and pension, arguing that poor households face more vulnerability and risks in the form of death, loss of assets, unstable income sources, health issues, accidents, other unforeseen incidents etc. The much-talked-about Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) has received Rs 60,000 crore but many states are not able to set things right in completion of works and timely payments to job card holders.
For example, in Kerala, more than 89,000 works were incomplete till last year and there was a backlog of payment of delay compensation for the last five years. In BJP-ruled Maharashtra, more than 4.4 lakh works were incomplete and there was delay in timely payment of wages. According to the government internal assessment, payment of wages in various stages was 82 percent.
Updated Date: Feb 01, 2019 19:47:29 IST