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Few urban poor qualify for subsidy on housing loan interest

Abdul Wahab Khan | NT

While the government has embarked on the mission of ‘Housing for All by 2022’, the response to Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS), one of the components under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) which targets the urban poor, has been very poor in the state.

Out of the 1020 applications received by the urban local bodies under the scheme, 260 were sent to the empanelled banks after scrutiny for guidelines and only 12 have been processed for approval so far. Around 760 loan applications were rejected under the scheme as the applicants were found to be residents of communidade land and thus do not have ownership over the land making them ineligible as per the scheme guidelines.

As per the operational guidelines, in order to claim subsidy under the scheme, the house constructed/acquired with central assistance under the mission should be in the name of the female head of the household or in the joint name of the male head of the household and his wife, and only in cases when there is no adult female member in the family, the house can be in the name of male member.

Not a single application was received under the scheme from jurisdiction of Ponda, Sankhali, Margao and Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) while all 295 applications received from Cuncolim, Mapusa, Valpoi, and Sanguem municipal areas were rejected. Out of 420 applications received from Bicholim, Pernem and Mormugao municipal area, only 27 could fulfill the guidelines. About 60-80 per cent of the applications received from Curchorem, Canacona and Quepem municipalities were scrutinised and sent to banks for approval.

The scheme, which was launched in June 2015, provides a subsidy element for economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income group (LIG) individuals who want to construct homes for the first time or make addition of rooms, kitchen, toilet to existing dwelling as incremental housing and having an annual income of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 6 lakh, respectively.

Speaking to this daily, an official from GSUDA, which is the nodal agency, said, “The CLSS is made applicable only for those who have their own land and therefore around 75 per cent of the applicants who did not possess land were rejected,” he added, informing that the rejected application will be further examined to explore the feasibility of bringing in policy decision to enable them to be processed.

“We have proposed to the state government as well as banks to accept an affidavit from the beneficiaries who have been residing on the communidade land since long to consider them under the scheme. In the case of applicants occupying government land, the government may allow municipal bodies to issue NoCs to the beneficiaries for availing benefits of the scheme,” he added.

The carpet area of the house being constructed or enhanced under this component can be upto 30 sq metres for EWS category and upto 60 square metres for LIG category. The scheme is being implemented through two central nodal agencies – National Housing Bank (NHB) and Housing Urban Development Corp (HUDCO).

According to the progress report, the GSUDA official mentioned that while the mission aims to provide assistance to the state in addressing the housing requirement of the slum dwellers and urban poor, targets have been fixed for construction of houses for next two years under the mission.

“We have set a target of 357 and 760 for the financial year 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively and it has been communicated to the convener State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) and District Level Consultative Committee (DLCC),” the official informed.

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