Govt to launch scheme to help middle class buy or build own house; 2 cr more rural houses: FM

New Delhi: Wooing the middle class ahead of the general elections, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a scheme to help those living in rented accommodations or slums to acquire a house.

Parallely, she also announced building 2 crore more houses for the rural poor in the next five years under the continuing PM Awas Yojana (Grameen).

Presenting a vote on account for 2024-25, also known as interim budget for the period till the new government comes into office after general elections, she said the Modi government in the last 10 years has endeavoured to provide each a house, water, electricity, cooking gas and bank account as part of the inclusive development.

“Our government will launch a scheme to help deserving sections of the middle class ‘living in rented houses, or slums, or chawls and unauthorized colonies’ to buy or build their own houses,” he said.

The finance minister highlighted that the implementation of the PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) continued despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite the challenges due to COVID, implementation of PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) continued and we are close to achieving the target of three crore houses. Two crore more houses will be taken up in the next five years to meet the requirement arising from increase in the number of families,” she said.

In order to achieve the target of ‘Housing for All’ in rural areas, the Ministry of Rural Development is implementing Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G) with effect from 1st April 2016 to provide assistance to eligible rural households.

The overall target is to construct 2.95 crore pucca houses with basic amenities by March 2024.

The central assistance under PMAY-G is released directly to the State/UT considering the State/UT as a unit. Further release of these funds to beneficiaries in various Districts/Blocks/GPs is done by the respective State Government/UT Administration.

“The amount of Central Share of funds released to the States/UTs for construction of houses under PMAY-G during the last five years, which is from the financial year 2018-19 to 2022-23 was around Rs 1,60,853.38 crore,” according to an official statement in December.