The Central government this week has approved construction of 1.45 lakh dwellings under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY), which is a major boost to Maharashtra government’s ambitious plan to provide affordable homes to all in the state.
The State Cabinet gave its in-principle approval for the units in March 2016, and since then, the proposal was awaiting central approval. Senior officials said that with a central sanction, work orders can be issued as early as in three months, and homes will be constructed across the state in less than seven years. The Centre and State have been working on the Housing For All scheme to construct 22 lakh affordable dwellings in Mumbai. Last year, the Centre had to help the State government exempt affordable units from service tax.
An empowered committee set up by the State government defined affordable home as those measuring between 30 and 60 sq.m. and meant for the economically weaker section. The committee had cleared 28 proposals forwarded by the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA).
Meanwhile, according to senior officials of the State Housing Department, the homes will be allotted to those without a previous home in their names. The household income of the beneficiaries should not be more than Rs 25,000 and the unit on sale will be between 30 sq.m and 60 sq.m. A subsidy of Rs 2.5 lakh for each EWS buyer is jointly shared by the Centre and State. The first of the 1,000 dwellings, will be jointly constructed by authorities in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune. A large chunk will next come up in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. With its approval, the Centre also removed existing reservations on some government land to facilitate construction.
The PMAY, the NDA government’s flagship scheme, replaced the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna in 2014. It promises credit subsidy and home loans at an interest rate of 6.5% for 15 years for buyers.