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Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 7:36 AM; last updated: Nov 20, 2019, 7:36 AM (IST)

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana hits roadblock in Punjab

Over 99% applications sent by Local Bodies Dept rejected

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the ‘Housing for All by 2022’ mission in 2015, real estate stakeholders had rejoiced by anticipating huge demand. However, first-time home buyers in Punjab are facing inordinate delays as procedural wranglings are acting stumbling blocks. According to data, over 99% cases sent by the Punjab Local Bodies Department to banks under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme have been rejected.

Perturbed over the situation, the bankers are in process of constituting a fact-finding committee to find out the reasons.

According to the data, the Department of Local Bodies, Punjab, had provided a district-wise list of 1,49,541 applicants. However, only 202 cases were sanctioned and 1.03 lakh were rejected. The claims of nearly 46,539 cases are still pending. 

“The banks should constitute a committee to find out the reasons behind the largescale rejection of applications,” said LV Prabhakar, executive director, Punjab National Bank, at the State Level Bankers Committee meeting today. According to a senior banker, the committee will comprise state government officials and representatives from public and private sector banks.

Under the PMAY, applicants should be from lower middle and middle-income group for seeking housing loans from banks, housing finance companies and other such institutions. The purpose of the scheme is to provide roof to every person.

The scheme offers housing loans to eligible beneficiaries on highly subsidised interest rates to meet the expenses incurred towards purchase, construction, extension and enhancement of houses by classifying them into four groups — economically weaker section (EWS), lower income group (LIG)-I and II, middle-income group (MIG).

The maximum tenure of loan is 20 years in every slab. The subsidy amount for every beneficiary is between Rs 2.30 lakh and Rs 2.67 lakh. The subsidy is sanctioned by the National Housing Bank. For MIG, the scheme is valid up to March 31, 2020 and for EWS/LIG, it is valid up to March 31, 2022.

Further, the credit-linked subsidy is available for loans up to Rs 6 lakh and additional loan beyond Rs 6 lakh at a non-subsidised rate. Under the scheme, interest subsidy is provided to the beneficiaries of the scheme. However, the delay in sanctioning loan is diluting the entire essence of the scheme.

Anirudh Tewari, Principal Secretary (Finance), Punjab, who was also present in the meeting, asked the bankers to expedite the process so that urban poor living across different cities of the state could derive the benefits of the scheme.

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