Half Finished, Behind Schedule: PM’s Promise Of Housing-For-All By 2022
Mumbai: Launched on June 25, 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY; Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme) promised to provide a house by 2022 to every homeless Indian.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 20, 2017
We have launched a 'Housing for All' program. It involves building 20 million urban houses and 29.5 million rural houses: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 21, 2015
“Gujarat has taught me a lot. This lesson has taught me to fulfil dreams within a specific time. It is my dream, it is our endeavour to ensure that every Indian family has its own home by 2022,” said Modi on August 23, 2018 in a public address at Jujwa village in Gujarat’s Valsad town, after witnessing the online house-warming of some PMAY-Rural beneficiaries.
With the NDA’s term now coming to an end and less than three years to go for the deadline of March 31, 2022, ‘Housing for All’ may still be a distant dream. The PMAY is 54% behind targets, shows a Factchecker assessment of the scheme, despite the latest claim that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah made on April 21, 2019.
— India Today (@IndiaToday) April 22, 2019
About 1.44 million houses had been constructed under PMAY-Urban upto January 31, 2019, and 1.39 million had been occupied, according to the latest available ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) data presented in the Lok Sabha in February, 2019. This is 20% of the 7.6 million houses that have so far been sanctioned.
In rural India, the government had completed construction on 7.7 million houses, or 77% of the target of 10 million by the deadline of March 31, 2019 for the first phase of PMAY-Rural. It has yet to construct 2.3 million houses, even as the next phase of PMAY-Rural begins, according to the PMAY dashboard on April 15, 2019. However, only 34% of beneficiaries have so far received full payment, data show.
This story continues a FactChecker series evaluating the government’s flagship programmes in the run-up to the 2019 general election.
The first of this series investigated the government’s rural-jobs programme (here, here and here); the second spoke discussed the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission’s sewage problem; the third (here, here and here) evaluated the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Prime Minister’s electricity-to-all-homes programme); the fourth, the fudging of open-defecation-free (ODF) status data and shoddy toilet construction–amid evident enthusiasm and success in increasing toilet access–in Uttar Pradesh, declared ODF on December 31, 2018; the fifth, similar fudging of data and widespread open defecation in Gujarat, declared ODF on October 2, 2017; the sixth explaining how the skills-development mission was set to miss deadlines; the seventh probing the failures of the Prime Minister's crop-insurance programme; the eighth on the PM’s failed promise of bringing broadband connectivity to every Indian village; the ninth on why the Namami Gange project to clean up the Ganga river is failing; and the 10th on how the cooking-gas programme is welcome but too expensive.
On April 9, 2019, Factchecker contacted the MoHUA for comments over email. We sent a follow-up email again on April 11, 2019. We will update the story if and when they respond.
PMAY made up of housing schemes of previous governments and existing state-level schemes
The PMAY programme has four components:
1) in-situ redevelopment wherein beneficiaries may enter into an agreement with a private developer and the government to construct houses on the same plot where the beneficiaries reside, in exchange for development concessions/ incentives for the builder’s other luxury housing projects.
2) a credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) wherein the government facilitates home loans with subsidised interest rates for lower income households so they can purchase houses from the market.
3) affordable housing under a public-private partnership (PPP) model, wherein developers are given incentives to build at least 250 housing units on private land, 30% of which are reserved for economically weaker sections, earning less than Rs 3 lakh per year.
4) beneficiary-led development where lower-income families, earning less than Rs 6 lakh per year, who legally own land titles receive financial assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh to upgrade their existing homes to all-weather pucca (concrete) houses.
While seemingly new, the components of PMAY are made up of erstwhile housing programmes of previous central governments and existing state-level schemes, such as the Rajiv Awas Yojana, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), and slum redevelopment programmes carried out under the Maharashtra Slum Rehabilitation Authority. PMAY-Rural arm is a direct restructuring of the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), a rural housing scheme started in 1996. IAY sought to provide assistance to below-poverty-line families who are either homeless or have inadequate housing facilities, for constructing a safe and durable shelter.
In urban India, 20% of sanctioned PMAY houses constructed so far; targets reduced under NDA government
About 1.44 million houses had been constructed under the PMAY-Urban scheme and 1.39 million had been occupied upto January 31, 2019, according to the latest MoHUA data presented to the Lok Sabha in February 2019. This is only 20% of 7.26 million houses sanctioned for construction upto January 31, 2019, the data show.
The government sanctioned central assistance worth Rs 1.1 lakh crore for the construction of these houses, of which so far Rs 34,740.54, i.e. less than a third (31%) has been released.
About 82.6% of the houses constructed so far (1,198,787 units) have been given to beneficiaries from economically weaker sections, MoHUA data submitted to the Rajya Sabha on February 7, 2019 show.
Most PMAY-Urban achievements are under the affordable housing-PPP component, latest government data show. Upto January 1, 2019, MoHua sanctioned construction of 6.12 million houses (about 84%) of 7.26 million planned units under this component. Here, beneficiaries buy low-priced homes built in PPP-projects based on their eligibility, and if applicable receive home loans with subsidised interest rates, or aid from the government for individual beneficiary-led construction projects.
Only about 5% (377,020) of beneficiaries had received home loans with subsidised interest rates under the CLSS component of PMAY, ministry data from February 5, 2019 show.
So far, the government has taken up upgradation of 1.1 million eligible slum households at their current site of residence under the in-situ redevelopment component of PMAY-Urban, according to this MoHUA response in the Lok Sabha from February 5, 2019. This is just 7.9% of the 13.9 million slum households across India, according to government data.
The housing shortage in urban areas stood at 18.8 million households in 2012, according to this ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation technical study. Of this, 95% of households are of economically weaker sections (56%) and lower income groups (39%). If we were to consider this original housing need of 18.8 million, we would find that so far, with just 1.4 million houses completed, the government has met only 7.4% of the shortage in urban areas.
In 2017, however, the MoHUA announced that the urban housing shortage was at a little over 10 million, which is 8.8 million fewer than the 2012 technical group’s estimates. “Subsequent assessments led to a revision of this figure [18.8 million houses] and in the final analysis, the shortage is likely to be around or in excess of 10 million units which is aimed to be addressed through the flagship programme ‘PMAY’,” said union housing minister of state Hardeep Singh Puri in January, 2018.
To achieve even this reduced target of about 10 million houses by March 31, 2022, the government will have to complete construction of 7,415 houses per day. This is nearly seven times faster than the current rate of construction (1.44 million houses completed between June 25, 2015 to February 1, 2019 is equivalent to 1,096 houses per day).
PMAY-Rural making better progress in achieving physical targets.
The rural arm of PMAY aims to provide ‘Housing for All’ by 2022, by constructing 29.5 million houses in rural areas. In the first phase, from 2016-17 to 2018-19, the ministry of rural development targeted building 10 million houses. The remaining 19.5 million houses are targeted for construction from 2019-20 to 2021-22.
The government had completed construction on 7.7 million or 77% of the target of 10 million for the first phase of PMAY-Rural by the deadline of March 31, 2019. It has yet to construct 2.3 million houses, even as the next phase begins, according to the PMAY dashboard as on April 15, 2019.
However, while construction has been completed on 81% of the sanctioned number of houses, more than two-thirds or 66% (6.2 million) of those who received the first tranche of money for construction, have yet to receive the fourth and final tranche.
The delay in installment payments leads to delay in construction of houses, which in turn leads to non completion, according to this budget brief by Accountability Initiative (AI), a Delhi-based think tank, in February 2019.
Financial assistance to beneficiaries is provided in three to four instalments, based on the level of completion of house construction. States such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh follow a three instalment process. The first instalment is to be released to the beneficiary within 7 working days of the date of issue of sanction order. The second instalment is mapped to physical progress of either the foundation, plinth, windowsill or lintel level. The third instalment is paid following house construction up to lintel level, or roof cast stage or upon house completion.
Some states such as Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Odisha have a fourth instalment payment option that is mapped to roof cast stage or house completion. State policies also differ in terms of assistance provided for each instalment, according to AI.
5.1 million houses were in different stages of construction from 2016 to December 2018. Of these, 53% (2.7 million) were at the roof level stage of construction (which indicates near completion). Lastly, 22% (0.1 million) were at the plinth level of construction, according to information collated by AI.
How PMAY fares against its predecessors in terms of implementation
IAY was restructured after a Comptroller and Auditor General audit report said that the scheme did not assess beneficiaries in 14 states, and flagged poor construction quality and financial mismanagement due to slow pace of utilisation of funds.
Out of a target of 14.85 million houses set under the erstwhile programme, 87% or 12.9 million had been built in rural India from 2009 to March 31, 2014, according to a reply in Rajya Sabha on september 2016.
In urban areas, 24% of slums benefited from JNNURM, Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) and other slum improvement schemes run by the central, state or urban local government, according to a MoHUA report on slums in India in 2015.
Upto March 31, 2011, only 418,000 or 26% out of 1.6 million dwelling units approved four years prior in 2007-08, were completed, which is still higher than the 20% completed under PMAY-Urban, according to this CAG report on JNNURM from 2012. Poor quality housing, poor supporting infrastructure and non-availability of land for for quicker construction were also flagged by the CAG as major issues in the JNNURM programme.
Of 7.26 million houses sanctioned in urban areas, about 1.44 million were completed, as said above. These include previous works undertaken by PMAY’s predecessors, RAY and JNNURM, which were subsumed under PMAY when it was launched in 2015. Houses sanctioned under PMAY-Urban include 1.4 million houses sanctioned under RAY, according to MoHUA data from this Parliamentary committee report from March 9, 2018. However, it is unclear how many of the houses on which construction began before the launch of PMAY have been completed so far, due to lack of official data.
Upto March 2018, construction had been completed on 68,964 RAY houses (4% of sanctioned), the committee report showed.
Rate of house construction under PMAY skewed between states
A state-wise breakup of rural houses completed between financial year 2016-17 and April 2019 reveals that Madhya Pradesh accounts for 17% of total houses constructed. West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha account for 16%, 16% and 10%, respectively. These four states account for over 60% of all houses completed during this period.
Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh had completed construction of 86% and 85% of all houses sanctioned in these states, respectively. Completion rates were also high in Kerala (83%) and West Bengal (78%). Despite a high share of targets in Bihar with 1.1 million or (12% of the national target), only 29% of sanctioned houses were completed during this period.
In urban areas too, over a third (35%) of completed houses are located in just three states: Gujarat (177,815 units), Andhra Pradesh (162,069 units) and Madhya Pradesh (159,916 units), ministry data show.
Close to two-thirds (62%) of the country’s urban slum population resides in five states: Maharashtra (11.85 million), Andhra Pradesh (10.2 million), Uttar Pradesh (6.2 million), West Bengal (6.4 million), and Tamil Nadu (5.8 million). Apart from Uttar Pradesh, where 12.1% of these households have received completed houses under PMAY-Urban, less than 10% have been covered in the rest.
Jharkhand (59%), Tripura (54.2%) and Gujarat (49.4%) reported the most number of PMAY-Urban houses fully constructed based on their respective number of slum households, shows a Factchecker.in analysis of government data.
Further, PMAY data is not available city-wise, though so far plans have been approved for constructing houses across 4,333 cities, 472 of which are Class 1 (100,000 population above) . This is despite 20% of India’s slum populations concentrated in six metros alone: Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Chennai according to MoHUA’s ‘Slums in India’ report 2015.
In the three metros of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, specifically, slum populations account for 41.3%, 29.6% and 28.5% of the city population, respectively the same report. Yet how much housing has been provided for these households under the scheme remains unclear.
This story is part of “Modi’s Report Card”, a series evaluating flagship government programmes in the run up to the 2019 general elections. You can read a set of stories on the rural jobs programme here, here and here; on the rural electrification programme here, here and here; on Swachh Bharat Mission here, here and here; the skills-development mission here; the crop-insurance scheme here; the project to bring broadband connectivity to every India village here; the project to clean up the Ganga river here; and the cooking-gas programme here.
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