Chanakya IAS Academy Blog

IAS Blog | Civil Services Preparation | Chanakya IAS Academy Blog
25 May 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana : An Attempt to Stamp out Social Disparity

The much awaited Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana which intends to provide housing for all by the year 2022 has been eventually launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier the Government had launched housing for all which has now been reformed as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi has launched this scheme on 25th June 2015.

The number of slum households has skyrocketed to 18 million. The scheme intends to cover 2 million non-slum urban poor households. Hence total housing shortage envisaged to be addressed through the new mission is 20 million.

Beneficiary:

The beneficiary of this scheme will embrace husband, wife and unmarried children. The beneficiary family should not own a pucca house either in his/her name or in the name of any member of his/her family in any part of India.

The mission will meet the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:

  • Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors.
  • Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource.
  • Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction.
  • Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy.

People who belong to EWS and LIG segments of the urban societies of India will be covered under this scheme.

What are the primary features of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana ?

Preference will be given to female members while allotting houses under this scheme. Simply put as compared to male beneficiaries,application of female beneficiaries will be accepted more easily. This makes the scheme a pro-woman scheme.

As per the instructions of government, housing enclaves developed under the scheme will follow eco-friendly construction technology.

Differently abled or aged people will be given first preference while allotting ground floor houses.

People from LIG or EWS segments of urban population will be eligible for receiving subsidy from the government. The subsidy will enable the people from target segment to afford a house under the scheme and will range anywhere between INR 1 lakh and INR 2.30 lakh.

Government will also extend subsidy for interest rates on loans availed for the Yojana.

Some more interesting features of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

Here are three more important features of the scheme.

Eligible poor from the urban sectors of the nation will receive INR 150,000 central funding if they want to build their own house or want to make some kind of renovations.

Each beneficiary will be granted an average of INR 100,000 by the central government under this scheme.

In addition to that, a central government funded financial aid of INR 150,000 will be granted to beneficiaries for promotion of housing stock, however, one needs to keep in mind that 35% of the housing units are reserved for people belonging to EWS category.

Drastic reduction of EMI under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

Subsidized interest rate of 6.5% against housing loans under the scheme will greatly benefit the people. Currently the market rate for interest on housing loan is 10.5%. This means people covered under the scheme will enjoy a rate of interest which is 4% below the market rate. This evidently implies that there will be a drastic cut down in the amount of EMI one needs to repay every month.

Such schemes will water down the differences between rich and poor in the society and is an attempt to root out social disparity. Needless to say, it will surely uplift the living standards of the people as well and pave the way for prosperous India. Such kind of initiatives by the Government is always a welcome step.

25 May 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

Introduction: The article is about CAMPA bill which is pending in the Rajya Sabha. Some features and implementation issues have been discussed below.

Topics:General Studies, Paper III

    • The government is looking to set up a new institution called CAMPA - Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority.
    • What is Compensatory Afforestation
      • The simple principle at work here is that since forests are an important natural resource and render a variety of ecological services, they must not be destroyed.
      • However, because of developmental or industrial requirements, forests are routinely cut, or diverted for non-forest purposes, in such cases, the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 requires that non-forest land, equal to the size of the forest being “diverted”, is afforested.
    • Afforested land is expected to take no less than 50 years to start delivering comparable goods and services such as timber, bamboo, fuelwood, carbon sequestration, soil conservation, water recharge, and seed dispersal.
    • To compensate for the loss in the interim, the law requires that the Net Present Value (NPV) of the diverted forest is calculated for a period of 50 years, and recovered from the “user agency” that is “diverting” the forests.
    • “User agencies”, which are often private parties, are not expected to undertake afforestation work themselves. This work has to be done by the state government with entire expenditure to be borne by the user.
    • CAMPA -
    • It is to manage the money paid by the user, and to use it for the designated purposes, that CAMPA is proposed to be set up.
    • The compensatory afforestation money and NPV are supposed to be collected from the user agency by the government of the state in which the project is located, and deposited with the central government.
    • The money will eventually flow back to the state to be used for afforestation or related works.
    • It seeks to create a national CAMPA at the central government level, and a state CAMPA in each state and UT. Similarly, a National Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF), and one in each state and UT too are sought to be created.
    • The states would deposit money collected from user agencies with the national CAF, to be eventually credited into state CAFs as per their entitlement.
    • The states would, however, receive only 90% of their share; the other 10% would be held back to cover administrative expenses.
    • The Present mechanism:
    • The Supreme Court directed in 2006 that an “ad hoc CAMPA” be set up till the final one is created.
    • Initially, this ad hoc body was to be used only for receiving funds coming in from user agencies. It was not supposed to start disbursing money to the states.
    • However, because of continuing delay in instituting the final CAMPA, the Supreme Court, in 2009, allowed the ad hoc body to release Rs 1,000 crore per year to states for the next five years.
    • Later, in 2014, the court ordered that every state could draw 10% of the amount due to them per year.
    • In the absence of the real CAMPA, which requires a new law, most of the Rs 40,000 crore is locked — and cannot be disbursed to states.
CAMPA: The manager of afforestation funds(The Indian Express 25-05-2016)
  • Difficulties in implementation:
  • The main difficulty has been the availability of non-forest land for afforestation.
    • The law says the land selected should preferably be contiguous to the forest being diverted, so that it is easier for forest officials to manage it.
    • But in case that is not possible, land in any other part of the state can be used for the purpose.
    • If no suitable non-forest land is found, degraded forests can be chosen for afforestation, but in that case, twice the area of diverted forest has to be afforested.
    • Still, there is difficulty in finding land, especially in smaller states, and in heavily forested ones like Chhattisgarh.
  • The other point of contention has been the purposes for which the money can be used
    • The fund was envisaged to be used only for “compensatory” afforestation, but the Bill before Parliament has expanded the list of works that this money can be utilised for, and includes the general afforestation programme run through the Green India Mission.
    • Forest protection, forest management, forest and wildlife related infrastructure development, wildlife conservation, even facilitating the relocation of people from protected wildlife areas, are proposed to be made valid expenditure from this account.
  • Critics say this will take the focus away from the prime objective of compensating for the forest cover lost to industrial or infrastructure development.

Growing industrialisation and developmental work is leading to cutting of forest and diversion of forest land towards non-forest work. In the light of this statement, discuss about the CAMPA bill and its operational difficulties.

Suggested Approach:

  1. Start with the need to focus on forests and in brief write about the present mechanism.
  2. Highlight main features of the CAMPA bill.
  3. Discuss the operational difficulties.
  4. Suggest measures, in brief, to overcome those difficulties.

Link: http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/campa-afforestation-bill-rajya-sabha-green-india-mission-narendra-modi-2817475/

English: Download

Hindi: Download

Source: The Indian Express