Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal intervention to bring more rural poor people into the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) by relaxing the norms of the scheme.
The Chief Minister has written a letter to the prime minister saying that the definition of the Kutcha House (under SECC) was very restrictive, causing a large number of poor and deserving people of Punjab to be deprived of the benefits under PMAY(G).
Changing the norms would ensure that the maximum number of rural poor population gets covered under this pro-poor initiative, thereby realizing the ground realities prevailing in Punjab.
Referring to his meeting with Modi on September 1, 2018, where the latter had raised the issue of low level of performance of Punjab under PMAY(G), Captain Amarinder Singh said Punjab then ranked 25th among all states but, within just nine months, had improved its ranking to 3rd. His government, said the Chief Minister, shall continue to work to ensure that every rural poor household has a pucca house.
However, he wrote, a large population of the poor was excluded from PMAY(G) benefits due to the restrictive nature of the norms.
In order to obviate this problem, the Chief Minister suggested a more inclusive definition of Kutcha House envisaging “predominant material of wall of dwelling room – grass/thatch/bamboo or plastic/polythene or mud/unburnt/ burnt bricks or wood or stone not packed with mortar, OR Predominant material of roof of dwelling room–grass/thatch/bamboo/wood/mud or plastic/polythene/ wooden planks (balas) or handmade tiles,” instead of its existing definition, which excluded burnt bricks and wooden planks (Balas).
The Chief Minister requested that in the proposed definition the two components of burnt bricks and wooden planks (Balas) be included to extend the benefit of the scheme to the deserving rural poor populace, thus appreciating the ground reality prevailing in the State of Punjab.