Rajiv Awas Yojana shall shortly be launched as a full fledged project of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India. The Scheme would be implemented on a mission mode soon after the launch and shall aim to make India Slum Free by 2022. Till now it was being run as a pilot project in selected areas of country.
In a press conference at New Delhi, Dr Girija Vyas, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation said that the Government has recently approved the following three Schemes , namely
(i) Continuation of implementation phase of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), in Mission mode during 2013-2022 and continuation of Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP) Scheme with modifications as an integral part of RAY, with an allocation of Rs. 32,230 crore for implementation of RAY during 12th Five Year Plan by the Planning Commission of India.
(ii) Continuation of the Interest Subsidy Scheme (ISS) for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP) and rename it as the Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY), which will be implemented as a stand alone Central Sector Scheme.
(iii) Restructuring of the centrally sponsored Scheme of Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) in the 12th Plan as the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) with an allocation of approximately Rs. 6,405 crore.
Giving details of the above Schemes, Dr Vyas said that RAY will adopt a two pronged approach of
- bringing all existing slums within the formal system and enabling them to avail the basic amenities that is available for the rest of the city and
- Redressing the failures of the formal system that lie behind the creation of slums by planning for affordable housing stock for the urban poor and initiating crucial policy changes required for facilitating the same.
The Minister further said that in the implementation phase, RAY will cover all towns, cities and urban agglomerations in the country. The selection of which will be made by the States in consultation with the Centre giving priority to District headquarters, cities of religious, heritage and tourist importance with due consideration to the criterion of pace of growth of the city, of slums within the city and predominance of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and minority population and other weaker and vulnerable section of the society.
Speaking about Central Government support under RAY,Dr Vyas stated that the Government of India would fund 50%, 75% and 80% of the project cost for towns, cities and urban agglomerations with Population more than 5 lakhs, less than 5 lakhs and those in North- Eastern Region and special category States of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand, respectively.
The Minister also mentioned the mandatory reforms to implemented within stipulated timelines under RAY upon which The Central assistance will be contingent upon , as:
(i) Giving long term, mortgageable, renewable leasehold rights to slum dwellers
(ii) Reserving 15% of Floor Space Index or 35% of Dwelling Units, whichever is higher for Economically Weaker Sections
(iii) Reserving 25% of municipal budget to provide basic services to the urban poor and
(iv) Establishment of municipal cadre to deal with issues of slums and urban poor.
Under RAY, the Minister said a two step implementation strategy would be adopted i.e. preparation of Slum-free City Plans of Action (SFCPoAs) on ‘whole city’ basis and Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) on ‘whole slum’ basis. Explaining the Slum-free City Plans of Action, she stated that selected cities will be assisted to draw up their plans which will be an overall action plan of the ULB with investment requirements projected and prioritized for improving and developing the existing slums and providing houses including basic civic infrastructure and social amenities for the urban poor for the next 10-15 years.
On the basis of prioritization of slums in the Slum-free City Plans of Action, cities would be required to prepare Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) following an integrated ‘whole slum’ approach with the provision of housing, basic civic infrastructure and social amenities in each selected slum, Dr Vyas added. The Minister also stated that a set of detailed guidelines is being issued separately for various operational aspects of the Scheme.
On the Affordable Housing in Partnership Scheme (AHP), Dr Girija Vyas said this has been dovetailed with RAY with an aim to increase affordable housing stock. The Scheme which was earlier launched in 2009 in pursuance of the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2007 to promote the agenda of ‘Affordable Housing for All’ was redesigned following the recommendations of the Task Force on Affordable Housing constituted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation in 2011, the Minister stated.
The modified Scheme will provide a subsidy of Rs. 75,000 per Economically Weaker Section (EWS) or Low Income Group (LIG) Dwelling Units of size 21-40 sqm. for housing and internal development components in affordable housing projects taken up under various kinds of partnerships.
The projects would have a minimum size of 250 affordable dwelling units (DUs) with a mix of EWS, LIG, Middle Income Group and Higher Income Groups along with Commercial space of which at least 60 percent of the Floor Space Index is to be reserved for dwelling units of Carpet Area of not more than 60 sq. mts. The project shall also mandatorily reserve 35 percent of the total number of dwelling units for EWS category (21-27 sqm.).The Scheme she said will apply to all towns, cities and urban agglomerations, mainly to the cities covered under Rajiv Awas Yojana, she added.
Highlighting the features of Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY), a 100% Centrally-Sponsored Scheme, Dr Vyas said will be applicable in all the urban areas of the country. The Scheme, she said proposes an interest subsidy of 5% (500 Basis Points) on loans granted to EWS and LIG categories to construct their houses or extend the existing ones. The Loan upper limit would be Rs 5 lakh for EWS and 8 lakh for LIG; with the interest subsidy however limited to the loan amount of Rs 5lakh, The loan duration of 15 years would be normally entertained, she said.
The Minister stated that One million beneficiaries are proposed to be covered under the scheme during the 12th Plan period 2012-17, involving a total outlay of Rs 3580 crore. The outflow in the subsequent three 5-year Plans would be in the order of Rs 8093 crore, Rs 4878 crore and Rs 1055 crore respectively, she said.
Speaking about the loan size, she said that the average size of the loan has been assumed to be @ Rs.3 lakhs for EWS and 5 lakhs for the LIG with the proportion of EWS and LIG beneficiaries in the ratio of 50:50.The Minister also stated that the scheme will be demand-driven with women, SCs, STs, minorities and persons with disabilities to be given preference.
On National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), the Minister stated that the Scheme is the restructured Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)with an allocation of Rs. 6404.90 crore for remaining period of the 12th Five Year Plan.
The NULM, she said will be implemented in two phases: Phase I (2013-2017) and Phase II (2017-2022). In phase I, NULM will target all cities with a population of 100,000 or more and district headquarter towns with a population of less than 100,000 as per Census of India 2011. The Mission of NULM is to reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them access to gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in an appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots level institutions of the poor, she said.
The mission she said would also aim at providing shelter equipped with essential services to the urban homeless in a phased manner. In addition, the Mission would also address livelihood concerns of the urban street vendors by facilitating access to suitable spaces, institutional credit, social security and skills for accessing emerging market opportunities., the Minister said.
Further the Minister said that NULM envisages universal mobilisation of urban poor households into thrift and credit-based Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and their federations or collectives. These groups she said will serve as a support system for the poor, to meet their financial and social needs. A maximum of Rs. 10,000/- can be spent per self help group for its formation, handholding up to two years, training of all the members, bank linkage, formation of federation and other related activities. Further, Rs. 10,000/- per SHG and Rs. 50,000/- per registered Area Level Federation (ALF) would be provided as revolving fund support, she said.
Under the mission, City Livelihood Centres (CLCs) will also be established in mission cities to provide a platform whereby the urban poor can market their services and access information on self-employment, skill training and other benefits. Rs. Ten Lakh support would also be provided as a grant per City Livelihood Centre, she said.
The Minister also stated that NULM will target the urban poor who are occupationally vulnerable for Employment through Skills Training & Placement (EST&P), so that they can set up self-employment ventures or secure salaried employment. The cost per beneficiary for this she said shall not exceed Rs.15,000 and Rs.18,000 for North-Eastern States, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir.
Interest over and above 7% on a bank loan will be subsidized to micro-enterprises with a project ceiling cost of Rs. 2 lakh for an individual and Rs. 10 lakh for group enterprises and to all SHGs accessing bank loan, she said.
An additional 3 percent interest subvention will be provided to all women SHGs who repay their loan in time in all the cities. The Minister stated that the approval of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) further strengthens the Central Government`s commitment address the issues of urban poverty alleviation.