New Delhi: Just over half the targeted number of houses have been built in 2009-10 under the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), a scheme to provide shelter for the rural poor, according to data available with the Union rural development ministry, which runs the programme.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are the only states to have come close to meeting the target for the fiscal year, while insurgency-hit Orissa, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states have performed most abysmally.
A ministry official said the data could be misleading as some states may not have updated it.
Only 2,311,022, or 57% of the 4,052,243 houses targeted for the year ending 31 March, had been constructed as on 11 March, according to data made available by the ministry in response to a parliamentary question.
The Union government provides 75% of the funding for IAY, while state governments meet the rest.
Photo by Maitreyee Handique/Mint
Karnataka has fared the best this year, completing 96% of its target while using up less than half the total funds available with it. The state has constructed 137,919 of the targeted 143,311 houses.
Tamil Nadu has met 81% of its target, but only after overshooting its outlay and utilizing 123% of the funds allotted to it under the scheme.
On the other hand, Orissa has met less than 40% of its target. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, two other states affected by violence from Left-wing extremists called Maoists, have also not met even half their targets.
Maharashtra, too, has built less than half the number of houses it was supposed to, while using up 98% of the total funds available with it.
North-eastern states Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura have met only 22-40% of their targets, with Manipur being the lowest at 22%.
Overall, less than 70% of the total funds available with states have been utilized.
“The data usually comes with a time lag of a month or so. Most states have not updated their data and even (among) states that have updated it, some districts there might not have,” said a ministry official familiar with the subject, on condition of anonymity.
“Further, construction of houses is a serious and time- consuming process. Mostly, the second instalment of funds is released by us to the states only after December, so immediate completion of construction after that is not possible,” the official added.
The Union Budget for 2010-11 has raised the unit cost under this scheme to Rs45,000 in the plains and to Rs48,500 in hilly and tribal areas, from Rs35,000 and Rs38,500, respectively. Total allocation for the scheme has been increased to Rs10,000 crore from Rs8,800 crore.