All Kanwari Devi had dreamed of was a house she could call his own. Thus, when the NDA government, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in June 2015 to help economically weaker sections to obtain affordable pucca houses with sanitation and food Kanwari saw his A dream come true.
A resident of the Baitu district in the Barmer district of Rajasthan sought financial assistance from the government and was selected as the beneficiary under which the government intends to build more than two crore houses across the country by 2022.
Under the scheme, there is a provision for Rs 1.48 lakh to the beneficiary — Rs 1.20 lakh under PM Awas Yojana; Rs 12,000 for the construction of toilets under the Swashh Bharat Mission; and Rs 16,000 under MGNREGA for the work component.
Financial assistance is divided into three tranches. The first — Rs 30,000 — is released after a successful geo-marking of where the eligible recipient wants to build the house. The second tranche of Rs 60 000 is released after the interested body verifies the successful use of the first tranche. The remaining amount is released as a third installment for the project.
For Kanwari, things were progressing smoothly. Work started at home began in the right direction. The first tranche was transferred to his Savings Bank account, which he had opened under another flagship project of PM Modi – Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
She used the money, presented the details, and after a successful certification was marked as eligible for the second installment. The money was released on March 3, 2017, but could not be credited to his account. She is still waiting for him.
No, his money was not usurped by vendors or officials. It can not be credited due to an upper limit of transaction established by the government for the bank accounts opened in the PMJDY. According to the rules, an account holder can not retain more than Rs 50,000 in the PMJDY account.
Launched as a national mission for the financial inclusion of the economically weaker section by the provision of bank accounts and debit cards, the PMJDY has become the biggest obstacle for PM Awas Yojana and for those who intend to help.
Kanwari Devi is not the only one facing such a situation. Shanti Devi, another resident of Baitu, is also waiting for the second installment. The money was released on March 17, but it still has to be credited to its PMJDY account.
According to official data, there are 32,692 beneficiaries in Rajasthan, only waiting for the second payment of financial assistance. Of these, 2,856 cases were reported in the Barmer district alone. In all cases, the money was not credited due to the higher transaction limit.
Mr. L Nehra, CEO of Zila Parishad in Barmer confirmed both. “We are facing problems to prove the second installment in the accounts of the beneficiaries.” The banks have returned the amount by citing the upper limit restriction on Jan Dhan’s accounts, “Nehra said.
However, he added that they have ordered the authorities to ask the banks to convert Jan Dhan’s accounts into general savings accounts so that they can issue the second payment of PM Awas Yojana.
Laxman Badera, district president, Kamtha Majdoor Union, a trade union organization, questioned the government’s motive behind the creation of such standards for Jan Dhan’s accounts. “This is a contradictory situation.
On the one hand, the government is chanting the mantra of the welfare program and, on the other hand, it has established rules that deprive eligible beneficiaries of the benefits of welfare schemes. It also creates obstacles to achieve the objectives of the social protection program, “said Badera.
He said that with such contradictory standards, it will not be possible for the government to provide housing for everyone by 2022. “We wrote a letter to the PM urging him to immediately remove the upper limit of transactions for the PMJDY accounts so that weaker sections could benefit of other social protection schemes, “he added.