The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) was launched on June 25, 2015 to overcome the urban housing shortage and ensure a pucca house for eligible urban households by the year 2022. The PMAY-U is being implemented through four verticals – slum redevelopment, a credit-linked subsidy scheme, affordable housing in partnership and beneficiary-led construction – giving options to beneficiaries, urban local bodies (ULBs) and state governments to provide houses. The ministry is providing central assistance to ULBs for the implementation of the scheme through the respective state governments. Unlike previous housing schemes for the urban poor, the government has expanded its focus to include middle-income groups, besides economically weaker sections (EWSs) and low-income groups. Amongst the four components of the scheme, the credit-linked subsidy scheme is being implemented as a central sector scheme, while the other three components are being implemented as centrally sponsored schemes. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has recently approved project proposals for over 60,000 houses across five states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan – under the PMAY-U.
In December 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the Department of Rural Development’s proposal for continuation of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) beyond March 2021 to March 2024, as per the existing norms to complete the remaining houses within a cumulative target of 29.5 million houses. The total financial implication for the construction of the remaining 15.58 million houses is Rs 2.17 trillion for achieving the cumulative target of 29.5 million houses in rural areas under the PMAY-G and an additional requirement of Rs 0.19 trillion towards interest repayment to the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. Of this, the central share will account for Rs 1.25 trillion and the states’ share will account for Rs 0.73 trillion. The scheme is being implemented and monitored through end-to-end e-governance solutions, AwaasSoft and AwaasApp. AwaasSoft provides functionalities for data entry and monitoring of multiple statistics related to the implementation of the scheme.
Against a total assessed demand of 11.2 million houses, 11.5 million houses have been sanctioned under the PMAY-U. Of these, nearly 5.5 million houses have been completed/delivered to beneficiaries and the remaining are at various stages of construction/grounding.
The government has allocated Rs 480 billion for the completion of 8 million houses under the PMAY in financial year 2022-23. The government has prioritised Housing for All and affordable housing, and has granted Rs 765.49 billion to MoHUA in the Union Budget 2022-23. The total budgeted outlay for the PMAY was announced as Rs 280 billion during 2022-23. The central government will work with state governments for reduction of the time required for all land- and construction-related approvals, to promote affordable housing for middle class and EWSs in urban areas.
Other key developments
A technology sub-mission (TSM) was set up to facilitate the adoption of innovative, sustainable, eco-friendly and disaster-resilient technologies and building materials for speedier construction of low-cost and better quality houses. The TSM not only aims to ensure speedier and safer delivery under the PMAY-U but also has the potential to bring a paradigm shift in the overall housing construction sector in the country.
The Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) scheme under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan has created a sustainable ecosystem of affordable rental housing solutions to achieve the overall objective of Housing for All, encompassing the need for affordable rental housing for urban migrants/poor. ARHCs will provide them a dignified life with the necessary civic amenities near their place of work.
The MoHUA has launched Transport4All, with the aim of bringing together cities, citizen groups and start-ups to develop solutions that improve public transport to better serve the needs of all citizens. The ministry has also started the EatSmart Cities Challenge, with an aim to motivate smart cities to develop a plan that supports a healthy, safe and sustainable food environment, backed by institutional, physical, social and economic infrastructure, along with the application of “smart” solutions to combat food-related issues.
Under the Smart Cities Mission (SCM), the City Innovation Exchange (CiX) platform was launched for innovative practices in cities. The platform was a significant addition to the growing innovation ecosystem in India and focuses on fostering innovative practices in cities. The CiX, through an “open innovation” process, engages with innovators to design-test-deliver on solutions to pressing urban challenges.
In another development, a SmartCode was launched by the MoHUA. This is a platform that enables all ecosystem stakeholders to contribute to a repository of open-source code for various solutions and applications for urban governance. It is designed to address challenges that ULBs face in the development and deployment of digital applications, by enabling cities to take advantage of existing codes and customising them to suit local needs, rather than having to develop new solutions from scratch. The India Urban Data Exchange has been developed in partnership with the SCM and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. A new smart cities website and geospatial management information system for project monitoring was also developed for implementation and proper scrutiny of projects under the SCM.
The way forward
Going forward, the National Urban Digital Mission will create a shared digital infrastructure for urban India, working across the three pillars of people, process and platform, to provide holistic support to cities and towns. Bringing people and technology together will pave the way for a new ecosystem, where globally proven technologies will be adopted for cost-effective, environment-friendly and speedier construction.
Given the huge demand-supply gap, the housing segment will provide significant market opportunities to all stakeholders in the construction sector in the coming years. This is also expected to drive demand for low-cost construction materials and technologies. The TSM under the PMAY will also facilitate the adoption of modern, innovative and green technologies and building materials for faster and better quality construction of houses.