My dear brothers and sisters,
It has always been my endeavor that whatever changes have been brought about in the lives of common man through different schemes then I try to understand them by directly talking to those people and that is why I often try to meet with such beneficiaries directly. Whether it was right or wrong, good or bad, whether they encountered problems or it was convenient for them, it’s very important to know about all these things directly from you people.
The report that is prepared by officers in the government has its own importance. But having a direct dialogue with the beneficiaries and getting to know about new things from them like about Ujjwala Yojana -the gas connection scheme. I was talking a lot about Ujjwala scheme but when I met with the beneficiaries of Ujjwala scheme then they told me a very interesting thing. They said: it has saved us a lot of water. I asked them: how did it help you save water? Then they replied that earlier when we used to cook meal on wooden stoves then all kitchenware used to become black and it required a lot of water to wash the kitchenware four times in a day. Now we have gas stove so we are not required to do all that. Now I don’t believe that I could understand this thing without talking to them. And there are lots of such things. And when I myself have a dialogue with them, and in that series today I have got the opportunity to talk to the beneficiaries of Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme (PMAY). Or to those people whose houses have been constructed right in front of them or those who have been associated with the construction of their houses, or those who are going to get their houses very soon.
You know that every individual has this desire that I should have my own house. Even the poorest of poor thinks that I should have my own house, even if it is a small one. And no one knows the joy of having his own house, this joy is known only to those who have got their houses, no one else knows it. And when I see you people through television, through the technology and the kind of joy is visible on your face, the sense of satisfaction that you have, a new enthusiasm for living life is there and I can see all these things. And when I myself see your enthusiasm and your zeal then my own enthusiasm and zeal increase by ten times. Then I also feel like working more. Then I feel like working hard for you people. Because I get to see the joy on your faces and this is the reason for my own happiness.
A housing scheme does not mean only that we have to provide just a roof on people’s head. Housing does not mean only four walls and a roof. House means that place where all the facilities are available; where one can lead a life; which means happiness for the family; which has the dreams of every family member linked with it.
This was the fundamental thought behind PMAY. Having own house is everyone’s dream. The poorest of the poor people has this desire to have a pucca house but this wish of poor people remained unfulfilled even so many years after the independence. This government made a pledge, it decided that when we will complete 75 years of our independence in 2022; there are several occasions when everyone feels like running; see brother, it’s 75 years of our independence, let us do something, let us do more, let us do something good, let us do something for everyone’s good.
We have also tried that whatever time we have got – four years, five years till 2022 when it will be 75 years of independence – so that we could also have the courage to run, and courage to do some work. And we had a dream that when India completes 75 years of its independence in 2022 then the poorest of the poor person, be he lives in a village or city, be he lives in a slum or on pavement, wherever he may live, that family should have a pucca house of its own. And it should not be just a house, but it should have electricity and a tap, and that tap should have tap water, it should have gas stove, and it should have an electricity connection through Saubhagya scheme, and there should be a toilet, in a way he should feel that now the life has become worth living. And now there should be some way for making progress in life by doing something. Even the poorest of the poor person should not only have a place for taking rest but he should also get the opportunity to earn the dignity and respect for the family. Housing for all, this is our dream and it’s a solemn resolve for us as well. It means your dream is mine dream, it means your dream is the dream of the government of the country.
It’s not an easy task to realise this dream in a large country of millions and millions of people. This is very difficult and challenging task. And the experience after so many years after the independence tells us that all this is just impossible. However, despite all these things, this is a poor man’s life; it’s the life of those people who lead their lives without houses that has given me the courage to take this decision. I have taken such a big decision because of my love for you people, because of the affection that I have for you people. And now the government machinery is devoted in implementing this thing, there are other people too. The work is taking place but it only happens when….it does not happen just because there is a will power, it also requires a scheme of things, it requires speed. It also requires people’s trust and support. It requires a sense of dedication towards the people. You people know it very well that how the previous government tried to tackle these challenges, how the work was done, how they used to start and where they used to end up.
I think that today a big change has been brought about in that thing. Today, we started the work; we started to construct the houses in the name of temples, in the name of communities and somewhere in the name of slums. However, it proved insufficient because of rising population. Later the schemes were formulated in the name of individuals and families. Naturally, the interest was to derive political benefits rather than to provide houses to the common man. And it created a big army of middlemen and the contractors used to earn a lot. We worked on this challenge with a different approach. Instead of thinking in a piecemeal manner, we resolved to work in a mission mode. We have decided that by 2022 we will construct three crore houses in rural areas and one crore houses in urban areas. It’s natural that when the target is so huge then it will also require a big budget. There was a time when the targets were set as per the budget allocation. However, now we first decide the target, which is a needy, what the country needs and then on the basis of that we decide the target and then accordingly we decide the budget. And it is the result of this thing…if I talk about the urban areas then the previous government used to play games in the name of poor.
We have sanctioned the construction nearly four times more houses in the last four years than what was sanctioned during the 10 years of UPA government. Construction of total 13.5 lakh houses were sanctioned during the 10 year period of UPA government whereas we have sanctioned the construction of nearly 47 lakh houses in the last four years and in a way the number of houses sanctioned by us is about to cross the mark of 50 lakh. Andseven lakh houses out of the total have been constructed through new technology.
Now, after laying emphasis on new technology in the housing sector, we have been starting Global Housing TechnologyChallenge so that the latest technology could be used in the low cost housing. Similarly if we talk about rural areas then nearly 25.5 lakh houses were constructed in rural areas in the entire country during the last four years of previous government whereas our government has constructed more than 1 crore houses in the last four years. It means a jump of 325 per cent. Earlier the time frame for constructing a house was set at 18 months, however, given its importance, we have reduced the time by increasing the speed and we have been moving ahead with the resolve to complete the work in 12 months instead of 18 months.
Now the situation is like this that a house is being constructed in less than a year. Today, the construction of house is being expedited. And let us see how it is done. It’s not like that a house will be constructed if we just lay bricks and stones at a rapid speed. Concrete steps are being taken at every state in a pre-planned manner for this thing. It’s not just the scale, but size has been changed too. Earlier a minimum area of 20 sq meters was fixed for constructing a house in the village but after coming to power we have increased it to 25 sq meters under the Prime Minister AvasYojana. You may be wondering what would be the use of increasing it by just 5 sq meters. The biggest benefit is that a separate and clean kitchen has been added to this.
Earlier an assistance of Rs. 70 to 75 thousand rupees was given in villages under PMAY. We have increased it to 1.25 lakh rupees. Now, the money for labor expenses under MNREGA for 90-95 days is also being deposited in beneficiary’s account.
In addition to this, Rs. 12 thousand is being provided separately for constructing a toilet. Earlier it was experienced that the houses of politicians’ middlemen were constructed but a poor person’s house was not. We have made a very solid arrangement so that no one can siphon off the fund meant for the poor people.
Today, middlemen have been eliminated because of DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer). And the assistance money is directly being transferred into the beneficiary's accounts. First we opened Jan Dhan Account and now we have started sending money into those accounts. Arrangements for Geo Tagging of those houses have been made that are constructed under PMAY so that transparency can be maintained. These works have also been linked to DISHA portal through which it can be seen, you can monitor it. I can monitor it from my office, how much work is being done, where it is being done, I can check all these details while sitting in my office.
During the UPA’s tenure, selection of beneficiaries was done through the BPL list prepared by old politicians. But, now we have started doing it on the basis of Socio EconomicCaste Census and because of this we have also included those who were earlier left behind. And because of this thing the maximum numbers of people are getting benefitted by associating with this scheme. The people of every region, every section is getting benefit through it.
A house is not only a necessity, but it’s also linked to honor and self respect. And once you have your own house then the thinking of every member of family also changes. There is a new courage for making progress.
And our effort is to fulfill this need of every family and to enhance its prestige and that is why under the PMAY we have particularly focused on the weaker sections of the society and women. Be it tribal or dalits or backwards or SC/STs or OBCs or minorities or our differently able brothers and sisters, we are giving priorities to them.
Today, houses are constructed at a fast pace as a result of the concerted efforts made at a comprehensive level. We are the people rooted in the ground. We very well understand the problem and difficulties of the common man and this is the reason that is why we have been working by taking into the account the requirements of common people. It has been commonplace in the governments that every scheme works in a separate way. Earlier there was no coordination between two ministries, two departments and two schemes.
Several government schemes have been brought together in Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme. It has been linked with MNREGA for construction and employment. A separate arrangement has been made to ensure that there is a toilet in the house and facilities of water and LPG gas. It has been linked to Clean India Mission so that the house has a toilet. It has been linked with PanditDeenDayalUpadhyay Gram JyotiYojana and Saubhagya Yojana. It has been linked with rural drinking water mission to provide water. It has been linked with Ujjwala scheme to provide LPG. This housing unit is not confined to just one house. But it’s a tool for empowerment. More than 70 per cent beneficiaries in the urban areas are women.
It is also creating employment avenues when today more houses are constructed than what was the case earlier.
Business of every construction material from bricks to sand to cement has been flourishing at local level. Local laborers, masons are also getting work. In addition to this thing, the government has started the programme to provide training to one lakh masons for doing the quality work in villages. And you will be happy to know that in some states female masons have also been trained along with male masons. It’s a very important step in the direction of women empowerment.
Government has been working on four models to include more and more people in this scheme in urban areas. An assistance of Rs. 1.5 lakh per house has been given to beneficiaries in urban areas for either construction or extension of a house under Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme.
Under the link subsidy scheme, a subsidy of 3 to 6% is provided on the interest payment for a home loan. The government is giving an assistance of Rs. 1 lakh per house for redevelopment of area. An assistance of Rs. 1.5 lakh per house is being given to economically backward people for developing affordable housing in partnership with public sector. Earlier this was the situation that though the builders used to take money but not a single brick was being put at the site for years. So in order to provide benefit to poor and middle class people and to protect the interest of home buyers; a middle class family puts in its life time saving for buying a house; we passed RERA – Real Estate Regulation Act – so that no one can cheat them. In addition to bringing transparency, home buyers are getting their rights too. And even builders are also afraid of cheating the buyers.
Today, there are several such examples in the country where this scheme has given support to their hopes and aspirations. Having a house is everybody’s first priority, having a house ensures prosperity and safety and it also helps you to keep healthy. Having your own house is every person’s top priority, it was the top priority earlier as well. Unfortunately, earlier this was the case that though this was the top priority but it could only be fulfilled in the end. And sometimes it remained unfulfilled. However, now this is not the case.
We have always heard this saying that: it takes a lifetime to construct your own house. However, it’s a different kind of government. Now the proverbs are changing too, the country is changing and proverbs are changing too. Now the time has come to change the proverbs. Now the time has come when an inner voice will risewithin us that: now our lives are being spent in our own houses.
I believe that since this is such a massive system so there will still be some people whose old habits would not have changed. And therefore I appeal to you people that if anyone is asking or some other unduebenefit for providing any kind of benefit under this scheme then you please file a complaint without any hesitation. You can file your complaint with your collector or minister in this regard.
I have also said this thing earlier as well that India’s dreams and aspirations can’t be realised by these things alone. We have prepared a solid ground and now we have a limitless sky before us. Housing for all, electricity for all, banking for all, insurance for all, gas connections for all, this will be the image of completeness of a New India.
We have been moving forward in the direction of villages and society equipped with modern facilities. And that is why today I have got the opportunity to talk to brothers and sisters in such a big numbers. I would like to show you a small video and thereafter I would like to hear you people.