New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) However much the BJP may want to be seen as a ''right of centre'' political outfit, its economic vision has remained ''left of centre'' in the last five Budgets. If Friday''s economic survey is anything to go by, Saturday''s budget will see a strong rural push and a social sector thrust.
Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) are two housing schemes that are likely to see significant allocations, given its political benefit. But the current fiscal deficit has made the job much more difficult for the Modi government.
According to an NSO survey of 2018, about 76.7 per cent of rural households and about 96.0 per cent in the urban areas had ''pucca'' structures. Using these two schemes, the government hopes to get housing for all, by 2022.
The tone of the tenth chapter which is focussed on social infrastructure is set when the survey read, "Investment in social infrastructure is a prerequisite for inclusive growth and employment. In the interim Budget of 2019-20, the government had laid down the vision for the decade which among other things emphasized upon building of social infrastructure."
More than four times increase in number of houses completed in a year under PMAY-G, from 11.95 lakh in 2014-15 to 47.33 lakh in 2018-19, sends a clear signal that the government is serious about housing for all. Under its Phase-I from 2016-17 to 2018-19, the scheme has delivered 86.59 lakh completed houses against the target of 1 crore as on 17th January, 2020. Under Phase-II of the programme, a total of 5,27,878 houses were delivered under PMAY-G.
Under the urban section of the housing scheme, 32 lakh have been delivered as on 1st January, 2020. However, 1.03 crore houses were sanctioned and 61 lakh grounded for construction. While increasingly more urban population have got rights for ownership of their property, the tone is being set for more allocations for the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, this year as well.
But there''s a glitch. The government has limited resources to spare and varied groups to take care of. With the current GDP projections below 5 per cent and the fiscal deficit that was targeted to keep within 3.3 per cent likely to spill over to 3.5 per cent, the government''s hands are tied.
In 2019, even with an impending general election, the government reduced the budgetary allocation for some of its schemes. The provision for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (rural) for 2019-20 fiscal declined to Rs 19,000 crore from the 2018-19 revised estimate of Rs 19,900 crore.
In last year''s budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharama had said, "A total of 1.54 crore rural homes have been completed in the last five years. In the second phase of PMAY-G, during 2019-20 to 2021-22, 1.95 crore houses are proposed to be provided to eligible beneficiaries." But even when the government intends to go full frontal on the housing scheme project, a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that comes with its own share of political benefits, many are left wondering where will the money come from?
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: IANS