IAY (Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana) 2020-21: Objective, features, and benefits of the IAY scheme

What is Indira Gandhi Awaas Yojana?

IAY, otherwise known as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY) or IAY Gramin, was a sub-scheme of the Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) and a social welfare programme that was first launched by Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. It was the flagship housing programme of the Ministry of Rural Development and worked toward constructing houses for the below-poverty-line (BPL) population in rural India. In the financial year 1995-96, the IAY extended its aid to widows and close relatives of defence personnel killed in action as well.

What were the key features of Gandhi Awas Yojana?

As the IAY was a social welfare scheme, a lot of the key features were designed to empower citizens, beyond simply putting a roof over their heads. To understand further, consider the following pointers.

Ownership: Any home constructed under IAY was under the joint ownership of both husband and wife, with the exception of the unmarried, divorced, and widows. However, the State could give ownership to the lady only. Similarly, if the state allotted the construction of the house based on the eligibility of a disabled member, then they maintained sole ownership.

Construction: Under this scheme, the construction was to be carried out by the beneficiary only. Any external involvement of a contractor or agency was not permissible, and, if done, the government could withhold or confiscate the funding provided. However, beneficiaries could acquire support services from NGOs, youth clubs, et al. , for monitoring and assisting with construction.

Construction standards: As per the objectives of this initiative, eco-friendly and sustainable modes of building houses were to be promoted. Preference was given to locally-sourced materials.

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Fund allocation: Under this scheme, funds were released in instalments.

 •The first instalment comprised 25% of the entire cost and was provided on the Awaas Divas with the sanction order.

 •The second instalment was paid after the first stage of construction was complete, reaching the lintel level, and comprised of 60% of the total cost.

 •The final instalment was released after the house had a fully-constructed and functional bathroom or latrine and therefore the beneficiary was living within the home. Here, the remaining 15% of the total cost was disbursed to the beneficiary.

Construction time limit: Upon receiving the primary instalment, the beneficiary had 9 months to finish the primary stage. Following which, stage 2 had to be completed within another 9 months from receiving the second instalment.

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What were the benefits of the IAY scheme?

  • The benefits of this social welfare scheme were as follows.
  • Houses constructed under IAY must be designed based on the requirements of the residents
  • Aim to use locally-sourced materials to construct homes that will last at least 30 years
  • IAY promotes the utilization of eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable construction techniques while also generating employment
  • IAY encourages Panchayats to spearhead change in their constituency so that the program is effectively implemented across the nation
  • IAY supports construction of homes with required provisions like workplaces
  • What was the target group’s eligibility criteria for the Gandhi Yojana?
  •  So, households under the BPL were the first beneficiaries; however, IAY wasn’t restricted to only that category. Here is a list of all those eligible under this scheme.
  • Disabled or handicapped citizens
  • Ex-service personnel
  • Citizens under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories
  • Free bonded labourers
  • Widows
  • Next of kin of defence or parliamentary personnel killed in action
  • Citizens in the marginalised sector of society
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