RADHIKA MERWIN |Published on January 8, 2018 | Business Line
Despite a weak start, industry expects better response to PMAY(U) in FY19
January 8, 2018: In Budget 2018-19, the Centre may have to redo its math on the allocations to the interest subvention scheme on housing loans.
While the credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) [or PMAY(U)] for the middle-income group (MIG) is off to a weak start, the number of beneficiaries for the economically weaker section (EWS) and low-income group (LIG) has shot up in the past year.
MIG beneficiaries numbered a mere 9,944 and received a subsidy of ₹204.6 crore till date, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha last month. However, Budget 2017-18 had allocated a larger sum of ₹1,000 crore as interest subsidy for MIG beneficiaries.
Interestingly, the number of beneficiaries under CLSS for EWS and LIG — the beneficiaries originally envisioned under PMAY(U) — rose sharply from 17,634 in 2016 to over 53,000 accounts in 2017. The ₹400 crore earmarked in last year’s Budget for this segment appears to grossly fall short of the actual disbursement.
With industry players expecting a better response to the scheme in the middle-income category, too, the Centre could end up allocating a far higher amount for CLSS in the upcoming Budget.
In June 2015, the Centre had launched the CLSS under PMAY(U) for EWSs and LIGs. However, to placate the common man reeling under the impact of demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had extended the scheme to middle-income home buyers.
Budget 2017-18 had reduced the allocation to the EWSs and LIGs to ₹400 crore from ₹475 crore in 2016-17, and instead, apportioned ₹1,000 crore to MIGs under the CLSS.
Given that a total of 80,680 beneficiaries have availed interest subsidy under the CLSS schemes for all categories until now, it would seem that a little over 53,000 EWS and LIG beneficiaries claimed interest subsidy in 2017.
This would imply a subsidy of around ₹1,300 crore disbursed against the budgeted ₹400 crore for the EWS and LIG category (assuming an average of ₹2.5 lakh per beneficiary).
The Centre had recently increased the eligible carpet area from 90 sq m to 120 sq m for MIG I and from 110 sq m to 150 sq m for MIG II.
“Based on the feedback given by industry players, the Centre has fine-tuned the scheme to cover more beneficiaries under the MIG scheme,” says Sriram Kalyanaraman, Managing Director & CEO, National Housing Bank (NHB).
He adds that there has been a significant step-up in the pace of construction of houses under the scheme, which should lead to more takers in 2018.
The NHB, one of the Central Nodal Agencies to channel the subsidy to lending institutions, has covered 42,481 accounts and disbursed ₹906 crore subsidy between April 2017 and 5 Jan 2018 under EWS and LIG.
Sudhin Choksey, Managing Director, Gruh Finance says: “The CLSS under PMAY (Urban) has been a vast improvement over the earlier schemes. Higher awareness and increase in supply of houses should see more beneficiaries being covered under the scheme”.
Gruh Finance continues to focus on the EWS and LIG segment, which constitutes 85 per cent of their loans. In 2017-18 (so far), it disbursed 25,768 loans, of which 40 per cent have availed of the interest subsidy under CLSS.
Source : https://goo.gl/PfV1mE