Good News: Affordable rental housing for migrant labour and urban poor


New Delhi: The Centre will launch a scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for migrant labour and the urban poor to build affordable rental housing facilities for them.

Speaking to the media here, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that under the scheme, government-funded housing in different cities will be converted into affordable rental housing complexes under the public-private partnership mode.

Further, the government will also incentivise manufacturing units, industries, institutions, associations to develop affordable rental housing complexes on their private land and operate them.

The Centre will also incentivise state agencies and central government organisations on the similar lines to develop affordable rental housing complexes and operate them.

The government will issue detailed guidelines to give effect to the decision, Sitharaman said.

Firing a second salvo to limit COVID fallout, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a Rs 3.16 lakh crore package comprising free foodgrains for migrant workers, Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit to farmers and working capital for street vendors in a bid to help those hit hard by the nationwide lockdown.

Together with the Wednesday”s Rs 5.94 lakh crore package that mostly comprised off-budget credit line and support to small businesses, shadow banks and electricity distribution companies, the government has unveiled over Rs 9 lakh crore plans out of the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to heal Asia”s third-largest economy that was seen hurtling towards its first full-year contraction in four decades.

Sitharaman said each of the eight crore migrant workers, who had to leave their workplaces after imposition of the lockdown on March 25, will get 5 kg grains and 1 kg pulses free for two months.

Also, 50 lakh street vendors who were rendered jobless as the government ordered stay-at-home would be given a working capital loan of Rs 10,000 each to restart businesses.

For farmers, she announced a Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit through Kisan Credits Cards, benefiting as many as 2.5 crore farmers.

Besides, to meet post-Rabi crop and current Kharif crop requirement of farmers in May and June, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will provide Rs 30,000 crore additional emergency working capital funding to rural cooperative banks and regional rural banks.

She also announced a Rs 70,000 crore boost to the housing sector through a one-year extension of subsidised loan for affordable houses bought by the middle-income group with an annual income of Rs 6 lakh to Rs 18 lakh.