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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

PMAY: IAS scan on rural house scheme eligibility

Government wants to weed out ineligible persons from list who are likely to benefit from scheme

Pranesh Sarkar Calcutta Published 06.12.22, 03:50 AM
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Representational image File picture

The Mamata Banerjee government has deputed senior IAS and WBCS officers for each district to supervise the process of verification of PMAY beneficiaries as part of an attempt to prepare a flawless list of villagers who will get Rs 1.2 lakh from the Centre and the state governments at a ratio of 60:40 to build houses.

The move, multiple sources at Nabanna said, is significant as it gives a clear indication that the state government is leaving no stone unturned to weed out ineligible persons from the list of people who are likely to benefit from the rural housing scheme.

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“The state government has decided to conduct a massive drive to verify the list of beneficiaries across the state before sanctioning money to build dwelling units. These senior officers will supervise the exercise at district levels.... This is the first time such a huge exercise is being carried out before finalising the list of beneficiaries of the PMAY,” said a senior official.

Prior to the engagement of senior officials, the state panchayat department on Monday issued a detailed SoP (standard operating procedure) to verify 11,36,488 beneficiaries in the 2022-23 financial year.

According to the SoP, 5-10 teams comprising Asha or anganwadi workers will conduct a survey in each gram panchayat to check the eligibility of the selected beneficiaries.

The verification process started on December 4.

After the preliminary verification, the district magistrate’s office will recheck two per cent of the total beneficiaries as part of a random survey to assess the quality of the first round of inspection. In a similar manner, the SDO’s office will carry out random checks on 3 per cent and the BDO’s office on 10 per cent of the beneficiaries.

The officials will check whether any beneficiary has a motorcycle, a tractor and a kisan credit card with a credit limit of Rs 50,000 or above. In case any member of the family has an earning of more than Rs 10,000 a month or the family owns a refrigerator, the application will be rejected.

In addition to these, the OC or IC of the local police station will conduct random checks to ensure that ineligible persons are weeded out of the list.

After the genuineness of the beneficiaries is confirmed, a certificate of verification will be issued against the name of each such person and sent to the office of the district magistrate for final approval from the block office. Over and above all this, gram sabha meetings have to be held in each gram panchayat where villagers can mark ineligible beneficiaries if any.

Sources said the state government was carrying out such a robust exercise to verify the beneficiaries apparently for two reasons. First, the state does not want to face further questions from the Centre on possible irregularities in the selection of beneficiaries and second, the ruling establishment wants to avoid any unrest in rural areas over the allotment of dwelling units ahead of panchayat polls.

The Centre had earlier stopped the release of funds under the scheme saying it was renamed in Bengal.

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