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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

PMAY list comes with refund rider

Bengal government recently completed a three-step verification process and finalised names of 11.39 lakh beneficiaries under the scheme

Pranesh Sarkar Calcutta Published 07.01.23, 02:58 AM
A demonstration by tea garden workers in Jalpaiguri district for their inclusion in the PMAY in December.

A demonstration by tea garden workers in Jalpaiguri district for their inclusion in the PMAY in December. File picture

Over 11 lakh beneficiaries of the rural housing scheme will have to sign an undertaking that they are bound to refund the first instalment of the funds in case they are found ineligible in a verification process after the disbursal of the grant.

The state government recently completed a three-step verification process and finalised the names of 11.39 lakh beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The panchayat department is all set to release the first allotment of Rs 60,000 to each of the beneficiaries within a few days.

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“But the verification process will still continue at the gram panchayat level as complaints are pouring in. The decision to continue the survey was taken only to ensure that no ineligible person gets the benefit,” said a senior bureaucrat. The move, sources said, is considered to be significant in the backdrop of teams of Union government officials visiting rural Bengal to take note of ground realities in the implementation of the PMAY.

“The Centre has made it clear that it can freeze the release of funds under the scheme if it is found that ineligible persons are getting houses. The state is not in a situation to take the warning lightly as Delhi had suspended the release of funds under the PMAY for eight months last year on the ground that the name of the scheme was changed in the state,” said a bureaucrat.

“The state wants error-free lists of beneficiaries as Bengal is supposed to get 50 lakh houses under the scheme by 2025. If it is found that ineligible people are getting funds this year, the future of the remaining 39 lakh houses will hang in balance,” said a source.

So, district authorities started distributing undertaking proformas to the beneficiaries in the past two days.

“The beneficiaries will have to sign the undertaking that they will refund the grant in case they don’t meet the criteria to avail themselves of the scheme. The forms will have to be submitted to the authorities concerned as early as possible by the beneficiaries. The districts are set to release the first tranche of the funds to the beneficiaries by Saturday morning,” said a source.

Each of the beneficiaries will get a sum of Rs 1.2 lakh to construct houses in rural areas. The first allotment that will reach the beneficiaries is Rs 60,000.

“If anyone is found ineligible after that, we will ask them to refund the amount based on the undertaking. The authorities can file a police case if the ineligible beneficiary refuses to refund the amount,” said an official in a south Bengal district.

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