The government is changing the dynamics for delivery of interest subsidy under the PM Awas Yojana in urban areas to reach out to several more beneficiaries ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Instead of getting first-time home buyers to wait at bank branches for subsidised loans, the government is tapping into income tax data to identify potential beneficiaries. They will then receive a certificate from the department, which they can use to get a subsidised loan, sources told TOI.
PM Awas Yojana is available to first-time home buyers with annual income of up to Rs 18 lakh who purchase apartments or build houses. They are entitled to credit-linked subsidy of up to Rs 6 lakh over a period of 20 years with upfront concession of Rs 2.5-2.7 lakh. Till December-end 3.4 lakh had availed of the benefits under the scheme with officials suggesting that the number should be multiple times higher.
Sources said that often beneficiaries are unaware of the benefits available or have to do a lot of running around to get the interest subsidy. “With the new mechanism, which will be like the 59 minutes loans for small businesses, we are hoping that many more people will be able to claim the benefit,” said a government official.
The broad details have been finalised by lenders and the government and were discussed at a meeting that bankers had with interim finance minister Piyush Goyal. The finer details will be thrashed out by a committee of four bankers and housing secretary D S Mishra over the next few days with the scheme to be announced in around a week.
Like several other schemes floated by the Narendra Modi government, the idea is to reward those who are in the tax net or are below the poverty line, sources said.
Although the new tool may be a last-minute push for home loans ahead of general elections in April-May, the government believes that it will have a long-term impact on the housing sector besides helping the government meet the housing for all target, a pet theme of PM Modi.
The real estate and construction sector have been subdued for years and is often linked to the absence of jobs.
Times of India