CURRENT AFFAIRS 1st Jan 2018

1 . 37.5 lakh houses have been approved under PMAY- (U) so far
  • So far, 37.5 lakh houses have been approved for funding under the     PMAY(Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) /Housing for All/(HFA)-Urban Mission, according to a recently released government statement.
  • A number of 17.32 lakh houses have been grounded of which construction of 4.68 lakh houses have been completed since launch of the Mission.

ABOUT PRADHAN MANTRI AWAS YOJANA

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), in Mission mode envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.It is being implemented from 2015.

Features of the Yojana

1 . “Housing for All” Mission for urban area is being implemented during 2015-2022 and this Mission will provide central assistance to implementing agencies through States and UTs for providing houses to all eligible families/beneficiaries by 2022.
2 . Mission will be implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) except for the component of credit linked subsidy which will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme.
3 . Mission with all its component has become effective from the date 17.06.2015 and will be implemented upto 31.03.2022

Coverage and Duration

All 4041 statutory towns as per Census 2011 with focus on 500 Class I cities would be covered in three phases as follows:
1 . Phase I (April 2015 – March 2017) to cover 100 Cities selected from States/UTs as per their willingness.
2 . Phase II (April 2017 – March 2019) to cover additional 200 Cities
3 . Phase III (April 2019 – March 2022) to cover all other remaining Cities

Implementation Methodology

The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:

1 . Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource
2 . Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy
3 . Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors
4 . Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.

New construction technologies

To fast track the construction of sanctioned houses, the Ministry has identified new technologies for mass housing construction  and building materials for adoption among States/UTs. In addition, the Ministry is also organizing Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge (GHCTC) to co-opt internationally acclaimed rapid mass housing construction technologies and to help States/UTs to construct sanctioned houses under PMAY(U) to address housing shortage in the urban areas by 2022.

 

2 . Fiscal  Deficit  Widens

The government’s fiscal deficit up to November came in at 112% of the amount budgeted for the entire financial year ending in March.

Reasons  Behind

The government missing its fiscal deficit target for the year means that either the revenue it collected fell short of projections, or that its expenditure was higher than planned. The data from the Controller General of Accounts shows that the government’s expenditure seems to be on track. That is, it has spent 68.9% of the amount budgeted for the year, with four months remaining. In other words, it has 31% of its budgeted expenditure left for the remaining 25% of the year.

The revenue side, however, seems to be where the issue is, at only 53% of the full-year target. Looking deeper, the data shows that the government’s non-tax revenue, at only 36.5% of the year’s target, is lagging behind last year’s performance, where it had earned 54.2% of that year’s non-tax revenue target by November.

A few days ago, the government announced that it would be borrowing an additional Rs. 50,000 crore during the remaining part of the financial year.

Impact

Even a 0.5% slippage in the fiscal deficit would be okay as long as it is being driven by an increase in expenditure on developmental activities such as rural roads, irrigation, and low-cost housing.

Even though ratings agency Moody’s recently upgraded India, it did say that it would be tracking the fiscal situation, so any significant slippages could result in a downgrade in the future.

What is ‘Fiscal Deficit’?

The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government. While calculating the total revenue, borrowings are not included.

Why it occurs ?

Generally fiscal deficit takes place either due to revenue deficit or a major hike in capital expenditure. Capital expenditure is incurred to create long-term assets such as factories, buildings and other development.

How it is Financed ?

A deficit is usually financed through borrowing from either the central bank of the country or raising money from capital markets by issuing different instruments like treasury bills and bonds.

 

3 .  64 projects  amounting  to  Rs. 420.44 cr.  for  the  12 HRIDAY Cities  have  been  approved  so  far

64 projects amounting to Rs. 420.44 cr. for the 12 HRIDAY( National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana) Cities have been approved so far under the scheme out of which Rs.230.45 cr has been released. Project implementation has begun in all 12 cities.

Know About National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) 

National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) was launched on 21 January 2015 with the aim of bringing together urban planning, economic growth and heritage conservation in an inclusive manner to preserve the heritage character of each Heritage City.

Coverage

The Scheme shall support development of core heritage infrastructure projects including revitalization of linked urban infrastructure for heritage assets such as monuments, Ghats, temples etc. along with reviving certain intangible assets. These initiatives shall include development of sanitation facilities, roads, public transportation & parking, citizen services, information kiosks etc.

The Scheme is set to be implemented in 12 identified Cities namely, Ajmer, Amaravati, Amritsar, Badami, Dwarka, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi, Velankanni and Warangal.

Duration and Outlay

The scheme is for a duration of 4 years (completing in November 2018) and a total outlay of ₹500 crore (US$78 million).