Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh addresses the National Workshop on Housing for All-Rural

 Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation Chaudhary Birender Singh addresses the National Workshop on Housing for All-Rural

The Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation Chaudhary Birender Singh addressed the National Workshop on Housing for All-Rural in New Delhi today. The Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Sudarshan Bhagat also addressed the National Workshop on Housing for All (Rural).

Shri S.M. Vijayanand, Secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Additional Secretary, Department of Rural Development, Shri Rajeev Sadanandan, Joint Secretary, Department of Rural Development were present on the occasion.  other Participants in the Workshop included Secretaries of Rural Development from States, Engineers, implementers, planners, architects and civil society organisations.
Chaudhary Birender Singh emphasised in his speech that Housing for all is a priority area for the Modi Government. He Said, “Housing for the poor is a priority area for our Government. The Government has declared the intention to provide a good quality house for all by the year 2022. As part of this, we have launched the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY). Approval for the urban component had been given in 2015 itself.  I am pleased to share with you that rural component has also been approved by the Cabinet on 23rd March, 2016.”
He further said that the entire rural housing programme has been revamped in Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana. Subsidy provided by the state and central government has increased by more than 70%. From Rs.70,000, the allocation has now gone up to Rs.1,20,000. In hilly and difficult areas it has increased from Rs.75,000 to Rs.1,30,000. In addition, the Government has also made available cost of unskilled labour for 90 days (95 days in difficult areas) from MGNREGA and another Rs.12,000 from Swachh Bharat Mission funds for Toilets. The wages in NREGA have also been revised recently. All these taken together would ensure that a rural beneficiary gets more than Rs.1,50,000 for house construction.
In the years from 1985 to 2015, around 3.5 crores houses have been constructed. Our aim under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin is to construct 1 crore houses in three years, Chaudhary Birender Singh added. This is a challenging task. We can meet this task only with the support of elected representatives and officials at all levels, especially at the Panchayat level.  We need to revamp systems and work hard to deliver the results promised by the Government, the minister added.
The Central Government will spend Rs.81,975 crores on rural housing from now on till 2018-19. In addition, States would also be spending more than Rs.50,000 crores as their share. The annual allocation from Central Government will go up from Rs.10,025 crores to more than Rs.27,000 crores. The infusion of resources of this magnitude will be a game changer in the rural housing scene and the rural economy.
The NDA Government has revamped MGNREGA and increased the allocation and mandays. Like MGNREGA, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana also generates employment and wealth in rural areas. Except for steel and cement, all materials used in rural housing such as wood, sand, bricks are produced in villages. The labour for construction is also local.
The beneficiary also has the option to avail loans upto Rs.70,000 from primary lending institutions. National Housing Bank and NABARD are the regulators for housing sector lending. Bringing transparency in the selection of beneficiaries. The data from the Socio Economic Census conducted in 2011 will be used. Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana will be the first programme to use data from SECC to select beneficiaries for individual oriented benefit schemes. The list of beneficiaries will be available in the public domain. The criteria for selection is also well known and transparent. The most vulnerable people, selected on the basis of deprivations identified in the SECC, will get priority in the allocation of houses. Therefore, the selection of beneficiaries will be based on transparent norms applied to data available in the public domain. This will make selection of beneficiaries in Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana extremely transparent, Shri Birender Singh said.
This list derived from SECC data will be presented in the Gram Sabha, to be held as part of the ‘Gramoday se Gram Bharat Uday’ programme from 21st to 24th of this month. If there are complaints, the Gram Sabha may correct the list after recording their reasons. Once this process is over, the list of all the persons who will be covered by Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana will be available in next few months. Since the list is prioritized, beneficiaries will be aware when their turn would come and plan accordingly.
Construction of so many houses in such a short time could generate shortage of building materials. Production of building materials such as making bricks from fly ash and soil stabilized earth blocks are approved activities under MGNREGA. There were presentations on the use of Bamboo in the workshop. The Ministry will examine whether bamboo related activities can also be covered under MGNREGA, especially in the North East.
The Rural Development Minister said, “Our Government has invested heavily in infrastructure. Construction is the fastest growing employment sector. There will be a lot of demand for masons, even from rural areas. Unless we increase the supply of good quality masons, we will not be able to complete the targeted number of houses. Therefore we have started a ‘Masons Training Programme’. There are National Occupational Standards for different construction activities such as concreting, bar bending and brick laying etc. But a rural mason has to do all these activities. Therefore, we have created a new occupational profile called “Rural Mason” which includes parts of all these skills, including skills in constructing a toilet.”
The quality pack for Rural Mason has been approved by the National Construction Skills Development Council of India.  It is on their website for comments and would be approved shortly. This will make it possible for the training to follow a nationally approved pattern. It will also make it possible to certify the rural mason. I would like to thank the Ministry of Skills and the National Construction Skills Council of India for making this possible.
A standard kit for the training materials and other training aids was launched during the workshop. Meanwhile pilot training of rural masons using this curriculum has started in Jharkhand and Maharashtra and will soon commence in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. The experiences of training masons were shared in the workshop.
Ministry of Rural Development is partnering with the National Disaster Management Agency to develop modules to train masons on disaster resilient construction methods. Housing typologies along with manuals for construction will soon be available in all the States. Today the Ministers launched 3 of these typologies for Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Tripura. Training modules for masons to build houses according to these designs will also be developed and will be used in constructing government buildings to demonstrate their features to the people.
Rural Technology park has been set up in NIRD. The information collected in the surveys from the states will be available there. All this information and what will be developed later will also be available on the “Rural Housing Knowledge Network” website that was launched today.
In order to avoid delays in the payments to beneficiaries delayed, all administrative and financial transactions will be through the electronic platform, ‘AwaasSoft’.  The bank account, Aadhar number, mobile, NREGA job card are entered in the software at the time of registration. When the sanction is issued on AwaasSoft, the money will be transferred electronically to the bank account of the beneficiary through Finance Ministry’s software-PFMS.
For proper monitoring of the rural housing programme, “Awaas App”, a mobile app was launched today. The photograph taken on this app is geo-tagged and time stamped. Photos will be taken at different stages of construction and uploaded on Awaas Soft. The first photo will be that of the empty plot before construction. This would be the reference point for photographs of all the different stages that are taken and will ensure that houses are completed on time. The Centre will also provide administrative expenses which are being used by many states to employ technical staff to monitor quality and progress.
For technical support, a National Technical support agency will be set up as a housing division of the National Rural Roads Authority. This will provide technical support to the Central Government, support states in setting up their state level and district level technical support units, arrange for training of technical staff, develop operational and technical manuals and independently verify construction.
Rural housing for the poor is undergoing a paradigm shift. Resources have been increased substantially. With the subsidy itself a poor person can construct a good quality house. There is an additional stress on quality. Attractive and low cost designs are available. Masons who work on rural houses would have received formal training. The administrative and monitoring processes have been streamlined. Transparency is paramount in all components of the programme, the Minister informed the participants.
Shri Birender Singh said that a supporting and enabling environment is available for the successful launch of the rural component of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana. However, to make it a success, we need the support of people at all levels - elected representatives, officials at Central, State and district levels, technical experts and civil society organizations. The most important contributor is the beneficiary. With everyone’s support, I am sure that we will be able to achieve the ambitious targets of this programme, he concluded.


 Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation Chaudhary Birender Singh announces Gramoday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan from April 14 To 24 April, 2016

 “GRAMODAY SE BHARAT UDAY ABHIYAN” from April 14 to 24 April, 2016 include:

1.    "Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan” (meaning village emergence & development to Bharat emergence & development) will be conducted across the country, beginning with the Birth Anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on 14th April 2016, culminating in “National Panchayati Raj Day” on 24 April 2016.

2.    The aim of this campaign is to make nationwide efforts to strengthen Panchayati Raj and through it, boost social harmony in the villages, promote rural development and foster farmers’ welfare & livelihoods of the poor.

3.    Panchayats across the country will conduct the campaign. Hon’ble Prime Minister will address all Gram Sabhas on April 24, 2016 and the address will be telecast and aired to all villages across the country, and villagers will gather together to hear it.

4.    During the campaign, various Panchayat level and national level programmes will be held across the country.

5.    The Panchayat level programmes are :

(1)  Social Harmony Programme :   14th to 16th April, 2016
·         On the occasion of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, in all Gram Panchayats, people will pay homage to Dr. Ambedkar and villagers will resolve to strengthen social harmony in the village.
·         Dr. Ambedkar's life and his views about National unity will be discussed, and literature regarding Dr. Ambedkar will be distributed.
·         On this day, information about the schemes run by the government to promote social equity will be given.  Exhibitions will also be organized.

(2)  Gram Kisan Sabha:  17th to 20th April, 2016 : Meeting of farmers will be organized in every Gram Panchayat.  Information regarding schemes in the agriculture sector will be given in the farmers’ meetings.  Suggestions to improve agriculture will be invited from farmers.

(3)  Gram Sabha or  Village Assembly:   21st to 24th April, 2016: To celebrate the National Panchayati Raj Day, Gram Sabhas will be held in each Gram Panchayat on any day between April 21 and 24, 2016.

(4)  As preparatory activities, the following would  be undertaken:

                           i.        Prabhat Pheri
                          ii.        Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation Campaign
                         iii.        Cultural Programmes
                         iv.        Sports competitions.

The following matters would be considered in the Gram Sabhas:

                      i.        Gram Panchayat  Development Plan for local economic development
                    ii.        Proper utilization of funds by Panchayats
                   iii.        Safe drinking water and sanitation
                   iv.        The role of women in rural development
                    v.        Social inclusion including welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups.

(1)  On 24th April 2016, Hon’ble Prime Minister will address Gram Sabhas all over the country, which will be telecast and aired live. People will gather in villages across the country to hear the Prime Minister’s address.

6.         The national level events are:

(1).      Social Harmony Programme: 14th April, 2016, Mhow, Madhya Pradesh

The programme will be inaugurated on 14th April, 2016 by Hon’ble Prime Minister at the birth of place of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar at Mhow, District Indore by paying floral tribute to Babasaheb. On the same day exhibitions will be arranged at the places linked with Dr. Ambedkar like Nagpur, Mumbai, Ambawadi, Mahad, Baroda, Mhow and Chincholi.

(2).      National Meeting of Tribal Women Sarpanches: 19th April, 2016, Vijaywada

A National meeting of tribal women Gram Panchayat Presidents from Fifth Schedule Areas of 10 States, i.e. Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, M.P., Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh will be held at Vijaywada on 19th April 2016. The theme of the National Meeting will be “Role of Women Gram Panchayat Presidents in Development of Fifth Schedule Areas”.

(3).      Conference of Panchayat Representatives: 24th April 2016 at Jamshedpur

Panchayati Raj Day programme will be organised on April 24, 2016 at Jamshedpur. Around 3,000 Panchayat Representatives from all states of the country will participate in this programme. Hon’ble Prime Minister will address the gathering, which will be beamed to all the Gram Sabhas all over the country. People will gather in villages across the country to hear the Prime Minister’s address.

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