(Online Course) Contemporary Issues for IAS Mains 2012: Press Information Bureau – Rajiv Awas Yojana

Press Information

Rajiv Awas Yojana

Answer: The urban population of India has grown
rapidly over the past few decades. In 2001, 27.8 per cent of Indian citizens
(286 million) lived in urban areas, which has increased to 31.2 per cent (377
million) in 20112. In addition, India is expected to represent 26 per cent of
Asia’s proportion (54 per cent) of the world’s urban population by 20503.
However, this large growth in urban population has posed a serious challenge 
with regard to the provision of civic amenities, shelter and livelihood for the
vast sections of population especially those that belong to the Lower Income
Groups (LIG) as well as the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). A majority of
these reside in slum- 93 million in 2011. The housing shortage, estimated at
24.71 million in 2007, is expected to grow to 26.53 by the end of the current
plan period. In a bid to address the issue of slums and urban poverty, the
Government of India has undertaken several measures through the five-year plans
as well as other policy initiatives and schemes such as:

  1. Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY): launched in
    December 2001, VAMBAY was a centrally sponsored scheme with an in-built
    subsidy for undertaking construction of dwelling units for slum dwellers.
    The scheme was successful in providing affordable houses to the urban poor
    and with the launch of JNNURM, elements of this scheme were dovetailed into

  2. Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM):
    Launched in 2005 with a 7 year mission period, JNNURM was developed to
    facilitate fast-track, planned development and renewal of urban areas in the
    country, and in particular in 65 mission cities. The sub-mission for Basic
    Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) focused on granting a 7-point charter of
    entitlements to the urban poor, namely, affordable housing,water supply,
    sanitation, security of tenure, health, education and social security.

  3. Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY): aims at
    addressing urban poverty through the promotion of gainful livelihood
    opportunities for the urban poor through both wage employment and
    entrepreneurship development focusing on community-based delivery mechanisms
    and particularly targeting women.

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  5. Integrated Low Cost Sanitation (ILCS): This scheme
    envisages the conversion of dry latrines into water seal twin-pit sanitary
    latrines on a whole town basis.

  6. Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP): This aims at
    operationalizing the strategy envisaged in the National Urban Housing and
    Habitat Policy (NUHHP) of 2007 and was launched in April 2009. It seeks to
    promote various kinds of public-private partnerships government with the
    private sector, the cooperative sector, the financial services sector, the
    state parastatals, urban local bodies, etc-to create affordable housing
    stock. Under the scheme, the Government provides subsidy at the rate of
    Rs.50,000 per affordable unit or 25% of the cost of infrastructure(internal
    and external),whichever is lower.

  7. Scheme for Interest Subsidy for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP):
    This scheme, introduced in Feb 2009,aims to lighten the repayment burden of
    home loans with Central Government subsidies for those EWS and LIG
    households who have no pucca dwelling but own land in an urban area and want
    to construct or buy a house. The subsidy has been so designed as to provide
    the banks the comfort of risk abatement.

  8. Announcement of Rajiv Awas Yojana – June 2009In June
    2009, President of India announced “Rajiv Awas Yojana” with a vision of a
    slum-free India. In pursuance of this vision, the Ministry of Housing &
    Urban Poverty Alleviation launched the preparatory phase of RAY-i.e. the
    Slum-free City Planning Scheme (SFCP), which mandates the development of
    Plans of Action to make cities and states in India slum-free. These Plans
    focus, not only on curative aspects of existing issues of urban poverty
    alleviation, but also perspective plans to ensure that every citizen of
    India, whatever their socio-economic status, is not forced into slum-like
    conditions in the future. To date about Rs.100 crores has been released to
    157 cities across 34 States/Union Territories for the preparation of the
    city and state-level plans of action. At the same time, the Ministry of
    Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has been steadily working towards the
    development of the main scheme of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) and has held a
    series of consultations since 2009 to engage a variety of stakeholders like
    planning experts, NGOs, State Governments, Urban Local Bodies, bankers,
    representatives of the real estate industry, Central Government Departments
    including Planning Commission etc in the design of RAY.

  9. Approval by Cabinet – June 2011: On 2nd June 2011, the
    Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the launch of Phase I of RAY
    to provide financial assistance to States willing to assign property rights
    to slum dwellers, for the provision of shelter and basic civic and social
    services for slum redevelopment and for the creation of affordable housing
    stock. The scheme is expected to cover about 250 cities (with a population
    of  1 lakh and above) covering about 32.1 million slum dwellers by the
    end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017).

The key features of the scheme include:

  • A ‘whole city, all slums, whole slum’ approach;

  • Pace of progress to be set by the states;

  • Central Government to bear 50 per cent of slum
    re-development costs

  • The two schemes of AHP and ISHUP have been dovetailed
    into RAY; • RAY encourages the use of Central Government assistance by the
    states and cities towards viability gap funding;

  • Mortgage Risk Guarantee Fund will be established to
    facilitate lending to the urban poor for housing with an initial corpus of
    Rs. 1,000 crores from the Centre;

  • Reform-driven approach to urban poverty alleviation
    crucial to the process; no fresh sanctions after the 1st year of project
    sanction without reforms and

  • Centrality of community participation across all
    activities of the scheme.

9. Reform-driven InitiativesRAY, designed on the basis of the
experience of implementing BSUP (JNNURM), focuses on the implementation of
reforms as a larger policy overhaul to give the urban poor a voice in the
governance of the city. Central assistance under RAY, therefore, is conditional
to the implementation of reforms by the states. These include:’”

  • Enactment of law regarding the assignment of property
    rights to the slum dwellers;’”

  • Reservation of 20-25 per cent of developed land for EWS/LIG

  • Earmarking 25 per cent of the municipal budget for
    providing basic services to the urban poor;”

  • Implementation of the 7-point charter of entitlements (as
    under JNNURM) and’”

  • Commitments with timelines for amending rent control
    acts, review of land policies and simplification of approval processes for
    housing projects.

The most crucial reform to be enacted is the property rights
reform. To that end, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has
drafted a Model Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act 2011 focusing, inter alia,
on the following:’”

  • Each individual urban poor household living in slums is
    to be given the right to a dwelling space (either a unit/house, or a plot on
    which a dwelling unit/house may be built);’”

  • The title is to be either exclusively in the name of the
    female head of household, or jointly in the name of the male head of
    household and his wife;’”

  • Every slum dweller will be given a legal document of
    entitlement to the dwelling space, and by extension, the provision of basic
    civic services and amenities and’”

  • The dwelling space is mortgagable, allowing slum dwellers
    to use it to raise finances.


The duration of Rajiv Awas Yojana will be in two phases:
Phase-I for a period of two years from the date of approval of the scheme and
Phase-II which will cover the remaining period of the Twelfth Five Year Plan
2013-17, RAY will be run in a Mission Mode.


RAY will provide the support to enable states to redevelop
all existing slums in a holistic and integrated way and to create new affordable
housing stock. The existing schemes of Affordable Housing in Partnership, and
Interest Subsidy for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP), would be dovetailed into
this scheme. No new projects under the BSUP and IHSDP scheme of the Jawaharlal
Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)  will be sanctioned once
implementation of RAY scheme is taken up except to consume existing 11th Plan
allocations thatmay be left uncommitted. However, projects sanctioned under the
two schemes will continue
to receive Central assistance as per the sanctions and the existing provision of
the schemes.


The choice of cities would be made by the States, according
to their aspirations and financial and resource arrangements in consultation
with the Centre. About 250 cities, mainly Class I, are expected to be covered by
the end of the Twelfth Five Year Plan.Among the cities selected, States would be
required to include all the mission cities of JNNURM, so as to complete the
process begun; preferably cities with more than 3 lakh population as per 2001
Census; and other smaller cities, with due consideration to the criterion of
pace of growth of the city, of slums within the city of predominance of minority
population, areas where property rights
already stand assigned. In the case of North-Eastern States and special category
States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), where town sizes are
very small, criteria other than population may be adopted. However, priority
should be accorded by all States to towns with larger number of people living in
slums so that the goal of RAY to achieve the status of Slum-free State/Country
is attained in the shortest time span. (PIB Features)

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