29 May 2012

Utilisation of Funds for Basic Amenities to Urban Poor

The Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja has said that utilisation of funds, allocated under Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP)- components of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for providing housing and other related basic amenities to urban poor, varies from State to State. While some States have availed full allocation of central assistance for their States others are lagging.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today Kumari Selja said, no year-wise allocation of funds is made to States under BSUP and IHSDP. However the details of States where less than 50 per cent of total committed funds have been released so far is annexed. The reasons for underutilisation of funds among other things are as under:

(i)         Lack of capacity/financial resources at the local/state levels – inability of urban local bodies to meet their share, in particular;

(ii)        Difficulties in making slum residents temporarily relocate in the case of in situ projects;

(iii)       Beneficiaries’ reluctance to move on to the new locations in the case of relocation projects,

(iv)       Cost escalation due to various factors,

(v)        Inability of beneficiaries to contribute their share and towards cost escalation,

(vi)       Availability of litigation free land, and

(vii)      Inadequate community involvement.

She said, the Government has extended the Mission Period upto 2014 for completion of on-going projects and reforms so that the States may utilise the funds allocated under BSUP and IHSDP. States have been advised during the course of review meetings at Central/Regional and at State level:

(i)      to start the non-starter projects and take action to complete projects according to a time-bound action plan;

(ii)    achieve the completion of houses within the Mission period as early possible;

(iii)  provide additional state share to implementing agencies to meet cost escalation and also where urbanlocal bodies and beneficiaries are  not in a position to contribute their share due to poor financial health.

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