Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday hit out at the Centre for withdrawing the allocation made to the state under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) for the financial year 2021-22. Speaking to reporters, Baghel claimed that the central government has not been releasing the state’s pending funds and was instead blaming the state for not completing the target. The chief minister was responding to a question about the Union government’s move to withdraw its allocation for the PMAY-G citing Chhattisgarh’s poor performance.
“We have been raising the issue of the Centre not releasing the pending share of the Central Excise and continuously making reductions in the GST (compensation given to state). These pending amounts are around Rs 21,000 crore to Rs 22,000 crore. It (Centre) is yet to give penalty of Rs 4,140 crore collected from coal miners (who were allotted mines in Chhattisgarh),” Baghel said. On the one hand, the Centre has not been releasing pending funds with it, while on the other hand, it is accusing the state of not completing (the target), he said.
Speaking about the PMAY-G, the chief minister further said that if the scheme is named after the prime minister, then why was the fund allocation ratio between the Centre and the state 60:40. “The entire fund for the scheme should be given by the Centre. When did we say that we will not make (houses under the scheme)? As soon as we have the funds, we will deposit it (for the scheme) again and build houses for the poor,” Baghel said. In a letter dated November 17, the Union Ministry of Rural Development to Chhattisgarh, had stated the target of 7,81,999 houses in rural areas allocated to the state for the financial year 2021-22 was withdrawn with immediate effect. The letter stated that Chhattisgarh had not shown any satisfactory results on parameters such as registrations of new houses, sanctioning of new houses to PMAY-G beneficiaries, completion of previously allocated houses etc. Besides release of long pending state’s shares since 2019 till date under the PMAY-G till date. The above factors have resulted in poor performance of the state under the scheme and the state had failed to utilise the targeted allocations, it said. State BJP leaders, including former Chief Minister Raman Singh, had posted the copy of the letter on social media, accusing the state government of being “incompetent”.
“The houses of the poor will not be built due to the incompetence of @INCChhattisgarh government. Read the letter of @MoRD_GOI and get an idea of how @bhupeshbaghel is murdering the hopes of the poor of the state. Due to the negligence of the state government, 7,81,999 houses allotted in 2021-22 under PM Awas could not be built,” Singh had tweeted along with a copy of the letter. State Congress spokesperson Dhananjay Singh Thakur accused the Centre of meting out “step-motherly treatment” to the Congress government in the state in terms of fund allocation. “For the allocation of funds under the PMAY, registration with RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) is mandatory for Chhattisgarh. But a BJP-ruled state like Madhya Pradesh has been receiving funds under the scheme and allotting houses without doing registration with RERA,” he alleged. About 11,00 projects of the PMAY are underway in Chhattisgarh, for which the Centre had not paid Rs 1,500 crore as second instalment, Thakur claimed.