POLITICS

Modi Government Could Soon Be Paying Your Rent In 100 Smart Cities: Report

Direct benefit transfer could also be used in this scheme.

09/03/2017 8:46 AM IST | Updated 09/03/2017 10:13 AM IST
Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

The Narendra Modi government is launching a ₹2,700-crore welfare scheme which will provide rent vouchers for the urban poor in 100 smart cities, The Economic Times reported today.

The first phase of the scheme is likely to be rolled out in the 2017-2018 financial year, with the distribution of the rent vouchers to below poverty line families being done by urban local bodies, ET reported. The urban local body will decide the value of the rent voucher depending prevailing rent in the city as well as the size of the dwelling unit. The tenant would provide the voucher to the landlord who could then redeem the rent amount at any citizen service bureau or recover the difference if the rent is higher.

Direct benefit transfer could also be used in this voucher scheme which is expected to complement Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Housing for All" scheme.

The Centre also plans to use confiscated benami properties for construction of affordable rental housing. An enabling provision in the Benami Properties Act would allow disallow houses confiscated by the Centre to be auctioned, according to an official in the the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. Instead these houses "could be let out by the Central government or through state governments as rental housing for the middle income group (MIG), LIG and economically weaker section (EWS) depending on the suitability and location of such properties."

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