Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Need for a Relook ?



Economic Times ( 09 March 2017 ) carries following news report :



Centre to Pay Rent for Poor in 100 Cities


The government would launch the new rental housing policy with the rental vouchers for below poverty line ( BPL ) families


Aimed directly at the URBAN POOR and helping the MIGRANT POPULATION, the scheme would involve :


·         Distribution of Rent Vouchers by URBAN LOCAL BODIES


·         The TENANT would give these vouchers to the LANDOWNER


·         In turn, the LANDOWNER would be able to redeem them at any CITIZEN SERVICE BUREAU


·         If the rent is higher than the value of the rent voucher, the tenant would pay the difference in CASH to the landowner


·         The VALUE of the rent voucher would be determined by the URBAN LOCAL BODY ( Municipal Corporation ? ), on the basis of CLASS or SIZE of the dwelling unit and the PREVALENT RENT in the city


A senior official of “ HOUSING AND URBAN POVERTY ALLEVIATION MINISTRY “ told ET :


“ The Rental Voucher Scheme is being looked at as a means to complement the Prime Minister’s Housing for All Scheme “

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Following are the reasons why the proposed scheme needs a relook :


NUMBER OF AGENCIES INVOLVED in IMPLEMENTATION :

·         The Ministry concerned

·         Urban Local Bodies ( Municipal Corporations of 100 Smart Cities )

·         Citizen Service Bureaus ( - also 100 ? )

·         Landowners ( Lakhs ? )

·         Voucher Recipients  ( 35 % of Urban Household who live in rented homes )



    SCOPE FOR CORRUPTION :

     There will be a lot of ambiguity / discretion , ( leading to corruption ) while deciding :


·         CLASS / SIZE of dwelling units ( city area wise )


·         Prevalent Rents ( in each area of each of those 100 cities )


·         Who is “ Below Poverty Line “ ?


·         Who is a “ MIGRANT “ resident – and for how long ? Who will certify ? In a city like Mumbai , some 500 families arrive DAILY from all over India , to make Mumbai , their new home !


·         Who will “ check and certify “ that the claimant ( voucher recipient ) is actually living at the dwelling unit declared ? How much grease money will they demand ?




·         Landowners will simply be unable to “ redeem “ those Rent Vouchers without bribing the concerned persons at the CITIZEN SERVICE BUREAU !


·         Unscrupulous nexus between TENANT and LANDOWNER could give rise to BENAMI users ( those ABOVE official Poverty Line ) – as currently RAMPANT in most houses ( flats ) sold by State Housing Corporations , all over India !



And finally ,


·         WHO will determine ( - and HOW ? ) , that XYZ tenant , who was POOR last year , has come up ABOVE the Poverty Line , this year – and become ineligible ?

Will this ( scheme ) not “ incentivize “ a person to want to continue to remain below Poverty Line , for as long as he can ?



·         Why should the scheme ignore RURAL POOR ?



Dear Shri Venkiah Naidu-ji :


I urge you to take a close  RELOOK  at this scheme , before announcing !


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09  March  2017


www.hemenparekh.in / blogs          

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