New Delhi: The Centre’s bid to make India slum free seems to have taken a back seat as the state governments face acute financial crunch in implementing the United Progressive Alliance’s flagship scheme Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). The RAY was launched to provide houses to the slum-dwellers. 

Encouraging the state governments, Union Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja said, “About 250 towns have to be covered under the RAY scheme by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan under which affordable houses would be provided to urban poor.”

In a meeting, most of the states including Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand expressed their inability to implement the project citing limited resources.

According to sources, Bihar sought to increase the Centre’s share from 50 to 90 percent, while some states emphasized the need for 75:25 Centre-state fund sharing arrangements.

The states also demanded that the Centre’s share in the land acquisition for the RAY scheme be increased to 50 percent.

Selja opined that government would emphasize on bringing transparency in the ambitious RAY with the evaluation and monitoring systems to make sure that the real beneficiaries of the scheme are poor and slum-dwellers.

JPN/Bureau