What is the IAY scheme and Why was it renamed PMAY?

Regarded as the second-most unequal region in the world, in terms of income inequality, it comes as no surprise that India also has a problem with homelessness. In fact, the last census found around 6.5 crore people living in urban slums. Homelessness is the grim reality many citizens in urban and rural areas grapple with. However, this isn’t to say that the Government of India hasn’t been proactive about solving this issue. In 1985, under Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Awaas Yojana, which is the IAY full form, was launched and this initiative focused on providing housing for the rural population in India.

Fast forward 40 years, the then Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana Gramin scheme is no longer known by the same name but its provisions, goals, and features are still very much in effect under the PMAY initiative. Through this, the Government of India aims to provide housing for all, not just the rural population, through the construction of millions of homes.

However, any comprehensive IAY report will show you that PMAY was built on the foundation laid by the IAY scheme. So, for a detailed breakdown of the IAY scheme, details of its operations in India, and to understand why it has been renamed as PMAY, read on.


What is Indira Gandhi Awaas Yojana?

IAY, otherwise known as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY) or IAY Gramin, was a sub-scheme of the Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) and a social welfare programme that was first launched by Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. It was the flagship housing programme of the Ministry of Rural Development and worked toward constructing houses for the below-poverty-line (BPL) population in rural India. In the financial year 1995-96, the IAY extended its aid to widows and close relatives of defence personnel killed in action as well.

What were the key features of Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana?

As the IAY was a social welfare scheme, a lot of the key features were designed to empower citizens, beyond simply putting a roof over their heads. To understand further, consider the following pointers.

  • Ownership: Any home constructed under IAY was under joint ownership of both husband and wife, with exception of the unmarried, divorced, and widows. However, the State could give ownership to the woman only. Similarly, if the state allotted the construction of the house based on the eligibility of a disabled member, then they maintained sole ownership.
  • Construction: Under this scheme, the construction was to be carried out by the beneficiary only. Any external involvement of a contractor or agency was not permissible, and, if done, the government could withhold or confiscate the funding provided. However, beneficiaries could acquire support services from NGOs, youth clubs, and others, for monitoring and assisting with construction.
  • Construction standards: As per the objectives of this initiative, eco-friendly and sustainable modes of building houses were to be promoted. Preference was given to locally-sourced materials.
  • Fund allocation: Under this scheme, funds were released in instalments.
  •   •The first instalment comprised of 25% of the total unit cost and was provided on the Awaas Divas with the sanction order.
      •The second instalment was paid after the first stage of construction was complete, reaching the lintel level, and comprised of 60% of the total cost.
      •The final instalment was released after the home had a fully-constructed and functional bathroom or latrine and the beneficiary was living in the home. Here, the remaining 15% of the total cost was disbursed to the beneficiary.

  • Construction time limit: Upon receiving the first instalment, the beneficiary had 9 months to complete the first stage. Following which, stage 2 had to be completed within another 9 months from receiving the second instalment.

What were the benefits of the IAY scheme?

The benefits of this social welfare scheme were as follows.

  • Houses constructed under IAY must be designed based on the requirements of the residents
  • Aim to use locally-sourced materials to construct homes that will last at least 30 years
  • IAY promotes the use of eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable construction techniques while also generating employment
  • IAY encourages Panchayats to spearhead change in their constituency so that the program is effectively implemented across the nation
  • IAY supports construction of homes with required provisions like workplaces

What was the target group’s eligibility criteria for the Indira Gandhi Yojana?

IAY was primarily aimed at providing housing for the poor in rural societies of India. So, households under the BPL were the primary beneficiaries; however, IAY was not restricted to just that category. Here is a list of all those eligible under this scheme.

  • Disabled or handicapped citizens
  • Ex-service personnel
  • Citizens under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories
  • Free bonded labourers
  • Widows
  • Next of kin of defence or parliamentary personnel killed in action
  • Citizens in the marginalised sector of society

What were the special projects undertaken by IAY?

The IAY scheme made accessible reserve funds from the Central Government to ensure that certain special projects across the states were carried out smoothly. They are as follows:

  • Rehabilitating families below the BPL and affected by violent outbreaks
  • Rehabilitating families below the BPL and affected by natural calamities
  • Offering settlement to families forced to relocate along international borders
  • Providing settlement for scavengers, tribal societies, and labourers
  • Providing rehabilitation for individuals affected by occupational diseases and ‘Kala-azar’

Why was Indira Awaas Yojana Renamed as PMAY?

There is no official reason for why the Government of India renamed the Indira Gandhi Awaas Yojana scheme to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme. That said, under PMAY, urban citizens can also access affordable housing via a home loan interest subsidy. Based on your income-group categorisation, you can get an interest subsidy through PMAY’s CLSScomponent of up to Rs.2.67 lakh. All you need to do is partner with an empanelled lender.

When you opt for the Bajaj Housing Finance Limited Home Loan, you get an interest subsidy of up to Rs.2.67 lakh, alongside a loan of up to Rs.3.5 crore, attractive interest rates, and a tenor that ranges up to 30 years.

You also get access to Property Search services, which includes legal aid and expert counsel to ensure you make the best decision for your profile. Additionally, thanks to its simple criteria and minimal need for documentation, getting started is also a straightforward and speedy process. Simply fill the online application form and an authorised representative will contact you at the earliest.