The target for current financial year given to Madurai district under a centrally sponsored affordable housing scheme for the urban poor has been doubled by the Centre following relaxation of several rules, Collector C. Kamaraj informed bankers and Government officials on Friday.

The revised target under the Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing Urban Poor (ISHUP), conceived by the Union Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Department, was 10,520 with the earlier one being 5,260. He was addressing the District Level Review Committee meeting convened here on Friday by the Lead Bank.

Only 2,760 applications have been received so far with 1,870 forwarded to banks and just 19 getting sanctioned. That Madurai was among the only two districts in the State to have sanctioned loans under this scheme was no consolation, he said.

Rules relaxed

Coming down heavily on the performance of local bodies in this regard, he urged them to be more pro-active and also requested the banks to adopt a participative approach.

Elaborating on the rules relaxed, Lead District Manager KN. Subramanian said that building plan estimates for this scheme could now be sanctioned by the engineers of the nodal agency rather than the local body concerned.

The beneficiaries were also except from paying development charges for planning permission, building licence fee, scrutiny fee, vacant land tax, sewerage tax, and deposit amount towards sewage and drinking water connection, he said.

Further, they were exempt from paying stamp duty or registration fee. The condition imposed on those who had their pattas given by the Government under various other schemes that they could not be mortgaged to banks for availing loans had also been relaxed.

Nodal agency

While Tamil Nadu Housing Board was the sole nodal agency for implementing the scheme, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board had also been appointed as nodal agency now, said Mr. Subramanian.

Speaking about the Kalaigner Housing Scheme, the Collector said that a repayment holiday of three months from the date of disbursement or one month from date of completing house construction, whichever is earlier, has been announced.

Terming the performance of banks in National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) was unsatisfactory, Mr. Kamaraj said that more focus should be given as water might be released soon from Vaigai dam for cultivation.

Reviewing the banking indicators of the district, A.J. George, Assistant General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, said that they were good with only a few areas such as Credit-Deposit ratio being a cause for concern. S. Vijay Kumar, Assistant General Manager of Madurai circle, Canara Bank, the Lead Bank for Madurai, spoke.

More In: Madurai