PM Awas Yojana-Subsidy Scam

A Tehelka SIT report uncovers widespread use of fraudulent means by beneficiaries to obtain subsidies under the Modi govt’s flagship housing scheme

 “I was ineligible for the subsidy under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-Urban) scheme. So, I used fake documents, including a falsified Income Tax Return (ITR), and provided false information claiming I had no pucca house anywhere in India. As a result, I obtained a fake subsidy for the house I purchased in Agra,” bragged Rajeev Verma, a real estate agent from Agra. However, Rajeev didn’t stop there. When approached by our reporter, posing as a fictitious client interested in purchasing a house under the PMAY scheme, he also advised him to submit false information similar to what he had done to fraudulently obtain a subsidy under the scheme.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), a flagship mission of the PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre being implemented by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA), was launched on 25th June 2015. The objective of the scheme was to address the shortage in urban housing among the Economic Weaker Section (EWS), Low Income Group (LIG), and Middle Income Group (MIG) people, including the slum dwellers, by ensuring a pucca house to all eligible urban households by the year 2022, when nation completes 75 years of its independence. PMAY-Urban scheme’s implementation time has now been extended till December 31, 2024.

There are two types of PMAY schemes based on the area of their focus: Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban. Before applying for the scheme, however, one must consider whether he/she is eligible to receive subsidies. Depending on a person’s income range, he/she would fall in EWS, LIG or MIG categories. If the family’s annual income exceeds the income range for the MIG group, which is Rs 18 lakh per year, it would be ineligible to avail benefits under the Yojana. Also, PMAY is only available for the new property purchased. Besides, an applicant must not possess any other pucca property when applying for the said credit-linked subsidy scheme [CLSS] in which individuals avail subsidies on their home loan under the housing scheme.

Since the launch of the PMAY scheme, reports of corruption in the scheme have surfaced from various regions across the country. In 2021, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) for alleged fraudulent practices in PMAY. The CBI accused Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, the promoters of DHFL, of creating “fake and fictitious” home loan accounts worth over Rs 14,000 crore and availing Rs 1,880 crore in interest subsidy from the Government of India. DHFL is just one example, and incidents of similar malpractices in PMAY have also been reported from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

In light of the reported stories of shenanigans surrounding the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Tehelka decided to launch an undercover operation to uncover the alleged prevailing fraud within PM Modi’s flagship housing scheme. Our investigation led us to Agra, where we met Rajeev Verma, a real estate agent. Posing as potential buyers, we informed Rajeev of our interest in purchasing a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, specifically through the credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS), which offers government subsidies on home loans. Rajeev took us to a ready-to-move-in housing project, which he claimed was built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to cater to the demand for EWS, LIG, and MIG houses. Rate of 3BHK of this project, according to him, was Rs 24 lakh.

While touring the project, Rajeev confessed to us that he himself had flouted the guidelines of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, necessary for obtaining a subsidy. Despite already owning a pucca house and having an income tax return exceeding the maximum limit, he admitted to receiving a subsidy for the house he purchased in Agra. He explained that he had concealed information about his existing property and submitted a fabricated income tax return. Rajeev acknowledged that he was ineligible for the PMAY subsidy and did not belong to any category within the Economic Weaker Section (EWS), Low Income Group (LIG), or Middle Income Group (MIG). However, he submitted a fake affidavit claiming that neither he nor his wife owned any pucca house anywhere in India, and subsequently obtained the subsidy under the PMAY scheme.

Reporter- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana ki subsidy aa gayi ?

Verma- Ji

Reporter- Kitne time mein aa gayi ?

Verma- Ek saal mein..

Reporter- Aur kis bank se liya tha appne?

Verma- Mera tha Axis se..

Reporter- Jab ki aap eligible nahi ho.?

Verma- Haan nahi hain..

Reporter- Aap nahi aatey us category mein..aapne kaise le liya?

Verma- Wo 100 rupees ka affidavit banta hai, stamp paper…ek to ITR bahut halke dikhaney padtey hain..

Reporter- Kya dikhane padtey hain.?.

Verma- ITR bahut halke dikhaney padtey hain, ek dum minimum..ITR kam dikhaney padtey hain.. aur jo hai income bhi bahut kam dikhani padti hai.. ye dikhana padta hai ki hamarey aur hamari madam k naam par poore Hindustan mein koi ghar nahi hai…

Reporter- Hamare ya hamari madam k naam par?

Verma- Hamare ya madam k naam par.

Reporter- Accha aapke parivar mein kisi k naam par bhi pakka makaan na ho?

Verma- Pakka makaan na ho.

Reporter- Hindustan k kisi bhi koney mein..

Verma- Ji bas yehi affidavit mein likha ho.

[Our conversation with Rajeev sheds light on the loopholes and malpractices within the government’s flagship housing scheme. Despite its noble objectives, the scheme seems susceptible to exploitation by unscrupulous individuals like Rajeev, who prioritize personal gains leaving the intended beneficiaries in the lurch.]

Rajeev Verma claimed that despite official pronouncements, the authorities seldom attempt to verify the declarations made by the applicants for the scheme. He explained that he had received Rs 2.15 lakh as subsidy a year ago, but no one ever checked if he already owned a pucca house or if his Income Tax Return was genuine.

Verma- Waise ye Hindustan hai na, itni koi inquiry karta nahi hai…

Verma- Hamarey pass to koi inquiry aayi nahi..maine application submit kar di.. mere pass automatic ek saal baad subsidy aa gayi.

Reporter- Kitne saal pehle aaye paise aapke pass?

Verma- Ek saal hua hai abhi

Reporter- 2 lakh 15 hazar.?

Verma- Haan.

Reporter- Apply kitne k liye kiya tha aapne?

Verma- Apply nahi kiya to unka maapdand hai, 2.15 lakh se lekar 2.75 lakh tak aapko bhej dengey..

[Rajeev Verma asserted that despite official declarations, authorities never conduct verifications. He cited his own example to buttress his claim.]

After confessing to obtaining a subsidy under PMAY by submitting false information, Rajeev now advises the Tehelka reporter to follow suit. He suggests him to provide a false affidavit stating that he does not own any pucca house in India while applying for a subsidy on the house purchased through PMAY.

Reporter- Maan lo mein ye makaan leta hoon, iske liye mein subsidy mein Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana mein apply karun, bank se loan lekar, mere pass to pehle se makaan hai Noida mein ?

Verma- Aapke naam par..?

Reporter- Mere naam par bhi hai madam key bhi, dono joint hain usmein..

Verma- Phir to sab keh saktey hain ek tareeke se jua hi hain…waise inquiry hoti nahi hai aur bhi logon ne liye hain…aaj tak to huyi nahi hai, ek banda bhi check karne nahi aaya…ki hamarey naam par ya madam ke naam par property hai key nahi..

Reporter- To aap ye keh rahe ho mein apply kar doon ?

Verma- Apply kar dijiye..apply karne mein koi burai nahi hai..

Reporter- Aur affidavit.?

Verma- Affidavit bana dijiye ki ham dono k naam par koi makaan nahi hai..

Reporter- Lekin makaan to hai Noida main phir ?

Verma- Kaun check karne aa raha hai…Hindustan mein itna time hai kisi key pass..?

Reporter- Maan lo check ho gaya to.?

Verma- To zyada se zyada subsidy nahi aayegi…aur kya aap mat dijiye subsidy..

Reporter- Matlab aise kar rahe hain log..?

Verma- Haan

Reporter- Matlab jinke pass ghar hain wo bhi Pradhan Mantra Awas Yojana mein subsidy le rahe hain..?

Verma- Ji, ji..

Reporter- Aur below poverty line mein bhi nahi aatey wo log , sab ameer hain..?

Verma- Haan haan sir,,ye investor hain sab, sab ameer hain…

Reporter- Inhoney sabne book karwaya hua hai, pradhan mantra awas yojana mein..?

Verma- Sab Hindustan hai sir, Hindustan mein har cheez ho sakti hai.

[After admitting to obtaining a PMAY subsidy through deceptive means, Rajeev now advises our reporter to do the same, alleging that numerous wealthy and ineligible individuals are taking advantage of the scheme subsidy, effectively transforming the welfare housing scheme into an investment plan.]

Rajeev advises Tehelka reporter to conceal the fact that he already owns a pucca house in Noida in order to qualify for a subsidy in PMAY. He then cites his own example of obtaining a subsidy despite owning a house in Shikohabad, Uttar Pradesh. He said that many people are falsely obtaining subsidies by submitting affidavits to their respective banks, falsely claiming they do not own any other pucca house in India.

Verma-Actual mein kisi bhi plot par ya flat pe subsidy milti hai.. aage wale flats mein bhi XXXXX walon ki usmein bhi subsidy hai.. har ek mein subsidy milti hai

Reporter- Sarkar ki taraf se?

Verma- Ji.

Reporter- Uski condition hoti hai na kuch?

Verma- Ji wahi ki aapke paas pakka ghar nahi hona chahiye.

Reporter- Hamara to ek pakka ghar hai Noida mein

Verma-Wo chupa sakte hain sir. Wo hai Noida mein yahan Agra ki baat hai.. Chal jayega.. koi dikkat nahi hai

Reporter- Usko kaise chupayenge aap batao.? 

Verma- Wo aapse affidavit hi mangte hain 100 rupees ka.

Reporter- Kaun mangte hain affidavit 100 ka ?

Verma- Bank wale.

Reporter- Jis se hum loan lenge.?

Verma- Ji.

Reporter- Wo kya mangte hain affidavit ?

Verma- Affidavit mangte hain apply karne ke liye.. 100 rupees ka.. ki hamare naam par koi pakka makaan nahi hai…bus aur kuch nahi hota..survey bhi nahi. 

Reporter- Aapne bhi liya hua hai Agra mein aisa?

Verma- Ji… koi bhi aap le sakte hain.. jab tak Modi ji ki government hai..sab par milegi subsidy.. 

Reporter- Aap ne li hui hai subsidy.?

Verma- ji.. 

Reporter- Aapka to already pakka makaan tha?

Verma-ji.. Wo Shikohabad mein tha.. Mein ab Agra mein rehne laga hoon. Affidavit ban gaya tha. Meri subsidy aa bhi gayi.. 2 lakh 39 hazar aayi thi meri

Reporter- 2.39 lakhs?

Verma- Ji

[Rajeev advised our reporter to hide the fact that he owns a pucca house in Noida to qualify for a PMAY subsidy while sharing his own experience of receiving a subsidy despite owning a house in Shikohabad, Uttar Pradesh.]

Rajeev revealed that no government official visited Shikohabad to verify whether he already owned a pucca house. He remarked that in bureaucratic processes, no one takes the time to verify facts and advised our reporter to apply for a PMAY subsidy without fear of being caught for owning a pucca house in Noida. He mentioned that many of his friends had wangled subsidies through deceitful methods in PMAY, emphasizing that it only requires submission of a simple affidavit, costing Rs 100, to the bank, stating that one does not own any pucca house in India.

Reporter- Wahan Shikohabad mein survey karne nahi gaya koi.. Wahan pakka makaan hai aapka?

Verma- Nahi koi nahi gaya.. wahan pakka makaan hai. Itna time kahan hai sarkar k pass ki check kare. 

Reporter- Sahi keh rahe hain aap.. mein kya karun. le loon subsidy mein.. kahin baad mein dikkat  na ho..?

Verma- Nahi-nahi aap le lijiye aankh band karke le lijiye. 

Reporter- Aisa na ho baad mein survey ho jaye?

Verma- Survey hota hi nahi hai sir. Aur bhi logon ne liye hain. Hamare yaar doston ne bhi liye hain. 

Reporter- Sabke pakke makaan hain pehle se?

Verma- Aur kya.. bhai affidavit hi banwayege ek.. aur kya.. aap bhar dena affidavit. Aapko Rs 100 ka tehsil se lana padega stamp paper.. aur ek application likhkar submit kar dena bank ko. 

Reporter- Ye to Agra mein sab par mil jayegi subsidy.?

Verma- Ji sir. Lagbhag 40 lakh se uper nahi hona chahiye bas. 

Reporter- Matlab makaan ki keemat 40 lakh se uper na ho..?

Verma- Ji.. 

Reporter- 30-35 lakh par mil jayegi. 

Verma- Haan.. 

Reporter- Uspar subsidy mil jayegi 2.-2.5 lakh tak ki?


Reporter- Agar aap loan lenge to sarkar subsidy wapas kar degi ek saal k baad?

Verma- Ek saal, 8 mahina, 9 mahina. Jitna process mein hota hai.. Time lagta hai.. Hazaron log bharte hain na. 

Reporter- Matlab utna paisa account mein aa jayega?

Verma- Ji.. Automatic aa jata hai..

[Rajeev explained how the bureaucracy never found the time to visit Shikohabad to verify his declaration of not owning a property even as he encouraged our reporter to pursue a PMAY subsidy without a care in the world.]

After Rajeev Verma, our undercover reporter met Imran Hussain (name changed) from Katihar district in Bihar. A tailor by profession, Imran confessed that he had paid Rs 3,000 as a bribe to his village head to secure Rs 10,000 from the government to build a toilet in his house under PMAY.

Reporter- Aap ghar banwa rahe they Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana mein?

Imran- Nahi- nahi.. Wo to shauchaley ke liye bola tha.. Shauchaley k liye 10 hazar rupiya mila tha..

Reporter- Accha shauchaley ka.. 10 hazar rupees mile aapko.?.

Imran- Haan 2 shauchaley banwaye they… Ek ka paisa mila hai..

Reporter- Accha aapne shauchaley banwaya uska 10k mila sarkar se..?

Imran- Haan

Reporter- Aaram se mil gaya tha ya koi dikkat aayi ?

Imran- Dikkat?.. poori poori dikkat aayi.. 10 hazar to mujhko mila lekin uske liye 2-3 hazar to mujhko dena pada na..

Reporter- Teen hazar rupees rishwat ke dene pade aapko?

Imran- Aur kya.. aise hi thodi hi mil jata hai.. koi bhi cheez aise nahi milta hai.

Reporter- Phir kisko diya aapne rishwat ke 3 hazar rupees..?

Imran- Ward member ko.

Reporter- Ward member ko.?

Imran- Haan gaon ka mukhiya ko.

[Imran Hussain (alias) from Katihar district in Bihar, revealed how he paid a Rs 3,000 bribe to his village leader in exchange for securing Rs 10,000 from the government to construct a toilet in his home through PMAY.]

According to Imran, out of the total Rs 3,000 he paid in bribe, he initially gave Rs 1,000 in advance. After 6-8 months, he received Rs 10,000 in his wife’s account for building a toilet in his house under PMAY.

Reporter- Kitna time ho gaya aapko paise mile hue shauchaley ke liye..?

Imran- Koi 3 saal ho gaye.. 3 saal ya dhai saal ya do saal aisa hi ho gaya.

Reporter- Aur 3000 rishwat k diye aapne..?

Imran- Haan lagbhag 3000,..2000 baad mein.. Pehle 1000 kharche warche mein.

Reporter- Pehle paisa mila ya rishwat di aapne.?

Imran- Pehle paisa dena hota hai.. Baad mein milta hai..

Reporter- Pehle rishwat deni hoti hai?

Imran- Haan.

Reporter- Rishwat dene k kitne din baad paisa mil gaya aapko?

Imran-.. Pehle 6-8 mahine kehta raha.. Phir bola itna paisa do..account mein paisa dalwa dete hain… To phir paisa diya phir account mein dalwaya..

Reporter- To rishwat ke paise account mein dalwaye.?

Imran- Rishwat k paise to haath mein diya par wo jo milta hai paisa wo account mein aata hai.. Kisi ladies k naam se… Account mein aaya tha.

Reporter- Kiske.. Aapne apni gharwali k naam par liya hoga..?

Imran- Haan ladies ko hi milta hai wahan par.

Reporter- Accha gents ko nahi milta..?

Imran- Na..

Reporter- To aapne apni gharwali k naam par liya hoga..?

Imran- Haan.

Reporter- To bann gaya..aapne toilet banwa liya.?

Imran- Haan mein banwa liya toilet.

Reporter- Kitna kharcha aaya..

Imran- Hamara lagbhag 90 hazar ka kharcha hua..

Reporter- 90 hazaar.. Aur 10 hazar sarkar se mila..

[Imran explained how he was made to pay Rs 3K as bribe for constructing a toilet in his home through PMAY.]

Our investigation into the alleged malpractices within the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana has revealed a troubling trend: a notable number of beneficiaries are exploiting the scheme through fraudulent methods. Individuals are fabricating income tax returns and falsifying documents to hide ownership of existing pucca houses, enabling them to obtain subsidies for properties they are ineligible for. In rural areas, the situation is even more concerning, with residents reportedly forced to pay bribes to access their rightful funds.

These alarming findings underscore the urgent need for corrective action. Stricter oversight measures and robust enforcement mechanisms are crucial to prevent exploitation and ensure that the PMAY scheme benefits reach the beneficiaries it was designed to help.