The Centre, in an unprecedented move, has asked the Telangana government to return Rs 190 crore which was given to the state in 2016-17 for building rural houses for the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). This comes after the K Chandrashekar Rao-ruled state has refused to update the Centre of its progress on implementing the scheme A target of building 70,674 houses was allotted to Telangana in 2016-17, and the first instalment of Rs 190.78 cr was released to the state. The secretary, Rural Development, added that despite a lapse of two years, the state (Telangana) is still to adopt the transparent criteria of PMAY-Grameen for allotment of houses and has not made any progress on AwaasSoft (an online portal where the progress has to be updated). It was decided that Telangana will have to return Rs 190.78 cr to the ministry as no progress has been shown by the state under PMAY-G, the minutes of the meeting mentioned. Not just this, it was also decided that the target of 70,674 houses allotted to Telangana would now be given to other well-performing/needy states so as to enable the ministry to complete the target of constructing one crore houses under PMAY-G countrywide by 2018-19. Telangana also did not seek the second instalment of PMAY-G funds for 2016-17 till date, the minutes further mention. As per the ministry’s portal, Telangana has not made a single house under PMAY-G. About 52 lakh houses have been completed across India under PMAY-G so far. A senior ministry official explained that the Telangana government was in fact pushing its own state housing scheme that promises 2-bedroom houses to all the homeless poor. That is through a contractor system with a higher financial package for the house than the PM Awas Yojana in which the house is primarily built by the beneficiary himself, a ministry official said, adding it was possible that the category of people eligible for the PM Awas Yojana — the homeless and those with a kutchha house with a room — may have been covered by the state scheme, but the state needed to inform the Centre of the same. Though the Empowered Committee has taken a decision that if Telangana can still provide us the official figures, the situation can be retrieved, the official said. As per the minutes, the empowered committee has decided that Telangana should first complete the gram sabha resolution process, as envisaged in the framework for implementation of PMAY-G, identify beneficiaries as per provisions of the scheme, and then upload their names on AwaasSoft portal. The ministry accepts the progress of PMAY-G as uploaded only on the portal.