Central government employees can now get loans up to Rs 25 lakh at a simple interest rate of 8.5% to build or purchase houses. This is almost three times the amount they could earlier get under the House Building Advance scheme, the Centre said on Thursday.

Employees looking to expand their house can now borrow Rs 10 lakh against the earlier amount of Rs 1.8 lakh.

Amending another rule, the government said that if both spouses are central government employees they are eligible to avail this loan, either together or separately.

These revisions, which were recommended by the 7th Pay Commission, will boost the housing sector and increase construction activities, The Times of India reported.

Employees can save about Rs 11 lakh by availing the scheme instead of borrowing a similar amount – Rs 25 lakh for 20 years – from banks, a senior official in the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry was quoted as saying by PTI.