Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu said today that the housing for all initiative that will be launched soon seeks to address the shortcomings of earlier housing schemes and will be more workable.
He was addressing the concerns voiced by the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministries of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation. The MP discussed various implementation issues relating to construction of 2 crore homes for the urban poor by the year 2022.
Naidu said that an investment of about Rs 3 lakh crore is required to meet the housing shortage in urban areas and the new housing for all scheme has been formulated to create an enabling environment based on the experiences of implementation of earlier housing schemes.
He informed the MPs that the urban component of the housing mission has four components - slum redevelopment, affordable housing through credit linked subsidy, affordable housing in partnership (with private or public sector agencies) and subsidy for beneficiary - led individual house construction/enhancement.
He acknowledged that the task of building 2 crore new houses in urban areas is a challenging one and informed the MPs that several measures have been taken to enable mobilization of required resources by the states and urban local bodies. These include leveraging the land for slum redevelopment, liberalizing norms for FDI flows in construction and housing sector, streamlining clearances for construction projects, substantial assistance to the beneficiaries belonging to Economically Weaker Sections and Low Income Groups, enabling urban local bodies to issue municipal bonds etc.
The minister said that affordable housing in rural and urban areas needs land acquisition and this was one of the objectives of amendments proposed by the central government to the Land Acquisition Act of 2013.
In the discussion, MPs expressed concern over steadily declining housing loans to weaker sections from public sector banks and housing finance corporations even as total lending to housing sector has increased over the years. They strongly felt that granting 'infrastructure status' to housing sector would help in meeting the credit needs. MPs also referred to the availability of land, selection of beneficiaries, granting clearances to construction projects as major challenges which need to be effectively addressed by the states and urban local bodies.
Members of the consultative committee also urged the central government to continue to support housing projects sanctioned under earlier housing schemes and are still incomplete. Naidu said that it has already been decided to support housing projects sanctioned under JNNURM till March 2017 and the incomplete projects of Rajiv Awas Yojana have been subsumed in the housing for all scheme.