Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and Parliamentary Affairs has said that the Government is committed to the goal of ‘Housing for all by 2022’. The Minister was addressing a high level consultation meeting with the officers of Ministry of HUPA and Urban Development and other stake holder organisations like National Housing Bank, Indian Banker’s Association, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, CII, and representatives of CREDAI, in New Delhi. The Minister pointed out that 2022 is the 75th year of India’s freedom when the dream of the urban poor for a housing with convergent services needs to be realised.
Speaking to media after the meeting, the Minister said that the Government will focus on planned housing with necessary facilities in the coming years since 50 per cent of the Indian population is expected to live in urban areas by the 2050. The task is challenging since the Ministry has only Rs. 35,000 crore to provide affordable housing and for slum development in the 12th Plan while the requirement is much larger. It is for this reason that Public Private Partnership and CSR is required in this sector, he added. The Minister further elaborated that the corporates, PSUs, the local bodies, financial institutions like LIC, Banks etc. must take up the responsibility of providing affordable housing to their personnel. The Minister also explained that environmental clearances appear to be a bottleneck for housing projects which he will take up separately with the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Several suggestions were given at the meeting by various stake holders to bring buoyancy to the housing sector like simplification of procedures, tax reforms, land reforms, administrative reforms, lending reforms as well as giving infrastructure status to the construction sector. One of the participants informed that Housing investment of nearly Rs. 5 lakh Crore is stuck due to want of various clearances.
Venkaiah Naidu said that all these issues will be taken up in the coming 100 days and concerns of all stake holders will be addressed. He also said that very soon a conference of the Housing and Urban Development Ministries of the States will be called to understand their issues and to find a speedy solution for the same.
Ministry of HUPA made a presentation which introduced the concept of Housing for All by 2022, Scope of the task, Estimation of resources required, Possible strategy, Proposed organisational structure and flagged the Issues for further discussion. The Urban Development Ministry also elaborated the Urban Infrastructure Plan for the coming years.
Anita Agnihotri, Secretary, Ministry of HUPA emphasized that infrastructure status for the affordable housing sector may be taken up with the Ministry of Finance and a policy for rental housing may be laid out since there are over 10% houses that are lying vacant because of rental policy issues.
The shortage housing is nearly 18.78 million as per estimates of 2012. 95% of the shortage is in EWS/LIG category. By 2020, 40 per cent of the population will be living in urban areas and by 2050, 50 per cent of the population will be living in urban areas.