With the target of providing of providing houses for all by 2022, a new integrated National Housing Mission will be launched soon by merging some of UPA’s flagship schemes like JNNURM and Rajiv Awas Yojana.
Noting that the gigantic task of ensuring housing for all needs large scale participation of private developers, Urban Development and Housing Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the Government is committed to promote Public-Private-Partnership and operational hurdles will be removed by making available land required and enabling expeditious clearances.
The Minister said that in consolations with states/UTs and urban local bodies, an effort is being made to enable online clearances for housing and other urban development projects.
“We have experiences of JNNURM, Indira Awas Yojana, Rajiv Awas Yojana, Rajiv Rinn Yojana. There are so many yojana some of them even did not take off,” Naidu said at a real estate conference here.
While JNNURM was meant to create urban infrastructure and also affordable housing, Rajiv Awas Yojana, Indira Awas Yojana and Rajiv Rinn Yojana launched with much fanfare were exclusively for providing housing for the needy and economically weaker sections in the society.
Targeting UPA government’s flagship programmes, Naidu said Rajiv Rinn Yojana, “inspite of best efforts, could not take off. So after taking over we have studied all these schemes and now the government has decided to merge all schemes into one. It will be National Housing Mission which will be launched soon.”
Lamenting the shortage of housing, he said “a decent house is a basic requirement for a dignified living. But even after 67 years of Independence, crores of families do not have proper houses to live which is big challenge before the country. That is why the government has given a clarion call for houses for all by 2022.”
Assuring real estate developers all help, Naidu asserted that the proposed Real Estate Regulation Act will not “stifle and strangulate the development of real estate sector but only seeks to protect the interests of the consumers.”
While responding to the concerns over excessive regulation of construction sector, Naidu emphasised the need for protection of consumers whose confidence is critical for the growth of the sector.
“Given the deficiencies in the ‘Law of Torts’, the consumers are finding it difficult to address their grievances as legal remedies are expensive and time consuming.”
He said things were not moving as per expectation for many years now.
“The Ministry would consider the suggestion to rename the proposed law as ?Real Estate Facilitation and Consumer Protection Act?,” he said.
Naidu said that he is making efforts to enable increased flow of bank finances into real estate sector through various options including that of priority lending.
Naidu appealed to the private builders to accord priority for affordable housing schemes, saying that “profits are OK but not profiteering”.
He suggested a 10-point agenda for the real estate sector to promote affordable and inclusive housing including rental housing for the economically weaker sections and low income groups looking at opportunities at the “bottom of the pyramid” as this sector is viable through larger volumes.
The agenda should include energy efficient, sustainable and aesthetic construction, harnessing solar energy and recycling of water through decentralised Sewerage Treatment Plants, rainwater harvesting and conservation of water bodies, marshy areas, grasslands, boulevards among others.
It should also include transparency and accountability in project implementation, ensuring consumer protection and symmetry of information, skill development of construction workforce and standardisation and professionalization of construction processes.
“Make profits but avoid profiteering and engage with central and state governments for promotion of the sector along with ensuring ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 in the spirit of ‘Team India’,” he said.