To ensure a fillip to the Prime Minister’s vision of “Homes for All by 2022” and create an enabling eco-system in the country, the Government has granted infrastructure status to affordable housing. Speaking at an institutional investor meet in Delhi on Monday, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said, “Infrastructure status given to affordable housing sector will enable these projects to avail the associated benefits such as lower borrowing rates, tax concessions and increased flow of foreign and private capital.”
Addressing the participants, puri informed that additional measures such as Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), the Benami transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, higher tax breaks on home loans and GST etc has also been introduced to encourage construction activities. “These will be effective in spurring the housing and construction activities, providing huge relief to real estate developers, Also, these would attract private and foreign investments in the housing sector, having a positive multiplier effect on GDP and labour market. We are aware that availability of encumbrance free land within existing municipal areas of urban housing schemes is not an easy task.”
Puri stated that the provision has been made to include rural areas falling within the notified planning/development areas under the ambit of PMAY (U) which would leverage availability of additional land at cheaper cost for construction of affordable houses. Recognizing a huge demand and supply gap in affordable housing the Government launched Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)- Urban n 2015 with the goal to fulfill the housing needs of homeless urban poor and enable them to own decent pucca houses with basic infrastructure facilities by 2022.
“Based on demand assessment at the state level, the nation has the mammoth task of constructing about 12 million houses under EWS/LIG segment of the society in order to achieve the goal of Housing for All.” He added. To achieve the goal of Housing for All by 2022, the Government will have to hit the ground running to benefit the long neglected end-users of the country.