To provide cheaper houses for lower income groups, the ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
(HUPA) is working for the inclusion of affordable Housing
in the infrastructure list.
Minister for HUPA Ajay Maken
said his ministry was taking several steps to increase the outreach of its schemes.
"In order to provide greater outreach for housing schemes of the government, my ministry has recently revised the income sealing for qualifying for various schemes. Now the revised annual household income limit for the economically weaker section is enhanced to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 60,000 and for that of Lower income group, it is Rs 2 lakh from the earlier limit of Rs 1.2 lakh," Maken said.
"We are also working for the inclusion of affordable housing in the list of infrastructure to provide necessary fillip to this sector," he said, speaking at a convention organised by the National Real Estate Development Council
Maken said that as per the technical committee constituted by his ministry, the shortage of housing stands at 18.78 million out of which 96 percent is in the economically weaker sections and lower income group category.
The minister said that efforts were needed to be made at the centre, state and private levels to meet this shortage. He said that banks were finding it difficult to provide credit to economically weaker sections due to a number of reasons.
Maken said that housing for the economically weaker sections will make a viable business proposition if private players focused on the economies of scale where larger the quantity, greater will be the cost savings.
"I urge the private sector to venture in to this realm in a big way," Maken said, referring to large scale construction of cheaper houses.
"Bringing transparency in the real estate sector is another area of my ministry which will go a long way in ensuring orderly growth of this sector. We have been working for formulation of a real estate regulation and development bill after getting inputs from all the stakeholders," he said.
He said a recent Mckinsey report has said that India is capable of unleashing a wave of affordable housing stock, even in the short term.