Union Minister for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu
The proposed amendment to the Land Acquisition Act is crucial for creating two crore affordable houses in urban areas by 2022 under the government’s new ‘Housing for All’ mission, Union Minister for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu said. He was addressing a Parliamentary Consultative Committee of his ministry on Wednesday.
The mission, expected to be launched soon, will need an investment of Rs 3 lakh crore for addressing the urban housing shortage in the country.
According to officials, Naidu stressed on the need for the amendment so as to ensure hassle-free acquisition of land for providing affordable housing in rural and urban areas.
The proposed amendment to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 includes affordable housing among the five categories of land use that are exempted from mandatory consent clause. Naidu’s statement comes in the immediate aftermath of the meeting of Joint Committee of Parliament on the land acquisition bill, held earlier this week. At the JPC meet, members from Opposition parties sought a clarification from the government especially on the scope of the exemption pertaining to affordable housing and national security.
Naidu informed the MPs present at Wednesday’s meet that the housing mission has four components in urban areas namely Slum Re-development, Affordable Housing in Partnership with Private or Public Sector, Affordable Housing through Credit-Linked Subsidy and Subsidy for Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement. “The MPs have suggested that in addition to Central funding for the mission, the states contribute an equal amount of grants. Moreover, the various stages of the mission have to be time-bound,” said a member who was present at the meet.
The MPs have also demanded ‘infrastructure’ status for the housing sector as a way to facilitate easy credit from public sector banks and housing finance corporations to the low-income and economically weaker section. Naidu said that the new housing mission will facilitate mobilisation of resources for the states and urban local bodies by liberalizing norms for flow of foreign direct investment in housing and construction sector, faster clearances, allowing ULBs to issue municipal bonds and leveraging land for slum redevelopment.