Infrastructure tag to affordable housing to boost sector: Puri

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New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said the government accorded infrastructure status to affordable housing to ensure lower borrowing rates, tax concessions and increased flow of foreign and private capital.

Speaking at an institutional investor event here, Puri said the government also made announcements, such as profit-linked income tax deduction, relaxations on tax for vacant/ unsold units for one year, counting of the carpet area instead of the built-up area of 30 and 60 sq.m, for the affordable housing segment.

“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,” said Puri.

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Noting that availability of encumbrance-free land within the existing municipal areas for urban housing schemes was not an easy task, Puri said provision had been made to include rural areas falling within the notified planning/ development areas, under the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)-Urban. It would leverage availability of additional land at cheaper cost for construction of affordable houses.

Responding to the demand-supply gap in the affordable housing segment, the government of India had launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)-Urban in 2015.

According to Puri, the larger goal is to fulfil the housing needs of the homeless urban poor and enable them to own decent concrete houses with basic facilities by 2022.

“Based on demand assessment at the state level, the nation has the mammoth task of constructing about 12 million houses under Economic Weaker Section/ Lower Income Group segment of the society in order to achieve the goal of Housing for all,” he said.

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