GoI initiates efforts to create environment & eco-system for promoting affordable housing

Infrastructure status to affordable housing to ensure lower borrowing rates, tax concessions & increased flow of Foreign & Private Capital, says Housing Minister Hardeep Puri

RERA – REITs, higher tax breaks on home loans, GST, rationalising of stamp duty/registration charges to spur the housing & construction activities


By Sharat K Verma

GoI initiates efforts to create environment & eco-system for promoting affordable housing
File photo of Minister of State of Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri.

The Hush Post, New Delhi: In order to promote affordable housing, the government has made several efforts to create enabling environment and eco-system. Towards such an end, the Government has granted infrastructure status to affordable housing which will enable these projects to avail the associated benefits such as lower borrowing rates, tax concessions and increased flow of foreign and private capital.

The announcements were also made pertaining to the affordable housing 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., among others.  This was stated by Hardeep Puri, Minister of State of Housing & Urban Affairs (I/C) at exclusive institutional investor event held here on Monday.

Addressing the participants, the minister informed that additional measures, such as the 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, the Goods and Services Tax (GST), land related reforms, optimizing development control rules, rationalizing of the stamp duty and registration charges, digitalization etc. have also been introduced.

“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 for urban housing schemes is not an easy task. Therefore, provision has been made to include rural areas falling within the notified   Planning/Development areas, under ambit of PMAY (U). It would leverage availability of additional land at cheaper cost for construction of affordable houses,” he said.

Responding to the demand and supply gap in affordable housing the Government of India launched Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)-Urban in 2015. The larger goal is to fulfil the housing need 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.

The Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge (GHCTC) a mega global event has been initiated to attract innovative construction technologies which are adaptable, sustainable, low cost and can be used for creating Large Scale Affordable Housing at rapid pace.  Over the next five years until 2022, we will see affordable housing action on the ground unfolding at an increasingly rapid pace – and everyone, not least of all the country’s economy and most importantly the long-neglected end-user of affordable housing, stands to benefit, he added.

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