Govt Should Provide Numbers On How Many Need PMAY Homes: Rajan Bandelkar, Naredco
Since affordable housing projects are quite important for a country with a huge population, the Centre’s pet-project Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) has been a well-received public scheme. While the scheme has won plaudits from the developer community, they expect certain changes in the scheme for it to be more viable and become a greater success.
In an interview with PropGuide’s Sneha Sharon Mammen, Rajan Bandelkar, vice-president, west region, the National Real Estate Development Council (Naredco), touches upon that issues and matters involving the mega programme.
Q: How does the affordable housing segment fare?
Ans: Majority of the projects being developed today are selling homes under the government’s credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS). Those who are earning less than Rs 18 lakh per year are bound to benefit. Most of these projects are developed by the government and government-led agencies. While private developers are involved, the fact that ready reckoner rates differ from place to place, especially in the bigger cities, poses a challenge for them. We have suggested to the government to decide on a fair amount in every city. Also, the PMAY projects are low rise and as soon as it becomes a high-rise, it is no longer a project under the scheme.
Q: Developers have a lukewarm reaction towards PMAY? Why so?
Ans: It is because of the comparatively lesser profitability. Besides, most builders are concentrating on finishing their existing projects.
Q: What is the developer community’s demand from the government?
Ans: The government has already crossed 75 per cent of their target under the scheme and now it is too late to demand anything else. However, it can certainly ensure that the projects are completed within the said time. From a developer’s point of view, the approval process is quick but pricing and land scarcity are major roadblocks.
Q: Do you see any scheme through which the authorities can provide land at reasonable rates?
Ans: In places like Thane and Borivali, private forest land is lying idle. The government can utilise such areas. The PMAY units are being launched in the outskirts of a city. The need of the hour is to provide homes within the city because the working population is the key customer. To cater to them, the city must provide them with affordable options.
Q: Is technology making construction easier?
Ans: Most developers are using modern technology and the same technology must be used in the PMAY scheme, too, in small cities as well as where these projects are under-construction.
Q: Any suggestions for the authorities?
Ans: The only suggestion is that we need hard core data because we do not know how many people need homes under the PMAY scheme. If the government can do a survey where they can make a record of how many people require homes and what the budget is, we can avoid building additional homes, preventing them from turning into unsold inventory.