Parliament Panel's Suggestion On Govt's Affordable Housing Mission
A standing committee on urban development, headed by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Member of Parliament Pinaki Misra, recently gave its report to the Union urban development ministry, suggesting several measures to improve India's housing and urban scenario.
PropGuide lists the key recommendations of the panel:
- Among the many recommendations, the panel has proposed that the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) take up management of projects that have been delayed in the affordable housing segment. It has also suggested that the government fix the cost of residential units constructed under various affordable housing schemes in urban areas. For undertaking affordable housing projects, developers are given certain incentives in the form of tax exemptions. The Centre must ensure buyers in this segment are the ultimate beneficiaries of government support, suggests the panel.
- To avail of the benefits under the Pradhan Matri Awas Yojna (PMAY), a family must comprise a husband, his wife, and their unmarried children. The eligibility criterion also is that none of the family members should own a pucca house anywhere in the country. This eliminates a majority from reaping the benefits of the scheme; even a poor household may have a basic house in their native village or the remote area from where they have migrated. The panel has suggested that the eligibility criterion of the scheme be more realistic.
- The panel has slammed the ministry for underutilising the allocated funds. It has also suggested limiting the number of housing schemes and using them in a directed way. Having 10 schemes for the housing sector, for example, would not serve the same purpose as five schemes with more directed approach would.
- The panel says there has been a reduction in the budgetary allocation of the ministry in the past three years. In the wake of the government's ambitious projects meant for urban poverty alleviation, the panel suggests, the ministry's budget be increased substantially. Many projects are pending under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and adequate allocations should be made to complete them, the panel suggests.
- The ministry had been unable to provide the panel reliable data on the credit-linked subsidy scheme. The panel has recommended proper monitoring of the scheme through suitable information technology solutions.
- The panel has also said that regulation of street vendors is important. These self-employed workers provide people reasonably priced commodities but their unregulated growth poses several risks. The panel has suggested that these vendors be provided proper identity cards by states. According to the ministry, 277 of the 475 cities have already started the process.