16 September 2015 12:49:48 IST

Active private participation in housing need of the hour: Naidu

Currently, there is a shortage of 18.78 million houses

Inviting investments from private players in housing sector, government said on September 16 they can play a key role in achieving the goal of ‘housing for all’ by 2022.

This is the time when private players should come forward and play an active role in providing decent housing for the needy people at an affordable cost, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said at an event organised by Assocham here.

Currently, there is a shortage of 18.78 million houses and close to 2.34 million homes need to be constructed every year during the next eight years to address the issue.

Investment in the sector will not only help expand the existing stock of housing units but also improve the working and living conditions of people, Naidu said.

Assuring the slum dwellers, he said, “Either houses will be constructed at the same place or you will be provided housing at other place. Before that no one will be ousted from their existing houses.” Targeting the Opposition for blocking the Land Bill in the Rajya Sabha, he said land is crucial for development.

“Houses, airports, railway stations or other infrastructure cannot be constructed on air. Land is a crucial and important component for construction of affordable houses.

Without the availability of land how can you construct houses?” he asked.

“Our government is trying to amend the Land Bill 2013 because most of the states came forward and told Centre to amend the Bill as acquiring land is becoming an impossible task.

“But unfortunately some people are opposing it. Though they allowed acquiring of land for SEZ for commercial purpose, here they are opposing it. So you are opposing the development and not the government,” he added.

Referring to the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Bill, Naidu said “it is for regulation and not for strangulation”.

Hitting out at the fly-by-night operators, he said, “The genuine real estate players need not worry. Because there are some black sheep in the trade who have brought the name into the industry, there is a requirement of the Bill.”

The Bill was referred to a select committee of Parliament and the committee has submitted its recommendations for certain changes in the Bill provisions. It is expected to be taken up for consideration in the next session of Parliament.