Stating that the target for Housing for All would be achieved two years before the deadline, housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri, on August 20, said that one crore houses will be sanctioned by the end of the year and the remaining 12 lakh by March 2020.
"We had decided to build 1.12 crore houses by 2022. We have already sanctioned around 84 lakh houses, and I am fully confident that by the end of this year, all one crore houses will be sanctioned," the minister said at the 15th National Convention of real estate industry body NAREDCO.
"We have also received additional assessment demand of constructing 12 lakh more houses...the target of 2022 will be achieved in early 2020 probably by March. We can hope to have the PMAY targets met a good two years in advance," he said.
Under the Urban division of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), 24 lakh houses have so far been handed over to beneficiaries and the number will soon reach 50 lakh. There are 48 lakh houses which are currently grounded, but this number will also rise to 75 lakh, Puri said.
With regard to the smart cities, he said that as many as 50 command and control centres are expected to be ready by December.
With urbanization being accorded high priority by the government, he said as per an estimate over 600 million people would be residing in cities by 2030, the year India is expected to meet the sustainable development goals set by the UN.
“We are confident to abide by the 2030 sustainable development goals agenda well before 2030… Success of the 2030 agenda essentially rests on India’s shoulders. India will deliver on the 2030 agenda much before the target,” he told the gathering.
As for the Draft Model Tenancy Act 2019, the minister said that his ministry has received over 400 suggestions, and almost all are positive. "With the rental policy in place, together with the housing policy and other efforts from the ministry, should help revive/kickstart one of the most important sectors of our economy."
On RERA, Puri said that the legislation has been, "A resounding success. RERA is here to stay and has begun to show effect. Yes, we have to iron out a few things, but the regulator has come to be accepted by stakeholders and those who felt victimised earlier."
Later, speaking at the session on emerging construction technologies, Amrit Abhijat, joint secretary (PMAY), housing and urban affairs ministry, said that the scheme is riding on an investment worth over Rs 5 lakh crore.
“There is huge funding available. The affordable housing segment can provide assured homebuyers as well as investment to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore to a real estate sector facing issues of liquidity and uncertain demand,” he said.
“As of now, 50 lakh houses are being constructed, out of which 26 lakh have already been delivered. Affordable housing has clearly emerged as the answer to the problem being faced by the real estate sector,”he said.
“Overall, about Rs 5 lakh crore is riding on PMAY. That is, approximately Rs 6 lakh for each of the 85 lakh houses sanctioned. Of that, the Centre has released Rs 52,000 crore so far,” he said, adding that the government is also offering tax exemptions and relaxed building norms.
Admitting that the public-private partnership (PPP) component of the PMAY (urban) has not picked up as expected in many states, with developers blaming low margins, high cost of financing and lack of support from some state governments, he said that “while PPP projects have been successful in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, some in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, a lot more needs to be done in other states.”
“We keep reading that there is stress and we keep reading that there is a need for resurgence in the real estate sector. If developers enter the affordable housing segment, there is huge demand there, there is a policy approach and there is a huge funding,” he said, adding “Earlier the builder would have to hunt for buyers for their houses, under the scheme they are now being assured of x number of people within the project, so almost 35 percent of the project is already sold ipso facto as the names are provided by the government.”