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NDA allocated six times more funds for urban schemes than UPA; growth story will continue: Puri

On May 31, Puri was re-appointed as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. He has also been given responsibility of civil aviation and commerce and industry ministries

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allocated six times more funds for urban schemes in five years compared to the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) 10 years. The growth story will continue, said Hardeep Singh Puri, as he took charge of housing and urban affairs ministry for the second time on May 31.

Approval for one crore houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), the government’s flagship affordable housing scheme, will also happen soon. “Already 80 lakh homes have been sanctioned,” he told reporters.

"For 10 years - from 2004 to 2014 under the UPA government, Rs 1,57,703 crore was spent. Modi government’s schemes started in June 2015. The Swatch Bharat Mission, HRIDAY, AMRUT, PMAY were all started in the four years from 2015 to 2019. Our expenditure on urban schemes was Rs 9,07,286 crore, six times the expenditure in four years. These are the facts which speak for themselves," Puri added.


All these flagship schemes are work-in-progress. The cut-off date for the Swatch Bharat Mission (Urban) is October 2019, the PMAY scheme will run until 2022.

"Our target is to construct one crore homes. Eighty lakh homes have already been sanctioned. The target will be completed before this financial year," he added.

A career diplomat, Puri took charge of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2017. He was elected as Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh in 2018.

On May 31, he was re-appointed as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. He has also been given the responsibility of the Civil Aviation and Commerce & Industry ministries.

In the 2019 general elections, Puri lost the Amritsar seat to Congress MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla, who won by a margin of 99,626 votes.

Real estate experts said the three priorities before the ministry should be to ensure that issues related to funds and demand are sorted out.

"The real estate industry has gone through tough times over the last few years. One is looking forward to how we can move ahead and bring the industry out of the state it is in," Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank India said.

The previous government has sorted out most of the fundamental issues that were there on the supply side - in terms of the taxes, GST and all that has more or less got cleared. The most important issue before it now is how to stimulate demand. That is fundamental, Baijal added.

The government’s emphasis on affordable housing should continue. Strides have been made towards that, he stated.

Under PMAY, the government aims to achieve Housing for All by 2022, when India will be completing its 75 years of Independence. Reports said that PMAY (Urban), the affordable housing programme, will see technological intervention to give it a much-needed boost in the first 100 days of the new government.

Under the government’s Smart Cities programme, 100 Smart Cities have been selected in four rounds based on an all India competition. All 100 cities have incorporated Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is PM Modi's flagship sanitation campaign in India that aims to build toilets and clean up streets, roads and infrastructure of India's cities, towns and rural areas.
Vandana Ramnani
first published: May 31, 2019 06:53 pm

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