Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Govt to consider another stimulus pkg for housing sector

The government is considering another stimulus package for the housing industry, in terms of providing cheaper input costs and low cost of money. "The cost of money will be cheaper as compared to what RBI has already announced, " said Minister of State for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja in the Capital. She was speaking at a conference on 'Affordable Housing', organised by industry chamber Assocham.

Ms Selja also said that the government will provide land at zero pricing for the economically weaker sections (EWS) and Lower income group (LIG), under the Model Real Estate Regulation Bill. "The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved 5% interest subsidy scheme on loans taken by EWS and LIG for construction or acquisition of their own houses," she added.

This subsidy of 5% per annum would be available to loans up to Rs 1 lakh, with reduced interest rates of around 3.5% per annum. Under the scheme, interest subsidy of Rs 1,100 crore will be provided to the beneficiary in the next 4 years and is expected to help in the construction of 3.10 lakh houses.

The minister added that projects for construction of 1.3 million houses had already been sanctioned and Rs 23,000 crore has already been kept for housing and provisions for basic municipal amenities to the urban poor.

But since the requirements are huge, despite construction of around 2 million houses under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission in 11th plan, there is a huge housing shortage which exists. She called upon the private sector to come forward to construct housing for weaker sections of society under the Mission.


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