The Urban Development ministry has put new timelines in place for states to follow so that the government is able to meet its ambitious target of providing housing to all by 2022.
Now 15 smaller states and Union Territories like Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, most of the north eastern states other than Assam, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, will have to complete the affordable housing projects by 2019.
The remaining bigger states will have to submit the proposals by 2018 and complete the projects by 2022.
"The states have been asked to conduct a fresh survey to assess the demand for housing. The survey is nearing completion. Based on the findings of the survey 15 smaller states and UTs have been asked to submit proposals by end of this year so that they can complete the projects by 2019. Bigger states will have to submit the proposals by 2018 so that they can finish by 2022," Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Venkaiah Naidu said.
"We have done what we had to do. It is now for the states to act proactively," Naidu added.
Sharing details of progress made so far on creating affordable housing, Naidu boasted that his government has achieved much more in just about 3 years of being in office as compared to the achievements of the Congress during 10 years of their rule from 2004-2014.
Naidu said that nearly a lakh houses have been constructed for the urban poor. Around 18 lakh affordable houses have been approved in 2008 cities and towns as compared to 14 lakh units in 1061 cities and towns during the 10 years of Congress rule. Rs 96,000 crore has been approved in past 2 years for construction of houses for urban poor as against Rs 33,000 crore during the 10 years of Congress regime.
As far as the states' achievements are concerned, Naidu informed that Tamil Nadu has taken the lead in approving the maximum number of affordable housing projects. The state has cleared construction of 2.30 lakh houses and constructed almost 8000. Gujarat topped the tally of states where maximum number of houses have been completed with 28,000 completed units followed by Karnataka at 14,000 units.
"An enabling eco-system has been created to promote affordable housing through various initiatives like granting infrastructure status for this segment, concessions like exemption of profits from affordable housing projects from Income Tax," Naidu pointed.
To further boost the demand for affordable housing the government is expected to soon extend a financial assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh for every eligible beneficiary belonging to the economically weaker section who buy a house developed on private land. Till now such assistance is provided only in case of properties developed on land provided by state government or municipal bodies.