Assocham urges Centre to merge policies to relieve homes shortage

Assocham urges Centre to merge policies to relieve homes shortage

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Industry chamber Assocham on Sunday urged the union government to merge its various housing policies at a single point to address the housing shortage issue in India, according to a study.

“The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which mainly targets lower-end of pyramid, should be used to provide housing finance to the account owner, thereby directly catering to the targeted segment,” the study titled ‘Affordable Housing Finance in India’ has suggested, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India said in a statement here.

The report noted that economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income group (LIG) categories were generally not given access to loans because of many reasons.

“Besides, income of this category is either uneven throughout the year or is below the viable threshold, to ensure repayment of the loan,” Assocham said.

“Absence of a developed market for financing home buying results in lacklustre supply,” it added.

The industry chamber said development of affordable housing has consistently been a challenge due to reasons such as land cost and availability, practicality of the definition of affordable housing, complicated regulatory process for approvals, among others.

“Relaxing the norms specifically for affordable housing segment can boost the depth and width of housing financing market like for example, making state mandated Aadhar card an acceptable identification for getting a loan,” the study said.

Empowering economically weaker sections (EWS) and Lower Income Group (LIG) categories with lower interest rates for home loans will reduce inventory in the market and ultimately benefit the buyer, it said.

Single-window clearance for project approval will significantly reduce costs and approval time needed for development as on an average permits take up to 36 months to get approval from 40 different departments which includes a” revenue, fire, airport authority and others, Assocham said.

Noting that policies currently lack a definitive approval window, besides provision of land for the development of affordable housing projects and availability of land funding for the developers, the industry chamber said the government should act in a proactive manner to get rid of these bottlenecks for improving greater private sector participation.

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