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Decision tomorrow on FDI in Real Estate: Secretary, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation
Decision on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in real estate sector, is likely to be taken in the next cabinet meeting which is going to be held on Thursday, said Arun Kumar Misra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation at an event orgainsed by industry body Assocham in New Delhi today.

"In single-window clearance system, at least a large part of clearances out of 45 are digitized and should be online for clearance system. In the last one year, more than 43 towns in India have adopted the single window clearance system," said Misra while speaking at 6th Affordable Housing Summit & Excellence Awards,? organized by the Assocham.

He also pointed out, "Without the amendment of rent control laws, we really can?t add much to the system. Nearly 30% people live on rent and more than 10% of houses are lying vacant because of the rent control laws archives".

"We can't have the central law, it has to be state-law because the guidelines are already there, and next group of engagement will have to be amendment of rent control laws with the state government", added Misra.

The state will have to come out with the urban housing policy (UHP). The transport and affordable housing has given us clearly- what exactly requires to be done and I am very happy that states like Rajasthan, Karnataka and Haryana have taken a lead in affordable housing policy, said the Secretary.

Inaugurating the summit, Dr. (Kum.) Girija Vyas, Union Minister for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation said that her ministry has recently launched Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). It envisages central government support for slum redevelopment and creation of affordable housing. In doing so, ministry encourage public private partnership (PPP) for future creation of affordable housing stock.

The revised affordable housing in partnership schemes is being launched to encourage state concessions and the creations of Affordable housing stock for construction of half a million houses for Economically Weaker Section (EWS)/ Lower Income Group (LIG) segments.

In this scheme, the government aims at encouraging partnerships between various agencies i.e Central & State government/ housing boards and development authorities and Urban Local bodies (ULBs) for the creation of affordable housing, added Minister.

The scheme now gives increased subsidies to the tune of Rs. 75,000/- to economically weaker section to economically weaker sections (EWS) or low income group or LIG dwelling units of size 21-40 sqmt, in affordable housing projects being undertaken through various public private  partnerships (PPP).

The Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY) scheme focuses on demand side incentives wherein ministry of housing & urban poverty alleviation provides 5% interest subsidy on housing loans up to Rs. 5 Lakh. This scheme is also likely to be launched by August this year, mentioned Dr. Vyas.

Between Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY) and Affordable Housing in partnership schemes (AHP), the government of India will support establishment of 2.5 million housing units, added Dr. Vyas.

"The top 10 cities in India viz. Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahemdabad, Kochi, Chandigarh, Pune and Hyderabad account for 15-20% of the overall supply in urban India", highlighted Dr. Vyas.

With the effort to reduce the demand-supply gap in this segment, it is noteworthy that from 2007-2012, housing shortfall has declined from 24.8 million to 18.7 million, a 25% reduction, quoted Dr. Vyas.

The real estate sector in India has been a high growth story. The construction industry is the second largest industry of the country after agriculture accounting for 11% of India?s GDP. Indian construction industry employs 32 million people and its total market size is estimated at Rs. 2480 billion.

Dr. Vyas said, "Ministry focuses on housing for the urban poor, housing represents a key component of economic growth contributing 5% to the GDP and there still being a shortfall of 18.7% million units. I welcome and laud theses developers in supporting the government of India in progressing towards its goal of provision of housing for all."

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