Inviting investments from private players in the housing sector, housing and urban poverty alleviation minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, said at an event organized by Assocham in New Delhi that this is an opportune time for private parties to come forward and play an active role in providing decent housing for the needy people at an affordable cost.
Naidu said they can play a key role in achieving the goal of “Housing for all by 2022”. Currently, there is a shortage of 18.78 million houses and close to 2.34 million homes need to be constructed every year during the next eight years to meet this demand. Investment in the sector will not only help expand the existing stock of housing units but also improve the working and living conditions of people, Naidu said. Regarding the promise made to slum dwellers in the 2014 general election, he said: “Either house will be constructed at the same place or they will be provided housing at other places. Before that no one will be ousted from their existing houses.”
Targeting the opposition for blocking the land bill in the Rajya Sabha, Naidu said land is crucial for development. “Houses, airports, railway stations or other infrastructure cannot be constructed on air. Land is a crucial and important component for the construction of affordable houses. Without the availability of land how can you construct houses?” Naidu said. “Our government is trying to amend the land bill of 2013 because most of the states came forward and told the Center to amend the bill, as acquiring land is becoming an impose land is becoming an impossible task. But, unfortunately, some people are opposing it. In fact, they are opposing development, not the government,” Naidu said.