Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday urged the construction industry to set up a skill council in the coming months to produce skilled persons for the sector.

Inaugurating the three-day XXIV Convention, organised by the Builders Association of India (BAI) on the theme ‘Endearing construction with enhanced technology,' he said the construction industry would need a workforce of at least 3.30 crore by 2020. To address this need, the agencies concerned should establish tie-ups with the National Skill Development Corporation and contribute to skill creation that would help the sector in the long run.

Mentioning that during the 12th plan period, a sum of Rs.41 lakh crore would be spent on infrastructural projects and a majority of it on building construction, he said evolution of a skill policy in connection with the building industry was essential.

He asked the realty sector to be sensitive to the larger social dimension of housing by pricing its products appropriately, responding to various levels of housing demands and above all anchoring its work in strong ethical practices. “There is scope of greater integrity in the development, construction and marketing of real estate business in the country,” he added.

To mark the diamond jubilee year of BAI's southern region, Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan released a souvenir and said it was imperative for the construction industry to receive support from public and the government to reduce the infrastructure deficit. “Public-Private-Partnership is the way forward to complete the projects. Private entrepreneurs should come forward to accelerate, plan and execute infrastructural projects on time,” he added.

Chief Postmaster General, Tamil Nadu Circle, Shanthi Nair released a special postal cover. BAI chairman, convention committee, R. Radhakrishnan urged for setting up a regulatory authority for the construction industry on the lines of agricultural products and telecom to check rising cement and steel prices.

“If the irritants are not removed, we cannot deliver the projects on time. We do not want any concessions or uncertainty in prices,” he said.

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