Selja moots quota in private housing projects

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Special Correspondent

National meet on housing makes 40 recommendations

HYDERABAD: Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Selja has mooted reservation of land and dwelling units in the private sector housing projects for the economically weaker sections and the low income groups.

"Several States like Haryana, UP, Jharkhand and MP already have such reservations in place, as envisaged under the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy," she told a press conference here on Saturday at the end of the two-day national conference on `Housing and human settlements', which made more than 40 recommendations.

The Minister stated that land acquisition procedures should be simplified to promote timely acquisition by the private sector. The procedure for conversion of land to non-agriculture use needed to be simplified to facilitate integrated townships.

Ms. Selja felt the need to constitute a real estate regulatory authority to balance the interests of developers and consumers. It could look into the viability gap funding for the EWS/LIG housing schemes and Government subsidies. Land owner should be made a stakeholder in any land acquisition and development.

Surplus land

The surplus Central and State lands in and around cities could be handed over to local authorities for construction of low-income housing and civic amenities for the poor. Stating that the national housing policy was awaiting Cabinet nod, the Minister wanted States to prepare their own policies, to be in tune with the national policy.

She noted that repeal of the Urban Land Ceiling Regulation Act, rationalisation of stamp duty, amendment to the rent control law, tenurial rights to slum dwellers and land-banks for EWS and LIG housing should be considered on priority. Simplification of land registration, layout and building approval procedure and property tax reforms were also important aspects that needed attention.

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