Union Budget 2014-15: The Modi Era Budget 2020

Housing for all by 2022

Smart cities to have Wi-Fi connectivity, GIS-based mapping and integrated public transport systems

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a big boost for urban areas through 100 smart cities, which will be enabled with the latest technology and infrastructure and will have concepts such as sustainability, walking spaces and specialised domains.

The smart cities will have Wi-Fi connectivity, GIS-based mapping and scientific and strategic town planning and integrated public transport systems. Mr. Jaitley said the concept of smart cities was in keeping with the times since a “neo middle class is emerging” which aspires for better living standards.

He also announced that the government would focus on providing infrastructure, including public transport, solid waste disposal, sewerage treatment and drinking water, in the urban areas.

The budgetary provision for the Pooled Municipal Debt Obligation Facility has been enhanced from Rs. 5,000 crore to Rs. 50,000 crore with extension of the facility by five years to March 31, 2019.

Mr. Jaitley said this facility was set up in 2006 with participation of several banks to promote and finance infrastructure projects in urban areas on shared risk basis.

It is the vision of the government to create at least 500 habitations with provisions for safe drinking water and sewerage management, use of recycled water for growing organic fruits and vegetables, solid waste management and digital connectivity through public-private partnerships (PPPs), he said.

Aiming to provide housing for all by 2022, the Finance Minister offered a tax sop for homeowners by extending the additional tax incentive on home loans.

This, he said will encourage people, especially the young, to own a house. He also announced the setting up of a Mission on Low-Cost Affordable Housing to be anchored by the National Housing Bank.

A sum of Rs. 4,000 crore has been earmarked for National Housing Bank with a view to increase the flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor.

To incentivise the private sector to pitch in, the Finance Minister said the government has already outlined an easier flow of FDI in this sector and is willing to examine other positive suggestions.

He said slum development has been added to the list of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to encourage the private sector to contribute more towards this activity.

Rural Housing Scheme has been identified as an area that needs promotion and an enhanced allocation to the tune of Rs. 8,000 crore has been made for National Housing Bank for 2014-15.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 12:39:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/housing-for-all-by-2022/article6198040.ece

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