New Delhi, Jan. 5: The ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation is considering a proposal to impose a 0.5 per cent cess on all central taxes to fund affordable housing.
Kumari Selja, minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation, said the government would come out with more incentive packages to stimulate demand for low-cost housing and provide shelter to the weaker sections of society.
We have taken several measures, including an interest subsidy scheme for housing the urban poor. The recent stimulus package announced by the Prime Minister for housing and more such fiscal measures are being worked out, Selja said.
She said the economic slowdown and global recession should have been viewed as an opportunity by the construction industry to focus on low-cost housing projects.
There is a shortage of 24.7 million houses in urban areas at the beginning of the 11th Five Year Plan.
She said the Centre would urge the state governments to revive the housing boards and address the demand of the people by entering into public-private partnerships.
It is also considering to broaden the parameter of affordable housing to include flats with a carpet area of up to 1,200 sq feet. This will benefit lower and middle income groups.