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Tackling urban poverty and providing affordable housing are top priority for Indian government: Kumari Selja
Press Information Bureau, Government of India
27 September 2011

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation is planning to introduce the 'National Urban Livelihood Mission' during the 12th Plan. This was announced by the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja while inaugurating the Conclave on Urban Poverty Alleviation and Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) in Mumbai today. She said tackling urban poverty is a top agenda of the government.

'Cities are catalysts of economic growth and the fact that more than 60% of out GDP is contributed by urban India is evidence of their importance. It is in this context that we need to assess and plan for a pattern of inclusive, equitable and sustainable urban growth' said the Minister.

Housing for the urban poor

Housing shortage for the poor is another important issue affecting inclusive growth. There is a shortage of 6.53 million dwelling units in the country of which Maharashtra accounts for 3.72 million. 'The experience of JNURM has helped us to design Rajiv Awas Yojana, a scheme which envisions a 'Slum Free India', through the legal empowerment of slum dwellers by granting them legal right to dwelling space' said Kumari Selja. She further added that the central assistance is conditional to reforms by the States. These reforms include the enactment of law and the assignment of property rights, as also reforms to housing policy.

Rajiv Awas Yojana

'Rajiv Awas Yojana aimed at making India slum free will not be successful unless all sections of society are sensitized and are made aware of the contribution of the urban poor to the growth of the cities. It is often seen that it is the affluent sections as well as certain civil society organizations who oppose slum redevelopment or resettlement, near their localities. MPs of Maharashtra could play an important role in engaging these groups / sections and soliciting their support in planning and creating slum free cities,' said the Minister.

To promote creation of affordable housing stock, the 'Affordable Housing in Partnership Scheme' is being implemented by Ministry of Housing and urban Poverty Alleviation. It aims to ensure equitable supply of land, shelter and services at affordable prices to all sections of society, and thereby to prevent the growth of slums in urban areas.

In addition, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has also launched a scheme for Interest Subsidy for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP), in2009. The scheme envisages the provision of interest subsidy, at a rate of 5% per annum on interest charged on the admissible loan amount for EWS and LIG segments to enable the poor to buy or construct houses.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan highlighted that land is a scarce commodity in Mumbai and urged the Centre to come out with a concrete plan to remove encroachments. He said, if salt pans are opened up for development, the pressure on land in Mumbai could ease somewhat.

The conclave was attended by the Mayors of selected cities, Secretary, Housing, Government of India, Shri Arun Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary, Housing, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Gautam Chatterjee, senior officials of central and state government, NGOs, banking sector and academia. Dr. Joan Clos, former Mayor of Barcelona, Spain and Executive Director UN-Habitat was a special invitee.

For more information, please visit the Government of India's website - click here.
 
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