The key constraint in affordable housing has always been the high costs involved in the proposition of land acquisition. The NitiAayog has effectively addressed the concern by bringing up steps to lower land prices and drive forward the much-needed push in the housing for all scheme of Centre.
The think tank of government has initiated the recommendations in its ‘Three Year Action Agenda 2017-18 to 2019-20’. The brochure was released by Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on Friday, which clearly illustrates the problem of illicit money inflow into the real estate sector that has contributed significantly to inflated land prices in India. Thus countering black money would be an effective measure in bringing down land prices and availing housing to the low-income groups.
Steps pitched by NitiAayog for affordable housing:
Step 1: Reducing land prices
The NitiAayog demonstrated influx of black money as a major factor for the stratospheric rise in the stamp duty. It could be countered by working with states to lower land prices.
Step 2: Closure of unused lands in top urban areas
The Aayog also illustrates that numerous sick public sector enterprises that own unused lands in top urban areas. Closure of these units is essential to bring down substantial land in the market.
Step 3: Effectively monetization of unused urban land
Urban land owned by Central and State governments that is unused, could be effectively monetized to finance infrastructure and distinctive other expenditures, while making the land available for housing and other usages.
Step 4: Expansion of vertical spaces
Expansion of vertical spaces by constructing taller buildings can counter the scarcity of horizontal spaces.
It also admits that many of the above-listed steps would take more than 3 years for its implementation. Moreover, urban spaces and land issues falling under state jurisdiction would require state government intervention.
The need of the hour is an immediate attention to the issue and stringent steps to the removal of an obstacle to affordable housing. The state governments also need to be sensitized to look into the matter and attend to it.