NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday declared ‘April 2019-March 2020’ as Construction-Technology year and stressed on use of advanced technology to meet the increasing demand of housing in the country caused by rapid urbanisation.
He also sought the support of the private sector in fulfilling the government’s mission of providing brick house to every Indian by 2022.
At the inauguration of the Construction Technology India-2019 Expo-cum-conference here, the prime minister said his government has given a major thrust on affordable housing, brought changes in laws governing the real estate sector, while developing skills and improving technology for it.
The NDA government has built 1.3 crore houses as compared to “only 25 lakh” houses built during the previous dispensation, Modi said.
“The numbers speak for themselves. This shows how serious we are about our commitment in fulfilling the poor and middle class people’s dream of have a house of their own.”
“We are also ensuring that the houses have water, power and Ujjwala connections (LPG) along with other facilities. The quality of houses and spaces have also improved in the last four-and-half years but more is to be done. For that, I seek the support of the private sector… Let us work together… and do something that helps the poor,” he said.
Modi said his government has worked with a holistic approach keeping in mind the challenges of building houses in varied geographical conditions of the country and several key decisions were taken keeping in mind the problems faced by builders and buyers.
“India is among the few countries where demand for houses is increasing at a rapid pace. To fulfil this demand using advanced technology in the construction sector, I announce April 2019-March 2022 as Construction-Technology year,” he said.
Asking the stakeholder to give the housing sector a new pace by using the latest technologies available in the world, Modi said the government was keen on engaging with all stakeholders to understand their suggestions and work towards making the housing sector more vibrant.
“A house is not just about four walls. It is a place where one gets the power to dream and aspirations are fulfilled. A home is much about dignity and security as it is about shelter.
“It always shocks and saddens me that in a nation like ours, several people do not have their own home. We have been working to solve this in the form of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). It is my dream that every Indian has a brick house by 2022,” the prime minister said.
Stressing on the importance of local innovations in propagating eco-friendly disaster-resilient and energy-efficient constructions, he said the Global Housing Technology Challenge, aimed at introducing best technologies that seek to construct houses in a shorter period of time with lower cost, can help elevate India’s construction ecosystem to international standards.
Asserting that with the country’s fast urbanisation, the need for more houses is being felt, he said to meet the demand and to transform the housing sector, his government has implemented programmes such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, National Urban Livelihoods Mission, HRIDAY, AMRUT and Smart Cities.
Modi said the government was focusing on systematic reforms to provide technical skills to the youth and making changes in engineering and technology curriculum.
The government is making it easier for people to buy houses, by providing tax benefits and other incentives. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, (RERA), has improved consumers’ confidence in developers and brought transparency in the real estate sector, he said.
Changes were being made in tax laws so that the middle class can have more money to buy a house, the prime minister said, adding recently, GST on affordable housing has been reduced from 8 per cent to 1 per cent, while GST on under-construction projects has been reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.
At the event, Modi launched the GHTC-India mobile application, an interactive platform for all stakeholders for exchange of knowledge on innovation and alternative housing technologies.
He also launched the third edition of the Vulnerability Atlas of India, a collation of the existing hazard scenario of the entire country, and asked the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry to follow it.
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the Indian cities, which would contribute over 80 pc to the country’s GDP by 2050, need to be receptive, innovative and productive to foster sustainable growth and ensure a better quality of living.
Providing details of the progress made under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban), he said pursuing a validated housing demand of about 1 crore, PMAY (Urban) has already sanctioned 79 lakh houses, grounded 41 lakh and completed 16 lakh houses.
“Looking at the scale of construction that needs to take place in the next three years, it becomes absolutely imperative that we get the technology right. It is important for us to adopt an integrated approach to provide a conducive and productive environment with better living conditions to every household in urban India,” Puri said.