Mumbai, Feb 5 (IANS) The realty sector Tuesday hailed the move to grant 'infrastructure status' to affordable housing by union Housing Minister Ajay Maken and urged for extending similar treatment to the entire sector here.
"We thank the minister for coming half-way through on the developers' and customers' demands on this issue which can facilitate easy financing and other benefits to boost the most important need of people after food and water," said Lalit Kumar Jain, president, Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (CREDAI).
Maken's observations came Monday at an international conference here which Jain described as "a good beginning, and hoping that he will move further in a positive direction".
Jain also expressed hope that the Maharashtra government would take note of the minister's suggestion to hike Floor Space Index (FSI) to encourage affordable, mass housing for slum dwellers.
"We have been stressing that people should not be displaced from places where they have grown up or are working as this would add pressures on the travel infrastructure," Jain said.
CREDIA has endorsed the minister's views on providing affordable housing even in the most premium locations to bring the service providers and consumers closer.
He pointed out that CREDIA has been fighting for long for getting 'infrastructure status' for the housing realty sector, declaring it as an industry and providing tax benefits on the lines of Special Economic Zones.
Half of Mubmai lives in slums and there is a severe shortage of affordable housing.
CREDIA has suggested mass rental housing, cheap housing for the economically weaker sections with enhanced FSI limits and creating special housing zones on the outskirts of Mumbai in adjoining Thane and Raigad districts.
According to Jain, the housing and construction industry contributes around 11 percent to the GDP and supports some 400 industries which could substantially multiply with pro-active policies.