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Parekh sets govt 5-point housing agenda

Parekh sets govt 5-point housing agenda
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First Published: Thu, Jun 09 2011. 10 13 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Jun 09 2011. 10 13 PM IST
Mumbai:Deepak Parekh, chairman of Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd (HDFC), the country’s largest mortgage lender, has put forth a five-point “do-able agenda” to the government to make home purchases affordable and bridge the chronic demand-supply gap in the sector.
He has proposed creating a single integrated ministry for urbanization and housing as well as compulsory e-auctions for land transactions to make land sales by government agencies transparent. India has separate ministries for urban development and housing.
In his statement to shareholders in HDFC’s annual report for fiscal 2010-11, released on Thursday, Parekh has also called for streamlining existing government housing finance schemes.
“There are far too many fragmented government housing finance schemes. Amounts budgeted for these schemes are minuscule and the actual utilizations are even lower,” he said calling for a reassessment of all government housing finance programmes. Parekh said compulsory e-auctions for land transactions “will leave no space for discretion and arbitrary dealings”. “In the absence of a transparent mechanism to sell land, several government entities such as the railways, defence and public sector units are hesitant to dispose land,” he said.
Parekh also called for a single-window approval system for affordable housing projects with prices under Rs10-15 lakh a unit. “If an affordable housing project has to go through the same rigours as other development projects with multiple approvals from various authorities and face the same delays and cost overruns, what incentive is there for a developer to participate in this segment?” Parekh said. “A time-bound, fast-track approval process is clearly a preferable option over lobbying for tax sops.”
joel.r@livemint.com
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First Published: Thu, Jun 09 2011. 10 13 PM IST