New Delhi: In an attempt to give a push to rural housing, the 2008 Union Budget has increased the subsidies given for the construction of houses under the Indira Awaas Yojana.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram said the subsidy per unit for new houses sanctioned after 1 April would be increased to Rs35,000 from Rs25,000 for normal areas. The subsidy for houses in hill areas has been increased to Rs38,500 from Rs27,500. The subsidy for upgrading houses has been increased to Rs15,000 per unit from Rs12,500.
Housing for the rural poor is one of the six elements of the government flagship programme—Bharat Nirman—and it is implemented through the Yojana. While a beneficiary would need own funds to complete the house, the Bharat Nirman programme gives subsidies for constructing houses.
Buiding block: Against a six million target, 4.11 million houses have been built up to December under the Bharat Nirman programme.
Public sector banks have also been asked to include Yojana houses under the differential rate of interest scheme and lend up to Rs20,000 for every house sanctioned under the scheme at an interest rate of 4%.
The Bharat Nirman programme has a target of constructing six million houses over four years, starting 2005-06. Against this target, 4.11 million houses have been constructed up to December and the number will be 5.18 million by the end of March.
In order to develop tourism-related construction, the Budget has also given a five-year tax holiday to hotels under the two, three or four-star category built near the so-called heritage sites. The hotels should be constructed and start functioning between 1 April and 31 March 2013 to avail the benefit.