Maharashtra to amend rules to boost affordable housing

Mumbai : The Maharashtra government will amend rules and regulations to facilitate execution of affordable housing projects for the millions of the state’s poor, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced here on Wednesday.

Assuring that the proposed new housing policy would be “pro-people”, Fadnavis urged the developers to collaborate with the government in its mission to provide affordable housing for the lower-middle class and the poor masses.

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He was speaking at a conclave on ‘Vision Maharashtra – Housing For All by 2022’ organised by National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).

“We have taken this issue very seriously and are committed to implement it… We will make the laws flexible and I am ready to face criticism,” Fadnavis said.

He said cumbersome laws and taxation must go to help the developers, but ultimately that should also result in affordable housing stocks.

In this context, he said the new proposed Development Control Rules for Mumbai would ensure that the discretionary powers of officials are reduced to the minimum for increased transparency.

Housing Minister Prakash Mehta proposed a reduction in FSI-TDR premiums to make land available to developers in return for a certain percentage of free homes to the government, which could be sold at low prices to the poor classes.

By this, he said the government could wipe out its Rs.350,000 crore debt burden inherited from the previous regime.

Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the state government would also focus on developing infrastructure and the 3,000 km long state highways would be developed as national highways. He asked the developers community to join hands with the government in building a new Maharashtra.

Industry Minister Subhash Desai called for a nodal agency to coordinate between various state and central agencies like public works department and railways in the development of Mumbai and lead to uniformity of processes for the best interest of the city.

NAREDCO president Sunil Mantri was among others who spoke at the conclave which discussed housing deficits, especially for the weaker sections where it is as high as 96 percent, and creating a sustainable framework to avoid mismatch between demand and supply in the future.