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India may fall short of 28 mn affordable houses by 2010

Source: PTI
Last updated on: November 10, 2009 18:56 IST
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Low-cost housesStating that the country would face shortages of 28 million affordable houses by 2010, Rajya Sabha member of the parliament NK Singh said on Tuesday that India needs a constitutional amendment to make the right to shelter a fundamental right.

Right to shelter should be embedded in a separate legislation as the problem is complex in view of the fact that housing is essentially a state subject, Singh said at the India Economic Summit in New Delhi.

"The country should look for constitutional amendment for right to shelter as the scale of the problem is very large and is going to intensify.

"We have a shortage of 24 million affordable houses which will touch 28 million mark by 2010," he said addressing a session on 'The Affordable Housing Imperative.'

"Unless and until constitutional amendment is made you cannot force states to do it," he said adding, affordable low cost housing is part of this governments inclusive growth programme.

Meanwhile, terming initiatives like Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission insufficient, SAIL chairman Sushil Kumar Roongta said the government should increase tax on vacant land as it is being used largely for speculative purposes and should ensure its availability to the poor.

He also said that the industry should come out with cost-effective products for affordable housing.

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