The government should consider a sub-category under Priority Sector Lending (PSL) for boosting affordable housing sector in the country, the NITI Aayog suggested on Wednesday in its 'Strategy for New India @ 75' document.
The government think-tank also suggested the government that the land lying idle with various sick/loss-making public sector undertakings (PSUs) of the Centre or state governments may be used to resolve the issue of land availability for affordable housing projects under 'Housing for All'.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015, aims to ensure "Housing for all by 2022" by providing financial assistance to a beneficiary.
"To ensure greater access for the poor to institutional finance, the Department of Financial Services should consider a subcategory under priority sector lending (PSL) for affordable houses," the NITI Aayog said in the document.
In 2017, the Modi government had also announced infrastructure status to affordable housing.
The 'Strategy for New India @ 75' document, unveiled on Wednesday, also suggested that government should also consider relaxing eligibility conditions for bank loans such as raising the cap of Rs 10 lakh on the cost of the house and raising the Rs two lakh income threshold.
In order to reduce cost, government projects should focus on the life cycle cost (LCC) approach to the construction of houses rather than the cost per square foot approach to ensure quality of construction and reduce expenditure incurred on the maintenance of houses, it said.
According to an official figure, till December 3, a total 65,43,970 houses have been approved for construction under the PMAY(U) across the country.
Of these, 35,49,531 houses have been grounded for construction. As many as 12,26,530 houses have been completed out of which 12,19,549 have been occupied by the beneficiaries.
(With inputs from agencies.)