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Cheap housing loans for poor urged

Our Bureau

New Delhi , June 18

THE real estate industry has called for measures to promote low-cost housing for the poor. Defining low-cost housing projects as tenements of less than 500 square feet built-up area, real estate developers have asked the Government to provide hassle-free and cheap loans to people who are below the Rs 6,000-monthly income bracket.

In the pre-Budget memorandum submitted to the Government, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) also suggested that the Centre give incentives to housing finance companies and banks providing loans to low-income groups as well as to employers providing housing facility to low-income groups. It has also called for tax exemptions for those builders who undertake similar projects.

CREADAI represents associations of real estate and housing developers from all over India. They have sought infrastructure status for the real estate development.

"The working group on housing in the tenth Five-Year Plan has found that 90 per cent of housing shortage estimated pertains to the weaker sections," CREDAI said. It asked the Government not to charge wealth tax on housing investments. The housing industry should also be allowed finances at concessional interest rates, it said.

It asked the Government to extend the time limit for Section 80IB(10), which provides tax incentives for housing loans, from March 2005 to March 2010.

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