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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Priority is financing housing for poor: VP Baligar

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 23, 2012
First Published: 23:05 IST(23/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:07 IST(23/12/2012)

Besides financing urban infrastructure projects, the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), a public sector undertaking under the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry has also been playing a key role in financing housing projects for the economically weaker sections in India.

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In this interview, VP Baligar, HUDCO chairman and managing director, shares the organisations future growth plans with Moushumi Das Gupta.

As HUDCO CMD what are your priorities?
Our main priority will continue to be financing housing projects for the underprivileged section and infrastructure projects for urban local bodies across India.

In the recent years, HUDCO has become one of the key players in providing easy loans at nominal interest to the poorer sections to build houses in both urban and rural areas. So far, how many housing units have been financed by? What is the target for 2012-13?

Till date, we have financed 15 million dwelling units of which 90% have been in the economically weaker section category.

We assist the state agencies to provide social housing. In the last couple years, we could not finance too many such EWS projects. For instance, in 2008-09, the number had gone down to one lakh housing units but now its picking up again.

In 2011-12, we financed 4.2 lakh housing units. We would like to cross the five lakh mark in 2012-13.

Is HUDCO planning to re-enter the retail housing loan sector again?
Yes. There is a huge demand for retail housing sector loan in the metro cities. So after a gap of almost two years, we revived the HUDCO Niwas scheme in August as part of which we will provide individual housing loans. We hope to do well as our interest rate is going to be very competitive.

Apart from housing, which are other infrastructure sectors where HUDCO is involved?
In 2011-12, we have funded some big ticket infrastructure projects as well such as the water supply project in Hyderabad, road and housing project in Rajasthan for which we have sanctioned Rs. 1,000 crore. Besides, we are also partly financing the Bangalore metro project for which we have sanctioned Rs. 1,200 crore.

What are HUDCO's future expansion plans?
We are looking to expand our business in the North-East, Bihar and Odisha. In these regions, we did not have any business so far. We also want to increase our association with the urban local bodies.   

When is HUDCO planning to launch its tax free bonds?
We plan to launch our tax free bonds from 9 January, 2013. We are hoping to raise Rs.5,000 crore through this.


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