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Urban renewal scheme may be extended

india Updated: Jun 26, 2009 14:58 IST
Vikas Pathak
Vikas Pathak
Hindustan Times
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Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy met Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday seeking adequate budgetary support to fund urban development.

Sources said Jawaharlal Nehru Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission — a scheme launched in 2005 to develop 63 Indian cities — might be extended post-budget.

JNNURM II may entail a cost of Rs 1 lakh crore.

The states and local bodies may be asked to share a larger financial burden than before.

Till now, the Centre has funded half the amount for cities with a population between 1 and 4 million, and 35 per cent for 4-million plus cities.

Reddy also underlined the need to revive the real estate sector. His remedy: push up demand by making investment in property more attractive for buyers.

“There should be a 6.5 percent interest on loans for houses costing Rs 5 lakh, to tap the demand for houses for the poor,” he told reporters.

"To boost middle class housing, soft loans at 7.5 interest should be made available for houses costing up to Rs 30 lakh. Till now, these are available for houses costing up to Rs 20 lakh."

He suggested advancement of the date for availing concessional interest rates from the present June 30.

Reddy asked for budgetary support for Commonwealth Games expenditure, including more funds to extend the Metro before the Commonwealth Games.

To boost transport, he suggested that buses with a 20-plus seating capacity be exempt from central excise duty and value added tax.