Pranab talks big on urban housing
The growth of India's economy would accelerate the pace of urbanisation, requiring a proper strategy to meet the demand for housing as well as quality urban services, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday.
Speaking at the 24th All India Builders Convention, Mukherjee said: "The sustained economic growth will double the population living in urban areas over the next 25 years. The urbanisation growth is in line with the global trend."
Stressing the need for a strategy to meet the demand for housing and services in urban areas, Mukherjee termed the housing shortage in urban centres as an opportunity for the construction sector. He, however, also said that the issue of meeting the demand is not just a commercial proposition but there is also a social angle to it.
Noting that investment in the infrastructure sector, during the 12th Plan, is fixed at over Rs 40,000 crore, he said that meeting that target would depend on the performance of the construction sector.
He assured that the government would consider the industry's demand to have a separate ministry for the sector.
He said the construction sector has the potential to provide around 3.3 crore jobs by 2022, adding the National Skill Development Corporation has been set up to train the workforce.