23. The National Agenda, identifies housing as a priority area. We will move purposefully to tackle the countrys enormous housing shortage problem through partnership between government, housing finance institutions and the private sector.
20 lakh additional dwelling units will be built this year with 13 lakhs in rural areas and 7 lakhs in urban areas.
The budget allocation for the Indira Awas Yojana Programme is being substantially enhanced to Rs.1600 crore, from Rs.1144 crore in RE 1997-98. The scope of this scheme is also being widened to include a loan-cum-subsidy programme.
The Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act will be repealed to free the supply of usable urban land for housing construction.
The capital base of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) is being increased by Rs.110 crore from the budget so that it may leverage more funds for housing construction.
I also have some tax incentives for housing which I will outline later in my speech.
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