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April 18, 2019

Modi builds 1.8m homes in urban India, 7m in rural areas

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April 18, 2019

LAHORE: In what can easily be dubbed a stark contrast to Pakistan, where Premier Imran Khan’s plan to build five million homes has not even formally entered its infancy stage, his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, had managed to build some 1.8 million houses for his under-privileged compatriots in urban areas and over seven million such facilities in rural areas till end March 2019.

Aspiring to win the on-going ballot exercise in the world’s largest democracy and hence hold keys to this prestigious office for another five years, the incumbent Indian Premier may not, however, succeed in fulfilling his pledge that every Indian would have a home to live in by 2022.

Modi had promised that 10 million homes would be ready by this year in rural areas and a matching number would be completed in urban areas by the end of year 2022.

According to a 2018 report published by India’s leading ratings agency, the Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL), New Delhi would need to spend a total of Indian Rs1,500 billion (US$21.8 billion) to achieve its housing goals in urban areas by 2022.

The March 22, 2019 edition of the “BBC News” had stated: “In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scheme to tackle homelessness, and, in February 2018, he said: "We will achieve our target of housing for all by 2022. The last official estimate for India's homeless was 1.77 million, of a total national population of 1.2 billion, in the census data from 2011. In July 2018, Mr Modi said that 5.4 million homes out of the scheme target of 10 million had been approved for building in urban areas. Official data from the Ministry of Housing shows that by March 2019, eight million homes had been approved.”

The British media house had gone on to assert: “That is more than were approved under similar schemes run by previous governments between 2004 and 2014. Having said that, only 1.8 million had been finished by March this year.”

The “BBC News” had further revealed: “Under the rural homebuilding scheme, 10 million houses were intended for construction over a period of three years from 2016 to 2019. In July last year, Mr Modi claimed that 10 million houses had actually been handed over to families in rural areas. But that is not correct, at least not according to the official data. This shows that since the scheme launched in 2015, the total number of houses now built in rural areas stands at just over 7 million - not yet on target.”

The media outlet added: “But overall, the current government has improved on the performance of the previous Congress-led government from 2009 to 2014, which had its own rural housing scheme. An official Indian audit report in 2014 said that the annual rate of construction for the five years under the Congress-led government was 1.65 million homes. But under the current BJP government that figure had improved to 1.86 million houses a year for the period from 2016 to 2018.”

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