Author: terraurban

Governance of Planning in India today

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By Rajesh Tandon, Founder-Presdient, PRIA

In his speech from the Red Fort on August 15, the Prime Minister of India made it clear that the Planning Commission in its current form would be wound up soon; he informed the citizens that a new institution would be set-up through broader consultation and wider partnership with a mandate relevant to our times.

Ever since the new government assumed office in Delhi, there has been much speculation about the future of the Planning Commission. Many seminars have been held to deliberate upon ‘reinventing planning commission’ since ‘business-as-usual’ was perceived to be untenable.

Set up through a resolution of Parliament in 1950, the Planning Commission was a driver of macro-economic and development planning in the era of Jawaharlal Nehru. It gradually became an agency for preparing (and reviewing the implementation of) Five Year National Development Plans. In the last decade, under UPA regime in Delhi, it became a more active vehicle for allocating public finance to various centrally sponsored schemes as well as state governments.

In the context of the federal structure of our constitution, and growing disagreements between central and state governments on how to use public resources, the resource allocation and performance reviewing roles of the Commission received considerable criticisms. Increasing bureaucratisation of the staff of the Commission also implied that it began to be deprived of top-end technical and professional expertise. Hence, it was generally assumed that the new government of Prime Minister Modi will significantly alter its mandates and compositions.

In all these deliberations, arguments and counter-arguments, the focus has been only on the national level institution of the Planning Commission. There has been no discussion about the planning activity at state, district and local levels. It is clear that planning for socio-economic development becomes necessary when resources available for the same have to be mobilised and utilised to achieve certain developmental goals. So, the need for planning socio-economic development is very much there. The questions are at what level such planning should be undertaken, by whom and with what capacities?

In the promotion of ‘cooperative federalism’, the new government in Delhi may develop consensus on key socio-economic goals over a term. By galvanising collective agreements, it is possible to not only agree on over-all GDP growth targets, but also specific achievable goals in agriculture, education, health, water, sanitation, skill-development, etc. Since the starting points for each state on these goals may be different (and some regions of the same state may also differ, like Marathwada and Konkan in Maharashtra), it may then be left to state governments to undertake more conrete goal-setting over a five year period, say. This goal-setting by state governments may also require setting targets for resource mobilisation (in addition to what is available from the central pool of public funds).

Do state governments have appropriate institutions to undertake such planning, monitoring and re-planning? On paper, all states have some version of a State Planning Board (chaired by the Chief Minister). But, most such institutions have been non-functional; several do not even have members, and/or professional staff to assist in its functioning. Can then re-structuring of the national institution, the Planning Commission, be accompanied with some concerted, collective approach towards strengthening of State Planning Boards?

The Constitution of India, however, provides for only one institution for planning; the District Planning Committee (DPC) is enshrined in section 243Z of the Constitution. It mandates that DPC should undertake planning for ‘promotion of economic development and social justice’. The Constitution provides for a composition of the DPC chaired by the Chairperson of Zila Parishad, Mayor of the largest municipality in the district as Vice-Chair, other elected leaders, experts and officials. The DPC came into the Constitution at the time of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments in 1992-93. As a consequence, the governments in Delhi and state capitals had got used to highly centralised, top-down, and sectoral/departmental planning based on mere spending of allocated budgets. The entire focus was on spending budgets allocated from the above; there was no attempt to demonstrate outcomes and achievements of goals established in advance. Whatever could be achieved was stated as goal, post-hoc.

As a consequence, DPCs in most states are neither properly constituted nor competently resourced. In 2006, after much pressure from civil society, the Planning Commission became strict to demand district-level plans before approving annual state plans. It also assisted several state governments by demonstrating how such plans could be prepared (PRIA itself was involved in six states).

However, the DPCs continue to be weak and under-resourced to undertake bottom-up, inclusive and inter-sectoral integrated planning; this is despite the fact that they are the only mechanism that can integrate rural and urban aspects of a district, focus on each Gram Panchayat and ward, consolidate at each block and taluqa, include non-state actors (like business and NGOs) in the identification of needs and gaps, and devise locally implementable and sustainable plans. In addition, 95% of more than 4500 towns and cities of the country do not even have urban planning institutions and competencies.

Hence, it is important that the next steps in redefining the mandate and structure of this new institution in lieu of the Planning Commission should also include developing a consensus on how to strengthen planning functions at state, district, block and city levels. A holistic approach to governance of planning for ‘economic development and social justice’ must be taken to ensure that re-structuring doesn’t remain confined to national level alone

- See more at: http://pria.org/index.php/blogs/pria-blog/item/2916-governance-of-planning-in-india-today#sthash.J4a16wqz.dpuf

Ray of hope for sewerage workers struggling for safety and dignity

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Praxis India

Safety and the importance of following government mandates emerged as the topmost priority at the national consultation on issues faced by sewerage workers organised at Gandhi Peace Foundation in New Delhi on Friday, August 22, 2014.

The consultation, which was hosted by the National Campaign for Dignity and Rights of Sewerage and Allied Workers (NCDARSAW) and Occupational Health and Safety Management Consultancy Services (OHSMCS), began with the screening of Gutter Mein Zindagi, a participatory video made by the sewerage workers with support from Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices. The video showcases the daily risks and plight of sewerage workers, the contractual nature of employment and the resultant life of drudgery and uncertainty they get pushed into. The consultation also saw the release of two publications –‘Down The Drain’, a study on the occupational health hazards and the perils of contracting faced by sewerage workers; and ‘Voice for Change – Sewerage Workers Negotiating Caste, Dignity and State Apathy’, a narrative based on the experiences of sewerage workers in Delhi.

The consultation saw sewerage workers share the hazards they faced in terms of lack of safety mechanisms, absence of an accountable authority they could turn to in case of emergency and the undignified way in which the work was carried out. “We don’t even have a place to wash after cleaning the drains,” said Chetan in the video shared at the consultation. “We don’t even know the name of the contractor,” another worker said.

Read more at:

Ray of hope for sewerage workers struggling for safety and dignity.

Links to the video Down The Drain (Gutter Mein Zindagi): http://youtu.be/3azx-jUT1sY?list=PLwixYh1RL3PHFdBSaWE_I5H59zJU1q-fn

Exposing the great ‘poverty reduction’ lie

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by Jason Hickel, Aljazeera

The UN claims that its Millennium Development Campaign has reduced poverty globally, an assertion that is far from true.

The received wisdom comes to us from all directions: Poverty rates are declining and extreme poverty will soon be eradicated. The World Bank, the governments of wealthy countries, and – most importantly – the United Nations Millennium Campaign all agree on this narrative. Relax, they tell us. The world is getting better, thanks to the spread of free market capitalism and western aid. Development is working, and soon, one day in the very near future, poverty will be no more.

It is a comforting story, but unfortunately it is just not true. Poverty is not disappearing as quickly as they say. In fact, according to some measures, poverty has been getting significantly worse. If we are to be serious about eradicating poverty, we need to cut through the sugarcoating and face up to some hard facts.

Read more at: http://m.aljazeera.com/se/201481211590729809

The Planning Commission must be replaced

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by Bibek Debroy , Economic Times

http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/policypuzzles/entry/the-planning-commission-must-be-replaced

The year was 2001. Jeffrey Sachs had invited me to a seminar in Harvard, something to do with the Indian economy. As is customary with seminars, some overseas participants were invited to a dinner and I found myself seated next to John Kenneth Galbraith. I was overawed, at his reputation and at his height, even when he was seated.

Galbraith was 93 and his memory wasn’t what it used to be. I didn’t mention one of his standard books, but mentioned Ambassador’s Journal (1969) instead. He said he hadn’t read it and was somewhat surprised to be reminded he was its author. But he perked up at India being mentioned and told me a delightful anecdote.

The Planning Commission was set up by an executive resolution in 1950. I think Galbraith may have got the chronology somewhat wrong, since Milton Friedman’s memorandum to the government of India was written in 1955, when Friedman was a consultant with the finance ministry, and not the Planning Commission. Nevertheless, here is the Galbraith story.

Press US for Help

The Planning Commission having been set up, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to President Dwight Eisenhower (the Kennedy-Galbraith era came later), requesting that an American economist be sent to aid the planning process. The US obliged by sending Milton Friedman.

It didn’t take long for Nehru to send a horrified letter to Eisenhower.

“We asked you for help in the planning process and you sent someone who doesn’t believe in planning. Please send someone else instead.” Or words to that effect. Galbraith turned up as a replacement.

Galbraith vs Galbraith

Galbraith travelled across the country and was disgusted at what he saw. In published print, he would later use the derogatory expression “postoffice socialism” after he returned to the US. But before that, he wrote a nasty confidential report and submitted it to the government. Having submitted the report, he started to travel around the country again, this time for pleasure rather than business.

In that day and age, this often meant being incommunicado. On his return to Delhi, he discovered a debate raging, at least within Parliament. The debate, circa 1956, was between Ashoka Mehta and Nehru, circa 1956. Mehta was then with the Praja Socialist Party. He would become deputy chairman of the Planning Commission and join the Congress later.

Galbraith hadn’t signed his name on the report. It was anonymous, so to speak. The report leaked and Mehta got hold of a copy. Nehru brandished the report and argued: we have a report by a famous American economist and it vindicates our policies. Ashoka Mehta brandished the report and argued: we have a report by another famous American economist and it demolishes your policies. Both read out selectively and neither realised it was the same report and the same economist.

Is this Galbraith anecdote true? I have no idea. I did find out that there was indeed such a debate between Nehru and Mehta. The story is so delightful and bizarre that it must be true. No one can cook up something like this. Not even Galbraith.

“The work of the Planning Commission will affect decisively the future welfare of the people in every sphere of national life. Its success will depend on the extent to which it enlists the association and cooperation of the people at all levels. The government of India, therefore, earnestly hopes that in carrying out its task, the commission will receive the maximum support and goodwill from all interests and, in particular, from industry and labour.” This is a quote from the March 15, 1950, Cabinet resolution that set up the commission.

Planning No More

This can be contrasted with the enormous negativity now associated with the Planning Commission (state governments about centrally-sponsored schemes, citizens about poverty lines and toilet renovation). That original resolution had almost all of its entire focus on planning. Planning, in its centralised sense, is dead. Its heyday was probably the Second Five-Year Plan (1951-56).

After that — barring a slight resurgence during the Fourth Plan (1969-74) — thanks to the advent of computers, it has been more of the same, the nth version of the same Plan. (Did you know the number of variables in Plan models was determined by the number of variables a computer program could handle?)

The Planning Commission may be dead, with the adjective consciously excised. But there are reasons one needs a replacement. First, something has to intermediate between the Union government and states, subsuming the National Development Council (NDC) and the interstate council.

Second, all finance ministries seek to slash deficits. This is done by cutting Plan and/or capital expenditure. Some entity has to exercise countervailing pressure as a voice of the state governments and social sector ministries. Third, some entity has to be a storehouse of data and improve its quality (subsuming the National Statistical Commission). Not all data originates outside the government system.

Fourth, someone has to devise incentive mechanisms for desired decentralising/devolving reforms. Humpty Dumpty received a un-birthday present. This Humpty Dumpty has fallen down. The Planning Commission is dead. But we still need an Un-planning Commission.

10 साल बाद बिजली का ट्रांसफार्मर लगने से कच्ची बस्ती को मिली राहत

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by Arvind, Unnati- Jodhpur

जोधपुर नगर निगम के प्रताप नगर क्षेत्र में स्थित कच्ची बस्ती ‘एकलव्य भील बस्ती’ में बिजली का पावर पूरा नहीं मिलने के कारण एक हजार से अधिक परिवार लगभग 10 साल से समस्याएं झेलते रहे हैं। इस समस्या के समाधान हेतु कच्ची बस्ती सुधार समिति ने 28 मार्च 2014 से प्रयास शुरू किये। निरन्तर प्रयासों के फलस्वरूप 25 अप्रेल 2014 को ट्रांसफार्मर (315 केवीए) लग जाने से कच्ची बस्ती और इससे जुड़ी अन्य बस्तियों के एक हजार से अधिक परिवारों को राहत मिली।

एकलव्य भील बस्ती सुधार समिति के अध्यक्ष श्री जगदीष देवपाल ने बताया कि गर्मियों में चलते पंखे की पंखुडि़या गिनी जा सकती थी, टी. वी. नहीं देख पाते थे। पानी की मोटर या अन्य उपकरणों को उपयोग ही नहीं कर पाते थे। इस क्षेत्र के जागरूक एवं सक्रिय नागरिक श्री सलीम पिसांगना ने बताया कि इससे पहले कई बार नागरिकों ने कोषिषें की थी। करीब डेढ़ साल पहले की कोषिषों में खम्बे लाने के लिए जन सहयोग से 2 हजार रू. खर्च किये गये। ट्रांसफार्मर के लिए 2 खम्बे लग भी गये थेे, तीसरा खम्बा मस्जिद के पास लगाने की तैयारी हो रही थी, लेकिन कुछ घरों के ऊपर से तार जाने की सम्भावना को देखते हुए नागरिकों का विरोध होेने लगा। विरोधी पक्ष के नागरिकों ने तीसरे खम्बे के लिए खुदे गड्ढ़े को खुद ही बन्द कर दिया। विवादास्पद स्थितियों में यह मामला यहीं रूक गया।

इस बार सुधार समिति के प्रतिनिधियों ने ट्रांसफार्मर लगवाने के लिए 28 मार्च 2014 को अतिरिक्त जिला कलक्टर एवं विद्युत विभाग के मुख्य अभियन्ता से सम्पर्क किया। अप्रेल के प्रथम सप्ताह में सहायक अभियंता ने विजिट करके ट्रांसफार्मर लगाने की कार्यवाही शुरू कर दी। कार्यवाही के दौरान पूर्व की विवादास्पद स्थितियों को मद्देनजर रखते हुए अन्यत्र तीसरा खम्बा लगवाया गया। हालांकि तीसरे खम्बे के प्रस्तावित स्थल के पास स्थित घर के निवासी ने भी इसका विरोध किया। सम्बन्धित निवासी को समिति के प्रतिनिधियों द्वारा सबकी समस्याओं के समाधान की दुहाई तथा अधिकारियों द्वारा करंट या अन्य किसी प्रकार की समस्या नहीं आने का आष्वासन देकर समझाया गया। नागरिकों से सौहार्दपूर्णं बातचीत के लिए अनेक अनौपचारिक मुलाकातें की गई। इस समझाइष की प्रक्रिया में लगभग 15 दिन का समय लगा। सबकी सहमति के बाद अन्ततः ट्रांसफार्मर लगा और पिछले 10 साल की समस्या का समाधान हो गया। विद्युत विभाग से इस दौरान हुए सम्पर्क की मुख्य उपलब्धि यह रही कि बिजली से जुड़ी अन्य छोटी-मोटी समस्याओं के समाधान के लिए भी नागरिकों, सुधार समिति और विभागीय अधिकारियों के बीच आपसी सामंजस्य बना हुआ है। कुछ घरों के ऊपर से जा रहे बिजली के तार के हटवाने जैसी कार्यवाहियां अभी भी जारी है। विभागीय स्तर पर त्वरित कार्यवाही से उत्साहित होकर नागरिकों ने अधिकारियों के लिए 23 मई 2014 को सम्मान समारोह भी आयोजित किया। इस सम्बन्ध में नगर के प्रमुख समाचार पत्रों ने भी इस समारोह की खबर को प्रमुखता से प्रकाषित कर इस प्रकार के समुदाय एवं अधिकारियों के सामंजस्य की प्रक्रिया की सराहना की।

Orientation Workshops for Settlement Improvement Committees – Chattisgarh

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PRIA (Society for Participatory Research in Asia), as a civil society organization, has been working in 40 slums of two cities of Chhattisgarh state (Raipur & Bilaspur, in alliance with partner organizations Chetana Child & Women Welfare Society- Raipur & Shikhar Yuva Manch- Bilspur since last 2 years, with the objective to collectivize and strengthen the capacity of slum dwellers. In light of the initiatives, we worked together to form settlement Improvement committees (SICs) in 40 slums in order to create a collective voice for slum level development and to ensure their participation in different development schemes which are made for urban poor.

In this regard, PRIA and partner organizations are organizing one day orientation programme for SICs members on 22nd August in Raipur and 27th August in Bilspur. The purpose of the orientation is to empower them with the knowledge of the schemes for the urban poor so that they may access the benefits to which they are entitled and also to ensure their participation at the various stages of RAY. The detail about orientation training programme is below:-

Raipur: 22 August 2014
10:30am – 2:00pm
Aashirwad Bhawan, Raipur

Bilaspur: 27 August 2014
10:30am – 2:00pm
Lions Club, Bilaspur

The new plan body must have a certain oomph

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Abhijit Banerjee, Hindustan Times

http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/abhijitbanerjee/a-think-tank-may-replace-plan-panel-but-it-would-need-to-have-enough-credibility/article1-1253920.aspx

Call me sentimental. The first time I went to the Planning Commission was when it was under KC Pant, a long time ago. Since then I have been back there many, many times to the point where the many people who seem to spend their lives sitting outside the various offices and even the patches of grime in the hallways and stairwells began to look familiar. I will miss it when it’s not there anymore.
I see the reasons why the government wants it gone. A lot has changed since 1950: We are liberalised now, placing our faith in the wisdom of the market over that of the State.
Equally important, we are much more federal as a nation, relying more on state governments to provide us with direction.
Our states have more expertise and more confidence in their different ways of doing things than they did in 1950 (though I wish I could say that we have a more competent set of leaders).
In all of this I can see how the Commission may end up being a slightly overbearing presence, demanding compliance to some grand plan that does not pay enough respect to the different ambitions and issues that animate the individual states.
This is what, I believe, drew that famously testy response from Narendra Modi when he was chief minister of Gujarat.
But the production and enforcement of five-year plans is only one of the many functions that the Commission has served over the recent past.
First, there is the economic analyst function, what the Congressional Budget Office does in the US: Someone needs to think through important shifts in policy and their consequences carefully.
I am unhappy that Modi did not use his honeymoon to get rid of fuel subsidies, but the one explanation that I find somewhat reassuring is that he did not want to act in haste — eliminating the subsidies is easy, but dealing with happens after is not.
The right strategy almost surely is to combine the announcement of the elimination of the fuel subsidy with the announcement of a new income subsidy programme for the poor that is cheaper, less distorting and better targeted.
But to do that, someone would have had to think through the entire design of the new programme.
If the government was flush with good economists, these responsibilities could perhaps be handled by the economists in the relevant ministries. But it is not: A joke making the rounds in Delhi last month is that finance minister Arun Jaitley was so short-handed at the ministry of finance that he asked P Chidambaram to do the budget for him.
Given how hard it is to recruit high quality economists into the government, the strategy of using the prestige associated with being a member of the Commission to create a crack economic team within the government makes a lot of sense.
Modi says that he will replace the Commission with a think tank. I can imagine a think tank that plays this role, but it will take some doing to attract high-quality people to work for it.
There is also a role for asking tough questions: The PM wants every family to have two bank accounts, but what is the evidence about how much those accounts will get used? And given that what will be the net cost of this programme? Is there a better way to use that money? A think tank could ask these questions, but would they dare, if it requires coming up against the PM? I am not remotely implying that every Commission member has always been able to stand up to higher authorities.
But the long established protocols of communication between the Commission, the ministries and media must make it easier for it to deliver an unwanted message and moreover, the public status of its members probably makes it harder for a minister to intimidate them for bringing up a piece of unhelpful evidence.
And what if there is no reliable evidence? The think tank would need to have enough credibility (both in terms of neutrality and competence) that its judgment about the evidence would be trusted, enough clout that they would be able to stare down a ministry that is all fired up to go and the resources and the skill to go out and generate the necessary evidence by collecting data and conducting rigorous experiments.
The same goes, of course, for programmes that have already been scaled up; it is just harder, since programmes create their own constituencies.
But if the programme cannot be shut down whatever the evidence, perhaps it can be tweaked to work better? The officials in line ministries are supposed to do this, but do they have the competence or the right incentives? It is a rare minister, at least in India, who encourages his staff to stick their neck out.
These are all the reasons why the previous government set up the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) and placed it under the Commission to give it some political weight. I am sure a new home will be found for the IEO, but it’s vital that it has the political clout and the independence from the line ministries.
Finally to the extent that there was one, the Commission served as the institutional base for the much-needed crosscutting innovations in government.
For example, take malnutrition: I was once put in the awkward position of chairing a meeting on this at the Commission, where there were senior representatives from at least five ministries — maternal and child welfare, food, water and sanitation, health and education (because of the school meals).
The only thing they all agreed upon was that the core problem was poverty and so outside all of their particular domains.
How many think tank members will have the political influence (or oomph) to get past their carefully constructed defences and get them all talking about how to solve the problem? I certainly did not.
(Abhijit Banerjee is Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics and Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, MIT. The views expressed by the author are personal.)
- See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/abhijitbanerjee/a-think-tank-may-replace-plan-panel-but-it-would-need-to-have-enough-credibility/article1-1253920.aspx#sthash.07PQYGt8.dpuf

Affordable Housing for all?

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by Swathi Subramaniam, PRIA

Recently, two day national conclave on “Urban Governance and Housing for All – Opportunities and challenges” was presided over by Shri. M. Venkiah Naidu and concluded by suggesting a 25-point charter for urban planning and management.

 It was estimated that 3 crore houses will be short by the year 2022. GoI aspires to have Housing for All by 2022 with special emphasis on Economically Weaker Society, Lower Income Group et al. The housing and construction contributes to 9% of GDP and supports 250 ancillary industries. A comprehensive housing policy will be formed, implementation of single window scheme for approval of layouts for builders, to improve livelihoods of the urban poor, ensure peoples participation in governance, amendment of rental laws etc. 

Earlier government had also initiated housing for the poor. Rajiv Awas Yojana(RAY) and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JnNURM) are two big schemes which were rolled out, however the success of the same is still debatable. 

RAY envisages making the country slum free by building the houses for urban slum dwellers. Construction of units under RAY is funded by centre, state and the beneficiary. As per present status of RAY the government has approved construction of 1,20,912 Dwelling Unit all over India at the cost of 6472.06 crore. Cost per unit works out to about Rs 5.3 lakhs. Out of this work on 1,03,643 units are yet to start. Only 1% of the RAY dwelling units have been constructed till now.

In JNNURM, the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program sub scheme envisages development of affordable houses for poor by allocating 20-25% of all housing project for EWS/LIG. Till now 37% dwelling units have been set up under IHSDP.  While we see some progress in IHSDP, RAY has failed to take off due to various reasons. 

Mobilization of funds posses a huge challenge for building these homes. Due to rising land prices and difficulty in getting bank credit, urban poor are often not able to ‘afford’ decent homes. Often as seen on ground, ensuring that the actual beneficiary lives in his ‘allocated’ house is another challenge most resettlement/redevelopment schemes have to face. Even when the homes are developed and given to the slum dwellers they rent their units and move to another nearby slums. RAY houses being in faraway locations from their existing slums have also made the scheme unattractive to slum dwellers, since it adversely impacts their livelihood.The implementing agencies in many locations have not shown the desired level of priority. Due to combination of all the above factors and we can see that the schemes have failed.

“Affordable Housing for All” attempts to look at all these aspects differently. The housing for all focuses on not just the urban poor but also for the lower middle class and middle class. There is a comprehensive approach by the government in identifying and addressing all the bottlenecks.The incentivisation to private builders for making such homes, using the corporate social responsibility gateway, open doors for private partnership, access to funds for real estate developers and house consumers and FDI in housing are some of the steps the government is working on. Real estate investments trust (REIT) is an important step not only for creating a new investment avenue for investors but also providing much needed liquidity to real estate developers.

While the government is committed, the challenges are too many. Will this increase the complexities of land? How will the scheme create affordable housing in cities with lack of space and skyrocketing land prices? Will it be able to complete on time or remain on-going scheme?

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The 25 point charter as concluded at the conclave reads the following:

The Ministries of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, in partnership with the Governments of State and Union Territories of the Republic of India, held a Conclave of Ministers of Housing & Urban Development of States and Union Territories and Workshop of State/UT Secretaries on “Urban Governance and ‘Housing For All’: Opportunities and Challenges” on 2nd and 3rd July, 2014.

Participated by over 250 delegates including Union, State and Union Territory Ministers for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, along with the respective State Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries for Housing & Urban Development, policy-specialists and experts comprising the delegates from Government of India, experts from State Level Nodal Agencies, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Housing Boards/Corporations, Slum Development Board/Authority, etc.

concluding therefrom that -

WHEREAS decent housing is recognized as a part of the dignity and indicator of quality of life of the individual and with the burgeoning population of cities and towns in India the gap between the supply and demand of the housing has been widening.

AND WHEREAS the total housing shortage was estimated to be 18.78 million as at the beginning of the 2012, and the projected shortage is estimated at 30 million by 2022, if not acted upon decisively.

AND WHEREAS housing and construction industry supports more than 250 ancillary industries and contributes nearly 9% to the GDP.

AND WHEREAS the Government of India aspires to provide “Housing For All” by 2022 (the Goal), the year in which the Republic of India will celebrate its 75th year of Independence.

AND WHEREAS the achievement of this goal requires cooperation among the Central Government, State Governments, Urban Local Bodies, Parastatal agencies, Financial institutions, the Private sector, Civil Society/ NGOs etc.

AND WHEREAS special emphasis has to be laid on EWS and LIG and other vulnerable sections of society such as Slum dwellers, Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes, Senior citizens, Persons with disabilities, Widows etc.

AND WHEREAS the Government of India recognizes need for sustainable livelihoods opportunities for urban poor to eliminate poverty in the country.

AND UPON having met at the National Conclave of Ministers of Housing & Urban Development of States and Administrators of Union Territories and Workshop of Administrative Secretaries on “Urban Governance and Housing For All: Opportunities and Challenges” on the 2nd and 3rd day of July, 2014

AND UPON deliberated at length on the means to achieve the said goal, now, therefore, the Ministries of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development of all State Governments & Union Territories of India,

affirming their commitment and hereby resolve

THAT Government of India and States shall join together to provide guidance alongside fiscal and non-fiscal support to achieve the goal of “Housing For All” by 2022.

THAT Government of India, will rationalize approval processes and fund flows to States and Union Territories for Government of India Schemes and Projects.

THAT Government of India, State Governments and Union Territories will empower the third tier of governments (ULBs) as envisaged in the Seventy-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of India.

THAT the States and Union Territories, will make all efforts to encourage and involve all stakeholders for Affordable Housing to achieve goal of “Housing For All” by 2022.

THAT the States and Union Territories, will make efforts to encourage Affordable Housing and will prepare a Comprehensive Housing Policy, if not already notified.

THAT the States and Union Territories, will complete ongoing works of Affordable Housing along with allied infrastructure under various schemes of Government of India and State Governments expeditiously and allot those houses to beneficiaries.

THAT the States and Union Territories, will make efforts to encourage EWS/LIG housing by examining the possibility of liberal FAR/FSI, Density, Ground Coverage along with TDR and examining the concept of deemed building permissions for pre-approved standard lay out plans and building type plans.

THAT the States and Union Territories, will take up the amendment of Rental Laws to balance the interests of owner and tenant with an objective to encourage Rental Housing in urban areas.

THAT the States and Union Territories, will endeavour to implement single window scheme for approval of lay-out and building permission in all ULBs.

THAT the States and Union Territories, will endeavour to expeditiously prepare statutory spatial/Master Plans for cities and towns and regions, with reservation of zones for Affordable Housing

THAT the States and Union Territories, will make all efforts to improve livelihoods of the urban poor with special focus on their skill development to eliminate urban poverty.

THAT the concerned will ensure peoples’ participation in governance, maintenance of public amenities, transparency in the system, and accountability for proper growth of cities.

THAT the concerned pledge to provide basic amenities like better roads, transport, sanitation, drinking water, and ensure poverty elimination through skill development.

THAT all concerned resolve to actively consider implementing the 25-point Reforms Agenda, through policy measures and legislation, if required, enumerated by the Union Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister, Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu, in his inaugural speech.

THAT all concerned unanimously agree to work together to achieve the target of “ Housing For All” by the year 2022

(M. Venkaiah Naidu)

Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, For and on behalf of the Delegates of the Conclave of Ministers of Housing & Urban Development of States and Union Territories Workshop of State/UT Secretaries on “Urban Governance and ‘Housing For All’: Opportunities and Challenges” on the 3rd day of July, 2014

Terraurban – monthly digest : July 2014

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Below is a quick look at all the action on Terraurban in the month of July. You may also like to download the digest by clicking at: Terraurban- July monthly digest

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