CII bats for affordable housing

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has welcomed the 5 per cent interest subsidy on housing loans taken by economically weaker sections of the society, announced by the central government, calling it ''a move in the right direction''.

''The prevailing high interest rate has dampened the overall demand and has severely affected the affordability, thus making housing a distant dream of a common man,'' the CII pointed out.

''The 5 per cent subsidy approved by the cabinet for economically weaker section (EWS) and low income groups (LIG) is a move in the right direction, which will serve the twin objective of providing much needed relief to general masses and at the same time boost demand in the economy," Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general of CII, said in a release.

He also called for increasing the supply of land at affordable rates to make housing also affordable.

''The cost and availability of the land is a major bottleneck in making housing affordable. Land is limited in cities and cost of land is growing exponentially. There is, therefore, an urgent need to increase the supply of land at affordable prices,'' the release noted.

CII has also called for supplementary measures to further strengthen the housing industry. For this, it suggested: