Govt readies draft on Urban Regulatory Authority

The proposed authority will deal with complaints in the housing sector, violations by builders and lack of basic civic amenities, Union urban development minister Kamal Nath said, adding that the regulatory body would come into being through an Act of Parliament

New Delhi: The government has readied a draft of the proposed Urban Regulatory Authority which will deal with complaints in the housing sector, violations by builders and lack of basic civic amenities, reports PTI.

"We have made one draft. I am going to put it on net next month. There are several issues. You can't have a policy and a regulatory body at the same place. The question is what should be the scope and the reach," Union urban development minister Kamal Nath told reporters here on Wednesday.

The draft would be kept on the website for 60 days to elicit people's views and the ministry would also hold some sessions to discuss the formation of the regulatory body, he said.

Earlier while addressing a convention Mr Nath said, "We are looking at an Urban Regulatory Authority. Now we don't want the Urban Regulatory Authority to have inspectors."

"We already have so many inspectors. The government produces the largest number of inspectors. We are in the process and we are talking to stakeholders. Yesterday we had a session," he added.

Mr Nath said that the regulatory body would come into being through an Act of Parliament.

"I hope we come up with something which enables people to get out of some of their problems which they confront everyday," Mr Nath said referring to numerous problems confronting the housing sector.

"We have master plans for 20 years but time moves faster than the master plan. What do you do with the master plan for 20 years if there is something that can be scientifically changed? So we are looking at the Urban Regulatory Authority," he added.

Mr Nath also said that the government should be considering more houses for the weaker sections and also low income group houses. "I have set a target for Delhi. One lakh houses for the economically weaker sections. This is one issue we will have to confront otherwise we will see more slums," he said.

It is not just the slums of the past but also of the future that need to be addressed, Mr Nath said. One is to rehabilitate those living in the slums from the past and the second task is to create enough houses for the economically weaker sections 'in abundance' for the future, the minister told a gathering.

"In our new urban renewal mission we are going to incentivise (construction of houses for) low income groups and economically weaker section," Mr Nath added.

Earlier Mr Nath said that the country was facing a "huge infrastructure deficits in areas whether it is ports, roads or energy."

Finance for creating infrastructure and closing this deficit was not a problem he said. "Financing is the least of our problems. In India it not projects that chase financing. It is finance that is chasing projects," he said.

The challenge was to identify the right kind of public private partnership (PPP) and make them work, he said.

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