Budget 2023-24 Expectation: Government should increase access to housing by reducing cost of construction
Over the past few Budgets, the prioritisation of funding to urban development programmes, including the Smart Cities Mission, AMRUT, and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, has significantly contributed to positive urban growth in India. The trend should continue this year as well
As India is undergoing rapid urbanisation, the rate of rural-to-urban migration is continually increasing. By 2030, as much as 40 per cent of our country’s population will be living in cities. To accommodate this ever-increasing urban population, the new Budget must focus on improving the nation’s urban infrastructure through urban development programmes such as AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) and the Smart Cities Mission.
Allocate funds for sustainable infrastructure
Budget 2023 should also lay emphasis on creating educational institutes, national and local healthcare centres, and improving public transportation, as they will be the critical drivers of the economy over the next few years. In addition, funds should also be allocated for sustainable infrastructure to tackle climate change and help vulnerable communities affected by it.
Over the past few Budgets, the prioritisation of funding to urban development programmes, including the Smart Cities Mission, AMRUT, and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, has significantly contributed to positive urban growth in India.
Urban planning and development were a significant focus area in last year’s Budget. One of its key moves was the introduction of five centres of excellence, which would offer higher education in India-specific urban planning and design, creating a pool of experts who can further aid India’s urban development efforts.
At the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-26) held in 2021, India committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. Just like the dedicated fund introduced for the Smart Cities Mission, Budget 2023 should ensure dedicated funds to enable us to stand by this promise. This investment would facilitate on-ground implementation of policies to tackle climate-change effects, such as clean-energy transition schemes, carbon, and energy taxes, and more.
India presented its Long-term Strategy for Low Carbon Development (LTS) at COP27. This document breaks down activities by sector but only covers current policies and a broad course for the future. According to Climate Action Tracker, an independent climate action thinktank, however, India’s response to the looming crisis is insufficient.
Govt should boost ‘go local’ realty activities
Regulations and policies that support the use of local and sustainable building materials, as well as the adoption of new technologies and design techniques in the construction industry too can have several benefits. For example, using local building materials can reduce the environmental impact of transportation, while also supporting the local economy. Additionally, using sustainable building materials can help to decrease the environmental impact of the building and improve its overall energy efficiency.
The adoption of new technologies and design techniques can improve the functionality and performance of buildings. For example, Building Information Modelling (BIM) can improve project management and coordination, and the use of prefabrication techniques can speed up construction and reduce waste.
Provide tax incentives for developers
The government can support these goals by providing tax incentives for developers who use sustainable and local materials, and by mandating the use of certain materials and technologies in certain types of buildings. Additionally, they can invest in research and development to improve sustainable building technologies and design techniques.
By implementing such regulations and policies, the construction industry can become more sustainable and efficient, and create a better living environment for the people.
A Budget that increases the accessibility to housing by reducing the cost of construction and home ownership can have a number of benefits for both individuals and society as a whole. For example, reducing the cost of construction can make it more affordable for developers to build new homes, which can help to address the housing shortage and increase the availability of affordable housing. This can also help to increase the supply of housing, which can help to bring down the cost of renting or buying a home.
Reduce cost of home ownership to make it affordable
Reducing the cost of home ownership can make it more affordable for individuals and families to buy a home, which can help to improve financial stability and increase wealth.
Investing in transportation infrastructure, such as roads, railways, and airports, can improve connectivity within the country and make it easier for businesses to transport goods and services. This can lead to increased economic activity and job creation.
Investing in social infrastructure, such as education and healthcare facilities, can improve the overall quality of life for citizens, which can attract more global investment and a skilled workforce. This can help to create a more favorable business environment that can attract more foreign investment and boost economic growth.
The writer is Managing Principal, CP Kukreja Architects-architectural firm. He tweets @DikshuKukreja @cpkukreja Views expressed are personal
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