Press Information Bureau
Government of India

Saturday, March 17, 2007
Ministry of Urban Development


   18:5 IST

   Conversion charges on land use from agriculture to non-agriculture
need to be kept fairly high to fund various welfare activities, and the
bulk of the fund should go for building houses for the poor and weaker
sections. Delivering valedictory address at the National Consultation on
“JNNURM: Developing Inclusive Cities” in New Delhi today, the Urban
Development Minister, Shri S.Jaipal Reddy said that these Conversion
Charges are minimal through out the country which are needed to be
adequately increased. He also called for very high on site
infrastructure development charges and evaluation and correction of the
external development charges.

Referring the Delhi Master Plan, Shri Jaipal Reddy said that the real
estate developers, at their own cost, should provide 35 per cent
dwelling units or 15 per cent Floor Area Ratio to the poor and weaker
sections in residential buildings they raise. He also stated that the
Master Plan is also seeking levy of high conversion charges.

Shri Reddy said that his ministry is adopting an inclusive approach and
trying to see the interests of the poor in sanctioning projects under
the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. He said that he is
giving highest priority to projects like drinking water, sewerage, storm
water drainage and transport, which cater to all sections of people. The
Urban Development Minister said that there is a need to evaluate
performance and simultaneously plan for justice and welfare of the poor.
This approach needs to be adopted by all the ministries to have an
inclusive growth.

Shri Jaipal Reddy stated that urbanization is not a western phenomenon
but a modern one and fifty percent of people of the world live in urban
areas. The Minister said that though majority live in rural areas in the
country, we cannot do away with urbanization. He urged every one to
welcome urbanization but simultaneously take care of rural people. Shri
Reddy stated that for the last three to four years, the country’s
economy is growing over 8 per cent and growth is prerequisite to
eliminate poverty. He said, “growth has to travel along with equity,
growth without equity is fruitless and equity without growth is
rootless”. Proof should be seen in our willingness to raise more money
and allocate more for the poor, the minister added.

Kumari Selja, the Minister of State for Housing and Poverty Alleviation
also spoke on the occasion.

Shri M. Ramachandran, Secretary, Urban Development Ministry, Ranjit
Issar, Secretary, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry also
spoke on the occasion.

The two-day National Consultation on JNNURM: Developing Inclusive Cities
was attended by over 250 delegates including Housing Ministers of
various states, Chief Secretaries of States, Mayors, Municipal
Commissioners, Corporators, Planners and officials of Central Government.