Empowering India’s future: Insights from Interim Budget 2024-25 on ‘Housing for All’ and Viksit Bharat Vision

In the Interim Budget 2024-25, the Union government has reiterated its commitment to achieving “housing for all” as a crucial part of the Viksit Bharat vision by 2047. Recognizing housing as a fundamental and infrastructural need akin to water, sanitation, and connectivity, the finance minister emphasized the importance of empowering people by enhancing their capabilities.

As part of this commitment, the government has extended the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) Rural scheme, aiming to construct 20 million houses in the next five years to accommodate the natural growth of the rural population. Additionally, a new scheme targeting the middle class in urban areas will be introduced, focusing on individuals living in rented houses, slums, chawls, and unauthorized colonies, supporting them in buying or building their own houses.


To address urban planning challenges and shift people away from slums and unauthorized colonies, a transit-oriented development approach is recommended. This approach encourages integrating land use with public transportation, recognizing housing units within mixed-use buildings to prevent urban sprawl and environmental degradation.

It is crucial to avoid unintended consequences of promoting only self-owned houses and to continue supporting migrants and young workers in finding rented accommodations in cities. The focus should be on preventing urban sprawl, informality, vacancy, and environmental degradation.

Recognizing the importance of cities in the economic growth story and the role of the middle class in fueling urbanization, the housing issue should be tackled at the city level. Learnings from the PMAY-Urban scheme can be applied to the PMAY-Rural, ensuring the inclusion of beneficiary-led construction models and supporting the development of housing estates near agri-processing clusters.

A future-ready housing policy requires integration and convergence, drawing lessons from successful programs like the Aspirational Districts initiative. The implementation of schemes such as rooftop solar, Vishwakarma Yojana, Skill India mission, and MSME scheme can be linked to the creation of housing units, fostering innovation and creativity in construction.

Efforts should be made to overcome challenges in the housing construction industry by promoting technological and financial innovations. The role of urban and rural local bodies, including municipalities and panchayats, should be strengthened to treat housing as a core function, ensuring that every local resident resides in proper housing.

The incoming government should consider drafting a new housing policy, replacing the outdated National Housing & Habitat Policy of 1998. The Union government can play a pivotal role in providing funds and handholding support to states for implementing housing reforms, aligning with the finance minister’s focus on outcomes over outlays for the Viksit Bharat vision.