Finance Minister announces ₹ 18,000 crore additional outlay for urban housing scheme

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a ₹ 18,000 crore additonal outlay for the urban housing scheme to help complete real estate projects that would create jobs and boost the economy.

She said the ₹ 18,000 crore would be provided over and above the budget estimates for 2020-21 for the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (Urban) through additional allocation and extra budgetary resources.

This is over and above ₹ 8,000 crore already provided this year.

She said the move would help start work on 12 lakh houses as well as complete 18 lakh houses. This would create 78 lakh new jobs as well as demand for steel and cement.

Announcing support for construction and infrastructure, she said Earnest Money Deposit (EMO) and performance security requirements will be relaxed for government tenders.

Performance security on contracts will be reduced to 3% instead of 5 to 10%. This would be extended to ongoing contracts which are free of disputes.

It would also be extended to public sector enterprises, she said, adding states will also be encouraged to adopt the same.

Earnest money deposit (EMD) will not be required for tenders and will be replaced by bid security declaration.

These relaxations will be given till December 31, 2021, she said, adding the move would give relief to contractors by reducing locking up of capital and cost of bank guarantees.

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