Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget speech said that the Centre was planning to clear the country of slums in five years. This is good news for the state — particularly the city, which has been trying to rid itself of the ‘slum capital of the country’ tag for decades. Finance Minsiter Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to hike the allocation for housing and basic amenities for the urban poor to Rs3,973 crore in the budget offers a good opportunity for Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai, to achieve this. With the state government likely to promote more schemes like the Dharavi slum redevelopment project, the lure of higher floor-space index will see developers making a beeline for housing projects to be implemented on a public-private partnership basis, property experts said.
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