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Monday, December 1, 2008

If estimates by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) stand true, the rural housing stock in India will rise by 42-44 million by 2025. A study, ?Rural Housing in India: Challenges and Opportunities?, collected data from 3,000 households in 150 villages. Results reveal that most households reported increase in income over the past decade, with land owning households reporting about 25% increase in their income. ?A lot needs to be done to improve availability of adequate housing to the rural population. There is a need particularly to make the whole process of acquiring inputs and services necessary for housing construction as simple and accessible as possible to ordinary citizens in the villages,? said Bimal Jalan, ex-Governor, RBI while releasing the study.

Considering that close to 70% of India?s population dwell in rural areas, contributing over 45% of the national income, the opportunity is definitely huge. ?Two-thirds of our business is in emerging countries. Now, we want to target the bottom of the pyramid in India. There are 800 million people in that segment but the affordability factor is crucial. It would help if the government brings down the tax slabs on cement,? said Paul Hugentobler, member of the executive committee, Holcim.

Source: The Financial Express (link opens in a new window)