New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday asked builders to not shy away from their lawful responsibilities and said they were "lucky" to have a Prime Minister who believes that the underprivileged must get housing within their budget and not as a freebie.
"You (builders) should have this sentiment that if I make something for those with Rs 1 crore or middle classes, they (poor) should also get something. They are also human beings.
"You can tell government I will make (houses) for poor but don't ask us to give it for free. I agree. By your luck, the current Prime Minister is also of this opinion that don't talk about free things but they must get something within their limits," she said at 12th National Convention on Housing for All-2022.
She recalled how builders at times preferred paying money to get away from mandatory construction of houses for the low-income group in their projects.
"You should think how you will be remembered. If you do it, it will be good or as I said builders do not enjoy good reputation," Mahajan said, noting how we feel "proud" when remnants of our well-designed ancient cities were dug out.
Good housing for poor will also help deal with problems of encroachments, she said.
Talking about concerns raised by some builders over new Land Acquisition Act, she recalled how as the Chairperson of Standing Committee on Rural Development Ministry earlier she believed states should be allowed to regulate projects being undertaken by private builders on lands bought by them as different states had their own issues.
As a Speaker, she said, she was away from such matters now and expressed hope that government would look into their concerns as she praised Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.