The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is the apex authority of Government of India at the national level to formulate policies, sponsor and support programme, coordinate the activities of various Central Ministries, State Governments and other nodal authorities and monitor the programmes concerning all the issues of housing and urban affairs in the country.
The matters pertaining to urban development have been assigned by the Constitution of India to the State Governments. The Constitution (74th Amendment) Act has further delegated many of these functions to the urban local bodies. The constitutional and legal authority of the Govt. of India is limited only to Delhi and other Union Territories and to the subject which State Legislatures authorise the Union Parliament to legislate.
However, the Govt. of India plays a much more important role and exercises a larger influence to shape the policies and programmes of the country as a whole. The national policy issues are decided by the Govt. of India which also allocates resources to the State Governments through various Centrally Sponsored schemes, provides finances through national financial institutions and supports various external assistance programmes for urban development in the country as a whole. The indirect effect of the fiscal, economic and industrial location decisions of the Govt. of India exercise a far more dominant influence on the pattern of urbanisation and real estate investment in the country.
The Ministry was constituted on 13th May, 1952 when it was known as the Ministry of Works, Housing & Supply. Subsequently it was renamed as Ministry of Works & Housing when a separate Ministry of Supply came up. The name of the Ministry was changed to Ministry of Urban Development in September, 1985 in recognition of the importance of urban issues. With the creation of a separate Department of Urban Employment & Poverty Alleviation on 8th March, 1995, the Ministry came to be known as the Ministry of Urban Affairs & Employment. The Ministry had two Departments: Department of Urban Development & Department of Urban Employment & Poverty Alleviation. The two Departments were again merged on 9th April, 1999 and in consequence thereto, the name was restored to "The Ministry of Urban Development." This Ministry was bifurcated into two Ministries viz. (i) "Ministry of Urban Development" and (ii) "Ministry of Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation" with effect from 16.10.1999. These two Ministries were again merged into one Ministry on 27.5.2000 and named as "Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation" with two Departments; (i) Department of Urban Development and (ii) Department of Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation. From 27- 5- 2004, the Ministry has again been bifurcated into two Ministries viz: (i) Ministry of Urban Development and (ii) Ministry of Urban Employment & Poverty Alleviation vide Presidential Notification No.CD-160/2004 dated 27/5/2004. The Ministry of Urban Employment & Poverty Alleviation was subsequently named as Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation vide Doc. CD-299/2006 dated 1/6/2006.
Government of India, Cabinet Secretariat vide gazette notification, No.SO2163 (E) dated 06.07.2017, merged Ministries of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation into one Ministry i.e. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (Awasan aur Shahari Karya Mantralaya).
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is headed by Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs. At the bureaucratic level, the Ministry is headed by Secretary, Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, IAS .
As per Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, the following business has been allocated to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs :
1. Properties of the Union, whether lands or buildings, with the following exceptions, namely:-
(a) those belonging to the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Railways and the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Space;
(b) buildings or lands, the construction or acquisition of which has been financed otherwise than from the Civil Works Budget;
(c) buildings or lands, the control of which has at the time of construction or acquisition or subsequently been permanently made over to other Ministries and Departments.
2. All Government civil works and buildings including those of Union territories excluding roads and excluding works executed by or buildings belonging to the Ministry of Railways, Department of Posts, Department of Telecommunications, Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Space.
3. Horticulture operations.
4. Central Public Works Organisation.
5. Administration of Government estates including Government hostels under the control of the Ministry. Location or dispersal of offices in or from the metropolitan cities.
6. Allotment of accommodation in Vigyan Bhawan.
7. Administration of four Rehabilitation Markets viz. Sarojini Nagar Market, Shankar Market, Pleasure Garden Market and Kamla Market.
8. Issue of lease or conveyance deeds in respect of Government built properties in Delhi and New Delhi under the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, I 954 (44 of I 954) and conversion of lease deeds, allotment of additional strips of land and correctional areas adjoining such properties.
9. Stationery and Printing for the Government of lndia including official publications.
10. Planning and coordination of urban transport systems with technical planning of rail based systems being subject to the items of work allocated to the Ministry of Railways, Railway Board.
11. Fixing of maximum and minimum rates and fares for rail-based urban transport systems other than those funded by the Indian Railways.
12. Tramways including elevated high speed trams within municipal limits or any other contiguous zone.
13. Town and Country Planning; matters relating to the Planning and Development of Metropolitan Areas, International Cooperation and Technical Assistance in this field.
14. Schemes of large scale acquisition, development and disposal of land in Delhi.
15. Delhi Development Authority.
16. Master Plan of Delhi, coordination of work in respect of the Master Plan and Slum Clearance in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
17. Erection of memorials in honour of freedom fighters.
18. Development of Government colonies.
19. Local Government, that is to say, the constitution and powers of the Municipal Corporations (excluding the Municipal Corporation of Delhi), Municipalities (excluding the New Delhi Municipal Committee), other Local Self-Government Administrations excluding Panchayati Raj Institutions.
20. The Delhi Water Supply and Sewage Disposal Undertaking of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
21. Water supply (subject to overall national perspective of water planning and coordination assigned to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation), sewage, drainage and sanitation relating to urban areas and linkages from allocated water resources. International Cooperation and Technical Assistance in this field.
22. The Central Council of Local Self-Government.
23. Allotment of Government land in Delhi.
24. Administration of Rajghat Samadhi Committee.
25. All matters relating to Planning and Development of the National Capital Region and administration of the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985 (2 of 1985).
26. Matters relating to the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
27. All matters relating to the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
28. Formulation of housing policy and programme (except rural housing which is assigned to the Department of Rural Development), review of the implementation of the Plan Schemes, collection and dissemination of data on housing, building materials and techniques, general measures for reduction of building costs and nodal responsibility for National Housing Policy.
29. Human Settlements including the United Nations Commission for Human Settlements and International Cooperation and Technical Assistance in the field of Housing and Human Settlements.
30. Urban Development including Slum Clearance Schemes and the Jhuggi and Jhonpri Removal Schemes. International Cooperation and Technical Assistance in this field.
31. National Cooperative Housing Federation.
32. Implementation of the specific programmes of Urban Employment and Urban Poverty Alleviation including other programmes evolved from time to time.
33. Administration of the Requisitioning and Acquisition of lmmovable Property Act, 1952 (30 of 1952).
34. Administration of Delhi Hotels (Control of Accommodation) Act, 1949 (24 of 1949).
35. The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 (40 of 1971).
36. Administration of the Delhi Development Act, 1957 (61 of 1957).
37. The Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (59 of 1958).
38. The Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 (33 of 1976).
39. Delhi Urban Art Commission, the Delhi Urban Art Commission Act, 1973 (1 of 1974).