CEO SPEAK - `Land bill key to meeting housing-for-all objective'
Anil Mithas, CMD of Unnati Fortune Group, said in an interview with Times Property that the Union government should ensure the passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which would greatly aid consumers across the income levels. “We are pinning a lot of expectations on the forthcoming Union Budget for 2016-17.We hope our demands like single-widow clearance system through online mechanism, infrastructure status, lower interest rates on home loans, etc, feature on the finance bill this February,“ Mithas said.
Extracts from the interview:
IS THIS THE RIGHT TIME FOR END USERS AND INVESTORS TO BUY PROPERTY?
The Modi government has brought in many proactive polices like easing FDI norms, approving the Real Estate Regula tory Bill, etc, which are slowly shoring up sentiment. The tough phase of the market seems to be over and the economy is showing an upward trend. This is the best time to purchase property, as prices could go up once market picks pace.
DO YOU SEE IMPROVEMENT IN BOTH SEGMENTS--RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL?
Commercial markets have taken a lead in this. As per market survey, de . mand in office space has increased in several cities. Residential demand is also picking pace, behind office space absorp tion. Right now, corporates are expanding office space and hiring more people, which is generating demand for housing in turn. Growth in retail real estate market will hinge upon a more open FDI policy regime.The timely delivery of quality shopping space by developers will also be crucial for the sector to reach its potential.
WHAT MUST BE DONE TO REVIVE THE REAL ESTATE MARKET?
If the government adopts a forward looking policy, they would accord the real estate sector industry status, which will bring about major transformation in the outlook and nature of the sector.
It will enthuse investment, attract large companies to the sector and, most important, inculcate corporate culture and industry discipline, which will immensely benefit the economy in general and the consumers in particular. It will also help the sector access bank lending at average interest rates, with low collateral, against high-risk rates prevailing at present.
To revive the market, Modi government must bring in single-widow clearance system through online mechanism, speed up infrastructure development, lower interest rates on home loans, among others.
WILL THE “100 SMART CITIES“ MISSION HAVE ANY IMPACT ON THE REAL ESTATE MARKET?
Of course! The “Smart Cities“ mission will definitely boost the sector, but a significant amount of private capital is essential to realize the overall goal. One estimate says that the whole project needs nearly $45 billion to see through. To fulfil this dream, we expect the government to go on with positive policy announcements to develop the business environment and offer strong push to growth.
HOW CAN THE GOVERNMENT MEET THE TARGET OF 6 CRORE HOUSES BY 2022 UNDER “HOUSING FOR ALL“ MISSION?
We have a major challenge on hand.This mission means construction of 30,000 flats daily, against the target of 6 crore houses over the next seven years.These are noble ideals but a complete overhaul is needed, especially the way the government, its agencies, and the bureaucracy work.
All ambiguities regarding the amended land acquisition bill should be sorted out by the government, as it not only effects growth and development of housing projects, but would stall the industrial growth of the country and pull down the economy if it is not properly and urgently addressed. Further, it also affects the confidence of international players who want to invest in real estate as well as take part in the Make in India programme of the Modi government.
YOUR TAKE ON THE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT AND REGULATION BILL?
The amendments introduced by the parliamentary committee in the real estate bill will help homebuyers regain trust in the developers' ability to deliver projects on time and give them the confidence to commit to buying new homes.The stricter norms will weed out non-performers in the sector