New Incentivised Schemes for Affordable Housing in Offing

In its upcoming mid-term appraisal, the Planning Commission is likely to introduce couple of new schemes for real estate sector so that it acquires a priority status at times of meltdown and provide for “affordable housing”.

Announcing this at the ASSOCHAM National Conclave on Threat Before Real Estate Sector – What are Solutions? held here today, Housing & Urban Development Adviser in Planning Commission, Mr. Harish Chandra also informed that the Cabinet Secretary has already convened a meeting of all States to seek solutions to revive stressed sectors including that of real estate, without specifying the date for the meeting. He, however, added that the mid term appraisal of Planning Commission will now take place immediately after conclusion of forthcoming Parliamentary Polls.

The new schemes will be unfolded during the forthcoming mid-term appraisal exercise of the Planning Commission even at the cost of deficit financing for which the Commission will enter into series of consultation with industry association like ASSOCHAM, said Mr. Chandra.

According to him, in its recent exercises, the Planning Commission, the RBI and the Finance Ministry have jointly announced series of measures to rebuild confidence in Indian economy and many more such initiatives could also be announced by the Commission after concluding the proposed mid-term appraisal, hinting at further lowering of interest rates for affordable housing.

In the meanwhile, Chief Executive Officers of Omaxe Ltd., Raheja Developers, Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure, Jones Lang LaSalle Mehgraj that participated in ASSOCHAM organized conference on Real Estate sector, collectively raised their voice, opposing foreign direct investments in real estate sector.

CMD, Omaxe Ltd., Mr. Rohtas Goel who heads the ASSOCHAM Real Estate Committee said that FDI’s in real estate would neither increase supply and demand for affordable housing. Their entry into it will enhance and shoot up the prices of land and therefore, real estate FDI’s should be discouraged as this will pose a serious challenge to affordable housing.

He demanded that the present model on which real estate sector currently stands crippled, needs to be changed and sought that in its stimulus packages of Rs.40,000 crore for infrastructure development, Rs.10,000 crore should exclusively be allocated for real estate sector as subsidy so that affordable housing becomes a reality.

Mr. Goel said that he has decided to offer affordable housing to people for which the first site identified is that of Indore and subsequently this initiative will spread in other parts of the country like Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jaipur etc.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Navin Raheja, Managing Director, Raheja Developers and Sr. Member of ASSOCHAM Real Estate Committee also opposed FDI’s entry into real estate as it would lead to shooting up of land prices and hardly provide for affordable housing.

According to him, the real estate which is currently under stressed would come out of it in next 2-3 months as developers would have to build houses for all stake holders to stay and survive in the business.

Among others who spoke on the occasion demanding another Stimulus package for real estate sector include ASSOCHAM Secretary General, Mr. D S Rawat, Ex-CMD HUDCO, Dr. P S Rana, Mr. Pankaj Renjhen, Managing Director- North India, Jones Lang LaSalle Mehraj, Mr. Kuldip Chawla, Vice President, Red Fort Cappital and Mr. Shashikant Arora, President, Association of Certified Realtors of India.

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