Need help from govt to improve market sentiment: CREDAI

The Indian real estate market has been facing a downturn since more than a year now and the apex body of the sector, Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) wants to take up possible measures to re-boot the industry.

Speaking at the two-day conclave in New Delhi on the theme of "Housing, the game changer-leading to double-digit GDP growth," Getamber Anand, president elect, CREDAI and chairman & managing director ATS Infrastructure Ltd, said the industry can be re-booted only by first getting the market sentiments in positive way. "The media and the government are required to help us in getting the sentiments right in the real estate market in India. Together, the three of us have to come forward and spread the positive sentiments," he said.

Invoking assistance in improving the overall outlook of the consumer in the market, Anand said that the Reserve Bank of India should come up with a statement to the public that they recognise the real estate industry as an opportunity to take the economy forward. "This will help us in getting positive responses," he added. "RBI should put in the word to the bankers to provide funds to housing industry and indicate that real estate sector is a significant contributor to the GDP," C Shekhar Reddy, CREDAI national president said. Urging the Prime Minister's Office, Lalit Kumar Jain, chairman, CREDAI and CMD, Kumar Urban Development Limited said that they should have conviction in the housing department/ministry and must do something to bring confidence in the industry.

The real estate sector is facing several constraints, such as high tax impositions, delays in regulatory approvals resulting in escalation of project cost, and the provisions of the proposed Real Estate Regulatory Authority Bill, which are restricting the overall growth of the industry.

While suggesting ways to improve the real estate sector, Harsh Patodia, Kolkata CREDAI president and co-founder and managing director, Heritage Realty Group said, "All the sanctions required for construction should be made online. This will help the developers in obtaining the sanction approvals faster." He also urged the government to do away with the concept of Floor Space Index (FSI), which seems to be redundant and is holding back the growth prospects of the industry. Reiterating the concern over delayed approvals, Sushil Mantri, vice president, CREDAI and chairman and managing director of Mantri Developers said, "All the necessary approvals should be processed within 30 days and if not, the developers should be allowed to go ahead with the project. Also, this needs to be cleared at a single level."

Speaking at the conclave, the real estate developers also voiced their concerns on growing tax impositions on them. "Today, we are paying about 35-30 per cent tax in terms of Service Tax, VAT etc and we want this to come down to at least 15 per cent," Patodia emphasised.