NRI Tips for Buying and Leasing

HOW NRIS CAN APPLY FOR PAN CARD IN INDIA
The Economic Times

Non-resident individuals and organizations need to have a Permanent Account Number (PAN) number if they receive an income and need to file returns in India. PAN is issued by the Income Tax (IT) Department to all assessees and quoting of PAN is compulsory in all returns filed with the IT department.

The PAN number comprises of ten alphanumeric characters and is issued in the form of a laminated card. A PAN card is required for both resident as well as non-resident assessees. In case of non-resident assessees, there are a few minor changes in the requirements for an application.

A non-resident assessee is:
A citizen of India residing outside India at the time of making application
Not a citizen of India ie foreign citizen

Other than individual (a company, trust, firm, etc) – not a citizen of India – having no office of its own in India.

The following points should be noted while applying for the PAN:

  • AO Code
  • Address
  • Photograph and signature

PROPERTY:  WHAT AN AGREEMENT WITH PROMOTER SHOULD CONTAIN
The Economic Times


Documentation is one of the most critical steps in the process of acquisition of property. This is of particular importance in case of housing societies, where a builder constructs and sells off a number of flats in a multistory building.

A promoter who intends to construct a building of flats should enter into a written agreement to sell with each of the persons who are to take or have taken flats. It is also necessary that the agreement should contain particulars of the property and also annex prescribed documents related to the property. The agreements need to be stamped as per the rates prevalent in the State where the property is situated.

PAPERS IN ORDER FETCH BETTER PRICE FOR YOUR PROPERTY
The Economic Times

Selling a property is not an easy task. Apart from the commercial angle, legal and tax angles also need to be kept in mind. Buyers are well-informed and do their due diligence exercises on their own. In case a seller does his homework well, he can demand a good consideration for his property vis-a-vis other properties.

PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICES IN DEMAND
The Economic Times

Time was when people were unable to put their real estate assets to better use. While some cursed the archaic provisions of the Rent Control Act, others, particularly NRIs who are away from home town for years together, could not utilize their assets to earn return on investment due to fear of not getting their assets back.

In a paradoxical situation, while residents are unable to get rental accommodation at affordable prices in metros, apartments were simply locked up without letting out due to lack of professionalized organization to manage the assets in the absence of owners. With India on the threshold of a new era, international brands specializing in facility management are eyeing the potential surrounding the property management sector.

Demand from local and NRI market
Property management concept is nothing new under Indian conditions but so far it was confined to a few companies only extending the services for corporate sector. But on the retail client’s front, not many efforts were taken due to a combination of factors. Today, there is a demand for property management from two lakh apartments, say industry sources. This is because the demand not only emerges from NRIs but also from residents who are migrating to other states within the country in search of better career opportunities. So the need for such service increases when they invest in housing in one city and suddenly were compelled to shift to another city.

Comprehensive services
According to industry sources, a few companies are already in operation in Bangalore. While some are expanding their operations to other cities, others are in the process of doing so. The competition is not much today but with the passage of time, more companies are likely to enter the fray. In the coming years, 12 major international brands providing similar services are likely to enter India. The comprehensive range of services provided by property management companies vary from preventative maintenance, placement, contracting, response maintenance, signage, commercial cleaning, pest control, annual maintenance contracts, health and safety.

LEGAL STATUS: RULES GOVERNING TENANCY
The Economic Times

According to the Transfer of Property Act 1882, these circumstances lead to a tenancy by holding over:

A lessee or under-lessee of a property remains in possession after the determination of the lease

A lessor or his legal representative either accepts rent from the lessee or under-lessee, or otherwise assents to his continuing in possession

There is no agreement to the contrary

The expression ‘holding over’ is the act of retaining possession. There is a distinction between a tenant continuing in possession of a property after the determination of the lease without the consent of the landlord, and a tenant doing so with the consent of the landlord.

Related Articles: Tenant can recover cost of property maintenance

Indian Economy

EMERGING MARKET IS LONG WAY FROM BUBBLE LEVELS: AGTMAEL
The Economic Times

LONDON: Emerging-market stock valuations are a “long way” from bubble levels and the shares will outperform developed markets amid faster economic growth, said Antoine van Agtmael, who coined the term “emerging markets” in 1981.

Van Agtmael, who warned of “bubbly” emerging-market stock prices four weeks before the benchmark index peaked in 2007, said he doesn’t have the same concern today because valuations are below long-term averages and cheaper than in developed nations . Emerging economies will expand about three times faster than advanced countries in the next few years, he said.

Money managers and economists from Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co’s Jeremy Grantham to New York University’s Nouriel Roubini have said in the past month that bubbles are forming in emerging markets as record-low interest rates in the developed world drive investors to faster-growing economies to seek higher yields. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index of shares in 21 developing countries has climbed 10% this year, following a record 75% advance in 2009.

Information Technology

‘ICT SPENDING TO GROW BY 11% TO $95.5 BILLION IN 2014’
The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: India Inc is expected to spend around $95.5 billion on information and communication technology (ICT) in the country by 2014, driven primarily by hardware and telecom, research firm Gartner said on Tuesday.

“IT spending in India saw somewhat of a slowdown as a result of the global economic recession through much of 2009. While many companies adopted a cautionary approach in 2009, a strong return to growth has been seen in 2010,” Gartner senior vice-president and global head (research) Peter Sondergaard said.

VENTURE CAPITAL FIRM CANAAN PARTNERS TO INVEST $120 MILLION IN INDIAN IT COMPANIES
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Venture Capital firm Canaan Partners plans to invest up to $120 million over the next 2-3 years in the start-up IT and telecom companies.

“We will be investing another $80-120 million in Indian IT and telecom companies over the next 2-3 years. There is a huge potential for development in IT and telecom sector in India,” Canaan Partners (India) Managing Director Alok Mittal told PTI.

He said the company has invested a total of $30 million in two companies in the current year and is in talks with a few more firms for investment.

Real Estate Sector

REALTORS ELATED AT NDA GOVT’S RETURN
Madhuri Kumar, Patna
The Times of India

With the NDA government back in power, it is once again boom time for the real estate and property market in nearby areas of the region. The upswing in the prices of commercial as well as residential property is likely to continue for quite some time with a number of investors targeting the city like never before.

The effect of “good governance” from the year 2005-10 in the realty sector has not left the ancient city of Pataliputra, now graduated to Patna, untouched. After a lull of 15 years, realtors wooed the prospective home buyers in the region with a variety of tailor-made options to suit every pocket.

THE IT FACTOR
Shantanu Mazumdar
The Times of India (Mumbai edition)

Pune’s real estate market has been driven primarily by IT/ITeS, BPO and automobile segment. The eastern corridor of Pune comprising Kalyani Nagar, Viman Nagar, Kharadi and Hadapsar has witnessed a major influx of the IT/ITeS segment since 2004, which has led to a substantial boom and growth in this region.

The development of mega projects such as Kharadi Knowledge Park, Eon Free Zone, SP Infocity, Magarpatta City, Panchshil Tech Park, Weikfield IT Citi Park and Commerzone has changed the market dynamics of this region. Most of these projects are occupied by IT/ITeS, BFSI and telecom sector companies like Avaya, Accenture, MphasiS, Bank of New York Mellon, Amdocs and EXL Services at Magarpatta CyberCity, Tieto Enator, SunGard, Eaton Technologies, HP, Eclipsys and Vodafone at Eon Free Zone, IBM, Honeywell and ADP at SP Infocity, Schlumberger, Aircel, 3Global Services and Otis at Commerzone.

With around 16 mn sq.ft. of commercial office space being occupied by IT/ITeS sector companies, the eastern micro-market can also be termed as a major IT Hub of Pune besides Hinjewadi.

STRONG GROWTH IN OFFICE LEASING MARKETS IN ASIA
The Financial Express

Office leasing markets in Asia’s leading commercial centers enjoyed an active third quarter of 2010 as both domestic and multinational corporations displayed a keen appetite for quality office accommodation stimulated by new business start-up activity and expansion and repositioning of existing occupiers on the back of sustained regional economic growth. Led by strong growth in Greater China and Singapore, overall office rents in Asia rose 3.2% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in the third quarter of 2010, marking the second consecutive quarter of growth and confirming the recovery of overall office demand in the region. Demand for quality space arising from relocation or expansionary activity grew noticeably, a trend which manifested itself in the decline of vacancy in new office buildings in selected markets across the region. Overall vacancy further declined by 60 basis points q-o-q to 10.3%.

Leasing activity in the major office markets in India continued to gather momentum during the period with rents firming up and vacancy trending downwards on the back of strong demand amidst a noticeable rise in enquiry levels. However, occupier interest was more focused on cost effective suburban locations providing a wider choice of quality office facilities. Net absorption in New Delhi remained strong in both the Grade A and Grade B segments but overall rental values were largely stable due to the abundant availability of stock in the National Capital Region (NCR). Mumbai recorded a slight revival in leasing activity, a trend which led to a rise in CBD rents and the compression of vacancy across various submarkets. The ready availability of Grade A space in Bangalore’s Extended Business District and Peripheral Business District coupled with affordable rents and greater flexibility in negotiations displayed by landlords, ensured the area continued to be popular among corporates looking for alternative office locations.

HOUSING SCAM NOT TO HIT LENDING TO REAL ESTATE
New Delhi
The Hindu Business Line

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) today said the housing finance racket, involving CEO of LIC Housing Finance and several senior bankers, will not hit disbursements to the real estate sector and there was no need for alarm.

“We are always cautious when we lend and you know there are always bad loans… why should it impact (lending to real estate sector),” SBI chairman, O P Bhatt said here.

“I won’t say that (the current system) is perfect. But there is no need for any alarm. I don’t think there is any systemic risk that we are talking about. These are individual cases,” he added.

“I would like to say with pride that Indian public sector banks are far above such things. There might be one or two exceptions…It is not a systemic issue. This is not something that has happened in a wide scale”, he added.

Mr Bhatt said all banks have policies and plans for risk assessment which are fairly prudent, and added, “there are several mechanisms (to deal with such issues)…lakhs of loans are given out including to the housing sector. We have multiple oversights, checks which are proactive and which are also reactive. We have a very strong set of institution.”

Later, talking to reporters, Yes Bank Managing Director and CEO, Mr Rana Kapoor said “it (housing finance racket) is just an aberration. It is exception to the rule so it is not going to have a serious impact.” – PTI

Related Articles: Loan scam may derail realtors’ plan to reduce debt pile

Infrastructure: Renewable Energy

TATA TO INVEST RS 5,000 CRORE IN WIND ENERGY
The Financial Express

Tata Power that aims to produce at least 25 per cent of its total power generation from clean sources by 2017, will invest around Rs 5,000 crore in wind-energy alone, said a top company official.

“We have set ourselves a target to achieve 25 per cent of our total generation from clean sources by 2017. These will comprise wind, solar, hydro, geo-thermal and gas. In wind-power alone, we will be investing around Rs 5,000 crore,” Tata Power’s Executive Director-Strategy and Business Development, Banmali Agrawala said.

The company target amounts to around 8,000 MW of power to be generated from renewable energy resources.

Education Expansion

PEARSON EDUCATION OPEN TO EXPANSION OPPORTUNITIES
Business Standard

To strengthen its presence in the country’s fast-growing education sector, diversified entity Pearson Education will explore expansion opportunities, including partnerships.

Pearson Education is part of London-headquartered Pearson Group that owns publishing firm Penguin and business daily The Financial Times.

“We are always talking to people… And look for expanding our services and presence. We are here (in India) for the long term,” Pearson Education International’s President (Global Strategy and Business Development) Mark Anderson told PTI.

Policy

PRIVATE DEVELOPERS CAN COLLECT PLOT MAINTENANCE CHARGES
The Times of India

GURGAON: A recent Supreme Court judgment has upheld the plea of DLF and Ansals, the biggest private developers in Gurgaon, to collect maintenance charges from plot owners in their jurisdiction. In its judgment dated November 19, the apex court held that the director of town and country planning (DTCP) had no authority to direct developers to stop charging the fees and it also set aside the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment, which had upheld the directives earlier issued by the department.

The court said, The director is not authorized to interfere with agreements voluntarily entered into by and between the owner/ colonizer and the purchasers of plots/ flats. The agreed terms and conditions by and between the parties do not require the approval or ratification by the director nor is the director authorized to issue any direction to amend, modify or alter any of the clauses in the agreement entered into by and between the parties.

Related Articles:  Government can’t stop Developers from collecting extra charges: Supreme Court

ROADSIDE FOOD VENDORS CLEAN UP THEIR ACT
The Times of India

GURGAON: The roadside vendors of Gurgaon are taking the road less travelled. With hopes of licensing procedures being put in place for the food and beverage market, the vendors in almost 15 industrial localities of Gurgaon are offering fresh and hygienically packaged food.

I have a food stall in Udyog Vihar, outside the IBM office, and since I’ve started selling packed food my sales have almost doubled from Rs 4,000 to Rs 9,000 approximately. People recommend my food to their friends and being amid large corporates, the sale figures are on a constant rise, said Vikram Swami, who is originally from Rajasthan but has been a vendor in Gurgaon for over five years.

The roadside vendors have an edge over the corporate canteens in two ways. Their food is prepared in smaller quantities without any use of preservatives and therefore its closer to home-cooked food, and secondly, it is priced very reasonably.

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