Real Estate News

January 3, 2011
The Economic Times

Realty is an attractive investment option since it provides a stable income stream. There is also the added benefit of capital appreciation. After a brief lull in 2008-09, property prices rose sharply in 2010. Come 2011, the momentum in property prices is likely to continue, say investment experts. But the gains may not be uniform across the country unlike during the past two years. Property prices are likely to appreciate in a few pockets. With the help of property advisors, Jones Lang LaSalle India and CB Richard Ellis India, ET Intelligence Group presents you the list of hot property destinations for 2011.

1.    Mumbai
2.    Delhi/NCR
3.    Bangalore
4.    Pune
5.    Hyderabad
6.    Mohali
7.    Kochi
8.    Ahmedabad
9.    Jaipur
10.  Jagatpura.

Hindustan Times

The Haryana government has reduced by 1 percent the stamp duty in respect of transfer of property in favor of son or daughter or father or mother or spouse of the executants.

A spokesman for the revenue department said that apart from this, the stamp duty in respect of purchase of residential property or dwelling unit or plot executed in favour of serving and retired defence personnel of Haryana during this year has also been reduced by 1%. This reduction shall be availed once in a lifetime by a defense personnel.

Business Standard

The residential real estate sector, which is gaining momentum after experiencing a lull for two years, has stimulated the local builders, who are busy announcing new projects.

The channel partners with many of the real estate projects in the region maintained the local developers who earlier had turned fence-sitters when the market was undergoing tumultuous movements, are now looking to make good use of the present situation.

They further maintained the residential sector was gaining some traction since people have been making investment in properties. “The prices in residential sector have witnessed appreciation by 30 per cent – 40 per cent in the last few months.” With growing demand and prices appreciating, the home-grown developers are looking to grab the opportunity.

India Realty News

A fast-growing economy fired up the real estate market after almost a year-and-a-half of property gloom, with prices touching the pre-crisis peak and companies announcing structures that will pierce the sky. The property party would have been perfect had it not been for the service tax slapped on under-construction buildings and as expected, the burden was passed on to the buyer. The Budget proposal meant that 25 per cent of the gross sale value of the property would be taxed and this resulted in a 2.5 percent increase in the rates of houses under construction.

Prices, on an average, increased by 30 percent across India, forcing the Reserve Bank of India to tighten the norms on lenders’ exposure to the realty sector. The year also saw some of the developers getting embroiled in one controversy or another — like Unitech in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Emaar MGF in the CWG and Lavasa in the green norms violation case — which made 2010 a not-so rosy year for them. The robust economic growth, coupled with increased focus by developers on building affordable homes, helped the realty sector recover from the slowdown in demand, which was hit by the global economic recession of 2008.

The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: After more than a year of lull, the residential segment in Delhi- NCR and Mumbai have witnessed price rise by up to 36 per cent during 2010 on the back of good demand.

According to realty consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), prices in the high-end segment in Gurgaon rose by 36 per cent, while that of mid-segment in central Mumbai saw rates firming up by 15 per cent during the year.

“The residential segment in select micro markets of NCR witnessed unprecedented growth during the year with significant increase in rental and capital values… This can be attributed to the rising interest from the end users and economic revival at large,” C&W India Director (Residential Services) Shveta Jain said in a statement.

Rajmeet Singh, Mohali, January 3, 2011
The Tribune

Mohali and Panchkula could soon lose their status of being the only satellite townships of Chandigarh. The open land in Chandigarh’s periphery is set to shrink further with the upcoming Mullanpur township that has been planned on about 6,123 hectares of land within a 2-km drive from PGI.

NRI News

The Times of India

MUMBAI: If ever there is anything like a good year to die in, it is 2010 — but only if you are a millionaire US citizen. America’s ‘death tax’, which was repealed in 2010, is set to be introduced in the new year. Formally called the estate tax, it is levied on inheritance before it is passed on from one generation to the next. The tax was introduced in 1916 and has been in force ever since. The brief window in 2010 was the only exception, making it a freak year in which death carried a huge tax break.

Under new laws being passed by the Obama administration, the first $5 million in value of any individual’s estate is tax-free, but all value above this figure is taxed at 35%. The tax will kick in from January 1. The reintroduction of the estate tax is forcing a rethink among wealthy Indian-origin American citizens.

When Jaydev Patel (name changed), a New York-based neurologist came to his native town Dharmaj, 90 km from Ahmedabad, this month, he carried an unusual cargo — paintings he had collected over two decades in the US. There are many such non-resident Indians (NRIs) who are shifting their movable wealth from the US to India to escape the net of the much-feared estate tax. It may not be of much help, though.

The estate tax is imposed on ‘all global’ movable and immovable estates of a deceased US citizen and collected from the estate’s administrator before any distribution is made to his or her inheritor. Still, many have started shifting their movable properties back home in India where they are still part of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF).

Vikas Kahol, Chandigarh, December 6, 2010
Mail Today

A group of NRIs based in the UK is quietly building houses for people not economically well- off at Rahana Kalan village in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district. Nearly two-dozen people, now living in one-room dilapidated units, would step into these houses in the New Year.

Members of the group Andy Sahota, Jaswant Sidhu, Pete Bassi, Raj Bains, Kam Mahal, Richard Atwal and Jatender Heer travelled to Punjab from the UK to personally monitor the project. Punjabi Wolves spokesman Raj Bains said they would hand over the furnished homes to the poor families as New Year gifts.

“ We plan to deliver the first 20 houses with basic housing needs by December- end,”

The Times of India

WASHINGTON: The influential American association of physicians of Indian origin (AAPI) has identified Pink Jaipur as the centre of medical tourism. The association is holding its fourth Indo-US Health Care Summit in the Pink City next week.

To be attended by eminent doctors from India and the US from January 3 to January 5, the fourth edition of this annual event is being held to raise awareness on key healthcare issues affecting the Indian subcontinent such as diabetes, lung diseases, asthma and allergy, cardiovascular disease, women’s and children’s health and cancer.

The summit will create a prototype programme of implementation for various disease categories specifically designed to improve outcomes while maintaining cost-effectiveness, said AAPI president Dr Ajeet Singhvi.

When successful, the program can be deployed nationally and internationally, he added.

Jaipur, he said, is the first Indian city which has been accredited by AAPI as centre for medical tourism.


January 2, 2011
The Economic Times (Delhi edition)

M Ramachandran, Adviser (Infrastructure), Uttar Pradesh
Why is infrastructure development important today? In simple terms, a robust infrastructure triggers rapid development and contributes to the process of poverty alleviation. The provision of what is called ‘world class’ infrastructure is considered necessary not only to improve the competitiveness of the economy but also to promote inclusive growth and improve quality of life of the common man.

(The writer is a former urban development secretary)

Shailesh Pathak, managing director, PE Indian Infrastructure
Is there a link between good infrastructure and winning elections? The remarkable electoral sweep by Nitish Kumar in Bihar would certainly point to this direction. While some may suggest that astute electoral arithmetic was part of his armory, there is no doubt that in some key infrastructure sectors, Bihar has seen remarkable progress over the last five years. Infrastructure is both hard and soft; both physical and social. Perhaps the most critical infrastructure is law and order, and Bihar witnessed a complete turnaround in this crucial aspect. This may have contributed to the record turnout of women voters, cutting across socio-economic categories. Roads and highways are the most visible part of Bihar’s improved infrastructure. This improvement has had spin-off benefits in the fields of education, health, agro-based activities and employment opportunities. In the education and health sectors, there have been remarkable changes for the better.

(The writer has worked for nine years in finance and infrastructure, and sixteen years in government)

Indian Economy Growth

Financial Express

India is a net job creator for US companies, not the other way around, NASSCOM chief Som Mittal said today strongly refuting the public perception here that outsourcing and free trade agreements are responsible for America’s current economic woes.

“India is a net job creator for US companies, not the other way around. The Indo-US economic relationship benefits the American economy and its job market in many important and tangible ways,” Mittal wrote in an opinion piece in the Seattle Times.

The US has emerged as a preferred destination for Indian investment. In fact, India now ranks second, behind the UAE, in the list of fastest-growing foreign investors in the US, he argued in his article.

Observing that India has never sought publicity for its commercial connections to the US, Mittal said India it has quietly become both a major investor in America and a significant destination for American goods and services.

The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: In a pleasant surprise for students, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Thursday announced an increase of almost 200,000 seats in engineering courses in India.

As part of reforms in All India Council for Technical Education ( AICTE )) norms, the minister also announced additional 80,000 seats in management and 2,200 seats in architecture courses.

The norms for land requirement for engineering colleges were also liberalised, with Sibal saying that lesser space will be needed for establishing technical institutes.

While an engineering college in rural India will need 10 acres of land, just 2.5 acres of land will be needed in urban areas.

Business Standard

From $4 billion in 1998 to its worth of over $60 billion today, the information technology (IT) and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) industry has become a major driver of India’s economic growth story.

A National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) study done by McKinsey suggests that the industry has quadrupled its GDP contribution to four per cent, contributed to 45 per cent of all incremental urban employment created in the last 10 years, employed over two million people and gave impetus to new entrepreneurs, and increased the number of tertiary education institutions in the country. The industry has also enhanced India’s credibility as a business destination, forging relationships with most of the world’s biggest companies.

The Economic Times

CHENNAI: With economy on the upswing and companies looking to expand, the fight for talent is getting intense. Companies are always looking at ways to optimise the hiring process and at the same time staying competitive. Hiring in big numbers from a single campus is one such strategy.

Though IT companies have been doing this for quite some time, this practice seems to have gained pace in the last two years, especially the current year. Last year, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) hired 1,075 students from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), which was listed in the Limca Book of Records for the largest number of students hired from a single campus. Cognizant also hired more than 1,100 students from Anna University but that was done across four campuses.

New Information Technology Parks

Vikas Bajaj, Siruseri
Financial ChronicleThe Indian ExpressThe Economic Times

A large, futuristic office complex is rising from a patch of spare, arid land near the southern Indian city of Chennai. Six butterfly-shaped buildings dock like spacecraft next to two long metal-lattice terminals. About 12,000 people already work at the campus, which is being built by the largest technology company in India, Tata Consultancy Services. It eventually will have space for 24,000 of Tata’s nearly 180,000 employees.

It is all part of a construction boom by companies, which are growing at a breakneck pace after the lull caused by the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. But the building boom is about more than making room for more workers. The outsourcing giants, which include Wipro and others, hope that architectural sizzle can help them compete for the nation’s top software programmers, while also burnishing their reputations with overseas clients and prospective customers. In this nation where world-class high-technology companies coexist with urban slums and rural poverty, employers like Tata, Infosys and Wipro have set out to create avant-garde, environmentally smart corporate sanctuaries.

And even if some architects and critics complain about the wisdom and taste of the efforts, the executives behind the building boom say their ambitious projects put a modern face on Indian business.

Pankaj Dhiman, Panchkula, January 3, 2011
The Times of India

The IT Park coming up on 97 acre in Sector 22 is yet to start operations but Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Haryana State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) is all set to develop its second phase on 150 acre in Sector 32 near Chowki village. HUDA has approved the land but it is yet to be acquired by HSIIDC.

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