India sees 3rd highest rise in housing prices in January-March quarter

India witnessed the third highest rise of 12 per cent globally in housing prices in January- March quarter of 2012 over the year-ago period, according to consultant Knight Frank.

Housing prices in India, however, declined by 0.9 per cent when compared with the previous quarter. “Brazil recorded the strongest annual growth (23.5 per cent) and Ireland the weakest (minus 16.3 per cent),” it said. The Knight Frank Global House Price Index monitors and compare the performance of 53 mainstream residential markets across the world.

Read more: The Economic Times

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Falling Re brings overseas money to realty sector

The deprecating rupee might be a cause of anxiety for importers, but the same is a cause of rejoice for realtors, although in a different way. Vikas Gupta, Vice President (Punjab), Ansal API, a realty player, believes strong dollar attracts investment from overseas, especially in the real estate sector.

Ansal API which intends to invest Rs 5,000 crore in Punjab in the next 5 years on their various projects, says non-resident Indians from European countries are clients for their properties and have purchased 50-55 units across different Ansal properties. In its quarterly result announced, it had stated that in the last fiscal,it had reduced net debt by Rs 252 crore, which now stands around Rs 1200 crore.

Read more:  Business Standard 

50,000 acres with ports may be diverted to realty

Cabinet to draft policy on surplus land soon. Some 50,000 acres of land, worth several thousand crores, locked up with ports in major cities could soon be available for commercial development in what could give an impetus to the real estate sector. The Cabinet will shortly consider a draft policy on commercial development of surplus land owned by major port trusts in India by leasing of these plots to developers. The note on ‘Policy directives for land management by major ports, 2012’, prepared by the shipping ministry, explains how ‘land alienation’ by major port trusts could be done in a transparent manner. An important feature of the policy is that when it comes to leasing of land lying with the 12 major ports, the final decision will be taken by the Cabinet. Discretionary powers of individual port authorities, including the respective port trust’s chairman, will go. This could weed out corrupt practices apart from boosting land supply for housing and commercial spaces in cities like Mumbai, Kolkata and Kochi.

Excluding Port Blair, for which records are not available, the 12 major port trusts in India own a total land area of 258,000 acres. Out of this, 15-20 percent is not in use and could be termed surplus. As far as leasing of the surplus land is concerned, an empowered committee comprising the shipping secretary will make recommendations and the Cabinet will take the final call. The proposed policy for development of port land prescribes a transparent tender-cum-auction method for leasing. It also clearly prescribes procedures to bring pricing of port land in tune with market rates to realize the optimum value

Read more:  The Financial Express 

Noida flat owners to stir on June 8

A flat owners’ association here on Sunday appealed to all the buyers of Noida Extension flats to participate in the June 8 protest march in Delhi against the non-clearance of Greater Noida master plan. “Around one lakh Noida Extension buyers are affected due to the unwanted delay in Master Plan approval. They had invested for their home.

The delay in the approval is putting them to further hardship and financial loss,“ Noida Extension Flat Owners and Members Association said in a statement.

Article featured in  The Asian Age 


Rs 10,000 crore for road projects in Haryana

The Union Minister for Roads, Transport and Highways, Dr. C.P. Joshi said here today that his ministry has launched various projects worth Rs 10,000 crore in Haryana. He gave this information at a ‘Vikas Rally’ addressed by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at Jind today. The Chief Minister also announced various big-ticket projects worth Rs 1338 crore in Jind, which included the setting up of Haryana Institute of Education, Training, Research of National level, an industrial estate, 200 bedded hospital, ANM and GNM college. Enthused by huge convergence at the public rally, Hooda showered many projects and also announced to set up a gymkhana club at a cost of Rs 7.5 crore in sector-9 Jind, industrial estate on an area of 250 acres of land, city bus stand and new bus stand in Jind, beautification of Rani Talab and setting up of Rajiv Gandhi Park near it, Sports Complex on 20 acres of land in Sector-9, Jind at cost of Rs 12.5 crore, Veterinary Polyclinic at a cost of Rs 5 crore, expansion of mini secretariat at cost of Rs 13 crore, four laning on Bhiwani road up to two kilometre at the cost of Rs 15 crore and up to Pandupindara on Gohana road at a cost of Rs 10 crore.

Read more:  The Financial Express  

PM meets ministers on infra sector today

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a meeting on Wednesday to take stock of the infrastructure sector with a view to fast-track clearances, spur investments and bring back the economy on the growth trajectory. The meeting, which will be attended by ministers of all infrastructure-related ministries, is expected to assess whether the targets are being met and what needs to be done to address bottlenecks, sources said. The government has maintained that $1 trillion would be required in the infrastructure sector during the 12th Plan (2012-17), half of which is expected to be funded by the private sector. The meeting comes against the backdrop of economic growth falling to nine-year low of 6.5 percent in 2011-12 and contraction of industrial output in March quarter. Almost 42 percent of government-run infrastructure projects of over R150 crore are running behind schedule, minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation Srikant Kumar Jena had said in Parliament earlier. Road Transport and Highways has the maximum number of projects running behind schedule at 78, followed by Power (47), Petroleum (31), Railways (27) and Coal (17), he said. However, to speed-up the delayed projects, his Ministry has requested each state government to constitute a central sector projects co-ordination committee (CSPCC) under chairmanship of chief secretary, Jena said.

Read more:  The Financial Express  

Chandigarh may get automatic parking like Delhi airport

In order to turn all the manual parking lots of the city to automatic ones, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is mulling over to follow the modern automatic parking system of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) of New Delhi. The civic body has asked the company concerned to show a detailed presentation in this regard to asses the existing system at IGIA. The key feature of IGIA parking lot is that the commuter does not need to stop at the entry point, as an automatic machine generates the slip for his vehicle. An electronic display then guides the commuter to a vacant space in the parking.

Read more:  The Times of India 

Bumper tolls for bumpy NH rides

The high toll charges you pay to hit the national highways are more likely to line the pockets of contractors hired for road upgrades while your ride continues to be bumpy. There are at least 21 prominent national highway (NH) stretches undergoing expansion from four to six lanes in the country where toll is collected from day one of a contract being awarded. Surface transport ministry officials have admitted that the toll collection on these NH links had earned contractors around Rs  6,200 crore, but with just under 30- 35 percent construction work being completed.

Article featured in Mail Today 

Projects worth Rs 1,337 crore inaugurated in Haryana

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister C. P. Joshi and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday laid the foundation stones and inaugurated by remote control several projects worth Rs. 1,337.76 crore. They laid the foundation stone of Jind-Sonepat railway line, four-laning of Jind section of National Highway-71, four-laning of the bridge over the Delhi-Bathinda railway line crossing on the Narwana-Jind-Rohtak Road near Patiala Chowk and link road between Jind-Safidon section and Jind-Rohtak Road. They also inaugurated the new building of the Government College for Women and Centre of Excellence in the ITI. It was claimed that after the projects were completed, the distance between Jind and Delhi would be reduced which would prove beneficial to all sections including industry. Moreover, the four-laning of the Jind section of NH-71 would facilitate people from Punjab going to Delhi.

Article featured in The Hindu 


PayPal ramps up hiring at India unit

Online payment provider PayPal is betting on making India an ‘incubation centre’ for the company’s employee engagement policies.

The firm hired 120 students from campus this year, out of which 70 were from the Indian Institutes of Technology. “We were probably the only product development firm to hire such a large number of students this year,” says Anupam Pahuja, head – global talent strategy and general manager, PayPal India.

Around 60% of PayPal’s global product development is done out of Chennai, adds Pahuja. The firm’s manpower strength in the past five years has shot up to 2,250 and in the next three years, it plans to recruit 1,000 employees for its Bangalore Development Centre, which will look at product development keeping consumer needs in mind. Profiles for the centre would include engineers, architects, and product developers among others.

Read more: The Economic Times

IT Sector

Infosys has trained 100,000 graduates at Mysore campus

IT bellwether Infosys has trained about 100,000 graduates in writing software codes and formulating algorithms at its global education centre in Mysore campus during the past decade, the company said.

“As part of our foundation program, we have trained about one lakh (100,000) engineering graduates since 2002 beginning with a modest 50 trainees, one trainer, one classroom and a vision to develop a world-class training facility and build intellectual capital,” the global software major said in a statement here.
Read more: The Times of India


Aircel slashes 3G data card tariffs

Intensifying the price war in the third-generation, or 3G, space, mobile phone company Aircel on Monday launched new price plans which it termed were the cheapest in the industry. The new plan offers unlimited high-speed internet access at Rs 8 a day, which is only Rs 3 higher than existing 2G data plans.

Aircel becomes the fourth telco to slash 3G tariffs as the industry looks towards raising data usage to shore up revenues. The fifth largest telecom company by subscribers said its ‘3G Aircel Pocket Internet Smart’ data cards aimed at the youth, allowed high-speed internet access at prices that were same as 2G.

Read more: The Economic Times

NRI News

Indian-Americans are powerful symbol of best of US: Robert Blake

Growing strong, the small Indian American community is a powerful symbol of the best of America and is playing a key role in strengthening the relationship between the two largest democratic countries of the world, a top Obama Administration official said today.

“Indian-Americans who work tirelessly to improve ties between the United States and India and the lives of their fellow citizens in both countries are a powerful symbol of the best of America: our commitment to community service, our idealism, and our optimism,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said.

Read more: The Economic Times

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