Haryana positions itself as facilitator of industry

The Grand Arch, Gurgaon

Encouraging industry at the Haryana state session of CII Invest North Conclave held today at Gurgaon, Mr Bhupiner Singh Hooda, Hon`ble Chief Minister, Government of Haryana said “Creation of infrastructure of international standards has been our constant endeavour. We are striving to improve connectivity, ensure quality power supply, water supply and provide effective logistic support to industry.

Haryana today has succeeded in harnessing the progressive thrust of industrialization by dint of innovative systems and pragmatic strategies. The state-of-the-art infrastructure, industry friendly policies, responsive administration, peaceful law and order conditions and abundant skilled manpower make it a preferred destination for industrial investment.”

The Chief Minister added that “breaking away from the traditional ways of governance, we have adopted a model which facilitates hassle free and time bound approvals. Our government has positioned itself in the role of a facilitator”.

Read more: India Education Diary

Help on way for home buyers facing delays

Concerned over the delay in completion of housing projects, the government is considering bringing out guidelines soon to ensure timely handover of dwelling units to buyers.

This follows instances of developers failing to service the loan taken for housing projects with the money collected from buyers and the tendency among many of them to divert loans and the advance amount paid by buyers for creating new land banks or to invest in other sectors for better returns.

To ensure the loans taken by real estate firms do not turn into non-performing assets (NPAs), the new norms will mandate that the developers will have to open escrow accounts for parking funds collected for specific projects. Funds obtained for a particular project won’t be allowed to be diverted for other purposes, but used for the specific project they were meant for.

The guidelines are being prepared by a committee under Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

Read more: The Financial Express

No crash, only a correction in real estate: Keki Mistry, VC and MD, HDFC

The largest mortgage lender in the country HDFC is hopeful of achieving 19% growth this year, with housing loan as a proportion of GDP being at 8% against 20% in China. In an interview with The Economic Times, Keki Mistry, the company’s VC and MD, said that though there could be some correction in real estate prices, it would not collapse.

Excerpts:

Do you think high interest rates are holding back people from buying homes and affecting the mortgage market?

For the middle class, interest rates do not determine, affordability does. There are tax benefits on housing loans and repayment of housing loans is one of the avenues of saving tax. Total outstanding housing loan as a proportion to GDP is close to 80% in the US. But in emerging markets like China, it is 20%. In India, the total housing loan as a proportion to GDP is only 8%. We are talking of doubling it to 16% in 10 years. Saturation level for India is still very far away and our pace of business will continue to grow at 18-20% a year for a long time. Another factor that will determine high growth is demographics. We know India is a young country where 60% of population is less than 30 years. People think of buying a house and taking a loan when they are in their mid-thirties. Affordability is 4 to 5 times of their annual income.

There are not too many properties within Mumbai limits. Most of the demand is coming from Navi Mumbai and Kalyan area. Only Mumbai has variations like this where property prices could range from 3,000 a square feet in Virar to Rs 1 lakh a square feet in South Mumbai.

Read more: The Economic Times

Housing sales to improve during festival season, says realtors

New Delhi: Housing sales are expected to improve by about 20 percent in major cities during the festival season with marginal fall in interest rate on home loans, developers’ body CREDAI said on Monday.

“Enquiries from customers have gone up in the last one month. Buyers waiting for last two years to buy homes are expected to purchase properties as interest rates on home loans have come down and there is a positive signal that it would reduce further,” Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India President Lalit Jain told reporters here.

Asked about the expected increase in housing sales during the festival season compared with last year, Jain said: “It should be at least 20 percent in the major 26 cities of the country”.

Interest rates on home loans have come down by about a percentage point and some banks have also decided to increase the term of loan to 30 years from 20 years, he said, exuding confidence that these factors would boost sales, which have been affected since last 2-3 years on high interest rate.

Jain said the sales were unaffected in small cities in last few years, so there would not be much increase in sales in these locations.

Meanwhile, CREDAI has decided to take delay in getting environment clearance as priority issue as this takes maximum time compared with other approvals for real estate projects.

Read more: Zee News

Power

Haryana to set up 187 new sub-stations

The Haryana government will construct 187 new sub-stations of various levels and augment capacity of 163 existing sub-stations over the next three years at a cost of Rs 3,093 crore to match the capacity of the transmission system to the increasing availability of power in the state.

Speaking after laying foundation stone of a 33 KV substation in Hisar on Sunday, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said during the past over seven years the government has constructed 321 new substations, augmented capacity of 552 old substations and erected lines of a length of 4,615 km in the state at a cost of Rs 4,044 crore.

The total number of sub-stations in the state has increased to 821, he said.

Hooda said the government has a plan of Rs 265 crore to strengthen power transmission and distribution system.

Under this plan, the government will set up 13 new sub-stations and augment capacity of nine existing ones. To give reliable and qualitative power supply to agriculture tube wells and to give three phase supply to domestic consumers, the agricultural and domestic load in rural area has already been segregated in district Hisar by erecting additional feeders of 11 KV level.

Read more: The Times of India

Healthcare

Emerging healthcare hub: Top docs flock to Gurgaon

While the public healthcare system in Gurgaon is yet to match with the rapid pace of urbanization, many blue chip firms of the healthcare sector are setting up facilities here to cash in on the thriving business prospects.

According to industry experts, the Millennium City, which

houses hundreds of business process outsourcing (BPO) units and offices of IT firms, is now emerging as a world-class medical hub and it has become one of the preferred locations for medical professionals due to its proximity with the national capital.

In the recent past, many leading doctors of the country have shifted to Gurgaon to work in hospitals in the city. According to them, the city offers adequate infrastructure and ample opportunities for business expansion.

Dr Muffazal Lakdawala of Mumbai-based Lilavati Hospital and Research Center, who has just started visiting Gurgaon’s Fortis Memorial Research Institute, says, “Gurgaon’s clientele is perfect for my profession. This place is cool and happening.”

Many private hospitals claim their services are at par with the international standards to meet the demands of those who want the best quality and are ready to pay for it.

Read more: Hindustan Times

Infrastructure

India seeks Russian investments in Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project

India today sought Russian investments in the infrastructure sector particularly in the government’s ambitious USD 100 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).

While speaking at the joint media interaction with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin following India-Russia inter-governmental Commission meeting here, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna emphasised on increasing cooperation in IT and hydrocarbon sectors.

“Our growing economy and major initiatives in terms of the national manufacturing policy (NMP) and infrastructure development projects such as the DMIC offer good prospects for Russian investors and businesses,” Krishna said.

The DMIC project, which was conceptualised in 2006, aims to create globally competitive environment and latest infrastructure to activate local commerce, enhance foreign investment, create employment opportunities, enhance exports and attain sustainable development.

Under the project, world-class industrial enclaves will be developed along the Delhi-Mumbai rail corridor encompassing seven states – Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

The NMP would be a key enabler for DMIC. It is expected to create 10 crore new jobs by 2022.

Read more:  The Economic Times

City’s Rural Road Network To Get Makeover

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday inaugurated the development work of relaying and strengthening of 103 roads of Delhi, which were recently transferred from Municipal Corporations to Public Works Department (PWD) due to poor conditions of various stretches. In the function Dikshit said that rural Delhi is all set to have a network of smooth, strong and improved roads by the start of next Monsoon Session. She also attacked the BJP-led Municipal Corporations of Delhi for poor condition of the roads, which led to the transfer of these roads to the PWD.

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New road from South Delhi to IGI

A new route from south Delhi to the Indira Gandhi International Airport is being planned with the aim of easing up the outer Ring Road. This route will be partly along the Mehrauli-Mahipalpur Road and will come up in three phases from Andheria Mor to NH-8.

Work has already been awarded for the first phase to widen a four-lane road to eight lanes along Vasant Kunj. UK-based consultants have been appointed for suggesting solutions for the second phase after a six-month study. The entire project has been expedited and is being monitored by the urban development ministry, said sources.

Public works department (PWD) is at the helm of the project. “The first phase includes widening of the four-lane road from Andheria Mor to the flyover on the Mehrauli-Mahipalpur Road and Nelson Mandela crossing. A sum of Rs 58 crore has been sanctioned for the 3.5 kilometre project,” said a senior PWD official associated with the project.

Read more: The Times of India

Agra-Lucknow expressway to bring industrial hubs closer

The proposed Agra-Lucknow Expressway, to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 10,435 crore under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, would connect four industrial hubs along the route.

Four growth centres have been identified along the proposed expressway, namely Glass City in Ferozabad; Pragati Nagar near Karhal and Saifai;, Khushboo City near Kannauj; and Malihabad, which will be involved in the food processing and packaging and the marketing industries.

“The growth centres would be commercial, business and civic hubs which would help realise the potential of local traits and materials to boost the local economy,” state Infrastructure & Industrial Development Commissioner (IIDC) Anil K Gupta said here.

Read more: Business Standard

Policy

Govt may ease ECB conditions for low- cost housing, infrastructure

The government is likely to ease external commercial borrowing (ECB) rules further to help debt-burdened corporates pay off high-cost rupee loans and get funds for sectors like infrastructure, telecom and low-cost housing.

“RBI and finance ministry officials are slated to meet next week to consider changes in the ECB policy,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

Some of the proposals that the high-level committee on ECBs will take up at the meeting include easing of norms on refinancing and end-use restrictions.

At present, the RBI allows foreign borrowing for investment such as import of capital goods, implementation of new projects, modernisation and expansion of existing production units in industrial sector, including small and medium enterprises (SME) and infrastructure sector.

The proposal is to open the ECB window wider for infrastructure companies to buy equipment from domestic suppliers, which would spur demand for Indian capital goods manufacturers such as BHEL and L&T.

Read more: The Financial Express

GoM likely to finalise land acquisition bill on Tuesday

A ministerial panel chaired by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is expected to finalise the controversial land acquisition bill in its third meeting tomorrow.

In a recent interview, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said that the bill is almost ready and it will be ready to be presented before the Cabinet after one more sitting of the 14-member Group of Ministers (GoM).

Chidambaram and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia could not attend the last meeting of the GoM, which saw differences on certain clauses including on retrospective acquisitions and consent required from land owners.

During the first meeting also, the same set of issues had divided the members of the GoM.

In its last meeting, members had expressed differences over government’s role in acquiring land for private parties.

Read more: The Economic Times

Let residents have a say in governance

All Gurgaon citizens interested in and working for the welfare and development of the city have always secretly wished to have a say in the decisions concerning local development.

The good news is that today, more than ever before, Gurgaon citizens have this opportunity. This opportunity is offered through the city’s local government, the municipal corporation. The formation of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) must therefore be welcomed heartily in spite of all the ills that citizens across the country have traditionally associated municipalities with.

The Haryana Municipal Act 1973 has even incorporated an Act called “The Haryana Municipal Citizens’ Participation Act, 2008” (Haryana Act No 35 of 2008). “It is an Act relating to municipalities in the state of Haryana to institutionalize citizens’ participation in municipal functions…” This Act is said to be a direct outcome of the decision to notify Gurgaon as a municipal corporation and to enable citizen participation in urban local bodies.

Read more: Times of India

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