Residential demand remains strong in NCR

Living room at Ireo Gurgaon Hills.  Only 2 apartments to a floor ensure a relaxed, less-cluttered ambience to the development.

Living room at Ireo Gurgaon Hills. Only 2 apartments to a floor ensure a relaxed, less-cluttered ambience to the development.

Residential demand has remained strong in the National Capital Region (NCR), despite being characterised as a speculative market owing to the predominance of investors. However, recent revision of the circle rates is expected to bring more transparency in the market.

According to a report by Knight Frank Research, Gurgaon witnessed the highest number of launches in H1 FY13, constituting about 33 per cent of the total launched units in NCR during this period.

Almost 45 per cent of the under construction units in the NCR market is expected to be ready for possession by end of 2013, as a bulk of projects were launched in 2010. Nearly 56 per cent of the under construction units fall in Noida and Greater Noida. Gurgaon constitutes nearly 20 per cent of the under construction units, the residential research report for December 2012 focussing on the NCR residential market landscape, has noted.

It added that the NCR residential market witnessed a dip in absorption in H1 FY13 compared to H1 FY12. Residential sales usually go up during the festival season and towards the end of the year due to the discounts offered by the developers. It remains to be seen if absorption levels will pick up in H2 FY13, the report adds.

Read more: Business Line

India’s real estate sector likely to revive in 2013, say experts

After a long lull, the year 2013 is expected to bring back hopes of growth to the real estate sector, mainly due to the government’s positive approach towards reforms and moderation of interest rates, experts say.

Land acquisition and real estate regulation bills are expected to be passed during the year, while there is a likelihood of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) bringing down the interest rates.

“The passage of FDI in multi-brand retail by the government shows its seriousness on introducing reforms. RBI can be expected to lower interest rates in the coming months which will benefit developers as well as consumers. This will boost the sentiments,” Knight Frank India chairman Pranab Datta said.

“Residential prices, which have been increasing over the past few years, are likely to witness subdued growth in most markets in a short to medium term till the pressures of unsold inventory are eased out,” CBRE chairman and managing director Anshuman Magazine said.

Finance minister P Chidambaram had recently asked the developers to sell their unsold inventory at a lower price.

Read more: My Digital FC

Old government quarters to make way for new highrise apartments in Delhi

Thousands of rickety and stubby government buildings dotting a major arterial road cutting through the heart of New Delhi could soon make way to new highrise apartments and office blocks, in one of the biggest redevelopment exercises since Independence that will change the skyline of the national Capital.

The government plans to redevelop housing colonies such as Kidwai Nagar, RK Puram, Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Lodhi Road and Moti Bagh located on prime real estate along the Ring Road in south Delhi into new highrise residential and commercial districts, a top official said.

Plans are afoot to build 10-12 storey residential blocks in place of the existing two-storey structures, funded either by leasing office space that will be part of the redevelopment or through the sale of land to private companies.

“Land is not being used optimally and it is costing us a lot of money to maintain these old structures. All government colonies will be redeveloped,” Sudhir Krishna, secretary in the ministry of Urban Development, told ET.

“Lifestyles of people have changed, there is need for more parking and neighbourhood shopping, which will be provided in these modern buildings,” he added.

Read more: The Economic Times

Gurgaon

Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong visits Gurgaon

Singapore PM visits GurgaonPrime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday visited Gurgaon and evinced interest in the industrial development of the area and future urbanization projects.

Loong, who is leading a delegation, also met Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Gurgaon and he apprised the visiting dignitary about various developmental strides taken by the state.

The prime minister visited different places in Gurgaon and was impressed with the development that the industrial town has made, according to a Haryana Government release here.

Loong was informed about various works done for the improvement in infrastructure in Gurgaon. The members of the delegation led by Loong were also apprised about Gurgaon-Manesar Development Plan-2031 and other development works, especially the public transport system.

The dignitary was informed that Gurgaon has already been connected with Delhi metro and in the near future metro rail service would be extended upto Manesar. Loong expressed satisfaction over the manner in which Gurgaon was being developed and was happy to know about the future projects of the city.

Read more: Jagran Post

Spotlight on global Gurgaon

Gurgaon came under the spotlight as a global city at a convention held here on Thursday. Among the invited speakers was former chief election commissioner of India S Y Quraishi.

The national convention titled, ‘Mission Global Gurgaon’, was organized by REDCO Haryana, an apex body of private developers in the state, in association with the Gurgaon Renewal Mission, an initiative of the DLF Foundation, organized a national convention, titled ‘Mission Global Gurgaon’, on Thursday. The main aim of the event was to discuss the challenges being faced by the city.

Calling it a Gurgaon-specific movement by a coalition of partners comprising business houses, the government and prominent citizens and the residents’ welfare associations (RWAs), former chief election commissioner of India S Y Quraishi said, “Urbanization is the index of development and development means that the standard of living has improved. The community and government have come together for a great cause wherein education, women’s empowerment issues will be taken into account.”

Read more: The Times of India

Gurgaon is the epicenter of NCR’s cultural life

The Millennium City is fast emerging as the art and culture hub of the National Capital Region (NCR).

The city witnessed a slew of exhibitions, cultural events and theatre productions throughout the year. Gurgaon denizens thronged shows, stage performances, live concerts and festivities, making the most of every event.

Three major cultural hubs of the Millennium City – Epicenter, Kingdom of Dreams and Leisure Valley Ground – have enriched Gurgaon’s cultural fabric.

In this fast developing city, there has been growing enthusiasm among people to participate in traditional events.

Vidyun Singh, programme director at Epicenter, said, “People are now getting over the mall culture and getting more inclined towards contemporary art forms and theatre.”

“The city offers many options as compared to what it used to five years ago. There is a vast audience here that appreciates theatre and art,” she said.

The year also saw international bands performing in Gurgaon – Korn, Lamb of God, Guns and Roses. Many artists like Adnan Sami, Shaan, Honey Singh, Anup Jalota etc also gave live performances.

Read more: Hindustan Times

Rural waste management begins in Gurgaon

Villages in Gurgaon district will be cleaner from now. The administration has begun the task of waste management in rural areas on the pattern of urban Gurgaon under ” Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan” (NBA).

The household garbage collected would be taken and segregated to separate the recyclable and biodegradable from the rest. Special sheds have been erected for this purpose in villages and a pilot project has been launched in Mubarikpur village.

Under this project, reharis (hand-driven carts) have been deployed for collecting garbage from each household in the village. The collected garbage is then stored in the sheds where it is segregated and treated into manure for use in fields and farms. The unused residue is sold off. The district administration has prepared design and estimate of the sheds to be erected in village which has been sent to headquarter for approval.

Read more: The Times of India

Employment

Delhi-NCR topped in job generation this year: Survey

While this year saw a decline of about 21 per cent in new job generation across sectors, Delhi-NCR region fared better than other regions.

A total of over 5.3 lakh jobs were generated in the country during January to December 15, with over 2.8 lakh jobs in first half of the year and over 2.4 lakh jobs during July-December 15, says an analysis titled ‘Job Trends Across India in 2012’ by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

Among regions, Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) topped by generating over 1.1 lakh jobs, followed by Mumbai with over 77,000 jobs, Bangalore with over 75,000 jobs and Chennai with about 44,000 jobs.

Kolkata generated the least number of jobs among metros at over 25,000 jobs, D.S. Rawat, Secretary General of Assocham, said.

Among sectors, information technology topped with over 2.1 lakh jobs generated between January and December 15, followed by academics and education with over 34,500 jobs.

Read more: Business Line

Power

Soon, optical fibre lines in Gurgaon

The government of India’s power transmission utility, Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), has signed a lease agreement with Haryana’s main power distributor to install optical fibre lines in Gurgaon and Panchkula. As per the terms of the contract, PGCIL will be leasing out optical lines already owned by the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN), apart from being granted the right of way in some areas for installation of new optical ground wires. “About 10 km of optical fibre lines, which are owned by the HVPN will be leased out to Power Grid. And about 35 kilometre is being leased out in Panchkula,” said Suraj Bhaan Mudgal, chief engineer, commercial and system operations, HVPN.

Optical fibre cables are used for high-speed broadband data transmission. And according to HVPN officials, the existing lines in Gurgaon and Panchkula are used for the Haryana-based firms internal data-transfer purposes. “Power Grid will be using these to provide broadband services to various government agencies in Gurgaon and Panchkula,” Mudgal added.

Read more: The Times of India

Retail

For IKEA, Prospects Improve in India

The IKEA Group’s India plans looked brighter Wednesday, with a senior minister indicating that the government is likely to approve the Swedish retailer’s application to set up wholly owned stores and might drop a condition that would have limited the company’s product offerings.

“The government has taken a favorable and sensitive view in response to IKEA’s approach to us,” Trade Minister Anand Sharma said.

IKEA last month moved a step closer to setting up its stores in India—one of the company’s largest untapped markets—when the country’s foreign-investment board decided to forward the retailer’s €1.5 billion ($2 billion) proposal to the federal cabinet.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board, however, imposed certain conditions, including a bar on the company selling any products that it doesn’t brand, including secondhand furniture, textile goods, toys, books and consumer electronics, as well as food-and-beverage items at in-store cafeterias, according to people in the government familiar with the matter.

IKEA subsequently wrote to the Indian government, saying that—in keeping with what it called the “IKEA concept”—the company must be allowed to retail all of its products in India and run in-store restaurants, as it does in every country where it operates a store.

Mr. Sharma responded on Wednesday by saying that “we see no reason why their global model, once we have allowed 100% [foreign direct investment] in single-brand retail, has to be changed in any manner.”

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board will again study IKEA’s plan before forwarding it to the federal cabinet for final approval, Mr. Sharma said, without providing a specific time frame. Separately, the Press Trust of India news agency said the board will take another look at IKEA’s proposal on Monday.

The board is required to send all investment proposals of more than 12 billion rupees, or $218 million, to the cabinet.

IKEA is among the few foreign retailers that have sought permission to open wholly owned stores in India after New Delhi last year allowed 100% foreign ownership in single-brand retail ventures, where a company sells only its own brand of goods. Previously, foreign companies could own a maximum 51% stake in such retail operations.

IKEA’s proposal to set up 25 stores in India, if implemented, would be the largest investment in India by a global company.

“The IKEA Group is confident that the Indian government will support its application as per the ‘Ikea concept,’ and IKEA respects the Indian government’s efforts in this process, ” said a spokeswoman for the company in India.

As part of a financial overhaul in the retail sector, the Indian government in September also changed investment rules to allow foreign supermarkets to set up retail outlets through joint ventures.

Previously, foreign companies could operate only wholesale businesses in the multibrand segment.

See article: The Wall Street Journal

Infrastructure

IDFC set to take over operator of Delhi-Gurgaon expressway

With NHAI serving a termination letter to Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), the operator of Delhi Gurgaon Expressway, IDFC seems to be closing in on taking over DGSCL, sources close to the development told The Indian Express.

IDFC has an exposure of Rs 1,600 crore in DGSCL.

A top government official said that as per the terms of the contract, there is a provision of equity transfer and IDFC can acquire the operator. IDFC spokesperson declined to comment on the development. Another source said that there are multiple parties involved, including the government and NHAI, and there are various options being worked out currently. He also said all parties want a solution to the issue and are working towards it.

For now, IDFC which is the lead banker in the consortium that lent Rs 1,600 crore to DGSCL seems set to take over the company.

There have been reports which indicated that IDBI may come in to refinance the loan but a top official at IDBI said that the bank never got any proposal.

Read more: Indian Express

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