Realty bill aims to ensure timely possession of property

June-2013-Newsletter-HeadingThe real estate regulatory bill, when enacted into law, will ensure that home users get timely possession of properties, and as per the specifications promised by developers, say realty firms and consultants.

Besides, it will improve the image of the realty sector by bringing in transparency, they said.

However, industry experts highlighted that the bill does not provide relief to builders in getting faster approvals for their projects.

“The bill will pave the way for providing the much needed transparency by seeking to regulate the hitherto largely unregulated housing sector in India,” Jones Lang LaSalle India Chairman & Country Head Anuj Puri said in a statement.

The ambit of the proposed law is quite large and seeks to cover all major private residential developments across the country as the bill applies to all projects over 4,000 square meters, he added.

Global realty consultant CBRE South Asia Chairman & MD Anshuman Magazine said: “Real estate regulator bill should have been more balanced (while) taking view of challenges faced by developers and consumer grievances.”

Recognising that consumers need protection, Magazine said that administrative reforms are required urgently for real estate development to happen more efficiently and in a transparent manner.

Read more: The Economic Times

Welcome regulation for home buyers

The Cabinet has cleared a law to set up a real estate regulator to protect home buyers. This is welcome, though long overdue.

The Cabinet has cleared a law to set up a real estate regulator to protect home buyers. This is welcome, though long overdue. Unfair practices include issuing advertisements to launch projects without securing prior approval of competent authorities and building in hidden costs over and above the fixed price. Most often, builders also don’t specify the date of delivery. Nor do they have a transparent way to deal with price escalation. The Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill will curb such practices. However, commercial real estate projects should also come under the purview of the legislation.

Builders of residential projects will have to get their projects registered with the regulator — to be set up in every state — before sale and only after obtaining all the approvals. But why place the onus entirely on the builder, given that projects are delayed due to rent-seeking in the issuance of permits and clearances? State agencies, responsible for clearances, must be held to account for undue delays. They must be brought under the proposed law. Developers would have to make a public disclosure of all project details — credentials of promoters, layout plan, status of statutory approvals, land status — and also clearly define carpet area. Such transparency is in order. Making developers deposit 70% of funds received for a particular project in its own bank account will check fund diversion. Compulsory registration of real estate agents and stringent penalties will reduce fraud. And an appellate tribunal will ensure faster resolution of disputes.

Read more: The Economic Times

ITC Green Centre sets an example for Gurgaon

Located in the city’s new industrial hub, the ITC (Indian Tobacco Company) Green Centre, a 170,000 square foot office complex, had bagged the prestigious LEEDS Platinum Award in 2004, the first by any corporate house in India.

LEEDS, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is given by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), for outstanding commitment to the environment.

Significantly, the USGBC has re-certified the ITC Green Centre in 2012 as the world’s highest (Platinum) rated green building. Platinum is followed by three other categories, namely Gold, Silver and Certified.

“This building may not be a regular stop on the tourist map, and no one would confuse it with the Taj Mahal. But it is a monument to the future,” said Hillary Clinton, then US secretary of state when she visited the Green Centre during her India trip.

“The ITC Green Centre has been meticulously built to promote the highest environmental standards, both for the individuals working within the building and the neighbourhood,” Niranjan Khatri, general manager, Welcomenviron Initiatives, told the IANS on the occasion of the World Environment Day.

Read more: Daily Pioneer

MCG to allow division of plots less than 1,000sqm

The city municipal corporation has sent a proposal to the state authorities asking them to allow sub-division of plots measuring less than 1,000 square metres at a nominal fee. At present, owners whose plot is less than 1,000 square metres cannot further divide it.

According to a source, there have been some cases in the past where owners in connivance with MCG officials have managed to divide such plots and have got their building plan approved as well.

“Due to the clause that prohibits further division of plots, residents do it on the sly and that is why we want the state government to give us the permission so that we can officially divide such plots,” said an official.

Right now, there are around 77 applications pending who want to divide the plot so that they can sell them further. “We have proposed that we will collect a sub-division charge of around Rs 60 per square metre from those who want to divide their 1,000 square metre plot into further small portions,” the official added.

“Once this relief is granted to the residents, such cases where they are done illegally will come down. We hope the state authorities allow us to carry out these changes,” he said.

Source: Magic Bricks

Economy

Rupee hits over 11-month low, falls to 57 vs dollar

The rupee hit the key psychological level of 57 to a dollar, to a near one-year low on the back of weakness in domestic shares and continued dollar demand from oil importers.

At 9:45 am, the partially convertible rupee was trading at 56.98/99 to the dollar, after touching 57, a level last seen on June 28, 2012, versus its previous close of 56.7250/7350.

Continued weakness in domestic shares set up the prospects of further falls in the rupee unless the RBI takes measures or intervenes, traders said.

Heavy dollar buying by importers, particularly in the oil sector, also weighed on the unit, a dealer said.

Source: The Times of India

Infrastructure

New construction techniques must be adopted for long lasting roads & infrastructure: Rajender Singh Rana, Minister

%20%28He%20said%20that%20most%20engineers%20were%20lax%20in%20carrying%20out%20maintainence%20work%20in%20their%20area%20which%20means%20that%20roads%20or%20buildings%20which%20could%20be%20spruced%20up%20and%20their%20life%20span%20increased%20by%20spending%20a%20small%20amount.%29Minister for Rural Engineering Rajender Singh Rana said on Wednesday that sustainable construction techniques were needed to ensure infrastructure created by the government has a longer life span and less maintainence requirements.

He said that most engineers were lax in carrying out maintainence work in their area which means that roads or buildings which could be spruced up and their life span increased by spending a small amount, usually gets neglected and become unusable within a couple of years.

Rana said that using newer techniques could result in more lasting roads, bridges and buildings.

Chief Executive, North and Central India, ACC Cement Ltd, Mr Prasad said that usage of new construction material like fly ash bricks, concrete roof tiles, concrete rural roads are not only cost effective but also built quickly.

He said that these new materials do not require frequent maintainence and despite regular wear and tear are sturdy and last longer.

Rana said that engineers in various government departments should study the new techniques and construction materials that have come in the market so that their usage could be increased in government projects.

Source: The Economic Times

Retail

FDI in retail: Clarifications on mandatory sourcing and back-end investment likely today

Foreign chains including Walmart and Tesco have asked the government to consider farm sourcing as part of the minimum 30% sourcing from the small enterprises.

The government is likely to issue clarifications on mandatory sourcing and back-end investment in infrastructure in the FDI policy on multi-brand retail. “We will be issuing clarifications on Thursday… There were a series of clarifications sought,” said Saurabh Chandra, secretary department of industrial policy and promotion. The ambiguity in the policy has made foreign retailers jittery about entering India, which shows in the fact that there has been no application after the government allowed 51% FDI in multi-brand retail in September last year.

Foreign chains including Walmart and Tesco have asked the government to consider farm sourcing as part of the minimum 30% sourcing from the small enterprises. However, DIPP says only processed food products will be allowed as part of mandatory sourcing clause as it involves manufacturing.

Other clarification is likely to be the mandatory 50% investment in backend in infra in the greenfied projects. The government is likely to allow buildings to be considered as part of investment requirement. The DIPP will also clarify that the 51% FDI in multi-brand retail is a composite one that includes portfolio investment as well.

Read more: The Economic Times

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