‘Real estate sector hit, must remedy it’: Puri

Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri on Saturday said that reverse migration of labourers and a breakdown of construction material supply chains have adversely affected real estate projects and that they will take quite some time to restart in full gear across the country.

“As we have already seen stalling of a lot of projects in Delhi- NCR [National Capital Region] due to various reasons, leading to a lot of litigations, etc, it is vital to take remedial measures now to ensure that Covid-19 does not lead to a complete breakdown of the real estate sector. Such a situation will result in many stalled projects resulting in a huge losses for all the stakeholders especially homebuyers,” he while speaking at a webinar on the 3rd anniversary of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday offered some relief to real estate developers as she asked states and union territories to extend the registration and completion dates by six months of all projects registered under RERA.

Puri said the principal objectives of authority is to help restore the trust between the buyer and the seller by effective implementation of the law. “This would not only help ease the burden of inventory pile-up in the sector, but also provide the necessary financial cushion to the developers to complete pending projects,” he said.

During the initial period of the Covid-19 lockdown imposed in late March to check the pandemic spread, construction activities were barred. After reviewing the situation, the government allowed construction activities from April 20 onward, said Puri.

He referred to Sitharaman’s announcement on Friday for affordable rental housing for migrant labourers and the urban poor. He said the scheme under which government-funded houses in cities will be converted into Affordable Rental Housing Complexes will be pursued under the public-private partnership model.

“This single step will to a great extent alleviate the problem of providing temporary housing to migrant people who are stranded in several urban areas. The Credit Link Subsidy Scheme… under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban… for the middle-income group has been extended to 31st March 2021 which is likely to benefit 2.5 lakh, middle-class people. He added that these measures are aimed at giving a fillip to the housing sector as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, announced by the Prime Minister,” he added.

Modi announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, or Self-Reliant India Movement, on Tuesday that combines policy reforms with fiscal and monetary measures.

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