Revolutions have been a part of history. Revolutions have changed the course of history. While the Green revolution saved India from the brink of a famine, the White Revolution helped India surpass the USA as the largest producer of milk in the world. And now it’s time for a ‘Real Estate Revolution’ say the experts and developers in the realty arena. According to them, a revolution in the sector will help to create surplus housing across the country, especially in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Presently, the realty sector of India has been hard hit by the escalating prices, sluggish sales and dwindling demands. Adding to this is the constant battle between central and state governments regarding the housing and urban policies that further create a predicament for both the investors and builders. Just getting all the required clearances for a project can take up to two to three years alone! This state of affairs no doubt holds a threat to the Indian realty.
What is often ignored is the fact that this sector makes a major contribution to the GDP of the nation and possesses a lot of untapped potential. Despite the prevalent gloom, people still want to purchase the perfect house for themselves and their families and the government should take every possible step in this regard. “But the irony is that the government has been working more like a commercial body by bringing more taxes and increasing the percentage of existing levies. The addition in taxes makes this dream home costly”, feels Sunil Mantri, president of National Real Estate Development Council (Naredco).
The experts are of the view that just like the ‘revolutions’ in the aviation and telecommunications have brought down the cost of these services, the real estate sector of the country too needs a revolution that will turn the present crises in the industry upside down and the sector will see a new light. Mantri asserted that affordable housing constructions should not have a premium levied on them.
Shailesh Puranik, MD, Purnaik Developer stated that the Indian economy is witnessing a growth of 5-6 per cent as compared to the US economy which is only showing a growth of 2-3 per cent. He has high hopes for the realty market of India which he feels will prosper over next three decades. And keeping in mind the rapid pace of urbanisation in the country, the demand for housing will only increase. So when the time comes, the government should be prepared to deal with it in the right manner. For that, the authorities need to revise the process of approvals and grants which at the moment is very time consuming and is a major hurdle in project delays. So if the government procedures are swift and speedy the consumers will be able to get affordable housing units in the stipulated time.
By formulating a single-window system that is transparent and developer as well as consumer friendly, the government can provide a great impetus to the stagnant sector. Moreover, many also believe that houses are for staying and hence the government should concentrate on that instead of turning it into a game of profit and loss. The experts believe that a house should not be treated as a commercial commodity but as people’s dreams and should be handled with utmost care. Having said that, is revolution really the solution? That, only time will tell.
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