Housing Ministry bats for Real Estate amidst Covid-19 crises

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The Housing Ministry, under the leadership of Modi-government, assured that it would make good use of the time lost during the lockdown period amidst COVID-19 pandemic for the housing sector. Although the coronavirus crisis has stalled various real estate deals and partial construction activities, post lockdown, Indian real estate is poised to bounce back and will witness a surge in property inquiries and demand.

The Modi-government since 2014 has taken various housing initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana i.e. Housing for All, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Smart Cities Mission and others. The time lost due to COVID-19 outbreak lockdown will be compensated as stated by Housing ministry officials. The impact of coronavirus pandemic would be considered as force majeure and there may be some mutual measures between the home buyers and developers to weather this temporary crisis.

The housing ministry has issued an advisory to RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) authorities in this regard. Probably, RERA authorities are asked not to penalize for the delay in the completion of residential projects or will give some grace time to complete the projects. In this regard, Maharashtra has also announced 1 per cent concession on stamp duty from 1st April’2020 to encourage home buyers and realty investors. The concession will be applicable across MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region), Pune, Nagpur and Pimpri-Chinchwad region for the next two years.

According to the Housing Ministry data record, till now there are 1.12 crore homes in demand that have been registered under PMAY scheme. As of now, around 32 lakh housing units have been delivered to beneficiaries, while 60 lakh housing units are under construction and are expected to be completed in the next 12-18 months. The actual deadline for completion of PMAY project is 2022 and the ministry is confident that it will deliver all housing units by 2022.

The government has accorded affordable housing segment with infrastructure status and assured developers in this segment to facilitate access to cheaper loans. Even the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for the Middle-Income Group (MIG) has been extended until March 2021 to support home buyers.

All the infrastructure projects under Housing ministry such as Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Smart Cities Mission and other deadlines have been extended to complete all projects under force majeure.

Modi-government has created nine different high-powered committees to restore normalcy post lockdown period. These committees will ensure the proper functioning of all sectors business as usual and COVID-19 Economic Task Force to counter coronavirus shock through various policy changes and relief packages.

Housing ministry is also keeping its eye on real estate sector development amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and is hopeful to bring normalcy to the sector post lockdown. Due to strong economic fundamentals and quick formalization of real estate, it has attracted around USD 5 billion Private Equity (PE) funds by the Indian realty sector in 2019. Hope we will see this trend of investment into Indian realty to move northward and help the real estate sector to come out of blue soon.