The Indian Government’s initiative of ‘Housing for All by 2022’ is a positive one, but if it has to become a reality, there is a dire need to speed things up.
“If we look at the target, the time frame and factor in the aspect of implementation, there is a pressing need to speed things up,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, MD, Hiranandani Communities and Founder and First President, NAREDCO Maharashtra.
Speaking at the inaugural session at the annual CII Realty and Infrastructure Conclave, which was inaugurated in Mumbai on 27 July 2016, Niranjan Hiranandani said stakeholders in Indian real estate needed to ramp up the quantum of work by eight times i.e. 800 per cent, if the target of ‘Housing For All by 2022’ was to be achieved. “I do not see positive signs from either the real estate developers or the powers-that-be when it comes to setting the pace for increasing the quantum to eight-times the present one,” he said.
In the situation that exists, he said the situation was challenging, where things are yet to speed up. The biggest change in 2016 is the new-age home buyer, who is smart, well-informed, has done the homework and is knowledgeable about all aspects of buying a home. For real estate developers, ensuring that work gets done as per schedule is important, as is ensuring that the new age customer and their needs are understood and implemented. The new age customer will just as easily opt for legal remedies or go to Consumer Fora,” he said.
The second half of 2015 onwards has seen fence sitters moving to actually buying homes; the trend has grown in 2016, added Niranjan Hiranandani.
On the aspect of Affordable Housing, Niranjan Hiranandani said high land costs and heavy taxation made ‘affordable Housing’ a concept which was difficult to achieve. “The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai Commissioner a few days back, mentioned that high level of taxation, cost of TDR and Fungible FSI, etc. would be a major challenge for any affordable housing project to be a reality.
The only way this can happen is if the powers-that-be provide huge taxation benefits to affordable housing projects as also they provide land for such projects at almost zero cost. Land in peripheral areas of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) can be a good option, but then transport linkages and infrastructure needs to be provided first. Salt Pan land is another option, to make homes for LIG and EWC segments a reality,” he said.
On the topic of regulation, Niranjan Hiranandani welcomed RERA. He said while it would bring in more transparency and was good for the home buyer; it placed the burden of delays in possession squarely on real estate developers. “This is against the principles of fair play and natural justice. There are other stakeholders who are also responsible for delays, and they should also be held accountable for their part in the delays,” he concluded.
Niranjan Hiranandani is Founder and MD, Hiranandani Group. His recent initiative is Hiranandani Communities. He is the Founder and First President (Maharashtra), National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), which works under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India.