With at least 269 active construction projects on halt in Punjab, even as the members of the state’s Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) stare at a crisis due to the lockdown imposed in wake of coronavirus outbreak, the association said that they support the lockdown, however, demand that the under construction projects’ pending files be cleared in one go and the projects’ pending installments due to the Punjab government be deferred to April 2021.
Speaking to The Indian Express, President of CREDAI Punjab, Jagjit Singh Majha said, “According to our calculations, there are 269 recognised real estate projects in Punjab where construction work have been halted. The projects are in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala, while most of them are at Zirakpur, Derabassi of Mohali, and New Chandigarh near Chandigarh area.”
Substantially contributing to the country’s GDP, the real estate industry provides employment to around 40 million people across the nation. Majha added that the realtors support the government and its decision to impose the lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus, however, the government should also devise methods to support the real estate industry which is vital for growth.
Speaking on behalf of CREDAI Punjab, Majha raised a popular demand of the realtors and said, “As the construction work is on halt during the lockdown, the rate of interest for the home buyers should be reduced to 50 per cent.”
He further added, “We demand on behalf of the entire industry that our pending projects’ files from across Punjab be cleared in one go, so that after the lockdown ends, the builders can focus on the development work rather than approaching the government offices for clearance of the project. Moreover, date for the pending payments of our projects, which is to be paid to GMADA or PUDA, should be deferred to April 2021,” added Majha.
Meanwhile, on the crisis faced by the real estate industry, GBP Group Managing Director, Satish Gupta said, “The containment, more will be the losses. Real estate was only picking up recently, after a slew of measures taken by the government. We hope the situation improves soon. Real estate will also face liquidity crisis. The sector will need financial support of banks and an extended moratorium period to rebound.”
Another realtor, Prateek Mittal, Executive Director of Sushma Group, said, “The financial loss is increasing with each day as there is a fixed cost component attached to the projects. If the state government gives rebate on stamp duty and ease in construction finance, along with reduced interest rate, it will provide the required impetus.”
Pointing out the scarcity of labourers at present, Executive director of Gillco Group, Tejpreet Singh Gill said that the foremost challenge was scarcity of workers due to the large scale migration. “The silver lining of the situation is that we have been receiving more queries from NRIs,” he added.
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