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Address key issues confronting real estate sector to attain goals

Real estate sector

Owning  a house is the dream of every Indian. Unfortunately, lack of investment  in the real estate sector, a slowing economy and sluggishness in fund  mobilisation, have become big obstacles that are preventing the sector  from really taking off.

These issues are a big hindrance in the way  of making the ambitious “Housing for All” project a success. As per  government estimates, India will need an investment of around Rs 50  trillion or Rs 50 lakh crore ($ 777.73 billion) to build up housing infrastructure by 2022.

To  achieve this gigantic task, India’s real estate sector needs about $330  billion (Rs 24.75 lakh crore) of construction funding to deal with the  acute housing shortage that the country faces.

For the plan to work,  adequate policy intervention is needed. The government has to explore  ways and means to provide help for constructing houses in villages and  small towns, which will go a long way in arresting the massive exodus of  population from rural areas to urban cities.

A robust policy for  the real estate sector, ensuring that the Real Estate Regulatory  Authority (RERA) becomes a truly empowered institution that can look  firmly into the interests of both home buyers and builders, is the crying need of the hour.

All these issues must be addressed through comprehensive and integrated development of institutional, social and economic infrastructure.

In addition to the push for affordable housing, reforms in the Benami Transactions Act and activating various national and state-sponsored housing schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana and Rajiv Awas Yojna will make India investor-friendly for global entrepreneurs. It is very important that money come into this sector.

Facilitating public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives for affordable housing, introduced in September 2017, is the key to turn ‘Housing for All’, into reality.

More smart cities are needed to be included under this ambitious project.

At the moment, the number of cities and towns that are part of this list stands at about 100. The Smart Cities programme involves a capital outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore. According to data available with the ministry of housing and urban development, projects worth Rs 50,221 crore are under implementation, of which schemes worth Rs 9,981 crore have already been completed.

The  cities being upgraded, must ensure that they develop modern  technological and digital infrastructure like Wi-Fi hot spots and  enhanced air connectivity. This will further fuel economic growth and  help in creating ore jobs and opportunities, besides contributing to the  sector’s overall growth.

Today, the construction industry in India is the second largest contributor to gross domestic product (GDP). To achieve cost-efficient mass production at a faster pace, it is crucial to involve innovations in alternative technology.

Granting  infrastructure status to affordable housing will rejuvenate the real  estate sector. Ensuring adoption of new-age advance technologies in the  construction industry and creating a skilled workforce to adopt newer  technologies at ease, will help sustainability of the real estate sector.

The  construction industry must look at the use of precast technology, where  reinforced concrete planks are adopted, especially for affordable  housing projects. In addition, reinforced concrete door or window frames  can be used instead of wooden door frames. Interestingly, prefab technology for affordable housing will help in minimising the time duration for building high rise residential and commercial complexes.

Availability  of land has always been the core concern for developers and builders.  This has invariably led to delay in executing and expansion of housing  projects across the country.

Today, cities and towns are getting  clogged due to lack of space and a steadily rising population. Hence,  there is need for vertical growth, one of the solutions to mitigate the  housing crisis.

Over one-third of the total land in big cities and  towns are owned by the government. The real estate sector looks at the  government to help provide land at affordable cost to builders and  developers, which would help in keeping the cost of housing under check. These key factors will help resurrecting India’s real estate sector.