Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday assured builders that his ministry will consider the demand of one-time restructuring of developers' loan and also find a solution to facilitate digital transactions in purchase of properties and loan disbursements.
The minister was addressing a video conference organised by industry body Naredco. Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra also joined the webinar.
Stating that the real estate and construction sector was important for the country's economic growth and job creation, Puri asked the association to send its recommendation for dealing with the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
During the conference, HDFC MD Renu Sood Karnad pointed out that the company was sanctioning loans during the current lockdown period but the same could not be disbursed due to lack of digital signatures. She urged the government to allow digital signatures for property registration and loan agreements.
She also demanded one-time restructuring of loans to the cash-starved real estate industry, which will enable developers to access last mile funding from financial institutions.
Responding to her query, Puri agreed that there could be difficulty in closing the real estate and mortgage transactions and said "we will find a solution".
"In the COVID-19 time, clearly digital signature is a requirement," the minister said.
On the one-time restructuring of builders' loan, Puri said, "that is occupying a lot of attention. We need to find intelligent and innovative ways to do things. Send us a little note on it".
"We will address both these issues," the minister said.
The housing secretary said the ministry will prepare a protocol with the Department of Financial Services for digital transactions. He suggested Aadhaar could be used instead of digital signatures, as it was being done in the government departments.
The issue of one time loan restructuring was not only for the real estate sector but many industries, he added.
Regarding demand of an extension of project completion time under the RERA Act, Mishra said the ministry would consult all stakeholders, including regulators, and take a final decision in the next one week.
Real estate developers also demanded reduction in GST, waiver of stamp duties and other incentives to help the sector.
Tata Realty & Infrastructure MD and CEO Sanjay Dutt said there should be no GST on joint development agreements between the real estate developers to build a project.
Nardeco Chairman Rajeev Talwar and President Niranjan Hiranandani said the builders are taking care of workers available on the sites.