New Delhi: Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra on Wednesday asked states to reduce stamp duty on registration of properties as it will help reduce the overall real estate cost and boost housing sales. Addressing a webinar organised by CREDAI in collaboration with Nangia Andersen India, Mishra said the government has taken various measures in the past six years for revival of this sector such as enactment of realty law RERA.
The finance ministry as well as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have taken several steps during the lockdown to address the concern of the real estate sector, he added. "Measures taken during the past six years and also during the lockdown have started showing results," Mishra said.
The secretary noted that the property registrations in Mumbai, Maharashtra, have improved and are back to pre-COVID-19 level. He said the Maharashtra government has taken a good decision to reduce the stamp duty, and many builders have decided to absorb the balance to incentivise the homebuyers.
"We have also written to all the states. I am also following up with different principal secretaries and secretaries of the states to see if they can come up with such move which will help reduce cost," Mishra said. The secretary said the real estate is one of the most important components of the Indian economy having immense contribution in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and employment generation.
Mishra asked builders to utilise this pandemic time to retrospect and see how they can reduce cost and adopt innovative technologies for sustainable and inclusive development. He asked realtors to participate in the government's newly launched Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) scheme for migrant workers.
On the Rs 25,000-crore stress fund created by the government, Mishra said that over Rs 12,000 crore fund have been approved so far in 123 deals, which will help in completion of 81,308 units. The secretary said the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has provided confidence to lenders that their money would come back.
Mishra asked the CREDAI, which represents over 20,000 builders from across the country, to submit recommendations for the growth of the real estate sector. CREDAI National President Satish Magar said the government should consider extending the relief given to builders under the RERA law for completion of the projects, as the COVID-19 pandemic has prolonged from the earlier expectations.
Magar spoke about the liquidity crunch faced by the builders as banks are reluctant to finance real estate projects.