In Indian real estate, when it comes to delivering your property on time, even the best brands are capable of letting you down. Naturally, investor confidence is dented. Time and time again the story of harassed property buyers is played out on national television and newspapers, but evidently no lessons have been learnt. With housing and commercial activity on the boom, the absence of a regulator in the industry is sorely being felt. The lack of any cohesive response on the part of the Urban Development Ministry at the centre, and authorities at the state level, is galling. Industry bodies like the CREDAI and NAREDA do precious little to assuage the hurt feelings of investors who have been shortchanged by established big-ticket builders, let along the fly-by-night operators. In real estate, the consumer is no longer king, he’s more like a puppet on the builder’s strings.
Why do thousands of customers have to be left in tears of exasperation and dismay on a regular basis? These are people that have taken high-volume loans from banks at sufficiently steep interest rates, dug deep into lifelong savings, and even borrowed from relatives, all in order to get themselves a roof over their head, or a secure investment for the future. The most talked about projects that have let citizens down recently in a major way involve the Campa Cola Apartments built by Pure Drinks in Worli, Mumbai, and the Apex and Cayene towers by Supertech Ltd on the Noida Expressway, just on the outskirts of Delhi. While Supertech is a known name in the real estate industry, Pure Drinks is an established brand in the beverages sector.
As Contributing Editor Yogesh Sood who’s tracked the real estate world for over two decades and written the cover story tells us, “it is time that Parliament passed the act that would regulate the real estate industry. Inefficient and unscrupulous builders can then be punished, and confidence restored among consumers.” The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) bill, 2013 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in August 2013, but hasn’t moved further. It is only now that Maharashtra—among all Indian states—has a local act in place to regulate realtors. It is time for a real shake up and hard core action on the part of the Government and state authorities to boost investor confidence.
Elsewhere in the magazine, we have segments related to investment and trade, diaspora bodies, stories from the Diaspora and interviews. The engagement with Overseas Indians goes on.
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