RERAs should extend project completion timeline by 6-12 months: Report

Under-construction buildings. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) The Centre should advise the Real Estate Regulatory Authorities in the states to extend the deadline for completion of projects by six months to 1 year in the wake of the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis and the nation-wide lockdown, according to a report by PHD Chamber of Commerce.

The industry body has also suggested that a moratorium period of six months should be allotted for paying local body taxes like municipality taxes and property taxes.

It also said that ongoing projects can be considered as assets for granting credit to developers.

The report further said: “Stamp duty and registration charges on completed flats for a period of around one year should be reduced or waived off. This will be a huge fillip to not just the real estate sector but will also stimulate demand in core industries like cement, steel, electrical, etc., while at the same time providing employment opportunities. This could go a long way in rejuvenating economic activity.”

It noted that although, the emergency rate cut by the RBI will lower interest rates, but sentiment needs to be improved for home buying to be kick started.

“It is suggested that the enhanced interest deduction for home purchase should be brought down this year. For instance, for current year, the deduction of interest could be 200 per cent of interest paid, followed by deduction of 175 per cent of interest paid for second year, deduction of 150 per cent of interest paid for third year and so on,” said the industry body’s report.

The minimum wages of the construction labour should be borne by the government utilising labour cess funds collected from the developers, during COVID-19 crisis, it said.

The report also touched upon a long standing demand of industry status for the real estate sector.

“Since long real estate is demanding for an industry/Infrastructure stature for easy accessibility of credit from financial market. Therefore, we suggest that the government should grant industry/infrastructure status to real estate,” it added.

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