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Editor’s Note

palash_royNovember  saw the biggest realty felt of the country —the annual conclave of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (Credai) held in New Delhi on November 24-25. It was a show of strength for the Credai, as it showcased many of the stalwarts of team modi , in the process setting new benchmarks to determine the success of similar events in future.

The upbeat mood of the developer community was evident all throughout the conclave, no doubt a consequence of the huge expectations of the realtors from the Narendra modi – led Government. One  hopes that the Government walks the talk — like it has in the case of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms for the construction sector by notifyingeasier norms. The Department of inddustrial policy and promotion (DIPP) has  also announced that the three-year lock-in period will no longer be applicable, and foreign investors can exit even before the project completion.

The optimism was however somewhat dampen.’ when Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan did not bow down to the pressure of cutting key rates. According priority to containing inflation rather than on stimulating growth, the former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) maintained status quo on the interest rates. On the brighter side, Rajan did hint at a rate cut early next year though. Already the country’s largest bank , the State Bank of India,has cut it s deposit rates , a strong signal that cuts in lending rates may be in the offing.

In the national Capital, everybody’s favourite punching bag for long — the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) — has effected an overall image change by web telecastinglive the entire draw for about 25,000 houses. Working hard to take transparency norms in the Authority to the next level, the entire process of the allotment of the housing units was completed in  40 days flat as opposed to about three months  earlier, While on delhi ,Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu had good news when he gave the nod to a hike in the Floor Area Ratio (FAR), thereby clearing the ay for vertical expansion which may have some imapact in containing the burgeoning pressure on the short supply in the national capital region.

In Noida, the Income Tax Department unearthed huge unaccounted wealth at various residences of the Chief Engineer of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway authorities. Media reports suggest the figure at much more than Rs 1,000 crore not including about 20 lockers which were yet to be opened at the time we were going for print. Reports are already suggesting the existence of a much larger scam relating to land deals. But in this entire episode, what is most surprising is the almost deafening silence element of the political class. Is there much more than meets the eye? Hopefully we will have the answer in the times to come.

While Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir may the have  diverted, the focus from the misery causedby the flash floods in the  state, the need to rebuild and reconstruct the affected areas will occupy policy makers in the immediate future . In that scenario, the option of prefabricated houses has the possible potential of resolving issues. This will not only be economical, but will substantially cut time of rebuilding and reconstruction particularly when winter is almost on us.

At time when developing urban India and providing shelter for all is a key focus area, Prime Minister Modi’s mega plan to develop 100 smart cities has already created a big buzz. But however grand a plan may be, until and unless the citizens’ involvement is roped in, no project or plan would fructify. Urban Development Secretary Shankar Aggarwal tells us that plans are afoot to engage public or private agencies to gamer cooperation from the public at large.

In our issue this month, two industry insiders articulate their preferences on two NCR localities — Raj Nagar Extension and the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway.

Our last issue of Year 2014 also features the regular reads — new residential launches by developers across the country, property rates of some of the localities of some key cities , the home  loan rates of various public and  this private lenders , the monthly horoscope and Vaastu, this time, focusing on industry and factory set-ups. Enjoy reading…