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Editor’s Note

palash_royFor the real estate sector, past one month has been full of activity. The sector was abuzz with a whole lot of developments – land acquisition Bill, regulatory Bill, NGT directives, RBI policy, home loan rate cuts, mixed land-use policy in Noida, SAT relief to DLF, and so on. In fact, the quantum of news was such that we had to devote a substantial chunk of the magazine to ‘r&m News’ section.

But before going to all these, a Realty & More exclusive for the first time in her present capacity, the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Secretary, Dr Nandita  Chatterjee, speaks her plans out. The Secretary reveals that ‘Housing for All by 2022′ guidelines will be out in a month or two. She details out her ministry’s plan of action on a whole range of issues. Chatterjee also tells us what the ministry is doing for developers’ concerns such as environmental bottlenecks and long-pending demands of grant of industry and infrastructure status to the sector, and single-window clearance.

On April6, the Cabinet cleared the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill along with certain key amendments paving the way for setting up of a regulator. The Bill has to now pass through both the Houses of Parliament, then seek a Presidential assent. So, still a long way before a regulator is in place. Nevertheless, the move is significant for this largely unorganised sector and it was very much called for. Much needed transparency in the sector is likely to be a byproduct ofthis move. In our cover story, we try to decode the Bill.

In the financial capital Mumbai, the Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan did not change the key rates stating that further rate cuts by the apex bank would happen only after the banks start cutting the lending rates. Taking the cue, the leading lenders started reducing their home loan rates- another good omen for the beleaguered housing sector.

Seems keeping in mind the 2017 Assembly elections, the Uttar Pradesh Government has swung into action with a lot of housing, infrastructure, social projects and policy measures. While the state Government has come out with lots of housing schemes across the state, one significant policy move was allowing mixed land-use in the NCR town of Noida. The reaction to the policy is mixed. While the developers are largely happy with the move, there are concerns about the pressure on the infrastructure which it is likely to put. We try to take a 360-degree view on the implications of mixed land-use in Noida.

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) quashed the three-year ban on realty behemoth DLF and its top officials which was imposed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in October last year. Not only did SAT quash the Sebi order, it also came down heavily on the market regulator for its lapses in the case.

The financial year 2014-15 has been very good for the stock markets in general, but barring six, all other realty scrips underperformed the Nifty. But different was the case with the shares of the allied industry. While almost all the cement shares outperformed the benchmark index, the paint stocks were even better. But the icing on the cake was the performance of sanitary ware shares on the bourses. Expert column on stock markets in this issue predicts 2015-16 to be better for the realty shares.

In our Developer speak segment, Director of Gaursons Manju Gaur showcases the company’s upcoming project on Yamuna Expressway Among the regular reads are home loan rates of various banks, the property rates of some of the locations of key cities across the nation, new project launches in top cities, your monthly horoscope, and the importance of Vastu in maintaining peace of mind and keeping stress at bay.