New Delhi, March 6, 2017: The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), flagged off its prestigious annual flagship summit – CREDAI Conclave 2017, at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. The Conclave was inaugurated by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Poverty Alleviation in the presence of Sadhguruji and was attended by Sh. Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, CREDAI members, real estate experts, alongside leaders of premier banks and financial institutions.
Spanning over two days, the Conclave is being held against the backdrop of deep changes in the economic and policy environment. The Conclave’s theme this year, “Change, Opportunity and Growth”, reflects CREDAI’s belief that these changes would benefit the real estate industry, supported by rebounding demand, increasing consumer trust and supportive government policies. Goods & Services Tax, digitization of payments and above all Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) together pose strategic and operational challenges.
Speaking at inauguration of the Conclave, Shri Irfan Razack, Chairman, CREDAI – National said, “The real estate sector has evolved to a great extent in the last five years. CREDAI has been at the heart of this change as we have promoted greater professionalism, skilling, transparency and customer-centricity. Our achievements include bringing close to 11,500 members across 168 cities under one organization, bound by a strict code of conduct and with all members doing their best to promote social welfare projects in the areas of skill development, health, hygiene, literacy and technical education.”
Shri Getamber Anand, President, CREDAI – National began by speaking of CREDAI’S role in nation building: “Never before has the Government recognised the value of real estate to the economy. Over 20 crore Indians are dependent on this sector for livelihood. Real estate contributes 6% to India’s GDP and sources extensively from 10,000 factories, fuelling India’s manufacturing sector.” He also thanked the Government for addressing housing shortage to aggressively promote housing with infra status, IT exemption and subsidies: “CREDAI will be formally compliant with RERA and work to make the Act a success. CREDAI has signed an agreement with Corelogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, for a software that will make online compliance easier.” Ending his address, he said industry members must work with stakeholders to work together to build a better India.
Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Poverty Alleviation delivered the keynote address:
The sector is “raring to go ahead”, Shri Naidu began, stating the government policies will be a game changer to bring in a culture of transparency: Regulations like RERA and GST will create an ecosystem to put aside legacy issues and bring in a culture of character, credibility, confidence, and cash. Infrastructure status will go a long way in placing cash in the hands of home buyers and catalyse affordable housing projects for India’s middle class. “The new Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act will further complement this vision. Another concern of the industry has been faster approvals. We are addressing this across ministries and proposed some recommendations for the PM’s approval.”, he said.
Speaking on the introduction of GST and how it will benefit the sector, the Minister said, “GST will not increase prices, especially not for affordable housing. We have already exempt affordable housing from service tax, and my ministry is addressing the need to continue this exemption under GST. We have recommended to the Ministry of Finance to tax the sector at a rate which is revenue neutral and not at a higher tax rate. Input tax credit will be available, thus creating a huge incentive to bring all transactions in the sector within the formal system. We are addressing the need to rationalise stamp duty, and are asking for waiver of stamp duty for affordable housing.”
On land prices, the Minister asked developers to incorporate new practices and change their mindsets: “We need to introspect the skyrocketing inflation of land prices, with rates in Hyderabad and Vijayawada at par with New York and Paris, making it impossible to make houses in an affordable manner. All real estate transactions need to be made digital payments, a healthy practice that will make it possible for banks to disburse housing loans.” He added, “We are also working on a policy of incentives and disincentives. States working in compliance with reform measures like accountability, transparency, swift approval will be given additional money under allocation.”
Mr. Jaxay Shah, CREDAI – President Elect: “This has been a watershed budget for the real estate industry. We are pleased that the government has addressed some long-standing demands that will take care of issues relating to access to institutional funding, high taxation and clearing operational hurdles. The industry strives to come together to overcome the housing shortage, ensure housing for all and ensure that consumers are at the centre of all our efforts.”
A report, jointly released by CREDAI and real estate analytics firm CBRE, noted that, “consumption and sales across sectors that had seen a relative dip in the immediate months post-demonetisation, are already picking up at an expected pace, mainly due to the smooth re-monetisation process adopted by the government.”
Highlights of the first day of the Conclave included a motivational address by spiritual thinker Shri Sadhguru who was himself a developer before the spiritual turn in his life. CREDAI also announced the setting up of a digital RERA Compliance Management System (RCMS).
The 2nd Edition of CREDAI CSR Awards across 12 categories was also held to honour the infrastructure industry’s efforts towards social causes. Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship was present to give away these awards.