TWo LaKH un­soLD DWeLLinG units croWD DeLHi-ncr

Greater Noida has the max­i­mum in­ven­tory, fol­lowed by Gurugram.

The Sunday Guardian - - Front Page -

There are about 2 lakh un­sold dwelling units in Delhi-NCR ( Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion), which is the max­i­mum among all the ma­jor cities in In­dia. In Delhi-NCR, Greater Noida has the max­i­mum share of un­sold in­ven­to­ries, fol­lowed by Gurugram.

Also, the re­gion has wit­nessed a 3-5% de­crease in av­er­age per-square foot prop­erty prices over the last one year. The av­er­age price was over Rs 4,650 in the fourth quar­ter last year. How­ever, this has come down to Rs 4,500-4,550. Real es­tate ex­perts say that prices are likely to re­main stag­nant for the next few quar­ters, ac­cord­ing to a re­port pre­pared by Anarock Prop­erty Con­sul­tants.

Ac­cord­ingly, there are 1.80 lakh un­sold in­ven­tory in Mum­bai Metropoli­tan Re­gion (MMR), Ben­galuru (1.04 lakh), Pune (97,000), Kolkata (49,000), Chen­nai (28,000) and Hyderabad (27,000).

Fac­tors like huge un­sold in­ven­tory, re­cent cases of de­vel­op­ers’ bank­ruptcy or in­sol­vency and the large num­ber of stalled projects have made buy­ers scep­ti­cal about the real es­tate mar­ket. What has added to the prob­lem is the de­lay in ex­e­cu­tion and di­lu­tion of RERA (Real Es­tate Reg­u­la­tion & De­vel­op­ment Act), which has acted as a damp­en­ing fac­tor for buy­ers’ con­fi­dence and, there­fore, prices are un­likely to in­crease in the near fu­ture, says the re­port.

“Re­gard­ing the price de­crease, there are sev­eral rea­sons like ex­ces­sive de­lay in pro­ject con­struc­tion and pos­ses­sion, which has hurt buy­ers’ sen­ti­ments, lead­ing to sub­dued de­mand. More­over, there are many projects which have been stalled due to ag­i­ta­tions and lit­i­ga­tion is­sue,” says Anuj Puri, chair­man of Anarock Prop­erty.

On the con­trary, the un­sold res­i­den­tial prop­erty in­ven­tory has de­clined rapidly in South In­dia as com­pared to other parts of the coun­try. The re­search find­ings say that the un­sold in­ven­tory de­clined by 21%, 20% and 15% in Hyderabad, Chen­nai and Ben­galuru re­spec­tively from 2016. With an over­all un­sold in­ven­tory de­cline of only 8% in the top seven cities, South In­dian cities have bucked the trend. While in 2017, the sup­ply was down by 59% across th­ese seven cities, com­pared to 2016 ad­di­tions, th­ese South In­dian cities reg­is­tered an av­er­age de­cline of 75%.

Ac­cord­ing to Puri, one of the key rea­sons for this de­cline was the re­stricted sup­ply of fresh projects in th­ese cities. The fine equi­lib­rium which de­vel­op­ers have achieved in terms of re­strict­ing new launches and fo­cus­ing on clear­ing un­sold units in the end-user driven mar­kets has been a defin­ing fac­tor in South In­dia.

With fun­da­men­tal growth driv­ers in­tact and ris­ing de­mand for of­fice spa­ces, th­ese cities are likely to make a faster come­back in the res­i­den­tial seg­ment as well, when com­pared to their coun­ter­parts in the West, North and East In­dia, he said. The In­come Tax (I-T) depart­ment has again started the process of send­ing no­tices to 149 In­di­ans—out of the 500 names that had ap­peared in the Panama Pa­pers’ ex­pose last year—as th­ese in­di­vid­u­als are yet to file their replies de­spite get­ting re­peated I-T no­tices, I-T sources have said.

Ac­cord­ing to a se­nior I-T of­fi­cial, the tax depart­ment had al­ready sent no­tices to 386 in­di­vid­u­als named in the Panama Pa­pers, but out of th­ese, only 180 in­di­vid­u­als ad­mit­ted to own­ing an off­shore en­tity in tax havens. The I-T depart­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion had also re­vealed that 57 in­di­vid­u­als did not even fol­low the ba­sic Re­serve Bank of In­dia (RBI) guide­lines in place for car­ry­ing out any such in­vest­ment abroad, while 149 in­di­vid­u­als did not even bother to file re­ply to the I-T no­tices.

Surabhi Ah­luwalia, spokesper­son of the Cen­tral Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), told The Sun­day Guardian: “The in­ves­ti­ga­tions against all 386 in­di­vid­u­als are on and so far, the I-T depart­ment has not given clean chit to any in­di­vid­ual named in the Panama Pa­pers. In many cases of off­shore en­ti­ties, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is al­ready on the fast track.”

The fresh no­tices are be­ing sent at a time when, al­most a year-and-a-half later, the ICIJ has come up with an­other sim­i­lar global in­ves­tiga­tive re­port, the Par­adise Pa­pers, which has ex­posed the off­shore ac­tiv­i­ties of over 700 In­di­ans, be­sides oth­ers from across the globe. The names in the Par­adise Pa­pers in­clude Amitabh Bachchan, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ra­jya Sabha MP R.K. Sinha, cor­po­rate lob­by­ist Ni­ira Ra­dia, Bol­ly­wood star San­jay Dutt’s wife, and Vi­jay Mallya, among oth­ers.

“The I-T depart­ment is closely mon­i­tor­ing the progress in the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion (into the Panama Pa­pers’ ex­pose) and it has also started scru­ti­n­is­ing the names of in­di­vid­u­als ap­pear­ing in the Par­adise Pa­pers’ ex­pose. The I-T depart­ment has di­rected its in­ves­ti­ga­tion units spread across the coun­try, to take note of the re­cent Par­adise Pa­pers ex­pose and in­cor­po­rate the facts in their in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Ah­luwalia said. “The I-T depart­ment is al­ready prob­ing th­ese ex­poses sep­a­rately, but on the di­rec­tion of the Min­istry of Finance, a multi-agency in­ves­tiga­tive group, headed by the chair­man of the CBDT, has also been formed to carry on a de­tailed probe into the ex­poses,” Ah­luwalia added.

A se­nior CBDT of­fi­cial told The Sun­day Guardian: “While the in­come tax depart­ment will in­ves­ti­gate the in­di­vid­u­als named in Par­adise Pa­pers for tax eva­sion, the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Board of In­dia (SEBI) will ex­am­ine the dis­clo­sure of funds of their firms. The role of the En­force­ment Direc­torate in the probe will be to in­ves­ti­gate the part in­volv­ing vi­o­la­tions under the For­eign Ex­change Man­age­ment Act (FEMA) in the ex­poses, whereas the Fi­nan­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit will in­ves­ti­gate the chan­nel of money trans­fers used by th­ese in­di­vid­u­als in off­shore in­vest­ments.”

“The I-T depart­ment is also pre­par­ing to send let­ters of re­quest to coun­tries like Malaysia, Switzer­land, the UK and Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands, seek­ing more de­tails of some of the in­di­vid­u­als. In the past, the depart­ment has sent sev­eral let­ters and had re­ceived good re­sponse from th­ese coun­tries,” the same CBDT of­fi­cial cited above said.


A boy cov­ers his face in Delhi, on Fri­day, as win­ter de­scends on the na­tional cap­i­tal.

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