Covid-19: UP real estate sector seeks relief from state, Centre
The real estate sector in Uttar Pradesh is demanding a relief package on the lines of the one given to the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector by the Central and state governments. They are demanding moratorium on loans, extension of key approvals by a year and on site vaccination drive for workers to cope up with the fresh slump driven by the second wave of Covid-19.
The real estate sector has been hit hard with sales and construction activity coming to a halt since the pandemic-induced lockdown in March last year.
Just when it started showing some signs of recovery from November last, the second Covid wave has derailed it again, claim industry representatives.
Citing various relief measures announced for MSMEs such as moratorium on loans and subsidies, the UP unit of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), an apex body of private real estate developers, has requested for a couple of major reliefs for the real estate sector from the state government.
“We have requested the state government to extend the deadline of all statutory approvals by a year. This extension must be enforced after the pandemic subsides,” said Shobhit Mohan Das, president, CREDAI, UP.
The developers’ body cites Covid-related challenges hampering progress of projects to seek extension of approvals given by development authorities, housing board and UP-RERA by a year. While UP-RERA has made registration of all projects compulsory, it has also specified a timeframe for completion of the project so that homebuyers get possession of flats within due time.
The sector’s other demand to allow vaccination of labourers working at project sites using the fund collected as labour cess from developers.
The building and other construction workers’ welfare board of the state government collects labour cess. This fund is utilised for various welfare schemes launched for labourers by the state government.
“Vaccination at project sites will to some extent ensure holding back of labourers and continuity in the projects,” said Ramandeep Singh, president-elect, CREDAI, Uttar Pradesh. The CREDAI is also planning to meet union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman with its demand for moratorium on loans taken by developers for their projects. The labourers employed in the sector are primarily migrant workforce, which has begun to leave for their hometowns amid the resurgence of Covid infections. Their departure during the lockdown last year had stalled several projects, which picked up pace only towards the end of the year.
“Soon, we will meet the Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking moratorium on loans availed by developers and also homebuyers on the lines of MSMEs. This will, to some extent, ease financial constraints of both developers and home buyers,” said Ramandeep Singh.