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Centre to support real estate development

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, DEC. 3. State-led reforms in real estate development are expected to receive a fillip with the Centre proposing to link Central assistance for all asset creation projects to a multi-pronged reform agenda.

Stating this the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) sponsored International Real Estate Summit, Anil Baijal, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, said the proposal envisaged stoppage of the second and subsequent tranches of the Central assistance if the States do not adhere to the `non-negotiable' agenda items in MoUs, which may be appraised by an independent authority.

The Centre, on its part, Mr. Baijal said, was on "mission mode" to introduce digitised urban information system on 137 Indian cities for real estate developers and urban planners.

However, Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC, struck a note of caution for bankers and developers in their quest for customers. The current boom in the real estate market, he said, was fraught with serious and potential risk factors.

Jagdish Tytler, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, while responding to observations by the FICCI President, Y. K. Modi, said his ministry would be ready with concrete proposals for reforms in the real estate sector to attract investments from overseas Indians in January 2005.

Satpal Khattar of Khattar Wong & Partner, Singapore, emphasised the need for treating real estate development especially housing in rural and urban areas as `infrastructure' and making available all infrastructure incentives for real estate.

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