For those who followed the cabinet 2018 budget this is one thing that would have caught their eye for sure. The government has set aside Rs 21,000 crore for building 5.1 million rural houses in FY19, apart from the 5.1 million being constructed this year under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana. The government will create a dedicated Affordable Housing Fund in National Housing Bank. An interest subsidy will be provided to rural households that are not covered under PMAY. The government will also give an interest subsidy of 3% for a 20-year loan component of up to Rs 2 lakh. The government will provide Rs 1.20 lakh as assistance to every unit in the plains and Rs 75,000-1.30 lakh to those in hilly and difficult terrains.
All this is definitely great. There is no question that these schemes will definitely help many to get their own homes. But are we missing something here?
One would agree that buying a home has never been easy in our country, yet we all dream to own a home one day. We push ourselves hard, to earn more money so that one day we can invest our savings in making the dream of owning a home come true. This was my dream and of many others who invested their life savings in the housing project of SpireWoods. Although the project took off well, it came to a halt a few years back due to the mismanagement of funds by the promoters of AN Buildwell, the developer of the property. This led the promoters to seek liquidation of the company so that they could get away from their liabilities towards the customers. Same was the case with Spire Edge, where the customers had invested in buying units in the IT/Technology Park project, but the construction was never completed. Both promoters Surendra Kumar Hooda and Sunil Gandhi have cheated 1800 plus buyers. Both the promoters were able to find favourable officials at EOW. A sections in the EOW are continuously protecting the Promoters and Chairman Sunil Gandhi owing to their financial and political clout.
Why is EOW protecting Surendra Kumar Hooda and Sunil Gandhi? What is Government of India doing to intervene and sort the issues of 1800 plus families?
At this time, there are several delayed construction projects in our country where some of them are proceeding slowly, while others have come to a complete stop due to several reasons. The question of the hour is, what is our government doing about this?
India is one the developing countries and there are several opportunities for investments, real estate being one of them. Modi Ji has been asking NRIs to invest in India, however, when NRIs have invested in some of the real estate projects, they have had to face some of the worst problems. Consider the ongoing issue of Spire Woods and Spire Edge projects where the construction has halted since last so many years. The SpireEdge project, which is an IT Park commercial project, has over 1200 investors and about half of them are NRIs. While the project started on time and about 60–65% of construction is completed, the investors stopped getting their returns from past two years as the developer had filed for liquidation. In such cases, where the NRIs are investing their hard earned money but are not getting the worth for their money and are getting duped, it becomes difficult for them to reconsider investing in India. Many of these NRIs have had to make several unwanted trips to Delhi to get the matter sorted. It is only now that the matter is being heard in the High Court and the revival scheme will soon be implemented to the satisfaction of all the investors and home buyers. But the issue still remains the same, while we all trust our beloved Prime Minister and his provisions for the citizens, is he listening to our problems?
Would it not be better, if there were systems and processes in place which would just forbid developers and builders from committing any sorts of frauds and ensuring all projects get completed on time? And it is not just about the builders, there is so much of bureaucracy and there are so many steps involved till the ownership of the property gets transferred to the buyer that one ends up spending more money and time. If all these problems get addressed, then India would definitely be one of the developed countries in the world. Once again Rs 21,000 crore for affordable housing is a great idea. Helping current customers get their homes is a brilliant one.