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Fadnavis bats for Realtors, to move PM, FM with plea for one time debt relief

MUMBAI, June 10, 2020: Stating that the employment generator Real Estate sector deserves all support and respect, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra legislative assembly and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised to take up the various demands of the crisis-ridden developer community with the centre and try to get them resolved.

Responding to the online campaign launched by the MMR Action Committee of CREDAI MCHI, Mr Fadnavis said at a webinar with the developer community on Tuesday that their “logical, genuine and reasonable” demand for a one time debt restructuring will be taken up with the Finance Minister. He concurred with the developers that this step will bring in relief to the industry facing lot of financial stress.

He said he has already indicated to Union Finance Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman beforehand that he would be accepting a petition from the developers. “She immediately gave me a go-ahead,” he said and expressed the confidence that “she will definitely look into the issue”.

“I have already been discussing the real estate and other economy issues at various levels at the Centre and getting a positive response,” he said and expressed the feeling that he did not see any problems in resolving the real estate industry’s problems.

Later, Fadnavis tweeted: “Received online petition from CREDAI-MCHI, signed by almost 35,000 developers. The real estate industry requires many interventions from State & Central Government. I have assured them to take their petition to Hon FM @nsitharaman ji”

In another tweet, he said: “Along with other, main issues are restructuring of loans, pushing banks, HFCs & NBFCs to pass on benefits of repo rate cuts to the consumers, input tax credit to be given under GST.I assure all members that these & all issues will be taken up with the appropriate authorities.”

Over a thousand developers from across Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR) took part in the webinar. The MMR Action Committee presented to Mr Fadnavis its online petition addressed to the PM which has already gained about 35,000 signatures.

The former Chief Minister expressed his shock that banks, but for SBI, have not yet passed on the benefit of the unprecedented repo rate cut to the end consumer. He agreed with  CREDAI MCHI that the massive defaults arising out of high interest rate will ultimately lead to a big jump in NPAs for the banks as well and “this will be disastrous for the economy as a whole”. The banks’ attitude does not live up to the good intentions of the Centre and RBI who are keen on increasing the liquidity, he remarked.

Fadnavis said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very keen to support the businesses all across which is exactly why the announced the Rs 20-lakh crore relief package with predominant focus on the MSME sector.

On extending the RERA time limit for completion of projects to March 2021, the senior BJP leader said there is a provision for this and he would take it up with the government.

On facilitating GST input credit for new projects, Mr Fadnavis said the matter has been flagged to the GST Council and he expected a decision soon.

Earlier, making a presentation on the developers’ issues, MMR action committee spokesperson Ajay Ashar told Mr Fadnavis that banks are in a very comfortable position when they deal with real estate developers.  They get an ROE of 22%-25% which is the highest in the world. Banks also enjoy very high net interest margins on lending to real estate, yet the developer community gets a step-motherly treatment.

CREDAI MCHI president Nayan Shah pointed out that nothing from the Rs 20 lakh-crore package announced by the centre benefits the real estate developers. The economy as a whole will revive itself if real estate survives as every paisa given to the developer goes into the economy straight.

Real estate, he said, plays a big role in meeting Narendra Modi’s dream to develop India into a five trillion dollar economy.

Webinar convener Shailesh Puranik pointed out that the pain being felt by the developers is real and that they saw a big ray of hope in Fadnavis.

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