Amarinder announces stimulus for real estate sector

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said notwithstanding the huge financial implications for his government, it had decided to support the real estate sector, which had suffered major disruptions due to the pandemic.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday announced a slew of relief measures for the beleaguered real estate sector amid the unprecedented Covid-19 situation, including six-month extension in the permissible period of construction of plots/projects for all allottees, whether private or allotted by state urban authorities, either through auction or draw of lots.

The stimulus package announced by the Chief Minister, applicable to both allottees and developers, is aimed at providing them with immediate relief, while arresting the slowdown in housing sector. The relief measures are applicable to all the urban development authorities of the state, and shall be restricted to amount due from April 1 to September 30.

Amarinder said notwithstanding the huge financial implications for his government, it had decided to support the real estate sector, which had suffered major disruptions due to the pandemic. Various representations had been received by the government on this count, he said in a statement.

Referring to the financial implications of the six-month extension in construction period, the Chief Minister pointed out that since development authorities annually receive non-construction fee of nearly Rs 35 crore, this particular relaxation would lead to reduction in receipt to the tune of Rs 17-18 crore for all the authorities put together.

In another key relief measure, the Chief Minister announced that all the urban development authorities have also been directed not to charge non-construction charges/extension fee/licence renewal fee for the period from April 1 to September 30, 2020. This would involve a financial implication of more than Rs 1 crore on the basis of the past averages. As a result of this relief, all licences under PAPRA and permissions under policy of mega projects would be extended by six months without any charge.

In another incentive, the Chief Minister has allowed payment of instalments (including interest) of all auctioned properties due between April 1 and September 30, along with balance instalments, as equated instalments at scheme rate of interest. No interest shall be charged on the instalment due between April 1 and September 30 and thereafter, scheme interest will be charged on the amount due.

This particular relief can also be availed for post-dated cheques of amounts deposited against external development charges/licence fee/social infrastructure fund etc, under amnesty policy of November 28, 2019, payable up to September 15, 2020 (including those which were due on March 31, 2020).

To promote the concept of green buildings, the Chief Minister also approved increase in incentive in terms of additional FAR of 5% for bronze and silver, 7.5% for gold and 10% for platinum certification by Griha and Leeds, free of charge.

Amarinder also gave concurrence to the proposal mooted by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to allow phasing in payment of EDC as per release of layout plans. However, rate of EDC payable shall be applicable at the time of approval of layout plans.

A government statement said given the criticality and urgency of the situation, the Chief Minister, as chairman of the development authorities, had decided to announce immediate relief measures for six months, thus giving time to the authorities to come out with comprehensive long-term package. Post-facto approval of all the decisions announced by the Chief Minister would be taken by the authorities concerned at the earliest.

These urgent relief measures are in addition to certain incentives decided by the Housing and Urban Development Ministry, including extension by six months in the moratorium in payment of instalments in case of auctioned properties, an official spokesperson said.

The ministry has also decided that share of ownership can be transferred by urban development authorities in case of auctioned sites on proportionate payment plus 15%, subject to minimum transfer of ownership of 20% at one instance. Permission to sell specific, built-up area marked on the layout plan can be given to developers thereafter, in the same proportion subject to having obtained the occupation certificate for such units.

Further, the staircase in case of two clubbed SCOs can be minimum 4 feet wide in case of lift if provided, as per the decision of the ministry, which has also agreed to take the definition of atrium as provided in NBC.

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