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New Delhi : The Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu on February 14, 2019, called upon the industry bodies in the Real Estate Sector to institutionalise a code conduct and a self regulation mechanism to curb unethical practices.

Addressing the young entrepreneurs and professionals at the 3rd YouthCon organised by CREDAI, here, Naidu pointed out that the sector had come under severe scrutiny by the apex court and statutory consumer rights bodies due to some unethical practices followed by certain players.

Naidu said that the growing NPA in real estate had not only affected Banks but also dried up Bank loans to the sector from 63% in 2013 to 17% in 2016, thereby accentuating the stress. “You owe as much to your customers and the workers as you do to creditors and suppliers. More than financial viability, it is social obligation and trust that is at stake,” Naidu said.

Quoting the recent report of CAG on Real Estate sector, the Vice President said that 95% of the real estate developers, builders and agents did not have mandatory PAN. He also pointed to surveys from the sources like CREDAI and RERA and said that out of around 3,000 entities surveyed more than 500 didn’t file Income Tax Returns. Stating that the CAG Report must be the point of reference, Naidu wanted the industry to promote digital transactions and enhance transparency and ethical facet of the sector.

Considering that the Real Estate sector contributes 7.9% to the GDP of the country and provides employment to more than 50 million people, he said that a transparent and predictable regulatory regime was essential to strengthen the real estate market by creating greater confidence in the consumers. Naidu said that the sector was essential for healthy, inclusive and equitable growth of the economy.

The Vice President added that programmes like AMRUT, HRIDAY and the pioneering initiatives like 100 Smart Cities, Housing for all by 2022 and PMAY present a great opportunity for the sector. He wanted organisations like the CREDAI to take lead in imparting the skill-sets required for new employment opportunities. Naidu said that it was heartening to note that the Real Estate sector was showing signs of revival due to measures like RERA and GST.

Pointing that the Supreme Court has acknowledged Right to Shelter as a Fundamental Right, he said, “we have a massive task at hand.” He said there was a shortage of 19 million housing units in India and 96 per cent of those affected by this shortage were people belonging to Economically Weaker Sections and Middle Income Groups.

The Vice President stressed on the need to create affordable and adequate shelter in urban habitats to the increasing influx of population that is moving out of villages to explore better opportunities, according to a PIB release.

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