Is housing really infrastructure?
In addition, there are two other benefits for the sector. “Infrastructure sector enjoys moratorium period on repayment of loans along with concessional rates, which helps in making these investments attractive and the project viable. This move would attract more foreign direct investment as investors would take note of the special status, which assures them about the safety of their investments,” says Sanjay Dutt, executive managing director, South Asia, Cushman & Wakefield.
Unsaid is another advantage. The tag would make it possible for real estate developers to sell their loans to long-term financial institutions. This will clean up their balance sheets, which means their debt overhang comes down.
Developers claim the move would enable them to pass on the benefits to home buyers. “Easier financing options will help to bring down home prices and ensure timely completion of the projects. This will be hugely beneficial to consumers and help to address the housing shortage of 18.78 million households existing in the country,” says Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO, Tata Housing Development Company.
Problem of definition
But how is this status to be brought about? According to a report by the Secretariat for Infrastructure, Planning Commission, there exist multiple definitions of infrastructure.
The report quotes a 2001 report of the National Statistical Commission headed by Dr C Rangarajan that defined six characteristics of the
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