Ananth Kumar Hints At Revising FDI Norms In Realty Sector

New Delhi, October 25: | Updated: Oct 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
The government is willing to revise guidelines for foreign direct investment (FDI), said Union minister for urban development Ananth Kumar. However, he added that investors need to concentrate on domestic direct investment instead of just looking to public financial institutions for funds.

At a seminar on real estate organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr Kumar invited concrete suggestions from industrial chambers for the encouragement of investment in the sector.

The environment and forests ministry will be approached for the reviewing of coastal regulation zone (CRZ) guidelines, he said, adding that this would unlock the development of real estate on coastal land.

A big chunk of coastal land that is locked up in important cities like Mumbai alone can be unlocked for development and tourism purposes.

Mr Kumar flayed the Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra governments for failing to repeal the Urban Land Ceiling Act saying that large tracts of land were lying underdeveloped in metros like Mumbai and Kolkata.

The Centre and states had resolved to bring down stamp duties and registration fees from 15 per cent to 5 per cent, in an effort to introduce reforms in the sector, said Mr Kumar.

He added that Hudco would target a business of Rs 16,000 this fiscal year of which Rs 8,000 crore would be invested in urban infrastructure. Emphasising the need to bring about property tax reforms, Mr Kumar said that the municipal property taxation scheme of Patna and self-assessment scheme of Bangalore have attracted international attention and every state should work on reviewing their property taxation system.