With several real estate projects stuck and facing insolvency, a meeting of key stakeholders convened by the government on Thursday discussed the creation of a corpus to take over some of the stressed assets under the aegis of housing finance regulator National Housing Bank (NHB). Proposals for devising a mechanism to fund incomplete realty projects or takeover of some of them by state-run NBCC and relief to buyers in stuck projects also featured, said a banking source, who attended the meeting. With home-buyers getting the status of financial creditors under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the chances of developers getting dragged to the National Company Law Tribunal have multiplied, according to some developers.
A proposal to halve the goods and services tax rate for the sector to 6% was also floated by some to boost demand for under-construction housing projects. No decision, however, was taken on various proposals because finance minister Piyush Goyal, who had convened the meeting, couldn’t attend as he was busy in Parliament where some crucial Bills were passed. The meeting was chaired by housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri. With talk of state-run NBCC taking over some of the stalled projects, its chairman AK Mittal said: “The developers have raised the issue with the bankers. But no decision has been taken as the finance minister was not there. The next meeting will happen soon,” Mittal added that a decision is likely in the next 10-15 days.
Thursday’s meeting was also attended by housing secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, heads of some public sector banks, NITI Aayog chairman Rajiv Kumar, officials from CBDT, NBCC, Hudco, NHB and real estate industry bodies Naredco and Credai. “We discussed the need to work on stressed assets… Houses need to be delivered to the customers. The problem is how to deliver this,” said Naredco president Niranjan Hiranandani. Meanwhile, an empowered committee headed by housing and urban affairs secretary Mishra, representatives from departments of financial services and corporate affairs, state government officials and home-buyers is already working to find a holistic solution to the crisis of home-buyers in the Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway region. The committee is looking into the stalled projects of four beleaguered real estate developers, Unitech, Amrapali, Jaypee Group and the 3C Company.