New Delhi: In a relief for home-buyers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Saturday announced funding support to nearly 3.5 lakh incomplete houses in the affordable and middle-income segment.
However, in a disappointment to the majority of home-buyers, the government clarified that these housing projects should be “non-NPA and non-NCLT projects”.
This means that those projects that have been declared non-performing asset by a bank and those whose promoters have been taken to the National Company Law Tribunal by the creditors will not be benefitted.
The Rs 20,000-crore fund will help in last mile funding of incomplete projects, Sitharaman said. This will help projects that are 60 per cent complete, but are struggling to find funds to achieve full completion, she added.
While the government will contribute Rs 10,000 crore, it will tap institutions like the Life Insurance Corporation of India and other private sector entities to contribute a similar amount.
The fund will also be professionally managed by people with expertise in the housing sector, Sitharaman said, along the lines of the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF).
With real estate developers under severe stress, many housing projects are stuck, leaving home-buyers in a quandary.
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In fact, the Supreme Court has been forced to intervene to protect the interests of the home-buyers in projects run by firms like Jaypee Infratech and Amrapali.
Commercial borrowing guidelines may be relaxed
The government said external commercial borrowing guidelines may be relaxed in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India for housing finance companies for their onward lending to home-buyers, who are eligible under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
The government has also decided to make the house building allowance given to central government employees more competitive by linking the interest rates to the rate of the 10-year government security.
These are part of a series of measures being taken by the government to boost the economic growth, which fell to a six-year low of 5 per cent in the quarter that ended in June.
The government had last month announced some measures to boost investors’ sentiment and provide some respite to the automobile industry.
Measures to boost exports
Sitharaman announced a new revised incentive package for exporters that will benefit sectors like textiles.
She also said that India would host mega shopping festivals in four cities in March 2020 in sectors like gems and jewellery, yoga, tourism, textiles, handicrafts and leather.
Besides this, she announced a plan to ensure faster clearances in all ports as well as a higher insurance cover for exporters from Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India.
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