31 Bengaluru sub-registrars in dock for violation in property registration

In a classic case of fence eating the crop, 31 of the 43 sub-registrars in Bengaluru are facing a probe for allowing registration of illegal immovable properties in the city’s outskirts.

The officers are facing serious charges of flouting rules pertaining to property registration.

They were to verify the authenticity of Form 9 and Form 11 (e-khata and tax demand register, respectively, for non-agriculture properties located in rural areas) with the help of e-swathu software, before registration. But the sub-registrars seem to have had turned a blind eye.

No verification

As a result, scores of properties are said to have been registered without any verification, including cases involving fake documents.

Shockingly, these officials continue to function in their posts, as the government has been dragging its feet on taking action. The Department of Stamps and Registration had recommended transferring the sub-registrars to ensure a fair probe, but the government has remained silent on this. Only recently did the Revenue Department order a departmental enquiry against each of these officials. The move comes more than three years after the irregularities came to light.

The 31 sub-registrars, along with some first and second division assistants, figure in a list of 41 officials who will individually face an inquiry at the hands of retired district judge M G Hiremath, according to the government order, a copy of which is with DH.

The probe has been ordered into illegal registration of properties between July 2014 and May 2015. In June 2013, the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department made it mandatory for digitised extracts of Forms 9 and 11 to be produced during registration of properties under gram panchayat limits.This was done expressly to prevent mushrooming of illegal layouts.

Further, in July 2014, the government issued an order that the sub-registrars should allow registration only after verifying property details, especially Form 9 and 11 in e-swathu software. This was not done.

“The exact extent of irregularities will be known after charge sheets are prepared for each official,” said Manoj Kumar Meena, inspector-general of registration and commissioner of stamps.

The 31 sub-registrars facing inquiry include those at Banashankari, Chamarajpet, Basavanagudi, Indiranagar and Gandhinagar among others. Only six sub-registrars responded to show-cause notices asking them to explain the irregularities, but their response was unsatisfactory.

While the government dragged its feet, two sub-registrars – S R Vasant Kumar (KR Puram) and T Gopalakrishna (Peenya) – retired two years ago.

“The flip side is that these sub-registrars want this departmental inquiry. After all, they may get away with some increment cuts. They want to stay on in the same post,” a senior stamps and registration official said.

“Also, suspending them will hit property registrations due to staff crunch.”
It was in March 2016 that Hiremath was appointed to probe the irregularities. In June that year, Hiremath requested the government for an order allowing him to conduct a separate inquiry for each official. The government took 11 months to pass the order.

courtesy by Deccan Herald

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Interest Subsidy Scheme on home loans for MIG extended to March 2019

MUMBAI: The central government has extended the validity of interest subsidy benefit of about Rs.2.60 lakh on home loans under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) for beneficiaries belonging to Middle Income Groups (MIG) by 15 more months beyond earlier stipulated one year period ending December this year.

The government has decided to give more time for MIG beneficiaries to avail interest subsidy under PMAY (Urban), said Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary (Housing & Urban Affairs), Government of India, while addressing an APREA-NAREDCO summit here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his new-year eve speech last year had announced the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) under PMAY(Urban) to MIG, till the end of December this year. Under CLSS, MIG beneficiaries with annual income of above Rs 6 lakhs and up to Rs 12 lakhs would get an interest subsidy of 4% on a 20 year loan component of Rs 9 lakhs. Those with annual income exceeding Rs 12.00 lakhs and up to Rs 18 lakhs would get interest subsidy of 3%.

The delegation referred to what they called anomalies in the Goods & Services Tax rates for completed and under construction housing projects, stamp duties being higher and kept outside the purview of GST, scarcity of land, delays in granting construction permits, lack of coordination among different municipal agencies, RBI’s high risk weightage for lending to real estate sector despite Real Estate Act coming into force, inadequate bank financing despite Non-Performing Assets in respect of c ..

The delegation expressed concern over GST and other taxes accounting for nearly one third of the cost of residential properties. 

Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, who addressed the summit on Thursday had suggested to NAREDCO members to have a detailed discussion with the Secretary (HUA) for resolving the issues so that affordable housing could be given a boost .

Courtesy by Economic Times
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SC to Supertech: Give flats or refund money with 14% interest

It was the turn of real estate major Supertech to face the music in Supreme Court on Friday after the court told developers Jaypee Infratech and Unitech earlier this week that they could not escape either refunding money or giving possession of flats to homebuyers.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud appointed advocate Gaurav Agrawal as amicus curiae and asked him to create a web portal on which the 600-odd homebuyers in Emerald Court housing complex in Noida could indicate whether they wanted refund of their money.

When some lawyers, who have invested in Supertech’s 40-storey twin towers in Emerald Court, said they would prefer to take flats instead of refund, the bench said a clear choice will have to be made and those who do not opt for refund now would not be permitted to do so in future.

The SC asked the amicus curiae to prepare a list of homebuyers who preferred refund and asked Supertech to see that all of them were returned their principal investment amount with 14% interest.

Supertech’s counsel Salman Khurshid and Keshav Mohan informed the court that nearly Rs 110 crore had been refunded to homebuyers and said the realtor was ready to return money to all those who wanted to reclaim their investment. The court asked Supertech to give details of refund to the amicus, who was asked to submit a report on October 23.

On April 12, 2014, the Allahabad High Court had ordered authorities to demolish the 40-storey ‘Apex’ and ‘Ceyane’ towers in ‘Emerald Court’ complex in Noida’s Sector 93A on finding that the builder had “by joining hands with officers of the development authorities flouted every conceivable rule, including building regulations”. On appeal by Supertech, the SC stayed the demolition but asked the builder to refund money to homebuyers with 14% interest.

A petition by ‘Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association’ had alleged that construction of the two towers was “in complete violation of UP Apartment Act, 2010”. The association had also challenged the reviewed plan for construction of the two towers in violation of Noida Building Regulation and Directions, 2010.

coutersy by Times of India

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Post SEBI’s decision more realtors may list Rental Assets

BENGALURU: The Securities & Exchange Board of India’s decision to allow Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to raise funds through debt securities is expected to prompt more developers to list their rental assets.With debt securities, developers are likely to retain more funds at the REIT level for distribution among investors and promoters as better ratings would allow them raise money at lower cost.

Fund raising through bonds for REITs would also imply lower dilution of stakes and better return on equity (RoE) , experts said.

“This will help the sponsors of REIT to raise funds by diluting a relatively lower portion of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). As a thumb rule, low-cost debt funding, if utilised in the right manner, should boost returns on equity . Therefore, with lower amount of dilu tion, the sponsor of the REIT will be able to offer overall better returns to the unit holders,“ said Bhairav Dalal, Partner, PwC India.

“It’s a positive step whereby the distributable income gets enhanced by the virtue of lower interest cost through bonds,“ said Raj Menda, corporate chairman of RMZ Corp.

“With bonds, a larger allocation from pension funds and insurance companies can be targeted as 85-90% of their portfolio is in debt instruments. Moreover, since bonds will be rated, they will receive a better acceptance from investors. Currently , insurance companies and pension funds are struggling to invest in fixed income side opening another avenue through REITS will aid and increase the investable assets market for them too. More capital will be available for distribution and investments,“ said Sandeep Chadha, partner at Milestone Capital Advisors.

Milestone Capital is planning to deploy about ` . 1,000 crore in pre-leased commercial assets through Milestone Commercial Advantage Fund over the next one year.The private equity firm is looking . 700-crore equity through to raise ` this fund by end of March 2018.

The capital markets regulator on Monday allowed Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Real Estate investment Trust (REITs) to raise capital by issuing debt securities in a bid to bolster infrastructure investment in the country . Apart from this, it also introduced the concept of strategic investor for REITs along the lines of InviTs and allowed single asset REIT on similar lines of InvIT.

The earlier announcements such as allowing banks, insurance and mutual funds to invest in these instruments have certainly pushed the real estate companies’ interest level higher.

Embassy Office Parks, a joint Embassy Office venture between private equity major Blackstone Group and realty developer Embassy Property Developers, is the first trust that has received registration approval from the regulator.

Courtesy by Economic Times

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RERA, other steps will bring consolidation to realty sector: Ashish Puravankara, Puravankara

Puravankara is gearing up for a greater play in affordable housing and commercial real estate segments, now that the industry has overcome the uncertainty caused by the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). In an interview to Sobia Khan, managing director Ashish Puravankara spoke about the Bengaluru-based real estate developer’s plans and the impending revival of the sector. Edited excerpts:
Traditionally, Puravankara has been a residential-focused company, with a small percentage of our portfolio being commercial. The company has completed marquee commercial projects in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. As a strategy, going forward, we would increase the percentage of commercial office space in our portfolio.

capital expenditure target for the current financial year

The capital expenditure for the current financial year would be in line with last year’s capital expenditure, at about Rs 1,000 crore.
Maintaining a prudent debt level helps unlock further value for stakeholders and create opportunities for growth. We have reduced over Rs 450 crore of debt in the past 15 odd months. The weighted average cost of debt today stands at a 10.86% vis-a-via 11.88% as of April 1, 2016.

On the basis of this healthy balance sheet, Puravankara is now in a position to seek lower cost of funds on already existing arrangements. Puravankara will continue to actively strengthen its balance sheet through a combination of lowering weighted average cost of debt as well as paring down debt judiciously

Plan for Provident and Puravankara brands 

The real estate industry will undergo a consolidation phase on account of RERA and other factors. Over the next three-four quarters, we have an exciting launch pipeline across the Puravankara and Provident brands across Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune.

Courtesy by Economics Times

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