Our Bureau

New Delhi, May 13

THE Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has said that a well-defined regulatory framework, easier tax regime and a forward-looking FDI policy for the real estate sector is the need of the hour in bringing technical and managerial expertise in formulation and delivery of basic amenities such as water, sanitation, sewerage, transport and electricity and to boost public-private partnerships for building affordable and qualitatively better housing units.

The federation has called for a close look at the tax, regulatory environment and FDI regulations governing the sector to overcome the serious resources crunch and emerging shortages of dwelling units, especially for the low-income group.

The Tenth Five-Year Plan has estimated a shortage of 22.4 million dwelling units.

"Thus over the next 10-15 years, 80-90 million housing units will have to be constructed with a majority catering to the low-income group.

The investment required for constructing these and related infrastructure in this period would, thus, be of the order of $666 billion-888 billion at roughly $33 billion-44 billion per year," a FICCI statement said here.

It said that in order to give a boost to the FDI, repatriation should be allowed after three years from the completion of the minimum capitalisation or on the complete sale of the project whichever is later. It also pointed out that the basic definition of "built-up area" still remained unclear, leaving room for avoidable litigations.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 14, 2005)
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