Real Estate

Government sanctions ₹8,700 cr to help complete construction of 60,000 houses

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on July 23, 2020 Published on July 23, 2020

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The Finance Ministry on Thursday announced that over ₹8,700 crore has been approved under a special scheme, ‘SWAMIH’, to ensure completion of about 60,000 houses.

‘SWAMIH’ (Special Window for Affordable and Mid Income Housing) scheme aims to complete construction of stalled, brownfield, RERA-registered residential developments that are in the affordable housing/mid-income category. Conditions here are that the projects should be networth positive and requires last mile funding to complete construction. There is a fund to assist this scheme which started with target corpus of ₹12,500 crore with a green shoe option of ₹12,500 crore.

Finance Minister Niramla Sitharaman reviewed the performance of this scheme with government officials and senior management team of the State Bank of India, SBI Capital Markets Limited and SBICAPS Ventures Limited (SVL). The fund has so far approved 81 projects with an investment of ₹8,767 crore.

These projects are spread across a mix of markets including large cities such as National Capital Region, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and also tier II locations including Karnal, Panipat, Lucknow, Surat, Dehradun, Kota, Nagpur, Jaipur, Nashik, Vizag, Chandigarh etc. Amongst these projects, investments in 18 projects have been given the final clearance and disbursement is at various stages across 7 residential projects.

Applications from 353 stressed projects are under examination for provision of assistance. It was also highlighted that activation of these construction sites by the Special Window would provide employment opportunities for various skilled and semi-skilled labourers. Additionally, the fund is actively evaluating options to provide relief to 15,000 homebuyers in certain long- stalled projects which are pending before the Supreme Court for resolution.

The recent initiative by the fund to reduce the cost of capital to 12 per cent has resulted in an increase in the number of projects that meet the funding criteria laid out under the Special Window. While acknowledging the steps taken by the Special Window to expedite participation from existing lenders, Sitharaman suggested that both private and public sector banks, NBFCs and HFCs should see the Special Window as a stakeholder and increase support to early completion of stressed projects.

The team also apprised the Finance Minister of the control mechanisms being built in by the fund to monitor project progress and ensure prudent utilisation by calibrating investments in line with project progress. These steps would also bring in greater transparency in the sector in terms of accountability of project cashflows and eliminating diversion of funds.

Sitharaman also wanted speedy efforts to complete construction of projects for which last mile funding has been sanctioned. The opportunity provided by the special mandate in this fund ,combined with active support from existing project financiers, should be directed towards this objective of providing immediate relief to home buyers, she emphasised.

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Published on July 23, 2020
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