Photo: For representational purpose
In the face of adversity comes opportunity. The COVID-19 crisis offers the real estate industry a ‘never before’ opportunity to reset and redo to reinvigorate cities like Mumbai. However, this can only happen if specific policy changes are announced by the authorities. These were the key takeaways from the Brihanmumbai Developers Association (BDA) ‘Mega Unity Webinar,’ held on June 8, 2020, which highlighted the pain points of real estate and endeavoured to come up with practical solutions and suggestions. The webinar brought various developers associations, channel partners associations, architects engineers associations and allied associations together on a common platform.
Harrish Jain, Vice President, Brihanmumbai Developers Association (BDA), explained, “This pain has brought us all together, it may unite us together also. Real estate has been facing multiple problems and now the current crisis of COVID-19 has added to them. Earlier, we were communicating differently with the government and that was not the right way. Uniting the associations will give us a voice which is stronger and will help us to communicate with the government in the right way. We have to be united together to achieve progress. We have been discussing problems all through the lockdown period during the BDA webinar series; now let's concentrate on how to resolve them. Let us brainstorm and see how to get solutions out of this. Since there are so many associations participating today, we have to be united to resolve issues. Alone we are a drop; together we can be an ocean. There is strength in numbers, let's unite together.”
Nayan Shah, President, CREDAI MCHI, made a comparison between real estate as a percentage of India’s economy vis-à-vis that in the US, the UK and China. “About 6 per cent of India’s economy is real estate. India’s real estate value is $1.20-1.40 billion; our share will go up to $500-600 billion in the next five to six years. The Government of India is spending more than Rs7 lakh crore in agriculture, while the real estate sector is only asking for Rs 30,000-40,000 crore to grow from $140 billion to $500-600 billion. We are going to try to get relief from the Central Government and the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry, not as a matter of sympathy but because we have strength and we can make a big difference in the economic status of the country. Apart from the pains that we are passing through, it is important to give this economic data to the government. Real estate has a price multiplier effect. This is the extent to which real estate can make a difference.”
Ajay Ashar, Spokesperson, CREDAI-MCHI MMR Action Committee, praised BDA for having accumulated so many players on one platform. “This is the right approach. When the Rs 20 lakh crore package was announced we had great expectations from the government as we are the second-largest employment generating sector. However, we were disappointed. Restructuring of loans is very important. Home loan rates to be reduced. So many things we are facing. I requested everybody, let us understand how much is the pain, how we can be united. We have to do something, get on one platform and focus. This is how the CREDAI-MCHI MMR Action Committee was born. In no time, we had 13 organisations ready to speak in one voice. In a democracy, everything comes down to numbers. We have so many different associations but all our causes are the same. If we unite and speak in one voice, nothing can stop us. If our combined voice reaches, it will resonate. Let's have one voice, one agenda and one platform. We should stand and support each other. If our voice is unanimous and having common goals, we can achieve anything. The economy will be revived only if our industry is rolling.”
Ramesh Prabhu, Chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA), affirmed, “We are facing a huge crisis. Redevelopment is the need of the hour for Mumbai; every society is looking for developers to perform but we also understand the challenges faced by them. Applying GST on the rehab portion is a harsh step; the government needs to come up with some package for real estate and redevelopment.”
The webinar hosted by BDA had representations from the CREDAI-MCHI MMR Action Committee; developer associations such as CREDAI MCHI-Mumbai, MCHI-Thane, MCHI-MVC, MCHI-Vasai, Virar, MCHI-Raigad, MCHI-Navi Mumbai, CMDWA, MSDA, NMBDA, MCHI Kalyan Dombivli, YOUTH Association, Progressive Neral Karjat, MBD, MHBA, Khopoli Builders Association; Channel Partner Associations like NAR India, AREA group, MEAA, GREA, GREAAT, KKEAA, TEAA, CREAA, REAAK, GEAWA, FMBPDA, Property PPL, SMART, MERA, NEPRA, KDRA, KEASWA, AWEAA, GEAWA, SPREA, SCEAWA, MBA; architects and engineers associations like Architects & Engineers, Indian Society of Structural Engineers (ISSE); The Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA), Registration Fee& Stamp Duty Payers Association (REGD), Cooperative Societies Residents Users &Welfare Association and the Federation of Accommodation Industry of India.
The Brihanmumbai Developers Association (BDA) is created out of a movement. In a matter of 12 months, more than 500 developers mainly into redevelopment have joined the movement.