February 2017

CREDAI Providing Affordable Housing to People

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C Shekar Reddy
Former National President,
CREDAI

Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) has become a household name with presence in 23 States, says C Shekar Reddy, former National President, CREDAI, and Chief Managing Director – CSR Estates Ltd, and Chairman – Indian Green Building Council, Hyderabad, in conversation with Team Elets News Network (ENN).

How CREDAI has made its impact on the growth of real estate sector in the country?
Throughout my association with CREDAI and several other real estate bodies, I have always tried to ensure that the real estate sector gets a good image and we, as a real estate body, always deliver good quality products within stipulated time frame. We have focused on skill development and implementation of advanced construction technologies in our projects. CREDAI has always encouraged its employees to go and attend conferences at different places to learn the best practices. We take our people to various places every year and it has given our developers a lot of exposure.

How do you rate Indian developers?
Indian developers today are among the best in the world. Twenty years ago there was no organised body in the country. However, with the formation of CREDAI, we have tried to bring the global expertise to Indian developers and educate them on everything which is necessary to develop excellent sustainable structures in the country. I must say that we have succeeded in our endeavour. Our code of conduct is the backbone of our success. Any member who joins the forum needs to sign the code of conduct. We ensure that all the developers (we have more than 12,000 developers in the country) are on the same page and no one deviates from the common goal. Our speedy communication network is another important thing. CREDAI circulates important facts and information among all its members immediately so that no one remains ignorant.
It is our strict and fair rules, regulations and self enforcement that earned us immense accolades. Even the Planning Commission of India acknowledged our efforts and considered us a respectable body, and allowed us to be a member in the steering committee of the commission.
Today, CREDAI has become a household name with presence in 23 states. Our officials are invited in discussions, on various platforms around the country.

Will you also brief us on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities undertaken by CREDAI?
We have been doing a lot of CSR activities around the country which includes restoring heritage structures and clean city programmes – including solid waste management activities. We also organise skill development programmes. CREDAI forayed into the arena of skilling sector with its state of the art training programme ‘Kushal’ in 2011 through its Pune chapter in collaboration with National Skills Development Council. Since then, CREDAI is conducting regular on-site training programmes for construction workers at construction sites through its member developers spread across 23 States and 162 city chapters.

How does CREDAI play an important role in ensuring good policies for the real estate sector in the country? Please share your views on demonetisation as well.
We always try to convey our point when it comes to regulations and policy drafting. As I mentioned, we are active at all levels – from small municipalities to metro cities, and from State level to the central government level. Every year, we organise a conclave on policy before the budget session where we invite all the key policymakers. We convey our concerns to policymakers and share facts and figures which help them draft effective policies for the sector. In our endeavour, we always try to ensure that Indians should have affordable and better housing schemes and infrastructure.
There is a gap between the sub registrar valuation of the land, the built up area and the property sold in the market. This gap should be minimised. They should encourage land prices built up area and they should, correspondingly, reduce the registration charges. The registration charges are currently 6.5 per cent, but it should be reduced to 3 per cent. Our dream is to bring Easy Monthly Installment (EMI) as low as the monthly rent we pay for accommodation.
The demonetisation move has helped in several ways. A huge amount has been deposited in the banks and as a result the interest rate has come down. So, it is indeed a good thing, but at the same time taxation issues need to be resolved. The ease of doing business needs to be streamlined on national, state and local levels. We also need to promote digitisation in the real estate sector. We need a system where we can get various permissions pertaining to the real estate and housing online.

Our code of conduct is the backbone of our success. Any member who joins the forum needs to sign the code of conduct. We ensure that all the developers are on the same page and no one deviates from the common goal.

What are your views on exempting affordable housing from service tax?
For Economically Weaker Section (EWS) service tax is already exempted. We hope the Government of India will exempt service tax or GST for the affordable housing as well. We also request the state government to have a similar policy for affordable housing. We are also requesting the banks to give loans on lower interests so that the cost of affordable housing comes down further. So, the Government of India, state governments and banks – all will have to come together to make the dream of affordable housing successful throughout the country. The government of Telangana is already doing a great job by offering affordable two bedroom flats to people. However, we request government to allow private players to contribute to the initiative of affordable housing to people.
I strongly believe that all the slumps can be eradicated if the stakeholders come together.

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