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India rises one notch to 35th on JLL global realty transparency index

Monitor News Bureau

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New Delhi: India has improved its ranking by one notch to 35th in the global real estate transparency index, driven by policy reforms and liberalisation of FDI rules in property as well as retail sectors, realty consultant JLL said.
India was ranked 36th in the index during the last bi-annual survey conducted in 2016 and 40th in 2014. The country’s real estate market is currently placed in the ‘semi-transparent’ zone.
The ranking is expected to improve further in the next survey in 2020, on the back of several government initiatives such as Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), GST and Benami Transactions Act, JLL India’s CEO and Country Head Ramesh Nair said.
According to the survey, UK is at the top position followed by Australia and the US. France, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Sweden are in top 10 in the list of 100 countries.
Sri Lanka is at the 66th position and Pakistan at 75th among south Asian countries. Venezuela is the least transparent market with 100th rank.
JLL said that India has emerged as one of the top ten countries to register maximum improvement in transparency in real estate over the last two years.
Among BRICS nations, the consultant said that both China and South Africa remained on the same rank 33rd and 21st, respectively, while, Brazil slipped to 37th position and Russia remained at 38th rank.
“India’s improvement in the transparency scores across all markets has started to benefit the nation in the form of increased volumes of international capital being deployed into the country,” Nair said.
He attributed the improvement in ranking to better market fundamentals, policy reforms and liberalisation of FDI into realty and retail sectors.
The strengthening of information in public domain, digitisation of property records and according ‘industry status’ to affordable housing also helped in higher ranking.
“Private equity (PE) investments into realty sector is one of the best indicators of the confidence of the investor community and the confidence is closely linked with the transparency of the property markets and improvement in transparency,” Nair said.
PE investment in Indian real estate sector has grown from USD 2.2 billion in 2014 to USD 4.7 billion in 2015, to USD 6.9 billion in 2016 and it was USD 6.3 billion in 2017.
“The country’s ranking is likely to improve further in 2020, mainly on the back of the comprehensive implementation of RERA in all states, introduction of insurance policies for Land Title Insurance, pseudo-ownership of properties weeded out through ?Benami Transactions Act? and the sector aligning itself well with Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime,” he added.
The JLL’s index measures transparency by looking at factors including data availability its authenticity and accuracy, governance of public agencies as well as stakeholders of the realty sector, transaction processes and costs associated with those, and the regulatory and legal environment.


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ADB cuts India’s FY20 GDP growth forecast to 7% on fiscal shortfall worries

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Asian Development Bank on Thursday lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 7 per cent for the current year on the back of fiscal shortfall concerns.

“India is expected to grow by 7 per cent in 2019 (FY20) and 7.2 per cent in 2020 (FY21), slightly slower than projected in April because the fiscal 2018 outturn fell short,” ADB said in its supplement to the Asian Development Outlook 2019.

For the south Asian region, ADB said the outlook remains robust, with growth projected at 6.6 per cent in 2019 and 6.7 per cent in 2020.

 

Earlier in April this year too, the Manila-based multi-lateral funding agency had lowered India’s growth forecast for FY20 to 7.2 per cent from 7.6 per cent estimated previously due to moderation in global demand and likely shortfall in revenue on the domestic front.

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Jalan panel proposes ‘nominal’ transfer of RBI funds to govt over 3-5 years

Agencies

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New Delhi: The Union government may not get the windfall gain it was expecting from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reserves as the Bimal Jalan committee, tasked with reviewing the central bank’s economic capital framework, has proposed a “nominal” transfer of surplus to the central government in a phased manner, according to a source in the know.

“The report has proposed a formula for a nominal transfer of a portion of the RBI’s reserves to the central government in a period of three-five years. This is in line with the current practice being followed by the RBI for transferring dividend annually,” a person close to the development said.

The person said the panel members might “not be unanimous” on the suggestions the committee made. These will be submitted to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das “in a few days”. The RBI’s central board, headed by Das, will take up the matter.

 

The report would likely include a dissent note by Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, who is the government’s representative on the panel.

The committee has recommended a periodic review of the RBI’s economic capital framework, according to the source.

Initially, the finance ministry had expected around Rs 3 trillion from the RBI’s reserve funds, which were at the heart of a conflict between the regulator and the government last year.

On the insistence of the finance ministry, the central board of the RBI formed a six-member committee — headed by Jalan and co-chaired by former RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan — in December to review the central bank’s economic capital framework.

The main difference of opinion within the panel was over transferring the RBI’s “excess” capital reserves. While most panel members are in favour of a phased transfer of the RBI’s capital reserves to the government over the years, the government’s view, voiced by Garg, was for a one-time transfer.

For this financial year, the government had accounted for around Rs 20,000 crore as “additional dividend” from the RBI, a finance ministry official said. This, the official said, is unlikely to happen.

In the Receipts Budget, allocation towards the “dividend or surplus of RBI, nationalised banks and financial institutions” was increased by Rs 23,130 crore to Rs 1.06 trillion in 2019-20, compared to the Interim Budget.

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Nod to bankruptcy code changes, will help home buyers

Agencies

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New Delhi: The government today gave its approval to seven amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), a move that will benefit unsecured creditors like home buyers in a big way.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said, the IBC (Amendment) Bill, 2019, would be introduced in Parliament during this session and will have retrospective effect. An official statement read: “The amendments aim to fill critical gaps in the corporate insolvency resolution framework as enshrined in the Code.”

of all financial creditors, including unsecured ones (home buyers) covered under Section 21 (6A) “shall be cast in accordance with the decision approved by the highest voting share (more than 50 per cent) of financial creditors on present and voting basis”, it said. It also said greater emphasis had been given “on the need for time-bound disposal at application stage and a deadline for completion of CSRP within an overall limit of 330 days, including litigation and other judicial processes”. Experts say this provision will help unsecured creditors (mostly home buyers) in a big way.

 
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