A total of Rs 18,900 crore worth Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and investment proposals were signed on Monday at the ongoing first ever real estate summit held in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
The summit, which is being held in Jammu, has been organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in collaboration with the government of Jammu and Kashmir and the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).
Signature Group, a major real estate player, has proposed to invest Rs 2,000 crore for constructing 10,000 units of affordable houses in the region.
Besides, colonies for Central and state government employees as well as for police personnel will be constructed.
Also, a central secretariat, where all Central ministries can be brought under one umbrella in order to provide ease in services to the people, would be set up in the UT, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said.
“I assure all the real estate developers that we will provide incentives (to you) at par with the other Indian states,” Sinha said.
As far as fresh investment is concerned, he said that the UT has received Rs 44,000 crore worth investment proposals. Of the received proposals, most of the investors have submitted their DPRs and other required fees.
The total investment is expected to touch Rs 60,000 crore in a very short period of time, Sinha said.
On its part, NAREDCO President Rajan Narayan Bandelkar emphasised that the Centre should come out with a policy measure so that the issue of ‘input tax credit’ related to real estate is sorted out.
During the event, Niranjan Hiranandani, Vice Chairman of NAREDCO and Founder-cum-Managing Director of Hirananadani Group, suggested the UT administration to come up with integrated townships, wherein IT, hospitality, and residential infrastructure, among others, could be set up.
Also, the connectivity situation has improved drastically in the region, and the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar has reduced from 12 hours to five hours.
Railway connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar is expected to be launched by 2023, J&K Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta said.
Taking into account these improvements in connectivity in the UT, the stage is set for real estate investors to hit the ground, Mehta said.
“When it comes to credit support, banks in J&K have enough liquidity for the industry,” Mehta said.
In addition, the J&K administration has assured the investors of single window clearance as well as end-to-end digital experience for all the requisite compliances.
“We will provide a single window with multiple doors, not a single window with multiple closed doors,” Mehta added.
On providing the locals the opportunity to sell their land to corporates or investors, Mehta said unlocking of land use was much needed as the government cannot deny land owners the value of the lands.
He also said that J&K’s GDP is expected to double in the next five years.
Notably, all offices in J&K have shifted to e-office mode and the rate of disposal of files is 97 per cent.
The e-office mode and the faster rate of disposal will fast-track the mandatory approval required for setting up real estate infrastructure.
In addition, three dimensional property mapping will be done in the UT by the next 18 months, Mehta announced.
Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, said: “Real estate sector should be opened up as it has a multiplier effect linked with it. Ultimately, it will open up every other aspect in the economy.”
Mishra, while delivering his keynote address, also mentioned that construction of metro mobility services in the UT is in ‘advanced stage’.
During the course of the summit, a portal for e-auction of real estate assets and Real Estate Regulatory Authority was launched. Also, J&K adopted the Model Tenancy Act on Monday.
Speaking at the event, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, said that there is a demand for 2.5 to 3 lakh units of houses in the UT.
“Land is available, demand is available. It’s time to take it forward from here,” he told the industry participants.
According to Anuj Puri, Chairman of ANAROCK Group: “There is no doubt that real estate in J&K, especially in the tourism hotspots of Kashmir, potentially has highly aspirational aspects. Hospitality firms are especially eager to get a stronger foothold there.
“However, there is no wishing away the fact that this is a politically charged region where the interests of all stakeholders, especially locals, need to be taken into consideration. Investors will also do a much higher than usual due diligence in terms of overall prospects and safety.”
It is hoped that the summit will address and clear up at least some of the prevailing doubts and ambiguities, he added.