Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Government to develop IT Park on Kadamba Plateau

After its failure to develop an IT habitat at Dona-Paula, the Government is setting up the IT Park on an area of over two lakh sq mts atop the Kadamba plateau. The land, which was in possession of Directorate of Heath Services, had been transferred to the IT department.

While the government is convinced and decided to develop the IT Park, the local Panchayat (Chimbel) members had rejected the proposal of setting up of IT Park on Kadamba plateau.
However, the opposition benches and the independents, who have been raising the issue of employment generation in the state assembly, have to now support the IT park. The vocal voices, including Vijai Sardesai and Rohan Khanute are in the BJP led coalition government in the state.
Sardesai has said that the IT sector is very important in the state and the young talents who are moving out of the state have to be accommodated with the state by inviting a best of the IT companies in Goa offering them a red carpet.
He mentioned the Common Minimum Programme should be to “give maximum employment to the Goan youth in IT sector and government will provide all support to the companies,” he added.
Speaking to Herald, BJP State President Vinay Tendulkar said “The government had to go through a lot of hurdles but the BJP government is firm on these projects as it will provide ample employment opportunities for the youth who otherwise go to other states for job opportunities.”
“The previous IT habitat at Dona Paula had failed to attract companies as there were many land problems and the land was of higher rates but now many of the companies have shown interest in setting up their units at both the IT Park in Chimbel and Tuem electronic cluster,” said Tendulkar.

Source: Herald, Goa
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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Cheaper loans, lower registration fee for green homes soon!

NEW DELHI: The government is working on a scheme to promote energy efficient homes by offering cheaper loans and lower registration fee for green residential units as it ramps up efforts to mitigate climate change by moving towards a net zero-energy building regime.

Government sources said the proposal is part of ongoing discussions on framing the 'Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Sector (ECBC-R)' on the lines of such a code for government and commercial buildings framed in 2007.

Minister for power, coal and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, is scheduled to release the refreshed version of the code, ECBC-2017, on Monday, outlining a quantum leap towards a greener outlook for Indian realty.

Sources said the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), an outfit under the power ministry, is working on a scheme to incentivise new homes that are more energy efficient and make lower demand on utilities for lighting and cooling energy.

Also on the table is a proposal to extend the incentives to make existing residential properties more energy efficient through retrofitting.

The thinking behind the proposals is in line with the incentives given to rooftop solar projects for the residential sector, which have been brought under the ambit of home loans that enjoy low interest rates.

Admittedly, it is still a work in progress and, as the sources said, "the i's are yet to be dotted and the t's to be crossed".

The move for a code for residential buildings has been prompted by concerns over demand side management, a vital step for maintaining a sustainable growth and lowering carbon emission at a time when the economy trots apace.

ECBC-R will be a booster for the government's 'Make in India' campaign as it is expected to raise the demand for energy efficient household equipment as well as other services.

As reported by TOI on November 2, 2016, the World Bank estimated India's market potential for energy efficient products at Rs 1.6 lakh crore, on the basis of the success of Ujala — the Narendra Modi government's scheme to replace old filament and CFL bulbs with modern LED lamps.

Seen in the backdrop of climate change and expanding cities, ECBC-R will strengthen the government's efforts at reducing the carbon footprint of a growing segment of energy consumers. It will also add green jobs in the real estate sector.

Source: ETRealty
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Friday, 9 June 2017

Home loans set to get cheaper as RBI eases norms for banks

RBI reduces risk weightage and the amount of money banks have to set aside as security on home loans, in moves that should benefit customers and real estate developers

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday made it possible for banks to lend more to home buyers, and at lower interest rates, in a move that should benefit customers as well as real estate developers.

The central bank did this by reducing the amount of money banks have to set aside (as security) on home loans. Previously, they had to set aside 0.4%, or Rs400 per lakh. This has now been reduced to 0.25%, or Rs250 per lakh.

Combined with the cut in the statutory liquidity ratio (the portion of deposits which banks have to invest in government securities) by 50 basis points, or 0.5 percentage point, this means banks now have that much more capital to lend. The reduction in the amount banks have to set aside (also called a provision) also mean lower home loan rates.

The central bank also reduced the so-called risk weightage on home loans of between Rs30 lakh and Rs75 lakh to 35% from 50%, and over Rs75 lakh to 50% from 75%.

Risk weights are used to calculate the minimum amount of capital that must be held by banks to reduce the risk of insolvency.

This could make bigger home loans less expensive. (Typically, loans above Rs75 lakh were up to 0.5 percentage points more expensive, in terms of interest than other loans.)

“When risk weightage drops it means the banks have that much more money to lend. If it has dropped by one third it means the cost of doing business comes down which makes it possible for banks to then cut interest rate and pass it on to the borrowers,” said Rajeev Ahuja, chief operating officer, RBL Bank Ltd. The reduction in rates will be higher for bigger ticket size loans which are already more expensive when compared to loans of lower value. Currently, the interest rate on home loans above Rs75 lakh is higher. For instance, State Bank of India offers an interest rate of 8.35% for loan amount below Rs30 lakh while for loan above Rs75 lakh the interest rate is at 8.65%.

RBI’s decision was prompted by an understanding of the multiplier effect of home loans, according to RBI deputy governor N.S. Vishwanathan. His reference is to the fact that an increase in home loans means more home sales, which will benefit real estate developers—and companies in the construction, cement and steel businesses at one end, and companies in the furniture and appliance businesses at another.

“Delinquencies (are) generally among the lowest in home loan segment....It has been decided to reduce risk weight on certain categories on home loans and also the standard asset provisioning,” Vishwanathan added.

According to Vishwanathan, reduction of statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) by 50 basis points will help banks in achieving 100% liquidity coverage ratio by January 2019. These two factors together will bring buoyancy to the home loan segment.

Credit to the housing segment has increased by 13.4% year-on-year at the end of April.

Banks are focusing on affordable housing as demand from other sectors of the economy has dried up and to take advantage of incentives offered by the government to home buyers. Many banks have reduced their home loan rates. The government on 31 December announced the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for Middle Income Groups, where interest subsidy of 4% was granted on housing loans of up to Rs 9 lakh and 3% on housing loans of up to Rs 12 lakh.

According to a report by CLSA India Pvt., housing sales could rise from Rs7 trillion in financial year 2017 to Rs17 trillion by fiscal 2024 on the back of market growth and impetus to affordable housing.

“The decision to reduce the risk weights for home loans over Rs30 lakh category will release capital for the banking industry and is a positive move,” said SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.

Banks have already been aggressively cutting home loan rates. SBI, for instance, has already cut its one-year marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) —the rate linked to its home loans—to 8% currently from 9.20% in April 2016.

Source: Livemint
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Friday, 2 June 2017

Kalyan-Dombivli-Taloja metro under consideration: Devendra Fadnavis

THANE: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said that proposal of a circular metro loop along Kalyan-Dombivli-Taloja route was under consideration.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had been asked to carry out a feasibility survey for it, the CM said, speaking at the inauguration of a flyover at Mankoli junction here.

Fadnavis also said that development of metro network in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) would be a boon for the environment, as there would be a huge reduction in carbon emissions caused by vehicles. He asked the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to ensure that all the ongoing projects in MMR are completed within the next two and a half years.

The Chief Minister directed the MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan to opt for outsourcing of manpower and appoint project management consultants whenever required. Within the next two years, work of 200-km metro network would be undertaken in the MMR, Fadnavis said.

The neighbouring town of Bhiwandi was being developed as a logistics hub, which will provide employment to around 10 lakh people, the CM claimed. Tenders for infrastructural work of nearly Rs 985 crore in Bhiwandi would be floated soon, he said

Source: Economic Times
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