`India tops list of nations receiving remittances’

Indians working across the globe sent home $ 62.7 billion last year, making India the top remittance-receiving country surpassing China, according to a UN report. The `One Family at a Time’ study by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said about 200 million migrants globally sent more than $ 445 million in 2016 as remittances to their families.

It said 80% of remittances are received by 23 countries, led by India, China, the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan. The top 10 sending countries account for almost half of annual flows, led by the US, Saudi Arabia and Russia. The study said India was the top receiving country for remittances in 2016 at $62.7 billion, followed by China ($61 billion), the Philippines ($30 billion) and Pakistan ($20 billion).

Source: The Times of India, Friday 16 June 2017

RERA: Looking for solutions from a real estate agent’s perspective

The job of a real estate broker needs more recognition and more definition along with licensing and certification. Even on a conservative estimation, real estate broking is a Rs 18,000-crore industry with over five lakh real estate agents across the country. A real estate professional needs four major qualities: Knowledge of the construction industry, knowledge of the law, knowledge of basic accounts, finance and taxation and the knowledge of sales and marketing.

RERA does speak of registering the agents, sections 9 and 10 of the Act cover the role of a real estate agent. It is definitely better to have some legal recognition, but in order to fix the power, duties and responsibilities of an agent or a middleman, a lot more needs to be defined.

Source: The Indian Express, Saturday 17 June 2017

BMC opens window to let out lengthy process for getting NOC, PR card details

If everything goes according to plan, the period for getting no objection certificate (NOC) of property record (PR) card details and remarks will be cut down from 17 days to one day, as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has introduced an integrated link to the Revenue Department in the online approval process. Under the ease of doing business initiative, the civic body has initiated a single-window clearance system to streamline the time taken for issuing lengthy permissions for construction.

Officials added, “The PR card is one of the 42 processes listed by the World Bank for construction permissions in the city. The link will also have minor details like the subdivision details of plot. This would definitely streamline the process and cut down the time period.” A senior officer from the DP department said, “Now BMC has brought down the time period for total permissions for construction in the city from 164 days to 60 days.”

Source: Mid-Day, Friday 23 June 2017

Mumbai in top ten priciest markets in office rental values in Asia-Pacific region

Mumbai figured in the top 10 markets with the highest office rental values in the Asia-Pacific region for the first quarter of 2017, said a report from real estate consultancy Jones Land La Salle (JLL). Hong Kong continues to be the priciest market in the region while the top 10 also had cities such as Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul and Sydney. Overall, rents in the Asia-Pacific region increased 2.9 per cent from a year ago, slightly faster than the 2.3 per cent rate seen in the December quarter, fourth quarter of 2016, said the report. However, overall leasing volumes fell 4 per cent from a year ago, primarily because of slackness in India where markets cooled as supply volumes dropped sharply, said the report.

Source: The Indian Express, Saturday 24 June 2017

No one wants to redevelop Dharavi

Demonetisation, Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA), and Goods and Services Tax (GST) have affected the state government’s pet project. The redevelopment of Dharavi, to the extent that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had to meet developers to convince them to take an interest in it.

According to a recent plan for the project, officials wanted to involve communities with competitive bidding from the developers, but there has been no decision on this, and the authorities are looking for another scheme to attract bidders. The last time bids were opened, there was no response, despite successful pre-bid meetings.

Source: Mid-Day, Wednesday 28 June 2017

GST on real estate at 12%: Govt

While notifying the rates on Wednesday, the government pegged the GST on under-construction real estate at 18% that will be applicable on two-thirds of the value of the property. This will bring down the effective rate to 12% when calculated on the entire value, which was the rate announced last month after the crucial meeting of the GST Council. Therefore, the net tax incidence will remain at 12% of the selling price of a housing or real estate unit.

The discount of 33.33% on property value has been given against the land price. Land is an asset that is neither classified as goods, nor is it a service. In fact, there are court pronouncements to this effect, and this has resulted in it being kept out of the GST regime, explained an officer. In the current regime when service tax was being levied on real estate, an abatement of 70% was allowed on the total value of the property to adjust against value of land and commodities used for the construction of a housing unit. In this way, buyers had to pay only service tax of 15% on 30% of the value of the property.

Source: The Times of India, Friday 30 June 2017

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