COVID-19 impact: Miffed real estate players launch online petition for revival

Updated: Jun 15, 2020, 08:13 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Among other measures, Revive Real Estate Revive Economy seeks cheaper home loans to boost demand in the construction sector

Representational picture
Representational picture

A bleeding real estate sector has taken the online route to reach out to the government for a relief package to bail it out. Upset over no relief in the union government's measures to mitigate the COVID-19 crisis, industry czars have started a petition on Change.org.

The petition wants a revival of the industry through various measures, such as making loans cheaper for homebuyers to boost demand. The industry has been facing a slowdown since demonetisation and the situation has worsened further as liquidity has been squeezed due the to COVID-19 outbreak and the consequent lockdown.

The petition, 'Revive Real Estate Revive Economy' has received over 35,000 signatures so far. The office-bearers of a housing industry body, in the petition, have said that the construction sector contributes around seven to eight per cent of the GDP and is the largest employment generating sector after agriculture.

"One rupee spent on construction results in an increase in the overall output of the economy by two rupees. Hence for the economy to revive, the revival of real estate sector is very crucial," Ajay Ashar, Chairman, CREDAI MCHI MMR Action Committee, told mid-day.

The petition expresses displeasure with the stimulus package offered by the union government for the revival of the economy. "Union government announced a R20 lakh crore package. But, unfortunately, the relief provided to the real estate sector is minuscule as compared to the contribution of the real estate sector towards the economy," the petition mentions.

Meanwhile, the industry has expressed displeasure with union minister Piyush Goyal's statement that developers should sell homes at realistic prices. Those helming the petition claim that instead of giving relief to the industry the senior BJP minister's statement has made things
more difficult.

However, a section of leaders quickly moved into damage-control mode and tried to pacify real estate players. The former chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis and representatives of real estate players had a meeting through a webinar. Industry players urged Fadnavis to take up their issues with the central BJP leadership and quickly fix the problems.

Accordingly, Fadnavis urged finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to look into the demands of the construction industry. The union finance minister in a tweet said, "Will receive the petition that you (read as Fadnavis) shall send. Assure you that we will give it a fresh and open-minded look."

8%
Sector's approx contribution to the GDP

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