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Feel LIFO method best suited for funding a stressed asset fund for stuck projects: Niranjan Hiranandani

He said he is hopeful that the home loan rate would be down to 7.25 percent before the end of this year.

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

Niranjan Hiranandani, Chairman & MD, Hiranandani Group and National President- NAREDCO, spoke to Moneycontrol on a range of issues affecting the real estate sector.

Edited excerpts:

Q. Are you hopeful that the target set for 'Housing for All' will be achieved?

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NAREDCO has been at the forefront when it comes to 'Housing for All' programme. This is something that meets the ambition of the entire housing industry and we are really looking forward to it. The goal of the Prime Minister will certainly be met by 2022. However, there are many issues, which have come up, especially after the ILFS debacle. We need to see that the requirement of liquidity for real estate that has now become 3 X of what it was before is met. That is the reason why we have approached the Reserve Bank of India, Finance Ministry and Housing Ministry to ensure liquidity requirements of the sector are met.

The other major issue that we have to watch out is how banks will be able to get lower cost funds for the end consumer. It is my belief that it could come down to 7.25 percent before the end of this year. And hence, this is the right time for people to buy apartments and take loans from the financial institutions. I think there is going to be great spurt in the entire system.

Q. What is the update on the stressed asset fund?

We are all aware of the crisis which is taking place in terms of incomplete projects. Especially in the NCR region, we have more than 2 lakh apartments which are incomplete. So those are the ones for which we are seeking a stressed asset fund which would be the last mile funding to complete these projects. The Supreme Court is also concurrent in terms of getting these projects completed ASAP for the interest of consumers. We look forward to see how the stressed asset fund can be raised. We have suggested the LIFO (Last in first out) method for the purpose of funding for the stressed asset fund and this can be done very quickly if the government gives necessary directions in this regard.

Q. The Hiranandani Group forayed into data centre parks with their new business venture Yotta Infrastructure. Would you be getting into the smart cities business in the long run?

I think the opportunity of data is very important to India, especially with regards to localisation of data. I think there is an opportunity in this sector. However, it is extremely capital intensive. It is also a difficult business as it is a service industry and not really a real estate business alone. So, we are looking at it as a separate line of business and I think there is an opportunity in it at this point in time. But at the end of the day, there won’t be more than 10 players in the whole of India which will cater to these kind of businesses. We do see opportunity that will grow in this segment like other segments such as logistics, industrial spaces. We think that is also an opportunity that our company would like to take forward.

vandana.ramnani@nw18.com

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First Published on Sep 4, 2019 02:10 pm
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