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Second wave of COVID-19 pandemic ‘worrisome’ if there is a complete lockdown, says CREDAI's new president

Sales will bounce back to 2019-levels provided the second wave of the pandemic remains under control, CREDAI said

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘worrisome’ and it may become a ‘short-term dampener’ depending on its intensity. But if there is no complete lockdown, sales may definitely touch the 2019 levels, CREDAI national president Harsh Vardhan Patodia has said.

“We are worried over the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. If logistics and supply chain support is available and migrant labour is on site, I don’t think there will be a problem. Unless there is a complete lockdown, livelihoods lost or people unable to go to work, then the sentiments may get impacted and COVID-19 may turn out to be a short-term dampener,” he told reporters at a virtual press conference.

However, if the impact is not severe like last year, “we will definitely touch the 2019 sales levels,” he added.

Boman Irani, president-elect, CREDAI National, said that there is a likelihood of a slowdown in sales in the month of April not because the buying appetite of buyers is expected to get impacted but “because people may not be able to move and register their property documents.”

The builders’ body also said that depending on how the pandemic pans out the second time, they would approach the authorities and seek extensions in project timelines. “If the situation goes beyond our control, the industry will approach the authorities,” said Patodia.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Patodia, who recently took over as CREDAI president and is the managing director of Kolkata-based Unimark group, said CREDAI will also urge the state governments to reduce stamp duty on registration of properties to boost the real estate sector.

As for last-mile funding made available to stuck project through the SWAMIH Fund, the realtors said that they hope that “a lot of private equity funds will fill up that space.”

Pankaj Goel, secretary, CREDAI National, said the association would approach the government for its pending demands such as infrastructure status for the realty sector, GST input tax credit for both housing and commercial segments, faster environment clearance and easier credit availability.

“We have requested the government to give us infrastructure status so that the credit is available at a reasonable cost and so is working capital. Unfortunately, real estate is not entitled to working capital. That leads to cashflow mismanagement and an increase in costs. Another issue that has been highlighted is the steep increase in the price of cement and steel. Like real estate industry, CREDAI has asked the government to appoint a regulator to see that increase in price of steel and cement are regulated and there is no cartelization,” he said.

Patodia also announced the setting up of CREDAI Start-up Angel Network and Incubation & Acceleration Centre, an initiative that aims to help and support tech start-ups in the real estate space and CREDAI’s own Research and Analytics Centre. The CREDAI Research and Analytics Centre will facilitate the availability of real-time and authentic data for future growth strategies.
Vandana Ramnani
first published: Apr 7, 2021 06:59 pm

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