Laser-like focus on “business transparency” dominated a conference of India's real estate leaders here on Thursday. Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath commended them for addressing the “image deficit” in this critical sector.

Thematic documents on “Mission transparency,” prepared by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI), were presented to the Minister at its 11th national convention. Receiving the “transparency” papers, Mr. Nath said they fully reflected the conference theme of “igniting change in Indian realty”.

The papers were formally handed over after CREDAI Chairman Pradeep Jain emphasised the need for proactive policies by the Indian authorities to support the growth of the real estate sector. CREDAI President Lalit Kumar Jain also drew attention to the current “policy vacuum” and its impact on the business practices in the real estate sector. The solution, in Mr. Jain's view, was to facilitate single-window clearances.

Highlighting how important these documents were for the industry, CREDAI Secretary T. Chitty Babu, who is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Akshaya Homes, said: “CREDAI's Mission Transparency will bring in a revolutionary change in the Indian real estate business. This will lead to ethical business practices by which the supply of homes could be increased through the single-window approvals. Ethical practices will also reduce costs”.

Commenting on the importance of such economic imperatives, Mr. Nath, in his inaugural address, pointed out that India had emerged in recent years as “the largest aspirational society on this planet”. The Government would, therefore, have to look at public-private partnership and other new models of economic growth.

While the micro-level transaction costs in India's real estate sector should be addressed, it was commendable that CREDAI was now engaging itself in some “inward thinking”. The “image deficit” in this sector was sought to be set right by “steps which are not imposed upon you [CREDAI],” said Mr. Nath.

India at present accounted for 3.3 per cent of the global market share in the realty domain. Viewed differently, India today constituted the ninth largest construction market in the world. In the related big picture, India's current challenges were those of sustaining and managing overall economic growth. Within this framework, sub-urbanisation, as distinct from urbanisation, had also emerged as a new challenge in recent years, said Mr. Nath.

Real Estate Awards 2010 were presented at the end of the first day's session of the CREDAI convention. More business sessions are slated for Friday.

Keywords: real estate

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