The association blames high land prices, government's taxation policy for rising prices

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) wants various taxes levied by the government reduced so as to provide affordable housing.

The association is organising a two-day convention, NATCON-2010, which opens here on Thursday. It aims to discuss ways to provide affordable housing.

Speaking to journalists at a pre-convention press conference here on Wednesday, President (National Capital Region) of the association Pradeep Jain said the various taxes and levies imposed by the government which included service tax, stamp duty, VAT, excise duty, sanction and approval costs amounted to 30-33 per cent of the cost of housing. He said the association would request the government to reduce the taxes.

Dharmesh Jain, West Zone Vice-President, said developers were worried about the rising price of housing. He said there was an artificial scarcity of land at present and that improvement of urban infrastructure would make more land available for housing development.

Regarding the CREDAI's stand on the need for a regulatory body for the housing sector, South Zone Vice-President Prakash Challa said there were hundreds of firms in the real estate business and that a regulator was better placed to deal with sectors with only a few players.

He suggested that an ombudsman would be a better option.

They blamed the high price of land and the government's taxation policy for the rising prices and said CREDAI was attempting through the convention to achieve coordination between Central, State and urban local bodies on a uniform policy that would help deliver affordable housing units in urban India, which according to some estimates, was faced with a shortfall of 25 million units.

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