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Industry Minister Anand Sharma: FDI norms for real estate may be relaxed

New Delhi, Sep 16 (Calcutta Tube) Reiterating the government’s commitment to make India an attractive foreign investment destination, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Thursday said the three-year lock-in period for overseas investment in the real estate sector might be relaxed.

‘It is an evolving process. We will take an appropriate decision when required,’ Sharma told reporters on the sidelines an industry event.

He pointed out that India has emerged as the second most favoured destination for overseas investment after China on the back of forward looking government policies and strong macro-economic outlook.

‘We are committed to create an investment friendly environment, be it in real estate or any other sector,’ he added.

India allows 100 percent foreign direct investment in integrated housing projects.

However, there are certain conditions like investment has to be made within six months of commencement of business and repatriation of original investments is not permitted before a period of three years.

These conditions, many analysts say, is restrictive in nature and limit the flow of overseas investment into the real estate sector.

Sharma said the government’s conservative policies had helped tide over the global economic and financial crisis quickly and successfully.

‘Indian real estate sector emerged from the crisis because their focus shifted to affordable housing projects, the demand for which remains strong in the country,’ he said.

He pointed out that real estate sector was the second largest employer after agriculture. ‘In the 12th plan period $1.7 trillion investment is planned for infrastructure development. It will boost real estate sector in the country,’ Sharma added.

Earlier addressing a conference, Pranay Vakil, co-chairman of FICCI Real Estate Committee, urged the government to relax foreign direct investment regulations.

He pointed out three major areas of concern for the sector– restrictive clauses regarding inflow of FDI in real estate, need for encouragement to organised rental housing, encouragement to public-private-partnership for affordable housing projects.

— Indo-Asian News Service

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