Friday, December 28, 2007

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie buy private island in Dubai

Earlier Dubai was about buying luxurious property, but now its is also about buying Private Islands :-)

The glamorous star couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have bought their own private island in Nhakeel's "The World" project in Dubai. Dubai-based celebrity and society web site
Ahlanlive reported that the celebrity couple have purchased one of the artificial islands with a view to turning it into a showpiece for environmental issues with the hope that it will encourage people to live a "greener life," the web site said.

The World, one of Nakeel’s prestigious projects, will consist of between 250 to 300 smaller private artificial islands in the shape of a map of the world divided into four categories - private homes, estate homes, dream resorts, and community islands. Each island will range from 250,000 to 900,000 square feet in size, with 50 to 100 metres of water between each island.

The development is to cover an area of 9 kilometers in length and 6 kilometers in width, surrounded by an oval shaped breakwater. The only means of transportation between the islands will be by marine transport.

Many other celebrity couples are believed to have bought islands in this particular development, but the developer of “The World” Nakheel does not comment on who has bought islands within The World without the permission of the owners.

Celebrities are a key target market for Nakheel because they are assured perfect privacy as the plots are only accessible by boat, and security patrols surround the islands. The islands can also be developed to their own personal requirements.

Karan Vinayak

Contributed By : Karan Vinayak

Friday, November 30, 2007

A survey on real estate residential market of Twin cities - Hyderabad and Secunderabad

A survey on real estate residential market of Twin cities by M.L.Rao. Chief Coordinator, Equate Realtors, Hyderabad, India.


Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, has been known for its heritage, traditional hospitality and a thriving software industry. It is one of the largest metropolises of India, with a population of around 6.1 million people, spread over an area of approximately 625 sq.kms. The capital is in reality the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad linked together by the Hussain Sagar Lake and is now the second largest city in India with the recent inclusion of the 12 municipalities being merged into Greater Hyderabad.

This city that once predominantly depended on engineering based industries and trade as a means of income has seen a dramatic change over the last few decades. With the IT boom, companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, Delloite, IBM, Perot, Polaris, Accenture, CA, HP, GE, UBS, Convergys and Franklin Templeton have set up offices in Hyderabad. This led to the development of infrastructure facilities and the general growth of the contiguous locations surrounding the Hitech City area, also referred to as Cyberabad, which has a coherence of its own due to the pace of development and the attraction of overseas investors. In recent times, owing to the interest generated in the Hitech City, real estate development has picket up considerably in the adjoining Gachibowli area where a number of campus development by IT major like Microsoft, Infosys, Wipro, Polaris, Kanbay, UBS, Franklin Templeton etc, are located. This has led to a substantial inflow of IT / ITES professionals, thus escalating the demand for Grade-A residential projects across Hyderabad. The research and survey done by professional real estate broker named M.L.Rao, chief coordinator of Equate Realtors (, having immense experience in real estate broking since 21 years at Twin Cities and having branch at Vizag.

Apart from the office market of this region, Hyderabad also as numerous prestigious educational institutions like Osmania University, ICFAI and Indian School of Business. The floating population of students from these universities has impacted the lifestyle and trends of the city as well. While a few years ago students stayed in hostels, nowadays they prefer to share apartment accommodations with batch mates.

Till a decade ago the mid-end residential development in Hyderabad were largely concentrated in locations like the Uppal Zone, Dilsukhnagar, Koti, Secunderabad, etc, while the localities of Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, and nearby areas continued to be premium locations. Market in these locations soon became saturated and due to non-availability of land parcels, builders were forced to move to other locations. Consequently, large scale developments are now seen in locations like Kukatpally, Madhapur, Miyapur, Madinaguda, Gachibowli, Nizampet, Kompally, Tellapur and Gopannapally.

Current Scenario

While the real estate market in Hyderabad has witnessed an immense amount of activity in the last decade, there has been an unprecedented boom in the last two years and residential capital values have witnessed a rise of around 75-130%. An estimated residential supply of around 56.31 mn.sq.ft is likely to enter the Hyderabad market by the end of 2009-10.

Infrastructure project like the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and the development of SEZs proposed by the government has led to speculation in the real estate market. This could be the cause for demand for land parcels and residential accommodations in Shamshabad, Maheshwaram and locations along Vijayawada highway. The housing requirement in the Madhapur-Gachibowli corridor has resulted in large scale Grade-A projects by major developers like L&T Info city, Lanco, Indu Group, IVRCL, Emaar-MGF, My home, IJM etc., ( Local builders like Manjeera Constructions, Alliance, Aparna etc). in the western and north western locations. The demand in Madhapur, Kukatpally, Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Somajiguda, Yusufguda and Gachibowli as compared to other locations in primarily driven by the IT / ITES professionals with higher income levels enabling them to invest in these prime neighborhoods.

A notable trend in the buyer behavior of this city is the consistent demand for villas and row houses especially in the peripheral locations. This could be due to the buyer’s perception that the price of land will always be bullish. Buyers seem to be ready to commute 18-20 kms out of the city and invest in a villa. Of the total estimated supply for 2009-10, 25% will be in terms of villas and bungalows while 75% will be in the form of apartments.

Central Zone

The central zone includes locations such as Begumpet, Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Somajiguda, Panjagutta, Chikkadpally, Ramkoti and Malakpet, most of which are in and around the Hussain

Sagar Lake. Majority of the locations form the traditional residential hubs of the city and capital values in this region range between Rs.2, 500-6,300. Since there are fewer land parcels available, most of the constructions encompassed in this region are stand-alone developments. Locations such as Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills are still considered as prime residential locations and cater to the higher income segment. Construction activity in this micro-market is mainly observed on the inner roads of Banjara Hills Road No.10 and 12. However a large percentage of these projects are redevelopments of existing villas and bungalows. The projected supply to enter this zone by the year 2009-2010 is 1.61 mn.sq.ft. A few notable projects for this region would be Aditya’s Green Park with high-end apartments in the vicinity of Jubilee Hills on 6.91 acres of land, RRS Towers on Raj Bhavan Road and Prajay Riveria at Banjara Hills.

Northern Zone

Although a large percentage of the northern region is cantonment area, the project size in this micro-market is on a much larger scale than in most other locations of the city. This region has an even mix of both apartment as well as villa and bungalow development. This can be attributed to the fact that a considerable amount of the demand in these locations is investment driven. Maximum construction is being seen in Nizampet, Kompally, Bowenpally, Qutbullapur and Nagpur Highway and capital values for apartments and villas in these regions fall between the range of Rs.2,550-4,500 sq.ft. Many of the prominent developers have take up projects in this region as there are large expanses of land available complimented by excellent infrastructure facilities. Large projects in this zone include Ambience Neighbourhood by Ambience Group and Casa Estebana, a luxurious project by Koncept Ambience Group comprising 45 villas. A few other notable projects by local developers and Aditya’s Grand Ville of 100 independently villas and Ashoka’s ‘A la Maison’ in Kompally, Splendid Aparna Integrated township. This region is the second largest contributor to Hyderabad’s residential supply and has an estimated 9.13 mn.sq.ft. that is likely to enter the market by 2009-10.

Eastern Zone

The eastern zone comprises of locations such as Shameerpet, Yapral, Cherlapalle, Pocharam, Uppal, Kuntlur, Musheerabad, Marredpally and parts of Secunderabad, and has an estimated supply of around 2.46 mn.sq.ft that would enter the market by 2009-10. This region mainly consists of gated community and villa development, as buyers prefer to take a villa rather than an apartment at the prevailing rates. The northern part of this region has a majority of projects in Shameerpet and Yapral. Two large projects in this micro-market include those by Prajay Engineers Syndicate Ltd called Prajay Celebrity Villas and Prajay Bloomingdale. While the northern half of this zone is experiencing active real estate development in the above locations, the rest of the eastern zone is witnessing activity concentrated at Pocharam on Warangal highway. A notable construction in Whitefield is that by Hallmark Construction called Express Towers which has an amphitheatre among the facilities being offered. This zone is both end-user as well as investment driven, the capital values ranging between Rs.1, 600-3,500 /sqft.

Western Zone

The western part of the city encompasses locations in Cyberabad such as BHEL, Madhapur, Gachibowli, Gopannapally, Kukatpally, Miyapur, Nanakramguda, Manikonda, Bachupally, Kondapur, etc. this region with a supply of approximately 39.72 mn.sq.ft. is the major contributor to the overall supply that is likely to enter the Hyderabad residential market by 2009-10. North western regions like Bachupally, Borampet and the locations around the Biotech Park mostly have villa and row house development, while Madhapur, Gachibowli and Kukatpally, and have high-end residential apartments which are 5-14 stories high. L&T Serene County in Gachibowli, spread over 31 acres, includes a shopping complex and community centre.

Other notable projects in these locations include Hill Ridge in Gachibowli and Lanco Hills in Manikonda. Raintree Park, a joint venture township project between Andhra Pradesh Housing Board and IJM (India) Infrastructure Limited, is being developed at Kukatpally on 35 acres. Locations like Nadagandla, Gopannapally, and Hitech City have a preponderance of demand for apartments as compared to the rest of the western region. The demand is end user driven with a majority of the supply being taken up by those working in Hitech City and the neighboring commercial hubs. Development of gated community or bungalow schemes is on a rise in this region as it provides support infrastructure for the same. Some of the prominent constructions in these locations include Silicon County at Madhapur by the Jayabheri Group, Prajay Ridge Wood at Nadagandla and Maytas Hill County at Bachupally which has a business centre amongst other facilities. Most of the development in these locations are Grade-A and capital values for apartments and villas are within the range of Rs.2, 400-4,750 / sq.ft. with a demand for mostly 3 BHK apartments.

Southern Zone

The southern Zone comprises locations such as Himayatnagar in the south east and Shamshabad, Maheshwaram, Karmanghat etc. in the south. The south does not have much construction taking place with developers taking up most of the land parcels and dividing them into smaller plot layouts for sale. The ORR and the new international airport have been the key demand drivers for real estate activity in these locations. Around 3.38 mn.sq.ft. Of residential supply is under construction in the south and southwestern region. Most construction activity, however, is still in the nascent stage with the exception of a few projects like Banyan Tree Retreat by MAK Projects and Aliens Space Station II by Aliens Developers. These locations still cater to the middle-income group and till the development of Fab City along with other proposed project this trend would be unlikely to change. The capital values for apartments and villas in this zone range between Rs.1, 700-4,372 / sq.ft.


The Hyderabad market is likely to witness considerable real estate development over the next few years with the construction of the new Outer Ring Road which would connect all the national and state highways. Locations on either side of the ORR shall witness considerable development. In addition to the proposed radial roads, the government has approved a proposal to set up a Hyderabad Knowledge Corridor consisting of IT and ITES companies covering over 20,000 acres in Ranga Reddy district. Industry experts are sceptic about availability of large land parcels with clear title for construction of gated layouts or integrated apartment complexes. Another cause for concern among developers has been the introduction of Government Order (G.O.) 86 which has laid down certain strict guidelines for building activity in city central areas. However the advantage of G.O.86 is that in the peripheral locations of the city, there is greater scope for bigger project to come up. Recently, the increase in home loan interest rates has resulted in prices stabilizing and in some locations even reducing marginally. There has been a reduction in the number of home loans that have been taken after March 2007 due to the rise in interest rates and this could lead to a drop in demand in the immediate future. Currently the average ticket size for home loans in Hyderabad is around Rs.2 million. This market resistance is causing quite a few builders to postpone public openings of booking for new projects. Greater Hyderabad however is likely to emerge as a financial hub in the near future.


Contributed By : M.L.Rao

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Glimpse of NASHIK – Arising as a prospective Real Estate Destination

Strategically located about 180 kms from Mumbai and 190 kms from Pune, Nashik forms the third end of this golden triangle. Primarily an industrial city blessed with good infrastructure & ample water supply because of the two rivers that run through the land, Nasik, considered to be a holy destination for tourists, is now making rapid strides in real estate development owing to increasing demand fuelled by availability of abundant land at rock bottom rates.
Religious Significance of Nashik

Location: On The Banks of the River Godavari, Maharashtra
Special Feature: 2,000 Temples
Previously Spelt As: Nasik
Attractions: Religion based tourism

Nashik is one of the important religious centres of Maharashtra, located on the bank of the river Godavari. It is particularly a city of temples and there are around 2,000 temples, both big and small.

As the legendary home of Rama, hero of the Ramayana, Nashik is one of the most sacred places of Hinduism; ancient Buddhist, Jain temples are also here. Traditionally the place attracts tourists, as it is known to be holy place.

Industrial Significance of Nashik

'Nasik' also known as 'Nashik' is the third largest Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra, with approximately 25 percent area under residential zone. Nashik is popularly called as the 'Wine Capital of India', owing to its abundant grape crop. However, the city has already been undergoing industrialization for the past decade after Mumbai, Pune & Nagpur and is seen as the next most sought-after commercial destination of Maharashtra.

Nashik falls midway between the industrial hotspots of Mumbai and Mumbai and owing to Nashik’s civilized environs and skilled workforce, it is turning out to be the IT & ITES Sector’s next preferred destination. Though still in its nascent stage, Nashik’s IT / ITES Industry growth is poised to grow multi-fold by 2009.

The authorities, on their part, are propping the city with improved transport and civic infrastructure to meet the challenges that a culture shift would bring about. Over Rs. 11,000 crore has been invested toward improvements in Nashik infrastructure since 2005, and after the makeover plans envisaged for the city by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the city is in for a property boom.

Once projects like the four-laning of the Mumbai-Nashik highway and the upgradation of the Nashik airport are complete, the Mumbai-Pune-Nashik Golden Triangle will generate high levels of employment. With land rates in Nashik still at three digits in some neighborhoods, Nashik is a great investment destination and is bound to give the benefits to the investor specially since a lot of SEZs are coming in the area.

Indiabulls Real Estate in its news release has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary company, the Indiabulls Infrastructure Ltd. has got the Formal Approval for the development of a multi-product SEZ in Nashik, Maharastra. Department of Commerce (SEZ Section), Minis of Commerce & Industry, Government of India approved the proposal.

Corporates & Developers like Raheja, Reliance, Tatas & India Bulls are bullish on Nashik and its growing 360 degrees including residential, commercial & retail and its definitely one choice worth investigating for the investors. Even one of the latest FICCI-Ernst & Young report also mentions Nashik along with a few others as a prospective investment destination in India.

Abhi Chopra

Contributed By : Abhi Chopra

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kolkata’s real estate market is set for a high growth phase fuelled by the IT/ITES sector

Kolkata’s real estate market is set for a high growth phase fuelled by the IT/ITES sector. This is according to the report, “Emerging City Winners Profiles: Kolkata”, released today by Jones Lang LaSalle, one of the world’s leading real estate services firm. An increasing corporate presence in the city is also triggering growth for Retail, Hospitality and Residential properties.
“Kolkata boasts of a highly literate and well equipped workforce, lower land acquisition costs (when compared to Mumbai and Delhi) and attractive government initiatives which make it a compelling destination for corporates and developers, alike”, said Mr Vincent Lottefier, Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle India. He further added, “We at Jones Lang LaSalle are excited to be a part of Kolkata’s growth and pleased to offer our entire range services including transaction management services, retail advisory, strategic consulting, capital markets, property management, integrated facility management and project and development services.

The report states that increasing corporate presence is stimulating growth in per capita income and encouraging consumption in Kolkata. Overall, the city provides a positive environment for new corporate entrants, as well as existing corporates eying expansion.

Abhishek Kiran Gupta, Senior Manager, Research, Jones Lang LaSalle, India adds “Kolkata is now on the ‘global radar’ of multi-national companies – a large skilled labour pool, a pragmatic, business-friendly and stable business environment, active promotion and incentives, combined with low operating costs and the city’s strong cultural heritage are attracting the attention of both the domestic and international business community. The city has become a favoured destination for IT/ITES activities, with a rapidly growing corporate presence.

Kolkata now has most of the ingredients in place to move its economy up the value-chain – its size, skill base and heritage point to a significantly higher international profile over the long term”.

He further added “Kolkata’s real estate market is set for transformation, and property will play a pivotal role in the city’s continued renaissance. All real estate sectors have significant potential. The growing IT/ITES sector will underpin strong expansion of the office sector; Kolkata is a high priority destination for retailers attracted by its large population and rising disposable incomes; the residential market is expanding on the back of a growing IT/ITES workforce and hotel demand is being boosted by corporate business and tourism. The Kolkata real estate market is now on the radar of leading national and international developers, all keen to participate in Kolkata’s increasingly dynamic real estate market”.

According to the report, Kolkata, whose economy grew by 8% in 2005, is home to 175 IT and ITES firms which employ approximately 40,000 people. Rapid expansion and increased business activity is expected to strongly boost demand for speculative built space as well as built-to-suit offices and 4.5 million sq ft of additional supply is likely to be completed by 2007 in Salt Lake and New Town Rajarhat. The city is also a high priority destination for domestic and international retailers with over 2-3 million sq ft of organized retail under construction by 2008.

Stimulated by the growth of the IT/ITES sector, hotel room demand in Kolkata is expected to grow at an annual 11.7% over the next five years and supply at 15.4% per year. Similarly, Kolkata’s residential demand continues to be strong, as shown by absorption patterns of recent residential demand, which are expected to grow in tandem with economic activity and investor interest.

“Emerging City Winners” is Phase IV of the Jones Lang LaSalle’s World Winning Cities Research, a multi-year programme which draws together the essence of contemporary city competitiveness. World Winning Cities Research examines trends that impact the business and economic landscape, and how these factors are coalescing to create the rising urban stars of the next decade. The research aims to identify the winners and losers among the emerging BRIC cities in India, China, Russia and Brazil.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Vastu Shastra – An introduction

Vastu Shastra, A science of Environmental Harmony and Energy, its mere mention creates a feeling of wonder and an air of inquisitiveness among people.
Vastu Shastra, which was earlier considered as a archaic or a primitive science and was also regarded as a Luxury for the Wealthy few had now exploded and metamorphosed as mainstream thought, whereby most of the buyers of property as well as construction companies consider it extremely important to get the property assessed by a Experienced VASTU Professional in order to asses the strengths and weakness of the plot and also to get to know what energy the property can render to them in the long run.

But the Doubts still remain, As what do u really mean by Vastu and How can it Help us lead a Life of contentment and bliss?

Bhrama Created the world and then appointed Vishwakarma to device a system of Planning and Architecture Thus was the beginning of Vastu Shastra. Vastu Shastra Literally means the science of architecture but its is much more than architecture it also takes into account various other factors like Water, Plantation, Shape, Size, color, Directions and Numerology.

Vastu Shastra As mentioned is an Environmental science works by balancing your environment in accordance with the natural laws inherent in the universe Vastu takes into account not only architecture but also several other aspects, such as numerology. What leads to peace and harmony, which naturally are conductive to health and prosperity and its Possibilities are limitless.

This science if followed properly gives definite and positive results to its occupants. The place may be of any type Residence, factory, Shop, restaurant or even a Temple, if the Rules are properly Followed the Results are assured to be positive and there will always be happiness and Prosperity.


Since My First Article, which appeared in this Esteemed, magazine Last Month I Have received a fabulous response from Builders and Numerous Queries from Reputed Building Contractors mainly asking me As to How Vastu Can be used effectively for their Construction Activities, As More often their Projects are already Designed and they merely have to carry out the construction as per the schedule without any changes.

Based on the Above Queries I am writing the Following Article explaining a few points As to how Vastu Can be effectively used and very well followed (in a Limited manner) to generate positive Energy and Better Results.

  • Date of Construction: Date of the Start of Construction is very Important for Any Construction activity to Begin. Auspicious Dates Bring out Better Results. –

    Some of the Few Considerations are Given Below

    • The Nakshatras Rohini, Mrigshira, Chitra, Hast, Swati, Anuradha, Uttarashdah, Uttar Bhadrapad, Uttar Falguni, Dhanshtha, Shatbhisha, Revati are good for starting the house construction work.

    • Days - Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are good days to start construction work. Sunday or Tuesday should be avoided.

    • Construction started in Shukla Paksha brings happiness, while that in Krishna Paksha is not considered too auspicious

  • Clearing & Leveling of the Land: Clearing of the Land of Thorny plants / dead trees and Rocks in necessary before any construction activity to start (Especially in the North-East). Also Leveling of the piece of Land (Which I am Sure is in the hands of the contractors) Plays a Very Important Role in Vastu Shastra. Proper Leveling with certain portion of the Land bit higher than the Other Creates a very Good flow of cosmic energy thus ensuring uninterrupted construction activity and proper flow of finance.

  • Shanku Sthapana (Vastu Pooja): SHANKU means Energy Converter And Shanku Stapna is the Pooja Done for Laying the Foundation Stone and praying to the SHANKU ,which Plays a Very Important Role to remove the Negative radiation/Energy from the Piece of land . Different people Use Different Shankus or (Energy Converters). Pooja is offered to this Shanku and Then its Buried in the Exact Mid-point of the Plot, As it is Believed that any form of Energy Moves towards the Center /Midpoint of the Plot and Having a Shanku Buried there Will ensure suppressing the negative energy thus Avoiding any Harm to the Construction Activity.

  • Starting Point of Construction: As per the Principles of Vastu-Shastra, The Starting point of Construction is Very crucial. Construction is Generally Beneficial when Started from The South-East Portion and Moved in a Clockwise Manner. This will ensure smooth construction activities.

  • “ For Construction Companies in the business of construction of Roads and Bridges, they Should Always Follow the Principle of Starting from a Negative location or Energy point and Moving towards a positive Location or Energy point. This automatically pushes the Project faster with uninterrupted flow of finance.” Secondly Proper Leveling of the Roads and Bridges as per Vastu will definitely bring prosperity to Construction companies who work on the arrangement of B.O.T (Build, Operate, Transfer).

  • Placement Of the Contractors Office: Every Contractor builds a Temporary Site office at the Construction Site. Proper Placement of this Office at the Site, Including sitting arrangements of the Contractor / managers etc facing the Best Directions enhances the energy level of the persons working on the project. This helps in getting better results from the staff and managers working on the Project

  • Placement of Machinery / Construction Material: Proper Placement of the Machinery and Construction Material is also very crucial to generate positive energy and ensures favorable movement of the project. Electric Machinery will give positive Results when placed in the Agni Sthan. Other materials like Sand and Bricks Should be Placed on the Prithvi Sthan or The South. Placement of Temporary Water tanks for Construction is of Utmost Important as Water is a powerful form of ENERGY. They should at no cost be placed in the South –West. This will definitely cripple the Project and will bring losses to the Developer.

Amit Lamba

Contributed By : Amit Lamba

Sunday, November 4, 2007


6-3-352/1, 4th Floor, Osman Plaza, Near Nagarjuna Hills Circle,Road No.1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad- 500 034. Phone Nos: Board : 040-4014 4996 Direct cum Fax No. 040- 6646 6037 Mobile No.0-9866446467 E- Mail :


Stamp duty is the amount payable to state government on the instruments of conveyance, sale, gifts, exchange, partition deeds, power of attorney to sell immovable property, settlement deeds, and transfer of lease by way of assignment. Payment of stamp duty gives legal effect to the document and makes it admissible in the Court of Law. Central government collects stamp duty for instruments of commercial instruments like share transfers, letters of credit, bill of exchange etc. in order to ensure uniformity in payment of stamp duty in respect of such instruments all over the country.

The provisions for payment of stamp duty and registration charges have been provided for the sole purpose of generating revenues for the government. But the high rates of stamp duty and registration result in non-registration of property transactions and transfers made through power of attorney, encouraging non-conformity with laws and loss of revenue to the government.

High rate of stamp duty prevents prospective purchasers from registering the property transfer. They tend to evade such payment by avoiding registration. If the property transaction is not registered, it cannot be called a transfer and such income from such transfer is not noticed for tax under capital gains.

The stamp duty rates in Andhra Pradesh were very high, due to which certain property transfer transactions were not registered for the purpose of avoiding payment of stamp duty on such rates. The result was obviously the high loss of revenue to the government. Also, it was pointed out that the lower rate of stamp duty would reduce use of black money for property transactions, facilitate bona fide transactions and increase potential for larger revenue collection.
Section 9(1) (a) of the Indian Stamp Act gives power to the government to reduce, remit or compound duties. Article 6(B) of Schedule I-A of Indian Stamp Act, 1899, as amended by the Andhra Pradesh Amendment Act 21 of 1995 provides for payment of Stamp Duty for Agreement or Memorandum of an Agreement not otherwise provided for in relation to construction of a house or building including a multi-unit house or building or unit of apartment/flat/portion of a multi-storied building or for development/sale of any other immovable property.

Therefore realizing this trend of evasion of payment of revenue by the prospective buyers of property and to encourage payment of taxes, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 9 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh by way of notification dated 01-08-2005, reduced the Stamp Duty payable under Article 6(B) of Schedule I-A of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 in respect of the documents relating to Agreements or Memoranda of Agreements of sale/construction/development of immovable properties to 1% on the sale consideration or estimated cost of construction/development, as declared by the parties to the document, subject to Rs. 20,000/- on the condition that the Stamp Duty so paid shall not be adjustable at the time of registration of consequent sale deeds in pursuance of such agreements duly registered under the Registration Act, 1908.

In respect of the documents relating to Agreements or Memoranda of Agreements of sale or construction or development of immovable properties combined with General Power of Attorney clause Stamp Duty is reduced to 1% on the sale consideration or estimated cost of construction/development, as declared by the parties in the document, subject to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/- on the condition that the stamp duty so paid shall not be adjustable at the time of registration of consequent sale deeds in pursuance of such Agreements-cum-General Power of Attorney registered under the Registration Act, 1908.

The reduction of stamp duty has thereby promoted registration of property and in the long run will encourage investment and reduce cash element in property transactions. This will also provide for increase in revenue collections of the government as well.

The notifications issued by the Government for reduction of Stamp Duty under Article 6(B) of Schedule I-A are given below.


In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of Section 9 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (Central Act II of 1899), the Governor of Andhra Pradesh hereby reduces the Stamp Duty payable under Article 6(B) of Schedule I-A of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 in respect of documents relating to Agreements or Memoranda of Agreements of sale/construction/development of immovable properties to 1% on the sale consideration or estimated cost of construction/development, as declared by parties in the document, subject to a maximum of Rs. 20,000/- on the condition that Stamp Duty so paid shall not be adjustable at the time of registration of consequent sale deeds in pursuance of such Agreements duly registered under the Registration Act, 1908.

The above notification shall come into force with effect from 01-08-2005.


In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of Section 9 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (Central Act II of 1899), the Governor of Andhra Pradesh hereby reduces the Stamp Duty payable under Article 6(B) OF Schedule I-A of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 in respect of documents relating to Agreements or Memoranda of Agreements of sale or construction/development of immovable properties combined with General Power of Attorney clause to 1% on the sale consideration or estimated cost of construction/development, as declared by the parties in the document, subject to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/- on the condition that the stamp duty so paid shall not be adjustable at the time of registration of consequent sale deeds in pursuance of such Agreement-cum-General Power of Attorney registered under the Registration Act, 1908.

The above notification shall come into force with effect from 01-08-2005.

V V S N Raju

Contributed By : V V S N Raju

Sunday, October 14, 2007

High Growth in Rental Property Market in India

Rental market soaring high and posing to be the most dynamic sector in Indian business scenario. Real Estate seemed to be the best investment opportunity with a growth rate that was even higher than the growth rate of our economy. But then started the realty blues, correction in prices, fear of the real estate being unreal and a bubble being on the verge of a burst. And now there is a new wave with which real estate may surge once again, The Rental Property Market.

At present the country's commercial and residential real estate rental market has a price tag of approx $50 billion, and is expected to grow 25% on a yearly basis. There are numerous factors that contribute to this incredible situation in rental property market. Major factors that are responsible for bringing about this change include growth in information technology/information technology-enabled services industry like BPOs as they are renting large commercial spaces in order to expand their business process in India. Apart from this, emergence of India as an important investment hub in the world market, growth in foreign direct investments and simultaneous growth in the purchasing power of the Indian middle class plays a pivotal role.

With our industrial sector growing super fast, youth being more career conscious and BPOs churning uncountable employment opportunities we find brilliant talents from all over the country migrating to big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. People coming to these places in large numbers have created troubles for required accommodation in these big cities and this is time when renting property comes into the scene. In order to overcome this acute scarcity for good accommodation in the big cities and surrounding areas which can meet the requirements of the population coming to the cities for employment, people began renting their properties and soon realized that it is an amazing source for income as well. Also for young people despite of the handsome salaries and attractive prerequisites they earn owing a property is not a matter of fun and hence the option with which they are left with is to go for rented accommodation. Moreover with people aspiring rich lifestyle and an accommodation that matches their taste further drives the prices of rental property up the wall and makes it a lucrative business opportunity.

At this point it can be very conveniently said that rental property market has great potential and can turn out to be a reliable source of income generation.

The advantages of investing in rental property market can be summarized as below:

  • Demand for accommodation is ever increasing and people are willing to pay huge amounts for an accommodation that matches their taste and meets all the mentioned specifications.
  • In case immediate selling of any property is not possible, renting the accommodation is a good business and the returns are amazingly high.
  • Only apartments in multistoried buildings are not in demand but people seeking independent houses for rent are also many. As a result investment in building independent houses for renting purpose is also a money-spinning business with high rate of return.

This new trend is creating a wave in the RE industry in India.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Retail Boom - Can it alter what we eat?

Recently, there has been news of many Real Estate and even other corporate foraying in the booming Retail industry in India. At present the organized sector accounts for only 2 to 4% of the total market although this is expected to rise by 20 to 25% on YOY basis.
Some Key Facts:-
  1. Retail is India’s largest industry, accounting for over 10 per cent of the country’s GDP and around eight per cent of the employment
  2. The market size of Indian retail industry is about US $312 billion
  3. Organised retailing comprises only 2.8 per cent of the total retailing market and is estimated at around US$ 8.7 billion
  4. The organised retail sector is expected to grow to US $ 70 billion by 2010


Indian Retail sector offers huge opportunity for Retail Dining as well and with the fast economic growth of the country, more disposible income with individuals and people willing to spend money on quality products and entertainment, retail dining is giving a boost to the resturant and snack chains. Every big retail setup requires a good amount of eating space for people to sit and relax after shopping.
Big international retail giants like Tesco, Coles and Walmart have been trying to make it in the market, but so far only walmart is the one successful in working out the option. Coles, Tesco, Sainsbury, all of them if come to India will bring a big revolution in the food industry too in India, since that means a lot of ready to eat stuff which suits the neuclear families of working partners and high quality high priced food material. Currently, though Indian chains are doing it, but the quality of "Ready to Eat" stuff is still a long way to go.

Now consumers will have more choice and variety and soon India will have more food and non-food brands collated at one place than anywhere in the world. I beleive, its just a wait and watch with excitement :)
I think this revolution will change and is already changing the living and eating styles of many families in India, which will carry it's pros and cons.

Rahul Gandhi

Contributed By : Rahul Gandhi

Monday, October 1, 2007

SKY IS THE LIMIT for Burj Dubai !

Burj Dubai: Pride of Dubai

Burj Dubai will be described as a tall, breathtaking and aesthetic master piece by one and all but will provide haven only to a fortunate few.

Burj Dubai not only symbolises the world’s highest building but also signifies the world’s highest objectives. An awe inspiring and dynamic edifice, Burj Dubai is an immaculate symbol of the Middle East. Being constructed in Downtown Burj Dubai, an inspired urban concept, Burj Dubai has set new benchmarks for the entire world to follow suit. This tower is undoubtedly the fundamental axis for the revolutionary development in Downtown Burj Dubai.

Burj Dubai is not just a structure but a prestigious monument and an icon of the Gulf. The primal progress in Downtown Burj Dubai, Burj Dubai stands out from the rest of the developments in terms of quality, design and individuality. Under construction since 2004, this 160 storey tower will encompass residential, commercial as well as retail components, all under one roof. Privileged group of people will call it their home, some will make important business decisions whereas some others will benefit from the high class restaurants.

Burj Dubai developed by Emaar properties is designed by Adrian Smith, the world renowned architect who has also had a hand in several of the world’s tallest buildings. Burj Dubai certainly reflects the unique culture and environment of Dubai. The tower design is derived from the geometries of a native desert flower and Adrian Smith has also incorporated patterns from the traditional Islamic architecture into Burj Dubai. This super tall structure has indeed set the standard for high class quality as a result of making use of the world’s finest concrete and steel, suitable structural engineers as well as top designers.

The interiors are planned in such a manner whereby this global monument befalls to be a personal one. The 3-wing plan maximises the amount of exterior window area, and thus natural light without compromising on the privacy. The homes at Burj Dubai are individual, custom and unique. They are designed so that the owners can easily express their own tastes and preferences. Living in the world’s tallest building and a luxurious home will definitely pose a creative challenge to the owners in terms of decorating their homes.

Burj Dubai will have the finest amenities designed for offices and recreation purposes. Facilities will consist of exclusive corporate suite offices, residential suites, four luxurious pools, a cigar club, observation platform, restaurants, library, exclusive residents’ lounge and 15,000 sq ft for fitness.
Despite Burj Dubai still under construction, downtown Burj Dubai has welcomed its primary residents. The residents can now experience the sheer manifestation of high-rise living. In addition to this, the largest mall in Dubai called the Dubai Mall will open up in 2008. Vivacious entertainment choices, boulevard pedestrian pavements as well as retail components will complement the lives of the residents in future.

One of the must see places in downtown Burj Dubai is the Giorgio Armani hotel in the Burj Dubai tower. A joint venture between Emaar Hotels and Resorts and Giorgio Armani, this hotel will have the Italian designer’s distinctive style imprinted on everything from the interiors, furnishings to the amenities. According to Giorgio Armani, the new Armani hotels and resorts, the first of which will be the hotel and suites in Burj Dubai mark the beginning of a new chapter in Armani history. The hotel will become a flagship for a new international chain.

Burj Dubai is an unparalleled illustration of international cooperation, a symbol and a beacon of progress for the entire world. Burj Dubai is not crafted by chance but it is an outcome of the transformation of the city from a local centre to a global one. This tower is a concrete testimony of Dubai’s position and abilities in the growing and competitive world. Burj Dubai goes beyond physical specifications. Rather it is a source of inspiration and an architectural feat. With the completion of the Burj Dubai tower in late 2008, Dubai’s vision of attaining impossible goals will be successfully accomplished.


  • The estimated building cost is US $1 billion. Samsung Corporation from South Korea is the contractor for the main building.

  • Downtown Burj Dubai will offer 30,000 homes, world’s largest shopping mall, nine hotels, six acres of parkland and 19 residential towers.

  • Many of the tower floors will be occupied by the 175 room Armani hotel. In addition there will be 144 luxury residential suites designed by Giorgio Armani and kitted out with his home furnishing line.

  • Floors 17 to 108 will have 800 private apartments.

  • Most of the higher floors will be offices and private suites.

  • An observatory 442 metres above ground on the 124th floor will be open to public; the highest publicly accessible observation desk in the world.

  • There will be a club on floors 144 to 146.

  • The tower’s external surface is the size of 17 football fields.

  • The tower will be built of glass, aluminium, concrete and steel.

  • The external surface is made up of unitised panels made of aluminium, glass and various brackets. They interlock on site and are two storeys tall. They improve the quality and speed up building work.

  • The rods that reinforce the structure weigh a total of 31,400 tonnes.

  • The concrete used is equivalent to a solid cube of concrete 61 metres in size or a 1.5. metre wide pavement.

  • Water system will supply about 250,000 gallons per day.

  • At peak cooling times, the tower will require approximately 10,000 tonnes of cooling per hour, which is equivalent to the capacity provided by 10,000 tonnes of melting ice in one day.

  • Peak electricity demand of the tower is the same as 360,000 100-watt light bulbs all operating at the same time.

  • Burj Dubai has been designed to maximise occupant comfort and safety. Extensive wind tunnel testing enables the building to resist high wind loads while minimising vibration. Reinforced concrete slabs and corridor walls provide an inherently high resistance to fires.

  • A major factor in designing the tower was fire safety and evacuation. As it is impossible for people to walk down 160 floors, pressurised air conditioned refuge areas will be made available approximately every 25 floors where people could wait safely or rest on their way down.

Aarti Prashant

Contributed By : Aarti Prashant

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Delhi has emerged on top among 48 Indian cities

Riding on its high quality of life, transportation infrastructure and overall labour force contributing to its economic growth, Delhi has emerged on top among 48 Indian cities, including Mumbai, as the best place to reside, according to a report by Ernst & Young.
The report, which took into consideration 57 parameters before arriving at the conclusion, said between Delhi and Greater Mumbai, the former takes the lead on city prosperity index due to its lower population and hence higher per capita income. The national capital also indicates greater propensity to save earnings and lower credit growth.

The constancy firm's findings were unveiled by Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy at the Ficci-organised International Real Estate Summit which was held on September 27th in Mumbai.. On the business environment index as well, Delhi out scored all other cities as it has a large workforce and more number of management graduates, people employed in trade and services and other business activity as compared to most of the other major cities such as Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

However, on the urban governance index, Greater Mumbai top-scored, leaving Delhi at the second spot. "Delhi has arguably the best infrastructure in India. It has outperformed almost all cities on all the indicators that comprised the infrastructure index," the report said lauding its road network and social infrastructure, including hospital and educational institutes.
The Ernst and Young report places both Delhi and Greater Mumbai in the same bracket when it comes to quality of life index. "They have a large supply of hotel rooms as well as huge and elaborate multi-modal public transport system. These cities have the best possible leisure activities available in the country," the report said.

The success of Navi Mumbai and proposed mega Special Economic Zones (SEZs) such as NMSEZ indicates that Mumbai's status as the commercial capital of the country remains unchanged, it. said.

However, the city's infrastructure has lagged far behind its economic growth, the report pointed out."With several mega infrastrcuture projects such as Mumbai Urban Transport Project and Bandra-Worli Sea Link initiated, their implementation would determine Mumbai's ability to compete with Delhi in the near future," it added.

Source: The Free Press Journal

Sangeet Kumar

Contributed By : Sangeet Kumar

Friday, September 28, 2007

Why is India building hotels like mad!

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the hospitality sector, which has been growing at an annual rate of 8.8%, has the potential to earn $24 billion in annual foreign exchange by 2015, which is awesome amount of money contributing to the India Inc Growth Story.

Demand for hotel rooms is towering in India with the growth of the Indian Economy. Foreigners & NRIs are visiting India for both Business and Vacation which is the big reason for the need for hotel rooms. The rise of low-fare airlines is also bringing domestic air travel within reach of more Indians, who, until recently, had little chance of ever boarding a jet, is again another factor pushing the hospitality industry to its edges.

For all the accounted travelers, India offers only 110,000 hotel rooms. China has 10 times as many, and the United States 40 times as many. The New York metropolitan region alone has about as many rooms as all of India.

The shortage is pushing peak season rates for basic rooms into the stratosphere, by Indian standards, and attracting some of the world’s best-known names in hotels — Accor, Hilton, Wyndham, EMaar, Pan Pacific etc to invest heavily in India.

In Bangalore, rooms are so costly that traveling salespeople and other professionals often commute from as far away as Mumbai, 1,000 kilometers, or 620 miles, away, to save the cost of staying in Bangalore. Many corporates are making sales people plan one day trips and fly in the morning and back in the evening so as to save on the hotel Bill. The domestic airline fair is getting cheaper and cheaper hence making traveling in and out of a metro a more viable option than staying in a hotel.

According to New York Times, “The high prices are all the more striking in a low-wage country like India. At a $500 rack rate for the five-star rooms favored by business travelers, a hotel employee earning minimum wage here would have to work about a year to pay for one night’s stay, versus about two and a half weeks’ work for an American earning minimum wage… Even though the Chinese earn twice as much as Indians on average, India has the more expensive rooms, according to a recent edition of Travel Business Analyst, an industry newsletter. Comparing rooms of similar quality, suitable for business travelers, a room in Delhi cost $187 on average this year, versus $122 in Beijing; a room in Mumbai was $178, versus $150 in Shanghai.”

Indian software giants Wipro and Infosys are taking steps to provide their guests with accommodation. Infosys, the Indian software giant with 66,000 employees worldwide and they get 40-50 visitors every day and also valued overseas clients and not only getting the right type of a room in an issue but the time taken to commute from the hotel to their offices is also too high looking at the maddening traffic conditions in Bangalore.

Infosys, has now built a 500-room, in-house hotel next to its headquarters in Bangalore. By June, it expects to have 15,000 company- owned rooms across India — an eighth of all the rooms in the country and more than any Indian hotel chain. They think doing it in-house works better for them in India.

If we have a close look at the recent investments made in the India Hospitality Industry,

Emaar MGF – India’s leading real estate developer today announced a 50:50 Joint Venture with Premier Travel Inn – a subsidiary of Whitbread PLC, UK’s largest hospitality company. In the past Emaar MGF has tied up with Accor – global leaders in economy & budget Hotels to bring 100 Formule 1 hotels across India with an investment of US$ 300 million.

DLF Forms JV With Hilton For Hotels In India to develop and own 75 hotels and serviced apartments over the next seven years, beginning with 20 hotels in Chandigarh, Chennai and Kolkata. The hotels will cover several Hilton brands, including Hilton Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Hilton Residences. DLF will hold 74 percent and Hilton will hold the remaining stake. The JV plans to invest up to $143 million.

Also in line line, Singapore-based Meuse Hotels and Hospitality Ltd will invest Rs 1,000 crore over the next two years to set up 100 hotels mostly targeting tourist and emerging destinations in the country.

UK-based Dawnay, Day Group is to invest $200 million in India over the next few years to build hotels.

The Leela Group of Hotels will invest a whopping Rs 2,200 crore in the next three years to develop six hotel projects in different Indian cities who will come up with five new hotels and service apartments by 2010. It will bring the hotel in cities including Hyderabad, Chennai, Udaipur, Pune, and Delhi whereas service apartments will be developed in Gurgaon.

India does still need budget hotels, B&Bs otherwise for a foreseeable future, the shortage of viable options in hospitality in India might still continue the same. By some experts, it is predicted that 15-20% reduction in premium hotels might be observed as a result of more availability of hotels in the near future.

Recognizing that hotels employ 180 people for every 100 rooms, by some industry estimates, the Indian government is now matching up and working hard to expand supply. According to an online news agency, it recently paid for half-page advertisements in Delhi newspapers that urged families to convert their homes into bed-and-breakfast operations, which can charge about $35 a night. The government's goal is to approve enough homes turned hostels to offer another 10,000 rooms in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2010. This way, not only does the problem with tourism and hospitality sorts out, but employment opportunities in abundant help fight poverty and can keep India going steady with its economic graph on a steady rise.

Kaustubh Jarag

Contributed By : Kaustubh Jarag

Monday, September 24, 2007

Biotechnology to contribute to the Indian Realty boom!!

Biotechnology is the next. After the Information technology, the industry that is fast thriving is the bio-technology sector. Bio-technology sector is all set to bring another boom in Indian property market.

According to the data showcased by real estate consultant, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj the biotechnology industry is expected to need around 100 million sq ft of space in the future. Thus the real estate industry is believed to gain a lot by the development of biotech parks and manufacturing units as per the report.

Currently there are six biotech parks in India and around nineteen are to be developed. Indian realty is growing at tremendously and also attracting large investments with a market size currently being $12 billion (Rs 47,880 crore). The biotechnology industry furthermore is giving a hard push to the demand for quality commercial spaces as the estimated demand from the technology sector alone is likely to be 150 million sq ft of space by 2010.

To add to the fact that few years down the line demand creation for commercial space by the technology sector will be huge, the overall investment in the sector has also seen escalation. The investment has grown from $ 137.2 million in 2003 to $366 million in 2006. Out of the huge investment being made in the bio technology sector will go in setting infrastructure facilities and development centers. The major areas where the potential is and is needed to be tapped are cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and National Capital Region.

India for quite sometime has been one of the most sought after destinations in terms of real estate investments and now it is to become a center of biotechnology industries.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

SEZ – A New Dimension in Real Estate Development in India

SEZ – A New Dimension in Real Estate Development
Part 1

The Government of India had announced a SEZ scheme in April, 2000 with a view to provide an internationally competitive environment for exports. The objectives of SEZs include making available goods and services free of taxes and duties supported by integrated infrastructure for export production, expeditious and single window approval mechanism and a package of incentives to attract foreign and domestic investments for promoting export-led growth.

In order to give a long term and stable policy framework with minimum regulatory regime and to provide expeditious and single window clearance mechanism, the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 has been brought into effect along with the Special Economic Zones Rules, 2006 from 10 February 2006. The same was further amended on March 16,2007.

The Act and the Rules together aim to provide a single self contained legislation governing the operations of SEZs and replaces the hitherto applicable legislations and rules governing the operations of SEZ in India.

Under the Act, SEZ could be set up either jointly or severally by the Central Government, State Government, or any person (including a private or public limited company, partnership or proprietorship) for:

1) Manufacture of goods
2) Rendering services
3) Both manufacturing of goods and for rendering services
4) Free trade and warehousing

The Act provides for certain exemptions, drawbacks and concessions and other fiscal incentives to developers of SEZ and units established in SEZs. Exemptions, drawbacks and concessions .

Exemptions & Concessions are :

a) Exemption from customs duty on goods imported into the SEZ by the Developer or SEZ Unit to carry on the authorised operations

b) Exemption from customs duty on goods exported from the SEZ by the Developer or SEZ Unit to any place outside India

c) Exemption from excise duty on goods brought from Domestic Tariff Area ("DTA") to the SEZ by the Developer or SEZ unit to carry on the authorized operations

d) Drawback or such other benefits (as may be admissible from time to time) on goods brought from the DTA into a SEZ by the Developer or Unit to carry on the authorized operationse) Exemption from service tax on taxable services provided to a Developer or Unit to carry on the authorized operations in a SEZf) Exemption from the securities transaction tax in case the taxable securities transactions are entered into by a non-resident through the International Financial Services Centre ("IFSC")g) Exemption from levy of Central Sales Tax on the sale or purchase of goods by the Developer or SEZ unit if such goods are meant to carry on the authorized operations

Fiscal incentives are :

a) Tax Holiday for SEZ units engaged in manufacture or providing services - A new section 10AA has been inserted in the IT Act by SEZ Act, 2005 which provides that the units in SEZ which start manufacturing or producing articles/ things or which start providing services on or after April 1, 2005 will be eligible for a deduction of 100 percent of export profits for the first five years from the year in which such manufacture/ provision of services commences and 50 percent of the export profits for the next five years. Further, for the next five years a deduction shall be allowed of upto 50 percent of the profit as is debited to the profit and loss account and credited to the Special Economic Zone Reinvestment Reserve Account (subject to conditions). Tax Holiday for Offshore Banking units in SEZ

b) Deduction in respect of certain incomes - Under the new section 80LA, to scheduled banks or foreign banks having an Offshore Banking unit in SEZ or to a unit of IFSC would be allowed deduction in respect of certian incomes. The deduction shall be for 100 percent of income for five consecutive years beginning from the year in which permission/ registration has been obtained under the Banking Regulation Act or the SEBI Act or any other relevant law and 50 percent of income for next five years. Interest received by non-residents and not ordinary residents on deposits made with an Offshore Banking Unit on or after April 1, 2005 shall be exempt from tax.

c) Exemption from Minimum Alternate Tax ("MAT") - Income arising or accruing on or after April 1, 2005 from any business carried on, or services rendered by SEZ unit would be exempt from MAT under section 115JB.

d) Exemption from Capital Gains - Capital gains arising on transfer of assets (machinery, plant, building, land or any rights in buildings or land) on shifting of the industrial undertaking from an urban area to any SEZ would be exempt from capital gains tax. The exemption would be allowable if within one year before or three years after such transfer. The amount of exemption for capital gains would be restricted to the costs and expenses incurred in relation to all or any of the purposes mentioned above.

e) Tax holiday for SEZ developers - A new section 80-IAB has been introduced in the IT Act vide SEZ Act, 2005 whereby a deduction of 100 percent of profits derived from the business of developing SEZ (notified on or after April 1, 2005) would be available to developer of SEZ for any 10 consecutive years out of 15 years beginning from the year in which SEZ has been notified. Exemption under section 10(23G) that was available to infrastructure capital fund or a cooperative bank on interest and long term capital gains investment had been extended to investment made by SEZ developers qualifying for tax holiday under section 80-IAB of the IT Act. However, this exemption has been withdrawn with effect from assessment year 2007-08.

f) Exemption from Dividend Distribution Tax ("DDT") - No DDT would be payable by a developer of SEZ on dividend declared, distributed or paid on or after April 1, 2005 out of current income. g) Exemption from MAT - Any income earned on or after April 1, 2005 by a SEZ developer would be exempt from MAT under section 115JB of the Act.

Sangeet Kumar

Contributed By : Sangeet Kumar

Friday, September 21, 2007

High on Indian Government’s agenda is ‘Housing For Urban Poor’!!

To provide the urban poor is one goal which if successfully achieved can be beneficial for those who have been suffering and will bring loads of praises to the government. Thus the government is motivated to think hard about the ways to accommodate urban poor and find solutions for the urban housing is struck in between the outdated policies and bureaucracy.

Finding housing for poor a prime responsibility, the government has been working dedicatedly and has worked out things like development of large number of houses and allotted them to the poor. Funds have been collected and allocated for development of such units.

With increase in urbanization demand for residential property among urban poor has increased. Government needs to have an effective urban policy which could bring into effect to optimum use of land and overcome the issue of shortage of land to some extent.

Delineated below are a few suggestions for drafting housing policies for poor:

Housing policies should also have a hidden goal of broader economic growth which in turn will ensure regulated urban development.

Urban poor are the ones who actually run the urban growth engine thus the policy should have urban poor as the first and foremost priority and should not end up being just another futile policy that promotes indiscriminate migration and does nothing to solve the issues being created by it.

Instead of transferring the ownership to inhabitants government should look towards developing enough stock of rented housing for the poor.

The rents will hardly pose to be an additional burden on the poor, as they pay Rs 500 – 1,000 per month for dingy huts in slum, without access to basic facilities whereas here they will get the basic facilities and wont even face the uncertainty in tenure

Since housing arrangements for the urban poor means building lower income units and long term finances, these ventures can be of great benefits to the builders which in turn will help government to have full support of builders. A contract can be signed with private builders to develop these housing units for poor. A build-operate-transfer contract for tenure of 15-20 years can be an attractive proposal.

Shivang Prabhakar

Contributed By : Shivang Prabhakar

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dope on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a kind of real estate company or an association that offers common shares to the public. REIT is a kin to any other stock that represents ownership in an operating business. A Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT is an organisation that helps corporation investing in real estate reduce or eliminate corporate income taxes. The REIT structure has been designed to provide a similar structure for investment in real estate as mutual funds provide for investment in stocks.

Like other corporations, REITs can be publicly or privately held. Public REITs may be listed on public stock exchanges like shares of common stock in other firms. REITs can be classified as equity, mortgage or hybrid.

REIT has two unique features:
1) Its primary business is to manage and maintain groups of properties that yeild good income
2) It distributes most of its profits as dividends.

After this small introduction to REIT below are the various advantages of REITs.

1) REITs boost and help to stabilize capital access, and reduce capital costs. Capital, especially long-term capital, is a vital resource for the property business, and REITs have proved effective in attracting it. Their ability to pull chunks of capital is nothing but undoubtedly a reflection of their public status and their tax efficiency. Unsecured debt, the most flexible debt type has been a hallmark of REITs, and has helped them in improving both their strategic and financial flexibility.

2) REITs are all about integrated property businesses. Say for, most REITs in the leading national markets are internally managed, and have diverse skills in property development, redevelopment, acquisitions, divestitures, leasing and management. This in turn helps in creating long-term, value-added ongoing enterprises, and not just assemblages of assets or "deals".

3) REITs also help in attracting foreign capital. Transparent, liquid entities such as REITs are trusted by foreign firms eager to invest and thus help in bringing this huge amount of foreign capital in the country. This is another feature that proves REIT's financial flexibility.

4) REITs help in developing and growing the nation’s economy. With emergence of REITs comes better transparency and efficiency, and access to stable, global and more competitively priced capital, as well as stronger and more professional property businesses and all this helps in the growth of economy.

Despite of REITs being incredibly beneficial, assurance for a broader economy and a platform for institutional and retail investors, still have certain issues associated with them which are needed to be resolved.

1) If interest rates rise, this hike might instigate people to invest in Treasury securities thus drawing funds away from REITs and lowering their share prices.

2) It is mandatory for REITs to pay property taxes, which can make up to 25% of total operating expenses which leads to reduced cash flows to shareholders.

3) One of the downsides to the high yield of REITs is that the dividend is distributed from Net Income Before Tax and the taxes get due on dividends. It goes even worse as tax rates are typically higher than the 15% on dividends, as this chunk of a REIT's dividends considered ordinary income, which is usually taxed at a higher rate.

Pankaj Thukral

Contributed By : Pankaj Thukral

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dubai Sports City - Another wonder in the making!

Dubai Sports City, the world's first purpose-built sports city, by late 2007, is on its way to open new horizons for sports and hold hands to walk the future of sports into a new era.

Dubai Sports City, will incorporate state-of-the-art sporting venues and academies along with residential and commercial developments. These will combine to offer a world class venue for sports events and activities at all levels with a residential lifestyle unrivalled in the region and possibly the world.

A place where sport is life, champions live, and legends are made. With over 50 million square feet of sporting venues, academies, exceptional homes, cultural activities and retail opportunities, Dubai Sports City is inspired by the greatest cities in the world, but at its heart beats the very essence of sport.

The state-of-the-art venues at the heart of Dubai Sports City will form a new international arena for world-class competition. The venues, each built to the specifications of the global governing bodies for the relevant sports, will host major events in football, cricket, rugby, golf, field hockey, tennis and other sports.


Dubai Sports City is home to a range of world-class sporting academies which will offer customized training programmes to participants of all ages and abilities.

Being a part of the city…living in it

Luxurious Luving

This is what Luxury finds its meaning. Here, life is surrounded by infinite options from restaurants, cafes, shopping opportunities, hotels, parks and family activities. In short, everything the modern metropolis has to offer is located in Dubai Sports City.

With Victory Heights, Gallery Villas & Canal Residence all set to redefine the definition of stylish and luxurious living set beside The Dunes, the 18-hole golf course designed by champion Ernie Els and each of them providing a masterpiece and architectural wonder ranmging ftiom Arabian to Spanish, one who has deep pockets will have what they could never have imaged before.

Community Facilities

Dubai Sports City is a carefully master planned community offering all vital facilities such as schools, medical facilities, emergency services, restaurants, cafes, entertainment venues, shops, community centres, mosques and a multitude of other facilities and services.

Retail & Leisure

Dubai Sports City offers an unprecedented shopping experience, from one of the largest malls in the region to an array of retail plazas and boutiques. With such a multitude of shops, everyone can find anything they need at Dubai Sports City.

Located just 20 minutes outskirts of Dubai, the entire development is under the ownership of Dubai Properties, the Sports City is expected to be in a unique entertainment complex and not to mention that the world is eyeing for this amazing city to be felt and lived for its wonders.

Source: Official website of Dubai Sports City

Rejoy Thomas

Contributed By : Rejoy Thomas