Coronavirus | Real estate hit hard by COVID-19, says Hardeep Puri

Real estate projects have been delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as migrant workers left cities and supply of construction material stopped, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri said on Saturday.

Mr. Puri was speaking to representatives of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of various States and other stakeholders in a web conference to mark the third anniversary of the implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which came into effect on May 1, 2017.

Ministry to advise real estate regulators to extend project completion deadlines

“COVID-19 has had a debilitating effect on the real estate sector, which has become a cause for project delays,” Mr. Puri said. Construction activities had been barred during the initial phase of the lockdown, he noted.

“Lakhs of migrant workers left cities and workplaces for their native villages and many more are waiting to leave; supply of essential construction material has stopped; site engineers and other support staff are not available, and construction has come to a standstill,” he stated.

Real estate sector likely to suffer big jolt

The government had allowed the resumption of some construction activity from April 20 after reviewing the situation, he pointed out. “The Ministry of Home Affairs has subsequently laid down a detailed protocol for the movement of persons, including migrant workers. It is a fine balance between life and livelihood and the government is fully conscious of that and hence, it is adopting a carefully calibrated approach while monitoring the situation by the hour.”

Construction activity would resume in all parts of the country in a phased manner, according to a statement from the Ministry.

In three years, over 52,000 real estate projects and 40,517 real estate agents have been registered under the RERA, the Minister said.

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