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Goa realty developers seek relaxation in lockdown restrictions

Panaji: With the ongoing coronavirus crisis severely impacting the prospects of the real estate industry, the Goa realty developers on Wednesday sought for relaxation in the lockdown restrictions.  The relaxation is necessary because most of the construction sites are left completely unattended due to the sudden enforcing of the lockdown, said developers.

According to builders, the construction sites contain material and machinery that need to be taken care of before the monsoon.

Local builders are also asking for government permission to restart the work on incomplete projects as a step towards reviving the industry that presently is in complete doldrums. 

Citing the example of several state governments that have released the real estate industry of lockdown restrictions on account of housing being an essential requirement, the local builders while speaking to this daily said that allowing the work to start at construction sites  would serve several purposes.

Prominent builder Jagannath Desh Prabhudesai, Margao, said that by letting builders restart activities, construction workers will get work and wages and incomplete projects will get completed.

“Builders must be asked to ensure that construction workers do not leave the site and also do not commute. The  safety and hygiene conditions to prevent coronavirus must be maintained.”

Prabhudesai said that local builders who are members of CREDAI have labourers on site who have not left the premises during the ongoing lockdown.

He claimed that several builders took care of construction workers at the time of the lockdown by providing them with food and shelter.

With construction activities completely immobilised, Goa realty developers claim to be in a bad shape.

They said that the industry was already facing recession and allowing work to restart on sites is the only way to prevent it going further down.

“The industry is a major contributor to state revenue and provides employment but we have to fight our own battle and struggle,” said a north Goa based builder.  He said that  in the present scenario there are no buyers for homes and the coronavirus illness will  stretch the slowdown further.

The realty developers in the state are asking for  waiver in the registration fee and stamp duty for six months. They are also seeking for deferring in the infrastructure tax levied by the state government.

“Waiving the registration fee and stamp duty will boost the sentiments among home buyers,” said Prabhudesai.

With RERA is place, builders are also worried about being hauled up by buyers for not completing ongoing projects on time. They are seeking extension in the completion period by six months from Goa RERA.

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