Sunday, January 30, 2011

Look outward policy can save real estate sector

Nepalis Direct Investment (NDI) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) can resurrect the domestic real estate business, according to a real estate entrepreneur.
"For those Non-resident Nepalis (NRNs), who want to create asset back home, the government can help them by making favourable policy,” said Om Rajbhandari, managing director of Comfort Housing.
“In the first phase, we need to attract the investment from the Nepalis living abroad,” he said, terming the NRNs Direct Investment as NDI -- the word coined by himself.
"From their hard earned money, the NRNs can create asset back home,” he said, adding that the Nepal Land and Housing Development Association (NLHDA) can organise Housing Exhibition for those NRNs abroad, who want to buy home back in Nepal.
He opined that Nepal can also attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by giving expats ownership of apartments. "In each apartment project, 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the total units could be allowed for the expats,” he said, adding that those expats, who are more than 50 years of age can get retirement visa and own an apartment in Nepal.
Meanwhile, the increasing trend of constructing unmanaged residential buildings in the fertile land has forced the government to revise the National Building Code to manage and facilitate modern amenities to address increasingly unmanaged urbanisation and housings.
The decade long insurgency has forced the people to migrate to the urban areas for security reasons speeding up the urbanisation without proper planning and infrastructure.
Among government, private builders and individuals, culturally, the individuals are more inclined to construction of houses as traditionally house gives a sence of security in the society. But the individual construction has been more unmanaged and unplanned.
"The private developers can create a small city or satellite city with all the necessary infrastructures that could lead to planned development,” said Rajbhandari, one of the private developers. "The planned city will serve as the focal point of the multiple dimensions, providing a variety of attractions that promote public enjoyment and appreciation of the area, acting as the anchor of the nation and promoting decentralisation concept too.
"With mass employment opportunities, Multi Dimension Cities (MDCs) will surely be beneficial for people and generate huge revenue for the government too.
The government has also planned 10 new modern cities for business and residential purpose in the vicinity of Mid-hills Highway and North-South corridors. The budget for the current fiscal year has promised infrastructural mapping after the identification of the location and completion of their feasibility studies.
Though, the government has also been involved in the 'People’s Housing Programme' -- that is given continuity in this fiscal year's budget too -- that is extended to Chepang, Raute and Kusunda community’s settlement areas, the private builders are the key players in the sector.

Approach Paper
KATHMANDU: The finance ministry has formed an internal committee to prepare approach paper to loosen the real sector and allow expats to buy apartment. The committee is expetected to submit the approach paper on Monday, according to finance secretary Rameshwor Khanal. In a major policy shift, the government is planning to let the expats buy human-erected apartments.

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