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Jottings: The RERA Effect

Bad news continue to follow the domestic real estate sector. For 2016-17, new launches in the residential category declined by eight per cent, says a report by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W)

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

Bad news continue to follow the domestic real estate sector. For 2016-17, new launches in the residential category declined by eight per cent, says a report by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). An earlier report on the January-March 2017 quarter by PropEquity had stated a 19.45 per cent decline in the new home launches.

Both these reports are for the top eight cities. The C&W report links the decline to the announcement of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) 2016 which was passed in March last year and has come into effect from May 2017.

The operating part of the story is this: “There would be no significant change in the next two or three quarters, as developers have restricted new launches and are making changes to their strategy to comply with the RERA norms,” says Anshul Jain, MD, India, C&W.

Amit Modi, director, ABA Corp and vice president, CREDAI Western UP, agrees “Because of RERA, many developers have put on hold their expansion plans. It’s a wait-and-watch period. But customers will have to pay more post RERA,” Modi adds. Let’s hope the dream home does not turn into a nightmare.
 Ashish Sinha

Hybrid Vehicles Get The Short Shrift In GST

The GST rate set for hybrid vehicles is a clear indication that the government had not considered the industry’s viewpoint about promoting hybrid vehicles in India. Had it done so, hybrid vehicles would have been in the lower tax slab.

The government’s decision to keep electric vehicles ahead in the beneficiary curve, has created some confusion in the industry. Car makers are not happy with the high rate set for hybrid vehicles.

Maruti Suzuki India chairman, R. C. Bhargava said, “Putting hybrid cars at par with luxury cars is against the stated government policy to promote use of such vehicles. We are going to seek clarity on the matter.” Hybrid vehicles will attract 15 per cent cess over and above the peak rate of 28 per cent. At present hybrid vehicles attract excise duty of 12.5 per cent, similar to the ones on entry level small cars.
–    Arshad Khan

Lupin Recalls Drug From US

Lupin Pharmaceuticals, a Mumbai based drug maker, has voluntarily announced that it would recall oral contraceptive tablets, Mibelas 24 Fe, of specific dosage  from the US market at the consumer level.

A confirmed market complaint indicated a packaging error, where the blister was rotated 180 degrees within the wallet, reversing the weekly tablet orientation and making the lot number and expiration date no longer visible,” said US health watchdog, Food and Drug Administration.

Two other Indian drug manufacturers, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma Limited, have also  begun separately  recalling some quantities of two different drugs from the US market ,as they were not found to be up to the mark.
Himani Chandna

Breathless

Transport department data shows that the number of registered vehicles in Delhi has crossed the one crore mark, which raises some doubt about whether Delhi was doing enough to either curb rising air pollution levels, or rein in its traffic population. Over 66 lakh registered vehicles are motorcycles and scooters, which are high polluters because of their poor emission standards.

Even though the National Green Tribunal has banned all vehicles that are more than 15 years old in the capital, air pollution remains high. This year, though, the New Delhi Embassy Air Quality Index shows pollution levels to be “moderate”, compared to last year. The Air Quality monitoring stations at ITO, Anand Vihar, Mandir Marg and Gurugram, however, continue to show the AQI to be at “hazardous” levels.

On ozone formation, CSE analysed real-time data from air quality monitoring stations across Delhi and concluded that “all neighbourhoods in Delhi – rich and poor – are at risk.” Curbing emission levels from vehicular and industrial sources and a fillip to afforestation really needs to be in top gear now.  
— Anirut Kanti

A Toast to Mumbai

While global food chains invade the smaller towns of India, some chic city glitz is also percolating to the bigger metropolises. Toast & Tonic, Bengaluru’s award winning restaurant, for instance, has opened an avatar in Mumbai. The restaurant has featured in the Conde Nast Traveller UK Hot List 2016 for the best restaurants and bars around the world and the Gourmet Traveller Australia Hot 100 list of bars. It will be at BKC’s Jet Airways-Godrej BKC Building.

The Mumbai restaurant – which has a tagline attached (It’s called Toast & Tonic: East Village Style) has somethings, which are new even for regulars who go to the Bengaluru outlet.  Among the dishes on the menu, the new additions range from things like Mohinga, a Burmese fish and noodle soup and a four- millet salad served with a guava gondhoraj dressing. The food follows the tradition set up in Bengaluru of innovative, unusual and ethical cuisine.Taking forward the theme of G&T, which is pervasive in Bengaluru, the Mumbai restaurant actually has on its menu gin brands like Sipsmith, Gin Mare, Williams Chase, and Citadelle. — Bikramjit Ray

Cars, But No Fumes Or Polluting Fossil Fuels?

Union minister for power, coal and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal,  has recently announced an  ambitious plan for an all-electric car fleet by 2030. The plan aims to cut down on the fuel import bill and the running costs of vehicles. Goyal feels that the government would only have to hand hold the electric vehicle industry for two or three years before it was able to sustain on its own pace.

While auto industry veterans have lauded the minister’s visionary statement, many feel that there should be a proper roadmap for zero–emission vehicles with the initial thrust necessary on hybrid vehicles, for not only does  E-mobility entail  high costs,  but also absence of  proper infrastructure like charging stations.
— Avishek Banerjee


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