Towards sane acquisition
Chitleen K. Sethi reviews the pros and cons of the latest land policy proposed by the Punjab government
The year 2007 will be remembered as the year that changed forever the way land was acquired across the country ever since the Land Acquisition Act came into being in 1894. The single big truth that has emerged this year is that governments cannot forcibly acquire land from the owners for a purpose other than the one that is overtly “public” in nature.

— Photo by Vicky Gharu
— Photo by Vicky Gharu

Realty party to continue in 2008
The real estate sector remained buoyant during 2007 and the upward surge is likely to continue in 2008 too, reports S. Satyanarayanan
The real estate sector, which saw a boom time in the calendar year 2007, is expected to remain buoyant during 2008 too. One of the leading Industry Chambers, ASSOCHAM has projected that the realty sector could notch up a year-on-year growth of 40 per cent to 45 per cent in 2008 over the previous calendar year.

Right choice
Satish Narula shares the ‘choose-right mantra’ for that perfect green look in urban landscape planning
For a horticulturist urban planning means a variety of locations to plan for. The locations may include a park, a highway, a market place, an institute, an industry or even a small street. This kind of planning requires utmost care and a thorough knowledge of different species of plants.

Manpower crunch upsets construction companies
Shortage of skilled manpower has become a big roadblock for construction companies in the country, finds out S.C. Dhall
The real estate boom has increased the demand for construction workers manifold and hiring workforce is becoming a major task for construction companies. Shortage of construction workers has, in fact, slowed down the growth of industry in metros and major cities across the country. Special technically skilled manpower and project managers having all round knowledge are in short supply. There is 30 per cent shortage of specially skilled workforce.

Realty trusts reign
The Securities and Exchange Board of India issued draft regulations on REITs on December 28, 2007, a step welcomed by retail investors, but certain tax and transaction details need to be worked out in detail to make SEBI move effective and profitable for investors and to open up the way for REIT regime in India, says S.C. Dhall
The Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are likely to bring stability in prices and provide the realty sector better access to institutional and retail capital. The SEBI proposal is a right step in creating new avenues for investors. But the success of the REITS will, however, depend on the taxation structure for the entity as well as the incidence of tax for the investor.

— Photo by Kuldip Dhiman

— Photo by Kuldip Dhiman

Hotel industry goes big in small cities
Spiralling real estate prices in urban areas, shortage of spaces in big metros and rising demand for “affordable” holiday experience among middle-income domestic tourists, were leading to a growth in the mid-segment category of hotels in tier II and III cities. “The real estate prices in the metros had gone up several folds and constructing hotels on these expensive plots was turning out to be a very costly proposition,” Fortune Park Hotels Ltd President Suresh Kumar told PTI.

Real Estate Investment Trusts
A success in UK too
Jennifer Hill
London: New property investment vehicles were hailed a success on Tuesday, a year after their inception, despite share prices tumbling around 40 per cent. More than 75 per cent of Britain’s major listed property companies converted to real estate investment trust (REIT) status during 2007.

Unitech among top 10 pvt cos on bourses
Mumbai: Real estate giant Unitech has joined the club of country’s top 10 most valued private companies, following a six per cent surge in its share price. The scrip gained Rs 29 to settle at Rs 538.20 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on January 2, taking its market cap to Rs 87,371 crore.

Income from subletting is not rental income
by S.C. Vasudeva
Q. I am living in a rented house. The house was taken on rent about 30 years back at a very low amount of rent. It is a large accommodation and I have therefore sublet a portion to another person. I had declared the rent received from this portion as rental income but the Assessing Officer has not accepted my claim. Is the contention of the Assessing Officer correct?