Houses exist everywhere but none are affordable in Mumbai. The realty sector in our country in general and Mumbai in particular is in the doldrums but prices have not fallen substantially even though there is huge inventory and no buyers. Underworld and unaccounted money is parked in realty which is the reason why prices are not falling and poor still dream of affordable houses promised by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. New construction would attract GST of 18 per cent which is on the higher side and will affect buyers.
The government needs to amend laws that force builders to sell their inventory and one way could be to tax unsold flats that have not been registered. Houses below 50 to 70 lakhs should not attract GST so that affordable housing gets a boost. Cluster redevelopment should be encouraged so that townships can come up rather than small constructions which are ill planned and look ugly. The realty sector could be given tax concessions and other exemptions on fulfilling certain social conditions so that it could be revived which is necessary to fulfil the housing needs of every Indian.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)