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Govt’s Special Housing Fund Worth Rs 25k Crore for Stalled Projects to Start Delivering from April

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In a relief to thousands of home buyers and bankrupt developers, SBICAP Ventures, which is managing the government’s Rs 25,000-crore special window to revive stalled housing projects, is all set to deliver its maiden completed apartments starting April 1.

According to a Bloomberg report, over 16 projects or more than 4,000 homes will be handed to owners in the financial year starting April 1 as part of the project.

The fund, titled ‘Special Window for Completion of Construction of Affordable and Mid-Income Housing Projects’ (SWAMIH), was announced by the central government fund in November 2019 to help complete over 1,500 stalled housing projects, including even those that have been declared NPAs (non-performing assets) or admitted for insolvency proceedings.

Irfan A Kazi, chief investment officer at SBICAP Ventures Ltd, said approvals have been to about 159 projects involving 1,00,000 homes. Of these, about 47 projects have received final approval. Another 112 are is early-stage approvals, where due diligence is pending, he said, adding two projects will complete construction by April.

SBICAP Ventures, had earlier cut the internal rate of return (IRR) expectations of this stress fund to 12 per cent from 15 per cent to provide relief to cash-starved developers.

In an interview, Kazi said the fund has 14 investors with the government having 50%, Life Insurance Corp. and State Bank of India each have 10% and the rest being other public and private-sector players.

Stating that SWAMIH is a social impact fund set up to complete construction of stalled homes, Kazi said the fund faced several challenges, including court cases while implementing the project.

“In many cases, we are dealing with the bottom rung of companies, which have lost manpower and some even no longer have a finance team, so due diligence can be hard. A no-objection certificate from existing lenders has come only in some cases and takes an exceedingly long amount of time,” he was quoted as saying.

Regarding the fund’s successes, he said, “No real estate fund, I believe, has done more than 100 deals probably in their lifetime. We are close to almost 150 deals now.” He, however, added that stalled housing is still a huge problem and it’s a growing problem.



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Airline CEOs, Biden Officials Consider Green-Fuel Breaks

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Chief executives of the nation’s largest passenger and cargo airlines met with key Biden administration officials Friday to talk about reducing emissions from airplanes and push incentives for lower-carbon aviation fuels.

The White House said the meeting with climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also touched on economic policy and curbing the spread of COVID-19 travel has been a vector for the virus. But industry officials said emissions dominated the discussion.

United Airlines said CEO Scott Kirby asked administration officials to support incentives for sustainable aviation fuel and technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. In December, United said it invested an undisclosed amount in a carbon-capture company partly owned by Occidental Petroleum.

A United Nations aviation group has concluded that biofuels will remain a tiny source of aviation fuel for several years. Some environmentalists would prefer the Biden administration to impose tougher emissions standards on aircraft rather than create breaks for biofuels.

Biofuels are false solutions that dont decarbonize air travel, said Clare Lakewood, a climate-law official with the Center for Biological Diversity. Real action on aircraft emissions requires phasing out dirty, aging aircraft, maximizing operational efficiencies and funding the rapid development of electrification.

Airplanes account for a small portion of emissions that cause climate change about 2% to 3% but their share has been growing rapidly and is expected to roughly triple by mid-century with the global growth in travel.

The airline trade group says U.S. carriers have more than doubled the fuel efficiency of their fleets since 1978 and plan further reductions in carbon emissions. But the independent International Council on Clean Transportation says passenger traffic is growing nearly four times faster than fuel efficiency, leading to a 33% increase in emissions between 2013 and 2019.

The U.S. accounts for about 23% of aircraft carbon-dioxide emissions, followed by Europe at 19% and China at 13%, the transportation group’s researchers estimated.

The White House said McCarthy, Buttigieg and economic adviser Brian Deese were grateful and optimistic to hear the airline CEOs talk about current and future efforts to combat climate change.

Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group Airlines for America, said the exchange was positive.

Airlines are ready, willing and able partners, and we want to be part of the solution” to climate change, Calio said in a statement. We stand ready to work in partnership with the Biden administration.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor



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