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‘Clear inventory, cut cost to survive,’ SBI chairman tells realtors

NEW DELHI: The State Bank of India chairman, Rajnish Kumar, has asked realtors to clear inventory, cut down costs and to adjust with changing times. “Clear inventory as soon as possible. We believed that prices will go up, but unfortunately the prices are not going up. There was a time when there were first-time home buyers and there were investors, and in five years you could double your money. Those times are over,” Kumar advised realtors while addressing a virtual conference organised by realtors’ body NAREDCO.

The effort of everyone should be towards the objective of making housing affordable, and building units fast as well as selling them quickly rather than holding inventory for a longer period in anticipation of price rise, he added. According to a latest study by real estate portal PropTiger. com, real estate developers in NCR alone are sitting on an unsold inventory worth over `77,000 crore. Kumar said course correction has to be undertaken by the industry if they want to get back on track at the earliest.

He suggested that industry should explore opportunities to cut down the cost and improve turnaround time. “How do we reduce the construction period? How do we keep cost under control on the construction material side? Industry should impress upon state and local governments that it is not a cash cow that you can keep on milking. So, let us reduce the cost of construction,” the SBI chief suggested.

He further assured them that SBI would endeavour to keep interest rates as low as as possible, depending on the macroeconomic situation. On enhancing emergency credit line to industry from the existing 10 per cent to 20 per cent, he said that it can be considered on a case-to-case basis by the field-level officials. “Reassessment of working capital we are ready to do.

You can approach the bank on revised cash budget. Based on the revised budget, we will give 10 per cent or 20 per cent, depending on requirement. What I would suggest is for getting all these helps, you keep the account updated. Clear your dues. Keep your account standard,” he said.

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