The coronavirus outbreak has affected every stratum of the society and among them, the people living in urban slums and migrant workers hold the most vulnerable place. The whole country witnessed the exodus of migrant workers during the 2-month long lockdown imposed by the government to curb the coronavirus and this highlights the failure of urban planning in India, says billionaire K P Singh. He also said that real estate can play a major role to revive the economy after COVID-19.
“One of the most important sectors of the economy, urbanization, includes real estate, urban infrastructure, and construction, and right now all three are the most highly neglected sectors. Unfortunately, these should be the foremost important sectors of the economy,” Singh said in an interview last week.
K P Singh stepped down from his post of chairman of DLF Ltd, he handed over his post to his son Rajiv Singh and now Rajiv Singh is the chairman emeritus of DLF. Before stepping down from his post he claimed that Wrong urban development policies and inaccurate assessment of urbanization by the Planning Commission are the main causes of the creation of slums and eventually the migrant’s crisis amid lockdown.
He further said that major structural reform is the demand of the situation to set things right, and PM Modi suits the best option as he has the capacity to do so.
The 90-year old industry veteran regrets the negligence of the real estate, construction, and urban infrastructure sectors in India migrant workers while other developed countries like America these industries are considered as important economic indicators.
He further advised the government to give importance to the real estate sector, even more than the MSMEs, as the real estate sector has the potential to employ a large number of people and it can revive the economy when it has been crushed by the coronavirus outbreak. The real estate and construction sectors generate most direct and indirect employment, he added
He also said that the multi-year slowdown in the realty sector is not because of the demonetization, the GST but due to wrong urban development policies.
“You construct more houses. More cement is required, more steel is required, more paints are required, and more labor, skilled and unskilled, is required. So, the matter is not the GST or demonetization. The matter is our entire urban policies in India are completely wrong,” Singh said.
At last, to place everything in place it requires major structural reforms to correct mistakes committed over several decades, he added.