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Where will black money hide now? Modi has shrunk illicit money’s pit; real estate transparency jumps

India’s real estate sector has become more transparent, climbing up five places in a global ranking in the last six years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s reforms have shrunk one of the biggest pits of black money in India — the country’s real estate sector has become more transparent, climbing up five places in a global ranking in the last six years. With the amendment in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), transparency in India’s real estate sector has significantly improved. In the last two years, transparency in the real estate sector has improved at the second-highest pace in the world, after UAE. With the enhanced transparency and trust in real estate investments, enhanced market data, and sustainability initiatives, India has jumped to the 34th position in the JLL and La Salle’s ‘Global Real Estate Transparency Index, 2020’. India’s rank has improved from 39 to 34 in the last six years.

How real estate became more transparent

With the boost in real estate sector’s transparency in the last two years, India has registered the largest regional improvement, the report said. It added that the improvement in the country’s REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) framework has helped to attract greater interest from institutional investors. Increased activity from foreign investors and corporates has also helped to push demands for enhanced market intelligence while boosting the transaction process.

Through the active role of organisations such as the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), the country has also edged into the top 20 for Sustainability Transparency. The services firms such as NoBroker, Nestaway, and Awfis have further helped India to get listed in the top 10 countries for venture-capital backed proptech fundraising, primarily into listings sites and coworking providers.

Scope for further improvement

Though India’s real estate sector has improved on various fronts, it needs to address issues around corporate governance and regulatory enforcement to progress into the ‘transparent’ tier from ‘semi-transparent tier’. The report added that regulatory reforms have continued to be implemented but there is a significant divergence between regulation and enforcement capacity.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Global Real Estate Transparency Index covers 99 countries and territories and 163 cities. The latest Index is based on 210 indicators, including additional data on sustainability and resilience, health and wellness, proptech and alternatives. These variables are divided into six areas which are performance measurement, market fundamentals, governance of listed vehicles, regulatory & legal frameworks, transaction process, and environmental sustainability.

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