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Action against Unitech a wake-up call for realtors

A govt takeover could be justified if there was fraud involved but not because of the failure of the company, says Niranjan Hiranandani

Raghavendra Kamath  |  Mumbai 

Action against Unitech a wake-up call for realtors

The government’s seeking to take over embattled real estate developer would send a strong message to the industry, developers said.
 
“It is a wake-up call for all corporates to not do business at the cost of customers, shareholders and vendors,” said J C Sharma, vice-chairman and managing director of Bengaluru-based
 
“It will send a message to the industry that if you mismanage your company you will lose it,” said an executive with a Delhi-based real estate company. With court cases and government policies like there was now a perception that real estate was becoming a buyer’s market, the executive added.
 
Niranjan Hiranandani, chairman and managing director of Hiranandani Communities, said a government takeover could be justified if there was fraud involved but not because of the failure of the company.
 
Other developers said the move was unfair. “How can the government take over the company? You put the promoters in jail and then talk about taking over the company. It does not add up,” said office bearer of Credai, an industry lobby group.
 
Around 19,000 home buyers are awaiting possession of flats and houses. The company has defaulted on payment of Rs 600 crore to over 15,000 small depositors. It has also defaulted on Rs 880 crore of loans.
 
Besides Unitech, real estate companies and face insolvency proceedings in the (NCLT). In November, the Supreme Court directed the directors of Jaiprakash Associates, the parent company of Jaypee Infratech, not to alienate personal properties and asked the company to pay up Rs 275 crore by December.
 
The Allahabad bench admitted the case on August 10 after IDBI Bank referred the company for defaulting on debts of Rs 526.11 crore. Close to 32,000 homebuyers in various Jaypee projects are yet to receive possession of their apartments.
 
The JSW group, Vedanta, the Lodha group and Deutsche Bank are among 18 parties that have shown interest in buying Jaypee Infratech, according to reports.
 
Similarly, Puravankara and Godrej Properties are among six companies that have expressed interest in submitting resolution plans for Silicon City, a group firm of the debt-ridden developer
 
In September, the had admitted a petition by Bank of Baroda against Silicon City over a loan default. An interim resolution professional was appointed to conduct proceedings in accordance with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
 
Silicon City is developing a housing project in Sector 76, Noida, on over 43.7 acres.

First Published: Sat, December 09 2017. 01:55 IST