- Direct economic benefits: Travel Time savings, vehicle cost savings, transit option value, environmental benefits
- increase in property values
- land use changes,
- benefits of improved access to jobs & critical locations, benefits to employment wage & productivity
- Impacts in the following cases: Tyne & Wear Metro, Newcastle, U.K, Manchester Metro link, London Docklands Light Railway, Helsinki Metro, Finland, Vienna S-Bahn, Austria,Nantes, France
- House prices increased 2% within 200 meters of metro stations.
- Retail activity or office developments in proximity to stations does not appear to be directly linked to LRT.
- Development of 20 500 sq.m of offices and services in City centre.
- 50% of capital cost was recaptured through overall office development and job creation.
- In the best locations, dwelling prices raised by 11%.
- Price of property located within walking distance of the nearest railway or metro station increased 7,5% over other locations.
- Impact was most significant at a distance of 500-750 m., as opposed to adjacent locations, where values dropped. (Finland)
- Districts located along S-Bahn corridor have witnessed increases in number of new housing units of 18, 7% over 10 yr. period, as opposed to 4% and 10% in more remote locations.
- Distance from Metro: Hedonic Analysis – The variables which are having a significant impact on land value are-Distance of land from Metro Line, Distance of land from CP, Location of area, Income group.
- Among the variables ‘distance from the metro’ alone explains the 22% of the variation in the land value. Thus, the availability and proximity to metro, plays a major role in determining the impact of Metro on real estate prices.
- Properties within 500m of the metro line have experienced a higher land value change as compared to properties beyond 500m. Land value decreases as one moves away from the metro line.
- Within 500 mtrs of Metro Line, change in land value is higher and is more or less same for both the residential and commercial properties.
- Between 500m 1km change in land value is more for 15 to 1km, commercial properties
- Land use Effect
- The impact of metro on residential land value is less as compared to the commercial properties.
- For Residential area, on an average land value within 500m of metro line increased by11.3%. For Commercial area, on an average land value within 500m of metro line increased by 18.1%.
- Threshold limit for the residential properties is approximately up to 500m from metro line, whereas limit increases up to approximately 800m for commercial properties.
- Increase in land value is highly dependent on the income of the people occupying the area / These are also the areas which are planned
- Number of years of Operation of Metro
- Land Value changes are more consistent and higher after the operation of metro as compared to the construction and planning stage. (land value increases by 2- 4% every year.)
- Impacts on urban structure is significant. Integrated landuse transport planning M t – Metro contribution to land value rise is about 22%. A part value is captured in property taxes. Re-appropriation is difficult as they are 2 different agencies.
- Value capture is possible only if linked to additional FSI/TDR
- To reap benefits of better accessibility, redevelopment schemes for nonplanned/slum areas
- Right time to capture value – First Create Value and then Capture
What is a Special Economic Zone?
A special Economic Zone is a geographical region that is governed by economic laws that are more liberal than a country’s typical economic laws. Usually, the goal in creating an SEZ is to achieve an increase in foreign investment. It is a win-win arrangement that is attractive both or business and for the country. Special Economic Zones in India are governed by provisions of Special Economic Zone Act, 2005, Special Economic Zone Rules, 2006 and any state SEZ Act or state policies where such SEZ is located apart from economic and other legislations.
What is “Special” about Special Economic Zones?
The word “Special” refers to the special economic systems, procedures and policies that apply within the SEZ. The central government gives SEZ special policies, flexible measures and simplified procedures allowing SEZs to utilize a special economic management system.
Why does the government create such Special Economic Zones?
The government can have many objectives in creating such SEZs. Some of them are:
- Attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
- Earn foreign exchange and contribute to exchange rate stability.
- Boost the export sector, especially nontraditional exports.
- Introduce new technology and create employment opportunities.
- Develop economically backward regions.
- Stimulate sectors such as electronics, information technology, R&D, tourism, infrastructure and human resource development that are regarded as strategically important to the economy.
- Create backward and forward linkages to increase output and raise the standard of local enterprises that supply goods and services to the zone.
- Provide fast track mechanism for operationalisation and growth.
What are some of the salient features of an SEZ?
The salient features of SEZs are:
- No additional license required for import.
- Manufacturing, Trading or Services activities allowed, based on type of SEZ.
- Freedom of subcontracting.
- Self declaration for export / import of cargo, acceptable to customs authorities.
- SEZ units to have positive net foreign exchange earnings on cumulative basis at the end of 5 years and thereafter.
How do I set up my business in Hirco Business City – an SEZ?
First of all know that your relationship manager from Hirco is here to help you in setting up your business in the Hirco Business City. Enterprises in SEZ are typically referred to as a unit. A unit does not have to mean manufacturing. Enterprises that wish to set up units within a special economic zone must be aware of the following points:
- SEZ Rules provide for single window clearance for setting up a unit in SEZ.
- Prior to establishing a unit in SEZ, approval must be obtained from the Board of Approval (BOA).
- SEZ units are permitted to provide contract – manufacturing services to foreign principals.
- International financial services center (IFSC) / Offshore Banking Units (OBU) may be set up in SEZ to provide low cost finance.
What incentives and facilities do I get when I set up a unit in SEZ?
SEZ units benefit from policy concessions granted by the government. A multitude of fiscal, non- fiscal facilities and benefits are available including duty free import of raw materials, capital goods and income tax exemption.
A summary of some of these benefits are given below:
1. Customs & Excise Concessions
- The import of goods and local procurement by SEZ units is duty free.
- SEZ units may either import or procure from domestic sources all their requirements of capital goods, raw materials, consumables, spares, packing materials, office equipments, DG sets etc. – necessary for setting up and operating a unit in the Zone – without any additional license or specific approval.
- Goods imported duty free or procured locally could be utilized during the approval period.
- Domestic sales permitted from the unit on payment of applicable customs duty.
2. Income Tax Concessions
- 100% income tax exemption for first 5 years and 50% for next 5 years and 50% of the ploughed back export profits for next 5 years.
- Carry-forward of losses.
3. Foreign Direct Investment
- 100% foreign direct investment under the automatic route is allowed in manufacturing sector in SEZ units except arms and ammunition; explosives; atomic substance; narcotics and hazardous chemicals, distillation and brewing of alcoholic drinks; and cigarettes, cigars and manufactured tobacco substitutes.
- No limits on foreign investment for Small Scale Industries (SSI) reserved items.
4. Banking / Insurance/ External Commercial Borrowing
- Setting up Offshore Banking Units (OBU) is allowed in SEZ.
- External commercial borrowing up to $ 500 million a year allowed.
- Freedom to bring in export proceeds without any time limit.
- Flexibility to keep 100% of export proceeds in Exchange Earners Foreign Currency (EEFC) Account.
- Freedom to make overseas investment.
- Commodity hedging permitted.
- Exemption from interest rate surcharges on import finance.
5. Central Sales Tax Act
- Exemption from sales tax for sales from Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) to SEZ units.
6. Service Tax
- Exemption from Service tax to SEZ units for services consumed within the SEZ.
- SEZ permitted to have non-polluting industries in IT and facilities like golf courses, desalination plants, hotels and non polluting service industries in the Coastal Regulation Zone area.
- Exemption from public hearings under Environment Impact Assessment Notification.
8. Drugs And Cosmetics
- Exemption from port restrictions under drugs and cosmetics rules.
9. Sub-Contracting / Contract Farming
- SEZ units may sub- contract part of production or production process to units in the Domestics Tariff Area or to other EOU / SEZ units.
- SEZ units may also sub-contract part of their production process abroad.
As the life span of our Parents increase, something that most of us are truly grateful about, we have the added responsibility of taking care of them as well as our Children. It is in this context that the word “Sandwich Generation” has been coined.
It is inevitable that there will be a clash of opinions between our Children and our Parents. If we live in the metros, the lack of living space means that the already present friction just seems to escalate to unmanageable levels. Our Parents then justifiably wish to live separately, driven by the need to be independent and often choose to go back to our home town. It is all fine till they fall ill and require assistance or if the unfortunate event of one parent passing away leaving the other bereaved, occurs. Such event puts a strain on us as we struggle with our time commitments to our office/profession and our Children.
The only solution is a halfway measure where we should then persuade our parents to sell their house in the home town and move closer to the metros. This is where the new townships being built by India’s best developers are a welcome option. These state of the art apartment complexes have the following advantages
- Reasonable Cost
- Accessibility to the Children
- No stigma as compared to Old Age homes
- A good possibility of meeting like minded senior citizens
- World Class medical facilities within the Complex itself
For Mumbai, Panvel offers good prospects and the projects that come to mind readily are India Bulls Greens and Hiranandani Palace Gardens.
Before starting this piece, I was curious to read about what other “dog lovers” had to say/ write. Would recommend that you do the same . I was bowled over, after reading some pretty inspiring stuff. It was clear that the “dog” in their lives elevated them to a different level and propelled them to write brilliantly. My dog has a similar effect on me and I am really writing this from my heart.
When somebody points out that “dog” is an anagram for “god”. We feel compelled to say “oh no what a cliché “. However, when I see the qualities that my dog has, I cannot but agree that she is the closest to God that we will ever experience in our lives. Like most other Indian families, we were dead against getting a Dog into our “oh so busy” lives. We bore the hostility and nags of our teenage daughter before grudgingly giving in. The familiar litany of excuses was discarded and we got our beautiful pet home. A word of caution is in order here, though. Never believe your teenager when he/ she swears that they will assume responsibility for the dog . Promises are made to be broken and our family was no different.
In the three years that we have had our dog “Ruan” in our family, our daughter has never taken care of the Dog . This duty has devolved onto us completely. It is therefore really irritating to see that Ruan loves our daughter the most and gives her Star status. Maybe, it is an acknowledgement of her role in getting us to agree to adopt the dog. There is another heart warming story connected with Ruan that I love to recount. We were busy scouting for a dog and were luck to meet Rajesh who runs a pet store in Navi Mumbai. We were perturbed by the high rates that were quoted by other pet stores. Rajesh restored our faith by quoting rates which were lower and reasonable. In the same breath, he mentioned that there was a cocker spaniel pup by the name of Ruan, who was being given back to him by a previous customer, because they lacked the time to look after her. We agreed to take a look and I went with my daughter and her friend to check her out. We were instantly smitten and Ruan also took a shine to us. We came back to Rajesh, our hearts aflutter, and asked him to name his price. To our surprise and gratification, Rajesh offered Ruan without taking any money for himself. He was in love with Ruan himself and wanted to give her away on two conditions, one that we would return Ruan ( and not give her away, ever) only to him, if we felt unwilling to look after her. He also requested us to make a donation to the Leprosy Foundation. We chose to make a donation to a Child Foundation instead, but that is another story.
This was an auspicious beginning and we feel blessed and delighted to have Ruan in our lives. Where, with all the wealth and means that we have at our disposal, can we get a five star welcome home, day on day. Ruan is love personified and reaches out to everybody without discrimination. My ex neighbour Mrs Mavinkurve, a dog lover herself, said to me ” Remember, there is a mysterious reason why some of us are privileged to get a dog in our lives”. I have yet to discover the “mysterious reason”. For now we are just living it up with the cutest, most wonderful “person” in our lives.
May all of you have a dog’s day.
The Smart way to invest in a second home.
From time to time, we all get lured by a vision of a cosy getaway from the tiring routines of urban living. The second home advertisements that we encounter in the newspapers seem to beckon ever so often.
So what do we do. Well most of us do check this out. Some of us go ahead and take the plunge. Many of us get daunted by a consideration of the following :
- Cost, especially when we realise that these properties do not appreciate in value.
- Hassle of maintenance.
- An acknowledgement that we do not get the time/ motivation to use it often enough to justify the investment.
Our group of seven friends thought and debated this long and hard. We identified Goka Engineering’s project at Velneshwar Beach as our investment. We then implemented the following action plan.
- Formed a Partnership . Call it “a” investments
- We bought two plots, one for the long term and another to trade for short term gain.
- The overall cost of Rs 18 Lakhs for the plot then became a manageable 2.5 Lakhs per head
- Construction cost for a bungalow on one plot will be Rs 25 Lakhs (per head 3.6 Lakhs)
- The total cost per head is Rs 6 Lakhs ( total investment 42 Lakhs )
- In future, the “second” plot will be sold. This will help lower costs.
Assume that out of the 52 weeks, we do not get to use the “vacation home” for 13 weeks,because of bad weather etc, each member of the group can get to use it for at least five weeks in a year, which is more vacation time than any of us have ever enjoyed. The regular maintenance charges also get divided among seven people and therefore we can afford to spend more and keep the property in good shape. Also because the investment is in the name of a partnership individuals wanting to leave the group can do so after the “financials” are worked out. Taking this concept a step further, we can even let out the property to outsiders and use this as a way of generating funds for the upkeep of the property.
As the investment per head is only Rs 6 Lakhs, the cost of holding becomes negligible as opposed to a single owner model.
Since the cost and effort of upkeep of the property is taken care of, by the group, decisions are taken faster. If at any stage , the group feels that they need to collectively exit the investment, they can sell the Partnership.
This is also a good way to keep the group together as they are bound by something they “created” as a team.
Fear of the number 13 goes by the fancy term “triskaidekaphobia”. Till recently I never paid attention to this as I belong to the Camp that is disdainful of this “irrational” fear. I had the privilege of hearing Satguru Jaggi Vasudev recently and he made this rather interesting observation that people choose to believe/disbelieve as it is so much more easier than “seeking”.
And so it is with the number 13, with people believing/not believing without “knowing”. Phew . However, notwithstanding this mind blowing statement of the Satguru, I would not have researched the number 13, except that a dear friend of mine fell victim to the dreaded “Triskaidekaphobia”. We are in the business of advising people on Real Estate and this friend of mine duly took mine. We zeroed in on an investment in India Bulls Greens, Panvel, Navi Mumbai . As luck would have it there was no availability of apartments on the lower floors and the lowest available floor was thirteen, followed by the seventeenth floor.
Now in Mumbai, developers have this practice of charging floor rise for every floor. As a consequence a flat on the seventeenth floor would cost this friend Rs 1,20,000 more as compared to the flat on the thirteenth floor. I tried in vain to reason with him, but to no avail. I was however not aware of the origin of the superstition and even less aware that there are cultures/ countries where the converse is true. Hard to believe, but it is true that some consider the number 13 very lucky. The most stirring story is about our own Guru Nanakji. The story is reproduced here for our common benefit.
Guru Nanak was born of humble parentage. His parents owned a store, and were ambitious for their son. They urged young Nanak to sit in the store and do some business. The young man started to count, Ek do teen (One, two ,three) ……Gyaara, Baarah, terah….(Eleven, twelve, thirteen)….The minute young Nanak said ‘terah’ meaning thirteen, he thought of ‘terah’ as ‘Tera’ which means ‘Yours’. Guru Nanak went into deep meditation, thinking that all that is, belongs to the Lord. Needless to say, Guru Nanak never became a merchant, rather he turned out to be a ‘Baadshah’ (King).
Also in Italy, the number 13 is considered lucky.
I rest my case and hope wiser counsel prevails when we take important financial decisions in our life