Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Realtors demand urgent electricity connection

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Dhaka by Sherpa Hossainy on June 25, 2011

Published in The Independent on June 22, 2011

Read the article on Independent website

Digital print edition

Real estate business owners on Monday urged the government to unconditionally provide electricity connections to the finished apartments to prevent investment stagnation and loan-defaulting.

“We request the energy ministry to provide the pending connections to the buildings and structures on an urgent basis,” Md Enamul Haque, executive member of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB).

He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the REHAB summer fair 2011 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka. Md Enamul Haque, state minister for power, was present as the chief guest.

He said the government’s condition of producing 10 per cent of a building’s power requirement from solar panels is not possible now, as the existing structure will not allow it.

“If we can not sell those apartments our investments will become stagnant, and we will not be able to give wage to the labourers,” he said.

The Tk 70,000 crore ($9.59 billion) real estate industry employs over 1 crore people and contributes 15 per cent to the GDP.

“If REHAB does not survive, the related ceramic, rod and plastic industries will not survive also,” Md Enamul Haque, also a member of the parliament, said.

The REHAB executive member termed the recent tax on commercial space that has gone up from 2,000 to 20,000 as ‘absurd’, and said it is impossible to pay such high taxes.

The state minister said the REHAB members should abide by the existing laws towards planned urbanisation and work for the sake of people.

“Earthquake and other natural disasters have to be considered while building structures. The realtors also have to be socially responsible,” he said.

The minister said unplanned structures creates traffic tailbacks and makes life more miserable, but there is no way but to go for high-rises in Dhaka as land is scarce.

“The high-rises have to be built in other big cities too, possibly satellite cities can be built under the government’s PPP projects,” he said.

He also stressed on building eco-friendly structures to save fuel and energy.

The minister said a total of 823,000 applications are pending in PDB, DESCO, REB and DPDC, and those connections’ cumulative demand for electricity is 1,400-1,500 MW.

Murad Iqbal Chowdhury, general secretary of REHAB, said REHAB is satisfied on how the fair finished despite much negative propaganda against the realtors, and bad weather.

The total attendance in the fair was 27,229, while there were 264 participants and 19 co-sponsors. The participants sold 771 flats, 1049 plots and 19 commercial spaces worth Tk 1,170 crore ($160.27 million) and there was also additional prospective offers worth Tk 2,400 crore ($328.77 million).

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