Hindujas to foray into India’s real estate sector

S P Hinduja

LONDON: The Hinduja Group, with a global presence in core sectors like oil and gas, automotive, power, IT, banking and finance, has announced a major foray into the real estate sector in India involving an investment of up to USD 15 billion.
Just back from a visit to India, the Group Chairman S P Hinduja said here that the Indian economy “with its underlying strengths could become a beacon of hope in an otherwise bleak global environment.”
The Group has acquired a land bank of over 3,500 acres in metros like Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore for development of integrated residential and commercial townships, SEZs, with hospitality, healthcare and related facilities, he said.
These projects will involve an investment of USD 10 billion to USD 15 billion over the next five years, according to Hinduja.
The group was also looking at a portfolio of 10,000 MW in the power sector in the medium-term, he said. Implementation of a 1000 MW project is already under progress, Hinduja said.
Expressing optimism over the state of the Indian economy, Hinduja said its fundamentals remained strong and it has the potential to bounce back to high growth of 8 to 9 per cent per annum.
“The slowdown currently experienced by the economy is largely due to external conditions and not, as a section of the business community and media say, by coalition politics, lack of leadership, corruption etc,” he said.
Hinduja said that the ruling and opposition parties in India were united in their resolve to reverse the present deceleration of growth momentum and make India more competitive in the global economy.
He also noted that India continued to enjoy great credibility in international forums and among global leaders, “which is a major plus.”
The leading UK-based industrialist said that non-resident Indians (NRIs) continue to repose confidence in the country with their remittances touching around USD 60 billion last year, the highest for the developing countries, including China.
He is also confident that India will go for more of economic reforms and liberalization and will not revert to a state-led model.
Hinduja also highlighted the challenge faced by India from the menace of corruption and black money.
“The main causes of generation of black money have been the requirement for funds to meet the expenses of political parties and to fight elections at local/state/national levels; the need for making illicit payments to secure government contracts and influence government policies etc,” he said.
“This is a cancer which must be addressed. Unstructured, non-institutional political funding is the root of corruption in India. Electoral reforms may be introduced to regularize and make political parties accountable for funds received,” he said.
He also said that state funding of political parties’ election expenditure can be part of a large scheme of political, electoral and taxation reform to stop the flow of money into parallel economy.
He pointed out that many developed countries have opted for 20-30 per cent tax to make black money stashed abroad accountable.
“India could also consider entering into similar agreements with foreign countries so that the unaccounted wealth abroad can come to India and taxed. Such funds could help reduce India’s burgeoning fiscal deficit,” he said.
Hinduja also highlighted the challenge faced by India from the menace of corruption and black money.
“The main causes of generation of black money have been the requirement for funds to meet the expenses of political parties and to fight elections at local/state/national levels; the need for making illicit payments to secure government contracts and influence government policies etc,” he said.
“This is a cancer which must be addressed. Unstructured, non-institutional political funding is the root of corruption in India. Electoral reforms may be introduced to regularize and make political parties accountable for funds received,” he said.
He also said that state funding of political parties’ election expenditure can be part of a large scheme of political, electoral and taxation reform to stop the flow of money into parallel economy.
He pointed out that many developed countries have opted for 20-30 per cent tax to make black money stashed abroad accountable.
“India could also consider entering into similar agreements with foreign countries so that the unaccounted wealth abroad can come to India and taxed. Such funds could help reduce India’s burgeoning fiscal deficit,” he said. -PTI

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