The Real Estate sector has become a very important growth sector after the liberalisation of the economy; it is the second largest employer in India, next only to agriculture, and it accounts for about 5% of the country’s GDP. The sector has significant linkages with several other sectors of the economy and over 250 associated industries. It also has large spending multiplier effects on the rest of the economy. Through this note, the author raises the many policy issues related to real estate and the urban sector. The real estate industry is constrained by archaic laws as well as government policies both at the central and state levels and unregulated on dimensions of quality, terms of delivery, information provided to potential buyers, etc. Some reforms have started taking place in the numerous land acts due to the JNNURM projects but processes for obtaining approvals have led to huge corruptions. Over regulation of existing built-up areas and land use which is more inflexible than elsewhere in the world has made urban renewal and growth problematic. There is a need to encourage participation of the private sector in bringing technical and managerial expertise in formulating and delivery of basic amenities like water, sanitation, sewerage, transport and electricity through Public Private Partnerships in this sector. Even though Real Estate came under the purview of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 in 1993, there are still several lacunae relating to consumer protection and there is no recourse to the problem of poor construction quality. The urban sector more broadly considered has its own problems emerging out of problems in the real estate sector. The paper discusses in detail many of these problems, some of them being (1) little responsibility on Urban Local Bodies, (2) poor planning, (3) lack in public health measures (4) weak operational management, etc.  Through these problems, it attempts to highlight the defects in urban governance and regulation. To correct most of the issues, an integrated approach that spans knowledge of management, economics, geography, sociology, public administration, transport economics and engineering is required, and without  which, it is unlikely that India would be able to face to the challenges in rapid urbanisation that lies ahead.

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