The government should arrange low-cost loans for apartment buyers to help boost real estate, Infor-mation Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said yesterday.
“It's time to provide low-cost loans as it will help customers buy apartments,” he said adding that many government-owned financial institutions do not offer loans to flat buyers.
Inu spoke at an awards ceremony by the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) held at Cirdap in Dhaka.
The minister called upon the Anti-Corruption Commission and National Board of Revenue to refrain from harassing customers that buy flats with previously undisclosed income.
The government has allowed black money in real estate after considering all aspects in the budget, he said.
“Customers will not invest money in apartments if the ACC issues regular summons to those who legalise under the scheme.”
Real estate is passing through a tough time due to a slump in sales, said Alamgir Shamsul Alamin, president of REHAB.
Apartment and plot sales registered a 60 percent drop in 2013 from the previous year mainly due to political unrest and high lending rates, according to the apex housing body.
He appreciated the government's move to allow investment of undisclosed money into real estate. “It is necessary to stimulate the sector. Real estate is a large sector, employing huge number of people as it has more than 200 backward linkage industries.”
REHAB awarded 20 journalists with the Best Reporting Award 2013 based on reports published in print and electronic media between January 1 and December 31 last year.
Awardees were selected by a three-member jury board of senior journalists, said Liakat Ali Bhuiyan, vice president of REHAB.
The housing association has been giving the annual award since 2012 to encourage journalists to report more on real estate.